An acquaintance of mine once claimed that Josh Sugarmann, head of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), consumed copious amounts of military grade narcotics and had been doing so for some time. I found the statement offensive since it masked more likely organic sources for Sugarmann’s disconnect from reality.
In the VPC’s latest con job they:
- Assumed all defensive gun use (DGU) results in death
- Compared criminal homicides with legal interventions (justifiable or even meritorious killings)
- Ignored all manner of non-lethal DGUs
In an attempt to make American’s believe that guns have no rightful purpose in self-defense (something that recent polling indicates is going the opposite direction), the VPC contrasted criminal homicides with guns with self-defense shootings that only resulted in the attacker permanently halting their predatory practices. This willfully ignored:
- DGUs where the attacker is wounded.
- DGUs where a warning shot is fired.
- DGUs where the gun wasn’t fired (pointing a handgun at a thug or chambering a shell into a shotgun is known to demotivate attackers)
Gary Kleck’s criminology masterwork Targeting Guns, has shown that over 92% of DGUs don’t involve trying to shoot the attacker. This is why DGUs resulting in death are so rare; American’s use death as a last resort, even against violent predators. Of the remaining 8%, most are woundings (intentional or otherwise). The net result is that there are nearly 400,000 instances every year where a victim feels “almost certainly” that a gun saved their lives. This 400,000 is a small fraction of the aggregated 2.5 million times guns are used in self-defense for any purpose (preventing rape, robberies, beatings, etc.).
So why does the VPC not discuss this, and instead claim people are much more likely to use a gun to kill someone than to protect themselves? Because facts don’t support their case for preventing you or your neighbor from owning guns. So instead the VPC hides approximately 2,499,741 defensive gun uses.
That’s quite an omission Josh. Maybe my acquaintance’s assumption wasn’t so far off base after all.
“We hope legislators in every state will stop believing the self-defense myth and look at the facts,” was what Julia Wyman, the executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence, said. “Guns do not make our families or communities safer.”
2.5 million people disagree.