Self-Defense Statistics-When Stats Are Colored With Attitude

Obdicut (Now with 2% less brain)6/02/2014 8:39:13 pm PDT
The FBI interest in disseminating these numbers includes helping us understand the day to day risk of being a victim,

They don’t. National statistics have no bearing, zero, nada, zip, niente, not a single thing, on individual risk. The danger of being murdered as, say, a retired hedge fund guy out in the Hamptons and a young black male in whatever hellhole has replaced Cabrini Green are entirely different.

This is a core part of honest and responsible use of statistics, not to apply a broad trend to an individual.

The only way to assess individual risk is by looking at individual circumstances, not by applying national numbers.

The VPC looks like a shitty advocacy group intentionally cherrypicking only research that agrees with them. Their argument is a weak one.

There is not ever going to be a way to get to a real number of defensive gun uses. It’s simply not possible, because it depends on surveys from people who have a vested interest in presenting a story one way or another. We at best will have a hazy guestimate.

Most people in the US live in very safe communities; the ghettos and other danger zones skew the murder rate quite a bit. In addition to that, the majority of murder that most people face is from their spouse, close friend, or relative, and most of the time that murder is not one that could be defended against with a gun.

For a lot of people, the idea of a gun as a self-defense weapon is simply not in line with statistical reality: they have very low chances of being attacked. The national numbers are not how you figure out your danger, any more than your chance of cancer is based on the national average for cancer. It matters if you’re a pack a day smoker who worked in heavy industry vs. someone with no cancer in their family history who lives a healthy life.

If you want to honestly address this topic, then it’s important not to pretend the national numbers can inform us about the risk of any individual: that’s not how statistics work.