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Guns for defense: A daily occurrence

September 07. 2013 6:57PM

On Wednesday, a man walked into a pawn shop on the West Side of Manchester and pointed a gun in the face of the shop owner. That owner, Luke Nelson, then did something hundreds of thousands of Americans do every year. He used a legal handgun to defend himself from a criminal.

"I pulled out my gun from under the counter, pointed it at him, and told him to get on the ground or I was going to shoot him," he said. The would-be robber fled.

Police later arrested Jonathan Rodriguez and charged him with armed robbery (four counts), first degree assault, simple assault, criminal threatening, resisting arrest and falsifying physical evidence. But for Nelson's gun, the attempted robbery might have gone very differently.

Earlier this year, President Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to undertake a study of firearms-related violence in America.

The report, written by a team of experts for the National Research Council, was completed in June. But you probably have heard nothing about it. Its conclusions were not to the Obama administration's liking.

One of its conclusions reads: "Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun use by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from 500,000 to more than 3 million per year..."

Furthermore, the study found that "Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incindents in which a gun was "used" by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies."

The idea that guns are almost exclusively used by bad guys to kill good guys is a myth.

The irresponsible and criminal use of firearms is a major problem, to be sure. But it's the user, not the gun, that is the issue - which is why the anti-gun administration let this report slip quietly into obscurity.

Crime, law and justice Politics Public Safety Social issues Editorial

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