"guns stop crime X million times per year"


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Skribs
May 22, 2012, 01:08 PM
Regarding the statistic in the subject line, that guns are used so many million times in self defense or to prevent crime, what exactly qualifies as "used" in the subject line? Does it include:

-People who drew (whether or not they fired) and the bad guy stopped the attack?
-Times when the bad guy knew there would be a gun involved (open carry, sign on the door saying "survivors will be shot again", etc.) and chose a different target
-Times when a bad guy thought there might be a gun involved and decided to do something less reckless

Or of course anything else I'm missing. I just was curious at how that statistic came about.

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TennJed
May 22, 2012, 03:57 PM
Regarding the statistic in the subject line, that guns are used so many million times in self defense or to prevent crime, what exactly qualifies as "used" in the subject line? just was curious at how that statistic came about.
Do you have a link or can you provide more info on where you got that stat?

Skribs
May 22, 2012, 04:09 PM
Seen it several times in articles and on this forum.

Flopsweat
May 22, 2012, 04:14 PM
What Jed said. Or buy yourself a copy of More Guns Less Crime by John R. Lott, Jr.
ISBN-13 987-0-226-49366-4
ISBN-10 0-266-49366-0

Fascinating book, and it addresses your question very well.

P5 Guy
May 22, 2012, 04:46 PM
Study of firearms used to prevent crime. University of Miami.

brickeyee
May 22, 2012, 05:55 PM
Get a copy of Kleck and read it.

Skribs
May 22, 2012, 06:13 PM
I'm not asking for the whole story, just what constitutes "used in self defense" or "used to stop crime" (like I said, seen it several places). Is it where the gun is actually used (drawn or fired), where the knowledge of a gun (holstered or secured) disuaded the criminal, or where the possibility of a gun (he might have one) make the criminal stop and think.

JellyJar
May 22, 2012, 06:24 PM
IIRC Kleck in his 1995 study defined "Defense gun use" ( DGU ) as either the shooting of or at a BG or in someway referring or showing a gun to scare off a BG.

Did not include instances where BGs decided to not attempt a crime because they knew or suspected that someone had a gun.

Skribs
May 22, 2012, 06:30 PM
And its still millions of times per year? That's a lot!

JellyJar, @ your sig, if you lived in Missouri, you could say "I live in Missouri, not Misery." It would only work in text, though, spoken it would just confuse people.

1911Tuner
May 22, 2012, 06:32 PM
I'm not asking for the whole story, just what constitutes "used in self defense" or "used to stop crime"

Claimed numbers aside, I'd have to say that the presence of a gun...whether fired or not, or even drawn or not...that prevents a crime from being committed, then it counts.

I'd even go so far as to say that the possibility of a gun being available that causes the would-be criminal to rethink his options would factor into the stats even though those numbers would be difficult to verify.

As Heinlen noted: "An armed society is a polite society."

Loosedhorse
May 22, 2012, 06:49 PM
for an incident to be treated as a genuine DGU: (1) the incident involved defensive action against a human rather than an animal, but not in connection with police, military, or security guard duties; (2) the incident involved actual contact with a person, rather than merely investigating suspicious circumstances, etc.; (3) the defender could state a specific crime which he thought was being committed at the time of the incident; (4) the gun was actually used in some way--at a minimum it had to be used as part of a threat against a person, either by verbally referring to the gun (e.g., "get away--I've got a gun") or by pointing it at an adversary.

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

Furncliff
May 22, 2012, 07:25 PM
Tuner said " I'd even go so far as to say that the possibility of a gun being available that causes the would-be criminal to rethink his options would factor into the stats "

I thought of Kenesaw, Ga. and the mandatory gun law they have. Their low crime stats would support what Tuner said.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/04/18/us-usa-crime-shooting-town-idUSN1719257620070418

Powerglide
May 22, 2012, 11:14 PM
I know I'm afraid of getting shot, and they never asked me.So, they're off a hair I guess.

Warp
May 23, 2012, 12:41 AM
Regarding the statistic in the subject line, that guns are used so many million times in self defense or to prevent crime, what exactly qualifies as "used" in the subject line? Does it include:

-People who drew (whether or not they fired) and the bad guy stopped the attack?
-Times when the bad guy knew there would be a gun involved (open carry, sign on the door saying "survivors will be shot again", etc.) and chose a different target
-Times when a bad guy thought there might be a gun involved and decided to do something less reckless

Or of course anything else I'm missing. I just was curious at how that statistic came about.

Depends on who you ask.

I generally think of a DGU as discussed by John Lott

denton
May 23, 2012, 01:01 AM
Best statistics I can find say that if you are attacked, and pull out a firearm, 93% of the time your attacker will flee. So I suppose that most DGUs do not involve firing a weapon. It also means that having a cartridge with adequate stopping power only matters 7% of the time. Even so, I really like my snubby 41 Mag.

Twmaster
May 23, 2012, 01:09 AM
This study by the Cato Institute "Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens" Was published very recently and suggests something like 2 million crimes per year are stopped or prevented by armed citizens.

http://www.cato.org/store/reports/tough-targets-when-criminals-face-armed-resistance-citizens

There was a thread on this report but I cannot find it right now. My search fu is weak today.

Frank Ettin
May 23, 2012, 01:16 AM
Here's a useful resource: http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdguse.html.

At this link you will find a brief description of various studies as well as links to the full texts of a number of studies. It includes links to the Kleck study and critiques of the Kleck study.

The_Next_Generation
May 23, 2012, 03:37 AM
I've posted this link several times, but here ya' go..the JustFacts page on guns is AMAZING:

http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

MedWheeler
May 23, 2012, 07:50 AM
Best statistics I can find say that if you are attacked, and pull out a firearm, 93% of the time your attacker will flee. So I suppose that most DGUs do not involve firing a weapon. It also means that having a cartridge with adequate stopping power only matters 7% of the time.

Of that remaining 7 percent of cases, how many resulted in the attacker actually being shot? In many of them, shots are fired, but no one is hit, and the attacker then flees or surrenders. Then, in many of the yet-remaining cases, shots are fired, the attacker is hit but not disabled, and then chooses to flee or surrender (regardless of the caliber used.)
And, of course, you have those cases in which the attacker is shot, and is immediately disabled or killed. leaving impossible any speculation as to whether or not he would have continued his attack after being fired on had he survived.
So, is it strategically important to carry a gun chambered in an "effective" caliber if carrying a gun at all? I certainly believe so. However, I can find few, if any, cases of defensive uses of firearms by law-abiding citizens against random attackers in which the caliber used can be proven to have made the difference in whether or not the threat was actually stopped.
Sure, many attackers have been killed or otherwise neutralized by "effective" calibers, but there isn't really any way to know if those attackers would have surrendered, fled, been neutralized, or otherwise ceased to be a threat if "lesser" calibers had been used.

Double Naught Spy
May 23, 2012, 10:23 AM
Claimed numbers aside, I'd have to say that the presence of a gun...whether fired or not, or even drawn or not...that prevents a crime from being committed, then it counts.

I'd even go so far as to say that the possibility of a gun being available that causes the would-be criminal to rethink his options would factor into the stats even though those numbers would be difficult to verify.

That fits with the notion of "more guns less crime" but the problem there is that more guns don't reduce crime and don't reduce violent crime, not at the community, state, or regional level. Guns do increase the capability of people with guns to protect themselves, however, and that is that real statistic that matters.

As Heinlen noted: "An armed society is a polite society."

I would hardly want to base my carry decision on an out of context catch phrase from a fictional book about a utopian society that has never existed, especially when the phrase is extended to be more contextually complete...
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.

Who would want to live their life in fear that if they said something that was found to be offensive by another that they might have to back up that statement with a gun? The offended person may take societally-justified actions to terminate the offender's life via a duel? Dueling, which can obviously result in death, is hardly a reasonable manner in which to handle simple transgressions of manners. It is barbaric. Of course if we lived in Heinlen's society right now, you likely would be challenging me to a duel.

In reality, being armed doesn't make society more polite. Think Somalia.

So no, an armed society does not make for a polite society and even if it did, it would mean living in constant fear of being killed as the result of something as simple as misspoken words could trigger the event that ends your life.

Heinlen's work is a work of fiction, sci-fiction of the day, and the parameters of his society and how well it works are equally fictional.

Sport45
May 23, 2012, 11:08 AM
"guns stop crime X million times per year"

If guns don't cause crime, how can we say they stop crime? Fact is, they don't. Good people stop crimes using the best means available to them.

Skribs
May 23, 2012, 12:27 PM
Sport, it was an abridged version so the subject wasn't extremely long. "Guns are used to stop crime X million times per year" is what I meant, and the articles refer to defensive gun use.

