The Trace Debunked: Finds “No Advantages To Using A Firearm In Self-Defense”

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Hemenway makes another laughable attack on self-defense


Via Evan Defilippis and Devin Hughes at The Trace

A recent study published in The Journal of Preventive Medicine offers new support for the argument that owning a gun does not make you safer. The study, led by David Hemenway, Ph.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, examines data from the National Crime Victimization Survey — an annual survey of 90,000 households — and shows not only that so-called “defensive gun use” (DGU) rarely protects a person from harm, but also that such incidents are much more rare than gun advocates claim.

Are you ready for your daily dose of humor provided by The Trace? This article is stuffed with too many bold faced lies to even be taken seriously, it’s just pathetically weak. This is reasoning with a ostrich who has his head buried in the sand.

Seriously guys, how is David Hemenway allowed to continue making surveys? How many times has he been debunked, and his survey methods shown to be extremely faulty. If this is what gun-control advocates are putting their money and faith in, then by no means at all should we feel threatened.

So basically, this new study says having a gun does not prevent violence, and once again (come up with something new!) defensive gun use is rare and illicits violence.

The study is so extremely biased right from the beginning, the title and words used in the study make the agenda crystal clear. Studies should be done independently by those trained to do professional studies, and the study topic should be objective.

The public should shape the study, not the study conductor. Not by someone going out to prove the existence of something and clearly stating their agenda beforehand. Hemenway has a P.H.d in economics, and is a professor at Harvard, he should know better.

Hemenway cherry picks in this study, he polled “expert authors” in the fields of “public health, public policy, sociology, or criminology.” A lot of these authors were in Hemenway’s own field of public health. These supposed experts had never even published any facts or related work to the survey questions. So they were experts not having to do with the study, but were like minded politically to Hemenway on the topic of gun control.

So of course when he asked them if “Guns are used in self-defense far more than they are used in crime” 73% disagreed. However, a survey by the Crime Prevention Research Center conducted by Professor Gary Mauser asked economics researchers the same question and 88% agreed. Mauser proved that it just depends on the “experts” you ask.

In this war on self-defense where people are shoving the “guns are evil” and “defensive gun use is a myth” down our throats, we need to be logical and calmly show the facts.

The facts are that Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck showed there were approximately 760,000 defensive gun uses in the US in 1993 and then confirmed that same number this year saying that no one had yet challenged him with empirical evidence. Kleck made sure to emphasize that number is a low estimate as we all know that many defensive gun uses are not reported for a long list of reasons. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control showed 11,208 firearm homicides. There were a reported 414,562 number of incidents of non-fatal criminal gun use. So even if you combine these numbers, they don’t nearly match the 760k defensive gun uses. However Hemenway,of course, claims criminal gun use is higher than defensive gun use.

This article from The Trace continues to drag on with the struggles of reported defensive gun use, and both sides of the argument agree it is a tough number to pinpoint for a number of reasons. The Trace says –

“It would seem to imply that the vast majority of people using guns in self-defense are irresponsible citizens who use their firearm to ward off an attempted crime, and then, perhaps uncertain about the legality of their action, are leery of interacting with the police. It would also imply that while these citizens ostensibly stopped a crime serious enough to justify brandishing a firearm, they aren’t at all concerned about informing the police about a criminal who remains on the street.”

Many logical Americans with guns are leery with involving the police if the threat was removed for quite obvious reasons. Open your eyes you’ll see people in trouble constantly for self-defense. Have you heard about the Navy Officer that could face disciplinary action for possessing a weapon in a gun free-zone and shooting back at the terrorist at Chattanooga? Responsible gun owners are not always safe in todays legal system.

Forbes has an article on studies done by Pew Research Center and the U.S. Department of Justice that show a huge link in the reduction of gun crimes with the increase of gun sales. They also talk about how Chicago is a blood bath resulting from tighter gun-control and states with more gun-rights have huge drop in crime rates.

With the toughest gun laws in the nation, Chicago saw homicides jump to 513 in 2012, a 15% hike in a single year. The city’s murder rate is 15.65 per 100,000 people, compared with 4.5 for the Midwest, and 5.6 for Illinois.

Take a look at our defensive gun use category and browse through the stories that happen multiple times throughout the day, and they aren’t like the two stupid examples used by The Trace in Hemenway’s study. These are responsible, law abiding gun owners that end up saving themselves and their families in every-day situations.  How can you say something so brazen as “defensive gun use is a myth,” have it debunked several times, and then have credibility when you continually go back to the same, idiotic argument.

We need to get the word out there, people need to get educated on the facts, lives are saved every day, criminals are stopped every day with defensive gun use. Stop letting your friends believe this crap by Hemenway and The Trace, these are boldfaced lies and insulting to everyone’s intelligence.







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Author: Annie Stonebreaker

Annie is attending North Idaho College for a degree in journalism and is enjoying writing about everything guns for Defend and Carry. She finds our right to bear arms imperative and can get quite spicy on the topic. In her spare time she loves reading, playing outdoors, any water activities, eating sweet treats, eating in general, playing music or spending time with her Fiance, and being surrounded by good friends, conversation and laughter.

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