I just read an interesting report.

It’s the latest report by the National Safety Council on accidental deaths and injuries in the workplace, home and community.

It covers the year 2003.

Here are the leading causes of accidental deaths that year:

  • Motor vehicles – 44,800
  • Falls – 16,200
  • Poisonings – 13,900
  • Chokings – 4,300
  • Drownings – 2,900
  • Fires, flames and smoke – 2,600
  • Suffocations – 1,200

I looked through pages and pages of this document to find out about the horror of accidental shooting deaths. I also looked in supplemental material associated with the report.

I could find nothing.

One has to assume that they are so few and far between that they are statistically irrelevant.

Yet this is not what we are led to believe by the gun-control fanatics who continue to promote trigger locks as a “safety” measure.

Just last month, for instance, the U.S. Congress approved a bill that would require licensed gun dealers to supply a trigger-lock device with every handgun sold in America.

I had imagined that an act of Congress of this kind would have been precipitated by thousands of accidental shooting deaths in any given year. This does not appear to be the case. In fact, if the latest detailed report of the National Safety Council is any indication, there are virtually no accidental shooting deaths taking place. There is no mention of them in the report. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

That’s great news. You would think it would be cause for celebration.

So why the continuing, unrelenting pressure to promote trigger locks – which will certainly result in the deaths of many innocent people who are unable to defend themselves because of a trigger lock? Why are those who buy firearms for protection now paying extra for trigger locks that could, if used, counteract the very purpose for which the weapon was obtained?

About 1 million Americans use a firearm to defend themselves from criminals every year. They don’t necessarily discharge the gun. But they at least brandish one to fend off attack. Hundreds of thousands of times a year, law-abiding citizens fire guns at bad guys in the defense of their lives and property.

Trigger locks deter the kind of quick response needed to use those firearms effectively in such situations. You won’t catch me using one.

But, slowly, inevitably, national, state and local policies are pushing us closer to mandatory trigger locks.

Imagine the day we actually have a universal trigger lock law in place.

Let’s assume just 1 percent of the 1 million people who use firearms every year to defend themselves are unable to deactivate the lock in time and die as a result.

That’s 10,000 deaths.

Let’s assume the number of accidental gun deaths right now is somewhere between 100 on the low side and 1,000 on the very high side.

Why would we want to trade 100 or 1,000 lives for 10,000?

It seems to me that’s what the trigger-lock fanatics want.

In fact, it could be a lot worse. I would dare say that the more widespread trigger-lock use becomes, the higher the death toll of innocent people.

Trigger locks don’t save lives. They take them.

That’s why we should not be encouraging their use. We should be discouraging them – except in rare circumstances. There are appropriate uses for them – particularly with firearms not maintained for use in self-defense.

But since the overwhelming number of handguns are purchased for precisely this reason, trigger locks make no sense.

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