However, the mere presence of a gun doesn't cause a crime. If the attacker decides to choose a different target because he realizes the guy has/might have a gun, then the gun wasn't specifically used, but its mere presence did stop a potential crime from happening.

kb58
May 23, 2012, 12:45 PM
I would hardly want to base my carry decision on an out of context catch phrase from a fictional book about a utopian society that has never existed,
Well put. I refrain from commenting on many signatures here that take snippets from history that are presented as justification for gun-ownership. I'm fine with the gun part, I just cringe at how some - in effect - rewrite history to support their desired take on matters. If you research some of the quotes used to support gun-rights, they're either taken out of context or specific words are removed or changed to bend the quote to what's desired. Gun-ownership isn't a religion... well maybe it is, but we shouldn't have to stoop to creating "facts" on which to base it. I'll sit down now.

GEM
May 23, 2012, 01:09 PM
Just for context, Heinleins' society in the book of the quote was a genetically based close to tyranny. People were discriminated against based on such classifications. Women were seen as inferior. The hero, in fact, was thinking about giving up OC as he thought the honor culture was stupid. He later decided not to.

Wasn't a pleasant place with shoot outs over spilled soup in high end restaurants?

As Frank mentions, Kleck and Lott are controversial - even among progun scholars due to methodological issues. Kleck seems better grounded than Lott, though.

If you quote each, better be sure you know this literature as a well read anti could give you much trouble.

Low end estimates by antis are about 100K a year but methodology to determine this stinks.



Heilein had some strange ideas to be an icon of social values.

Frank Ettin
May 23, 2012, 03:28 PM
...I'm fine with the gun part, I just cringe at how some - in effect - rewrite history to support their desired take on matters. If you research some of the quotes used to support gun-rights, they're either taken out of context or specific words are removed or changed to bend the quote to what's desired. ...we shouldn't have to stoop to creating "facts" on which to base it. I'll sit down now...... Kleck and Lott are controversial - even among progun scholars due to methodological issues. ...

If you quote each, better be sure you know this literature as a well read anti could give you much trouble...

We need to be very careful about making claims that we can't substantiate. Claims which can be shown to be suspect will hurt us. It's vital to our interests that we establish and maintain the highest levels of credibility.

For example, it's fashionable in the gun world to link declining crime rates to an armed citizenry. But correlation does not prove causation.

In NYC, beginning in 1990, the crime rate dropped precipitously. Murders were reduced by two-third, felonies fell by 50%; and by 2000, felonies on the subways had declined 75% (The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell, Back Bay Books, 2002, pg. 137). The RKBA and liberalized right to carry laws certainly had nothing to do with that.

What we can substantiate by collecting data on successful defensive gun use, especially published accounts, is that there are many ordinary people who have been able to avoid becoming victims of violent crime because they did have guns.

1911Tuner
May 23, 2012, 08:12 PM
I would hardly want to base my carry decision on an out of context catch phrase from a fictional book about a utopian society that has never existed, especially when the phrase is extended to be more contextually complete...

Well...Nobody's expectin' ya to. I tossed that quote in for effect, but it's been observed that the appearance of a shotgun very often has a certain calming effect on a crowd of restless natives, no? I even witnessed it once. Everybody suddenly got real peaceful-like and there wasn't one in the crowd who wanted to test the resolve of the man holdin' it...and it was a single-shot.

Librarian
May 24, 2012, 05:13 AM
Kleck and Lott are controversial - even among progun scholars due to methodological issues.

Aside from Phillip Cook and Jens Ludwig, whose NSPOA study reached the same conclusion and used the same methodology, who feels Kleck has methodological issues?

Warp
May 24, 2012, 01:07 PM
Aside from Phillip Cook and Jens Ludwig, whose NSPOA study reached the same conclusion and used the same methodology, who feels Kleck has methodological issues?
I, too, an curious to hear this.

Jeff White
May 24, 2012, 01:43 PM
Aside from Phillip Cook and Jens Ludwig, whose NSPOA study reached the same conclusion and used the same methodology, who feels Kleck has methodological issues?

I do! A few years back we had a long discussion of this. A search should find the thread. Kleck's methodolgy considered incidents where there was no proof that a crime was actually about to be committed as stopped by the presence of a firearm. For example, if someone reported they heard a noise in the yard and after arming themselves they didn't hear it anymore, he counted that as a crime prevented. I'm sorry I can't accept that methodolgy. There are links to where he admitted this methodolgy in radio interviews in the other thread. You can't claim the presence of the firearm stopped the crime if you can't even prove there was going to be a crime.

Propaganda by ourside is just as disgusting as propaganda by the antis.

JustinJ
May 24, 2012, 01:48 PM
Propaganda by ourside is just as disgusting as propaganda by the antis.

Amen! I just wish more held this view. I don't like the idea that we should sacrifice our integrity for our gun rights.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 01:49 PM
I do! A few years back we had a long discussion of this. A search should find the thread. Kleck's methodolgy considered incidents where there was no proof that a crime was actually about to be committed as stopped by the presence of a firearm. For example, if someone reported they heard a noise in the yard and after arming themselves they didn't hear it anymore, he counted that as a crime prevented. I'm sorry I can't accept that methodolgy. There are links to where he admitted this methodolgy in radio interviews in the other thread. You can't claim the presence of the firearm stopped the crime if you can't even prove there was going to be a crime.

Propaganda by ourside is just as disgusting as propaganda by the antis.
That does sound like it would generate some fairly useless data.

Loosedhorse
May 24, 2012, 02:30 PM
Aside from Phillip Cook and Jens Ludwig, whose NSPOA study reached the same conclusion and used the same methodology, who feels Kleck has methodological issues? A pretty good run-down of the opposing views is found here: http://professorronaldgcorwin.com/id17.html

One the studies he cites is the National Research Council's “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review” (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10881&page=6), and it concludes in part:Over the past decade, a number of researchers have conducted studies to measure the prevalence of defensive gun use in the population. However, disagreement over the definition of defensive gun use and uncertainty over the accuracy of survey responses to sensitive questions and the methods of data collection have resulted in estimated prevalence rates that differ by a factor of 20 or more. These differences in the estimated prevalence rates indicate either that each survey is measuring something different or that some or most of them are in error.

For anyone who wants to review Kleck's methodology, please see the link in my earlier post.

Librarian
May 24, 2012, 05:17 PM
Corwin dislikes Kleck but likes Kellerman?
The more scientifically sound studies, such as Kellermannís, show that people are many times more likely to be harmed by their own guns than to use guns to harm intruders. This causes me to seriously question his judgement.

This part is true:But do guns increase personal safety or increase the odds that a family fight or a drinking binge will turn deadly?

There is no conclusive answer to this question, according to an exhaustive 2004 analysis of credible studies by the National Research Council.

Cook/Ludwig (https://www.ncjrs.gov/txtfiles/165476.txt), however The NSPOF survey is quite similar to the Kleck and
Gertz instrument and provides a basis for
replicating their estimate. Each of the respondents
in the NSPOF was asked the question, "Within the
past 12 months, have you yourself used a gun, even
if it was not fired, to protect yourself or someone
else, or for the protection of property at home,
work, or elsewhere?" Answers in the affirmative
were followed with "How many different times did
you use a gun, even if it was not fired, to protect
yourself or property in the past 12 months?"
Negative answers to the first DGU question were
followed by "Have you ever used a gun to defend
yourself or someone else?" (emphasis in original).
Each respondent who answered yes to either of these
DGU questions was asked a sequence of 30 additional
questions concerning the most recent defensive gun
use in which the respondent was involved, including
the respondent's actions with the gun, the location
and other circumstances of the incident, and the
respondent's relationship to the perpetrator.

Forty-five respondents reported a defensive gun use
in 1994 against a person (exhibit 7). Given the
sampling weights, these respondents constitute 1.6
percent of the sample and represent 3.1 million
adults. Almost half of these respondents reported
multiple DGUs during 1994, which provides the basis
for estimating the 1994 DGU incidence at 23
million. This surprising figure is caused in part
by a few respondents reporting large numbers of
defensive gun uses during the year; for example,
one woman reported 52!

A somewhat more conservative NSPOF estimate is
shown in the column of exhibit 7 that reflects the
application of the criteria used by Kleck and Gertz
to identify "genuine" defensive gun uses.
Respondents were excluded on the basis of the most
recent DGU description for any of the following
reasons: the respondent did not see a perpetrator;
the respondent could not state a specific crime
that was involved in the incident; or the
respondent did not actually display the gun or
mention it to the perpetrator.

Applying those restrictions leaves 19 NSPOF
respondents (0.8 percent of the sample),
representing 1.5 million defensive users. This
estimate is directly comparable to the well-known
estimate of Kleck and Gertz, shown in the last
column of exhibit 7. While the NSPOF estimate is
smaller, it is statistically plausible that the
difference is due to sampling error. Inclusion of
multiple DGUs reported by half of the 19 NSPOF
respondents increases the estimate to 4.7 million
DGUs.
I don't see lack of caution in Kleck/Gertz when even anti-gun researchers note their attempt to identify '"genuine" defensive gun uses'.

