Is the NRA wrong? New study shows guns rarely used for self-defense


Seems to be more articles on the subject of firearms popping up lately. Linked below and provided by the International Business Times is an article alleging a new study by the Violence Policy Center. I say alleged because this has been published before elsewhere and crops up every once in a while. The study wants to claim that few defensive firearm uses occur each year because the bad guys are not shot dead that often by the intended victim.

Is the NRA wrong? New study shows guns rarely used for self-defense
International Business Times
April 22, 2016

On the other side of the coin we have this from 1997. Dr. Kleck puts the number of defensive uses at somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 million per year. Other studies have also generated similar results.

Guns and Self-Defense
By Gary Kleck, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1997 by Walter de Gruyter, Inc., New York.

This is a lengthy read but most germane to this thread are the comments and reports that most defensive firearms use does not involve the criminal being shot, and if they are shot the shooting is not fatal. Rather negates the report from the Violence Policy Center which seems to claim that there is little defensive firearms use because of the low rate of fatal shootings in such uses.

In other words, count all of the defensive uses not just the ones in which the criminal is fatally shot.

Answer to the lead in article title - No, the NRA is not incorrect.

(Editorial remark - Been a while since I have done much rummaging through my list of favorites and I find many URL’s now have faded away and most annoying is since the government agency realignment after 2001 other URL’s were changed as an agency moved to another department and so on. Now I need to try and locate those reports again.:banghead:)


I’ve never used my guns for self-defense. But I could if I ever had to. I have never needed to use my guns in self-defense. The only time I have ever used my guns is target practice. Don’t really know what that means in the grand scheme of things, but I think it’s almost a silly question since our society has become so safe – with the existence of and widespread ownership of guns.

I didn’t read anything but your post here.


Not to say who is wrong or right but in most self defense situations you are going to react reflexively. If someone swings at you, you will not go for the gun first(unless you have been trained so). You will block and swing back.


Just having a gun for self-defense - and any potential assailant who knows you have it - can be designated as “using” a gun in self defense. Who knows how many crimes have been avoided (or deflected to another victim) because a potential victim is known to have a gun - and especially if he is known to know how to use it!


So what was the point of this exercise?


Gives us an opportunity to mock those who know not whereof they speak.


Well we do have to pick on the latest chew toy :devil:


What is the point of this exercise? Well to be brief, again the routine of counting only fatal incidents when an intended victim uses a firearm rather than total uses and try to show that firearms get little use as self-defense weapons has cropped up. In the event that you don’t like the article by Dr. Kleck, linked above in the OP, try this one –

To be sure it is a bulky read so perhaps you would like to jump to the conclusion on page 695. BTW the last sentence of the conclusions negates one of the Kellerman reports that the anti-constitution folks like to cite. Also please note who made this document available - not exactly a pro NRA group.


A bit more on the subject of “studies” concerning the use of firearms. Rather than reiterate the details of the linked article I point out that this is a result of a POTUS executive order and did get some press time when it was issued. It got a back page bit of press time when the result of the study were released because it again demonstrates that these so called studies that show little or no use of firearms in self-defense are for the most part pencil point analysis, not scientific, in actuality.

A bit of a teaser from the article -
> But with the ban lifted, what does the CDC’s first major gun research in 17 years reveal? Not exactly what Obama and anti-gun advocates expected. In fact, you might say Obama’s plan backfired.

** CDC Gun Research Backfires on Obama**
by Kyle Wintersteen
August 27th, 2013
Published by Guns & Ammo

Actually this article is a short read compared a couple of links I have previously made available on this thread and it does link to the CDC study if you are interested. And you should be because the article I have linked is published in a firearm biased magazine.


Allow me to provide a parallel:

Many years ago the auto industry brought a new technology to the marketplace. It was called “anti-lock braking systems”. It was slow to come to the market place due to the FEDERAL govt saying there was no evidence that it prevented collisions. Yet testing showed it stopped faster and quicker and in a straight line better than any human could do. Still the FEDS stated they needed proof. Well proof was very hard to come by. I hit my brakes on a rain slick street and I did slide thru a red light and hit a car that was passing thru…so I pulled over and call the police and requested they come to the scene on the non accident and put out a APB for a blue Ford sedan Lic Plate: DUM 000 and return them to the scene of the non accident.

Yea data was hard to capture.

We don’t report NON crimes…

Last week I was come back home from a show in another distant city. It was late Sun night and I pulled into a shopping center that had a ATM for my bank to make a large cash deposit. It was late and I was totally alone in the shopping center. It takes time to make a cash deposit as I can only put in 30 bills at a time. I parked my car, walked to the ATM and about ¾ of the way thru my deposits a car pulls in. The guy was looking for trouble, he started shouting, cursing and threatening. I was carrying and I carry a very large gun and large caliber. While open carry is legal for CCL holders I don’t carry open. In this case I lifted my shirt and put it inside my holster. Made my deposit and went home.

Did I prevent an incident??? Will data is hard to capture and maybe I should have called a cop and reported a non-crime.

There have been other incidents in my life that my gun has IMO prevented a crime, but I never called the police to them I just prevented a crime…

This is the case in this phony study…