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“Theory: Guns are needed and useful for self-defense.

Reality: The cases of guns being used to successfully defend against assaults in America are few and far between—one study suggested that guns are used by victims to defend themselves in less than 1 percent of all violent crimes. ‘Firearm self-defense,’ the study’s authors noted drily, ‘is rare compared with gun crimes.’ And there’s little evidence that the crime rate has changed in states that adopt ‘concealed carry’ laws.” – Joel Mathis


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  1. Would think “journalists” would know how to use Google by now. I mean, it works better than searching on the Brady Campaign’s site and seems to be the most research any of them are willing to do to begin with.

  2. Here is the question he poses: “More than 100 people have been shot on the city’s streets in the last month. Why?”

    I don’t think the lack of gun laws drives this. Maybe , just maybe, people are pissed off at each other or lack respect for laws against murder and robbery.

  3. The 65000 DGUs per year in the cited study are still 5x greater than 10-12000 gun deaths per year. What about the other 19 studies that show at the worst, that more guns have a neglible effect on crime.

  4. Isn’t 1% similar to the percentage of people who carry? I know many more people have guns in their homes, but how many have them readily available? It would seem that this is inadvertently pro gun.

    • Various sources claim that there might be as many as 8 million people with concealed carry permits — or who are interested in carrying in states like Vermont that do not require a concealed carry permit. Let’s assume that half of all concealed carriers are actually carrying at any given time. That means about 4 million people are armed wherever they may happen to be. And the U.S. population is about 310 million. So, about 1.3% of the U.S. population is carrying at any given moment.

      So yes … I would say that it is very realistic that victims defend themselves with a firearm in about 1% of violent crimes … since that is about how many people have firearms on their person when they would be attacked!

    • Here is another reasons that explains why it is very realistic that even less than 1% of victims of violent crime used firearms to defend themselves.

      Many people who go about their business armed have much more of a safety mindset. That means they avoid dangerous places as much as possible. And they scan for potential violent situations wherever they go … quite possibly avoiding several violent crimes. Thus the safety mindset minimizes exposure to violent crimes in the subset of the population who are armed relative to the general population.

  5. Wow, what an utter failure of logic. Even if the numbers were that low, and even if that mattered, it still doesn’t make sense.

    If only 3 percent (a hopeful estimation of people who carry semi-regularly) of the population wore seatbelts, and thus a miniscule amount of lives were saved by seat belts in car accidents…would you say that seatbelts don’t work, or that more people should wear their bloody seatbelts?

    I wonder sometimes how the anti mind can function on a daily basis.

    • “I wonder sometimes how the anti mind can function on a daily basis.”
      Objection. Prejudicial. Assumes facts not in evidence, to wit: the anti mind functions.

  6. I have “shown” a Gun 2 time in self defence, first in NC I was in military and a perp. came up to my car at a drive in restraunt with a baseball bat. “If you drive away I gona smash yo winsield” . Pulling the slide back and pointing the 22 cal. at him sent him running.
    Second time another Driver at a stop light, out of vehicle, came up to my car and threatened to pull me out of my vehicle and beat the ($#!+) out of me. I stuck the same 22 cal. in his face and he said “If I had my Gun there would be a shoot out” I said “Yeah but you dont”. He left.

    • Him making a statement like that with me holding a gun on him would have given me as strong desire to wing him…..but you played it right.

  7. Considering that only maybe 2-3% of people carry regularly, and this guys number is likely significantly deflated, I’m not surprised at the low number of successful DGU’s compared to overall assaults. Add to it that we tend to remove ourselves from bad situations before they happen, i.e., avoiding sketchy people and areas, and maybe we really do a good job making good things happen in bad situations.

  8. Does it really matter what percentage is used for self defense. If there was only one person who defended themselves with a gun, that’s enough for me.

  9. “one study suggested that guns are used by victims to defend themselves in less than 1 percent of all violent crimes.”

    …and? That’s a good thing, right?

