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Gun more likely to be turned on owner?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Lurp, Oct 28, 2008.

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  1. Lurp

    Lurp Member

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    Hey, my good friend is doing a presentation about gun control and is trying to dispel the common myth that a gun is more likely to be turned on the owner than used defensively. I was wondering if ya'll could give me any insight or hard data as how to counter this statement. I was thinking along the lines of looking for data on how many times firearms are used in defensive situations and then comparing it to the amount of homicides during burglaries or some such thing. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. No Fear

    No Fear member

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    A shotgun, esp in the hands of a female is guaranteed to be taken and used on the owner, especially if the thug is even slightly aggressive and has any element of surprise.

    A shotgun has a "handle" (known as a super long barrel, even 18" is long compared to a handgun) the bad guy can use to grab it out of your hands (using a twisting action will guarantee that the thug takes your shotgun). This is the direct reason that short barreled shotguns were banned in 1934 (unless you get the cost prohibitive license). The gun banners view self defense as an OFFENSIVE ACT, and they painted guns as offensive and evil. Thus, the beginning of federal bans in 1934, was crafted and aimed at guns that were more effective for self defense (i.e. guns with short barrels).
     
  3. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

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    ANY firearm within arm's reach of the BG. Hint: Distance is your friend-in many ways.
     
  4. TwitchALot

    TwitchALot Member

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    I wouldn't try to attack the argument directly in this case. I'm not sure there's any hard data to analyze in the first place. Instead, I'd try something like this:

    "If a gun is more likely to be turned on the owner than used defensively, I have a great idea. Let's arm all criminals. That way, whenever they commit crimes, citizens can take their guns and use it against them to defend themselves. Being that it's more likely for a gun to be used on its owner than defensively, this would result in a safer society for everyone."

    I think at that point almost everyone will realize the apparently obvious: That it's not that simple, and while gun disarms do happen, it's almost always never easy, and almost always extremely dangerous.
     
  5. Blarelli

    Blarelli Member

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    I seem to remember reading something about how that whole study was bogus because it included self-inflicted gunshots from accidents and suicides.
     
  6. TwitchALot

    TwitchALot Member

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    The Kellerman study was trash, no doubt. And if that's what the OP is referring to, that's easy enough to debunk. Just get the numbers from the study and show the class how the "statistics" were derived. But I was under the impression he was actually referring to weapons literally being turned on their owners, as opposed to deaths in the home and such.
     
  7. Blarelli

    Blarelli Member

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    I've always thought that is where that myth was derived from originally.
     
  8. TwitchALot

    TwitchALot Member

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    Well I'm not sure, but either way, they're two separate issues. The Kellerman study itself is easy to debunk. The actual argument (for which I think there is no data to support either side) is more conceptual and people could easily be convinced that it's true (even though it isn't).
     
  9. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    These kind of statements were the result of the Kellermann study . They were debunked almost as quickly as they came out , but the anti-gun crowd likes the thing so much they never let it die.

    If you repeat a lie long enough it will become a fact, I think has been their stradigy. The Kellerman study almost single handedly could have caused the coining of a phrase regarding statistics in general .

    There are lies, then there are big lies, and then there are statistics .

    Sorta like trash in - trash out.
     
  10. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    The study that I believe you're referring to didn't specifically say what you're saying.

    I believe it said that a gun in the house was X** times more likely to kill a resident than a burglar. (**Can't remember the exact factor offhand.)

    It's a double-whammy...

    First, it OVERstates the likelihood of a gun being turned on its owner because the statistic includes suicides, accidental shootings and shootings involving disputes between residents. So a person reads the stat thinking it's really about a gun being taken away by a criminal and used against the owner when, in reality, it's about any possible kind of shooting that the gun might be involved in that results in a resident dying.

    Second, it UNDERstates the usefulness of a gun in self-defense because it only counts the cases where the criminal actually dies. In the vast majority of SUCCESSFUL self-defense gun uses the gun is never fired and when it is, the criminal is often missed. Furthermore, a person has about an 80% chance of surviving a wound from a handgun. In well over 90% of self-defense gun uses the criminal survives. The cases where a criminal is actually killed in self-defense make up a tiny minority of the situations.

    The statistic is a masterpiece of misdirection. Someone really thought it out carefully.
     
  11. Lurp

    Lurp Member

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    Thanks guys! That’s just the kind of info I was looking for. I checked out the study on Google and got some good info on what was wrong with the study.

    The question originally arose when my friend proposed his idea to do gun control for his project and the professor gave him a couple of snide remarks with one of them being the former. Figured something was behind the myth as I've heard it a few times before. Thanks again and keep them coming if you guys have anymore!
     
  12. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Its tough to make this argument. Have your friend narrow the parameters of the study.

