Tag Archives: guns

New Cato Study: Tough Targets

From the “It’s no surprise to those who’ve followed the subject for more than a few years,” comes another study:

Today, Cato is releasing a new study, Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens, by Clayton Cramer and David Burnett. The paper makes use of a news report-gathering project to explore in more detail how Americans use guns in self-defense.

The paper makes many excellent points, but I’ll mention just three here. First, the average person tends to imagine that these self-defense situations involve criminals getting shot. Such cases do occur, but the overwhelming number of self-defense cases involve situations where the gun is never fired.

The second point relates to the first. The average person usually does not hear about defensive gun cases because news media organizations do not consider the incidents worthy of coverage. If a burglar runs away from a break-in when he discovers that someone is at the home and is armed, it may only garner a terse mention in the paper, if it makes the newspaper at all. With no shot fired, no injuries, and no suspect in custody, newspeople typically decline coverage. The point here is not to criticize the news media’s handling of such incidents–rather it is just to remind readers that we tend to hear about criminals using guns to perpetrate crimes, but we do not hear about many self-defense cases. In this milieu, it is understandable why many people would develop negative opinions about guns.

Third, when a gun owner does shoot a rapist or is able to hold a burglar at gunpoint until the police arrive on the scene, it is very likely that more than one crime has been prevented. That’s because had the culprit not been stopped, he very likely would have targeted other people as well.

The liberal media hates telling stories with happy endings where the good guy had a gun and nobody got shot.

But on the other hand, the gun nuts also hate stories where years of daily dry-fire and holster-drawing practice, and thousands of dollars of training classes weren’t needed, because the victim didn’t have to don his tactical vest, pie-clear his house, trade shots with multiple assailants while moving to cover and using weak-hand skills developed painstakingly through thousands of repetitions.

Still, it’s better to have a gun and skills and not need them, then to need them and not have them.

via New Cato Study: Tough Targets | Cato @ Liberty.