2

The famous Gary Kleck's study estimated that there are around 400'000 cases of defensive gun uses per year in the US for which people believe they would have died if they hadn't owned a gun.

Gun users in 400,000 of these cases believe that the gun certainly or almost certainly saved a life.
http://www.owl232.net/papers/guncontrol.htm

However, many people on Internet forums I've discussed that with think that the Gary Kleck's study is seriously flawed (that it both has a bad methodology and implausible conclusions) and that its conclusions should not be taken seriously. I don't think it is, but I am interested whether there are some other studies that try to estimate that number.

EDIT: I am not asking how often guns are used defensively. I know there are plenty of studies about that with wildly different results. I am asking about how often guns actually save lives. Obviously, that is much more rare than the total number of defensive gun uses. So, please, don't write yet another long answer linking to a bunch of studies trying to estimate the total number of defensive gun uses per year. That's as if somebody asked how many people died from COVID and you linked to a bunch of studies trying to estimate the total number of COVID-19 cases.
Also, I am not asking anything about mass shootings here. Most of the mass shootings obviously cannot be stopped by an armed citizen, but mass shootings make less than 1% of the total gun deaths. Mass shootings are horrible, but they are isolated incidents.

EDIT: OK, in case it is not clear, Gary Kleck did not claim that gun is used in self-defense only 400'000 times per year. He claimed that guns are used defensively around 2 million times per year, and that, in the vast majority of them, no life is saved by a gun. But, according to Gary Kleck, in 400'000 cases, a life was saved by a gun. What I am asking is, are there any other estimates of that number, the number of lives saved by a gun.

16
  • 1
    I would say it is infamous but that may be my personal bias. Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 11:12
  • 1
    From the study "It is not possible to know how many lives are actually saved this way, for the simple reason that no one can be certain how crime incidents would have turned out had the participants acted differently than they actually did." Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 13:30
  • 2
    @matt_black That's almost what it's claiming: 340-400k incidents in which somebody (not necessarily the gunowner) was saved, although it's taking a small survey and scaling it up to all incidents in which a gun was used, giving 340k to 400k (so the latter is an upper bound). It's not clear if the incidents in the survey match the larger events, and they acknowledge the possibility that most of the people surveyed could be mistaken. But the claim is that of the 2.2-2.5 million incidents in which guns were shown or used defensively, in 15.7% of them, the victim believes a life was saved.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 9:29
  • 2
    Dumb question, but given your updated statement about self-defense being out of scope, how exactly would a gun save someone outside of self-defense? And how is self-defense out of scope when the cited excerpt from your study is so clearly pertaining self-defense: Gun users in 400,000 of these cases believe that the gun certainly or almost certainly saved a life If not self-defense what is your definition of a "a life saved"? Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 0:06
  • 1
    Skeptics has already handled this: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/16194/… Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 1:36

3 Answers 3

8

Short Answer

How often are lives saved by civilian private citizens using guns in the United States?

Probably in the mid-hundreds to low single digit thousands of times per year.

But in many cases, it is intrinsically difficult to know if using a gun in self-defense saved a life, so one would like to resort to statistical evidence.

Statistically, firearms are so vastly more likely to be used criminally than to be used in legal self-defense, that the net impact on homicide rates of firearm ownership is unequivocally negative. On a net basis, firearms result in lives lost, rather than lives saved. Having a gun makes you much more likely to be killed and much less safe from violent crime.

As the example of bank robberies illustrates, even when one is not actually shooting someone in a self-defensive use of a firearm, one is usually making it more likely that an innocent person will be killed, not less likely.

Firearms also don't prevent tyranny and generally make civil wars and coups more deadly without changing the ultimate results.

Higher rates of firearm ownership by civilians does, however, reliable and predictably increases the rates of firearm suicides and firearm accidents involving children. Increases in firearm suicides do not materially reduce or increase suicides from other causes.

Long Answer

There is a great deal of research on the question, but there is not really any study, including Kleck's that provide a definitive answer in one place.

Kleck's study is, to put in mildly, garbage. Other research is better, but necessarily tackles bits of this difficult to answer question at a time from many different angles.

