According to a study released under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and conducted under one of the President’s Executive Orders issued in January, we now know emphatically 2 things, among others. First, the use of guns as a defensive measure by citizens is at least as common as their use by criminals engaged in illegal activity. Second, mass shootings are extremely rare events.
It should come as no surprise to anyone paying actual attention to the facts that mass shootings are, thankfully, quite rare. In fact, the incidence of such attacks has declined remarkably over the past 100 years. The fact that they are so shocking and traumatic is an indication of how rare they are and how unthinkable to the average, law-abiding citizen.
What is also obvious, though less so to people whose only interest in guns is to make sure other citizens don’t have them, is that people are using their guns to defend themselves in no less numbers than are criminals using them to commit their crimes. In fact, the study says “at least as” common. Many, many studies show that such use is far more common – as much as by a factor of 10-to-1 in some of those. Even if we’re going to go with the lowball estimates of about 500,000 such defensive uses a year, that’s still more than the 300,000 criminal uses.
It has already been established that the notion that more guns means more crime is a blatant fallacy and, when used as an argument these days, an outright lie. Now we can add in the assertion that citizens aren’t using their legal guns in legal self-defense as much as criminals use them to commit crimes. This, too, is a fallacy and any argument resting on this assertion is invalid on its face.
As a brief aside, I am interested in how this study was actually performed given the prohibition against the CDC conducting such research. Personally, I think the CDC should put its efforts toward research into actual diseases.