Guns and Self Defense
Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year -- or about 6,850 times a day. This means that each year, firearms are used more than 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.
Of the 2.5 million self-defense cases, as many as 200,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse.
Citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606). And readers of Newsweek learned in 1993 that "only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The "error rate" for the police, however, was 11 percent, more than five times as high."
Of the 2.5 million times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, the overwhelming majority merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8% of the time, a citizen will kill or wound his/her attacker.
Handguns are the weapon of choice for self-defense. Citizens use handguns to protect themselves over 1.9 million times a year. Many of these self-defense handguns could be labeled as "Saturday Night Specials."
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