Evidently, while having a gun during an armed robbery or other violent crime may help prevent property loss, it doesn’t do much in the way of stopping you from getting injured.
According to a study published in Preventive Medicine, less than one percent of crime victims use a firearm to defend themselves, and moreover, those that do are no more likely to escape unscathed.
Harvard health policy professor David Hemenway and University of Vermont economist Sara Solnick analyzed 14,145 crime incidents where the victim was present at the time of the crime. Of those victims, only 127 defensively used a gun, or just a hair under one percent.
Approximately 4.2 percent of the victims that were unarmed sustained injuries, while armed victims sustained injuries at a rate of 4.1 percent, which for statistical purposes is virtually identical.
However, the data for the study was pulled from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which is known for consistently generating far lower DGU estimates than other surveys. On top of that, the study authors note that these comparisons may be a bit misleading.
“Instances of self-defense gun use may differ in many ways, including ways we could not control for, from instances where the victim used other forms of self-defense or took no self-protective action,”
The study did reveal that using a gun defensively during an assault is strongly correlated to reducing property loss. Those victims who took no protective action sustained an 85 percent property loss, while those victims who did take protective action only sustained a 39 percent property loss.
The study is surrounded in controversy over its sourcing of information and how it was collected, and many argue that it’s entirely invalid.
(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)