An unidentified family in Memphis, TN had a webcam pointed at their front yard on April 25, 2018, which shows the following exchange. A passerby with a gun in his waistband demands a phone and a ride from a man at the home in question. The man’s wife runs out on the porch and shows the robber a gun in her hand – which is a much more useful place to have a gun if you need one than in your waistband.
The wife yells, “I advise you to back the **** up!” She fires a warning shot off-camera. Witnesses say the robber pulled out his gun and then shot at her. She fired back at the robber several times and he ran off. Our only advice to the wife is that in the future, she should remember to use a two-handed grip to improve her aim. No one was hurt in the encounter.
Up until this month, you would be hard-pressed to estimate how many times per year an incident like this, known as a “Defensive Gun Use” or DGU, takes place in America. Back in 1996, Congress banned the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from doing any research that was pro- or anti-gun use. Pro- and anti-2nd Amendment officials were worried that the truth surrounding DGUs would be damaging to their argument, so public funds were off the table for this kind of research.
The only prior research into the frequency of DGUs was done in 1995 by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck. Mr. Kleck’s scientific research led him to come up with an estimated 2.4 million defensive gun uses in America annually.
That was crackpot research, sniffed the anti-gun National Crime Victimization Survey. Everyone knows that there are only 100,000 DGUs in America each year, so we should all just disarm and let the government take care of us.
Many of us can remember sitting in a public-school classroom as children and being told by a visiting police officer, or some other government figure, that using a gun defensively in the home is a death sentence – for YOU. Their argument always went that you are more likely to shoot yourself or a family member if you use a gun to stop a home invasion. Criminals are pros and you don’t stand a chance against them!
Plus, if you pull a gun on them, it will just make them really mad and then the criminal is more likely to kill you. So, do yourself a favor, kids. Don’t use guns defensively, don’t own a firearm in your home and just trust the police to show up and make everything fine.
These are all lies from the anti-gun lobby, of course. It turns out that the CDC conducted major surveys of defensive gun use in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The survey was conducted as part of a broader study on behavioral risks in America, so the CDC skirted around the new law from Congress against gun use surveys. The result of the CDC’s research showed that there were an estimated 2.5 million DGUs in America every year. How about that!
Part of the difficulty in estimating DGUs lies in the fact that they are never reported by the defenders. Unless shots are fired and there is accompanying video, such as in the story above out of Memphis, DGUs rarely make the nightly newscast.
But now we have two independent surveys – one from Mr. Kleck and one from the CDC – which show roughly the exact same number of estimated DGUs in America each year.
The truth seems to be that Americans defend their lives, bloodlessly and without a shot being fired, millions of times each and every year. We never hear about these incidents because when a burglar hears the Scariest Sound In The Universe (a homeowner racking the slide on a 12-guage in a dark room), the burglar skedaddles and the police don’t bother to notify the media that there was a DGU. Not that the media would report on it in most cases anyway.
Guns save lives and property far more often than they are used in crimes, according to the CDC’s research. So why didn’t the CDC ever publish this research? Why are we only finding out about it now, 20 years later?
We all know the answer to that question, of course. It probably has a lot to do with the administration that was in power in the 1990s, when this damning evidence was uncovered by the CDC. Bury the information, lie about the truth and demonize Mr. Kleck as a crackpot.
By the way, it looks like a lot of anti-gun organizations now owe Mr. Kleck an apology. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
~ American Gun News