NPR: Silly Americans, You’ll Never Use Your Gun for Self Defense

david hemenway

courtesy hsph.harvard.edu

Why do gun owners bother buying with firearms? The odds are so far against any individual ever needing to use a gun for self-defense, it’s insane to keep those dangerous things around where they can be stolen or used in anger against a family member.

That’s the gist of an NPR analysis (your tax dollars at work) which tries to make the case for the cool, clear logic behind the anti-gun left’s efforts to reduce the number of firearms owned by civilians in America.

The latest data show that people use guns for self-defense only rarely. According to a Harvard University analysis of figures from the National Crime Victimization Survey, people defended themselves with a gun in nearly 0.9 percent of crimes from 2007 to 2011.

Our old friend, Dr. David Hemenway is back yet again to tell us that the risks of gun ownership simply outweigh any potential benefits.

“The average person … has basically no chance in their lifetime ever to use a gun in self-defense,” he tells Here & Now‘s Robin Young. “But … every day, they have a chance to use the gun inappropriately. They have a chance, they get angry. They get scared.”

But the research spread by the gun lobby paints a drastically different picture of self-defense gun uses. One of the most commonly cited estimates of defensive gun uses, published in 1995 by criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, concluded there are between 2.2 and 2.5 million defensive gun uses annually.

The Kleck and Gertz estimate has always been on the higher end of the defensive gun use spectrum.

“The Kleck-Gertz survey suggests that the number of DGU respondents who reported shooting their assailant was over 200,000, over twice the number of those killed or treated [for gunshots] in emergency departments,” crime prevention researcher Philip Cook wrote in the book Envisioning Criminology.

Kleck says there is no record of these gunshot victims because most instances of self-defense gun use are not reported.

True enough. That because, in the vast majority of instances, defensive gun uses don’t involve firing a weapon. And . . .

“If you tell the police, I just wielded a gun pointing a deadly weapon at another human being and claimed it was in self-defense, the police are going to investigate that,” he tells Young, “and they may well in the short run arrest you and treat you as a criminal until and unless you are cleared.”

On the flipside, Kleck says, criminals who were wounded after a gun was used in self-defense also have no incentive to go to the emergency room because medical professionals have an obligation to report it to the police. But Hemenway points out that if people don’t go to the hospital to treat the original gunshot wound, they will inevitably end up there “with sepsis or other major problems.”

Don’t like Kleck’s and Gertz’s numbers, Dr. Hemenway? Fine. Let’s go with the Centers for Disease Control’s study that President Obama commissioned. They found a minimum of 500,000 DGU and reliable estimates as high as 3 million. And for argument’s sake, we’ll take the bottom number.

Even that lower total far outweighs any estimates of the number of criminal gun uses (about 300,000 per year). Which means there are at least half a million times a year that firearms are used to prevent, assaults, robberies, rapes and murders. Crimes like this one that happened on Friday in Tucson:

Police said a woman shot a man who allegedly threatened her with a hatchet outside of a store on Tucson’s south side Friday night. …

Investigators said the woman was leaving a store in the 4400 block of south 6th Avenue. She entered her vehicle and as she attempted to close the door the man approached her and demanded her car keys while holding a hatchet.

TPD said the woman retrieved a handgun and told the man to leave. As the man raised the hatchet, she shot him, police said. She was able to keep the man from leaving the scene until officers arrived.

NPR and Hemenway would like that un-named Tucson woman to know that she’s statistically safer without the handgun she used to protect herself from the hatchet-wielding man. We’d pay good money to witness that conversation.

In addition to balance and common sense, there’s another aspect of civilian gun ownership that’s missing from the arguments presented in the NPR article: original intent. The Second Amendment wasn’t included in the Bill of Rights as a crime-stopping measure. Nor does it mention hunting. The right to keep and bear arms was included by the Founders because it’s “necessary to the security of a free State.”

That’s right, the reason we have civilian firearms ownership in the US — much to the chagrin of civilian disarmament advocates like Hemenway and his willing stenographers in the media — is as a check against government tyranny. The fact that we can and do also use our guns to defend our lives, our families and our property from criminals (and stock the freezer with tasty protein) are just a couple of handy side benefits.

So NPR and the good doctor will have to forgive us if their arguments claiming that Americans don’t really need to own firearms fall on deaf ears. Need — no matter how it’s defined — doesn’t have anything to do with it.

 

comments

  1. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    And we have never used another nuke in war…since we hit Japan with 2….
    yet we have thousands of those, too…right?
    and how many multi-billion dollar carriers?
    you have car/life/house insurance…sometimes they go unused as well…so?

    1. avatar Antoua says:

      I really like your comment, so true and absolutely undeniable.
      You should be representing NRA as they would sure need someone with sharp vocabulary and mind. Cheers

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      But that’s different, since governments are rational and would never fly off the handle over a misunderstanding or insult…or systematically murder millions simply because they can, for that matter.

