GUN STUDIES: The Defensive Gun Use Misinformation War

by Alan J Chwick & Joanne D Eisen

Scared Bed Gun Nightstand Self Defense
GUN STUDIES: The Defensive Gun Use Misinformation War

USA – -( TO DEFEND, or NOT TO DEFEND – that is a question to which almost the entire globe has answered “NO” to self-defense.

The answer is relevant because if you have the RIGHT and the WILLINGNESS to defend yourself and your family, you will choose to use a firearm. If the answer is “NO,” then civilians will be banned from the possession of weapons.

But here in the US, we have that RIGHT, and so gun control freaks have created a battle of numbers. If there are many civilian defensive uses of guns per year, then civilian possession is beneficial. If there are more criminal uses of firearms per year than civilian defensive uses, then discussion of limiting private ownership of weapons becomes part of the debate.

The problem is that the number of Defensive Gun Uses (DGU), are estimated by polls. But answers to poll questions by respondents are easily manipulated. So how many DGUs are there?

One pro-gun writer hit the nail directly on the head. Surveys usually underestimate the number of DGUs because “respondents underreport [1] crime victimization experiences, [2] gun ownership and [3] their illegal behavior. “Many gun owners no longer trust people who ask sensitive questions, and many are concerned/confused by the changing degrees of the legality of purchase, possession, use, and carry.

It really doesn’t matter, says Brian Doherty, because. “Knowing for sure how many DGUs there are in America in any given year is irrelevant, however, to any important political, ethical, or certainly Constitutional, discussion about gun ownership in America.”

And that is true in the short run. But let’s ask ourselves why the gun control freaks lie so hard to make us believe that there are very few yearly DGUs?

Every little bit of fear they can drum up in our ignorant populace works in their favor. Here’s what happened.

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data shows about 64,615 DGUs per year, and so, according to McDowall and Wiersema in 1994, “Firearm self-defense is rare compared with gun crimes.”

But in 1995, Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz disputed the accuracy of the NCVS data. They described how respondents knew that the interviewers were government employees and that respondents were never even asked if they used a gun for protection. And, their survey results found 1.5 to 1.9 million DGUs involving handguns and a total of 2.2 to 2.5 DGUs per year.

They unequivocally stated, “the DGU is very common, far more common than has been recognized to date by criminologists or policymakers, and certainly far more common than one would think based on any official sources of information.”

Detailed manipulation of numbers can be complicated, dark and dull, but the Kleck/Gertz paper is easy to understand, and we recommend studying it. Kleck and Gertz said that 400,000 people felt that their lives were saved by their guns.

“If even one-tenth of these people are accurate in their stated perceptions, ” they continue, “the number of lives saved by victim use of guns would still exceed the total number of lives taken by guns.”

In late 1995, Marvin Wolfgang wrote, “They have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years. Namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator…it is hard to challenge the data collected.”

Philip Cook, an anti-gun criminologist who never found a set of numbers he couldn’t manipulate to prove that firearms are pieces of junk, with Jens Ludwig and David Hemenway in 1997, tried to discredit Kleck and Gertz, but could not. They complained about the 2.5 million estimate of DGUs, but found that their survey result was,”in the same ballpark as that propounded by Kleck and Gertz.”

But still, our enemies need lies and mistruths to function.

Victims Who Shoot Back Live Longer Self Defense School Shootings
When someone asks why we need an Uzi for hunting or an AR-15 for target shooting, we should not be shamed into silence.

As time goes by, they continue to attempt to distort the data. We don’t resort to lies to function; truth will always trump lies. Our philosophy stands up firmly to all tests. But we do need to know the facts or our Second Amendment and we will be overwhelmed by lies.

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) told us that, in 2014, there were 234 justifiable homicides by a private citizen and 7,670 criminal firearm homicides.
The liars at the VPC failed to tell us that DGUs rarely result in death. In fact, most DGUs consist merely of brandishing the weapon or gesturing to it. Their comparison is a misleading, deliberate mistruth obfuscation.

Also, recently, there is the controversy that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) withheld surveys that backed up Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz’ research. The unpublished CDC research study confirms over 2 million annual DGUs.

The gun control crowd feel that they are losing the disarmament battle and only lies, and misinformation is their way out.

So when someone asks why we need an Uzi for hunting or an AR-15 for target shooting, we should not be shamed into silence. We should be proud of our RIGHT TO SELF DEFENSE. We need to know, deep in our souls, that we enjoy the shooting sports because they prepare us for that moment, that we hope will never come.

We need to recall the words of the Cullen Inquiry after the school murders in Dunblane, Scotland, where the right to self-defense did not exist.

“Firearm possession is usually justified on the grounds of sport. By definition, sport is a recreational pastime. It seems to us that those who follow a particular hobby are under an overwhelming obligation to ensure that their pursuit does not place the safety of the public at unacceptable risk.”

