Syracuse mass shooting defensive gun use
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By Rob Morse

Facts are important, but knowledge is even better. Thousands of people die each year from adverse reactions to prescription drugs. Perspective tells us that at the same time, modern medicines save millions of lives.

It is a piece of the puzzle to know that we have over 30 thousand fatal car crashes each year. But we need to see the whole picture to understand we’d live in a vastly different society and be at greater risk if we were riding horses or walking to work every day.

Likewise, we see criminals and crazy people use firearms to hurt others. What we are not shown nearly as often (for some reason) is when honest citizens use firearms in self-defense and to stop mass murder.

I want to look at the whole picture rather than just the twisted images we are fed by the mainstream media. Of course shock and outrage sell advertising, but we need to know how often guns are used to save lives in America.

Violent crime is real and we are at risk. In order to understand how often we defend ourselves with a gun, you first have to see how much violent crime happens every day. We saw criminals commit about 1.2 million violent crimes in 2019, and as many as 4.5 million in 2020. That’s over 12,000 violent crimes each day. Violent crime includes aggravated assault, robbery, rape, non-negligent manslaughter, and murder. Recent data shows that criminals used a firearm in a violent crime over a third of a million times each year.

Taking all the guns away from criminals wouldn’t stop violent crime. Only eight percent of violent crimes involve the criminal using a firearm. That means if we somehow disarm every criminal and all the honest citizens, most violent crime would still continue as before. The difference is, more of the victims would be disarmed. We aren’t told how few criminals use a gun by the FBI or by the news media. Instead, we believe what we see from Hollywood where every bad guy has a machine gun.

Many honest citizens own firearms. About 4-in-10 of us live in a home where someone owns a firearm. If you don’t have a firearm in your home, then your neighbor probably does. It horrifies people like Gavin Newsom, Kathy Hochul and Phil Murphy, but that’s true even in rabidly anti-gun states like California, New York, and New Jersey.

Self-defense is common, too. We defend ourselves with a firearm more than 4,300 times a day. That is a conservative number and some researchers have put the average closer to 6,800 times a day. That is good news, but the better news is we don’t have to press the trigger very often. Usually we shout that we have a gun and the burglar runs away. We only pull the trigger in one out of five defensive uses of a gun. The number of criminals who were killed by gun owners is almost exactly the same number of criminals who were shot and killed by the police. That’s less than a thousand a year. Gun owners stop a lot of crimes and save a lot of lives while showing a great deal of restraint. I wonder why we don’t hear much about these self-defense stories every day since armed citizens are so virtuous.

The news distorts our picture of the world. We read about armed criminals robbing a convenience store. The news shows us when a crazy person commits mass murder to get their face and their manifesto on the news. In contrast, we have to dig to find a story where guns save lives. In fact, armed defense is several times more common than the criminal uses of a firearm. Given how often they happen, the media over-report the criminal uses and vastly under-report lawful armed self-defense. The distortion isn’t a few percent, but over a thousand fold. No wonder we don’t have a clear picture of gun use in the United States.

You may think that gun control laws would stop some violent criminals from using a gun. That’s because you and I follow society’s rules. We work and plan so that we don’t hurt other people. Criminals hurt people every day. They plan to hurt their victims and they want to do it easily and reliably. They commit robbery, assault, rape and murder and they don’t care if a law says they can’t have a gun in their hand or in their car as they drive away from the scene of the crime. We already have over 23,000 firearms regulations on the books. If gun control stopped criminals from breaking he law, we’d already live in the utopia civilian disarmament advocates dream of. Sadly, some of those laws actually do more harm than good.

We have not found a way to disarm criminals without also disarming honest citizens. Looking at the data, it appears that making more disarmed victims actually makes it easier for violent criminals to commit crimes and victimize them. For each criminal who uses a gun in the commission of a violent crime, there are about a dozen violent criminals who did not. If we disarmed all the violent criminals who use guns, then the other criminals would still continue to go about their criminal business. We wouldn’t reduce crime much at all. Perversely, what gun control has actually done is to leave many honest citizens disarmed. Putting up more procedural and financial hurdles to owning and carrying a gun discourages people from owner them. Armed self-defense is so frequent that disarming more of the good guys means more good people will be victimized or injured.

