Gun control politicians and so-called “mainstream” media spend lots of time trying to convince us that guns are a scourge. And, as such, they argue for tighter restrictions. However, the truth is citizens using guns save more lives each year than criminals take when misusing guns.
The Facts Show That Guns Save Lives
In fact, even some government entities have jumped on the gun-ban bandwagon. Not the least of which is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That agency wants to define gun violence as a public health issue. This is rather than looking at the high homicide rate as the violent criminal issue it really is.
Just The Facts
In the most definitive work on the subject, Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz found that guns were used far more in defensive situations than most Americans thought. In the 1995 article “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense With a Gun,” published in The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, the researchers detailed how gun owners in the United States use their guns up to 2.5 million times a year in self-defense.
While anti-gunners were up in arms over the report, one honest researcher and gun control advocate, Marvin E. Wolfgang, wrote: “What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. The reason I am troubled is that they have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator…. It is hard to believe. Yet, it is hard to challenge the data collected. We do not have contrary evidence.”
According to the Clinton Department of Justice, there are as many as 1.5 million cases of self-defense every year. The National Institute of Justice published this figure in 1997 as part of Guns in America. Which is a study by noted anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig.
Most such defensive gun uses don’t even involve firing the weapon. Interestingly, according to a 1991 study by Kleck titled “Point Blank: Guns And Violence In America,” armed citizens kill twice as many criminals as law enforcement officers do each year.
Banning Guns Creates Killing Zones
If guns save lives, it stands to reason that restricting gun ownership costs lives. Nothing proves that more easily than so-called “gun-free” zones.
In fact, so-called “gun-free zones” are a fallacy created by anti-gun advocates. As a result, they leave good people unarmed in areas where criminals have carte blanch to ply their trade. These restricted areas where concealed carry permit holders are banned from carrying their concealed handguns could be more properly referred to as “victim zones” or even “self-defense-free zones,” since only the law-abiding are affected.
Researcher John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, summarized the effect of such zones in a 2018 Op-Ed in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press when he wrote: “Most gunmen are smart enough to know that they can kill more people if they attack places where victims can’t defend themselves. That’s one reason why 98 percent of mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred in places where citizens are banned from having guns.”
Any thinking person who can put their bias aside should realize that criminals don’t obey the law. Hence gun-free zones aren’t really “gun free.” By definition, only criminals will be carrying guns in those areas.
Armed Citizens Save Lives
Two very recent examples of armed, law-abiding citizens saving multiple lives—one where a mass shooting was stopped in its tracks—provide compelling examples of how U.S. gun owners regularly save lives. Interestingly, the heroes in both stories are women.
On May 29, about 40 people were attending a combination birthday/graduation party at a West Virginia apartment complex. During the party, a man sped by the party driving recklessly. Individuals from the party asked the man to slow down since children were playing in the area.
The twice-convicted felon left but soon returned with a rifle—illegal for him to possess, given his felony status—and began firing it into the crowd. A woman in attendance immediately drew her legally concealed firearm and fatally shot the deranged man, immediately stopping the attack.
“She’s just a member of the community who was carrying her weapon lawfully,” said Lt. Tony Hazelett with the Charleston Police Department. “And instead of running from the threat she engaged with the threat and saved several lives.”
Pregnant Mother Saves Entire Family
According to Fox News, Jeremy King was at his Tampa-area home with his wife and daughter when two armed, hooded and masked men crashed into the house, began pistol-whipping King and kicking him in the head, and then grabbed his 11-year-old daughter.
The mother ran to another room, grabbed her AR-15, returned and opened fire on the attackers. The intruders immediately fled, and one was later found dead in a nearby ditch.
In the end, America’s gun owners shouldn’t listen to the gun-banners and nay-sayers who claim nobody uses firearms to save lives. Those who promote gun control are far more interested in control than in guns.