    3. avatar Alexander says:

      And buying life insurance is super insane – you’re guaranteed to never be able to benefit from it!

      1. avatar Craig in IA says:

        Life insurance??? Don’t you remember obamacare?

    4. avatar retrocon says:

      Good comment, because as John Lott showed, it isn’t just the USE or brandishing of a firearm that prevents crime, it’s the potential of an armed citizen.

      Lott has the best work, and they have never been able to discredit it, though they try.

      Gleck is good, too, but his is more oriented to that actual use. He is a liberal who wanted to show what these bean brains at NPR tried to show, but it didn’t work out for him… he was hones.

      1. avatar David Walters says:

        Nonsensical story.

        I’m armed outside the home. I’ve had three instances where I’ve had to dissuade an assault in the making (first time, one assailant, second time two, third time six) by making it look as if I was going for a weapon and shouting loudly “Stay back”.

    5. avatar ROBERT says:

      NPR has totally missed the point, and you re letting them lead you down the wrong path.
      YOUR ANSWER TO THEM SHOULD BE A BELLIGERENT “SO WHAT!”
      True, few guns [proportionately to the total number of guns] are used for self-defense. — SO WHAT!
      I’m a competitive target shooter!
      My friends are sportsmen-HUNTERS.
      There are lots of us who re “plinkers,” and many more are collectors.
      So NPR — SO WHAT!
      MORE deaths EVERY DAY happen on our highways with motor vehicles. — With pollution and global warming, why aren’t you pushing for CLEAN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, and BANNING PERSONAL AUTOMOBILES?
      There is MORE VIOLENCE AND INJURIES every time there is a FOOTBALL game [on the field, in the stands, and in the parking lots.]
      SO, NPR, TAKE YOUR STATISTICS AND STICK THEM WHERE THE ‘SUN DON’T SHINE.’
      P.S. You can “prove” anything with statistics. — It’s all in how/what you ask the data. —- My statistics professor in college was able to “prove” a nearly 1-to-1 correlation for births in a particular mid-west state to temperatures above 90 in Florida.
      So NPR, SO WHAT!

      1. avatar Brian says:

        Silly story… No stupid story. I’ll still be carrying my side arm. Good day.

    6. avatar LibertyToad says:

      You can also use the same reasoning for home fire extinguishers. NPR people are not critical thinkers….

      1. avatar John Hauserman says:

        Yep if we did not have fire extinguishers we would not have fires. See it sound stupid when we talk like that also.

  2. avatar William Ashbless says:

    Hemenway is on record for calling gun owners ‘Whimps’ and ‘Wusses’. Imagine a researcher exhibiting such clear bias in the very field of his specialty.

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      Sounds like he could use a good butt-kicking.

      1. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

        …Free Helicopter Rides….

        1. And learning how to parachute jump from said Helicopter, without the aid of a parachute.

  3. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    The way NPR and the rest of the leftists count self defense cases, the five young men who ambushed my wife and I don’t count. In fact, NPR wouldn’t count it as a defensive gun use unless I had killed each of them at least twice. Leftists are a bloodthirsty bunch.

    1. avatar Martin B says:

      You need a .45 to kill their souls…right?

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        That is what I was carrying, but first you gotta shoot ’em for that to happen. On eyeballing that big old .45 they decided strategic withdrawal was the best option (they took off like frightened rabbits).

      2. avatar John Hauserman says:

        Most times just showing a gun is all it takes to shut a bad guy down. They don’t want some one who will fight back they want an easy target.

    2. It would seem NPR is Not Particularly Relevant.

  4. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    We don’t “need“ a right to own firearms anymore than we “need“ a right to a free press, or a right to a trial by jury or a right to freely assemble or any other dam* thing. People in many other countries survive without these rights and others, after all. And the elites among the socialists always retain THEIR rights.

    The funny thing is that the silly fools at NPR believe that THEY would be amoung the elite in their socialist utopia. 🤣

    Molon Labe, NPR!

    1. avatar Mitch says:

      I peruse the comments section here often, and this is the most insightful comment I have read in a LONG time! Giving due credit, I will parrot this… Too good.

    2. avatar Huntmaster says:

      You are so right. Get rid of the whole Bill of Rights. We really don’t NEED them. We could survive without them. That way Dr. Hemenway and the rest of those people, just like him could finally run things the way they want without interference from the rest of us unenlightened people. If we really need defending, they’ll do it. We’d all be so much better off anyway. Just like Cuba.

    3. avatar Martin B says:

      As the progress of actual socialist utopias show (viz USSR et al), those who enable the takeover of corrupt capitalist runnning dog republics by the people’s representatives i.e. the Communist Party, are inevitably the first to go to the firing squad because they know where the bodies are buried, and the bloody process by which the Glorious Leader came to assume power. One example would be Trotsky. NPR should be careful what they wish for.

