While I was visiting Florida recently, this news headline caught my eye:
Man fatally shot during Davie home invasion, police say
This piqued my curiosity, because I’d already written a post discussing how the frequency of home invasions is very greatly overestimated. Additionally, this appeared to be the kind of incident that would probably be classified as a defensive gun use (DGU), which, as I’ve discussed, is also vastly inflated.
So I read the story, which includes this statement:
The resident of the apartment had some company over and they tried to rob him, Capt. Dale Engle said.
Huh??? The resident of the apartment had some company over? How exactly is it a “home invasion” if you willingly let people into your home? This is a strong indication that the alleged defender has been hanging out with the wrong company; and while it doesn’t automatically negate the claim that he acted in self-defense, it certainly does place a big question mark next to it. And reading a little farther, we see this:
The man who was shot was found about 8 p.m. outside the front door of the apartment in the 6100 block of Southwest 48th Street.
Now it’s possible that he might have been shot inside the apartment and then stumbled outside to die. But in the absence of solid facts, we have to allow for the possibility that he already might have been outside when the resident grabbed his gun, then came out and shot him. Very defensive, no?
Finally, there’s this:
The names of those involved haven’t been released, and no charges have been filed in the case. An AK-47 assault rifle found in the grass of a nearby home Friday morning was being examined, Engle said.
An AK-47? Hey, just the perfect thing to defend yourself against home invasion. Especially by some of your buds that you’ve invited inside. Again, owning an AK-47 doesn’t automatically mean that you’re trigger-happy. But it certainly would seem to increase the odds dramatically.
Despite frequent wild claims of millions, the “confirmed” DGUs number no more than about 2000 per year. And a great many of those “confirmed” DGUs, on closer inspection, turn out to be not so confirmed after all because, as in the Davie shooting, the circumstances are fishier than Chicken of the Sea. Meanwhile, there are at least 400,000 crimes committed with a gun in the U.S. every year, and between 15,000 and 20,000 accidental shootings; altogether there are at least 100,000 gun injuries and/or deaths annually. All in all, it doesn’t add up to a very compelling argument that guns make us safer.