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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:09 AM

How Many DGUs Are There? Further Explanation

The last paragraphs of The Propaganda Professor's response to Frail Liberty.

Yet you have chosen to adamantly take exception to that observation. Well okay. No harm will come to you because of it. But surely you will concur that those cases in which a gun was fired generally make it into the media. No, wait – I’ll more than meet you halfway. Surely you’ll concur that those instances in which the offender is killed or wounded will generally make it into the media. Well, those add up to roughly 300 per year. But let’s continue to be generous and call it 500.

Now according to Kleck-Gertz, these comprise 8 percent of the total. As I’ve stated before, this figure is surely far too low, because Kleck and Gertz are extremely loose in their definition of a defensive gun use. But I don’t have a better figure to offer, so we’ll use it. If the generously high figure of 500 represents the generously low figure of 8 percent, then that makes the total around 6250. It’s simple grade school arithmetic. People who claim that my “math is off” are not only incorrect, they’re off track. It’s not exactly MY math that has become the basis of dogma.

Bottom line: extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof; but the only “proof” ever offered for the extraordinaily high DGU counts is that some people say so. Sorry, but I find that quite inadequate. The 2.5 million claim is a legendary beast of titanic proportions, and if it existed, it would leave an appropriately large footprint. But the only footprint in evidence so far is miniscule. Show me the behemoth footprints and I’ll consider it more likely that the beast itself exists. Until then, I must remain skeptical.

I'm not as reluctant to use speculation as the Professor is. I believe that a significant percentage of those 300 to 500 reported DGUs each year are false. And I believe an even higher percentage of the rest are false, the ones that don't get reported at all.

This brings us right back down to the 500 mark.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.
Cross posted at Mikeb302000

7 replies, 1386 views

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Reply How Many DGUs Are There? Further Explanation (Original post)
mikeb302000 Dec 2012 OP
gejohnston Dec 2012 #1
sarisataka Dec 2012 #2
rl6214 Dec 2012 #3
petronius Dec 2012 #4
GreenStormCloud Dec 2012 #5
mikeb302000 Dec 2012 #6
GreenStormCloud Dec 2012 #7

Response to mikeb302000 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:33 AM

1. I'll take the peer reviewed scientific studies by

Kleck and Gertz (along with the previous studies that said basically the same thing) over your or PP's speculation. Even the Joyce funded studies put the number closer to Kleck's than yours.

I will say that 500 DGUs in a century might be high mark for Granger, Wyoming or Cedar Key, Florida.

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Response to mikeb302000 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:02 PM

2. speculation

I'm not as reluctant to use speculation as others are. I believe that a significant percentage of those 300 to 500 reported DGUs each year are just the tip of the iceberg. And I believe an even higher percentage of the rest are unrecognized, the ones that don't get reported at all.

I think there are 10,623,094 DGUs per year... in North Dakota alone

but the only "proof" ever offered for extraordinarily low DGU counts is that some people say so

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Response to mikeb302000 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:54 PM

3. I believe, I believe, I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky

 

Never any actual facts with you are there? Just what you "believe".

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Response to mikeb302000 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 01:49 PM

4. As points of comparison, Cook, Ludwig, and Hemenway (1997) apparently came up

Last edited Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:41 AM - Edit history (1)

with 108,000 over the 1992-94 period (~36,000 per year), while Hemenway, Azrael, and Miller (2000) accepted estimates of 60,000-120,000 from previous studies. (Based on a quick googling.)

http://home.uchicago.edu/~ludwigj/papers/JPAM_Cook_Ludwig_Hemenway_2007.pdf

http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/6/4/263.full

Personally, I don't think it matters all that much from a policy perspective - but the number may be an interesting input into individual cost/benefit considerations in deciding whether, where, and how to keep a firearm...

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Response to mikeb302000 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 04:08 PM

5. Your numbers are way off.

The FBI collects those statistics and they are available online at the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting site: http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/

There are about 200 justifiable homicides by civilians per year. In addition there are about an equal number of excusable homicides. That alone puts the total at 400 dead criminals.

About 80% of pistol shooting victims survive. So in addition to the 400 bodies you have about 1,600 wounded criminals.

Total is about 2,000 killed or wounded criminals.

And there is a vast unknown number of criminals who ran away when they discovered that their intended victim was armed. So we are waaay past you 500 mark.

The FBI reports about six million violent and property crimes per year. Since there are eight million people licensed to carry and about half the population has ready access to a gun it stands to reason the a large percentage of those six million felons get surprised by the victim's gun.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:30 AM

6. Are you sure about that 6 million? nt

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Response to mikeb302000 (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:38 AM

7. I gave you the link to the FBI's UCR site.

If you don't like the numbers, take it up with the FBI.

Please note that I said "about six million". So here are the exact totals for 2010, Violent crime: 1,246,248, Property crime: 9,082,887
That is a total of 10,329,135 violent or property crimes in 2010. My figure of six million was off considerably. There was much more property crime than I thought.

That is reported crime. There are many more violent crimes and property crimes that aren't reported. With that many crimes, and between 8 to 10 million armed citizens carrying guns, and about half the nation's households having guns at home, it is reasonable to conclude that there would be a lot of criminal attempts that get aborted by the criminal when he discovers that his victim is armed.

If only 1% of criminal attempts encounter a legally armed citizen, either at home or in public, that still yields over 100,000 DGUs.

Here is the link to the FBI UCR table: http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/Search/Crime/State/StatebyState.cfm

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