45 thoughts on “More on Defensive Gun Use

  1. Thanks for your work. If you really want to address crime (we really don’t) look at Singapore, which has nearly zero violent crime and nearly zero guns.

    • The same is true for many other places. But you’re far more likely to hear about a couple of countries (e.g., England and Australia) that saw a rise in crime after enacting stricter gun laws. Which supposedly proves that “gun control doesn’t work.”

    • Have you been to Singapore? Do you know why they have less violent crime? It starts as the most basic of crime period, and respect, you will get lashed for just littering there. The people there have respect, for each other and themselves and where they live. We do NOT have that in the US. Your article does exactly what you say the others do, cherry picks the info you want to include in your study. One of the reasons you don’t find youtube accounts of DGU is that if a trigger is never pulled, there would be no video, no injury, no police report. but right now I can pull up over a 100 youtube videos of homeowners, etc defending themselves with a firearm. What about the stat that has been verified, over 15 people die when police respond to a mass shooting, but 2.5 when an armed citizen is there and stops it. If you want to disarm a law abiding citizen based on this info, better try again. I personally know there are bad people out there, and in our news, every single day there is one of those people doing bad things to good people. I want to have every advantage I can if I were to find myself in one of the many situations that we see on the news. BTW, if national news covered all of the BGU, we would have less doubt by people like you, but the fact is, they cover negative stories when it comes to firearms, never ever a good guy stopping the bad guy 😦

    • Right, so by your logic, guns cause violence! Never mind the government shipping guns abroad to attack the 2nd Amendment, never mind our government shipping in drugs and working with the megabanks to money launder the drug money. Your right, our 2nd Amendment is the problem. Forget also the fact that we have economic disparity, de-evolving moral fabric, and heterogeneous population.

  2. The UK rise in “gun crime” after restrictions was temporary and has now declined greatly, it was also due to the new laws that made many more actions with guns into crimes. Invent more gun crime charges and you wil first get a rise in gun crime numbers.

  3. If there really were many instances of DGU, one would expect a fairly serious offense was being committed. Since the gun-wielder is presumed to be law-abiding and a good citizen, there should be a report of the crime, which you would expect to mention the use of the gun. Doesn’t this provide some means for authenticating otherwise unsupported claims of DGU? Not that it would be easy to pull together such reports, but at least for individual claims it would seem at least a baseline expectation to authenticate.

    • Exactly. My critics often say that I’m placing too much faith in media as a source of documentation. Not so; one of the main reasons for starting this blog is to criticize media. But for DGUs it happens to be virtually the ONLY source of documentation we have — except maybe for police reports, which are harder to access and tabulate. My main thesis is that it’s much more reliable to use documented fact as a foundation than to use unsubstantiated anecdotes, as the surveys do. The big question is, what percentage of DGUs actually end up in the news? That’s the missing Rosetta Stone that perhaps someone should try to discover. The evidence, and pure logic, suggest that the percentage is rather high.

  4. I have been a victim of two handgun crimes. I have never met anyone outside of law enforcement or the military who has prevented as many as two crimes with a personal weapon.
    I live in Texas and I resent having to wonder on a day-to-day basis whether the people I encounter are armed and perhaps up to no good or ready to erupt into violence.

    • WTF? What the hell does a doctor need to know if you own a gun for? Its just the Illuminati trniyg to find out if you have a gun. Heres the thing. Guns are LAWFUL and you do not need to tell ANYONE you own a gun.My claim of right has never been challenged and I include the right to carry whatever weapons I choose in it.

  5. Awesome example of guns making us all safer, the recent shoot out in the drive-thru at the McDonalds in Wichita. It was bad enough one idiot with a gun shot at someone that breached etiquette, imagine if the other person shot back. I would not want to be sitting in that line. Then what if all the other people in line started to shoot? The NRA folk need to give it up. I think the right to bear arms as intended by the founding fathers is safe and secure. They need to find a new cause to spend money on.

  6. Two factors often ignored by the pro-gun crowd are accidents and suicides. Let’s assume violent crimes have gone down due to the increased number of guns available and not due to other factors like an explosion in the incarceration rate. Given the increased availability of guns has there been a corresponding increase in the number of gun accidents? Likewise are suicide rates for gun owners higher than those for non-gun owners? There are some benefits as well as risks to owning a gun. Considering only the benefits and ignoring the risks does not provide a balanced view of the issue.

    • In my opinion both points are irrelevant. Accidents are simply linked to improperly stored/unsecured firearms or a lack of training/understanding. Suicides are irrelevant to me as well. Any person unhappy enough with living has the right to do so.

      • They are irrelevant if you consider the injuries and deaths they cause irrelevant. True one can have an accident with just about anything, but a gun accident – like a car accident – often ends with serious injury or death. The same cannot be said of say a baseball bat or can of mace. It goes back to the assumption that everyone who owns guns (apart from the criminals) is a “responsible gun owner” which is like saying everyone who drives a car is a “responsible car driver”. It’s a nice idea but I don’t believe in bullshit.

        Suicide is a complex issue. Sometimes a person wants to live but due to disease or injury their suffering brings them to want suicide. In these cases many would argue as you have that the person has a right to end their life. Other times though a person is suffering from depression, a mental illness, and to simply say it’s their choice so let them commit suicide is nothing short of manslaughter. The person needs professional health not easy access to a deadly weapon. If this is what you consider irrelevant your sense of empathy must seriously be lacking.

