New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof used an April 22 op-ed to advise his readers to consider using bear spray against home intruders instead of firearms.
Kristof’s suggestion was couched in an op-ed written to persuade readers that having a gun in their home actually makes them less safe.
He claimed the idea that a gun in the home makes someone safer is actually a “delusion” and he linked to a study from 2017 to support his point.
Moreover, Kristof painted an image of the U.S. as extremely violent, writing, “Elsewhere, brutes send their victims to the E.R.; in America, they send them to their graves.” He then listed three examples to bolster his point, two of which were examples where shooting victims were sent to the E.R. and the third of which was a shooting death.
Kristof claimed that foreigners look at the United States in bewilderment, wondering why Americans are so in love with guns.
He pointed to Japan in particular, where he claims “fewer people are murdered with guns in a typical year than sometimes in a single mass shooting in America.” He did not discuss suicide numbers and the fact that suicides in Japan have been higher than suicides in the United States in recent years, despite stringent gun controls in Japan.
On December 19, 2018, Breitbart News pointed to Chicago Tribune editorial board member Steve Chapman’s column, in which he noted Japan has some of the most stringent gun control laws on the planet yet also has a suicide rate that is much higher than the rate in the United States. He explained that the predominant mode of suicide in Japan is by hanging, and his point was that gun control does not prevent people from dying if they are determined to die.
Near the end of the Kristof’s op-ed, he pushed gun controls that have been in place in California since the 1990s, yet have failed to prevent mass shooting upon mass shooting in that state.
He then admitted he has guns on his farm, but stressed that the pursuit of “personal safety” is not a good reason to get one.
WATCH — AWR Hawkins: “The Central Component” of the 2nd Amendment Is “Self-Defense”
Kristof then suggested homeowners use bear spray instead of firearms to fight off home intruders. He did not say whether bear spray will stop the bullets which armed intruders may fire at homeowners, nor did he say whether bear spray will prevent knives from penetrating a homeowner’s flesh.
WATCH: AWR Hawkins Shows the Optimal Non-Lethal Self-Defense Tool When You Can’t Carry a Firearm
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at email@example.com.