Re: Gun statistics

Michael S. Lorrey (
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 09:59:31 -0500

Steve Tucker wrote:

> Michael Lorrey forwarded the following (some time ago, sorry):
> > > Again abstracting from Covey's excellent essay "Gun Stats and Mortal
> > Risks", there are many different ways to look at the limited data that is
> > available on
> > firearm use. Using very reasonable, non-garbage, ways of looking at the
> > data, Covey came up
> > with the following fascinating figures:
> > >
> > > A gun is 32 times more likely to be used to defend against criminal
> > threat than to kill
> > anybody.
> ... and many other interesting tidbits.
> My question: Do you know whether these statistics include _all_ guns, or only those
> that are privately owned? If the statistics include those owned by gov't agents,
> used in their enforcement duties, then the argument seems much weaker than if it
> includes only guns owned by private citizens.
> If the statistics do refer to all guns, is there further data available so that
> statistics for privately owned guns may be derived?

I'm not sure, but here's another stat that might help out: A police officer is 5 times more likely to kill an innocent person at any given crime scene than would an armed private citizen in the same situation. So, I would say that if government agents are included, they are merely dampening the stats down. Excluding them and they should be higher.

Mike Lorrey