  5. avatar Ken says:

    But, but, but, even if it (defensive firearm use) saves one life, isn’t it worth it??

    1. avatar randy says:

      And remember , it’s for the children. Libs always bite on that.

  6. avatar Kenneth says:

    And here I’ve had occasion to use a handgun to escape from perps TWICE in 60 years of life. Both times without firing a single shot. If only the perps had known how unlikely it was that I would need my guns they might have just gone for it… instead of running away.
    Or perhaps this liberal hasn’t the slightest idea what he’s talking about, but only reading the script that Bloomberg or Soros fed him. The latter choice seems a lot more likely.

  7. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    He’s a hippocrite or a coward like they all are.

    Put a gun in his hand and the right situation he’ll use it, or he won’t.

    I would like to see how he would react if some thug had a granchild of his at knifepoint or similar.

  8. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘…people defended themselves with a g un in nearly 0.9 percent of crimes from 2007 to 2011.’

    Obviously more people need to be carrying g uns then.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      What are the number of crimes between those years? Without the number of crimes, a listener might be mislead into thinking that the number of DGUs is statistically very small (0.9%), although the actual number, not disclosed, is actually quite large. Does the “crime” number include snatch and runs, burglaries of businesses and homes when no one was there? There are all kinds of ways to inflate the crime numbers.

      Then again, Mr. Hemenway concluded last year or the year before that there were at least 60-80,000 DGUs per year. At the higher end, that is over 200 DGUs a day, every day.

      Last, and that which is obfuscated, is that the average DGU does NOT result in a shots fired or injuries inflicted. Hence, ER reports of gun shot victims is not a reliable indicator.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Mark N.,

        Oh, good point about Dr. Hemenway’s (not disclosed) definition of “crime”. He could be counting all manner of non-violent crimes such as securities fraud, cyber hacking, perjury, shoplifting, embezzlement, trespassing, vandalism, truancy, etc.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Good point, I doubt there’s too many office managers using g uns to defend themselves from secretaries embezzling funds from the petty cash drawer.

          I was just thinking that if only 1% of people carry weapons with them at all times, it should be no surprise that the other 99% didn’t use a weapon to defend themselves. This is the difference between propaganda and useful data.

        2. avatar Huntmaster says:

          I’ll bet he isn’t including setting up unauthorized email servers, removing classification markings, unauthorized transmission of classified material, lying to congress, the FBI, destroying subpoenaed email records, and on and on and on.

  9. avatar Zeke says:

    Statistically, your house most likely won’t catch fire either, but you’re still best advised to outfit the place with smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Auto airbags and seat belts
      Fire extinguishers
      Residential Sprinklers
      Capital punishment

  10. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

    Statistics are fine, I even believe some of them. However, the Kleck-Gertz survey like my younger son is now 22 years old. Even older than his brother, is the 1994 survey which claimed (based on a very small sample) 40 percent of firearms purchases take place without a background check.

    Both surveys are way out of date considering the growth of Gun Culture 2.0 and the estimated 15 million persons licensed to conceal and carry. Coupled with 2 million NICS checks per month, I would guess there are lots of defensive gun uses that do not involve shots fired and much higher percentage of background check transfers (recent estimates are 80%?).

    Unfortunately we probably will not know the true numbers. Criminals prefer to attack the week and unarmed. The concealed carrier’s alertness and bearing likely makes it unnecessary for them to use their firearm in the defense of them self and others and unlikely to become a statistic.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Criminals prefer to attack the week and unarmed. The concealed carrier’s alertness and bearing likely makes it unnecessary for them to use their firearm in the defense of them self and others and unlikely to become a statistic.

      An excellent point. There is no doubt in my mind that criminals often decide at the last moment to cease their attack because their potential victim exudes the “I am aware of you, probably armed, and willing to wreck your day” vibe.

      Add the fact that people who are wise enough to be armed for self-defense are also often wise enough to avoid dangerous environs (stupid people, stupid places, stupid times) and we probably should expect a lower rate of defensive firearm use compared to the unarmed public.

  11. avatar Scott says:

    Wasn’t the purpose of the Second Amendment to provide a limit on oppressive government? The self-defense threat and deterrent is a valuable benefit.

  12. avatar Pg2 says:

    Agree, even most alleged constitutionalists are too jaded to recognize that the 2A was not designed to protect against common street threats.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      For hunting passenger pigeons with flintlock blunderbuss?

  13. avatar Unrepentant Libertarian says:

    Tis better to have a gun and never need it than to need a firearm to protect your family and yourself and not have one for self defense! I do not believe that the anti-gun crowd can be talked to because they exhibit the same fear of guns that the KKK has of African Americans. It is irrational.