What is true of common street crime is even more applicable when we look at mass murder and celebrity murder. Many of our gun control laws have made mass murder easier for killers. We know that most mass murderers aren’t afraid to die, but they are afraid of failing. Creating “gun-free zones” means creating spaces where aspiring mass murderers know their intended victims will be disarmed and easy to kill. It turns out that thin plastic “No Guns” signs protect the property owner, but they don’t protect the customers. “No-guns allowed” signs stop lawsuits, but they don’t stop bullets. Mass murderers look for so-called “gun-free” zones 98 percent of the time. That’s far too often to be a coincidence.

If we want to fine gun manufacturers because a criminal used a gun, we should also fine politicians who created the “gun-free” zones where criminals hunt us.

Fortunately, we know what stops mass murderers. About one of every twelve adults are legally armed in public today. These honest citizens have stopped more than half of the mass-murders — before police can get there — where potential victims were allowed to go armed. Honest gun owners stop violence in public just as they stop violence in their homes.

We are not all the same. We may watch the same “fake-believe” dramas on television, but we live in different circumstances. Violent crime rose sharply in the last few years. We saw public violence on TV, but most of us didn’t see that violence in our neighborhoods. That’s because violence is relatively concentrated rather than being spread out. Most counties in the US won’t have a single murder of any kind this year. More than half of our murders happen in only two percent of our most violent counties. Even within those violent counties, violence is concentrated into a few particularly violent zip-codes. That means one-size-fits-all solutions don’t work.

First, do no harm. Gun control laws clearly don’t disarm the violent criminals in Los Angeles, in Chicago, or in Baltimore. We see evidence of that every night on the news. When we think about it, we wouldn’t expect gun-control laws to help cities where crime is already low. What those gun-control laws have done is made it harder for more honest citizens to defend themselves. That costs lives because armed self-defense is so common.

There is a lot to know but we already know a lot. Now you know that there are two sides to this argument, even if you don’t hear much about one side. Guns are used both to commit crimes and in armed-defense situations to stop them. We know the size of each side. Armed self-defense is common and happens far more often than armed criminal violence.

We know what doesn’t work. We’ve had gun control imposed on us for decades and those laws have done nothing to reduce violent crime. It’s an insane fantasy to expect a different result when we have done the same thing over and over and it fails time after time.

It’s easy for politicians to pass more gun control laws and to issue more press releases. That is what politicians do. They announce that they’ve done something. They say we need more gun control if we want to reduce violent crime. Now that you know the facts, I trust your judgment more than I trust our politicians.


This article originally appeared at Slow Facts and is reprinted here with permission. 

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    • Your lawmakers can read? Most of mine don’t seem intelligent enough to have ever acquired the skill.

      • Just more of the usual Gun, Gun, Gun, Gun and more Gun. Let’s not be so fixated on Guns when the problem is bad people who criminally misuse anything they get their hands on including their own hands and feet. And if their victim is not a Jet Li or a MMA expert and they do not have means of self defense in hand they are sht out of luck and will have to accept drowning in the unarmed victim pool. But not to worry demented Gun Control zealots will rush to honor your unarmed corspe by demanding more of the same Gun Control that put you six feet under.

      • I have two reps that spoke at DCF East here in Colorado. I wish they were further north at DCF Castle Rock. I appreciate their speaking on behalf of their constituents and taking the time to answer questions. I know many don’t have representatives that give a crap but I’m happy we have a few.

  1. Waiting patiently for this article to be reprinted in the NYT or covered by the mainstream media. Waiting…o

  2. Government is the root of all evil in this world. Anything that the government touches, it makes worse. Government protects the criminals (both street criminals and politicians), it prevents good people from protecting themselves and their interests, and it incentivizes crime. Yet, more and more people continue to ask for more government. We are truly devolving.

  3. “One of the notable aspects of the democratic process is that one need not know anything about a subject in order to pass laws about it.” – the late COL Jeff Cooper

    ““If you take all the guns off the streets you will still have a crime problem. However, If you take all the Criminals off the street you cannot have a gun problem.” – yeah, Jeff. But, that solution would ruin the Lefturd’s agenda of causing CHAOS so severe that the Free Shit Addicted Government Plantation Dwelling Useful Idiot Masses will plead for protection by the Libturd Elitists. Excellent segment by Will Cain on FOX News abut CHAOS. Wish I could have copied for reference and sharing.

    “Killing is a matter of will, not means. You cannot control the intent by passing laws about the means.” – Jeff, circa 1958.

    My observation is that the less a politician knows about a subject, the more quickly they are to pass laws hyped to solve a problem…..which creates more problems……which politicians pass more laws to solve. AKA “The Great Politician Circle Jerk.” – not Jeff, me.