Some Key, High Quality Research On The Question

Various publications of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (available at the link) address the issue. Their results can be summarized as follows:

  • Guns are not used millions of times each year in self-defense.
  • Most purported self-defense gun uses are gun uses in escalating arguments, and are both socially undesirable and illegal.
  • Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense.
  • Guns in the home are used more often to intimidate intimates than to thwart crime.
  • Adolescents are far more likely to be threatened with a gun than to use one in self-defense.
  • Criminals who are shot are typically victims of crime.
  • Few criminals are shot by law-abiding (non-law enforcement) citizens.
  • Self-defense gun use is rare and not more effective at preventing injury than other protective actions.

These studies include:

  • Hemenway, David. Survey research and self-defense gun use: An explanation of extreme overestimates. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 1997; 87:1430-1445 (the claim of many millions of annual self-defense gun uses by American citizens is invalid).

  • Hemenway, David. The myth of millions of annual self-defense gun uses: A case study of survey overestimates of rare events. Chance (American Statistical Association). 1997; 10:6-10 (the claim of many millions of annual self-defense gun uses by American citizens is invalid).

  • Cook, Philip J; Ludwig, Jens; Hemenway, David. The gun debate’s new mythical number: How many defensive uses per year? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 1997; 16:463-469 (the claim of many millions of annual self-defense gun uses by American citizens is invalid).

  • Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah. Gun use in the United States: Results from two national surveys. Injury Prevention. 2000; 6:263-267 (criminal court judges who read the self-reported accounts of the purported self-defense gun use rated a majority as being illegal, even assuming that the respondent had a permit to own and to carry a gun, and that the respondent had described the event honestly from his own perspective).

  • Hemenway, David; Azrael, Deborah. The relative frequency of offensive and defensive gun use: Results of a national survey. Violence and Victims. 2000; 15:257-272 (firearms are used far more often to frighten and intimidate than they are used in self-defense).

  • Azrael, Deborah R; Hemenway, David. In the safety of your own home: Results from a national survey of gun use at home. Social Science and Medicine. 2000; 50:285-91 (guns in the home are used more often to frighten intimates than to thwart crime; other weapons are far more commonly used against intruders than are guns).

  • Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Gun threats against and self-defense gun use by California adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2004; 158:395-400 (young people were far more likely to be threatened with a gun than to use a gun in self-defense, and most of the reported self-defense gun uses were hostile interactions between armed adolescents).

  • May, John P; Hemenway, David. Oen, Roger; Pitts, Khalid R. When criminals are shot: A survey of Washington DC jail detainees. Medscape General Medicine. 2000; June 28. www.medscape.com (one in four detainees in a D.C. jail had been wounded by gunfire, in events that appear unrelated to their incarceration. Most were shot when they were victims of robberies, assaults and crossfires. Virtually none report being wounded by a “law-abiding citizen.”)

  • May, John P; Hemenway, David. Oen, Roger; Pitts, Khalid R. Medical Care Solicitation by Criminals with Gunshot Wound Injuries: A Survey of Washington DC Jail Detainees. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 48:130-132 (virtually all criminals who have been shot went to the hospital, and can describe in detail what happened there).

  • May, John P; Hemenway, David. Do Criminals Go to the Hospital When They are Shot? Injury Prevention. 2002; 8:236-238 (virtually all criminals who have been shot went to the hospital, and can describe in detail what happened there).

  • Hemenway D, Solnick SJ. The epidemiology of self-defense gun use: Evidence from the National Crime Victimization Surveys 2007-2011. Preventive Medicine. 2015; 79: 22-27 (victims use guns in less than 1% of contact crimes, and women never use guns to protect themselves against sexual assault (in more than 300 cases)).

A Better Designed Survey Shows Kleck Grossly Overestimated Defensive Uses Of Firearms

There are on the order of 60,000-120,000 reported defensive uses of firearm per year according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. This places an upper bound on the number of lives saved by such defensive uses of firearms.

  • McDowall DB, Wiersema B., "National Archives of Criminal Justice Data. National Crime Victimization Survey: 1986–1991, 1992–1995." http:\www.icpsr.umich.edu:80/NACJD. (the National Crime Victimization Survey estimates that each year about one million violent crimes involve guns).

  • The incidence of civilian defensive firearm use by US crime victims. Am J Public Health 1994;84:1982–5 (victims use guns in self defense perhaps 60,000 to 120,000 times each year).