JustinJ
May 24, 2012, 06:01 PM
Corwin dislikes Kleck but likes Kellerman?

Quote:
The more scientifically sound studies, such as Kellermann’s, show that people are many times more likely to be harmed by their own guns than to use guns to harm intruders.

This causes me to seriously question his judgement.

I believe this is true. The wording is "harm" intruders with the gun. The counter arguement is generally that those numbers dont' account for criminals scared off or detered by a gun but regardless the sentence still holds true or did when the data was collected.

P5 Guy
May 24, 2012, 06:17 PM
Wright & Rossi did a survey of convicted felons in prison on their experiences with armed victims in the mid 80s.

JustinJ
May 24, 2012, 06:24 PM
Ask the Convicted?

Wright & Rossi did a survey of convicted felons in prison on their experiences with armed victims in the mid 80s.

I've been intending to read this because i'm quite curious about their methodology. Were the criminals detered by guns of innocent citizens or by guns owned and carried by other criminals such as in gang conflict, drug wars, etc. Choosing not to rob a house because the home owner might have a gun is differnt than not attacking a rival gang member because he has a gun.

Hasn't the study also been used by the other side to argue concealed carry encourages criminals to carry guns?

P5 Guy
May 24, 2012, 06:28 PM
It has been awhile since I read that survey.
The questioning went on the lines of how the criminal picked victims.

Skribs
May 24, 2012, 06:28 PM
Ironic that librarian posted the long answer. But it answered my question exactly. Defensive Gun use is when:
1) You can tell what crime was in the process of being commited
2) You saw the perpetrator
3) The perpetrator was aware of the weapon before he stopped his criminal act
4) The perpetrator stopped his criminal act

1.5 million times...that's still a lot.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 06:49 PM
Ironic that librarian posted the long answer. But it answered my question exactly. Defensive Gun use is when:
1) You can tell what crime was in the process of being commited
2) You saw the perpetrator
3) The perpetrator was aware of the weapon before he stopped his criminal act
4) The perpetrator stopped his criminal act

1.5 million times...that's still a lot.

I could see how #1 might be difficult for some people to quantify, depending on how exactly the question was asked. What I am wondering...say you have a carrier at a gas station, the carrier is using an OWB holster covered by a jacket. He notices a couple of guys scoping him out from the corner of the lot. One of them approaches, and asks for a light or a cigarette or what have you, while the other one circles nonchalantly. The carrier moves so that his jacket is caught in the breeze, exposing his pistol to view. The guy asking the questions pauses, looks at his buddy, and turns around.

*A picture is worth 1,000 words and I left out tons of details that would be noticed if you were present, pretend the scenario is one that would set off all kinds of alarm bells and red flags if you were the carrier.*

Would that carrier define the specific crime he felt was about to happen?

If not, is it reasonable to believe that in a certain percentage of instances such as this a crime was actually prevented?

Does it pass the 'reasonable' test to consider it as crime prevented?

I know this kind of thing is extremely difficult, if not impossible to quantify, especially if you were not present.

What do we do with incidents like that?

Jeff White
May 24, 2012, 07:58 PM
I could see how #1 might be difficult for some people to quantify, depending on how exactly the question was asked. What I am wondering...say you have a carrier at a gas station, the carrier is using an OWB holster covered by a jacket. He notices a couple of guys scoping him out from the corner of the lot. One of them approaches, and asks for a light or a cigarette or what have you, while the other one circles nonchalantly. The carrier moves so that his jacket is caught in the breeze, exposing his pistol to view. The guy asking the questions pauses, looks at his buddy, and turns around.

*A picture is worth 1,000 words and I left out tons of details that would be noticed if you were present, pretend the scenario is one that would set off all kinds of alarm bells and red flags if you were the carrier.*

Would that carrier define the specific crime he felt was about to happen?

If not, is it reasonable to believe that in a certain percentage of instances such as this a crime was actually prevented?

It might be but there is no way to know for sure how in how many instances there actually was a crime prevented and how many times it was just an innocent encounter.

Does it pass the 'reasonable' test to consider it as crime prevented?

No, we don't know what would have happened, we would be guessing at what would have happened and using our own personal biases to say that a crime was prevented when we have no way of knowing for sure. No better then what Kellerman did with his "research".

I know this kind of thing is extremely difficult, if not impossible to quantify, especially if you were not present.

What do we do with incidents like that?

We have no choice except to dismiss them out of hand. There is factual basis to say that the presence of a firearm stopped a crime, just a guess.

Propaganda is just that...doesn't matter which side it comes from.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 08:11 PM
I wouldn't go so far as to call that propaganda.

As you said, there is factual basis to say that the presence of a firearm stopped a crime. It is a difficult think to quantify and what you called that incident, and what method of reporting you required, would matter, but I challenge the notion that it would necessarily be bias or misleading.

Jeff White
May 24, 2012, 08:45 PM
Of course it's biased and misleading to report that as an example of defensive gun use. We have no clue what was really going on. It is our own personal bias towards the presence of a firearm stopping crime that leads us to believe that is what occurred when in fact we don't have a clue.

Someone with a bias towards people carrying guns make our society more dangerous could take the same vague encounter from the point of the man asking for a light and say that it was an example of the fear that laws permitting ordinary citizens to carry guns causes normal law abiding people to feel. This same vague incident viewed from the other side says: The streets aren't safe anymore because ordinary people pack heat. I am afraid to approach a stranger and ask the time or directions. I walked up to a guy and asked for a light and he flashed his pistol at me making me feel like he would shoot me.

Same vague incident, two diametrically opposed explanations of what occurred. We don't do our cause any favors when we stoop to the same tactics the antis use.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 09:03 PM
Of course it's biased and misleading to report that as an example of defensive gun use. We have no clue what was really going on. It is our own personal bias towards the presence of a firearm stopping crime that leads us to believe that is what occurred when in fact we don't have a clue.

Someone with a bias towards people carrying guns make our society more dangerous could take the same vague encounter from the point of the man asking for a light and say that it was an example of the fear that laws permitting ordinary citizens to carry guns causes normal law abiding people to feel. This same vague incident viewed from the other side says: The streets aren't safe anymore because ordinary people pack heat. I am afraid to approach a stranger and ask the time or directions. I walked up to a guy and asked for a light and he flashed his pistol at me making me feel like he would shoot me.

Same vague incident, two diametrically opposed explanations of what occurred. We don't do our cause any favors when we stoop to the same tactics the antis use.

I see where you are coming from, but are the only ways to interpret an incident like that from one or the other bias position?

And what would be the logic behind saying that the streets are no loner safe (implying that they were before) because people carry guns? Is there a statistic showing an increase in crime as a result of people carrying? Are licensed carriers committing crimes with their guns? Just because the other side can up with a baseless and bias counter argument, that doesn't mean it is valid.

Frank Ettin
May 24, 2012, 09:42 PM
...And what would be the logic behind saying that the streets are no loner safe (implying that they were before) because people carry guns? Is there a statistic showing an increase in crime as a result of people carrying? Are licensed carriers committing crimes with their guns? Just because the other side can up with a baseless and bias counter argument, that doesn't mean it is valid. The problem can be that in many ways the data is equivocal.

Remember correlation does not prove causation. And as I noted in post 25, there was a significant decrease in crime in NYC from 1990 to 2000, and of course private firearms had nothing to do with that.

To us, the anti's arguments are baseless and biased. To them, our arguments are baseless and biased. And when data is susceptible to different interpretations, we need to look for ways to test the possible interpretations -- not just pick the one that suits our interests.

Another thing we need to understand is that there really are a lot of people out there who are afraid of guns and people who have guns. And these people vote. What are we all doing to be good ambassadors for guns and gun owners -- and make people less afraid.

Here's a hint: some of the chest thumping, blood lust, invective, and disparagement we see on this and other forums doesn't help. Denigrating non-gun people as "sheeple" doesn't help. Referring to States having restrictive gun laws as "Nazi" or "Commie" doesn't help. These sorts of things just reinforce all the negative stereotypes non-gun people have about us. By all means, let's express our objections and vehement disagreements, but let's learn to do so in more professional ways.

Carl N. Brown
May 24, 2012, 10:41 PM
James D. Wright and Peter Rossi, "Armed and Considered Dangerous", (Aldine 1986, 2nd ed 2008, ISBN-13: 978-0202362427), US NIJ Felon Survey of 1,874 convicts who had committed armed crimes and were serving time in 18 prisons in 10 different states. A link to the author's summation: http://www.rkba.org/research/wright/armed-criminal.summary.html

Wright & Rossi were hired by the Carter Admnistration to investigate links between guns and violence in 1977 and published their first study in 1981 which became the book "Under the Gun" (Aldine 1983 1st ed). Wright, Rossi and Kleck are all noted for being political liberal, originally true believers in gun control until their research made them skeptical.

