Gun rights advocates have long defended their right to bear arms out of a need for self-defense. And now they have a new report from the Centers for Disease Control that says they make a darn good point.
The $10 million study commissioned by President Barack Obama as part of 23 executive orders he signed in January says “self-defense can be an important crime deterrent.”
“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,” the CDC study revealed.
The study, entitled “Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” states that “violent crimes, including homicides specifically, have declined in the past five years,” but notes that “some firearm violence results in death, but most does not.”
The CDC report said that most incidents involving the use of a gun do not result in a fatality: “In 2010, incidents in the U.S. involving firearms injured or killed more than 105,000 Americans, of which there were twice as many nonfatal firearm-related injuries (73,505) than deaths.”
The White House commissioned the CDC to conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence. The White House believes research on gun violence is critical public health research that is important for Americans to understand, and not advocacy.
Researchers found that the majority of firearm deaths are not from homicide, but from suicide. Suicides, according to the study, account for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearm-related violence in the United States.
The report states that African-American males are most affected by gun-related violence, with “32 per 100,000” deaths. Risk factors and predictors of violence include income inequality, “diminished economic opportunities . . . high levels of family disruption” and “low levels of community participation.”
As for gun control measures potentially having an effect on decreasing casualties, the report expresses uncertainty: “Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue,” and there is no evidence “that passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime.” It also stated that proposed “gun turn-in programs are ineffective.”