    “What are we going to do if citizens are disarmed, and the government doesn’t obey its own laws?” Jeff’s back.

    “That is why our masters in Washington are so anxious to disarm us. They are not afraid of criminals. They are afraid of a populace which cannot be subdued by tyrants. ” Jeff has pegged the WHY behind the Libturd gun control fetish. They don’t care about dead bodies in the street or WallyWorld aisles or schools. Those are merely advertisements, justifications to the Useful Idiot Masses for their agenda to protect their own Socialist anti-America One Worlder asses.

    • More interested in source material for the numbers. Trolls gonna troll but the background info is valuable and largely agrees with observations and data for what I have seen.

  4. The main point the public misses is that no government has any incentive to fight crime committee against ordinary citizens. The facts are plain to see in every large high crime city. Crime rates rise and the voters consistently elect politions from the same party that did not deal effectively with crime. So why should any politician in the ruling party be interested in fighting crime? Where is the incentive?

    • Declining population and more importantly revenue. Disregard if the city is likely to receive bailout or grant money.

      • SAFEupstateFML,

        I can make a compelling argument that declining population and revenue all but guarantees bailout and/or grant money.

        In other words, when it comes to our large cities, it is a classic “can’t lose” situation for the Ruling Class in those large cities.

      • Revenue will collapse, but so will demand for services.

        Neither you or I will live long enough to see this, but those in their 20s will see a *vastly* different nation by the time they make it to their 60s and beyond.

        Real estate prices will plummet, and the US will see what’s now happening in Japan, where good modern homes in rural areas are literally abandoned, as they sit, when the elderly owners die of old age, and their city-dwelling children have no interest in their parent’s homes. As the rural areas collapse, expect the local municipalities to literally give homes away for free, if they promise to maintain them. Similar deals will happen in more suburban and even urban environs as the demographics collapse…

        • EDIT – This happening world-wide, and it partially explains why Russia is kidnapping hundreds of thousands of little kids, executing their parents, and shipping the kids off to cities in Russia.

          This demographic collapse is world-wide in the ‘civilized’ nations, and no one has an explanation for it.

          There was a famous population experiment done with mice decades back. A large area was set up as a ‘Mouse Utopia’. Large places with lots of mice nesting areas (mouse ‘apartments’) lots of clean water and food, bedding changed regularly, a stress-free environment where the mice didn’t need to compete for anything.

          It didn’t take many mouse generations where things went sideways, and eventually, they became extinct.

          Read all about it :

          “Biologist John Calhoun’s rodent experiments gripped a society consumed by fears of overpopulation. John Calhoun crouching inside Universe 25, his famous mouse-behavior experiment, February 1970. Officially, the colony was called the Mortality-Inhibiting Environment for Mice. Unofficially, it was called mouse heaven.”

          The terrifying part for me is, even when the population began to collapse to the point of the population being what it was at the start of the experiment, the collapse was unstoppable. In some weird way, something *completely destroyed* their natural sex drive. The last few generations totally lost theirs.

          That begs the question – Is that’s what’s happening now, world-wide in nearly every wealthy highly educated population? It makes me wonder, as I’ve never had a compelling urge to procreate, just for the purpose of procreation. It’s a completely alien concept for me.

          Has humanities advanced state where few ever have to truly compete for food or die early for medical reasons doomed us for extinction as a species?

        • Not enough school yard or bar room fistfights to normalize competition for……well anything really so listless consumption it is.

  5. Facts are important, but knowledge is even better.

    That rings true for, what, maybe 25% of the population? For the rest of the population, thrills and feelings are even better than facts and have the final say in their lives.

    Our side would be wise to recognize THIS fact and redesign our strategy accordingly.

  6. With a title like this, it seems like there should be citations to show the evidence or research that backs it up. I’d like to believe it is true, but nothing in this article makes me KNOW its true. In the original post on wordpress, none of the citations there give proof of the claim that there are more defensive gun uses than criminal.

    • Whether or not criminals use firearms to commit violent crimes more often than good people use firearms in righteous self-defense is a classic “Red Herring”–meaning it doesn’t matter.

      Such an argument is a “social utility” argument which is not relevant when it comes to inalienable rights such as self-defense. For example we can demonstrate with absolute certainty that we can reduce violent crime to almost zero if we chop-off all men’s arms. Of course that is a no-go, even though it has great social utility, because it violates our inalienable right to maintain our bodies.

      Similarly, we must not disarm people simply because it is an inalienable right: any claims of social utility in disarming the public are irrelevant.


