“Self-defense can be an important crime deterrent,” concluded a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mandated via executive order by President Barack Obama. The findings also question the effectiveness of gun-control measures.
The $10 million study was commissioned by President Barack Obama as part of 23 executive orders he signed in January of 2013.
The study’s findings include:
- Gun-use is the safest of studied “self-protective strategies,”
- Suicide accounts for most firearm deaths,
- Felons who use guns very seldom obtain their guns by stealing them, and
- There is no evidence that gun restrictions reduce gun violence.
“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, entitled “Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” states.
Researchers also found that the majority of firearm deaths are from suicide, not homicide. “Between the years 2000 and 2010, firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearm-related violence in the United States."
“Most felons report obtaining the majority of their firearms from informal sources,” adds the report, while “stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals.”
The report expresses uncertainty about gun control measures, stating that “whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue,” and that 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.”
Instead, researchers proposed gun safety technologies such as “external locking devices and biometric systems” to reduce firearm-related deaths.