The NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey) is offered as a more reasonable alternative. This survey controlled for a "threatened, attempted or completed victimization," thereby eliminating most of the false positives Kleck retained. The resulting estimate for defensive gun use is between 55,000 and 120,000 annually.
The NCVS report has some limitations. It only considered six serious crimes, omitting such things as trespassing and vandalism, which could certainly warrant legitimate defensive gun use. On the other hand, no one seems too concerned with the offensive and unnecessary use of guns which are often described as legitimate after the fact. Perhaps that kind of thing has no place in serious academic research, being impossible to quantify. Blogs like this are the place to explore these possibilities, but it requires common sense, logic and honesty. My contention has always been that when you've got millions of gun owners, you're going to have a certain amount of this misuse which is naturally covered up as much as possible. It's human nature. It's all part of the 10%.
Cliff wrote a wonderful post last year over at One Utah about this. Reference is made to the National Institute of Justice report entitled, Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms.
Regardless of which estimates one believes, only a small fraction of adults have used guns defensively in 1994. The only question is whether that fraction is 1 in 1,800 (as one would conclude from the NCVS) or 1 in 100 (as indicated by the NSPOF estimate based on Kleck and Gertz’s criteria).
What's your opinion? Does the insistence that there are 2.5 million DGUs per year remind you of the anti-gun crowd insisting that 90% of the Mexican guns come from the U.S.? Maybe it's about time the pro-gun folks backtracked on this one the way the gun control people have on the other.
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