Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

22 Times Less Safe?<BR>Anti-Gun Lobby's Favorite<BR>Spin Re-Attacks Guns In The Home

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

Is a firearm in your home "22 times more likely" to be used to kill or injure a family member than to be used for protection? Or "43 times more likely?" How about "18 times more likely?" Anti-gun groups and politicians say it is, citing research by Arthur L. Kellermann, M.D.

Dr. Kellermann's dubious conclusions provide anti-gunners propaganda they use to try to frighten Americans into voluntarily disposing of their guns—in essence, to do to themselves what the anti-gunners have been unable to do to them by legislative, regulatory, or judicial means.

Kellermann admits to the political goal of his work, saying "People should be strongly discouraged from keeping guns in their homes." ("Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home," New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 1993.) Anti-gun groups have seized upon his most recent attempt in this regard, a "study" from which the bogus "22 times more likely" risk-benefit ratio is derived. ("Injuries and Deaths Due to Firearms in the Home," Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical Care, Aug. 1998.) The study suffers numerous flaws common to previous Kellermann efforts, including the fact that it is a very small-scale survey of sample jurisdictions that are not representative of the country or even of one another.

Most significant, though, Kellermann severely understates defensive uses of guns, by counting only those in which criminals are killed or injured. Dr. Edgar A. Suter, writing in the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, explains the error in the context of an earlier Kellermann study, which compared family member deaths to killings of criminals: "The true measure of the protective benefits of guns are the lives saved, the injuries prevented, the medical costs saved, and the property protected—not the burglar or rapist body count. Since only 0.1% to 0.2% of defensive gun usage involves the death of the criminal, any study, such as this, that counts criminal deaths as the only measure of the protective benefits of guns will expectedly underestimate the benefits of firearms by a factor of 500 to 1,000." ("Guns in the Medical Literature—A Failure of Peer Review," March 1994, p. 134.)

Similarly, criminologist Gary Kleck notes, "More commonly, guns are merely pointed at another person, or perhaps referred to or displayed, and this sufficient to accomplish the ends of the user." (Targeting Guns, Aldine de Gruyter, 1997, p. 162.) Kleck's 1995 landmark survey of defensive gun uses found guns used for protection as many as 2.5 million times annually.  ("Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall 1995.)

Kellermann's "22 times more likely" study suffers yet another flaw: only 14.2% of criminal gun-related homicides and assaults he surveyed involved guns kept in the homes where the crimes occurred. With a similar sloppiness in his "43 times more likely" study, suicides (never shown to correlate to gun ownership) accounted for the overwhelming majority of gun-related family member deaths he pretended to compare to defensive gun uses.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Firearm Safety/Kids & Guns
TRENDING NOW
More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

More Proof That Being a “Celebrity” Does Not Make You Smart

In a November 30 tweet, Tom Arnold, famous for being married to Roseanne Barr and making a few really bad movies, has proven that he knows nothing about guns, gun owners or firearm misuse.

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

Friday, December 7, 2018

Washington: Anti-Gun Group Announces 2019 Agenda

On December 5th, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group backed by out-of-state elites, announced it will pursue its most extreme anti-gun legislative agenda to date during the upcoming 2019 Washington Legislative Session.

Guns and Taxes

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Guns and Taxes

David Hogg wants a federal tax on firearms and ammunition. He has repeatedly broached the idea, including multiple times on Twitter, and only sometimes suggests a use for the tax revenue. Hogg’s tweets on a ...

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Checks and Balances? Massachusetts Executive Branch Flouts Court Orders on Firearms Licenses

The U.S.’s republican form of governance is predicated on co-equal branches of government that check and balance each other in order to preserve individual liberty. The system does not work when one branch simply ignores ...

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

News  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

As we’ve noted recently, much research purporting to demonstrate connections between access to guns or right-to-carry laws and increases in crime is seriously flawed.  Often it's an attempt to curtail or eliminate Americans’ rights under the Second ...

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Warning to New Mexico Gun Owners: Expect Unprecedented Attacks On Your Second Amendment Rights During The 2019 Legislative Session

While the New Mexico Legislature will not convene for its 60-day Regular Session until January 15, lawmakers can start prefiling bills on December 17. 

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

News  

Friday, November 30, 2018

Engineering Professor Shares Thoughts on Constitutional Law, Calls for Handgun Ban

In a recent piece for the Bangor Daily News ironically titled, “Why banning handguns makes sense,” Associate University of Maine Electrical Engineering Professor George Elliott struggled to argue why the tools of self-defense have no ...

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

With anti-gun Democrats back in control of the House of Representatives come January, now is the time to prepare for a new onslaught on the Second Amendment. Emboldened by the mere thought of controlling the ...

Anti-Gun Researchers Undermine the Anti-Gun Narrative

News  

Friday, November 30, 2018

Anti-Gun Researchers Undermine the Anti-Gun Narrative

We have good news from a joint effort between the Violence Prevention Research Program at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins University.  

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.