  14. avatar biofire says:

    Sure, the Kleck study is old, but I don’t think that matters because “gun crime” has come down substantially over the last 20 years, so the ratio of defensive gun uses to gun-involved crimes has most likely gone up. No matter how you shake it, there are about 20 really good studies on this point and all of them show the same thing: guns are used more often to prevent crime than to commit crime. By the way, the National Crime Victimization Survey was specifically NOT designed to estimate total defensive gun uses.

  15. avatar Myname says:

    Ahh yes, the bill of needs argument.

    Let me sum up the rebuttal:
    Fire extinguisher
    Insurance
    Spare tire
    Bottled water

  16. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Bullshit I won’t!!!! I killed a rabid racoon last year, that’s self defense, so fuck your statement.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      ALL raccoon are assume rabid unless disproven by autopsy. See also gangbangers.

  17. avatar DaveL says:

    I’m sure they’ll be eager to point out other low-probability things, like being the victim of a mass shooting, or for a previously law-abiding gun owner to commit a crime with his gun. Any minute now.

  18. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    Dr. David Hemenway belongs in a concentration camp, along with the other 10’s of millions of filthy, subhuman, Liberal Terrorists™️. And no, this isn’t hyperbole.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      MR. Hemenway, please. He isn’t a doctor. He is a statistician with a PhD. My (now deceased) father-in-law, who in addition to being a biostatistician as Hemenway was Dean of the Department of Public Health (pre-Bloomberg), and he refused to be called “Dr.”

      So let’s not pump up this gas bad if we don’t have to.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Actually, medical doctors aren’t doctors. A medical degree is the equivalent of a masters degree. Ph.Ds are the real doctors.

        1. avatar ‘liljoe says:

          Feh!

          Masters is 2 years, PhD is usually 4. Med school is 4 years, not counting residency.

  19. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Good Lord willing, he’s right. But I’m gonna hedge my bets, just in case he’s wrong.

  20. avatar Res says:

    Earning the title National Propaganda Radio.

  21. avatar DRGO says:

    David Hemenway is an advocate of supply-side gun control.
    He will gin up any “research: results to support his agenda.

    Arthur Z Przebinda, MD
    Project Director
    Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership

    1. avatar DRGO says:

      As John Lott explains, the number of DGUs in this report is low because the way the National Crime Victimization Survey collects the data is flawed. It starts with asking if the person was a victim of a violent crime. If they were not, the survey stops. However, we know that a large portion of DGUs involve the mere presentation of a firearm without a shot being fired…. AND no violent crime being committed:

      https://twitter.com/JohnRLottJr/status/984892409799684096

      Arthur Z Przebinda, MD
      Project Director
      Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership

    2. avatar Meuge says:

      Well, at 0.9% that’s a number needed to treat of 111.
      Medically speaking that’s a fantastic statistic. It’s more effective than mammograms… or a colonoscopy.

  22. Dr. Hemenway, I’m very glad you have a very definite opinion on this matter and you freely share your opinion with all of us thus stimulating a serious and thought provoking debate.

    Now STFU.

  23. Hemenway needs a muscle in his face to contract, or something.

  24. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    Who is this guy to throw around his WHITE PRIVILEGE in telling ME that I’m a fool to exercise MY civil rights, or to dare to tell women how to protect their bodies? (see what I did there?). Guys and gals, its well past time to use their own tactics against them. Honestly I’m surprised these people don’t wander out onto freeways and get run over from their stupidity. They purposely distort data by leaving out the overwhelming number of data points where someone defends themselves with a gun without it being fired. They do the same treating adult gang bangers involved with gang-related shootings like they were some innocent 8 year old kid. They are totally dishonest- morally, ethically and intellectually.

  25. avatar former water walker says:

    So this tool hopes we shoot people to disprove him?!? Simply implying you have a gun is often enough…or racking your shotgun. As mentioned that’s why we carry insurance(which is REQUIRED in most (all?)states. Doofus…

  26. avatar SouthernPhantom says:

    I have (mountain lion), and my fiancee has (mentally ill individual with a history of violent behavior). Those are the only two numbers that matter to me.

    And yes, the latter incident involved an EVIL black rifle!

  27. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “The average person … has basically no chance in their lifetime ever to use a gun in self-defense …” — Dr. David Hemenway

    I am about as average a person as you can get — and I have survived five, that’s right FIVE occasions where I was legally justified to use deadly force. And keep in mind that none of those events involved “stupid places, stupid people, stupid times”. (I only had a firearm in my possession during one of those events — and I did NOT report the event to police.)

    That is why I will NEVER go out of my home unarmed. And it is also an example which shows that Dr. Hemenway is flat out WRONG.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      I guess I’m pulling down the average by my choice of residence etc. Have never had the occasion. None the less I reserve the right/all Progs ESAD.

