Reason gets it right again: How to Count the Defensive Uses of Guns

Reason’s always been pro-gun and a source for rational discourse when it comes to debunking the various flawed arguments gun control proponents come up with.  They have a new article out addressing the many issues with the antigun tactic of “driving the numbers down” for Defensive Gun Uses:

Stringent gun control advocates are fond of underestimating the possible importance of owning a gun. For example, a pair of anti-gun activists took to Politico in January to claim that the gun rights community is deluded about the likely number of defensive uses of guns by American citizens. Such defensive uses are known as DGUs (“defensive gun uses”) in the lingo.

Many in the gun rights community believe that a privately owned gun is used in legitimate self-defense over 2 million times a year in America. This figure arose initially from the survey work done in 1993 by Florida State University criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz.

The entire article is a must read and goes into detail about common errors and misconceptions.


41 studies reviewed, no evidence to support “More Guns, More Crime “

Full study is behind a paywall, but Kleck has done it again.  His new paper highlights the shoddy science used by most antigun “researchers” and boils it down to three main points.

From the page:

This paper reviews 41 English-language studies that tested the hypothesis that higher gun prevalence levels cause higher crime rates, especially higher homicide rates.

Each study was assessed as to whether it solved or reduced each of three critical methodological problems: (1) whether a validated measure of gun prevalence was used, (2) whether the authors controlled for more than a handful of possible confounding variables, and (3) whether the researchers used suitable causal order procedures to deal with the possibility of crime rates affecting gun rates, instead of the reverse.

It was found that most studies did not solve any of these problems, and that research that did a better job of addressing these problems was less likely to support the more-guns-cause-more crime hypothesis. Indeed, none of the studies that solved all three problems supported the hypothesis.

Technically weak research mostly supports the hypothesis, while strong research does not. It must be tentatively concluded that higher gun ownership rates do not cause higher crime rates, including homicide rates.