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"guns stop crime X million times per year"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Skribs, May 22, 2012.

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  1. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    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.
     
  2. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    Do you have a link or can you provide more info on where you got that stat?
     
  3. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Seen it several times in articles and on this forum.
     
  4. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Member

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    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.
     
  5. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Gary Kleck

    Study of firearms used to prevent crime. University of Miami.
     
  6. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Get a copy of Kleck and read it.
     
  7. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    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.
     
  8. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

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    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.
     
  9. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    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.
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    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."
     
  11. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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

    Furncliff Member

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  13. Powerglide

    Powerglide Member

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    I know I'm afraid of getting shot, and they never asked me.So, they're off a hair I guess.
     
  14. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

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  15. Warp

    Warp Member

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    Depends on who you ask.

    I generally think of a DGU as discussed by John Lott
     
  16. denton

    denton Member

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    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.
     
  17. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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  18. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    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.
     
  19. The_Next_Generation

    The_Next_Generation Member

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  20. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    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.
     
  21. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    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.

    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...
    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.
     
  22. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    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.
     
  23. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    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.
     
  24. kb58

    kb58 Member

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    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.
     
  25. GEM

    GEM Member

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    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.
     
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