Two New Polls Provide Another Dose Of Political Reality For Gun Control Advocates
Two new polls show that political efforts to enact more stringent gun control at the national level are not likely to succeed.
Adding yet another wrinkle to the debate about gun rights and gun control in the United States, a new series of polls shows that public opinion in the United States on gun-related issues indicates yet again just how difficult it would be for gun control advocates to get most of the ideas that they are advocating passed at the national level.
First up, there’s a new Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans believe that allowing more people carry concealed weapons would help increase safety:
A majority of Americans, 56%, believe that if more Americans carried concealed weapons after passing a criminal background check and training course, the country would be safer.
These results are from Gallup’s annual Crime poll conducted Oct. 7-11. In the wake of mass shootings at schools and other public places, some have argued that the shootings could have been stopped if any of the victims had carried weapons. Others argue that having more citizens carrying weapons can lead to more violence and accidental shooting.
Most states have some sort of permitting process allowing the carrying of concealed weapons, but the requirements and procedures to carry weapons vary significantly by state. The Gallup question did not get into detail on specific requirements other than mentioning that the person with the concealed weapon would have to pass a criminal background check and training course.
Among key subgroups, Democrats and those with postgraduate education are least likely to believe that more concealed weapons would make the U.S. safer. Republicans and gun owners are most likely to say it would make the nation safer. Younger Americans are more likely to choose the “safer” option than those aged 30 and above.
Related to the Gallup poll on concealed weapons, a new CNN/ORC poll shows that opposition to at least some forms of gun control has actually increased in the wake of the most recent mass shootings:
About half of all Americans oppose stricter gun control laws, a larger segment of the population than those who support tighter controls on guns, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday.
Nearly three weeks after the latest mass shooting claimed the lives of nine people, 52% of Americans now oppose stricter gun control laws, 6 percentage points more than the 46% of Americans who support such laws. That’s a wider gap than in June when CNN last surveyed Americans on gun control, finding that the public was equally split at 49% on the issue.
The advantage of those opposed to stricter gun control laws over those in favor is outside of the poll’s 3-point margin of error.
But the issue of whether guns can make the public safer remains deeply divisive. Americans are nearly equally split between whether guns in public places make those places safer, less safe or don’t make a difference.
Despite those divisions, most say that nationwide gun laws should only be changed with the support of most Americans and most gun owners.
About seven in 10 Americans believe it is important for most Americans to support proposed changes to gun laws before those changes are implemented. And 61% said the same of gun owners.
About half of Americans said it is important for both parties to come to a consensus before making any changes to existing gun laws.
Other polls have shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans support expanding background checks to private sales and sales at gun shows, where people can buy guns without undergoing a background check.
As Gallup notes, concealed carry of weapons has been a fast moving political issue in the United States over the past several years. In a short period of time, many states around the country have liberalized their laws setting forth the requirements under which people are legally permitted to carry a concealed weapon in public. In some states, residents are still required to go through an application process that requires them to provide at least some justification for why they feel the need to carry a weapon on their person on a regular basis, or to go through some kind of gun safety education class on the proper way to handle weapons in public. The laws in many of these states, such as New York, Illinois, and California, have been challenged in Court in the wake of the the Supreme Court’s rulings in D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, and in a few of those cases there have been adverse rulings against the laws from Circuit Courts of Appeal. In other states, and most predominantly in the South and the West, the right to carry a concealed is far easier, often as simple as applying for a permit that involves a background check and identity verification that provide that the state “shall issue” a permit unless one of a limited number of exceptions apply. Many states also have restrictions about areas where weapons cannot be carried, such as churches, schools, government and other secured buildings, and as a general rule private property owners are always free to impose their own policies regarding the carrying of weapons on their property. To add an additional wrinkle to the issue, there are many states that allow people to carry some weapons openly, again with some restrictions as to where and when they could carry these weapons.
Perhaps more than any other issue, this issue about the carrying of weapons in public has become the center of many of the heated debates that have erupted in the wake of shooting incidents that have made national news. In each case, advocates of gun rights have argued that tragedy could have possibly been averted had someone in the area been armed, or that the shooting may have prevented simply because the shooter may have feared facing armed resistance. Advocates of gun control, on the other hand, argue that there’s no evidence that allowing the concealed carry of weapons can prevent such incidents and that it is more likely to lead to tragedy and mistakes. Both sides will cite anecdotal evidence in their favor, with gun rights advocates citing reports of incidents where an armed citizen prevented crime and opponents pointing to the evidence of errors and mistakes, such as those that Steven Taylor has highlighted here at OTB recent, here, here, and here.
