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Lies About Guns
by Doug Hagin
06 January 2004Handgun

Do you know how many times Americans have used firearms to thwart crimes and defend themselves over the past year?

Take a look at this number and see if it means anything to you, 2,452,643. Does it ring a bell? No? Well if you are thinking these numbers represent a lotto winner’s purse or the number of times Democratic candidates have attacked President Bush in the last month you are mistaken. No instead this very large number represents the number of times Americans have used firearms to thwart crimes and defend themselves over the past year.

According to the National Self-Defense Survey created by Florida State University criminologists in 1994, the rate of defensive gun uses can be projected to approximately 2.5 million per year, or one defensive use for every 13 seconds.

Do those numbers come as a surprise? Certainly they would to those who buy into the myths put forward by the gun control advocates in our nation.
According to their information guns are the very worst things any American can own.

They love to represent guns as the cause of crimes, tragic accidents and of course suicides. Yet the actual numbers do not bare their representations out at all. Consider some more numbers from the National Self-Defense Survey.

15.7% of gun defenders interviewed nationwide during The National Self Defense Survey believed that someone "almost certainly" would have died had the gun not been used for protection -- a life saved by a privately held gun about once every 1.3 minutes. (In another 14.2% cases, the defender believed someone "probably" would have died if the gun hadn't been used in defense.)
In 83.5% of those successful gun defenses, the attacker either used or threatened force first. So much for the gun control argument that gun availability for self-defense will not make any difference.

Further, in 91.7% of these defensive uses the people protecting themselves neither killed nor wounded their attackers. This surely destroys the oft used argument that gun ownership leads to wild west style shootouts in the streets doesn’t it? Of course the media is incredibly irresponsible in their consistent non-reporting of these defensive uses of firearms. At most these stories will receive only passing mention in the vast majority of media outlets. And that is only if they are mentioned at all.

Yet another popular gun control myth put forward is that a gun will most likely be used against a family member or a loved one. Yet as the survey showed, over 70 % of the defensive uses were against a stranger, while those against a family member or loved one was well below 10%.

Another very popular gun control tactic is to insist that alternate self-defense options such as pepper spray or martial arts are preferable to using a gun. Yet in over half of these incidents the intended victim was facing two or more attackers. And in a quarter of them three or more attackers were menacing the victim. Pepper spray or hand to hand combat would not have served the intended victims nearly as well as their guns did. Yet those intent on disarming America insist on selling the lie that guns do not make us safer.

Of course possibly the most maligned laws by gun control advocates are concealed carry laws. In every state which allows citizens to carry weapons, violent crime has dropped, yet the cries of gun grabbers to do away with these laws for safety’s sake continue. The Self-Defense Survey proves most damning to the cries against these laws. Nearly 80% of the defensive gun uses were by citizens with concealed weapons. Further a quarter of the uses occurred away from the defenders home. Where would these innocent citizens have been without these laws?

The evidence from this study makers it very clear just how wrong the gun grabbers of America are. The may argue all day about wanting to reduce violent crimes yet they argue against Americans arming themselves. If they were to get their way there would have been more, many more victims of violent crimes, not fewer in this nation.

The gun control crowd loves to talk about our children and reducing crime and safety. Yet if their stated desires ever become the law of our land what will our children have to look forward to? More rapes, more robberies, more assaults, more murders, and more victims.

Maybe those who want us not to own guns really do care and really think they have our best interests at heart. But there are 2,452,643 Americans who will surely disagree.

Doug Hagin resides in Dallas and hopes to one day be a nationally syndicated columnist with his own radio show

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