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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Debunking the Violence Policy Center's Not So New Claims on Armed Self Defense

On Wednesday, the anti-rights Violence Policy Center trotted out what they call a "new" report that makes the claim gun owners rarely use firearms for self defense.  VPC based the report on FBI data on "justifiable homicides."  As the NRA and Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center pointed out however, this is just a recycled claim the anti-rights lobby has used for years.  Using justifiable homicides data is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is it totally discounts the fact that a number of people defend themselves with a firearm without ever firing a shot.  Lott also points out that only about 1 percent of police departments report justifiable homicides by police and it is even worse for civilian justifiable homicide.  To take it a step further, Dr. Lott noted that even for those states that do report such data, very few localities within those states actually compiled the numbers.

Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz have conducted a more reliable survey on the topic that can be found here.


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