    QUOTE———–Fortunately, we know what stops mass murderers. About one of every twelve adults are legally armed in public today———-QUOTE

    FALSEHOOD. Citizens stop very few mass murders or crime. Numerous Studies show the opposite. A gun in the home makes it twice as likely someone will be shot and die and its by people they know an often live in the home with them.

    In one study of 316 mass murders citizens with guns only stopped 10 of them, that is only 3% of the time.

    quote————-First, do no harm. Gun control laws clearly don’t disarm the violent criminals in Los Angeles, in Chicago, or in Baltimore.———quote

    Of course local laws do not work when Red Hillbilly States with lax gun laws ship in thousands of second hand guns into big high crime cities that have tough laws rendering those laws totally ineffective. Only a Federal gun law would make a big difference. Two Chicago studies as well as numerous Law Enforcement tracings prove that there is an “Iron Pipeline” that ships in guns from southern states to northern big cities with high crime.

    Studies show that Blue States with tough gun laws have an overall statewide lower homicide rate than Red States with lax gun laws. The Far Right only point out the homicide rates in the big cities and ignore the overall lower crime rate in the entire Blue State as compared to Red States.

    quote———–Taking all the guns away from criminals wouldn’t stop violent crime.——quote

    Bullshit. Tough gun laws passed decades ago in Europe and Asia have proven that they have an astronomically LOWER HOMICIDE RATE than the totally uncivilized world of Capitalvania where life is considered cheap and expendable.

    quote———–Self-defense is common, too. We defend ourselves with a firearm more than 4,300 times a day. That is a conservative number and some researchers have put the average closer to 6,800 times a day.———-quote

    Wild Far Right Claims like this are not backed up by professional studies. In fact the Far Right pull these claims out of thin air. And studies have shown that many so called self-defense acts were found to be illegal and totally unnecessary.

    quote———–We are not all the same.——-quote

    Typical Far Right blatant racism. Lets be a true Hitlerite/Trumpite and blame it all on what the Far Right view as sub-human minorities. Their solution is more prisons and maybe an American version of “The final solution” rather than study the real causes of crime in our society which stems from a lack of education, lack of job retraining, lack of funds for child care of working mothers, a lack of decent paying jobs and the great disparity on schools that cater to rich suburbia and have the best teachers and the poor inner city schools that often pay teachers less than the janitors get in suburban schools.

    • “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost every major study on defensive gun use has found that Americans use their firearms defensively between 500,000 and 3 million times each year. There’s good reason to believe that most defensive gun uses are never reported to law enforcement, much less picked up by local or national media outlets.”

      “31.1% of all gun owners who took the survey said that they had used their firearm in self defense at least once “even if it was not fired or displayed” (not including law enforcement, security, or military service). In addition, the majority of those answering in the affirmative had used their gun more than once in self defense. Extrapolating this 31.1% data out to all gun owners in America would mean that roughly 25.3 million adults have used a firearm to stop a crime or protect themselves at least once in their life.”

      “The most comprehensive study ever conducted about defensive gun use in the United States was a 1995 survey published by criminologist Gary Kleck in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. This study reported between 2.1 and 2.5 million defensive gun uses every year.”

      “Consistent with other recent survey research, the survey finds an overall rate of adult firearm ownership of 31.9%, suggesting that in excess of 81.4 million Americans aged 18 and over own firearms. The survey further finds that approximately a third of gun owners (31.1%) have used a firearm to defend themselves or their property, often on more than one occasion, and it estimates that guns are used defensively by firearms owners in approximately 1.67 million incidents per year.”

      • He suffers from a form of mental illness — “pathological lying.”

        Some mental health conditions may be associated with patterns of pathological lying. These include:

        * antisocial personality disorder (ASPD): may tend to lie for status, resources, or sympathy

        * borderline personality disorder (BPD): may tend to lie to avoid rejection or abandonment

        * factitious disorder or Munchausen syndrome by proxy: may lie to appear sick or have someone in their care appear sick

        * narcissistic personality disorder (NPD): may tend to lie to get something out of someone else, preserve a false sense of self, get out of trouble, or bolster others’ perceptions of them

    • So how much did you just get “PAID” to post all your MARXIST ALLIES propaganda???

      How much are they paying for your links???

    • “A gun in the home makes it twice as likely someone will be shot and die and its by people they know an often live in the home with them.”

      I’m willing to accept that risk. Freedom is the right to take such risks.

      *YOU* however, and your mentally-defective ilk, will not tell me that I cannot make that choice.