The number of lives saved by guns is necessarily significantly smaller than this 60,000 to 120,000 number.

Less than half of these self-defense uses of firearms are in cases involving violent crime as opposed to property crime, and involve violent crimes where death was a likely outcome for the victim.

The most difficult to estimate question is what proportion of cases where a gun is brandished or a warning shot is fired, without actually shooting someone, saves a life, since the vast majority of defensive use of firearms do not involve actually shooting someone.

More Than Half Of People Who Are Shot Die

About 9,200 people are non-fatally shot with firearms each year (a five year average from 2007-2011), and about 11,000 people were fatally shot in violent crimes in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Justified Homicides By Private Citizens Are Rare

Criminal uses of firearms are one or two orders of magnitude more common than justified uses of firearms.

In the time period from 2007 to 2021 there were between 257 and 414 justified homicides by private citizens (as opposed to law enforcement officers) each year.

This establishes something close to a lower bound of lives saved, although not every justified homicide (e.g. a justified homicide use to prevent a rape in progress, or to shoot an armed criminal who had run out of ammunition even though the private citizen shooter didn't know that fact) would save a life. See also this report on Justified Homicides.

If the ratio of justified homicides to justified shootings not resulting in death are similar for criminals and non-criminals, then the number of justified shootings with firearms is on the order of 900 a year or less (only some of which saved lives).

Private Armed Citizens Rarely Stop Active Shooters

The New York Times has done an analysis restricted to mass shootings summarized in the following image:

enter image description here

This shows that 12 out of 453 active shooter situations (about 2.6%) were resolved by a non-professional firearms owner shooting the active shooter.

Self-Reported Defensive Use Of Firearms Establishes An Upper Bound And Shows The Nature Of Defensive Firearm Use

Survey data from William English measures self-reported defensive firearm use similar to that of Kleck, and with many of the same methodological flaws. But it still provides a data point that places an upper bound on the amount of defensive uses of firearms that occur. It also explores the mix of actions that are seen as defensive uses of firearms in statistical depth.

  • William English, "2021 National Firearms Survey: Updated Analysis Including Types of Firearms Owned" SSRN (May 18, 2022) (self-reported data on defensive use of firearms in a survey including "saying you have a gun" as a common defensive use).

English's study shows that most self-reported defensive uses of firearms involve brandishing a firearm, saying you have a firearm without displaying it (31%), or firing a warning shot, but not actually shooting someone.

As noted above, cases of justifiable shooting someone probably happen only about 900 times a year or less in the United States.

Higher Gun Ownership Rates And Fewer Restrictions Increase Homicide Rates

Homicide rates are lower, on average, in places where access to guns is more restricted and firearm ownership rates are lower.

There is no evidence that higher gun ownership rates or reduced restrictions on firearms reduce homicide rates. This statistical trend strongly disfavors the hypothesis that any significant number of homicides are prevented by the self-defensive use of firearms.

  • Hepburn, Lisa; Hemenway, David. Firearm availability and homicide: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal. 2004; 9:417-40.

  • Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Firearm availability and homicide rates across 26 high income countries. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 49:985-88.

  • Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. Household firearm ownership levels and homicide rates across U.S. regions and states, 1988-1997. American Journal of Public Health. 2002; 92:1988-1993.

  • Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. State-level homicide victimization rates in the U.S. in relation to survey measures of household firearm ownership, 2001-2003. Social Science and Medicine. 2007; 64:656-64.

See also international statistics on homicides and gun ownership compiled by Wikipedia.

Notably, there are no studies showing that self-defensive use of firearms saves many lives, even in places where extremely high levels of public possession and/or carrying of firearms like Israel and Switzerland.

Justified Defensive Use Of Firearms Makes It More Likely That Innocent People Will Be Killed During A Crime

The use of armed self-defense increases the likelihood that an innocent person will be killed in a crime.

For example, insurance companies for banks and other businesses, and corporate managers for these businesses, long ago determined that actuarially, brandishing a firearm makes it more likely that a criminal will kill someone, even if they wouldn't have done so if a firearm was not brandished. See, e.g., here. So, they favor a largely passive response to robberies. Bank employees are trained to comply with a robber's demands. See also enter image description here

Despite this passive policy stance towards bank robbery, the percentages of bank robberies that are solved (about 60%) is higher than almost any other kind of crime.