Propaganda is just that...doesn't matter which side it comes from.

It was not Kleck & Gertz who claimed "guns stop crime 2.4 million times per year"; they and the other defensive gun use surveyors do make the claim guns are used defensively from 108,000 to 4,700,000 times per year.

The Kleck and Gertz study was presented at the Guns and Violence Symposium at Northwestern University, School of Law, after being vetted around at several gatherings of criminologists for comment and criticism.

Kleck & Gertz gave their methodology and their data to academic peers for review and discussion. You don't do that if you are fabricating partisan propaganda.

Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of
Self-Defense with a Gun", 86 J. Crim. Law & Criminology 150 (1995)
aka National Self Defense Survey (NSDS) of 1994. A transcription in html has been posted at GunCite as http://www.guncite.com/gcdgklec.html but it is originally a peer reviewed academic article published in an established journal Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology,

It even sparked an article "A Tribute to a View I Have Opposed," by Marvin E. Wolfgang, starting on page 188 of the conference issue dedicated to the symposium. Wolfgang openly had declared "If I were Mustapha Mond of Brave New World, I would eliminate all guns from the civilian population and maybe even from the police. I hate guns--ugly, nasty instruments designed to kill people." He then went on to praise Kleck and Gertz for "methodologically sound research" in support of a view--that guns had significant defensive use--that he had formerly dismissed out of hand.

Kleck & Gertz (1995) also tabulates ten national level and three state level surveys on defensive gun use (DGU), all of which used slightly different methodologies, but which showed projections of 764,000 to 3,600,000 DGUs per year. Some were commissioned by pro-gun control groups, like the 1981 Peter D. Hart survey that projected 1.8 million DGUs. Which makes the Kleck & Gertz estimate of 2.4 million DGUs pretty middle-of-the-pack.

The Kleck 1994 National Self-Defense Survey asked everyone in the sample "Within the past five years, have you yourself or another member of your household used a gun, even if it was not fired, for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere? Please do not include military service, police work, or work as a security guard."

The question can be raised whether all threatening situations resulting in "defensive gun use" (DGU) in the surveys would be classed as a "crime" by the FBI UCR.

By the way, the NSPOF survey projected 1.5 million people using guns defensively 4.7 million times per year.

SleazyRider
May 24, 2012, 11:03 PM
For example, it's fashionable in the gun world to link declining crime rates to an armed citizenry. But correlation does not prove causation.

In NYC, beginning in 1990, the crime rate dropped precipitously. Murders were reduced by two-third, felonies fell by 50%; and by 2000, felonies on the subways had declined 75% (The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell, Back Bay Books, 2002, pg. 137). The RKBA and liberalized right to carry laws certainly had nothing to do with that.

What we can substantiate by collecting data on successful defensive gun use, especially published accounts, is that there are many ordinary people who have been able to avoid becoming victims of violent crime because they did have guns.


Precisely. I have privately attributed this drop in the crime rate to the proliferation of video cameras, webcams, surveillance cameras, and even cellphones.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 11:03 PM
Another thing we need to understand is that there really are a lot of people out there who are afraid of guns and people who have guns. And these people vote. What are we all doing to be good ambassadors for guns and gun owners -- and make people less afraid.


Mostly I open carry while looking like a good, reasonable, well mannered guy who is adequately well dressed, clean shaven and polite...who basically acts as though the gun isn't even there.

I believe this reminds people that regular people like myself, not in law enforcement and not criminals, can and do carry guns. Every now and then a great conversation with a stranger results. Often this is with somebody with whom I have a reason to interact, such as an employee for the business I am at, but now and again it is just some random person with questions.

Librarian
May 24, 2012, 11:35 PM
No irony - I really am trained as a librarian, and I went to grad school for my MLS because I like the work reference librarians do.

It's kind of bemusing to see this question coming back.

I'll offer a document that argues that none of it matters, in practice:

"More Statistics, Less Persuasion: A Cultural Theory of Gun-Risk Perceptions" (http://www.culturalcognition.net/browse-papers/more-statistics-less-persuasion-a-cultural-theory-of-gun-ris.html)

Jeff White
May 25, 2012, 01:34 AM
The Kleck 1994 National Self-Defense Survey asked everyone in the sample "Within the past five years, have you yourself or another member of your household used a gun, even if it was not fired, for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere? Please do not include military service, police work, or work as a security guard."

Very true, but it also counted instances where the person answering the survey never even was certain there was someone around to commit a crime. Arming yourself because you heard a bump in the night hardly counts as a defensive gun use in my book.

Peer reviewed or not, the definition of defensive gun use was so wide that the data has no value. And Kleck forgot to figure in the tendency of people to exaggerate and even lie about encounters they may or may not have had.

Not only would most of what Kleck accepted as a defensive gun use not fit the definition of a crime in the UCR, it would not most people's definition of a crime. Unidentified things that go bump in the night are not defensive gun use. They are unidentified things that go bump in the night. How many of Kleck's instances of defensive gun use were really the wind blowing a tree branch against the house, a raccoon knocking over trash cans. A house settling on it's foundation, A lost driver turning around in a driveway...and on and on and on????

The UCR has it's own problems, but you can't explain away the huge difference in numbers between crimes reported to the FBI for inclusion in the UCR and Kleck's numbers by saying that all those incidents were never reported.

Frank Ettin
May 25, 2012, 01:51 AM
Mostly I open carry while looking like a good, reasonable, well mannered guy who is adequately well dressed, clean shaven and polite...who basically acts as though the gun isn't even there.

I believe this reminds people that regular people like myself, not in law enforcement and not criminals, can and do carry guns....Yes, this is a common belief held by some people who carry openly. However, I've never seen any good evidence that it's the case.

To be sure, some people aren't bothered. But how can you be sure whether or not other people are bothered. It's entirely possible that to many people the mere fact that you are wearing a gun means that you're not a "regular person", no matter how well dressed or well groomed you are.

"By carrying openly I show that normal people carry guns", seems to be an article of faith; but good evidence seem to be lacking.

Open carry can be a convenient way to carry your gun, but I question its utility as a political stratagem.

Skribs
May 25, 2012, 01:56 AM
Jeff, I would argue that it is still defensive gun use. You didn't grab a stick of wrapping paper when you heard a bump in the night, you grabbed a gun to defend yourself from whatever bogeyman was out there. It was also defensive gun use with the intention of stopping crime. However, I agree that it was not a crime stopped by defensive gun use.

Frank, I think it depends on the person. Most people probably think you are just off-duty LEO.

Warp
May 25, 2012, 01:56 AM
Yes, this is a common belief held by some people who carry openly. However, I've never seen any good evidence that it's the case.

To be sure, some people aren't bothered. But how can you be sure whether or not other people are bothered. It's entirely possible that to many people the mere fact that you are wearing a gun means that you're not a "regular person", no matter how well dressed or well groomed you are.

"By carrying openly I show that normal people carry guns", seems to be an article of faith; but good evidence seem to be lacking.

Open carry can be a convenient way to carry your gun, but I question its utility as a political stratagem.
It works a lot better in states like Georgia than California, I imagine.

But, the question is...how would one find said evidence?

Frank Ettin
May 25, 2012, 02:14 AM
Frank, I think it depends on the person. Most people probably think you are just off-duty LEO.That's partly the point. One may reasonably expect a range of responses from, "Cool" to "Yawn" to "A nut with a gun; there ought to be a law." What the distribution is will decide whether openly carrying is politically helpful or politically harmful. But we can't know whether open carrying is doing any political good without having a better idea of that distribution. And the distribution will probably be different in different places at different times.

...But, the question is...how would one find said evidence? That's a real challenge. Some tools like properly conducted surveys or focus groups can be useful in measuring public opinion. But the flip side is that without the evidence, we really can't know whether open carry, from a political perspective, is good or bad.

That doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't be carrying openly if you find that a convenient way to wear your gun. But it does mean that you should not be assuming that carrying openly is a positive political act.

Warp
May 25, 2012, 02:23 AM
That's partly the point. One may reasonably expect a range of responses from, "Cool" to "Yawn" to "A nut with a gun; there ought to be a law." What the distribution is will decide whether openly carrying is politically helpful or politically harmful.

Even the distribution won't answer that question. The way I see it, all that matters is the impression left on the fence-sitters. Plenty of people will already have their mind made up for or against. That is not going to change, certainly not so quickly/simply. What matters is the impression/response from those who could yet be swayed either way. Even if 70% responded with "cool" it could possibly be nothing more than preaching to the choir. Same with the flip side.




That's a real challenge. Some tools like properly conducted surveys or focus groups can be useful in measuring public opinion. But the flip side is that without the evidence, we really can't know whether open carry, from a political perspective, is good or bad.

That doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't be carrying openly if you find that a convenient way to wear your gun. But it does mean that you should not be assuming that carrying openly is a positive political act.

I try not to think of it as a political act. I know that, unfortunately, our Rights and free exercise thereof (or not!) comes down to politics, but that's big picture. Small picture, the people at the mall at the time that I am there, I'm not trying to sway them to support any particular political party, politician, law, bill, etc...I am just trying to expose them to a person with a gun who is not acting in a LE or criminal capacity.

Frank Ettin
May 25, 2012, 02:44 AM
...The way I see it, all that matters is the impression left on the fence-sitters. Plenty of people will already have their mind made up for or against...Agreed. But you don't necessarily know what impression open carry, or some other activity, has on those fence sitters. And there may still be a range of reactions distributed across those fence sitters.

...Small picture, the people at the mall at the time that I am there, I'm not trying to sway them to support any particular political party, politician, law, bill, etc...I am just trying to expose them to a person with a gun who is not acting in a LE or criminal capacity. But you still don't know how they perceive that person with a gun not how that might influence the political choices they make.

Warp
May 25, 2012, 02:51 AM
But you still don't know how they perceive that person with a gun not how that might influence the political choices they make.

For most of them, no, I cannot know that.

But I think of it as information, or making people aware, and I almost always consider information and awareness to be a good thing, even if people of a different viewpoint than myself don't like the information. If they assume, for some reason, that I am off duty LE then it won't hurt our cause, if they think I am 'just a guy with a gun', well, that's what I am. They can make of that what they want. My opinion is that the balance will be positive. If not, well, at least they are drawing on actual reality when making that decision.

Jeff White
May 25, 2012, 09:28 AM
Jeff, I would argue that it is still defensive gun use. You didn't grab a stick of wrapping paper when you heard a bump in the night, you grabbed a gun to defend yourself from whatever bogeyman was out there. It was also defensive gun use with the intention of stopping crime. However, I agree that it was not a crime stopped by defensive gun use.

I think if you are going to count things that go bump in the night as defensive gun uses you have to count everyone who owns a gun for defensive purposes every day. The gun on your nightstand or under your bed does the same thing every day. And to me that is what makes the numbers invalid.

And we still haven't even addressed the fact that as a culture we tend to overstate and exaggerate incidents of self defense and defensive gun use.

denton
May 25, 2012, 12:31 PM
I live in a very gun friendly state, where in most areas an openly carried firearm would probably draw no attention at all.

But I often reflect on an incident posted on another board. A retired LEO was shopping at a grocery store with his granddaughter. As he bent over to pick up something on the bottom shelf, he accidentally partially exposed the firearm in the small of his back. A woman saw it and started screaming hysterically, "He's got a gun. He's got a gun."

Not connecting her screaming with his gun, he grabbed his granddaughter and took a defensive position at an empty checkout counter, gun drawn.

Of course the police were along very shortly. And they gave the hysterical woman a serious lecture on the disturbance she had caused.

If we carry concealed, usually nobody knows, and if they don't know, they don't care. It just avoids a lot of possible tension and (usually) prevents hysteria. Personally, if I see someone carrying a firearm, I feel more secure. But not everyone thinks that way.

Carl N. Brown
May 25, 2012, 05:11 PM
Sure the first question produced incidents where people grabbed a gun in response to a perceived threat. However:

Each interview began with a few general "throat-clearing"
questions about problems facing the R's community and crime. The
interviewers then asked the following question: "Within the past
five years, have you yourself or another member of your household
used a gun, even if it was not fired, for self-protection or for
the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere? Please do
not include military service, police work, or work as a security
guard." Rs who answered "yes" were then asked: "Was this to
protect against an animal or a person?" Rs who reported a DGU
against a person were asked: "How many incidents involving
defensive uses of guns against persons happened to members of
your household in the past five years?" and "Did this incident
[any of these incidents] happen in the past twelve months?" At
this point, Rs were asked "Was it you who used a gun defensively,
or did someone else in your household do this?"

Kleck & Gertz identified the critieria to seperate a "bump in the
night" from a "genuine" defensive gun use:

Questions about the details of DGU incidents permitted us to
establish whether a given DGU met all of the following
qualifications for an incident to be treated as a genuine DGU:
(1) the incident involved defensive action against a human rather
than an animal, but not in connection with police, military, or
security guard duties; (2) the incident involved actual contact
with a person, rather than merely investigating suspicious
circumstances, etc.; (3) the defender could state a specific
crime which he thought was being committed at the time of the
incident; (4) the gun was actually used in some way--at a minimum
it had to be used as part of a threat against a person, either by
verbally referring to the gun (e.g., "get away--I've got a gun")
or by pointing it at an adversary.

Kleck & Gertz themselves identified the questionable cases:
.... A case would be coded as questionable if even
just one of four problems appeared: (1) it was not clear whether
the R actually confronted any adversary he saw; (2) the R was a
police officer, member of the military or a security guard, and
thus might have been reporting, despite instructions, an incident
which occurred as part of his occupational duties; (3) the
interviewer did not properly record exactly what the R had done
with the gun, so it was possible that he had not used it in any
meaningful way; or (4) the R did not state or the interviewer
did not record a specific crime that the R thought was being
committed against him at the time of the incident. There were a
total of twenty-six cases where at least one of these problematic
indications was present. It should be emphasized that we do not
know that these cases were not genuine DGUs; we only mean to
indicate that we do not have as high a degree of confidence on
the matter as with the rest of the cases designated as DGUs.
Estimates using all of the DGU cases are labelled herein as "A"
estimates, while the more conservative estimates based only on
cases devoid of any problematic indications are labelled "B"
estimates.
The "A" estimates were 2,519,862 DGUs (one year recall) 1,884,348 (five yr.).
The "B" estimates were 2,163,519 DGUs (one year recall) 1,683,342 (five yr.).

NSDS

The idea that the 26 questionable cases out of 222 DGU
cases in a national survey sample of 4997 respondents
taints the whole study, when Kleck & Gertz gave estimates from
the 196 vetted cases as well as estimates from the 222 total,
just shows that some sources seize on the 26 questionable reports
(identified by K&G themselves) to dismiss the whole study.

And is it fair to question the integrity of Kleck & Gertz in view of the
results of the other surveys? The differences in these surveys simply
show DGU is an unsettled frontier of criminalogical research. I find it
interesting that since the "I don't want believe any good from guns"
crowd claimed that John Lott's 1997 survey never happened and
that his documented 2002 survey proved nothing new, none of the
nay-sayers have offered to conduct a refereed survey to uncover
the truth. If there have been DGU surveys since 2002 I have missed
them.

These DGU surveys show that there are significant numbers of DGU
especially when compared against the numbers of FBI UCR police
reports of crime, or even the NCVS victim surveys (which project
higher actual numbers of reported + unreported crime).

Summary of the thirteen surveys on DGU listed by Kleck & Gertz.


FREQUENCY OF DEFENSIVE GUN USE
from Kleck and Gertz 1995 Table 1 - Excluded -
Gun Recall Against By Mil
Survey: Year: Area: Sample: Type: Period: Animal: Police:

1. Field 1976 Calif. NiA Hgun [a] No Yes
2. Bordua 1977 Ill. NiA All Ever No No
3. Cambridge 1978 U.S. NiA Hgun Ever No No
4. DMIa 1978 U.S. RgV All Ever No Yes
5. DMIb 1978 U.S. RgV All Ever Yes Yes
6. Hart 1981 U.S. RgV Hgun 5 yr Yes Yes
7. Ohio 1982 Ohio Res Hgun Ever No No
8. Time/CNN 1989 U.S. Own All Ever No Yes
9. Mauser 1990 U.S. Res All 5 yrs. Yes Yes
10. Gallup 1991 U.S. NiA All Ever No No
11. Gallup 1993 U.S. NiA All Ever No Yes
12. L.A. Times 1994 U.S. NiA All Ever No Yes
13. Tarrance 1994 U.S. NiA All 5 yrs. Yes Yes



Defensive question % Who [b] Implied
Survey: Ask of: Ref to: Used: Fired: number DGUs:

1. Field All Rs R [a] 2.9 3,052,717
2. Bordua All Rs R 5.0 n.a. 1,414,544
3. Cambridge Hgun own R 18 12 n.a.
4. DMIa All Rs Hshld 15 6 2,141,512
5. DMIb All Rs Hshld 7 n.a. 1,098,409
6. Hart All Rs Hshld 4 n.a. 1,797,461
7. Ohio Hgun hshld R 6.5 2.6 771,043
8. Time/CNN Gun own Hshld n.a. 9-16[e] n.a.
9. Mauser All R 3.79 n.a. 1,487,342
10. Gallup hgun hshld R 8 n.a. 777,153
11. Gallup Gun own R 11 n.a. 1,621,377
12. L.A. Times All R 8[c] n.a. 3,609,682
13. Tarrance All Hshld 1/2[d] n.a. 764,036