What this poll shows us, though, is that these laws allowing people to carry concealed weapons are popular because people believe that they make them safer. On some level, of course, it’s an understandable attitude. Human beings have a natural desire to want to defend themselves from danger, and the truth of the matter is that police are not going to be much of an immediate defense to crime except in the limited and rate circumstances where there just happens to be an officer nearby when a crime is taking place. Additionally, the fact that we live in an era where people not only live in dangerous neighborhoods but find themselves victimized by stalkers, abusive husbands or boyfriends, and other circumstances. It’s not surprising to see that people want to feel safer, and that they would want to have to right to defend themselves. Indeed, that innate human right to self-defense is what lies at the core of the Supreme Court’s ruling in D.C. v. Heller and the Court’s ruling that, at the very least, the Second Amendment prevents the government from placing unreasonable limitations on the ability of citizens to acquire the means to defend themselves.
Both the Gallup poll and the CNN/ORC poll get straight to the point that I made in my post on Monday, and that I’ve made many times before regarding the nature of the gun control debate in the United States. There is polling that indicates that Americans support some additional restrictions or regulations on gun ownership, such as an expansion of the current background check system to cover private sales and to better account for people who have been diagnosed as dangerously mentally ill. However, these same polls also show that gun control is largely a low-priority issue for voters, which means that legislators will likely not pay much of a political price for opposing even those ideas that the public broadly supports. In addition to that, though, these polls show that beyond seemingly simple things like background checks, the American public as a whole remains deeply skeptical of broader gun control measures and are sympathetic to the idea that people ought to have access to the weapons necessary to defend themselves if they want those weapons. As long as that’s the case, then neither President Obama’s empty rhetoric on guns nor Hillary Clinton’s proposed gun control measures, including her purported sympathy for Australian-style mandatory buyback programs, are going to amount to much of anything. Perhaps this will be different if public attitudes change, but as many have said if tragedies like the Aurora movie theater shootings and the Sandy Hook shootings weren’t going to mark a sea change in public opinion on this issue. and it’s clear that they did not, then it’s unlikely anything in the foreseeable future will. For better or worse, gun rights are a part of the American way of life, and gun control advocates won’t accomplish anything by refusing to acknowledge reality or by insulting the people who disagree with them, which seems to be the primary response that comes once reality is made clear to them.
So now you’re openly pimping for the NRA, Doug?
I didn’t know that CNN and Gallup were divisions of the NRA, Michael.
But, then this does go to my point about how gun control advocates descend right to personal attacks when presented with information they don’t like.
And by unreasonable limitations…we mean any limitations at all. Thanks for carrying the NRA water, Doug.
I mean…this is pretty basic stuff.
People, including 74% of NRA members want additional common-sense and reasonable limitations on gun access.
The NRA doesn’t.
The NRA has deep gun industry funded pockets. (which allows them to ignore their membership.)
The people don’t…thanks to ridiculous Republican SCOTUS ruling like Citizens United and McCutcheon.
Ipso facto…the NRA has made it far more likely your toddler will die.
Have a nice day…
In it for the long haul.
Bullets do not tear only the flesh of liberals. I am pretty sure that Jim Brady was a good Republican prior to being struck. The shootings in schools have not just happened in blue states, murder/suicides/negligence are not confined to urban hipster communities, and most of us do not live in gated subdivisions secure from any intrusion.
Dr. Mataconis, how far do you live from a gang shooting in the last two weeks? Do you think that a general disarmament of America would help or hurt your family’s safety in the long run? Would you prefer to go for a unarmed walk through Oslo or a kevlar-vested pistol packing walk in D.C?
We are keeping our eyes on the prize.
I was especially astonished by the age difference. Too much “call of duty” playing in the younger crowd perhaps, overestimating the effectiveness (and own abilities) of handgun use.
Gun control is not a high priority item…now.
Chaos theory predicts large changes in the behavior of a system arising from even small changes in circumstance…these are called tipping points. Think of a landslide. Nothing, nothing, nothing, then BAM.
So….how many more Aurora’s and Oregon’s and Sandy Hook’s until we reach such a tipping point?
We will see…probably sooner than later.
The problem for the gun fetishists is that when that happens it is likely to be much more extreme than if they had simply gone along with reasonable common-sense steps. e.g. You could take steps like closing the gun show loophole and requiring rigorous training now…or have something like the Australia gun buy-back later.
I would prefer the former…but fully expect the latter.
It’s not unlike Obamacare. Instead of contributing and making health care reform better…they said no, no, no, no, hell no…until all of a sudden Obamacare became the law of the land with zero of their input.
It’s really about a lack of vision and foresight…things required for proper governance.
Some people believe that private ownership of handguns makes themselves and society safer. Others believe it makes themselves and society less safe. That is a testable hypothesis. So why don’t we fund appropriate research and let the data set us free?
Philosophers describe statements as normative or positive. Normative statements express opinions about how the world ought to be. Positive statements describe the world as it is.
Doug doesn’t do normative, at least as it pertains to this subject. The present post, like his previous ones, tells us that a significant fraction of Americans are opposed to gun control. It doesn’t tell us why I should favor allowing college students to come to class with handguns in their backpacks or why we should regard every new school massacre as the price we pay for our freedoms. Instead, it appeals to our desire to be on the winning side along with all the popular kids.
Maybe this is an effective argument, but to me it seems unworthy. Doug is an intelligent man. He could do better.
