President’s Message: Honesty Matters

Oct 22, 2015

Growing up, my parents were unbending and relentless in their pursuit of the truth when it came to dealing with me and my brothers and our inevitable shenanigans. If we messed up, we fessed up – or else! If we did it quickly, that was even better.

The consequences of failing to tell the whole truth were severe. Any punishment you might have received was instantly made far worse if “fibbing” or outright lying was involved.

It was clear, obvious and totally understood... lying was way worse than the original evil. So suck it up and take your punishment. And no matter what, don’t lie.

I practice a similar methodology with my children. The expectations were set for them early and are reinforced unequivocally. Consequences are far more severe when lying is involved. Honesty is a critical virtue for success because you lose faith in those who lie. And earning back someone’s trust is very difficult.

Unfortunately, when it comes to gun control, lying appears to be a key ingredient in supporters’ playbook for success. And it’s why I’m so bitterly disappointed and downright disgusted at those folks who continue to perpetuate falsehoods to try and prove their point.

We repeatedly hear in the mainstream media and even from some of our top elected officials, that gun related violence is up, on the rise, or worse than ever.

But it’s not true. Not even close.

A recent National Review article brings back to light a 2013 study showing gun homicides in this country have dropped dramatically since a peak in 1993 – by just about half. Other violent crimes with a firearm (assault, robbery, sex crimes) are 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. And according to the National Review, evidence indicates this trend hasn’t changed in the last four years. Remarkably, this decline has taken place while the number of guns has increased by 62 percent, from 192 million in 1994 to approximately 310 million guns in the U.S. in 2015.

These are substantial and compelling facts. So why isn’t this getting more attention? Why isn’t the disinformation campaign being challenged more stridently?

The problem – one pointed out directly by Pew Research Center, which did the analysis using government data – is that only 12 percent of Americans know about this declining trend in violent behavior. If that’s the case, no wonder these national falsehoods go unchallenged. You can’t challenge what you don’t know.

It’s why we need to stand firm and stay focused. When we’re in New Orleans for the annual NASGW Expo, we need to recommit to telling the truth and shouting it from the rooftops whenever and wherever possible. We must continue to partner across the industry in finding new and better ways to share our story. And make sure that gun control advocates suffer the consequences of dishonesty.

Folks, honesty still matters.

See you in New Orleans!

Kenyon Gleason,
NASGW President

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