Gov. Hochul Wrong on Defensive Use of Guns
Given how infrequently the news media covers defensive gun uses, it isn’t surprising that Gov. Hochul believes that defensive gun uses are rare. But survey estimates show on average that Americans use guns defensively about 2 million times a year. According to academic estimates, defensive gun uses – including instances when guns are simply shown to deter a crime – are four to five times more common than gun crimes.
Hochul also worries about permit holders themselves committing crime, but her fears are misplaced. New York doesn’t provide data on the rate at which permit holders have their permits revoked, but we do have that data for other states. In the 19 states with comprehensive data, the average revocation rate for any reason is one-tenth of 1%. Typically, permit revocations occur because someone moved, died, or forgot to bring a permit while carrying. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of firearms-related violations at one-twelfth the rate of police officers.
The governor might also be surprised to learn that the general public disagrees with her. An early July survey by the Trafalgar Group showed a plurality of American general election voters believe that armed citizens are the most effective element in protecting you and your family in the case of a mass shooting. First on the list was “armed citizens” at 42%, followed by “local police” (25%) and “federal agents” (10%).
Police are essential to keeping the peace and bringing criminals to justice, but in most cases they can’t directly protect people. That’s why Gov. Hochul owes the residents of her state the chance to protect themselves.