Unreported: Defensive Gun Use

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Making an argument akin to that Frederic Bastiat made in his Parable of the Broken Window, Thomas Sowell raises the following points regarding the defensive gun use:

Surveys of American gun owners have found that 4 to 6 percent reported using a gun in self-defense within the previous five years. That is not a very high percentage but, in a country with 300 million people, that works out to hundreds of thousands of defensive uses of guns per year.


Although most defensive uses of guns do not involve actually shooting, nevertheless the total number of criminals killed by armed private citizens runs into the thousands per year. A gun can also come in handy if a pit bull or some other dangerous animal is after you or your child. [bold added]
Sowell also nicely contrasts these facts with the popular stereotype of defensive gun use as resembling "the gunfight at the OK Corral". This he does both by helping the reader imagine a situation in which having a gun (but not necessarily having to fire it) would be nice, and by succinctly demonstrating the misuse of statistics by proponents of gun control.

-- CAV

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