Debate Magazine

Gun Advocates Use Unreliable Data to Prove Need for Weapons

Posted on the 31 July 2012 by Mikeb302000
CONSERVATIVE journalist and Former Speechwriter for President Bush, David Frum, says the number of times guns are used defensively has been vastly exaggerated. He goes on to say that "The trouble is that this claim of 2.5 million defensive gun uses is manifestly flawed and misleading."
For gun advocates, however, the main problem with the government estimate is that it is not nearly high enough to support their case that private gun ownership is the best way to stop crime. Many of them prefer another statistic, this from a study published in 1995 arguing that Americans use guns in self-defense some 2.5 million times a year, or once every 13 seconds. A Google search finds more than 1 million citations of this study posted online.
Better yet:
But most of the time, gun owners are frightening themselves irrationally. They have conjured in their own imaginations a much more terrifying environment than genuinely exists -- and they are living a fantasy about the security their guns will bestow. And to the extent that they are right -- to the extent that the American environment is indeed more dangerous than the Australian or Canadian or German or French environment -- the dangers gun owners face are traceable to the prevalence of the very guns from which they so tragically mistakenly expect to gain safety.
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