You all know that Russian roulette is kind of crazy. If you want to play, you put one bullet in the cylinder of a revolver, spin the cylinder, point the gun at your temple, and pull the trigger. With a six-shooter you get 5:1 odds for survival. Play a game of NRA Roulette and the odds run a whole lot worse than that.

To play NRA Roulette, you get to thinking that you need to buy a self-defense gun and keep it at home. They tell you there’s 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 “defensive gun use” situations a year in America. They are wealthy and educated and they have big friends, so you believe them. You know there are accidents and suicides and civilian homicides, but they tell you that having a home defense gun is important.

Thing is, can you listen to someone else ? Is there someone else to listen to ? Can you trust the Federal Bureau of Investigation ? Can you trust the F.B.I. to tabulate police reports and tell you a truth different from the N.R.A. ?

The National Rifle Association is a lobbying organization. Over the last 20 years they have helped the firearms industry sell $50-billion in these “home defense” weapons.

Problem is, F.B.I. tabulation shows that for 2010 there were only 232 justifiable homicides in the whole country where civilians were the shooters. Get down into the details and 80 of these happened at residences. The rest were at businesses. Same year, F.B.I. reports 19,000 gun suicides and 11,000 unjustified gun homicides.

Home guns kill 30,000 by suicide and homicide. Home guns kill 80 at home defense.

So if you can believe the F.B.I. then, odds of these home defense guns killing the wrong person run 375 to 1.

You can buy a home defense gun anywhere. But you have to hope it will never be used for anything. Time it gets used, that is NRA Roulette.

You know what a six-shooter looks like. Loaded for Russian roulette, the cylinder has five empty chambers and one chamber that holds a bullet.

The cylinder for a revolver to play a round of NRA Roulette looks quite a bit different.

N.R.A. ROULETTE

NRA Roulette

This cylinder has 101 bullets and 1 empty chamber. We leave off the suicides. It looks worse than strange if we put all 375 of the suicides and illegal killings on there.

If you can figure a way to manufacture a firearm that could use this cylinder, please let us know.

Russian roulette goes off at 5:1 in your favor. NRA Roulette yields 375:1 going against you on average, if the gun gets used.

This comparison can also be appraised using the insurance concept of a risk factor. A tool would be unacceptable if it carries a 1% risk factor of killing someone when it is used. Any tool but these so-called “home defense” guns. In use these guns have a 37,500% risk factor.

Yet N.R.A. is allowed to lie. They claim 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 annual “defensive gun uses.” They claim between 30,000 and 200,000 defensive shootings in their pamphlets and magazines. If they were not lairs, this would result in 10,000 to 60,000 justifiable homicides.

Not 232.

So why is N.R.A. allowed to lie ?

The real number for gun defenses is more like 10,000. The maximum goes around 25,000 where you count getting raccoons out of the garbage cans.

Your home is more likely to get hit by lightning. If you don’t sell drugs, forgetaboutit.

How do they get away with this paranoia ? And do it year after year.

Seems easy to call them out for what they are. Also seems easy enough to put the threat of home invasions back in perspective.

That could happen. N.R.A. membership could fall off. Same for gun sales. And the local television if-it-bleeds-it-leads crew might have to find out what else is happening.

Reality could make an appearance.

Pass it on.