  7. So a friend of mine links a thread (your Godwin’s Law piece) and I decide to check you out. Your “about me” seems interesting. You write well. But here is what I see you advancing, “all studies/surveys were systematically coached and influenced a complete debauch population of pathological liars.” And sadly, there your true colors bleed through. You are, in fact, alive and well in your world of confirmational bias, although you are for certain no kool-aid ™ drinker. Your take on the propaganda situation between NRA and the Hill, I can only mark as iron clad reasoning, and your Hawthorne vs Rambo argument I thought was salient and remarkably cogent. But you frivolously deconstructed Kleck’s study -true or not- and lost all credibility as an academic to me. Good day, Sir, I will not be back. Have fun suckering others into thinking you’re a policy-before-party high brow.

      • Ummm, I see no where that I listed myself as impressed. I think if you were to re-read it, you would discover two things. Your response is an affirmation of my declaration of your confirmational bias, which is in no way an academic or scientific behavior, which you espouse being. The second is that I deconstructed where you advance a substantiated argument, and where you advance your own propaganda, which is a brilliant maneuver, by the way, right up there with naming it the Federal Reserve Bank. The Federal Reserve Bank is neither federal, nor maintains a reserve, but slap a name on it and the uninformed masses follow the PSYOP; no different here. I would encourage you to re-explore the logical fallacy of Affirmation of the Consequent, which is robust in your pieces. Perhaps is you could reduce your arrogance and foster more of the conversation, since you clearly cannot substantiate yourself as an expert based on your anonymity and guilt of logical errors. And that’s more of about it, but feel free to delete this since your you just made yourself out to be an asshole in your response. Thank you.

  8. Out of curiosity and fairness, have you ever heard of Kennesaw, Ga? The city has a law requiring gun ownership by the head of household there, which has been in place the early 80’s, and the crime numbers there are incredibly low. This doesn’t state of course that more guns insure less crime but it does provide some backing to the theory that criminals will usually seek other locations if they’re aware a firearm is present.

    • Yep, I’m familiar with the Kennesaw law, which was largely just a symbolic gesture, since pretty much everybody in town already owned a gun anyway. The claim that this law, or that the nearly universal gun ownership in town, actually deterred crime, is highly questionable. I’ll be commenting more about this in a future post on “gun control”, and the manipulation of statistics to fight it.

      • My biggest issue with it is the comparison of crime statistics of the US vs. say Singapore. These cultures are so vastly different it paints a picture which does not mirror reality. I also think that while gun c ontrol is a fantastic idea in theory, it is just not possible in this country at this point. The ATF operation “Fast and furious” proves this. The Feds have zero control on the illegal drugs brought into the US. Why would anyone think illegal firearms would be any different? It would simply be another market that would assist in the business expansion of the cartels. I’m not saying the Feds are going to outlaw guns but it seems to certainly be an ideal of many gun control advocates. In which case I pose this question, who is supposed to protect my family(if the Feds decide to follow the path of other countries and outlaw firearms)from individuals with illegaly obtained firearms?

      • It’s a complex issue. And it’s hard to “prove” either than gun control works, or that it doesn’t. Because there are indeed always other factors to weigh.

  9. Yeah gun crime went down in England but murder rates and all other violent crime went up. You all sound happy to have more people killed, just as long as it’s not with a gun. Brilliant.

    • The article reports on a discrepancy in rates of crime reduction between the Crime Survey and police records.

      “A study of crime trends in England and Wales has suggested the fall in offences recorded by police may have been exaggerated.”

      “The ONS compared certain categories of crimes and found police-recorded offences had fallen by 33% over the previous five years, while data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales suggested a decline of 17%.”

      In other words, the police may have been exaggerating the rate in decline.

      Nonetheless, crime has been and still is decreasing since the mid-1990s, despite strict gun control. This is just a question of how much.

  10. On the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to always fight for their principles and not fall into the complacency that enabled the Nazi dictator to seize control.
    The fact that Hitler was able to destroy German democracy in only six months serves as a warning today of what can happen if the public is apathetic, Merkel said.
    “Human rights do not assert themselves on their own; freedom does not emerge on its own; and democracy does not succeed on its own,” Merkel said. “No, a dynamic society … needs people who have regard and respect for one another, who take responsibility for themselves and others, where people take courageous and open decisions and who are prepared to accept criticism and opposition.”

  11. P.O.P. I like you ‘did forensics’. I was in the early 70’s attached to CO C3 London Metropolitan Police, working out of Paddington Green Police Station. I just wondered, having seen the results of a high velocity round from a semi-automatic Infantry Weapon – Armalite on the human body four times too many, do you think that the demonstration in ballistic gel of the effects of both cavitation and fragmentation shown at the latest hearings will finally get through to the general public that these weapons are unnecessary? T.

    • I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I don’t think anything will ever get through to the American public on the matter of guns — at least nothing will ever get through to a certain percentage of them.

  12. Pingback: The (Poorly) Armed Assault On Gun Control: How the Gun Culture Manipulates Statistics (Part 2) | The Propaganda Professor

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