  28. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

    This blog post inadvertently defends the gun control viewpoint: That the Second Amendment doesn’t mention hunting or individual self-defense doesn’t mean it isn’t there to protect those rights. Remember, the bit about the “security of a free state” is just in the prefatory clause. If you claim that what is written in the prefatory clause is the primary reason for the amendment, than that also means that bit about a “well-regulated militia” is also the primary purpose for the protection of the right. We know for a fact based on the language of the time and scholarship on the issue that the prefatory clause just makes a statement, but that the operative (secondary) clause does not depend on the prefatory; rather, the prefatory clause (“well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”) depends on the operative clause (protection of the individual right to keep and bear arms).

    In terms of hunting, hunting use is mentioned in writings of the time as part of the right to arms and even in some of the state constitutions I believe. Individual self-defense as a right was written about by the people whom Jefferson said were the four most influential philosophers in the writing of the Declaration of Independence, i.e. Aristotle, Cicero, Algernon Sydney, and John Locke. The latter three stated that individual self-defense is a right (Aristotle wrote of the importance of arms for protection against tyranny and criminals, but never stated outright it is an individual right).

    In addition, Justice William Blackstone, Charles Montesquieu (from whom the Founders got the concept of separation of powers), Thomas Hobbes, and some others also wrote of the individual right of self-defense.

  29. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

    The idea of guns as being “dangerous” I find odd, because when you think about it, a gun is probably one of the safest things you can keep in your home. The reason is because unlike most other dangerous things which have other purposes, but which can do harm to a person if you have an accident, a gun’s explicit purpose is an instrument to kill. As such, the only way you can harm anyone or yourself with it, is to utilize it in such a manner, i.e. point it at a person, pull the trigger, etc…).

    But even if one wants to argue guns are dangerous, so what? So are swimming pools and stairs, but I do not see demands for people to move into single-floor homes so that they do not risk falling down the stairs.

  30. avatar El Duderino says:

    As an insurance agency owner I deal with this attitude all the time. “It’s really unlikely this will happen to me.” “Yes, true, but if it did happen, [your life] [the lives of your immediate family members] [your finances] would be in serious trouble.”

    There’s a significant chunk of the gun-grabbers that believe we own guns and carry because we really want to shoot someone. In their universe, we’re the insecure cowards and they’re the brave ones who face the world on good faith.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Not a great argument for our side as your “industry” every day makes a multibillion dollar bet that insurance policies issued are a vast waste of money for the purchaser and that the insurance company will not need to payout on the policy. But the scam does support some lavish spending and outrageous salary/commissions.

  31. avatar Sal Chichon says:

    Guys like that are the reason why I would never help a gun grabbing leftist if I knew they were in trouble.

  32. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    OK, so riddle me this:

    Why does Home Depot sell fire extinguishers?

    The rate of spread/expansion of a structure fire in a modern dwelling, coupled with the declining incidence of structure fires, makes home ownership of a fire extinguisher a largely laughable proposition.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      That’s a good point, and it also explains a lot about my level of gun ownership. For comparison, my office is only 600 square feet. It has 6 fire extinguishers.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      Your point is not clear. The rate of spread of compartment fires in a modern furnished. home is so rapid that a fire extinguisher is largely useless. A residential sprinkler system is needed but rarely installed (or mandated).

  33. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I have found NPR to be the most racist news group in the United States. They are terrified of well spoken black people with guns. They always question why a black would need a gun. They support the Welfare industrial Complex and its pushing away the black father in the family.

    NPR is as anti civil rights as any southern news organization in the 1930s.

    1. avatar Sprocket says:

      NPR caters to that special breed of self-regarding bourgeois douchebag for whom minorities exist to:
      A) Provide a moral foil to highlight the failings of western culture (see also: Nobel Savage)
      B) Create suitably ethnicky arts and crafts with which one may decorate their uptown loft
      C) Act as stage props to demonstrate one’s moral and cultural bona fides
      D) Populate the welfare plantation whose products are votes for the right candidates and a soothing balm for white guilt

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        I’m so angry my tax money goes to this group of racist white liberals. They have caused more problems for black people than even the Klan in the last one hundred years. At first only the Klan worked for the Democrat party by disarming blacks. Now the government run by democrats in major cities is disarming blacks . They, the democrats, don’t need the Klan anymore to do it. They’ve got control of the government.

        When President bush said their are people who have a “soft bigotry of low expectations” some of the white people he was referring to were the white liberals at NPR.

      2. avatar Scoutino says:

        Nobel was not a savage, that’s unfounded rumor. He was noble man! 😉

  34. avatar JoeVK says:

    What’s that old saying? Oh yeah, better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. I hope I never do have to use my gun(s) for self defense, but I damn sure will if I have to, and that’s kinda the whole point.