ABBREV KEY: Own Gun owners
NiA Non-instititionalized Adult Hgun Handgun
RgV Register Voter R Respondent to survey
Res Resident Hshld Household


1. Field Institute, Tabulations of the Findings of a Study of
Handgun Ownership and Access Among a Cross Section of the
California Adult Public (1976).
2. David J. Bordua et al., Illinios Law Enforcement Commission,
Patterns of Firearms Ownership, Regulation and Use in
Illinios (1979).
3. Cambridge Reports, Inc., an Analysis of Public Attitudes Towards
Handgun Control (1978).
4. DMIa & 5. DMIb from DMI (Decision/Making/Information),
Attitudes of the American Electorate Toward Gun Control (1979).
6. Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Violence in America Survey
October 1981.
7. The Ohio Statistical Analysis Center, Ohio Citizen Attitudes
Concerning Crime and Criminal Justice (1982).
8. H. Quinley, Memorandum reporting results from Time/CNN Poll of Gun
Owners, dated Feb. 6, 1990 (1990).
9. Gary A. Mauser, Firearms and Self-defense: The Canadian Case,
Presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Society of
Criminology (Oct. 28, 1993).
10. Gallup Poll 1991,
11. Gallup Poll 1993,
12. L.A. Times poll, and
13. Tarrance poll. (10-13) were taken from a search of the
DIALOG Public Opinion online computer database.


Notes:
[a]. Field recall period: 1 yr, 2 yr and Ever; Use: 1.4%, 3% and 8.6%.
[b]. Estimated annual number of defensive uses of guns of all types
against humans, excluding uses connected with military or police
duties, after any necessary adjustments were made, for U.S., 1993.
Adjustments are explained in detail in Gary Kleck, "Guns and
Self-Defense", on file with the School of Criminology and Criminal
Justice, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 1994.
[c]. Covered only uses outside the home.
[d]. 1% of respondents, 2% of households.
[e]. 9% fired gun for self-protection, 7% used gun "to scare someone."
An unknown share of the latter could be defensive uses not
overlapping with the former.

As Kleck & Gertz 1995 pointed out, the sample selection (registered
voters, non-institutionaised adult, handgun owner, gun owner resident)
and the questions asked meant each one of these surveys was measuring
something different and they cannot be directly compared, especially
since the samples represent different years.

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

Jeff White
May 25, 2012, 05:22 PM
Kleck admitted in a radio interview that his survey counted incidents that were basically a bump in the night. There is a link to that interview in the other old thread.

His survey is slanted at least as heavily as anything Kellerman did. And it makes no allowances for the fact people routinely lie and exaggerate about their paricipation in incidents like this.

27 years law enforcement experience in a rural county with one of the highest crime rates for rural counties in Illinois has led me to be very skeptical of numbers like this.

Believe it if you want, but to me it's as flawed as Kellerman's work.

Warp
May 25, 2012, 05:31 PM
Kleck admitted in a radio interview that his survey counted incidents that were basically a bump in the night. There is a link to that interview in the other old thread.

His survey is slanted at least as heavily as anything Kellerman did. And it makes no allowances for the fact people routinely lie and exaggerate about their paricipation in incidents like this.

27 years law enforcement experience in a rural county with one of the highest crime rates for rural counties in Illinois has led me to be very skeptical of numbers like this.

Believe it if you want, but to me it's as flawed as Kellerman's work.

What do you say to this part of Carl N. Brown's post?


"The idea that the 26 questionable cases out of 222 DGU
cases in a national survey sample of 4997 respondents
taints the whole study, when Kleck & Gertz gave estimates from
the 196 vetted cases as well as estimates from the 222 total,
just shows that some sources seize on the 26 questionable reports
(identified by K&G themselves) to dismiss the whole study."

Jeff White
May 25, 2012, 07:14 PM
"The idea that the 26 questionable cases out of 222 DGU
cases in a national survey sample of 4997 respondents
taints the whole study, when Kleck & Gertz gave estimates from
the 196 vetted cases as well as estimates from the 222 total,
just shows that some sources seize on the 26 questionable reports
(identified by K&G themselves) to dismiss the whole study."

26 out of 222 is a pretty high percentage of questionable reports. How were the reports that they considered valid verified? No one knows. And then there is the problem of extrapolating 196 cases out of 4997 respondents and coming up with a huge nationwide number.

How was that number calculated? By the estimated number of guns in circulation and the population? That couldn't be right because guns are not evenly distributed through our society.

Then there is the problem of the location of the DGUs. Certain places in the country will naturally have higher instances then others.

At best this survey is bad guesswork and at worst it's propaganda.

Librarian
May 26, 2012, 03:04 AM
26 out of 222 is a pretty high percentage of questionable reports. How were the reports that they considered valid verified? No one knows. And then there is the problem of extrapolating 196 cases out of 4997 respondents and coming up with a huge nationwide number.


The nationwide number is explained by statistical sampling techniques; regrettably, they're not intuitive. This treatment -- http://stattrek.com/sample-size/simple-random-sample.aspx -- is pretty approachable. But I'm not at all an expert on statistics.

The original Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology article, at page 164 (in 1995, I found this interesting enough that I bought a hard copy; transcribing is not my regular thing, so I apologize for any errors)
The methods used to compute the Table 2 estimates are very simple and straightforward. Prevalence ("% Used") figures were computed by dividing weighted sample frequencies in the top two rows of numbers by the total weighted sample size of 4,977. The estimated number of persons or households who experienced a DGU, listed in the third and fourth rows, was then computed by multiplying these pervalence figures by the appropriate U.S. population base, age eighteen and over for person-based estimates, and the total number of households for household-based estimates. Finally, the estimated number of defensive uses was computed by multiplying the number of DGU-involved persons or households by the following estimates of the number of all-guns DGU incidents per DGU-involved person or household, using a past-five-years recall period .... Therefore, for all past-year estimates, and for past-five-years handgun estimates, it was necessary to assume that there was only one DGU per DGU-involved person or household.
...
P 166-167
With a sample size of 4,977, random sampling error of the estimates is small. For example, the all-guns prevalence percent used A estimates, with a 95% confidence interval, are plus or minus 0.32% for the past year, person; 0.35% for past year, household; 0.50% for past five years, person; and 0.54% for past 5 years, household. ...


The problem with focusing on the 26 is this: IF the reports are 'false positives', THEN the effects on the results would be as critics have described.

But the critics have not conclusively demonstrated that the 26, are, in fact, bad data.

There is no more justification for feeling 'some data might be bad, therefore the study might be bad' than there is for 'the data is probably all good, therefore the study is probably good'.

But to get a followup study (NSPOF) to calculate a very similar result, with a different data set and different researchers suggests that either both studies provide reasonable estimates, or that the entire telephone-survey 'thing' is broken.

Since Gallup and others keep making money on their telephone surveys, and businesses and governments allow themselves to be influenced by the results of those surveys, the rejection of that methodology does not seem the right course.

brickeyee
May 26, 2012, 04:27 PM
I do! A few years back we had a long discussion of this. A search should find the thread. Kleck's methodolgy considered incidents where there was no proof that a crime was actually about to be committed as stopped by the presence of a firearm. For example, if someone reported they heard a noise in the yard and after arming themselves they didn't hear it anymore, he counted that as a crime prevented. I'm sorry I can't accept that methodolgy. There are links to where he admitted this methodolgy in radio interviews in the other thread. You can't claim the presence of the firearm stopped the crime if you can't even prove there was going to be a crime.

And how many instances of this do you thikk are in the data?

Under your thinking NO STUDY of ANY type could probably be performed (including medical studies).

Metrics are established at the START and then applied uniformly.

If you engage in a lot of 'rule changing' the results quickly turn into a pile of garbage with NO reliability for ANYTHING.

The only time you alter metrics is when it appears something is so bad no useful data will result, not based on a few 'outliers.'

Better is often the enemy of 'good enough.'

There are probably vanishingly few studies that satisfy the investigator perfectly by the end.
That is NOT a reason to discard large amounts of data.

Since there is NO reliable method of predicting the future in events like this, under your argument it would not be possible to do ANYTHING.

Do criminals want to be shot?
Pretty unlikely.

Will the mere threat of being shot dissuade them?
It appears to commonly be that way.

Wil all the research, studies, and analysis in the world tell you what the next guy is going to do 100% accurately?

You can be pretty damn sure it cannot.

Librarian
May 26, 2012, 06:10 PM
Regarding the statistic in the subject line, that guns are used so many million times in self defense or to prevent crime,
I'll add that I do agree there is a difference between a 'defensive gun use' and 'preventing a crime'.

