On January 16, The Washington Post (WaPo) reported that guns may serve a defensive purpose—that defensive gun uses may be slightly higher than 3 million each year—but we will not know until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) begin their research into guns as a public health issue.
WaPo quoted a New American Magazine article which said, “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.”
WaPo says this “may be true,” but it cannot be verified until the CDC undertakes an in-depth study of gun violence.
It should be noted that the CDC did request a study on gun violence in 2013, but the results of that study “didn’t fit the narrative that guns are dangerous.” Those supportive of turning guns into a healthcare issue see it differently—saying the study simply proved that more study is needed.
And that’s what the WaPo, Michael Bloomberg, and an unnamed criminologist at the University of Pennsylvania are calling for. They point to the authors of the 2013 CDC-requested study who claimed “gun ownership might be good for defensive uses, but that benefit could be canceled out by the risk of suicide or homicide that comes with gun ownership.”
Politco Magazine recently reported that the “idea of defensive gun ownership” is a “tragic myth.”
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