  35. avatar Joe R. says:

    NPR is tax-fed communism, it leads to overly fatty tissue around the liver and brain.

    F NPR.

    DEFUND THE COMMUNIST MFrs NOW.

    Jail the NPR minions until they pay for their communist 1st Amendment war crimes.

  36. avatar Gralnok says:

    Silly NPR, you’re never going to use that fire extinguisher, or spare tire, or that first aid kit, or that emergency blanket for that matter. Everything is perfect in your mind, so preparing for the worst is just silly. Go on, sell off that useless junk to some worry wart.

  37. avatar Erik says:

    A firearm and sex are a lot alike.
    It’s better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it.

  38. avatar Mad Max says:

    Many state constitions say something equivalent to “…for defense of themselves and the state”.

    Doesn’t the unorganized militia consist of yourself and your neighbors protecting each other?

  39. avatar Anonymous says:

    Why do gun owners bother buying with firearms? The odds are so far against any individual ever needing to use a gun for self-defense, it’s insane to keep those dangerous things around where they can be stolen or used in anger against a family member.

    Why would I shoot a family member??? Leftists are weirdos.

  40. avatar Pg2 says:

    That dude looks like a wooden puppet.

  41. avatar Frank M. says:

    I’d carry a firearm for the same reason I wear a seatbelt. I like to be prepared for things, even if they are statistically unlikely.

  42. avatar Chris Morton says:

    Back in ’84 when somebody tried to run a friend and me off of the interstate in the middle of the night, I didn’t see NPR OR the cops there to “protect” us. What I saw was my buddy’s HK93A3 and its 40 round magazine. The attempted carjacker saw the same thing and took off going 100+mph.

    Of course my grandmother didn’t see NPR during the 1919 Chicago race riot either. Didn’t see the cops either. What she DID see was her brothers and the other men in the neighborhood arm themselves to defend her and themselves from the likes of future Democrat Mayor Richard J. Daley.

    1. avatar john jaklich says:

      glad she was protected…stories like that gives us some hope that maybe some of the anti crowd will see the light and realize the value of a tool that helped buy their freedom to protest.

  43. avatar Pete says:

    All of these studies ignore the herd effect of gun ownership.
    The fact that there MAY be a gun in a home protects even homes without one. Just look at the hot burglary rates for the UK and the US.

  44. avatar David Keith says:

    Fuck these articles. Everyone has heard this shit a thousand times.

  45. avatar RockThisTown says:

    “The odds are so far against any individual ever needing to use a gun for self-defense, it’s insane to keep those dangerous things around . . . “

    So . . . by Hemenway’s logic, we should just do away with lottery winners since the ‘odds are so far against any individual ever’ winning.

  46. avatar Ryan says:

    I’ve never used my fire extinguisher either, should I go home and toss that too?

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      My “smoke” detector only ever detects steam from my shower. I guess we need to ban smoke detectors.

  47. avatar jwtaylor says:

    I listen to NPR almost every day. The level of reporting used to be very bad, but it has gotten absolutely ridiculous. And they are completely clueless about it.
    One day, I was being told that firearms ownership was about culture, and “if you are drinking your locally roasted sustainable coffee while driving your Volvo, you weren’t a gun owner.”
    Literally, at that moment, I was drinking my locally roasted sustainable coffee while driving my Volvo station wagon, with 3 guns in the vehicle and a dead deer in the back.
    They are completely out of touch.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Ditto. I’m in the car for hours every day. AM side recently quit and forced to NPR. For a short time I went with “know your enemy”. But only a few days I found “Tech” of AM thru my “smart”phone. If you weren’t already a total loon 50hr of NPR would send you into postal zone. Those tards are WACKO. Including the “local” types.

    2. avatar Chris Morton says:

      During the Waco debacle, NPR interviewed Robert Brown, the editor of “Solder of Fortune” magazine.

      During the interview, the interviewer asked him if he thought that the Branch Davidians “could have stolen nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union”.

      There was a pause, after which Brown replied with words to the effect of, “Yeah, I guess so.”

      It was the first and last time I ever HEARD somebody’s eyes roll on the radio.

      In a similar vein, during the ’90s, NPR ran a week long series on the 2nd Amendment. Their “PRO-GUN” interviewee was a shotgun owner who said he’d NEVER own a handgun under any circumstances and that if really pressed, he’d be willing to give up his shotguns. After that, I was expecting a series on the Holocaust in which their “Jewish” interviewee hated Chasidim and was willing to be “resettled in the East” if the government really thought it necessary.

  48. avatar Mike says:

    And the same can be said about a backup parashoot but would jump without one? Of course not. This article is just plain STUPID!

  49. avatar Paul m says:

    I’ve taught many CCW classes. One thing I tell the students is that if you ever need a firearm to defend yourself anything else is a poor substitute. Henenway’s statistics be damned!

