1.5 to 3 million crimes prevented by citizens with guns.


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rainbowbob
April 6, 2008, 03:40 AM
1.5 to 3 million crimes are prevented each year by private citizens with guns.

I've read this estimate cited many times and it is one of the strongest arguments for the defensive use of firearms by citizens. Does anyone know what studies were used to support this estimate?

The Brady Bunch claim that:
The number of crime victims who successfully use firearms to defend themselves is quite small. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports and the Centers for Disease Control, out of 29,569 Americans who died by gunfire in 2004, only 229 were shot in justifiable homicides by private citizens with firearms.

They use this surprisingly low number to support the idea that, since citizens are not killing very many people, there really isn't any need to CCW. Apparently they believe the death of the assailant to be the only criteria for a successful defense against crime. They don't seem interested in the number of deaths averted by responsible gun owners - either innocent citizens, or the criminal assailants. This is a baffling and even cruel point of view for an organization supposedly dedicated to reducing gun violence.

Using the lowest estimate of crimes prevented by the use of defensive firearms (1.5 million) and dividing it by the Brady's number of defensive homicides (229) - we can say that only one of every 6,550 successful defensive firearm incidents results in a justifiable homicide. I'd say we're doing pretty good!

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misANTHrope
April 6, 2008, 04:00 AM
It's for the children.

rainbowbob
April 6, 2008, 04:23 AM
Here is an excerpt from this article...http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46085

How often do Americans use guns for defensive purposes?
Larry Elder
2008 Laurence A. Elder


Criminologist and researcher Gary Kleck, using his own commissioned phone surveys and number extrapolation, estimates that 2.5 million Americans use guns for defensive purposes each year. He further found that of those who had used guns defensively, one in six believed someone would have been dead if they had not resorted to their defensive use of firearms. That corresponds to approximately 400,000 of Kleck's estimated 2.5 million defensive gun uses. Kleck points out that if only one-tenth of the people were right about saving a life, the number of people saved annually by guns would still be at least 40,000.

The Department of Justice's own National Institute of Justice study titled "Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms," estimated that 1.5 million Americans use guns for defensive purposes every year. Although the government's figure estimated a million fewer people defensively using guns, the NIJ called their figure "directly comparable" to Kleck's, noting that "it is statistically plausible that the difference is due to sampling error." Furthermore, the NIJ reported that half of their respondents who said they used a gun defensively also admitted having done so multiple times a year – making the number of estimated uses of self-defense with a gun 4.7 million times annually.

Former assistant district attorney and firearms expert David Kopel writes, "...When a robbery victim does not defend himself, the robber succeeds 88 percent of the time, and the victim is injured 25 percent of the time. When a victim resists with a gun, the rate of robbery success alls to 30 percent, and the victim injury rate falls to 17 percent. No other response to a robbery – from drawing a knife to shouting for help to fleeing – produces such low rates of victim injury and robbery success."

Travis Lee
April 6, 2008, 04:46 AM
I believe the first real reseach on this subject was done by Gary Kleck.

http://www.guncite.com/gcwhoGK.html

Subsequent research has only further substantiated his conclusions.

I don't think there is any real way to be certain of how many crimes are prevented with firearms.

No "official" agency is capable of counting the murders, rapes and robberies which are thwarted when an intended victim deploys a firearm.

No one can count the crimes not even attempted when a criminal predator learns or suspects that his prey is armed.

I've been on the street in a "bad" part of town when a thug-like fellow came my way smiling like a jackal. I put my hand inside my coat and he suddenly changed his direction. No body counts that, except me.

Short of bodies on the ground, ANY statistics are subject to dispute. The Brady bunch include 23 yr old drug dealers shot by police to puff up their claims of "children" being shot.

Do anti gun folks REALLY care about the truth of such figures?


--Travis--

Carl N. Brown
April 6, 2008, 08:06 AM
out of 29,569 Americans who died by gunfire in 2004, only 229 were shot in justifiable homicides by private citizens with firearms--Brady Campaign

29,569 Americans who died by gunfire in 2004
Most of those were suicides, about 2,000 were accidents, about 10,000 were homicides.

only 229 were shot in justifiable homicides by private citizens with firearms

That is the FBI stat on killing of a felon during commission of a felony by a citizen as adjudicated in the police crime report to the FBI UCR program.

The FBI UCR states that UCR stats do not reflect eventual adjudication by coroner, medical examiner, prosecutor, grand jury, trial judge, petit jury, or appellate court. Here in Sullivan County TN recent shootings by police were not ruled as justifiable homicide until the district attorney/grand jury level as a matter of routine policy and not because the shootings were especially questionable.