Political Justifications For Firearms That Could Save Lives In Black Swan Events

The U.S. Second Amendment was justified in political terms by a strategy that is currently called in political science lingo "counterbalancing." The leading study on the effectiveness of counterbalancing in achieving the political goals of the Second Amendment with empirical evidence that had not been available to the Founders when the Second Amendment was adopted is the following book:

Lives Lost To Firearm Suicides And Accidents

Finally, because self-defensive uses of guns are so rare, one has to take into account the risks of someone dying from suicide or an accident, with a firearm, and balance that against the lives saved in the rare case where a defensive use of a firearm by a private civilian saves a life.

As the Pew Research Center notes, suicides account for a majority of all firearm deaths, and the number of firearm suicides is fairly tightly correlated with the gun ownership rate. In this regard it is important to note that the literature on suicide clearly establishes that removing one means by which people can commit suicide results in almost no increase in the number of suicides by other means.

So lives are saved every day by simply not making firearms available.

Adult accidental deaths from firearms are quite modest, and in line with all sort of other ordinary activities. But, firearms are the source of a disproportionate share of accidental deaths of children and accidental deaths caused by children, especially younger children. Children with guns almost never use firearms in justifiable self-defense to prevent crimes, however.

11
  • 2
    @FlatAssembler How are stats of use in self-defense irrelevant to how they save lives? That seems rather high level sophistry, especially when it concerns a subject where the statistics are so very nebulous (not least because the NRA managed to throttle funding for gun violence research ). If you are really going that route, why are you asking this question if you are going to quibble on every answer and how should we consider it to be asked in good faith? Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 23:11
  • 4
    @FlatAssembler Each of the referenced studies address some or all of the question. The reality of research is that you don't always get every answer you want wrapped up in a ribbon. Gary Kleck's study is widely discredited in addition to being old. Its analysis is carefully debunked by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Defensive uses puts a cap on the number of lives saved directly. If you do a statistical global analysis of the net effect using, e.g., difference in difference methods, guns always cause more lost lives than they saves, which is another cap on potential live saved.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 23:33
  • 3
    @FlatAssembler I've certainly seen the claim that mass shootings can be stopped by an armed person almost every time they happen. You may not be making that argument but a great many people do.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 23:56
  • 2
    @FlatAssembler Really? scalise.house.gov/issues/2nd-amendment : House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) addressed the National Rifle Association's 2019 Leadership Forum on Friday to share how his personal experience of surviving an attempted mass shooting has strengthened his belief in the importance of the Second Amendment so all law-abiding citizens can defend themselves and their families against criminals like his shooter. Didn't take all that long to find, so again I have to wonder how informed you are or how receptive to get answers that go against your beliefs. Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 0:00
  • 6
    @FlatAssembler it's a separate question or research topic but the short version is "when you escalate an already very tense situation, people start doing dumber and dumber things".
    – Erik
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 11:42
3

There are, nothing seems all that reliable, but there is also no great reason to "buy into" the Kleck study all that much, especially as it is 30 years old and fails to take into account the then-unknown phenomenon of mass shootings.

How Often Are Guns Used For Self-Defense? (2022

How many instances of defensive gun use are there each year? The number of DGUs, as these incidents are commonly known, is hard to pin down. Law enforcement agencies don’t typically classify DGUs as a standalone category. The FBI tracks justifiable homicides, but states aren’t required to submit those figures, so the data is incomplete. And the FBI figures omit defensive assaults, in which someone fights off an attack, and brandishings.

This ambiguity has opened the door to a fierce debate between gun violence researchers and pro-gun advocates, who tend to cite different sets of data. Academics largely rely on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), a twice-yearly poll of crime victims conducted by the federal government, while gun rights activists point to a series of telephone surveys conducted in the early 1990s by a criminologist and self-described “gun control skeptic” named Gary Kleck.

The NCVS identifies far fewer instances of defensive gun use. According to the most recent firearms violence report, published in April, 2 percent of victims of nonfatal violent crime — that includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault — and 1 percent of property crime victims use guns in self-defense. According to the survey, firearms were used defensively in 166,900 nonfatal violent crimes between 2014 and 2018, which works out to an average of 33,380 per year. Over the same period, defensive gun use was reported in 183,300 property crimes, or an average of 36,660 per year.

