CDC "study" says lots of people defend themselves with guns

Okay, that title is the click bait. I’ve heard it a few times, but I can’t find the study. I can find lots of articles saying it, but most don’t link to the study and if they do, they don’t provide page references. This is possibly what they are “quoting”

Front Matter | Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence |The National Academies Press

It’s not a study. It does not create new data. It’s a report of other studies. I have found more than one place where it states how difficult it is to collect this data and how the studies out there vary widely. So, you get something saying there were 300K instances in some year when people defended themselves with a gun. Then it immediately states there was another study that had 1/3 that many. The CDC doesn’t endorse either study.

Not sure how many pro-gun folks are checking in on this forum, but, if you can give me more details on this, that’d be 'preciated.

Injuries and deaths due to firearms in the home

A L Kellermann 1, G Somes, F P Rivara, R K Lee, J G Banton



Determine the relative frequency with which guns in the home are used to injure or kill in self-defense, compared with the number of times these weapons are involved in an unintentional injury, suicide attempt, or criminal assault or homicide.


We reviewed the police, medical examiner, emergency medical service, emergency department, and hospital records of all fatal and nonfatal shootings in three U.S. cities: Memphis, Tennessee; Seattle, Washington; and Galveston, Texas.


During the study interval (12 months in Memphis, 18 months in Seattle, and Galveston) 626 shootings occurred in or around a residence. This total included 54 unintentional shootings, 118 attempted or completed suicides, and 438 assaults/homicides. Thirteen shootings were legally justifiable or an act of self-defense, including three that involved law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty. For every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.


Guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.

That’s the other thing that most who use/abuse these statistics leave out. The linked report does cover that.

It seems like, to me, but you know, what do I know, that the logical step from “guns can be used for self-defense” to “but they are dangerous if not handled properly” is proper training and education. In all other similar issues, we legislate that. You have to be certified to drive a big truck fuel of flammable material, you have to show ID when buying Sudafed, you need a license to drive. I know the arguments against that when it comes to guns and I won’t repeat them.

I agree with NRA principles. We disagree that we should let people determine for themselves if they know gun safety.

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Because that does not meet the definition of a well regulated militia. That meets the definition of a non-regulated militia, AKA, free-for-all!

I also think if the CDC were going to do such a study, they also need to include location. For example, I bet Missourians own more guns (I don’t have any) than Californians do.