If you’ve ever been in argument with (read: HAVE BEEN YELLED AT BY) a gun controller, you’ve heard them either cite non-existent or artificially manipulated CDC statistics, or lament that the CDC can’t properly study gun deaths.
What you haven’t heard is that the CDC actually does have some gun data of pretty important use, and it shows that people have defended their own lives with guns. It’s almost like the weapon that the police and military use to stop bad guys can stop bad guys EVEN AT YOUR OWN HOUSE!! Whaaaaaaaaat???
But in the 1990s, the CDC itself did look into one of the more controversial questions in gun social science: How often do innocent Americans use guns in self-defense, and how does that compare to the harms guns can cause in the hands of violent criminals?
lorida State University criminologist Gary Kleck conducted the most thorough previously known survey data on the question in the 1990s. His study, which has been harshly disputed in pro-gun-control quarters, indicated that there were more than 2.2 million such defensive uses of guns (DGUs) in America a year.
Now Kleck has unearthed some lost CDC survey data on the question. The CDC essentially confirmed Kleck’s results. But Kleck didn’t know about that until now, because the CDC never reported what it found.
And what was found? There’s a lot of explanation and methodology discussion at Reason (all good and supportive of the conclusion, by the way) but let’s cut right to the chase here.
(emphasis added by me)
The final adjusted prevalence of 1.24% therefore implies that in an average year during 1996–1998, 2.46 million U.S. adults used a gun for self-defense. This estimate, based on an enormous sample of 12,870 cases (unweighted) in a nationally representative sample, strongly confirms the 2.5 million past-12-months estimate obtained Kleck and Gertz (1995)….CDC’s results, then, imply that guns were used defensively by victims about 3.6 times as often as they were used offensively by criminals.
Can we repeat that? We can.
GUNS WERE USED DEFENSIVELY BY VICTIMS ABOUT 3.6 TIMES AS OFTEN AS THEY WERE USED OFFENSIVELY BY CRIMINALS.
The implications of this data point are enormous, though you won’t likely hear that from any MSM outfit. It means that guns are net good. They save more people from harm than people they help commit harm.
It’s as if the gun is a tool or something and not an embodiment of the hoary host of the netherworld.
But that can’t be right. If it were, Yeti Coolers would be looking pretty freaking stupid right now. Right?