Gun control activists were unhappy with the National Self Defense Survey's results, which show that
"Every 13 seconds an American gun owner uses a firearm in defense against a criminal."
In a 1994 TV news taping, Handgun Control, Inc.’s, spokesman, Sandy Cooney, called the National Self Defense
Survey “obscene” and threw ad hominem slurs at its lead
researcher, professor of criminology, Dr. Gary Kleck. Since Kleck is an impartial social scientist with no links to gun
advocates or manufacturers — in fact he’s a liberal Democrat — it
appears that Kleck’s only sin was doing research which produced
results that challenged the gun-control agenda of Handgun Control,
Inc., the "Million" Moms, and similar organizations.
So, to refute the results of the National Self Defense Survey, two pro-gun-control researchers, Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig, were
given funding by the Clinton administration's Department of Justice to do their own survey of Defensive Gun Uses, to attempt to prove that the National Self Defense Survey's estimate was too high.
Unfortunately for advocates of gun control, the Cook-Ludwig survey produced results about the same as the National Self Defense Survey and -- in one remarkable paragraph -- suggested that their methodology was too conservative and that the Defensive Gun Use figure could even be doubled:
"Because respondents were asked to describe only their most
recent defensive gun use, our comparisons are conservative,
as they assume only one defensive gun use per defender. ...Inclusion of
multiple DGUs reported by half of the 19 NSPOF respondents increases the
estimate to 4.7 million DGUs[emphasis added]."
The Defensive Gun Use figure shown under the heading "Could It Be...?" is not intended to replace the more-accepted estimate from the National Self Defense Survey, which is 2.5 million Defensive Gun Uses per year -- one every 13 seconds. Instead, it is intended to show that the researchers who did the National Defense Survey were extremely careful
in their methodology and conservative in their statements regarding its results.
Gun-control activists are always speculating, without any data, that increasing the availability of firearms will lead to gunfights at every traffic accident. The purpose of showing the higher figure of Defensive Gun Uses drawn from the Cook-Ludwig Survey is to show that even gun-control advocates produce research which show that Defensive Gun Uses are far more common than any tragedies correlated to easy gun availability.
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