Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck has been doing battle with unhinged liberals for years, insisting that despite the narrative that says guns are rarely if ever successfully used for self-defense, the reality is that many gun owners keep firearms on hand for that very purpose and many of them find themselves in situations where they must defend themselves. The left has argued the point until they’re blue in the face, telling anyone who will listen that more guns only result in more crime.
As anyone who has ever argued with a liberal about this point can tell you, their favorite sentence is something like: “A gun owner is more likely to hurt themselves or a loved one with that gun than defend themselves against an assailant.” It’s the kind of unproven, fairy-tale statement that has somehow passed into the left’s lexicon without the slightest fact check.
For a long time, though, Second Amendment defenders had little more to argue with than their own gut feelings. This led to arguments that were based more in instinct than fact, and the left, having much more of the media at their disposal, was on the verge of winning this particular battle of the much larger gun control war.
That is, until Kleck unearthed some old studies from the Centers for Disease Control that were (strangely enough) never released to the public. In 1996, 1997, and 1998, the CDC conducted a large-scale study of the defensive use of firearms as part of its Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The answers they obtained correlated with the results Kleck had previously gotten through his private field work in criminology. According to the self-reported stats, some 2.46 million adults per year used a gun in self-defense. Not only is this figure remarkable in its own right, it is even more astonishing when you consider that it’s 3.6 times the rate that guns are used by criminals.
Don’t expect to hear much about this study. The left is much more comfortable using the National Crime Victimization survey, which estimates that guns are used defensively only around 100,000 times a year. That’s a stat they can manage. They don’t want to confront the possibility that gun owners are not only keeping their guns for self-defense but actually (and successfully) using them for that same purpose. It’s very difficult to convince someone to give up their gun when there is a solid body of evidence that they may, one day, actually have to use it.