Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gun Crime, Gun Ownership, Crime Prevention

News: Gun statistics you seldom see - The story of a man defending his family is used to highlight some statistics about guns.

A goblin wanted for rape, is being chased by police, he breaks into the home of an armed citizen.
The homeowner didn't shoot the alleged rapist, although legally he almost certainly could have. If someone breaks into your home, and you have a justifiable fear that he might kill or harm you or someone else, you have a right to defend yourself with lethal force.

But as I said, the homeowner – for security reasons, he declined to be interviewed or identified by name – didn't shoot. Instead, he shouted at the suspect to stop, at which point the guy ran out of the house. Shortly thereafter he was caught and arrested by the police.
The rape and the breaking and entering will be recorded, but will anything else be? Did the homeowner prevent another assault on his family? The goblin was no boy scout, but it is hard to say.

But if the homeowner had used lethal force, that would have been recorded.
And ironically, if the homeowner had justifiably shot and killed the intruder it still would have been listed in the overall statistics as a gun-related homicide – the same statistics that anti-gun activists use to promote stricter so-called "gun control" laws to keep firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.
And those statistics?
Of course, whenever gun ownership rights are debated, anti-gun activists like to point out that about 30,000 people are killed by guns in America every year -- although they seldom note that about 60 percent of those deaths are suicides, or that the firearm murder rate has dropped by 40 percent in the past 15 years, or that far more people are killed by motor vehicles or medical malpractice every year than are killed by guns.

And they never mention how many crimes have been prevented by citizens bearing arms.
The story mentions both the government 80,000 per year number and the 2 million per year number for the answer to the "crimes prevented" question.

As to the suicide issue - is it suicides in general that are a problem, or only gun-related suicides? Take a look at Canada's experience if you are confused. (They have more suicide, but less gun-related suicide.)

On the whole a very nice article.

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