Help me refute this statement.


September 17, 2003, 08:05 PM
I am currently having a e-mail discussion with a canadian friend i have known for quite some time. Somehow we fell on the subject of firearms and firearm violence. Since he has never fired a firearm nor had any exposure besides what he has seen on the t.v. he is very anti-firearm. When we got into a discussion of micheal moore's work of fiction he responded with this.

alright then. what are the real statistics for guns vs. crimes committed with guns? you can actually DO the research, you should be able to tell me.

I've been trying to look around on-line to get some hard data such as statistics and real reports of the positive uses of firearms but cannot seem to find any. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could help point me in the right direction.

If you enjoyed reading about "Help me refute this statement." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Navy joe
September 17, 2003, 08:34 PM
Well, I don't know the statistic sites other than to say look for the Dept. of Justice uniform crime reports. I will say that there are over 80 million privately owned firearms in the U.S. and around 30,000 firearms deathes a year including accidents, suicide, justified shootings both LEO and standard folks, and criminal activity.

September 17, 2003, 08:36 PM
There exist gun and violence statistics out the ying-yang.

Start with and download a copy of GunFacts v3.2 (right sidebar halfway down in small print).

Then run a search on THR for "statistics"

Move over to the TFL ( ) and run a variety of searches.

Pick up a copy of John Lott's "More guns, less crime."

Buzz over to the FBI's "Uniform Crime Statistics"

Google "Department of Justice" and "assault weapons ban". The DOJ issued a report on the effectiveness of AWB I. (Hint: it is worthless)

I'm sure the ATF website will be helpful.

Cruise around the Center for Disease Control's website. Lots of good accident statistics compared with guns deaths. CDC is where you can shut down the 13-kids-a-day-die-from-guns argument. You'll also find 5 gal buckets and swimming pools are more dangerous than handguns.

Go to the various states which are shall issue CCH. They generally keep statistics on how dangerous CCH holders are. In my state (NC) the rate at which CCH licenses are revoked is less than 1%.

You should have no problem floating your Canadian friend in statistics.

September 17, 2003, 08:37 PM
People using guns for SD have the lowest rate of injury of any crime victim:

Art Eatman
September 17, 2003, 08:46 PM
1. Gary Kleck was (is?) a specialist in statistical analysis at Florida State University. At the time of his study, he was "a card-carrying member of the ACLU" (his words) and mildly anti-gun.

He did a telephone survey of some 8,000 people, by ZIP Codes and all that statistical scatter stuff. The inquiry concerned the use of any firearm in some sort of self defense situation. This could even have been a lie of "Go away, I have a gun."

He stated that at a minimum, such uses occur some 800,000 times per year. The upper limit could be as high as 2.5 million. He felt that "truth" lay somewhere in between. Say, 1.6 or 1.7 million time a year.

In the year his results were published--and they've stood the test of peer review--the federal crime statistics showed some 600,000 events where a firearm was used for intimidation or robbery or whatever.

2. Dr. John Lott's study, done while he was at the Univ of Chicago. He surveyed crime statistics for every--repeat, every--county in the U.S. Those counties with the least restrictions on firearms had the lowest crime rates. Most restrictions, highest crime rates.

There were many hostile efforts to discredit his work, but his statistical analyses passed the test of peer review.

3. Generally, in the U.S., the homicide rate via use of a handgun is some 25 to 30 percent of all homicides. (Roughly 13,000 out of some 50,000; varies.)

4. Analysis of the numbers at the federal Center for Disease Control shows that the homicide rate among White and Asian Americans is lower than the rate in western European countries. (4.0, compared to a range of 4.5 to 6.5 across the Atlantic) The homicide rate among Latins is higher, and the homicide rate among Blacks is a tragically high number. "Rate" is per 100,000 in the total population.

5. It is estimated that there are over 200 million privately owned firearms in the U.S. This number, per the BATFE, grows roughly five million per year.

6. The homicide rate has been steadily declining since the mid-1990s, from FBI or DOJ statistics. I think the high year was for handguns was around 17,000; last year or so, down to 13,000 or below.

Hokay. All this is from memory so I might be off by a little. But not by much.


September 17, 2003, 09:10 PM
"alright then. what are the real statistics for guns vs. crimes committed with guns? you can actually DO the research, you should be able to tell me."

One of my favorite topics.

The U.S. is the thrid most populous country in the world with about 280,000,000 (that is 280 million people) Last estimate is that we have around 245 million firearms.

In 2002, 63% of the 15,980 murders, or 10,000, were committed with firearms. So if we 'assume' that each of the 10,000 murders were committed with a different firearm, which is NOT true, we find an incidence of less the .005% of the firearms were used in murders. THAT IS LESS THAN 5 THOUSANDTHS OF A PERCENT. You want to convince me that GUNS are a problem? NOT EVEN CLOSE with that low a level of misuse.

