Yoko Ono, the wife of the late singer and songwriter John Lennon, and the woman widely regarded to have broken up the Beatles, took to Facebook on Thursday, the anniversary of Lennon’s murder, to push for American gun control.
“Dear friends,” the 83-year-old singer and artist began. “Every day, 91 Americans are killed with guns. We are turning this beautiful country into a War Zone. Together, let’s bring back America, the green land of Peace. The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 36 years, our son Sean and I still miss him.”
Lennon was killed in New York City by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980. Chapman waited for Lennon outside his apartment building and then shot him with a .38 revolver.
In 1980, of course, there were no background checks for firearm purchases as there are now, in every state, which have been mandated under federal law since1998. Regardless, they wouldn’t have stopped Chapman, who “had a permit and no police record,” according to this story from the Daily Mail.
Ono began her post by saying “Every day, 91 Americans are killed with guns,” referring to the bogus and inflated statistic that says about 33,000 Americans are killed with firearms annually. A large portion of that number, as many as 22,000, are suicides. The number also includes gang shootings, accidental shootings, and people who were shot by police officers. The number of actual gun homicides hovers around 10,000 to 11,000 per year in a country of over 300,000,000 people.
Here’s another statistic that isn’t inflated: more than 50,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, the highest number ever recorded. This story from the Times Free Press says the tally has “been pushed to new heights by soaring abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers, a class of drugs known as opioids.”
Lennon was quite open about his heroin addiction during his career. His second album after leaving The Beatles, “Cold Turkey,” is entirely about his withdrawal from the drug.
Perhaps Ono would have been better off using her late husband’s death as a platform to decry the heroin epidemic and the pharmaceutical industry (imagine there’s no heroin?) instead of reiterating inaccurate and tired statistics about gun ownership.