Taken together, that’s 70,040 instances of defensive gun use per year.

Notably, the NCVS figure excludes cases of simple assault. There are other caveats: Survey respondents are only asked about defensive measures if they report being victims of certain crimes, including rape, assault, burglary, larceny, and car theft. That means victims of trespassing and commercial crimes are not given the opportunity to report defensive gun use.

The article goes on to quote at least one issue with Kleck's math:

David Hemenway, ​​director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, who first addressed “extreme overestimates” of DGUs 25 years ago, pointed out problems with Kleck’s math in 1997:

Guns were reportedly used by defenders for self-defense in approximately 845,000 burglaries. From sophisticated victimization surveys, however, we know that there were fewer than six million burglaries in the year of the survey and in only 22 percent of those cases was someone certainly at home (1.3 million burglaries). Since only 42 percent of U.S. households own firearms, and since the victims in two thirds of the occupied dwellings were asleep, the 2.5 million figure requires us to believe that burglary victims use their guns in self-defense more than 100 percent of the time.

Kleck claims that he has rebutted Hemenway's claims and that Hemenway "had no response". Make of that what you want.

I would also add that, if Kleck's findings were as solid as he claims, we should be seeing significant deaths in Western countries with similar socioeconomic profiles (In countries with severe lawlessness, risk/benefits would change, I might be very keen on owning a gun for self-defense in Somalia for example). UK residents, with their extremely low gun ownership rates should be quaking in their boots, not sitting pretty at 1.1/100k vs the US's 6.4.

I invite you to go to List of countries by guns and homicide - Wikipedia. Click to sort by gun ownership and judge for yourself.

Note that when considering "lives saved" by guns, a significant variable is also deaths by firearm suicides

Pew Research has a whole study on it:

Suicides accounted for more than half of US gun deaths in 2021

Though they tend to get less public attention than gun-related murders, suicides have long accounted for the majority of U.S. gun deaths. In 2021, 54% of all gun-related deaths in the U.S. were suicides (26,328), while 43% were murders (20,958), according to the CDC. The remaining gun deaths that year were accidental (549), involved law enforcement (537) or had undetermined circumstances (458).

p.s. link to Kleck's study

-1

So in this 2022 study published by the The Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), they suggest that the FBI's study that concluded that 4.4% of all mass shooting incidents is incorrect. Their reasoning is that the FBI used the traditional "active shooter incident" definition for mass shooting (the gunman enters a public place and opens fire.) and discounts mass shootings where the gun fire stemmed for another crime in progress such as a store robbery or gang violence. When this is factored in the number of shootings prevented by a civilian with a gun rises to 34.4%. Both studies were conducted using incidents from 2014-2021.

The CPRC attributes the factor to two factors: Misidentification and Overlooked Cases. They provide as an example of misidentified cases the 2019 West Freeway Church of Christ shooting in which two men lost their lives to a gunman who was brought down by a parishioner with a concealed weapon. The CPRC cites that the FBI labeled this parishioner as a security guard, which the parishioner was not. He was a volunteer providing security along with about 20 other individuals, and was neither paid for his services nor was he paid as a security guard by any other organization. This error prevented the case from being listed in the FBI study that yielded the 4.4% statistic, which the CPRC concludes was erroneous.

In the case of "overlooked cases" the CPRC noted that they were able to find an futher identify a futher 83 cases during the 7 year period of the FBI study that were not included in the FBI's data at all, of which 25 cases were stopped by a civilian defensive use of a gun.

Both studies agree that there is a noticable increase of defensive use of firearms in active shooter cases with 2021 seeing 49.1% of all cases stopped in this manner according the the CPRC, up from 2015 which saw only 35.6% of cases (The FBI Study for the years give, gives 6.6% in 2021 and 4.3% in 2015).

The CPRC study also faults the FBI study for not making a distinction between incidents that took place in Gun Free Zones (properties where by law or by choice of the property owner, no one is legally allowed to carry weapons) and argues that by failing to control for Gun Free Zoning, the FBI study further ignored muddied their numbers since a defensive user would be law abiding and not have their fire arm in these locations. When the CPRC eliminated the incidents of mass shooting at gun free zones, they found that the average over the 7 year period was that defensive use of firearms occurred in 51% of incidents on average with 2021 having 58% defensive use in cases in that year, the most dramatic rise between two calendar years.