In the 5.3 million VIOLENT crimes committed, firearms were used in less than 7% of those crimes, 353,880 crimes. That is still just a little over one tenth of one percent (.1%+) of all firearms misused, again assuming that every crime was committed with a unique firearm which is not the case.

According to The International Crime Victimization Survey which was conducted by Leiden University in Holland and published by the Dutch justice ministry in 2000, the U.S. is strictly middle of the road. In fact in violent crime nor in overal victimization we don't even rank in the top ten countries, BUT CANADA DOES!!!! Remember that these figures are calculated correctly for the RATE of crime based on crimes per, say, 100,00 population. Of course the U.S. has more crimes in overall numbers, but we would expect that since we have 10 times the population of Canada, or whatever it is. The full article can be read here:

Now where is the problem? In the U.S., according to the US DOJ, members of the black race are disporportionally represented in per capita comparisons of people committing murder. I do not believe that it is based on the persons skin color, but rather their socio-economic background because blacks are OVER represented at lower income levels. The DOJ does not offer a breakdown on economic standing, but they do have it broken down by race. SInce 1980 the incidence of whites committing murder has been on a steady decline while blacks, who only make up about 10% of the overall population, committed 7 times more likely to commit a homicide than a white person and that level was 10 times more likely in 1980 and from 1990 to 1995.

Tell your buddy from Canada that we would have a much greater success in lowering our murder and violent crime rate by incarcerating all black people in the U.S. than by banning firearms ownership, but that is not a viable alternative in a republic. Were we a true democracy that would be a possibility, but as I stated earlier it is probably an economic issue rather than one of skin color, so locking up all people below a certain income level or on welfare would have the greatest impact.

September 17, 2003, 09:12 PM
You can take a look at , for a couple of helpful links. As a Canadian myself, I find it easier to get people to start THINKING about the issue, and they'll come around when the facts hit them in the face. For an example, if they say "Guns are the reason why the US's murder rate is so high", ask them why the US's NON-GUN murder rate is as high as it is. (Even if you could magically eliminate each and every last gun-related murder in the US, the remaining stabbings, beatings, stranglings, arsons, etc. still result in a higher TOTAL murder rate than Canada's, INCLUDING gun-related murders.) Since they can't claim that Americans stomp, stab, beat, or kick each other to death more often than Canadians do because Americans have more arms and/or legs, they have to admit that there are SOCIAL FACTORS at work here. Next, you might ask why a relatively tiny part of the US population is committing such a large percentage of all US murders; "African Americans" make up ~12% of the US population, yet commit ~1/2 of all US murders, and even that isn't fair to most of that cohort. Most murders are committed by the 16-24-yr-old cohort, which can't possibly form more than 3-4% of the US population OR own more than 5% of all guns in the US, so why are they committing 50% of all murders? Get them to think about these questions, and they just might see the light.

September 18, 2003, 07:27 AM
Some excellent responses and some good reference listings.

May I suggest another

The hardest part of convincing someone of the utility of firearms is to get them to listen. Good luck


September 18, 2003, 09:29 AM
If you are looking for a real world count then none exist. Only crimes are reported and counted. The vast majority of gun usage where the gun actually prevented something is never reported to be counted. You will have to use statistical analysis to come up with figures which is no more than an educated guess. Now plenty of that data is floating around, but be forewarned that no hard data backs it up. Even the great pro-gun writers who are championing the good uses of a gun has no definative data to fully support their data (in other words not a true count with details of their projected numbers cited).

September 18, 2003, 09:46 AM
Here's a place to get actual numbers on deaths:

Run the numbers and you find that black males, who comprise less than 6% of the total population, account for 47% of victims murdered with firearms. Go to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report site:
and you find that about half of all people charged with murder who used firearms are black males.
This isn't a race thing, this is a statistics thing. When 6% of any population account for half of the occurences of anything, you can't conclude that that thing is a widespread problem for the other 94% of the population.

I just calls 'em like I sees 'em.

Incidently, white males account for about 80% of firearms suicides.

September 18, 2003, 10:04 AM
Also, try and look for archived articles about the UK or Australia and murder rates after repressive gun control laws have gone into effect.


September 18, 2003, 11:20 AM
I'm like the guy who begins a long involved joke and then can't remember the punchline...

But out there somewhere is a US/Canadian study showing that along the border where demographics are similar, there is no difference in violent crime rates.
Saskatchewan/North Dakota - same numbers of rapes, armed robberies, murders. Alberta/Montana, same, same. BC and Washington, same, same. Vancouver and Seattle, ditto.

Anyway, since the guy is a Canadian, this might be a particularly valuble study to find. I saw this over a year ago on another forum, but didn't save the links.

