The vast majority of Americans listen to one radio station: WIIFM. What’s In It For Me? Call it selfish. Call it basic human nature. The fact remains that most people address the “issue” of firearms freedom from a personal perspective. If they consider a firearm an effective form of personal self-defense, they don’t support civilian disarmament. Gun control advocates know this. That’s why they attack any suggestion that a firearm is an effective form of personal self-defense. Despite the obvious fact that a firearm is an effective form of personal self-defense. So they spread anti-gun agitprop like this, enabled by their statist friends in the mainstream media, like rawstory.com . . .
Personal safety is one of the most-cited reasons to buy a gun. But a new study challenges the assumption that firearms are often used for self defense.
The Violence Policy Center found that a very small proportion of firearm homicides can be attributed to so-called justifiable situations. Just one gun death per every 32 criminal gun killings happened in self-defense scenarios in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. And, while gun advocates argue that they want a firearm handy in their house in case of an intruder, just 0.1 percent of the justified attacks involved property crimes.
“The [National Rifle Association] has staked its entire agenda on the claim that guns are necessary for self-defense, but this gun industry propaganda has no basis in fact,” Josh Sugarmann, the executive director of VPC, which conducted the review, said in a statement. “Guns are far more likely to be used in a homicide than in a justifiable homicide by a private citizen. In fact, a gun is far more likely to be stolen than used in self-defense.”
We’ve tread this ground before. Measuring justifiable homicides to determine the frequency of defensive gun uses (DGU’s) is entirely misleading. It’s like measuring the number of lottery winners to determine the number of ticket buyers.
Simply put, the vast majority of defensive gun uses do not end up with a dead perp. As wikipedia.org reminds us, the annual number of DGU’s varies widely: “Low-end estimates are in the range of 55,000 to 80,000 incidents per year, while high end estimates reach of (sic) 4.7 million incidents per year.” The fact that there aren’t 55k justifiable homicides per year — and certainly not 4.7 million dead perps per year — tells us something other than homicide is happening. And it’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
In its effort to diss DGU’s, the Violence Policy Center’s report tells us that “In 2012, there were only 259 justifiable homicides involving a gun. For the five-year period 2008 through 2012, there were only 1,108 justifiable homicides involving a gun.” It must be said: only? A thousand people successfully defending their lives and (perhaps) the lives of other innocents by shooting and killing their assailant is a positive result. As the antis say, if it saves just one life . . .
“Purchasing a gun may help enrich the firearms industry, but the facts show it is unlikely to increase your personal safety,” Sugarmann said. “In fact, in a nation of more than 300 million firearms, it is striking how rarely guns are used in self-defense.”
Hey Josh! It stops being “unlikely” and “rare” when it starts being you. Even if we acknowledge that fatal DGU’s are rare, the VPC should consider the possibility that the prevalence of personal firearms in the United States might have something to do with the lack of violent crime and, thus, the rarity of justifiable homicides. Not that they will. But they should.