Study: Guns Rarely Used In Self-Defense

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Much of the pro-gun rhetoric promotes the idea of firearms being necessary to self-defense, but a new study released by the non-profit Violence Policy Center concluded that Americans who own guns are more likely to hurt themselves or others.

The Violence Policy Center reached that conclusion by analyzing data from the federal government, including information from the FBI.

Out of  8,342 criminal homicides committed with a gun in 2012, only 259 were considered "justifiable homicides.” This means gun owners are 32 times more likely to kill someone outside of self-defense, according to the study.

Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center in Washington, said in a statement that the powerful National Rifle Association argues that "guns are necessary for self-defense.” However, he dismissed the contention as “industry propaganda has no basis in fact.”

"In fact, in a nation of more than 300 million firearms, it is striking how rarely guns are used in self-defense,” he said, according to Yahoo News. 

The NRA vigorously refuted the study. "This 'so-called' study, which was paid for and promoted by gun control advocates is rubbish," NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told The Hill. "VPC fails to note that only a fraction of defensive firearm homicides are reported to the FBI and the study doesn't account for the many crimes deterred by a firearm that do not result in a homicide. Recent polling shows that most Americans believe exercising their constitutional right to self-protection makes them safer and this is just another transparent attempt to push gun control.”​

Sources: The Hill, Yahoo News Image via Pål Joakim Olsen/Flickr