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Handguns Top Choice For Self Defense Says Study

Handguns Top Choice For Self Defense Says Study

on 30th Sep 2021

By Ben Baker

A new report from Georgetown University says about one-third of American gun owners have used a firearm for defense.

The 2021 National Firearms Survey used the private company Centiment to poll 16,708 gun owners. They were asked about their guns and how they used the guns.

The survey's results tracked right along other surveys by different companies and organizations. Among the more notable results, about 32% of Americans own guns. One-third of those people have used a gun for defensive purposes.

In other words, 11% of United States citizens have used a gun for self-defense. Imagine 100 people you know. The survey says 11 of those people have used a gun to defend themselves. That is a lot of people, no matter how you slice that pie.

The report says, "Handguns are the most common firearm employed for self-defense (used in 65.9% of defensive incidents), and in most defensive incidents (81.9%) no shot was fired. Approximately a quarter (25.2%) of defensive incidents occurred within the gun owner's home, and approximately half (53.9%) occurred outside their home, but on their property. About one out of 10 (9.1%) defensive gun uses occurred in public, and about one out of 20 (4.8%) occurred at work."

Most people, 56.2%, rely on a handgun for self-defense. "35% of gun owners report carrying a handgun with some frequency. We estimate that approximately 20.7 million gun owners (26.3%) carry a handgun in public under a "concealed carry" regime; and 34.9% of gun owners report that there have been instances in which they had wanted to carry a handgun for self-defense, but local rules did not allow them to carry," the report adds.

Accurate Numbers

On the other hand, getting accurate numbers of guns used for self-defense is a matter of picking a source. The Centers for Disease Control refers to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.That report proposes a “range of 60,000 to 2.5 million defensive gun uses each year.”

That is a huge spread. The report also says it was done with an eye toward "identifying the most pressing firearm-related violence research needs."

In yet another report, the CDC says, "almost every major study on defensive gun use has found that Americans use their firearms defensively between 500,000 and 3 million times each year."

Make this more complicated. "There's good reason to believe that most defensive gun uses are never reported to law enforcement, much less picked up by local or national media outlets," says a report from the Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation is one of the world's leading conservative think tanks.

Researchers at Harvard University crunched numbers on gun use and decided millions of uses per year is not accurate. They say, "to believe fully the claims of millions of self-defense gun uses each year would mean believing that decent law-abiding citizens shot hundreds of thousands of criminals. But the data from emergency departments belie this claim, unless hundreds of thousands of wounded criminals are afraid to seek medical care. But virtually all criminals who have been shot went to the hospital, and can describe in detail what happened there."

The error here is obvious. The researchers believe someone has to be shot for a gun to be used in self-defense. Other research, including this same report from Harvard, says actually shooting a gun does not happen every time. The Georgetown report says a shot is never fired around 81% of the time. 

A Real Deterrent

In a statement that will surprise and annoy gun control advocates, the CDC also says guns make a real difference.

"Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents 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," states a CDC study, entitled "Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence."

Another statement in the same report underscores the need for firearms. "[D]efensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals."

Up To You

A California police officer and YouTube self-defense instructor Gregg Chrissakis regularly says, "No one is coming. It's up to you."

If you carry, then you need a reliable holster to keep your EDC protected and close by. You also need a holster that fits your needs and lets you draw your gun as quickly and easily as possible.

Inside the waistband holsters are easy to conceal while keeping your EDC close to your hand. You can even tuck your shirt into your pants, covering the IWB holster if needed. That does mean it takes longer to draw. If the other option is no defense at all, then carry and cover!

Almost as good is carrying a small frame gun in your pocket. You still need a holster for this. Why? Here are several reasons.

1) Protects your carry from dirt, lint and other stuff that could jam the gun.

2) Makes drawing easier. A good pocket holster stays in your pocket and lets your gun clear the pocket easily. Without a holster, your carry piece can get hung on the pocket's sides.

3) Reduces profile. A good pocket holster will eliminate the outline of your gun through your pants.

4) Ambidextrous. Tucker Gunleather pocket holsters are good for right-handed and left-handed shooters. The holster rides equally well on either side of your pants.

Defend Yourself

You need to defend yourself.

Police are often minutes away. Just a few seconds is enough time to commit all kinds of mayhem. By the time the police arrive, the first emergency is over and the second emergency, dealing with the effects of the crime, is well underway.