The Dumbest Gun-Control Paragraph

After the Virginia Beach shooting, the New York Times reran an essay on gun control by Nicholas Kristof, which contains this paragraph:

It is true that guns are occasionally used to stop violence. But contrary to what the National Rifle Association suggests, this is rare. One study by the Violence Policy Center found that in 2012 there were 259 justifiable homicides by a private citizen using a firearm.

This may very well be the dumbest paragraph ever written about gun control, and subject that has inspired many dumb paragraphs. It is dumb to the point of intellectual dishonesty—because Kristof is not this dumb, and neither are the people who edit the Times op-ed section, dumb as that page is from time to time.