When demographics are taken into account, there is no difference between US and Canadian violent crime rates. There IS a difference in "gun crime" rates because Canadian thugs are more likely to beat or stab their victims - same percentage of victims, different tools.


September 18, 2003, 12:03 PM
Ok - here is study (not the one I referenced) done by the UN in 2000. It's still an excellent study to show that taking away guns is not a solution to crime.

I'll pull out some interesting tidbits, but the entire study can be found here:

...Overall victimisation

The ICVS allows an overall measure of victimisation which is the percentage of people victimised once or more in the previous year by any of the eleven crimes covered by the survey. This prevalence measure is a simple but robust indicator of overall proneness to crime. The countries fall into three bands.
Above 24% (victim of any crime in 1999): Australia, England and Wales, the Netherlands and Sweden
20%-24%: Canada, Scotland, Denmark, Poland, Belgium, France, and USA
Under 20%: Finland, Catalonia (Spain), Switzerland, Portugal, Japan and Northern Ireland.

Theft of personal property

Thefts of personal property will be heterogeneous in nature, but the highest risks were in Australia, Sweden, and Poland (about 5%-6% of people were victimised).
In roughly a third of thefts, the victim was carrying what was stolen - termed 'pickpocketing'. Risks of pickpocketing were most common in Poland (4%). Risks were also comparatively high in Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Catalonia, and England and Wales (about 2%). As previous sweeps have found, risks were lowest outside Europe: in Japan, Canada, and the USA.

Contact crime

An overall measure of contact crime was taken as robbery, assaults with force, and sexual assaults (against women only). The highest risks were in Australia, England and Wales, Canada, Scotland and Finland: over 3% were victims. This was more than double the level in USA, Belgium, Catalonia, Portugal, and Japan (all under 2%). In Japan the risk of contact crime was especially low (0.4%).

Sexual incidents

Two types of sexual incidents were measured: offensive sexual behaviour and sexual assault (i.e. incidents described as rape, attempted rape or indecent assaults). For all countries combined, just over one per cent of women reported offensive sexual behaviour. The level was half that for sexual assaults.
Women in Sweden, Finland, Australia and England and Wales were most at risk of sexual assault. Women in Japan, Northern Ireland, Poland and Portugal were least at risk. Many of the differences in sexual assault risks across country were small. Generally, the relative level of sexual assault in different countries accorded with relative levels of offensive sexual behaviour - though there were a few differences.
Women know the offender(s) in about half of the all sexual incidents: in a third they were known by name, and in about a sixth by sight. (More assaults involved offenders known by name than did incidents of offensive sexual behaviour.) Most sexual incidents involved only one offender. Weapons were very rarely involved.

Assaults and threats

Taking all countries together, 3.5% were victims once or more of assaults or threats in 1999. Risks were highest in Australia, Scotland, England and Wales (about 6%) and Canada (5%). Risks were lowest in Japan, Portugal, (under 1%) and Catalonia (1.5%).
Offenders were known in about half the incidents overall. Men were less likely to know offenders than women. Weapons (especially knifes) were said to have been used (if only as a threat) in just under a quarter of incidents.

Trends in crime

Generally speaking, the ICVS suggests that crime rose between 1988 and 1991, stabilised of fell in 1995, then fell back more in 1999. This is the dominant pattern in many individual countries.
The picture in North America differs from that in Europe. Crime levels are lower than in 1988. In the three European countries with four ICVS measures (England and Wales, Finland, and the Netherlands), crime levels are still higher than in 1988. Compared to 1991, risks also fell more in North America than in five of the seven European countries showing falls.
Since 1995, there has been more consistent falls in property crime. Changes in violent crime are variable.

September 18, 2003, 12:06 PM
Some interesting stats can be looked up here:

September 18, 2003, 12:15 PM

Get the v3.3 .pdf file, then peruse the other offerings.

September 18, 2003, 01:47 PM
Another vote for Gun Facts V3.2. It contains a lot of info and you can download it and e-mail it to your friend.



September 18, 2003, 02:50 PM
I'm curious: does your Canadian friend like Mr. Moore's work?


September 18, 2003, 04:02 PM
Sad to say, my son-in-law is a huge Michael Moore fan. Hard for me to swallow since I've taken him skeet shooting and he loves it.

Anyway, as mentioned above, the big statistical problem is the flip-side is not usually reported, how often does a privately owned gun save someone? Seems to me that anyone knocking guns based on murder stats has to at least balance each murder against each life saved or major assault prevented.

Isn't it strange how the same "common sense" thinking we use to say there's nothing wrong with guns is the same reasoning given by many anti's? How many times do we hear 'guns are obviously bad and how could anyone think we're not better off without them?' There's just no meeting-of-the-minds that'll happen there.

