Gun uses in self defense


May 31, 2005, 12:39 PM
Can someone give me a (preferably unrefutable to an anti) link to incidence of gun self defense uses? Someone mentioned DOJ data in a thread a few days ago.

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May 31, 2005, 10:09 PM
I am as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country. If I were Mustapha Mond of Brave New World, I would eliminate all guns from the civilian population and maybe even from the police ... What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. ["Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun," by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, published in that same issue of The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology] The reason I am troubled is that they have provided an almost clear cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator. ...I have to admit my admiration for the care and caution expressed in this article and this research. Can it be true that about two million instances occur each year in which a gun was used as a defensive measure against crime? It is hard to believe. Yet, it is hard to challenge the data collected. We do not have contrary evidence. The National Crime Victim Survey does not directly contravene this latest survey, nor do the Mauser and Hart Studies. ... the methodological soundness of the current Kleck and Gertz study is clear. I cannot further debate it. ... The Kleck and Gertz study impresses me for the caution the authors exercise and the elaborate nuances they examine methodologically. I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well.
--Marvin Wolfgang
Gun control activists were unhappy with the National Self Defense Survey's results, which show that "Every 13 seconds an American gun owner uses a firearm in defense against a criminal."

In a 1994 TV news taping, Handgun Control, Inc.’s, spokesman, Sandy Cooney, called the National Self Defense Survey “obscene” and threw ad hominem slurs at its lead researcher, professor of criminology, Dr. Gary Kleck. Since Kleck is an impartial social scientist with no links to gun advocates or manufacturers — in fact he’s a liberal Democrat — it appears that Kleck’s only sin was doing research which produced results that challenged the gun-control agenda of Handgun Control, Inc., the "Million" Moms, and similar organizations.

So, to refute the results of the National Self Defense Survey, two pro-gun-control researchers, Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig, were given funding by the Clinton administration's Department of Justice to do their own survey of Defensive Gun Uses, to attempt to prove that the National Self Defense Survey's estimate was too high.

Unfortunately for advocates of gun control, the Cook-Ludwig survey produced results about the same as the National Self Defense Survey and -- in one remarkable paragraph -- suggested that their methodology was too conservative and that the Defensive Gun Use figure could even be doubled:

"Because respondents were asked to describe only their most recent defensive gun use, our comparisons are conservative, as they assume only one defensive gun use per defender. ...Inclusion of multiple DGUs reported by half of the 19 NSPOF respondents increases the estimate to 4.7 million DGUs [emphasis added]."
Source: The National Institute of Justice, in its survey Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms by Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig.

Gooooood numbers. Not that numbers matter, of course; self-defense is a fundamental human right (, and needs no statistics to defend it, just like free speech, or the right to trial by jury of one's peers, or such.

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