Quora – a Target-Rich Environment

Here’s a short, pithy exchange from Quora.  The original answer is mine.

Original question: “How many ‘good guys with guns’ have saved the day against criminals in the US?”

The lowest estimate for defensive gun usage in the U.S. is approximately 108,000 per year – that’s (carry the one…) 295 times a day. The vast majority of these defensive gun uses involve no shots fired. As a result, no mention in the news. A few do make it, like these:

Man holds suspected burglar at gunpoint in east Tulsa

Citizen holds assault suspect at gunpoint at Wenatchee gas station

Deputies: Homeowner pulls gun on intruder with face he won’t forget

Couple holds home invasion suspect at gunpoint

NH Dad Pulls Gun on Intruder Until Police Arrive

Michael Hill
4h ago

You claim 295 times a day then as evidence for decades all over America give just FIVE cases.

How damned stupid do you think we are?

Self-Defense Gun Use is Rare, Study Finds…

Kevin Baker
Original Author · 3h ago

“How damned stupid do think we are?”

I gave five specific instanced in the past few weeks where NO SHOTS WERE FIRED, and the story still made the (local) news.

How stupid do you have to be to misrepresent that?

EDITED TO ADD: A Violence Policy Center paper? Really? An organization dedicated to the banning of all handguns is supposed to be nonpartisan? Pull my other leg.

Michael Hill
2h ago

Boring NRA propaganda.

Don’t cry. We won’t take your guns away.

Kevin Baker
Original Author · 1h ago

OK, I’ll see your 2015 VPC paper and raise you a 2013 Centers for Disease Control report. They’re a shill for the NRA, right? Who was President in 2013?

From Page 15 of Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence:

“Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996; Kleck, 2001a). Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010). On the other hand, some scholars point to a radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (Cook et al., 1997). The variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field. The estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys. The former estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.”
 
108,000/365 = 295.89 defensive gun uses PER DAY. Absolute minimum.

CDC propaganda? National Crime Victimization Survey propaganda? Or fact?

And you’re right, you won’t.

I’m curious as to whether or not he’ll respond.

UPDATE: He did!

Michael Hill
4m ago

Lies, lies lies in your article:

“According to the Congressional Research Service, public mass shootings “have claimed 547 lives and led to an additional 476 injured victims” since 1983 (Bjelopera et al., 2013, pp. 7-8). “

Real world with actual data for this year alone:

List of mass shootings in the United States in 2019 – Wikipedia

More lies in your article:

“with ESTIMATES of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010). On the other hand, some scholars point to a radically lower ESTIMATE of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (Cook et al., 1997). The variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field. The estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys.

So it is anything from 108,000 to 500,000 to 3,000,000. What kind of crazy figures are those? They are EXTRAPOLATIONS from a small number of responses.

The great stsistics LIE:

Fascinating new book that shows how easily we’re misled by statistics

Kevin Baker
Original Author · Just now

So the CDC – and by extension the National Crime Victimization survey are lying. But the Violence Policy Center isn’t. And Wikipedia is never wrong. Because you say so. Check.

(Wikipedia? Seriously? Well, you believe the VPC, so…)

UPDATE II: He came back for more.

Michael Hill
6h ago

A Government body lying? Who’d have believed it?

As to wikipedia your arm waving is a decade out of date as they have long ago proved what they say by giving references, etc.

So another failure.

Kevin Baker
Original Author · 3h ago

So the references Wikipedia uses are dependable, but the CDC and Justice Department aren’t because they’re government entities.

What happens when Wikipedia cites government entities?

But hey, let’s use the all-knowing oracle that is Wikipedia – Defensive gun use – Wikipedia

Excerpt – “Estimates over the number of defensive gun uses vary wildly, depending on the study’s definition of a defensive gun use, survey design, country, population, criteria, time-period studied, and other factors. Low-end estimates are in the range of 55,000 to 80,000 incidents per year, while high end estimates reach 4.7 million per year. ”

So let’s take that absolute lowest estimate, 55,000 defensive gun uses per year as our basis. That’s 150 per day. Are you going to tell me that’s false too?

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