, Sources * Based upon Kleck & Gertz estimates of...

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* Based upon Kleck & Gertz estimates of 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year (see source #2). A similar study in 1994 under President Clinton (Source) found this number to be 1.5 million, which would result in guns being used over 47x more often to defend a life than to take one.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 436,000 crimes were committed with a firearm in 2008 (Source). This would mean guns are used 5.7 or 3.4 times (using Kleck or Clinton respectively) more often to defend against a crime than to commit one.

** Comparing violent crime between two countries can sometimes be difficult as each nation defines it differently.

  1. 2010 CDC Report. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm
  2. Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense With a Gun,” 86 The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, 1 (Fall 1995): http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/kleckandgertz1.htm
  3. http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states
  4. Kleck and Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime,” at 185
  5. U.S., Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, “The Armed Criminal in America: A Survey of Incarcerated Felons,” Research Report (July 1985): 27.
  6. http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/A-Yearbook/2007/en/Small-Arms-Survey-2007-Chapter-02-annexe-4-EN.pdf
  7. "Homicide Statistics 2012". UNODC.
  8. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pp. 649-694). Volume 30, Number 2: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf
  9. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/5712573/UK-is-violent-crime-capital-of-Europe.htmlhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html
  10. BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4581871.stm
  11. Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB841185795318576500.html
  12. USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2012/12/25/gun-free-zone-john-lott/1791085/
  13. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm
  14. Newsweek Magazine: Nov 14, 1993: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/1993/11/14/are-we-a-nation-of-cowards.html
  15. The Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/article/auditing-shooting-rampage-statistics
  16. Kleck, Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, (1991):111-116, 148.
  17. http://www.statisticbrain.com/national-rifle-association-nra-statistics/
  18. Gary Kleck, “Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force,” Social Problems 35 (February 1988):15
  19. City Rating: http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/georgia/kennesaw.html#.UO5soYnjkz4
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