"The only thing stopping the bad guy with a gun is a good gun." If you had to summarize the response of the National Rifle Association to School (Conn.) Newtown massacre, and any proposal violent gun-control law, a statement from the December conference NRA 21 press pretty much showed lobby trick.The weapon 'against restrictions on civil and weapons acquisitions have because, it argued, law-abiding people have guns for self-defense. Millions of people use guns for hunting and target shooting. But the core of the NRA argument is self-defense: the real right to protect the ability to stay upright and breathing.So how often Americans use guns for self-defense? If it is almost never the case, then the NRA argument was based on an error and a decent respect for the creation of public policy. If, on the other hand, the use of defensive weapons (DGU) is relatively common, even diehard gun-control advocates have principles and common sense would recognize the fact that it should be given some weight.Criminologists agree that the usual prevalence of guns in the U.S., about 300 million on hand private sector makes us more lethal violent crime than other countries. (See, for example, is excellent When Brute Force Fails, Mark Kleiman of UCLA.) That the cost of allowing widespread civilian gun ownership: In this country, when there tends to beat up, shoot a movie, or kill their partner (or themselves ), the gun debate immediately cause available.One looked so radioactive that pistol gun control advocates refer almost exclusively to the cost of widespread gun ownership, while the NRA and its allies focus on weapons as a tool and symbol of independence. Very few, if any, participants in the conflict to recognize that the weapon is both bad and good, depending on how they are used. Thieves use it to put the store, and shop owners to use their weapons to stop robbers.If balancing forces have benefits for owners of legal guns are often or sometimes use guns to defend themselves and their loved ones, and then determining how aggressively to curb the rights of private property is to be more complex proposition.As about guns in this country, DGU question asked a different answer. At one end of the spectrum, the NRA cites research by Gary Kleck, conducted at Florida State University criminologist. Based on the self - reporting by survey respondents, Kleck DGU extrapolated to more than 2 million times a year. Kleck not suggest that gun owners often shoot a potential antagonist. The DGU includes a variety of situations, including the brandishing of weapons and just scare the other end of the spectrum aggressor.At, skeptical weapons prefer to mention the work of David Hemenway, a popular public health degree at Harvard University. Hemenway, who analogizes an epidemic of gun violence and gun transmission, Kleck found that research to significantly overestimates the frequency of alternating DGU.The builders get quite technical, but the short version Hemenway believe Kleck This includes too many "false positives": answering claims they chased off burglar or rapist with a gun but may be proud of or, worse, illegal categorize aggressive behavior as a legitimate DGU. Hemenway looking more promising research projects that annual federal government, called the Sacrifice National Crime Survey, which get an estimate in the neighborhood of 100,000 defensive gun uses per year. Make different sounds reasonable adjustments, other social scientists have suggested that it may be a figure somewhere between 250,000 and 370,000 have been more accurate.What 'results? 1. We do not know exactly how often occurs.2 use defensive weapons. A conservative estimate of the order of magnitude of tens of thousands of times a year, 100,000 is not a gun nut fantasy.3 wild. Many gun owners (I am not one, but I know a lot) do not focus on statistical probability, but in the worst case scenario: complete, and they want to fight chance.4. DGU not answer the question in this debate, but it is a factor that deserves attention.