The myth of guns for self-defense

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Anton Glasnovic of Croatia competes in the Men's Trap Shooting Final on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Royal Artillery Barracks on August 6, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

A new study debunks the NRA’s argument that Americans depend on guns for self-defense:

“In 2012, across the nation there were only 259 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program as detailed in its Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR). That same year, there were 8,342 criminal gun homicides tallied in the SHR. In 2012, for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 32 criminal homicides. And this ratio, of course, does not take into account the tens of thousands of lives ended in gun suicides or unintentional shootings that year.”

Of course, they’ll say this doesn’t count the crimes that weren’t committed because the criminal thought the victim might have a gun. Well, if you believe guns deter crime, then you probably also believe the death penalty stops murders. So why do death penalty states have higher murder rates?

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