September 18, 2003, 05:05 PM
Quite possibly.

I pray he never finds himself in a situation where he would 'see the light.'

Perhaps a way to pursue it with him would be to try a different tack: suggest he work as a volunteer Victim's Advocate, if such is available.

The volitionally disenfranchised and enthusiastically disarmed are a mystery.


September 18, 2003, 08:31 PM
Keith, that was the study that I referenced in my post. It was The International Crime Victimization Survey which was conducted by Leiden University in Holland and published by the Dutch justice ministry in 2000, not by the U.N.

Actually if you read the article from the U.K. it is much easier to understand since they compiled much of the data into charts. At least it is easier for me.

September 18, 2003, 09:23 PM
The real problem is:

If someone comes to the door, and grandma says "go away, or Butch, my 12 gauge shotgun will show you what a hole in your stomach looks like." scares someone off, she doesn't call the cops.. She goes back to sleep.. The criminal isn't going to report the incident..

And so for every reported deterrent of a crime, there are dozens that are unreported..

That's the problem..

But who cares about statistics when your life is on the line?

You have a 1 in 18,000,000 chance of being struck by lightning. So what? As the people who have.. They are 100%..

As far as guns, the real argument is:

If you are in danger, which will defend you better? A gun? Or calling 911 and waiting for the cops to come 30 minutes later?

Call Dominos Pizza, and call 911 and say, "I think there's someone at the door"... See which gets there faster..

And remember, dominos is 30 minutes or less, where as I've heard of 2 - 6 hours before the cops arrive..

Double Naught Spy
September 18, 2003, 10:54 PM
I don't get it. You want help refuting your Canadian friend's query for you to do research into gun violence?

Seriously, eatatjoes, some of your best sources for information will not be some of those stated here that are specifically gun-related. It is hard to put trust into studies done by groups that favor a particular bend. About three years ago, there was an article in one of the NRA magazines that was countering statements by one of the anti-gun groups. Both cited CDC data and came up with different numbers. Each had numbers that favored their own causes. So I went to the CDC web site and checked the numbers myself. First, I could not come up with the same numbers of either group using the data set both claimed proved their points. What I found was that the NRA's position was better supported based on the numbers I came up with, but the margin was NOTHING like what had been claimed and statistically was likely just random variation. What a mess.

Use some of the material as references to find sources that maybe aren't as biased. Gunfacts may have all you need, but I would be willing to guess that any errors or interpretations will favor Gunfacts' position. The same will hold true if you check MMM data. Jeff OTMG may have some of the more unique and less position-biased sources to look at for consideration.

September 18, 2003, 11:16 PM
i wasn't looking for a slant either way really. i just wanted to be pointed in the right direction for some hard statistics, as i was having no luck on my own. i appreciate those sources that do not seem to favor one side and have been looking into those more in depth than some of the other pro-gun sources. i also didn't word my original post as explicitly as i should have. one of the things that was originally said was "there is hardly any evidence showing the positive use of firearms by regular citizens. everyone knows that your chances of being shot in america is insanely high due to the continued proliferation of gun ownership."

Art Eatman
September 18, 2003, 11:42 PM
Well, Double Naught Spy, there's a reason I mentioned Kleck's background, and the use of the CDC as a source. Any essentially anti-gun entity whose data supports our views seems good, to me.

Example: The anti-gun folks speak of the large numbers of children who are killed by the misuse of firearms, implying multitudes of "accidental" deaths. Yet, the CDC data shows how very few who are less than fourteen years old are killed via misuse of firearms at all, much less in accidents.

When an anti-gun arm of the federal government provides data which is supportive of us, why not leap all over it? It's a source of the ethnic breakdown of homicides, for instance; maybe the only one. And you sure can't accuse it of being a mouthpiece of the NRA!

The authors of "Under The Gun", Wright, Rossi and Daly, say in the afterword that they began their study as either neutral on guns in general, or mildly antigun. Statisticians, their conclusions support our views of gun control laws.


September 19, 2003, 03:34 AM
email exchanges with anti's.
when you prove your point with
irrefutable scientific evidence the eyes
glaze over and they bleat
"but,but,but guns kill people,if we didn't have any
less people would die"

I have gotten tired of the debate over which came first
the chicken or the egg.
I just tell them I am sick of handing over my rights.
you don't need a permit to go to your church or not go.
you do not need a permit to write a letter to the paper or
your senator.
I am sick to death about giving up my rights and will never vote for
sick lowlife jerks that steal them.
I pray the day come when we can stick the licenses and permits up the nose of the idiots who vote for them.
I pray they will all move to Cuba or China since they seem to think that system works better:barf: : :banghead: :banghead: :mad: :fire:

If you enjoyed reading about "Help me refute this statement." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!