    Is he going to study the instances where an officer of the law had his firearm taken from him? Those are much easier statistics to compile. Those can be compared to officer involved shootings, as those are also easy statistics to compile. The greyer area is when officers unholster, yet do not fire the weapon. Or greyer still, when the officer approaches the suspects within proximity while the gun was still holstered, and a gun grab attempt takes place but was thwarted. Even so grey its almost black - when an officer interacts with the public, with his firearm in plain view, and nothing happens.


    Attempts to disarm an armed citizen happens, and its often tragic when it does. But I'm not sure those statistics are as easy to collect. And although we can generally track down the numbers where an armed citizen fires his gun in self-defense, what we cannot reliable determine is how many times a firearm was merely introduced into a situation, and the altercation was resolved without a shot fired. Many of those incidents are not reported, or if they are, do not get properly catalogued.


    Perhaps a discussion over the problems of just making the case, one way or the other, is enough for a good presentation?

    Or a good topic might be a study on whether handgun retention training affects the outcome of a gun grab attempt. And if it does, how successful is that training? How successful is it when the odds are 2 on 1, 3 on 1? How successful is it depending on size difference of the attacker? Or whether the attacker spent time in prison and learned in the criminal academies good attack techniques? How long can a defender, trained in retention techniques, expect to fight off an attack? Do back-up weapons change the outcome?


    This is a good subject to approach. Decide whether to make it a scientific approach, or if he'll set out to debunk a political myth.

    For me, the very first professional gun handling course I ever paid out of my pocket for was a Handgun Retention and Disarms course. Its a lot harder to take it from someone who uses appropriate gun presentation skills for the situation and also knows one or two good retention techniques. Its a lot easier to take it from someone who doesn't know those skills, but its still dangerous.
     
  13. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I have been asking anti-gunners for an example of someone other than a cop trying to arrest someone with non-lethal force having his or her firearm "turned on the owner" for the better part of twenty years. None of them has been able to provide one.

    If you shoot someone, they have a real disinclination to take things which don't belong to them. If someone tries to take your gun, SHOOT THEM.

    A lot of this comes down to misogyny. People who say that women's guns will be "taken away" display REAL contempt for women. If women are so stupid, inept or cowardly by their nature, why should we allow them to be police officers or soldiers? The truth is, a motivated woman will defend herself and her family as competently as anyone else.

    Finally, none has been able to explain to me why, if it's so easy to "snatch" guns from people, it isn't just as easy to "snatch" them BACK.
     
  14. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    the only way a gun will be turned on its owner is if the gun owner is afraid to use it. so, if you can not pull the trigger to save yourself, leave the gun in the safe, and buy a can of prpper spray.
     
  15. gregormeister

    gregormeister Member

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    "A shotgun, esp in the hands of a female is guaranteed to be taken and used on the owner, especially if the thug is even slightly aggressive and has any element of surprise."

    Don't know about that.......
     
  16. NeoSpud

    NeoSpud Member

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    What? Guaranteed?

    1. Explain this "direct reason"
    2. Transfer tax != license
    3. I don't think the NFA was created with the intent of curbing self defense shootings...
     
  17. Rmeju

    Rmeju Member

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    :rofl:


    Twitch, that is hands down the best "stupid answer to a stupid argument" I have ever seen on gun control. My hat, sir, is off to you.

    I'm gonna use that one!

    Rmeju
     
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Twitch, great logical attack.

    The facts are that firearms are used from one to 2.5 million times a year to stop a crime.

    There are under 30,000 deaths a year due to all firearms use, that includes LE, gang and suicide.

    The argument that a gun is likely to be taken away and used against the good guy isn't borne out by these two facts.
     
  19. Beagle-zebub

    Beagle-zebub Member

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    Butbutbut they're always getting tripped up by their high heels! If we can't depend on them to evade zombies, how can we trust them with firearms?
     
  20. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Anyone who believes that can test it by breaking into a house where there is a woman and a shotgun, and seeing if he has what it takes to look down the bore of a shotgun held by a trembling woman and try to grab it.
     
  21. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    Hence, the statistics are heavily in "our" favor, especially after you:

    Ignore those attributed to suicide,

    ignore those attributed to gang on gang violence,

    Increase the disparity by estimating the number of unreported violent crimes by comparing the FBI's UCR to Victim Survey studies.

    This is hard data. None of this takes into account one's training (retention, if nothing else), avoiding conflict, de-escalating situations, etc.
     
  22. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    Amen, Vern. I would strongly advise against conducting that little experiment at our house, though.
     
  23. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Good info (with the actual data) here:

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


    The "more likely to be used against you" thing is essentially a media distortion of Arthur Kellermann and Don Reay, "Protection or peril? An analysis of firearms related deaths in the home," New Engl J Med 1986 (314:1557-60). Kellerman has rehashed the study in several iterations since, without significantly changing his methodology.

    Contrary to media myth, Kellerman did not find ANY instances of the homeowner's gun being used to kill the homeowner by a criminal, AFAIK. I believe that in every case in which Kellerman cited a gun-owning homeowner being shot, he/she was shot by a criminal's gun brought into the house from outside (the homeowner probably being unarmed at the time; Kellerman only looked at whether a gun was present in the home, not whether the owner tried to use it defensively).

    The VAST majority of the deaths Kellerman et al cite are suicides, not homicides or accidents. If you are not at risk for suicide, there goes most of the alleged risk. Accidental gun deaths are statistically insignificant, so much so that I doubt he even recorded any (current rate is ~600/year nationwide for 80+ million gun owners, and this figure does not exclude accidents by gun-owning criminals, a fact which tends to skew the perceived risk higher).

    Of homicides in which the victim was the gun owner, Kellerman counted these as if the homeowner's gun were at fault, but in every instance the gun used was the criminal's gun, brought into the house by the criminal with lethal intent. Kellerman didn't bother to control for the fact that people who are in greater danger of being murdered are more likely to purchase a gun than those in the control group, nor did he control for understatement of gun ownership by the control group (which given the area and political climate almost certainly would have skewed his results).

    The commonly cited "43 times more likely to kill a family member than defend against an intruder" statistic from Kellerman et al excluded ALL defensive gun uses that didn't result in the death of the criminal, which acts systemically to hugely underestimate the number of actual defensive uses. (Surveys of self-defense incidents imply that 98% or more do NOT result in the wounding of the criminal, much less his death). Using this methodology, if the intended victim pulled a gun and the criminal fled, it didn't count; if the victim fired a warning shot and the criminal fled, it didn't count; if the victim shot the criminal, halting the attack, but the criminal survived, it didn't count; and if the criminal were shot and killed, and was known to the victim, IIRC it was counted in the "shooting a friend or family member" category. Not exactly an objective study. Using this methodology, one could prove pretty much anything she/he wants.

    Certainly one can quibble about the Lott et al data, and the Gary Kleck et al data on defensive gun uses, but if you exclude suicides I don't think there is any data anywhere that suggests a gun in the home is a significant danger to you or your family.

    And FWIW, the National Crime Victimization Survey showed that victims who defended themselves with firearms were the least likely to be injured in the course of the crime (even less than those who offered no resistance at all), and all victims who used guns and were injured were injured BEFORE they accessed the gun. Unfortunately, the sample size was VERY small, so that data is not as robust as it might be with a larger data set.
     
  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    If you ignore Kleck and Lott and just go with the very low DOJ data of 800,000 defensive gun uses you still have a 30,000 max vs an 800,000 min or almost a 30 to 1 stat discrediting the argument that good guys have their guns taken away and used against them by bad guys.
     
  25. everallm

    everallm Member

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    The statistics you are after probably can never be gathered with any degree of certainty. Too many variables, too few reliable records, no common methodology of report or record etc etc.

    A more useful measurement might be to extrapolate the number of incidents where assault occurred which fall within the Tueller "Rule of 21 feet".

    The reality is that statistically an assailant can cover that distance quicker than the majority of people can react with a firearm and this will skew any stats.

    For example, did the assailant overcome then take the weapon or take the weapon then overcome ?

    You can also tie in to the OODA principles as to WHY the untrained AND trained can fail to act "correctly" in such situations.

    In its simplest, the OODA is a simple recursive but interruptible feedback loop that will govern your actions, particularly when at stress.

    Observe You see an action, activity or occurrence
    Orientate What is the action and what does it mean to you right now
    Decide What am I going to do about it and how
    Act Now I know what to do, now I can do something

    Unfortunately, if at any time during the loop something happens and resets the loop then you end up failing to do anything. An example below where the loop starts and ends then one that keeps getting interrupted

    You hear a breaking window at home at Dark O'clock (Observe)
    It's a bad sound in the context of location and time (Orientate)
    I'd better investigate, it may be dangerous I will take a weapon (Decide)
    Out of bed, pick up CZ SP-01, chamber round, start to clear house (Act)

    This loop has finished, so another starts.

    Get to kitchen, hear strange sound, it's not right, I'll sweep and check, go hard at the door, sweep low and high left to right. (OODA ends) New loop starts.

    See BG, start the loop, OOD (interrupt and restart), crap another noise to the left, restart loop, OO (interrupt and restart), damn original guys moving, OO (interrupt and restart), second persons got a knife, OO (interrupt and restart)

    etc etc etc
     
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