Every 13 Seconds, an American Uses a Gun in Self Defense

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on August 1, 2008 at 10:10 am
LearnAboutGuns.com > Pro Gun Rights Articles > Every 13 Seconds, an American Uses a Gun in Self Defense

Americans use a gun in self defense once every 13 seconds:

  • The National Self Defense Survey, as conducted by Florida State University criminologists in 1994, indicates that Americans use guns in self defense 2,500,000 times per year, which is once every 13 seconds.
  • In about 30% of the defensive gun uses, the would-be victim believes that the gun “almost certainly” or “probably” saved a life.
  • In more than 1/2 of the self defense gun uses, the would-be victim was under attack by 2 or more criminals, making a firearm the only viable means of self defense for most people.
  • The overwhelming majority of these defensive gun uses were never reported by the news media.
  • Gun ownership protects 65 lives for every 2 lives lost.

For those who wish to read the peer reviewed and published studies substantiating these facts, see:

Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun,” Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, in The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, Volume 86, Number 1, Fall, 1995

“Guns in the Medical Literature – A Failure of Peer Review.” Dr. Suter, Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. March 1994.

An interview with the author of this study, Dr. Gary Kleck, can be seen here.

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NOTE from the LearnAboutGuns.com Author: I write about a tiny percentage of the real-life armed self defense cases that occur each year.  You can click here to read those real-life examples.

Unarmed Self Defense and Disaster Preparedness e-books:

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  • Joe

    Hmm, guns as public health policy? Encouraging education and making sure that people buy the correct guns for self defense. A shotgun is the ultimate equalizer for dealing with home invaders. Guns are not the only weapon for self defense, but I would consider them the most effective for most people. Even a pea shooter (pellet gun/rifle) or crossbow would ruin your day, but it would be a lot less likely to stop you if you’re a burglar.

    For a long time, it was pretty much an instant death sentence to be caught with a crossbow in Britain? Obviously, pistols are the more modern equivalent.

  • http://miramichitradition.com Tyler Coughlan

    I like guns for hunting but would much sooner fish anyway .As for gun control we tried for 10 years here in Canada now after millions spent they are doing away with it.If anyone wants a gun to hunt with that is what they will do if they want a gun for other things they can get a eligal one even if the Government tries to Control all the guns ,so the only one gun control hurts is the good guys

    • dudejo

      It might not be completely gone. The Quebec government wants their part of the registry to keep it going for itself.

  • Security

    One thing I like about the law of averages is that it makes good ammunition for conversation and provides the argument with distorted, unsupported statistics. The law of averages can be manipulated to express a bias belief, gain the upper hand, camouflage the data, and reflect wishful thinking.

  • http://www.insidermonkey.com/insider-trading/ insider buying

    The facts about the hedge fund industry is that Includes a variety of investment strategies, some of which use leverage and derivatives while others are more conservative and employ little or no leverage. Many hedge fund strategies seek to reduce market risk specifically by shorting equities or through the use of derivatives.

  • goacasfeltres


  • rich

    Law abiding gun owners? I know plenty of gun owners that have permits and have seen them break the law in terms of how they carry their guns concealed and loaded without proper permits, drug possession, DUI, etc. and many of them weren't caught, but they weren't law abiding. So that's a misleading statement.

    Of all of the gun owners I've ever known, NONE of them were always abiding the laws, even though they had gun permits and didn't have a criminal record.

    • maksim

      how many driving without license? should we start banning cars to everyone then?

  • Arryn

    This statistic is almost 20 years old. Violent crimes in the US have significantly gone down since then.