TheHammer24 wrote:I'm not sure what bearing this has on the conversation, but I must say that I do not think there is any "need" to carry a gun, period. Perhaps you derive utility from doing so independent of the need. that's another argument. But the chance that you will confront of situation in which your possession will create a positive difference has to be virtually non-existent, especially when contrasted with the potential that your possession creates a negative difference (e.g. you accidentally shoot your knee cap, or you get shot instead of punched in the face).
There have been multiple studies and surveys over the years that have attempted to qualify how many times per year guns are used in acts of self-defense. In a 1993 study conducted by Gary Kleck, a Florida State University criminologist, he concluded that there are around two million defensive gun uses (DGUs) per year by law-abiding citizens. Other studies have come up with the range of 800,000 to 2.5 million. http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdguse.html
Why don’t you hear about these? For one thing, not every DGU actually results in shots being fired. For example, an assault or robbery can be forestalled by the intending victim simply pointing his or her gun at the would-be aggressor. Many DGUs aren’t even reported to the police.
I think I’ve told this story before, but a buddy of mine years ago was walking back to his car with his wife and children after attending an event. A homeless guy asked him for money, and when he refused the man started following them. As he followed them, his language changed from requests into threats of violence. Eventually, my buddy turned around and pulled his snubnose revolver just far enough out of his front pocket so that the other guy could see it. The homeless guy immediately turned around and ran away. My friend didn’t bother calling the police, as the guy would have been long gone by the time they would have arrived. He put his kids in the car and went home. I would call that a DGU, even though no shots were fired and no police were involved. The mere presence of my friend’s gun was enough to stop an encounter before it could have escalated into the violence that was actively being threatened.
If you want to read about DGUs, the NRA maintains a blog called the Armed Citizen (http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/armed-citizen.aspx
), which collects news reports of people using guns for self-defense. There are more than 7 pages of news reports of DGUs for Pennsylvania alone.