      You can eliminate your chances of being shot by a gun owner like me by choosing to not enter my home… 🙂

    • dacian, the DUNDERHEAD. Your “studies” are full of donkey dust! Your “professional studies” start out with a conclusion and go about trying to prove their PREDETERMINED CONCLUSION with false stats and facts. Your European laws only count the number of people killed with a firearm and neglect to include the ones murdered by other means.
      Your cries of “racism” fail to take into account for the laws against people of color possession firearms. The Sullivan Law here in NY was aimed at Italians.
      Last I heard, if you bring a child into the world, you are RESPONSIBLE for that child’s upbringing, NOT THE TAXPAYERS. Both of my parents works and they footed the bills for childcare.
      Time for you Lefties to get a grip!

    • and here’s dacian again with his debunked and false and bias and outright lies in yet another confirmation bias copy-n-paste word salad missive of stupid.

    • the fact that you keep using debunked David Hemingway and his debunked research is amusing.
      then you post a dead link and the 3rd link does nothing to back up your stupidity.

      keep suffering your dunning Kruger

  8. This makes no sense at all

    1. We defend ourselves with a firearm more than 4,300 times a day.

    2. We only pull the trigger in one out of five defensive uses of a gun.

    So you actually believe that a gun is fired in self defense about 800 TIMES A DAY?!!

    That’s some grade A spin.

    • The fascist left believes that there are rivers of blood flowing on America’s streets. Both sides engage in spin.

      There is the spin put out by the fascists through the msm and the democrat party and there is the spin put out by slightly more honest folk.

    • Its an average. Its actually ‘on average one out of five’ in that ‘on average 4.300’. Overall for all defensive gun uses in a year its less than 5% of defenders actually pull the trigger. Last year, 2022, based upon police and media reports overall nationwide and individual reporting, there were around 3 million DGU causes by law abiding citizens, and surveys indicate at least 2.6 million.

      It depends on the survey. For example, some surveys don’t explain what they mean by the concept of self-defense or ‘defensive gun use’ so that leaves some latitude. Then some surveys and research and media and even police reports are biased by only accepting that an actual trigger pull is defensive gun use and those are lower because defenders rarely pull the trigger because its enough that brandishing in preparation to defend caused the threat to run away. Its why, for example, dacians bogus studies he posts are bogus – because in the actual data use they actually only included those times when the trigger was actually pulled so their numbers of DGU are lower because they made them lower on purpose by doing that and ended up biasing their study which was their intent.

      Then it varies year to year also. Some years may be more or less than previous years.

      Then there is a ‘variable’ nature of the law. For example; There has been a general increase in the number of rapes prevented from happening in the last three years because the victim brandished a firearm to stop the attacker from getting closer. But because the rape did not happen as a result of the DGU the criminal was either not arrested and charged or not there by the time police arrived thus no ‘investigation crime report’ that would have included the DGU so the DGU doesn’t become known in a manner where it can be included in annual DGU stats but none the less the DGU did happen.

      There is lots of law abiding citizen DGU that goes on daily across the nation. Not all of it is known for one reason or another. It may even be the person/people defended doesn’t bother to report it to police because of the scrutiny and legal hassle they might face for a valid legal DGU (especially in the gun control regimes of places like California and New York where they crawl up your butt for a colonoscopy trying to find something to charge you with in a legal valid DGU), but it still happens if its known or not.

      Its difficult to track for many different reasons, but its not because it does not happen a lot because it does.

      • In 30 years, I’ve had 2 DGUs.

        A road rager tried to pull me out of my car to administer a beatdown. A loud announcement of “I have a gun!” and opening the glove box was enough to send him running back to his car.

        The second, my wife and I were driving down a street and a man jumped out in front of our car, waving his arms and jabbering something unintelligible as he approached. A quick display of my pistol and he also turned and ran off.

        I reported neither incident to the police.

        • I’ve had several. I’ve reported all but one immediately after it happened and that was because when the guy ran off he ran right into traffic and got hit so I decided to wait until police arrived for that to pick him up off the street. He wasn’t going any place with broken legs.

  9. Alleged Intruder Reportedly Attempted To Stab Victim In Throat To Avoid Being Shot >

    In 2022, and for many years before, there were ~1,300 knife attacks daily across the nation by criminals against victims each year. That’s changed now, not because of the linked incident but because its changed overall. From 1 October 2022 to 30 Jan 2023 there have been ~1,400 knife attacks daily across the nation by criminals against victims.

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