The studies usually focus on DGU; media accounts of the studies usually use the 'prevent a crime' language.

Jeff White
May 27, 2012, 12:39 PM
You can measure quantifiable things statistically. The problem is you can't measure defensive gun use because there is no way to quantify it and verify that it actually happened. People lie to telephone pollsters all the time. One just has to look at political polling and the actual results of elections. Polls are used to create news and influence people to think a certain way. You can skew the population you poll and you can skew the questions to get the poll to show anything you want it to.

When it comes to defensive gun use, unless there are some verifiable facts, a police report or some other quantifiable documentation....it never happened. People lie. People lie about their involvement in incidents to boost their ego or make themselves look good in front of others. They also often give the politically correct answer to pollsters, even if it is diametrically opposed to their own views.

You all can believe in Kleck's and Lott's work if you must. But ask yourself if you believe because the results confirm your own personal views or if you believe because these studies are factually based?

If you accept Kleck's and Lott's methodology then you have to accept Kellerman's too. In truth there is very little factual evidence in any of them.

brickeyee
May 27, 2012, 03:10 PM
When it comes to defensive gun use, unless there are some verifiable facts, a police report or some other quantifiable documentation....it never happened.

Ad that means that no research of this type can EVERY be performed.

How do you propose to measure incidents that NEVER involved the police?

Pretend that every time any person displays a gun the are going to run the risk of THEN call the police and being charged with brandishing?

Get real.

You are the ultimate example of better (or even perfect) being the enemy of god enough (or even possible).

And as noted, Kleck even ran his numbers with and without the data points in question.

Or do you just want to pretend nothing is happening?:banghead:

now you understand why there are errr bars, and on anything even cloe to illegal things tey error bars are large.

Kleck has them.

Some of his are worse than 10:1 because of uncertainty.

200,000 uses is not as many, but would still be a relevant number (and better than outright guessing).

Frank Ettin
May 27, 2012, 04:00 PM
...Pretend that every time any person displays a gun the are going to run the risk of THEN call the police and being charged with brandishing?...Well he should be calling the police in any case. First, if the other guy's conduct was serious enough to draw your gun, it was serious enough to report to the police. Second, you want to make your report before he reports being threatened by some wackjob with a gun.

Of course, not everyone understands that.

Warp
May 27, 2012, 04:02 PM
Well he should be calling the police in any case. First, if the other guy's conduct was serious enough to draw your gun, it was serious enough to report to the police. Second, you want to make your report before he reports being threatened by some wackjob with a gun.

Of course, not everyone understands that.

He didn't say draw, he said display.

Frank Ettin
May 27, 2012, 04:09 PM
He didn't say draw, he said display. Okay, but it doesn't really make any difference in context.

Warp
May 27, 2012, 04:12 PM
Okay, but it doesn't really make any difference in context.

You can't be serious.

Frank Ettin
May 27, 2012, 04:19 PM
You can't be serious. If one feels the need to display a gun because he believes the conduct of another person indicates a threat or risk (which is the context of a defensive gun use), he is doing so for the purpose of intimidation. That is how brandishing is generally defined. Brandishing is a criminal act if not justified.

Warp
May 27, 2012, 04:23 PM
If one feels the need to display a gun because he believes the conduct of another person indicates a threat or risk (which is the context of a defensive gun use), he is doing so for the purpose of intimidation. That is how brandishing is generally defined. Brandishing is a criminal act if not justified.

First of all, not all states even have a 'brandishing' law.

Now, to stick to my earlier scenario...if you are pumping gas and a couple of sketchy looking folks are scoping you out, so you allow the wind to move your jacket just enough that your holstered pistol is visible, and this seems to make those folks stay where they are...do you expect everybody this happens with to call the police? And do you expect the police to then record it in such a way that it is a statistic to be found and applied as a DGU at a later date?

Frank Ettin
May 27, 2012, 04:44 PM
First of all, not all states even have a 'brandishing' law.
Identify a single State in which the display of a firearm as a threat or for the purposes of intimidation could not be subject to prosecution. Support your claim with citation to applicable legal authority.

...if you are pumping gas and a couple of sketchy looking folks are scoping you out, so you allow the wind to move your jacket just enough that your holstered pistol is visible, and this seems to make those folks stay where they are...do you expect everybody this happens with to call the police?...As you posit the hypothetical, you purposely and purposefully displayed the gun to intimidate someone of whom you were suspicious. Especially if you would later report it as a defense gun use on a survey, yes, it should be reported. Perhaps not everyone would.

However, in your hypothetical, the purposeful display of your gun might well not have been justified. You might well have been chargeable with brandishing or assault.

Warp
May 27, 2012, 04:47 PM
Identify a single State in which the display of a firearm as a threat or for the purposes of intimidation could not be subject to prosecution. Support your claim with citation to applicable legal authority.

I said not every state has a "brandishing" law. They do not.

BTW: I hoped you would know better than to request that somebody prove a negative.


As you posit the hypothetical, you purposely and purposefully displayed the gun to intimidate someone of whom you were suspicious. Especially if you would later report it as a defense gun use on a survey, yes, it should be reported. Perhaps not everyone would.

My experience says the vast majority of incidents like this go unreported. That is the point, as it relates to the discussion.

However, in your hypothetical, the purposeful display of your gun might well not have been justified. You might well have been chargeable with brandishing or assault.


lol

Support our claim with a cite where this has happened.

Edit: + I gotta say, I just went back and looked at your listed location after making this post. I hadn't looked or noticed before, as usual, but I was betting $ it would be Cali after reading your posts.

Frank Ettin
May 27, 2012, 05:32 PM
I said not every state has a "brandishing" law. They do not.

BTW: I hoped you would know better than to request that somebody prove a negative....Whether or not in a particular State the crime is called "brandishing" is irrelevant. In every State the display of a firearm to threaten or intimidate would be subject to criminal prosecution. It might be called brandishing. It might be prosecuted as some form of assault. And justification would be a defense.

As for proving a negative, if you make the claim, you will need to support it.

My experience says the vast majority of incidents like this go unreported. That is the point, as it relates to the discussion. Yes, they do go unreported. Of course that begs the question of whether they should have been reported. It also tends to cast some doubt on whether they should be counted as defensive gun uses.

However, in your hypothetical, the purposeful display of your gun might well not have been justified. You might well have been chargeable with brandishing or assault.
Support our claim with a cite where this has happened.I'm not going to searching for a case. I'm stating it as a matter of professional opinion based on general legal principles.

For example, under Arizona law displaying a threat of physical force (which would include a display of a firearm in a threatening or intimidating manner) would only be justified, "...to the extent a reasonable person would believe that physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful physical force...."(ARS 13-404A). Your "sketch looking folks" probably wouldn't qualify.

Furthermore, see ARS 13-421 (emphasis added):13-421. Justification; defensive display of a firearm; definition

A. The defensive display of a firearm by a person against another is justified when and to the extent a reasonable person would believe that physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the use or attempted use of unlawful physical force or deadly physical force.

B. This section does not apply to a person who:

1. Intentionally provokes another person to use or attempt to use unlawful physical force.

2. Uses a firearm during the commission of a serious offense as defined in section 13-706 or violent crime as defined in section 13-901.03.

C. This section does not require the defensive display of a firearm before the use of physical force or the threat of physical force by a person who is otherwise justified in the use or threatened use of physical force.

D. For the purposes of this section, "defensive display of a firearm" includes:

1. Verbally informing another person that the person possesses or has available a firearm.

2. Exposing or displaying a firearm in a manner that a reasonable person would understand was meant to protect the person against another's use or attempted use of unlawful physical force or deadly physical force.

3. Placing the person's hand on a firearm while the firearm is contained in a pocket, purse or other means of containment or transport.

Warp
May 27, 2012, 05:47 PM
As for proving a negative, if you make the claim, you will need to support it.


I'm not going to searching for a case.

I see.



But as for the hypothetical you proposed using Arizona law (why Arizona??), I suppose the question is whether or not a holstered pistol being visible on your belt would be considered a "defensive display of a firearm by a person against another". That makes me wonder...how is a holstered pistol legally carried on your belt, which you do not touch, with no threatening acts or motions and no words...going to be considered a "defensive display of a firearm by a person against another" that gets you arrested?

I propose that it would not get you arrested, much less charged or convicted. If you have a case otherwise, I would be very interested in seeing it.

Art Eatman
May 27, 2012, 06:04 PM
Going back to the original subject: Kleck's work was first made known in an article in the Tallahassee Democrat. His conclusions were based on the largest telephone survey ever made at that time. Thousands, by ZIP code.

The numbers ranged from a minimum of 600,000 times per year, with an upper possibility of as many as some two million.

"Use of a firearm" included a false claim to have a gun, as well as any sort of display. Actual shooting was not necessary for inclusion in "Use".

