I find the first statement to be the most provocative. Many of these scholars argue that guns are dangerous in the hands of criminals, yet provide no defensive value. To me, this argument makes no sense. As we've read in our text, there have been countless studies that prove defensive gun use reduces crime/violence. We see that in most cases, there are no injuries when using guns for self-defense. Simply making an attacker aware of the gun is usually sufficient to thwart attack/injury. When you consider that only 6% of victims who use guns for defense are injured, it's obvious that DGU is effective. Also, the argument that guns are not necessary because "the police will protect us" is flawed. While the police are indeed there to protect us, they usually aren't there in time to prevent a criminal act. Personally, Ive known several people who would have been assaulted, robbed or injured if they hadn't used a gun for protection. In each case, the gun was not actually fired.
In my opinion, a true scholar takes an even-handed approach when researching an issue. Many anti-gun scholars cite only those surveys that justify their views, even those laking empirical evidence. To claim that defensive gun use is immoral is ridiculous. What's immoral, are anti-gun scholars/experts who try to paint a one-sided and deceptive picture of violence and death caused by DGU. For the most part, laws that restrict DGU would not stop criminals from carrying handguns. Since these laws would have the greatest impact on law-abiding citizens, gun violence would actually increase.
The second and third reasons aren't all that shocking, in my opinion. The first, concerning moral repugnance for self-defense, is something that I hadn't really considered before. I personally know many gun owning folk, and have even heard stories of people using 'guns' as self defense who didn't own them-- for example, a mentor of mine (a martial arts master) was approached by someone with a knife at a gas station, and reached into his jacket threateningly as if he had a gun (he didn't) to get the other to back off before he could initiate a fight. He was 100% capable of taking the other man out with physical force if necessary (he was very familiar up against and with knives), but thought that it was best to take the least violent route possible. This sort of psychological self-defensive warfare prevented a fight.
I suppose one could believe that guns are simply made for killing, but there are many other weapons that follow that sort of usage that are allowed to be owned and do not have recreational hunting usage (swords, certain knives, combat staffs, etc, all of which do not have the notoriety of the lethality of guns, but certainly could kill other people) and are easily accepted as self-defense for people. Perhaps it is reasonable to say that these sorts of weapons are not common use by the criminal portion of the population, but again there is also the fact that what makes guns appealing to them also makes it useful for law force, as Kleck has said before. Why shouldn't these traits also make them useful for self-defense of the common citizen? Even as someone who is pro-control, I can understand the benefits of owning a gun, and believe that an openminded sort of approach needs to taken from both sides of the argument concerning research in this topic.
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