A Few Inconvenient Gun Control Facts

via Just Facts (seriously, check it out for lots more…)

Crime and Self-Defense

* Roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the United States during 2008. Of these, about 10,886 or 67% were committed with firearms.

* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”

* Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders. Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.

* Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.

* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 3.5% of households had members who had used a gun “for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 1,029,615 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”

* A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.

* A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found:

• 34% had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”

• 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun”

• 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”

* See the link above to see why the following commonly cited statistic does not meet Just Facts’ Standards of Credibility: “In homes with guns, the homicide of a household member is almost 3 times more likely to occur than in homes without guns.”

Notes:  Some of the above data provides the basis for work done by Gary Kleck and John Lott.  The point being, of course, that the successful defensive use of firearms far and away overshadows the risks of either criminal or accidental harm resulting from gun ownership in the US.  It is also worth noting that a disproportionate share of  gun related homicides happen to be gang and/or drug-trade related, numbers that are typically included to inflate the homicide rates reported for “friends and aquaintances“, such as noted above.  More on this later, I think.  HT

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