  • So, TO DEFEND, or NOT TO DEFEND self and family?
  • So, TO DEFEND, or NOT TO DEFEND a Constitutional Right?

There is only one reasonable answer, and that is YES, and YES! It is entirely up to us, every one of us, to continually, openly discuss, with family, friends, and neighbors, why we need the Second Amendment.

  • Yes, HUNTING is one small reason.
  • Yes, SELF DEFENSE is a reason.
  • Yes, DEFENSE FROM TYRANNY is a BIG reason.
  • Yes, IT IS A RIGHT.

About the Authors:

  • Alan J Chwick has been involved with firearms much of his life and is the Retired Managing Coach of the Freeport NY Junior (Marksmanship) Club, Division of the Freeport NY Revolver & Rifle Association, Freeport, NY. He has escaped from New York State to South Carolina and is an SC FFL ( – [email protected] | TWITTER: @iNCNF
  • Joanne D Eisen, DDS (Ret.) practiced dentistry on Long Island, NY. She has collaborated and written on firearm politics for the past 30+ years. She has also escaped from New York State but to Virginia. – [email protected]
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

gun control-tards want 2 things: confiscation & their right to kill you and me


This has never been about protecting little children or preventing suicide or keeping people safe from guns. The underreporting of DGUs is deliberate and the intention is to marginalize the concept of gun ownership – to represent it to be a ghoulish fetish of creepy, weird people intent on doing someone harm. Teach this to a whole generation and eventually, the old guard dies off. Total citizen disarmament is the only goal here.


‘Total citizen disarmament is the only goal here.”

You hit the nail directly on the head.


“Miss Information”?

Is this an intelligence community beauty pageant? 😉

How about “Misinformation” instead?


Dear Ammoland,

Please find a literate speaker/reader/writer of American English to edit the
atrocities you inflict on your readers. This problem has been pointed out to you
repeatedly yet the offensive prose continues to appear. You are losing
readers who are otherwise allies.


Take all the data, all the research, all the emotion out of it, and you are still left with one thing: The Second Amendment is a constitutional right. If one is willing to simply hand over their rights, then one must be prepared to hand over ALL of their rights. This is not merely about guns. It is not merely about public safety. It is about protecting the rights laid out in the United States Constitution.

VT Patriot

AMEN. Well said.


In my opinion, our constantly spewing forth data proving the value of guns in our society only weakens our case by giving the appearance that we must somehow prove statistically that our keeping guns is good. Our keeping of arms is not based on some statistical preponderance of evidence like a court case: it’s a God-given right – regardless of the numbers, polls, emotions, etc. Our continual efforts to “prove” that guns are good and helpful is making us look defensive, like we are on the losing side. There are no “sides” in this matter. Keeping and bearing arms is… Read more »


A friend of mine from Grade School days owned a business conducting surveys. He noted that his first problem was to find out exactly what results his client wanted to see. The next problem was to phrase the questions, and select the population being surveyed to get those desired results. That way, he could be assured of repeat business from that client.

Roger Tranfaglia

Soo…Are YOU for the 2nd amendment…OR NOT?


Seems that the people who want to disarm the citizens of the United States desperately ignore the documented results of previous and current disarmament schemes. How many are currently suffering because their governments are completely unfettered by any fear that their citizens might depose them for injustice or that government abstains from providing the security and defense from rampant criminality? How many are dead simply because they had no means of defending themselves against criminal governments? I’ve seen estimates and documents that postulate as many as 100 million, but those who would eliminate the Second Amendment think that the numbers… Read more »


According to R.J. Rummel, who committed a large part of his life’s work to the study of democide (death by government), the 20th century saw 250 million of the world’s citizens killed, where their own governments were responsible. Many of these deaths were indeed enabled by gun control. But, one only has to study the history of the world a little to discover how often the average person has had to face tyranny and violence. Some historians estimate that Genghis Khan killed 40 million people, long before there were guns… These numbers don’t even take into account evil men who… Read more »


Love the news and information Ammoland provides. I often forward and share your stories with hundreds of people I know on my end. However, when you guys make glaring spelling or grammar mistakes in the HEADLINE, that stops me cold from sharing. “Misinformation is one word, not two, as you’ve spelled it in your headline today. Miss Information? Give me a break, guys. You’re better than that. Please hire a professional proofer. Bad grammar and poor spelling lends no integrity to your words otherwise.


The current proofer must be a former sports announcer.


Umm, didn’t espn just hire that dude back? 😉
A couple of points/observations – 1) Everyone has the inherent God given right to self-defense – even when their government tries to take it away by legislative over reach (YES I am talking to the slaves er um residents of the formerly Great Britain, as well as a number of our states) 2) That sign should read something on the order of Those Who Shoot Back Live Longer And Are NOT Victims.


I personally apologize for that TYPO. That was missed by me.


Warren vs DC 2nd circut court of appeals 198. The police are under no legal obligation to proved protection to anyone. Get the drift? Yes, we are on our own.