New report claims that there are a low percentage of citizens using guns in self-defense scenarios. Do you agree with these numbers? Give us your thoughts below.
Personal safety is one of the most-cited reasons to buy a gun. But a new study challenges the assumption that firearms are often used for self defense.
The Violence Policy Center found that a very small proportion of firearm homicides can be attributed to so-called justifiable situations. Just one gun death per every 32 criminal gun killings happened in self-defense scenarios in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. And, while gun advocates argue that they want a firearm handy in their house in case of an intruder, just 0.1 percent of the justified attacks involved property crimes.
“The [National Rifle Association] has staked its entire agenda on the claim that guns are necessary for self-defense, but this gun industry propaganda has no basis in fact,” Josh Sugarmann, the executive director of VPC, which conducted the review, said in a statement. “Guns are far more likely to be used in a homicide than in a justifiable homicide by a private citizen. In fact, a gun is far more likely to be stolen than used in self-defense.”
Of the 8,601 total homicides recorded in 2012, just 259 of those deaths were the result of a self-defense scenario, according to the study. There were thirteen states in which zero justifiable firearm deaths were logged that year. That no-deaths list included states with relatively strict gun control laws as well as states where firearms are more easily accessible.