Professor Marvin "I hate guns" Wolfgang stated that when and where such stats were kept (a few cities in the 1910s and 1920s), 20 to 30 percent of civilian homicides were eventually adjudicated as self-defense.

The justifiable homicide stat is not tracked thru the judicial system. Why? I have been unable to find out.

Dr. John Lott estimates that over 1,000 shooting homicides are eventually adjudicated as justifiable each year and Prof. Gary Kleck estimates something under 3,000 justifiable shooting homicides per year.

out of about 10,000 American shooting homicides each year, about 2,000 are justifiable homicides by private citizens with firearms--Carl N. Brown

And the policies of the Brady Bunch would restrict the legal availibilty of firearms for self-defense by the lawabiding, while stimulating the illegal trafficking of guns by which most criminals get their weapons.

Double Naught Spy
April 6, 2008, 08:34 AM
Using the lowest estimate of crimes prevented by the use of defensive firearms (1.5 million) and dividing it by the Brady's number of defensive homicides (229) - we can say that only one of every 6,550 successful defensive firearm incidents results in a justifiable homicide. I'd say we're doing pretty good!

Using one hypothetical number and dividing it by an unrepresentative number to get a result is NOT a way to get a valid result that is actually useful for anything.

Guitargod1985
April 6, 2008, 11:55 AM
<sarcasm>JHC, why don't they just put breathalyzers in every car since there were around 13,000 people killed by drunk drivers last year. Better yet, let's just ban cars altogether. Then we can punish people who don't drink and drive and have all the drunk drivers get sloshed whenever they feel like it.</sarcasm>

F4GIB
April 6, 2008, 12:05 PM
Remember that a successful Defensive Gun Use occurs when the assailant runs away. The crime is prevented (this is the only intervention that PREVENTS the crime, BTW). No shots fired, no injuries suffered, no police report filed, THEREFORE no statistics created.

No statistics does not mean that nothing happened.

csmkersh
April 6, 2008, 12:19 PM
Quote:
1.5 to 3 million crimes are prevented each year by private citizens with guns.

I've read this estimate cited many times and it is one of the strongest arguments for the defensive use of firearms by citizens. Does anyone know what studies were used to support this estimate?

One study that supports that estimate was don by two anti-gun researchers, Phillip Cook and Jens Ludwig for the National Institute for Justice. The study might still be found online. Look for NCJ-165476 under the the Department of Justice publications.

http://home.flash.net/~csmkersh/Pics/NCJ-165476.jpg
Exhibit 7, page 8, NCJ-165476

Enjoy.

Sato Ord
April 6, 2008, 01:27 PM
These studies don't take into account the number of times that brandishing the weapon averted the situation. I won't call and report the incident if the bg just leaves when he sees my gun. The reason: I have no intention of spending the rest of the night explaining to some bone head officer-anti (and we all know that there are plenty of them out there) why I feel the need to have a firearm.

Only once have i been in a situation when I brandished a firearm and then felt the need to explain it to the police. That was because the incident came to a head a block away from the local police station and the jerks who threatened me with baseball bats went strait there as they sped away. The other times such incidents happened, I simply put the gun back in place, and went about my business.

I'm sure I can't be the only one who feels this way about this issue.

rainbowbob
April 6, 2008, 02:36 PM
Using one hypothetical number and dividing it by an unrepresentative number to get a result is NOT a way to get a valid result that is actually useful for anything.

DNS: You're right of course...I was just trying to have as much with numbers as the Brady's seem to be having.


No statistics does not mean that nothing happened.

Indeed. For example, late at night, in a nearly deserted parking lot, a hand on the pocket pistol and a swiveling head may avert a potential criminal act. We might never even see the two guys sitting in a car that decide NOT to assault us because of our defensive demeanor. That isn't a DGU...it isn't a statistic at all...but we might not have been going home if we had not been armed and situationally aware.

230RN
April 6, 2008, 02:53 PM
Using one hypothetical number and dividing it by an unrepresentative number to get a result is NOT a way to get a valid result that is actually useful for anything.

No, I don't think calling it a "hypothetical" number is fair. Yes, it's an estimated number, but it is not "hypothetical."

If you want, divide that low estimate of 1.5 million by four or five, we're still doing pretty good.

Besides, as Sato Ord noted, all I need is one unreported incident to justify carrying a firearm. If it's me involved in that unreported incident.

