Anti-gun Group Conveniently Ignores New Hampshire

by Evan F. Nappen Esq.

Those pesky Granite State gun owners have damaged the anti-gun spin machine of the Violence Policy Center.  In a recent news release, the credibility-challenged VPC proclaimed, "Pro-Gun States Lead the Nation in Per Capita Firearm Death Rates.” The news release goes on to say, “The analysis [of data from the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] reveals that the five states with the highest per capita gun death rates were Louisiana, Alaska, Montana, Tennessee and Alabama. Each of these states had a per capita gun death rate far exceeding the national per capita gun death rate of 10.32 per 100,000. By contrast, states with strong gun laws and low rates of gun ownership had far lower rates of firearm-related death. Ranking last in the nation for gun death was Hawaii, followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York.”

The VPC dares not look at the bottom seven (7) states instead of the arbitrary five (5). That is because, lo and behold, New Hampshire ranks seventh from the bottom in per-capita gun deaths. New Hampshire is undeniably a strong pro-gun state that greatly respects the individual right to keep and bear arms.  New Hampshire is beat only by sixth-place Connecticut, the home of “Gun Valley,” a major area of gun making in the United States.  For that matter, all of New England is in the bottom 12.  Low gun deaths in New England are more attributable to the culture and character of the region than to the availability of firearms.  By contrast, the West is still somewhat wild and the South has not fully lost its rebel yell.

The VPC also has to purposely limit their selectively picked data to states rather than cities. This is because the one jurisdiction with the strictest gun control in the entire nation is the District of Columbia. In D.C., all handguns are banned, long arms must be stored disassembled, locked, and unloaded, and law-abiding citizens have no right to carry guns. According to the same 2005 CDC data relied upon by the VPC in their news release, D.C. has the highest death rate of any place in the US!  D.C has well over double the national average.

The VPC also conveniently fails to mention that the total number of deaths in the entire United States is ever so slightly over one hundredth of one percent — .0103% to be exact, and that is with approximately 250 million guns in the country.  Additionally, those are all firearm deaths, including police shootings, justifiable self defense, and suicide.

The reason for the VPC’s new propaganda push is obvious, and they unknowingly reveal it in their news release. They are scared “to death” of the very real possibility of a Supreme Court victory in June for the Second Amendment in the celebrated Heller case. Ironically, the Heller case is a challenge to the very D.C. anti-gun law ignored by the VPC.  VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, "Blind allegiance to the Second Amendment comes at a deadly price. Many residents in pro-gun states cheer the possibility of a June Supreme Court ruling that could place gun controls across the nation at risk, never realizing that those states stand as proof of the need for such laws.” Well, unfortunately for the VPC agenda, the District of Columbia torpedoes their glorification of anti-gun laws and New Hampshire stands as granite counter-proof that there is no need for such laws.

Evan F. Nappen, Esq. is the Corporate Counsel and a Director of Pro-Gun New Hampshire, Inc., www.PGNH.org.   He practices law in Concord, and has focused in the area of gun and knife law for 20 years.