I vaguely recall--but don't quote me--that at the time of his survey, crimes with firearms which were reported (annually) were less than his minimum number.

At the time of the survey, Kleck admittedly was a "card-carrying member of the ACLU" and was fairly scornful of both sides of the gun-control argument.

Warp
May 27, 2012, 06:06 PM
I vaguely recall--but don't quote me--that at the time of his survey, crimes with firearms which were reported (annually) were less than his minimum number.

Which is very worthwhile information.

Now, if only we could get a handle on the unreported incidents on BOTH sides.

Pipe dream, I know. :(

Librarian
May 27, 2012, 11:30 PM
Just to use an easily retrievable source, Google Books has some of Fundamentals of Criminal Justice: A Sociological View
By Steven E. Barkan, George J. Bryjak on line. P 38 of that book is a discussion of why it is that the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reports more crime in several categories than does the aggregation of police reports in the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR): Why do victims not report the crimes committed against them? The reasons vary by the type of victimization, but approximately

19% of violent crime victims say they did not report their crime because it was a "private or personal matter";

20% say the offender was unsuccessful;

14% say they reported the crime to "another official";

7% say the crime was not important enough to report;

6% believed the police would not want to be bothered;

4% were afraid of reprisal by the offender;and

4% felt it would be too time consuming to report the crime (Bureau of Justice Statistics 2008a).

I think this satisfactorily addresses the 'why did people not report crimes to the police' or report the defensive gun uses people thought were appropriate responses to situations they experienced. There are a few more suggested reasons, not mentioned there; for example suppose the victim was a convicted felon or on probation/parole - reporting their DGU could send them back to jail. Suppose a respondent with such an experience lived in Washington DC three or more years ago - DC attempted to prevent use of firearms in the city, and had crimes associated with such use.

Lying respondents can be a problem. Kleck/Gertz tried to control for that. For it to actually be a problem, one would have to believe that the lying was unbalanced, that is, significantly favors either 'false positives' or 'false negatives'. This is much of the approach of the anti-gun critics of Kleck, who emphasize the 'false positive' problem, while ignoring the 'false negative' problem.

Neither research followups nor theoretical treatments reveal there there actually is such a problem, or why one should argue for a preponderance of 'false positives'.

All decent researchers understand there is such a problem, and all attempt to control for it. If you want to complain that respondents lied, I want you to identify which ones and how you know.

Frank Ettin
May 28, 2012, 12:24 AM
...why Arizona??...I had the cite to the law readily available; Arizona is a gun friendly State; and the rule is fairly typical.

...I suppose the question is whether or not a holstered pistol being visible on your belt would be considered a "defensive display of a firearm by a person against another"...No, it should not. But purposefully and intentionally exposing a concealed gun to someone you're afraid of in order to convince him to keep his distance, could be. In other words if you, ...are pumping gas and a couple of sketchy looking folks are scoping you out, so you allow the wind to move your jacket just enough that your holstered pistol is visible, and this seems to make those folks stay where they are...And since it's questionable that a reasonable person would translate "a sketch person scoping you out" to grounds for a belief that (ARS 13-421):...physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the use or attempted use of unlawful physical force or deadly physical force...such a display for such purpose might well not be protected under the very favorable to the gun owners Arizona statute.

Warp
May 28, 2012, 12:31 AM
I had the cite to the law readily available; Arizona is a gun friendly State; and the rule is fairly typical.

No, it should not. But purposefully and intentionally exposing a concealed gun to someone you're afraid of in order to convince him to keep his distance, could be. In other words if you, And since it's questionable that a reasonable person would translate "a sketch person scoping you out" to grounds for a belief that (ARS 13-421):such a display for such purpose might well not be protected under the very favorable to the gun owners Arizona statute.

Has it ever happened? Arrest? Charge? Conviction? Ever?

Because I have never heard of it nor can I picture it. Then again I don't spend time in California or New Jersey...maybe somewhere like that it has happened. Or maybe not?

Loosedhorse
May 28, 2012, 08:15 AM
so you allow the wind to move your jacket Allow the wind? Meaining, if they do 911/MWAG you, you'll just "explain": "Oh, I didn't even notice, tra-la! Must've been the wind, the wind, that naughty, naughty wind. See, you can't arrest me! Tra-la!"?Has it ever happened? Arrest? Charge? Conviction? Ever?Translated: can you prove that, if I do intentionally break this law, there will actually be consequences?

I get annoyed at "So, legally, can I shoot him now?" discussions. However, this type of maintain-plausible-deniability, "So, how far can I break this law that I disagree with before I actually get arrested and/or convicted for it?" discussions are far worse.

JMHO.

Wanderling
May 28, 2012, 12:56 PM
The pro-gun statistics make about as much sense as anti-gun stats. The whole issue is so politicised, it's impossible to find an unbiased study. Heck, I bet it's probably close to impossible to collect an unbiased set of raw data even if someone does try to run an objective and open minded study.

When it comes to issues like these I use my common sense, life experience, and moral values to figure where I stand. The statistics are too easily manipulated.

Warp
May 28, 2012, 02:18 PM
Translated: can you prove that, if I do intentionally break this law, there will actually be consequences?


I don't think it would be breaking the law, and I don't think many others would think it was either.

I know this scenario has played out many times, and I have never heard of any legal problems. Apparently, neither have you. Why is that?

Loosedhorse
May 28, 2012, 04:15 PM
I know this scenario has played out many timesExcellent. Then you have a database, and can tell us about such events--perhaps, for example, how the police do treat any resulting 911/MWAG call. My database for events (where, just as one is feeling threatened, the wind pciks up and accidently exposes one's firearm enough for the threateners to be sure what it is and to bug out) is unfortunately zero.I have never heard of any legal problems.So you "know" of some "scenarios," but you haven't "heard" of any legal problems? That is the evidence by which you say "I don't think it would be breaking the law"?

Well, it is one approach. Might not be enough to go on for some of us to declare it perfectly legal.

Frank Ettin
May 28, 2012, 04:28 PM
I don't think it would be breaking the law...You don't think it would be breaking the law to intentionally display your gun, under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not believe doing so to be necessary to prevent an attempted use of unlawful force, in a manner which a reasonable person might find threatening or for the purposes of intimidating another by establishing your ability to deliver lethal force against him?

Good luck.

More to the point of this thread, it would be difficult to consider a display of a gun under such circumstances, i. e., when not defending against a reasonably perceived threat, to be a defensive gun use.

Warp
May 28, 2012, 06:21 PM
Excellent. Then you have a database, and can tell us about such events--perhaps, for example, how the police do treat any resulting 911/MWAG call. My database for events (where, just as one is feeling threatened, the wind pciks up and accidently exposes one's firearm enough for the threateners to be sure what it is and to bug out) is unfortunately zero.So you "know" of some "scenarios," but you haven't "heard" of any legal problems? That is the evidence by which you say "I don't think it would be breaking the law"?

Well, it is one approach. Might not be enough to go on for some of us to declare it perfectly legal.

If you have anything other than your supposition to counter with, now is the time.

I'm not declaring it perfectly legal, I am offering my opinion and telling you what I am basing it on, and that happens to include that I have never yet heard of any legal trouble for anything like it.

Warp
May 28, 2012, 06:22 PM
More to the point of this thread, it would be difficult to consider a display of a gun under such circumstances, i. e., when not defending against a reasonably perceived threat, to be a defensive gun use.


Is there a possibility that it prevented a crime?

The title isn't asking for defensive gun uses, it is asking about guns stopping crime.

Loosedhorse
May 28, 2012, 06:44 PM
I'm not declaring it perfectly legalYes, I know. You're not saying it is legal, and you're not saying it isn't. You're sort of, kind of calling anyone who decides not to, because they think it's illegal, a wimp because you think they probably won't get in trouble. You say you "know" of instances, yet you present nothing--and chastise others for doing the same.

Fine. I get the game. It is the exact same attitude as you showed before: you didn't expose your gun, the wind did it; you didn't say it was legal to expose the gun, you just pointed out that I didn't "prove" that anything bad would happen if you "let the wind" expose it.

I'm surprised you left out the "nah, nah, nahnah, nah"s! :neener:

Another thing you didn't say: that you will bear zero of the financial (and other) burdens if anyone decides to try your little trick, and incurs legal fees, bail...or worse. Nope: you just think they should go for it, and if it doesn't go well, oh too bad--it was just your opinion.

Warp
May 28, 2012, 06:54 PM
That was some post. All kinds of personal sleights and condescension to top it all off.

Now I am sure you are trolling for a silly argument.

Sorry to disappoint. This will be my last post on the topic within this particular thread. If you really want your argument, start another thread and link it here. ;)

Loosedhorse
May 28, 2012, 07:13 PM
Now I am sure you are trolling for a silly argument.

Sorry to disappoint.Wrong once more: your silence does not disappoint me. :)

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