  50. avatar JS says:

    I have come to see that there are really two crowds of people out there. One crowd believes the government will watch over them and protect them from major harm, the other believes they are responsible for their safety. Neither crowd can understand the motivations of the other.

    The difference used to be we left each other alone until one side now says the other side should let go of their fears and let the government protect them, much like the TSA while flying.

  51. avatar Fred Lead says:

    These arguments against guns are based on rational thought. The problem is this rational thought does not take any facts or figures into account, making it pure fantasy. Just because you can imagine something doesn’t make it true.

    “Rational thought” has been disastrous in the past. Think of all the people that died unnecessarily due to bloodletting and all the “rational” methods of medicine in the past. Think of the atrocities committed in the pursuit of the scientific research and results of eugenics, both in the US and Europe, such as the holocaust, all in the name of “rational progress”. What is rational changes dramatically pretty much every decade, and yet these people live in a “rational bubble” because it gives them an immense sense of self-importance. The truth is they are trying to rationalize lies to themselves and convince others how great they are because of their rationality.

    The more you actually research guns, crime, and self-defense independently the less attractive gun control becomes.

  52. avatar Dave Yager says:

    This like having a condom in your wallet, better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      a condom in your sinus and a tide pod in your mouth.

  53. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    We took money away from the CDC and told them no more propaganda regarding gun control. When are we going to do the same with NPR?

    Which group of politicians do we need to talk to get them cut off from CPB dollars?

  54. avatar Martin B says:

    Here’s another thought. Violent criminal behavior doesn’t suddenly emerge out of nowhere. The people who use violence to get whatever they want are well known to law enforcement where they grew up. Juvenile crime leads to adult crime. We house our criminals in communal criminal academies, all the better to teach them how to perfect their crimes and how to get away with them – which includes eliminating all witnesses.

    The USA has fragmented law enforcement based on State laws. Criminals use this disordered system to their advantage, hopping from state to state to prolong their criminal careers, escalating their crimes as they go. This all means that the US presents particular hazards when it comes to encountering a career criminal, compared to the rest ofthe world. You have some of the most vicious, evil criminal predators ever created.

    In this environment, only a woolly headed, ostrich minded moron would consider their own personal safety to be only a minor concern, which can be left to the police to provide. America seems to produce as many dimwits with this mindset as it does the malefactors who endanger them. You can see them every day, walking along with noses buried in their cell phones. I call them walking victims, just waiting for the enlightenment that an imminent criminal attack will bring. Not that I wish it upon them, it’s just that some people need to learn the hard way. Another name for them is Democrats.

    1. avatar George says:

      Could not have said it any better!👍

  55. avatar George says:

    It is exactly moments like that you want a gun in your possession. Good for the young lady. Otherwise, she would be a statistic that the left would use to argue against guns. Oops! I meant hatchets. They just don’t get it. The 2A is quite clear, “The right to bear arms shall not be infringed.” That right is an inalienable right granted by God. Thank God, our Founding Fathers sought out a higher power when it came to our rights, freedoms and liberties we so enjoy in this country. For a those who have an aversion to God and God given rights, good luck when it comes to man, his laws and whether man’s laws self-interests really represent your self-interests. I doubt it.

  56. avatar zebra dun says:

    I like to shoot, I have that right so shut up end of story.

  57. avatar Alan says:

    Dr. Hemenway, is that MD or PHD is entitled to his opinion. He has shared same or inflicted it upon us all. Having said that, and he might well be in part correct, regarding his comment about the individual “needing” a gun for self defense. For myself, I would rather have a pistol at hand and not need it, than need one and not have it. That aside, I can always shoot at paper plates, which harms nobody. I have “killed” a bunch of paper plates, without harming any of my fellow humans.

  58. Good article. But please fix the typo in the first sentence:
    “Why do gun owners bother buying with firearms? ”
    to’:
    Why do gun owners bother with buying firearms?

  59. avatar john jaklich says:

    I always find it unusual that the left has such a lack of self control; possessing the inability control their tempers. They admittedly feel their character will be easily compromised by circumstances, excusing themselves of not having self control, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, determination and level headed thinking in the face of adversity, etc. They really do know in their hearts, how they are attacking and angrily lashing out at innocent victims on the pretense of reducing crime. Of the thousands of law-abiding gun owners who I have had the privilege of meeting and associating with, I found it amazingly admirable that none of these honest, tax-paying, American citizens who own guns, would even think of lashing out in anger to attack someone with the gun they are carrying or have at their disposal. Using a gun to solve our problems like the TV shows and movies teach, is never even a consideration to those who know how to use their guns and handle them safely and only when necessary. It is a characteristic that liberals cannot believe even exists in the human heart and mind. When individuals accept personal responsibility for their actions, it becomes easy to use tools of any kind without feeling obsessed that the tool is going to make us into an out-of-control monster. Too bad liberals do not accept personal responsibility for their own actions.