    • If you’re one of the 1% it’s a very good thing. But they don’t think about that living in their safe neighborhoods

  10. another one of those handwringing ” i couldn’t imagine myself manning up and defending myself or my loved ones so i’m going to devote myself to making sure no one else gets the chance” chuds. speaking of chuds, and ot as though that’s ever mattered here. anybody else hear that rosie o’donnel had a heart attack. i didn’t think ms. low class had a heart.

  11. Here’s a problem I see: his data that showed the percentage of DGUs came from a study of the 1987-1990 period. I’d submit that the number of CCW citizens has advanced greatly since 1990 and would likely show a much different number of DGUs today.

  12. My three favorite comments that followed the story at the Phily Post:

    “Joel’s misshapen head must be caused by having it up his rectum for so long

    Hi I’m Joel Mathis. I get paid to lie unapologetically

    I wonder sometimes how the anti mind can function on a daily basis”

    EDIT: Ha! I have now just noticed that all 3 of those comments came from you guys. I had first read the full story and comments at the Philly Blog. Good comments guys!

    • Thus proving that your views on gun control are based on nothing more than personal preference, not facts.

      In other words, it’s all about what makes YOU feel good, Mike. Nothing more. Can’t get much more shallow than that.

    • If something makes you feel good then it is right and true, isn’t it?
      If something makes you feel bad then it is wrong and false, isn’t it?
      Have you ever considered that you are a slave to your feelings and you never back up anything with reason and facts?
      Take a look at the book; ‘feeling good’ by David Burns M.D..

    • No surprise that you do agree Mikey.

      It’s not a surprise to me either that the data he used is over 10 years old and there are newer studies that tell us something different than the claims here, although the ones used don’t deny that DGUs happen, are real, and have successful outcomes.

    • things must be really slow at your own blog for you to spend so much time here mikeybnumbers. oh, that’s right, your site is anti gun. faragos site is pro gun. at least at this site you’ll get some response to your rants as opposed to the crickets chirping at your site.

      • Maybe you need to visit my blog before you describe it. I always seem to attract a handful of gun-rights zealots who argue with me just like you do. Visits and Page View-wise it’s small time, but it’s not exactly crickets.

        Why do you have such difficulty telling the truth?

        • if i’m not telling the truth, i think i am, but if i’m not it’s because i’ve been exposed to the tactics of grabbers like yourself for so long that i’ve sub consciously began to adopt your tactics. and i did visit your site 1 time. that was the basis for my statement about crickets.

    • If you dont like guns, then dont own them, as this is your right. Why get on pro gun forums and waste your time trying to get us to believe that we should lose our right to have guns?

  13. Maybe Joel and Mikeb302000 are of the same mindset as Congressman Todd Akin. In a “legitimate” bad guy attack, your bodies natural function is to shut down and you will not need to defend yourself!

    • I’m reminded of the car salesman in the movie True Lies, ya know the one who loses bladder control when faced with a gun (the guy who tries to portray a “spy” in order to get laid.)

      Wait… I guess they’ll play possum and when the killer is either dead or in handcuffs, get up and tell everyone within earshot (except the other survivors) the [embellished] story of what happened and how they escaped.

      Maybe both.

  14. It is sad that we don’t get statistics where someone who is armed simply flashes the gun, no shots fired, but no crime committed either. I bet it would blow the known statistics out of the water.
    Why this guy never did a little more research makes me wonder sometimes.

  15. Trying to prove that DGUs don’t happen on a regular basis is like trying to prove that falling trees don’t make any noise if no one is there to witness it.

  16. “It’s better to be thought an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

    Mr. Mathis should have to write that sentence five hundred times.

  17. Until proven otherwise, you should always assume a journalist writing about firearms for the mainstream media is engaged in agitprop for the left.

    Or lefty-bubble-maintenance. Or both at the same time.

  18. I’m just gonna throw out there that his logic is completely backward. Even assuming his facts are straight, which they’re not, he’s saying that with no change in crime due to concealed carry (meaning it’s not causing problems either), it should be banned. Quite the opposite. If something isn’t causing harm, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON AT ALL for it to be banned. That’s what freedom is about. Being free to do what you want (as long as you’re not hurting people).


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