New study: in one year, gun owners stopped hundreds of crimes

Gun ownership up, gun violence down
Gun ownership up, gun violence down

My friend Michael posted this article from the Daily Caller, and I think it will be helpful for people who support gun control to understand what the effects of disarming law-abiding people would really be.

Excerpt: (links removed)

Gun carrying, private citizens who used firearms to stop criminal attacks saved at least 283 potential victims in a period between July 2014 and July 2015, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis.

TheDCNF concluded its analysis as President Barack Obama announced Tuesday another push by his administration to tighten federal gun control laws in an attempt to curb gun violence.

While Obama quotes the more than 30,000 gun deaths in a year — omitting that 60 percent are suicides, 6 percent are gang related, 3 percent are accidents, and the vast majority of the rest occur in urban areas — The DCNF found that a noteworthy number of kids, the elderly, and women successfully defended themselves against criminals by use of gun fire.

The DCNF analyzed 195 random incidents where gun owners used firearms to save their lives, and often the lives of others. We wanted to know, not just how many perpetrators were killed, but how many potential victims were saved.

[…]Of the nearly 200 cases we analyzed, people carrying guns saved at least 283 potential victims, whether it was a man protecting his family from thugs or a 9mm-toting grandma warding off a burglar in her living room.

In 60 of those cases, the single gun carrier was the only potential victim. In 43 cases, there were 2 potential victims. In nine cases there were three victims and in nine more cases there were four or more victims.

In 74 cases, it was unknown how many potential victims were present but it can be assumed there was at least one.  If the 74 potential victims followed the same distribution as the other cases, then the number of potential victims would actually be at least 335.

In one case, four Florida men put on masks and grabbed weapons in a planned burglary attempt of a Melbourne home in June of 2015. When one of the men came inside, he held a woman and her child at gunpoint. As the woman protected her child with her own body, the homeowner pulled out his handgun and opened fire on the robbers. The criminals fled, one injured, and the three victims were left unharmed.

The data shows that little less than a third of the people defending themselves with guns were women. Of the 173 cases where gender is known, 133 were male and 40 were female.

I’m all for gun ownership by law abiding citizens, but I am really for gun ownership by law-abiding female citizens. It is very important to me that women be encouraged to cancel out the disadvantage of lower upper body strength by carrying a concealed weapon. If a man tries to hurt a woman, she should be able to defend herself. Men need to learn to behave, and guns help women to teach them the lesson.

Consider this case:

Young people used guns for self defense as well. In September of 2014, an 11-year-old Oklahoma girl awoke around 4 a.m. to find that a man had broken into her home and stabbed her mother. The girl grabbed a handgun and shot the man twice, saving her mother’s life. The mother said she had just taught the daughter how to use the gun for self defense the week before.

I left the link in so that you can click it and read the news story.

Finally, I know that some of you will cringe at the idea of firing a weapon at another person. And I agree with you!!!! My hope is that many crimes will be avoided simply by displaying the gun in order to deter the attacker.


Gun carriers were able to defend themselves usually without killing the suspect. Of 217 suspects in our analysis, 148 survived their encounter with a gun carrier, whether they survived a gunshot wound or simply fled. The remaining 69 were killed, so more than half the suspects involved survived.

According to John Lott’s study (see below for link), it’s actually very common for the gun owner to get the attacker to run away once the gun is displayed to the attacker. The gun is rarely fired.

Now I’ll tell you my story. I actually worked next to a building where a woman used a legally owned concealed carry weapon for self-defense. One of this woman’s co-workers noticed that she had an expensive wedding ring and an expensive watch. The co-worker hired three people to rob the woman. She came into the office very very early in the morning (this was a Friday morning). When she arrived at the office, she got out of her car and walked towards the front door. She noticed a man in a hoody had gotten out of his car and was walking towards her. The engine of his car was still running and the door was open. He walked right past the front door of the building and kept coming towards her. She pulled out her handgun and pointed it right at him and told him to get back in the car and leave the parking lot. He did so… and later we found out that he actually had a gun in the hoodie. She wrote down the license plate number and all three of the people in the car were arrested and charged. No shots were fired.

What was interesting was the response of the politically correct people in my building. An e-mail went around warning us all that we were not allowed to carry guns and how it was much safer that we not carry guns, and so on. But it was obvious to everyone that this gun had saved the woman from being robbed, and possibly worse. We found out later that the person who hired the thugs were also brought to justice.

It is life experiences like this that caused me to change my position on guns. I actually used to be against them, until I read the John Lott books and studies, and had these experiences of seeing how people used guns to deter criminals. This was not part of the culture I grew up in, and neither my parents nor my family owned guns. It was just a case of changing my mind once I was confronted with the evidence. The people I know who are anti-gun never could answer the story of what happened to that woman. I would ask them – what would you do to save her? And they had no answer. There is no answer. Either she defends herself or she is robbed at gunpoint, and maybe raped, and maybe murdered. That’s what gun control really means – the criminals do as they please, with impunity. Criminals don’t care about the gun control laws. Only the law-abiding people are disarmed, and that causes more crime, not less crime. Which is why big Democrat cities like Chicago, New York and Baltimore, have the highest violent crime rates in the USA.

Crime rates in major cities, all Democrat-run
Crime rates in major cities, all run by anti-gun Democrat politicians

By the way, here’s an example of a French citizen using a legal handgun to ward off a man with a baseball bat.

Again, no shots were fired. Nobody was hurt. That’s why people own guns – to avoid violence, not to cause violence.

Learn about the issue

To find the about guns and self-defense, look in the academic literature. Here are two books I really like for that.

Both of those books make the case that permitting law-abiding citizens to own firearms for self-defense reduces the rate of violent crime.

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