  60. avatar LarryArnold says:

    I noticed, consulting Table 11 of the referenced report, that the “paltry” 0.9 percent self- defense statistic is still 338,700 times someone used a gun to protect themselves. And that table only includes crimes that were “committed,” not the ones that were prevented.

  61. avatar Jack Gordon says:

    There is something even “sillier” than carrying a gun for protection, viz. listening to NPR. For years the liberal clowns who run that network have used our money extorted through taxes to spew their hatreds and biases dressed up as reasonable opinion. NPR is an acronym whose real meaning is Nauseous Progressivist Rubbish. Like its televised twin, PBS (Pure Bull Sh*t), it’s merely a transmission center for high-brow lies.

    1. avatar John Hauserman says:

      Oh hell yes.

  62. avatar James A. Farmer says:

    This is simply anti-gun class elitist socialist class warfare against honest American gun owners, our Second Amendment heritage, freedom, decency, and morality. Two commentaries of mine bear this out. They include: “Anti-gun agenda is class warfare” (Friday, January 9, 2009) and “The war on America’s gun owners” (Monday, August 3, 2009), respectively. These remain archived via the Ashland Daily Tidings at ttp://www.dailytidings.com. Enter “search.”

    I will not remain silent, passive, apathetic, and indifferent where domestic tyranny is promoted that is subversive to our constitutional republic! I take an aggressive stand against such and apologize to nobody for it! On the net:

    The John Birch Society (www.jbs.org)
    JPFO, Inc. ……………..(www.jpfo.org)
    Gun Owners of America at http://www.gunowners.org
    Constitution Party of Oregon at http://www.constitutionpartyoregon.net

    James A. Farmer
    Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)

  63. By the same logic, you shouldn’t have a fire extinguisher, because the chances of you actually using it to fight a fire are so remote, and you’re more likely to use it to spray someone in a prank, or bonk someone over the head in anger, so we should ban fire extinguishers, as they’re dangerous.

    To quote Dr. David Hemenway, “The average person … has basically no chance in their lifetime ever to use a [fire extinguisher] in self-defense. But … every day, they have a chance to use the [fire extinguisher] inappropriately. They have a chance, they get angry. They get scared.”

    Fire extinguishers can damage sensitive electronics, too! Since they’re not 100% safe, let’s ban them (if it saves one person from getting pranked by a stream of cold CO2, it’s worth it, right?)

    And smoke alarms too, the chance of your smoke alarm saving your life in a fire is much lower than the risk that it will go off when you or your spouse overcook a dinner, or if someone decides to smoke a cigarette, or if you have too many birthday candles on your cake, so let’s ban smoke alarms. They could damage your hearing!

  64. avatar Jim Macklin says:

    School security is the “hot button issue” today. If the USA had five police officers for each classroom, another 5 million sworn police officers paid for by the tax payers, we’d have safety from the criminals and the insane school killers.
    Prior to 1850 I don’t know if there were any pubic schools paid for by tax money. In the early years churches and parents hired teachers and paid the teacher from personal funds or donations.
    It wasn’t until some time after the Civil War that government began to operate schools because former slaves needed to be educated. The Federal government played a small part until the USSR launched Sputnik and the FEDS stepped in with money and demands that science and math be stressed in schools. I also remember that physical fitness became a federal issue because European kids from bombed out cities were performing better in PT test. So my generation had to go out and run a half mile, do broad jumps and sit ups.
    It was the beginning of the end of parental concern for the schools they were paying for.
    But school security wasn’t an issue until the 1960-70s because the right to self-defense and to carry arms was still in effect in schools.
    IF we had enough sworn police officers to provide security in all one million classrooms, who will protect us from the police state?
    The Second Amendment and the First were not numbered in order of importance but in order of state ratification. Numbers one and two were not ratified in 1791, so the first was number 3 and out #2 was number 4.
    Maybe the Second Amendment should be re-written, certainly it would be easy to just do this…
    A well regulated militia [which is an armed and trained populous that can gather to control the government or might be a uniformed and paid semi-professional army, is a critical part of the infrastructure necessary to maintain security and safety and protect the Constitution against tyranny, invasion or simple crime, therefore the right of the people to keep their arms at their homes or other places, safe from government confiscation such as was attempted at Concord and Lexington in 1775, and to bear their private arms for self-defense, hunting, protection and competitions must not be infringed.
    Or maybe just this…
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state? “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

  65. avatar Bob Moore says:

    Your grammar and sentence structure leave alot to be desired! You morons continue to believe a gun isn’t necessary, just like a spare tire or fire extinguishers aren’t needed!

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