Study: Using Guns in Self-Defense is Rare


By Dan Thorn

A new report from the Violence Policy Center states incidents of using guns in self-defense is rare.

The report says it’s more likely people will hurt themselves or others with a gun than stop a criminal. 

The report, titled “Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use,” says more guns in the hands of regular people will not bring down crime rates. 

According to the study, In 2012 almost 260 “justifiable homicides” involving a private citizen were reported compared to more than 83,000 criminal homicides committed with a gun. 

 The CDC reports in addition to the thousands of murders each year about 22,000 people die accidentally using a gun or committing suicide. 

 Pro gun advocates say the Violence Policy Center, or VPC, is misleading in their reports. 

“The FBI and CDC (where VPC obtained their data) does not track defensive uses of firearms that do not result in injury,” said Keith Morgan, President of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League.

“They have no data on the subject, yet make assertions based on empty air.”

The study goes on to say guns are far more likely to be stolen than used in self defense. 

Sgt. Joel Gray with South Charleston Police believes he’s more in the middle of this debate.  

 “I think it’s important to try to understand the problems: what’s happening, how people are getting hurt and it comes back to personal responsibility,” said Gray. 

 The NRA has a list of incidents on its website pointing out where firearms were used in self-defense, successfully. 

Most recently, in Pinch, a pharmacist shot and killed a would-be robber in February. 

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