I appreciate the "Queen's Loyal Opposition" viewpoint you have, though, most of the time. You're just a wee off base on this one, to my mind... rainbowbob was merely illustrating a point, mathematical rigor aside.

skinewmexico
April 6, 2008, 02:59 PM
Do a search for gunfacts.info.

rainbowbob
April 6, 2008, 02:59 PM
These studies don't take into account the number of times that brandishing the weapon averted the situation.

Sato: Actually, they do to some extent. In the Kleck study, respondents were chosen randomly and were allowed to report anonymously about the number of incidents in which they were able to avert a crime with a gun. These even include incidents wherein the defender merely mentioned that they have a gun and were prepared to use it. These studies are NOT based on police reports.

I have no intention of spending the rest of the night explaining to some bone head officer-anti...

I can't for the life of me figure out why some posters seem determined to devolve so many threads into LEO-bashing. If you don't want to involve the police in your DGU, that's your right (assuming you aren't breaking the law in so doing). Personally, if it happens to me, I will be calling 911 at my first opportunity.

230RN
April 6, 2008, 03:02 PM
Kinda makes me wonder how many times a creaky old voice shouting, "Martha, get my shotgun!" has prevented crime even though there wasn't any shotgun within a quarter mile.

rainbowbob
April 6, 2008, 03:05 PM
"Martha, get my shotgun!" ... even though there wasn't any shotgun ...

A risky tactic - but better than nothing I suppose.

F4GIB
April 6, 2008, 03:05 PM
Read it yourself. First hand information is so much better than third-hand discussions.

Gary, Kleck and Marc Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1995, Vol. 86 No. 1.

Sato Ord
April 6, 2008, 03:08 PM
rainbowbob, I'm not bashing LEO, just those cops who believe that only they should be allowed to carry weapons and we should rely on them for protection.

As for the Law Enforcement Community at large, most of them are great guys who do a fine job and I stand up for them at all times. However, it almost never fails that I get the new guy who is a card carrying liberal anti-gun nut, rather than one of the guys I know who is sympathetic to the average law abiding citizen who is carrying a protection weapon. That's why I qualified that statement with the (and we all know that there are plenty of them out there). Basically, if the shoe doesn't fit, don't force it on your foot, you'll get blisters for no good reason.

As for the studies, I stand, or in this case, sit, corrected, though I still believe it happens much more often than most might think.

csmkersh
April 6, 2008, 03:25 PM
F4GIB, BTDT and a bunch of other stuff. :)

http://home.flash.net/~csmkersh/Pics/Kleck.JPG

http://home.flash.net/~csmkersh/Pics/Kleck&Lott.JPG


Whisqars (CDC) and the FBI's UCRs are online, although the FBI seems to be working to make their data unuseable. :(

Sato Ord
April 6, 2008, 03:31 PM
Okay folks, in my earlier response I said that some officers you might have to deal with may not be the sharpest tools in the shed. That still holds true. Sometimes you get less than stellar employees in any job. However, I never meant that as a general bash against LEO.

I spent four years as an EMT working closely with LEO. I have spent many hours teaching police officers control and take down techniques at different police academies and in seminars. I helped train many K-9s, and even done my share of ride-alongs. I've known more LEOs than most non-LEO folks. I like the police a lot, and have taught my son to respect the officer in uniform.

However, that doesn't mean that I haven't met my share of jerks who should rethink their career choice when it comes to Law Enforcement. We know they exist, and I don't gloss over that fact. I simply try to avoid those officers and devote my time to knowing and assisting the good guys.

Unfortunately, on the few occasions I've had to deal with an officer it never seems to fail that I get some guy I've never met who thinks he's a storm trooper, or he's a complete anti. Fortunately I haven't had to deal with the antis, other than in everyday conversation when it comes to guns. However, I have talked with enough of them (at functions, seminars, political rallies, and such) who are anti-gun that I don't want to have to have them take a report about me brandishing a weapon to some goob who was making threatening gestures and was driven off by the sight of my pistol.

I know I'm not the only one who feels this way because I've talked to plenty of people who have said the same thing to me.

Eric F
April 6, 2008, 03:36 PM
they can have their numbers and we can have ours.......take the number of ccw permits in the us and multiply that by 365 that is the number of times firearms are used for defense.

Any one can play with numbers to get the results they want. Politicians do it all the time.

rainbowbob
April 6, 2008, 04:00 PM
...take the number of ccw permits in the us and multiply that by 365...that is the number of times firearms are used for defense.

I like it. Anybody know what that number is?

whichfinger
April 6, 2008, 05:20 PM
"The author is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union....'

But, but ... that would make him the Devil's spawn, right?

rainbowbob
April 6, 2008, 08:26 PM
"The author is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union....'

