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1 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 7:14:02am

From this and previous articles I have read it is obvious that the 2.5 million number is junk science. Relying on a telephone survey to estimate the number of annual crimes prevented by "brandishing" or otherwise defensively using a firearm is ridiculous. As Hemenway pointed out, in a random telephone survey of the American public just as many people (more really) will claim that they have been previously abducted by aliens. Six times as many will claim to have personally met aliens, this does not prove the existence of aliens however, it merely shows that many people lie to telephone surveys.

Hemenway also points out that in Kleck's survey some of the respondents claimed to have fired their weapon and hit the bad guy. Using these numbers would indicate that approximately 132,000 criminals were being shot each year. That number is actually close to the total number of gunshot victims treated or deceased each year. However nearly all these are accounted for by robbery victims, homicides or attempted homicides, and people committing or attempting to commit suicide. Where are all the injured and deceased criminals that Kleck's numbers say should exist?

An additional detail that this article does not go into is that a group of five judges was asked to review the data gathered by a similar survey conducted by Hemenway and a colleague. The results of the review by the judges was not all that surprising...

Hemenway and a colleague conducted their own survey and then asked five criminal court judges to review their data to determine the legality of the incidents of defensive gun use reported by respondents. “A majority of the reported self-defense gun uses were rated as probably illegal by a majority of judges,” they found.

The conclusion: “Guns are used to threaten and intimidate far more often than they are used in self-defense.”

For the NRA to continue to use this mythical and discredited number that is now more than twenty years old just shows that they really don't care about having an honest discussion about gun usage.

2 Political Atheist  Wed, Dec 26, 2012 8:30:27am

I did a bunch of digging. Whatever the numbers is, it's not millions IMO. My slightly educated guess is tens of thousands.

Whatever the real number is, the number of criminal uses being larger is not a disincentive to legal ownership, it's why many do have guns. If you ask anyone threatened by a criminal who used a gun with brandishing or firing and were not hurt or vixct8imised-They are very7 glad to have had the right to have the gun.

Even if we find the right number, it will fuel both sides of the debate. So, why fight about it anyway?


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 Frank says:

Now imagine a Moebius vortex inside a spherical constant, and you've got my cosmology. -- 1992