posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 08:56 AM
Ahhh the timeless debate. This has been argued forever. I assume we're discounting guns used in a military context and are focusing on civilian use
of firearms. That being the case there are inherent problems in collecting meaningful data.
First, nearly 100% of the time a person is killed with a firearm the data is collected. A body is found, cause of death is readily determined, chalk
one up in the 'lives taken' column. Not so for a 'life saved'. Clearly, how often does someone pull a gun, thwart an attack and report that?
And if it is reported is it collected as 'lifes saved by firearm'?
Arguably, take the case of a gang banger. How many times (totlal) has he pulled his weapon? Has he killed someone every time? Or is it more likely
that he backed someone off more often than he killed someone? Forget that he's a 'bad guy' unless we're counting firearm use in a subjective
moral license context.
Second, if the presumption is that more people (again we're talking civilian use here) are killed than saved, then more guns are raised and fired
lethally than raised period. An unlikely assumption.
Third, if we consider police and security professionals in this discussion then the argument is a no-brainer. Far more saved than lost.
I believe that the significant under-reporting of people defending themselves with firearms tends to skew the public perception.