How Often Do Americans Use Guns In Self-Defense?

“A good guy with a gun is the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun,” has been repeatedly proven. Another catchy phrase employed by Second Amendment rights advocates is that “guns do not kill people, people kill people.” This slogan correctly lays blame on the bad actor instead of the inanimate object. Rightfully, pro-gun citizens know that the use of a gun for self-defense helps to save the lives of the gun owners and the lives of people around them.

Defensive Gun Use

On their blog, The Armed Citizen, the National Rifle Association highlights the use of guns for self defense — otherwise known as defensive gun use.

“Studies show that firearms are used more than 2 million times for personal protection each year” the blog reads. Also, according to the study, “the mere presence of a gun or other firearm, even without firing a shot, stops crimes from occurring in many instances.”

The use or presentation of a gun or other firearm to accomplish self-defense or the defense of others has been widely shown to prevent violent crime. And, in some cases, defensive gun use may be applied to protect property. Incidents involving defensive gun use are now frequent, and it has become a controversial subject —whether or not it is effective when it comes to providing safety and achieving crime reduction, particularly in the United States.

The Pew Research Center reported that 48 percent of those who own gun say they are using the gun for self-protection. However, it has become a hot debate among experts regarding how often people really deploy guns in self-defense. The numbers in this case range from hundreds of thousands to millions.

“There’s a problem with the 2 million figure often quoted as the frequency of gun use for self defense,” anti-gun activists claim. “Defensive gun use, in reality, is quite rare.”

The Violence Policy Center, an extreme left-wing, anti-Second Amendment activist group, issued a clearly biased paper which states that “from 2007 through 2011 (a five-year period), the number of self-protective actions involving guns or firearms is only 338,700 — which totals to a yearly average of 67, 700.” While this figure is substantial, it is nothing close to the inflated number given by the N.R.A — which is 2.5 million or 2 million.

The V.P.C reported that “only 230 justifiable homicides that involved the use of a firearm by a private citizen took place in 2010.” This report by V.P.C used numbers from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the F.B.I. which only includes incidents reported to the police. On the other hand, there were 8, 275 cases of criminal gun homicides in the year under review, excluding unintentional shootings and gun suicides. The V.P.C paper uses sly massaging of numbers to create the false narrative that “guns are rarely used to stop crimes or kill criminals.”

The VPC coerced that number by only including the self-defense actions where the perpetrator died (eg. “Justifiable Homicide”) and where the defensive action was reported to the police. Most of the time the act of pulling the firearm or otherwise alerting the perpetrator that a firearm is present is enough to end the threat and there are a large number of incidents where a shot is fired and the perpetrator is not hit or does not die from his injuries. In cases where no one is hurt and/or a shot is never fired, a report is often not filed which leaves the VPC statistics misleadingly low.

Does the use of Gun for Self Defense Confer Benefits to Everyone?

Most homicides and violent attacks aren’t actually carried out with firearms. More people are killed in blunt object and knife attacks than those who die to firearms.

While extremists clamor for gun control due to a media-fueled perception that inanimate objects are to blame for homicides, shootings in public places, and other crimes, more thoughtful people believe that “gun control won’t help” and point to the now-sunset assault weapons ban as fact-based proof.

The Prediction for Defensive Gun Use

According to Minute Man Review, people who engage guns defensively appear not to possess overly castigatory attitudes towards those who commit crime — on the other hand, individuals with punitive attitudes could show increased chances of owning guns, and, as a result, may have an increased chance of using those guns defensively.

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