But, but ... that would make him the Devil's spawn, right?

Yeah...But how sweet is it to have one of theirs arguing our side of the debate?

Actually I wonder if Dr Kleck didn't join the ACLU just to needle em?

Apparently he is a life-long Democrat and a dyed-in-the-wool liberal.

I take special pleasure in that because, at least until recently, that could describe me.

rainbowbob
April 6, 2008, 08:29 PM
F4GIB, BTDT and a bunch of other stuff.


Huh? :confused: :confused:

csmkersh
April 6, 2008, 09:36 PM
Read it yourself. First hand information is so much better than third-hand discussions.

Gary, Kleck and Marc Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1995, Vol. 86 No. 1.

I responded:

F4GIB, BTDT and a bunch of other stuff. ;)

TRANSLATION:

Been There, Done That ---meaning I've read the Kleck article in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1995, Vol. 86 No. 1. plus a bunch of other stuff including the Lott and Kleck books whose covers I photographed and included.

Make sense now, rainbowbob?

rainbowbob
April 6, 2008, 09:43 PM
Make sense now, rainbowbob?

Now it does...

...I also was able to find the Kleck study, as well an article by Kleck about the study and an interview with him about the study. All good.

Carl N. Brown
May 1, 2008, 09:15 AM
Defensive Gun Use DGU is actually an unsettled frontier in research.
Defensive gun use surveys USA and counts of DGU incidents per year:

Government:
NCVS 108,000
NSPOF (raw) 23,000,000
NSPOF (vetted) 4,700,000

Private sector:
Kleck-Gertz 2,400,000
Lott 2,100,000
About thirteen or so other surveys 700,000 to 3,600,000 per year.

All these results depend on how the survey sample was selected, how large a sample was used, how the questions were presented to the respondents, and so on. One of the raw NSPOF respondents (dropped from the vetted subsample) was a lady who claimed to use a gun defensively 52 times a year.

NCVS asked Have you been a victim of a crime? If yes, then Did you resist? If yes, then How did you resist? Very low number of DGU.

NSPOF asked all of the 2568 sample, have you used a gun to defend yourself in the past year? Very high number of DGU. Of the final, vetted subsample of DGU respondents (19 out of 2568) six did not consider themselves crime victims. If those folks had been surveyed by NCVS protocol, they would not have been asked if they had defended themselves with a gun.

Remember too that the DGUser was responding to a perceived threat. How many were actually crimes as counted by FBI UCR is hard to guess. One of Kleck's surveys projected that 400,000 DGUsers believed they saved their life or the life of a third party; if only 10% were correct in their belief, that would be 40,000 lives saved.

mike101
May 1, 2008, 09:45 AM
Maybe you'll find this helpful.

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/hvfsdaft.txt

From what I can gather, the FBI only counts times when the gun was actually used for defense. They don't count brandishing, because there's no way to know. I would think, that in most instances (1.5-3 million), brandishing the weapon was all that was necessary.

I mean, if someone pulled a gun on you, wouldn't you take off if you could, or at least back down?

csmkersh
May 1, 2008, 05:05 PM
Here's a DoJ publication (http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/165476.pdf) you all may find of interest. It's a pdf file so you'll need Acrobat Reader. The two researchers, Phillip Cook and Jens Ludwig, are notorious anti-gunners. That's what makes this soooo sweet. Pay attention to "Defensive gun uses on page 8 as well at Exhibit 7 at the bottom of the same page.

rainbowbob
May 1, 2008, 11:25 PM
Interesting study, except the two researchers, Phillip Cook and Jens Ludwig conclude with this:

The NSPOF does not provide much evidence on whether consumers who buy guns for protection against crime get their money's worth. The SPOFbased estimate of millions of DGUs each year greatly exaggerates the true number, as do other estimates based on similar surveys. Much debated is whether the widespread ownership of firearms deters crime or makes it more deadly—or perhaps both—but the DGU estimates are not informative in this regard.

Librarian
May 2, 2008, 01:44 AM
Cook and Ludwig did not like their results, so invoked some hand waving to try to make them go away.

They are particularly concerned with the effects of 'false positive' reports from respondents, and they go into a lot of detail describing, accurately, the distortion of the results some number of 'false positives' would provide.

What they do not establish is whether there actually were 'false positives' in either NSPOF or Kleck & Gertz.

Kleck provides approximately this response in his 1997 Targeting Guns, Chapter 5 "Guns and Self Defense", at page 158 of the paperback edition.

csmkersh
May 2, 2008, 09:25 AM
Nor did anti-gunners Cook and Ludwig address the flip side of the coin, false negatives.

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