It appears the gun control argument has taken another severe blow. A recent revelation from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) bolsters an argument that supporters of the 2nd amendment have been making for decades.
One of the reasons why conservatives believe in an individual’s right to bear arms is because it allows us to defend ourselves from those who would do us harm. Self-defense is one of the reasons why further gun control measures pose a danger to law-abiding Americans.
New data from the CDC shows that a significant number of defensive gun uses occur each year; all situations in which a law-abiding gun owner uses their firearm to defend themselves against violent criminals.
Lost CDC Data Shows The Truth About Defensive Gun Uses
In the ‘90s, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck conducted one of the most comprehensive studies on defensive gun uses in America. His study revealed that there were over 2.2 million defensive uses of firearms (DGU) each year.
After the results of Kleck’s study were published, the CDC also investigated the matter. They sought to find out how often Americans use firearms in self-defense and how this compares to the number of incidents in which guns are used by violent criminals. Interestingly enough, the CDC’s results mirrored Kleck’s. Unfortunately, their findings had not surfaced until now.
In 1996, the CDC conducted telephone surveys of 5,484 American adults that inquired about some different health-related topics. When addressing DGU’s, they asked: “During the last 12 months, have you confronted another person with a firearm, even if you did not fire it, to protect yourself, your property, or someone else?”
The study left out participants who worked in jobs that required the use of firearms. This includes police officers, armed security guards, and others. It also excluded incidents where an individual used a gun against animals.
In a recently-released paper, Kleck discusses the results of the CDC’s survey. He wrote:
“The final adjusted prevalence of 1.24% therefore implies that in an average year during 1996–1998, 2.46 million U.S. adults used a gun for self-defense. This estimate, based on an enormous sample of 12,870 cases (unweighted) in a nationally representative sample, strongly confirms the 2.5 million past-12-months estimate obtained … CDC’s results, then, imply that guns were used defensively by victims about 3.6 times as often as they were used offensively by criminals.”
The Anti-Gun Lobby’s Arguments Have Fallen Flat
So, there you have it. Guns were used for self-defense about 3.6 times as often as they are used by violent criminals. Some on the left have pushed back against this argument, stating that if this were true, there would be far more gun deaths in the United States. However, they are missing a vital fact: the majority of defensive gun uses occur in situations in which the gun is never actually fired. In most cases, the weapon is used as a deterrent to scare off potential attackers.
The CDC’s findings give more weight to the argument that making it harder for law-abiding citizens to obtain firearms only guarantees that criminals will find it easier to victimize them. Studies have shown that 85% of gun homicides are perpetrated by criminals using firearms they obtained illegally. Those who want to ban all or most firearms don’t seem to understand that disarming Americans won’t address the issue of bad actors using illegally-obtained guns to commit crimes. Indeed, it only puts normal Americans at greater risk.
The arguments of gun control advocates are primarily based on misinformation — and sometimes outright lies. Many of these individuals mean well, but they are uneducated on the issue of guns. They erroneously define scary-looking firearms as “assault weapons.” They seek to ban rifles like the AR-15 to prevent mass shootings despite the fact that most of these incidents are carried out by people using handguns. They claim that no American needs a gun — but the results of studies conducted by Kleck and the CDC demonstrate that law-abiding individuals regularly use their weapons to protect themselves, their families, and their property.
Fortunately, the rest of the country seems to understand this issue better than the anti-gun crowd. For this reason, the left’s attempts to limit access to guns have continued to fail.
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.”
- Thomas Jefferson