The CPRC also address the idea that a civilian defensive shooter would have injured innocent bystanders or would have been mistakenly shot by police themselves. The reviewed the cases for this study to find any trends on this topic and drew the following conclusions: In the study period of 2014-2021, in the cases where an armed civilian used a gun in defense in a mass shooting incident, they found no cases of a victim of the defensive gun user other than the mass shooter themselves. Over a 7 year period, in all cases, the criminal was the only person who was injured in defensive gun uses. Over the same time period, there was exactly one case in which the defensive user was mistakenly shot by responding law enforcement, and no cases where they were shot by a second defensive civillian user. Suffice to say, while there is a non-zero chance that this could occur, the odds of it are less than a fraction of a percent.

The CPRC is a 501(C)(3) organization that is dedicated to conducting academic quality research on the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime, and public safety and education based on their findings. Per their about page they do not accept donations from gun or ammunitions manufactures or organizations that are invested in the debate over gun control on either side (pro or con) as well as refuse donnations from organizations concerned with illegal immigration (pro or con).

EDIT: With the OP's initial clarification, I have inclcude the 2013 CDC report on gun violence in the United States, which specifically addresses the question of defensive use of fire arms. According to the report, the available data gave wildly varying numbers. The CDC found that the low end of the reporting suggested that an average of 60,000 to 120,000 defensive uses of guns occur per year. By comparison, in the period between 2000 and 2010, an estimated 335,000 people lost their lives due to firearms, of which 61% of those were suicides. At the high end, the CDC study reported an estimated 2.5 million defensive gun uses to prevent crime. The Study concluded that the the various reports it used had widely differing methodologies for obtaining their numbers and that many reports relied on self-reporting and different deffinitons. It did conclude that there is a potential benefit for defensive use of fire arms as even in the low end of the spectrum, the number of crimes committed with a gun per year is similar in number or less than the amount of crimes prevented by active defensive use of a gun (note that in this case, this would include both defensive shootings and threats of use of lethal force) and would be consistent with the CDRC report cited earlier. It also found that statistically, verified self-defense uses of fire arms resulted in less injury to the potential victim of the crime than incidents where guns were not used, but made no conclusion if another preventative measure would be more reliable.

In relation to crime in general, the CDC study found that there are an estmated 300 million guns in civilian ownership (almost one gun per every citizen of the nation, although most gun owners own multiple fire arms) and that of them, long arms amount for about 2/3rds of the arms owned by civillians in the United States, and hand guns amount to a third. Despite this, Handguns amount to 87% of all gun crimes (Further, while I can't recall which study I read the statistic in, more people in the United States are killed by being beaten to death by an unarmed human being than are killed by long arms per year on average).

It further found that between the periods of 1983 and 2010 there were 78 incidents of mass shootings, which the report defines as an incident where 4 or more people are killed by a single perpetrator in a single day. This accounts to 547 deaths and 476 injuries. This is over a longer period of history than the previously cited 2000 to 2010 total gun fatality.

In all, the CDC study concludes that there is not enough information on the defensive use of a gun to draw a conclusion as the data is difficult to identify and often reliant on self-reporting and poorly defined between active use of a firearm vs. passive use of a firearm (To give an example of passive defensive use of a firearm, another study I have seen, suggest that when controlled for population, the U.K. and the U.S. experience Burglary at roughly the same rates of incidents. However, in the U.K. about 80% of the Burglaries are "hot" (defined as entry is made by the perp while a legal occupant is in the building) while in the U.S. about 20% of Burglaries are hot. Felons questioned in this survey cite the potential lethal consequences of entering a home with a firearm owner as the reason they avoid these types of burglaries. This of course relies on self-reporting and is not conclusive but merely to offer an example of passive defensive use.).

2
  • That has... very little to do with the question. I explicitly said I was not asking anything about mass shootings. Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 12:27
  • 1
    @FlatAssembler Added edit to amend additional information I hope you find helpful.
    – hszmv
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 14:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .