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statistics: Guns used in self defense?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by lobo9er, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Earth, Currently
    I did a search nothing came up. If anyone has numbers from both sides of the fence it would be helpful. I remember reading a pro-gun # was in the millions, and coming from an anti-gun source it was still hundreds of thousands. I m sure this has and is being discussed if anyone could help me out that would be great thanks.
  2. Phil Lee

    Phil Lee Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Silver Spring, MD
    Search old threads for mention of Kleck -- use Google to search for Kleck site:thehighroad.org
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  3. JayBird

    JayBird Member

    Jan 25, 2011
  4. bldsmith

    bldsmith Member

    Jul 7, 2012
    Salem Or
    Here's a gun facts page that covers a bunch of statistics and gives references. One of the best IRT the OP was president Clinton's commission on this in 1994. Showed 1.4 million with an estimated %50 low reporting. So around 2.4 million per year with most never having to fire a shot.
  5. ScottieG59

    ScottieG59 Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    Reporting is definitely not 100%. If I recall it right, collecting better data was one of the Obama Executive Orders.

    One additional problem is the lack of details in the figures. Many of the police and private gun owner justified uses of firearms is lumped in along with the criminal statistics.

    Even if you try to tally the numbers, you will depend on data collected inconsistently.

    In the end, it does not matter what the numbers say. We have the right to defend ourselves and we have the right to have the means to do so. The Constitution recognizes the right to keep and bear arms; it does not create the right. There is no test required to determine if the right used enough to be preserved.
  6. vito

    vito Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    Northern Illinois
    I am sure that many instances of guns being used to prevent a crime never are reported to authorities. Even where concealed carry is legal, think about the likely hassle if you call 911 with the following: "I was going out to my car when a thug approached me yelling "give me your wallet and car keys". I drew my gun and the perp ran away." The police arrive and ask for a statement, they also ask to see your gun, which might or might not get taken as evidence. You are detained at the scene, or at the station house while your name and vehicle and other identifying characteristics are run through the system to see if YOU are wanted on a warrant or should be a suspect in other crimes. Faced with this possibility, you don't call 911 but continue on your way with the self assurance that you defended yourself and hopefully put the fear of God into a thug who might not try it again. My guess is that this or similar situations happen frequently but never get counted by anyone except the gun owner himself.

    BBQJOE Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    This is a good point.
    Last night I started to make a post about how tired I am of it seeming that every gun related incident is headline news.
    It also seems articles like "The Armed Citizen" should be pages and pages long, so we can distribute them everywhere for everyone to see.
    But it probably wouldn't amount to a hill of beans to the anti's.:(
  8. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    Summary of the thirteen surveys on DGU listed by Kleck & Gertz 1995.

     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. 
     [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.
  9. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    The Kleck and Gertz National Self-Defense Survey NSDS (1993, article 1995) gave 2.4 million DGU per year. Dataset available for replication.

    The Police Foundation National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms NSPOF (1994, NIJ Research in Brief report 1997) gave 4.7 million DGU per year by 1.5 million people. Dataset available for replication. The authors of the NIJ report Cook and Ludwig are big fans of the National Crime Victimization Survey NCVS which gave only 108,000 DGUs (but only a minority of the NCVS sample are ever asked a DGU question). Cook and Ludwig spendt a couple of pages in the NSPOF report trying to explain away the 4.7 million DGUs.

    John Lott's documented 2002 DGU survey gave 2.0 million DGU per year. Dataset available for replication.

    Lott's lost 1997 DGU survey gave 2.1 million DGU per year, but the dataset is unavailable for replication, and generated a lot of controversy between Sep 2002-Apr 2003. However, nobody has stepped forward to do a DGU survey to confirm or refute Lott's results. Some don't wanna believe, some think it's consistent with the 14 out of 15 national surveys on the subject.

    The 1981 Hart survey that projected 1.8 million DGU per year, but it (done for a pro gun control group) has been lost and the dataset is unavailable for replication.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  10. Solo

    Solo Member

    Sep 15, 2004
    Just keep in mind no statistical analysis is perfect, and that they all have flaws, sometimes quite serious ones.
  11. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

    Feb 25, 2005

    Defensive gun uses is not the data they are going to collect.
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