The Self-Defensive Gun Stats the Left Doesn’t Want You To See

gun self-defense
A member of the media tries out a handgun displayed at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on April 10, 2015. The annual NRA meeting and exhibit, expected to draw over 70,000 people, runs till April 12. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

The media loves to report on crimes committed with guns – but seldom when they’re used in self defense.

Even when the media does report on self-defensive gun usage, they create an absurd standard to make self-defense cases appear minuscule. In the New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote, “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.”

He does realize that you can use a gun in self-defense without killing a person, correct? There are roughly 10,000 firearm homicides per year, but over 100,000 people shot every year, so one death per ten people actually shot. And, in most cases, brandishing a firearm alone is enough to do the trick. According to one study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology in 1995, only 8% of people who use a gun for defense “report wounding an adversary.”

The purpose of owning a firearm isn’t to kill criminals – it’s to deter them. And how much of a deterrent are they? Here’s a sampling of the studies available, and what they’ve found:

  • The aforementioned 1995 paper was based on a survey of 4,977 households, and found that at least 0.5% of households over the previous five years had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population using standard scientific methods, this amounts to at least 162,000 saved lives per year, excluding all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.” This is obviously an absurdly high figure, but even if ten percent of those who were “certain they would’ve been killed” are correct, the number of lives saved by guns outnumbers the number of homicides committed with them.
  • 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.

In 2013, President Obama ordered the Department of Health and Human Services and CDC to “conduct or sponsor research into the causes of gun violence and the ways to prevent it.” The study was devastating for the gun control cause, and found that:

  • “Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed….”
  • “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million….”
  • [S]ome scholars point to a radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey,” but this “estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.”

If Obama’s CDC couldn’t find evidence that gun control works, who else can?

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By Matt

Matt is the co-founder of Unbiased America and a freelance writer specializing in economics and politics. He’s been published... More about Matt

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