Polls show a lot of people believe that the earth is 6,000 years old and that evolution is a lie. Should we also make policy on those beliefs? Or should we make them based on reason and evidence?
The evidence is that guns do not make us safer and that thanks to the lack of gun safety laws, toddlers have been shooting themselves and others at the rate of one a week this year, among thousands of other unnecessary deaths. How any gun right advocate can defend that status quo and even rejoice in the fact that this status quo should continue is beyond me-but then I have a conscience.
Gun worshipers don’t want to make policy based on data, just as the tobacco lobby didn’t want to make policy based on data. Note that OP seems uninterested in making policy based on data, but on what polls say. Telling.
@C. Clavin: Good point. It’s also like Gay Marriage. I hear right wingers say “Well they should just have civil unions, they shouldn’t call it marriage.” Well dummies, that was an offer at one point, and you refused to compromise. When you refuse and refuse and refuse, in the end, you get nothing. The TeaTards are excellent at not understanding this.
That’s why, in the end, the House FreeDumb Caucus doesn’t scare me.
Because the NRA will not allow it.
@stonetools: Of course, data based policy gets you in real trouble when we start comparing numbers. There’s more late term (16 weeks+) abortions then there are gun death. Does that means the SoCons are right?
@Stan: Doug doesn’t do normative, at least as it pertains to this subject.
Thanks for this honest report. Seems to me those who answer polls are split at about 50-50, leading one to conclude gun control laws are satisfactory to the American people as a whole. That might explain why the U.S. murder rate is about in the middle relative to the rest of the world. Recall the U.S. ranks 108th out of 218 nations measured. I believe the U.S. might be near the safest if we did two things. First we need to fix the due process necessary to identify and treat dangerously deranged individuals. And secondly, we need to deport illegal aliens convicted of one or more felonies. By the way, it should be obvious by now that gun control laws have very little impact on crime rates.
If you are saying that we should compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, I agree with you. In any case, the point is that there is one side that is preventing the Center for Disease Control from funding and promoting studies on gun violence.That is a major tell as to which side is afraid of making policy based on data and scientific evidence. That side would rather just have policy based on mythology and popular belief, which they can shape and is where they reign supreme.
It’s like the tobacco lobby, which wanted policy based on the Marlboro Man and slogans. They were successful for a long time too. Unfortunately for them , they didn’t shut down those pesky CDC studies the way the NRA did.
Nonsense…you need to include a bunch of third-world back-waters to get to that number. Really…you want to compare to Somalia and Burundi???
The 2012 murder rate in the US…4.7 murders per 100,000 people…was significantly higher than most other developed nations. (0.4 in Japan, 0.8 in Germany, 1.0 in Australia 1.1 in France and 1.2 in Britain) Only Brazil, Estonia, Mexico and Russia had higher murder rates. This according to figures compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Who’s funding me?
@Gene Ralno: Gene, I am an American. We Americans want our country to be the leader, to be the best. Don’t you?
It’s not the information, I have a problem with, Doug, it’s that what you are preaching is passivity, acceptance, surrender. You don’t make arguments on the substance, just tell the sheep to quit down, go back to sleep. Two essentially identical posts in what, a week?
No. Why do you ask?
@gVOR08: Because your argument is about as good as theirs.
Its was in 2010 I believe, that I saw a video of Maggie Gallagher crowing about how NOM had never lost an election over same sex marriage, and it was only 10 years ago that SSM was such a sure fire loser for liberals that Karl Rove made sure to include it on any ballot he could.
Things change, sometimes pretty rapidly.
No one’s going to do anything until it’s the rich people who have to deal with getting shot. As long as it’s a bunch of “useless welfare moochers” from the ghetto and a” bunch of hicks” from Tennessee/Texas killing each other and their kids, no one’s gonna care, especially since some of these are the same people who are so loud about ” MAH RAAGHTS! MAH FREEDUMB!!!”
@Mu: Since the last statistics I saw put the number of late term abortions at less than 1% of total abortions, that puts it at roughly 15000, about half of annual gun deaths.
Moreover, a significant portion of those late term abortions are performed because of severe fetal abnormalities (that would result in a dead baby anyway if brought to term) or danger to the mother’s health or life.
AND unlike guns, abortions, esp late term abortions, are highly regulated and difficult to obtain.
That stats are a bit disingenuous. We are one of the richest countries in the world and we should only be compared to our peer nations.
@grumpy realist: Newtown, Connecticut–where Sandy Hook Elementary is–has a median household income in the low six figures. It’s 95% white. 20 first-grade kids massacred.
If that didn’t create in America what Dunblane did in Scotland, or what Port Arthur did in Australia, then what possibly will?
Doug in 1955: “Polls show that most people think cigarette smoking is safe and fun! The political reality shows that the public is completely opposed to regulating cigarette smoking. Why don’t those people trying to regulate cigarette smoking just face political reality and give up? What, there are scientific studies showing that cigarette smoking isn’t safe? Look, a seagull!”
The FBI is federally funded. Why do you not trust their findings? Or perhaps you wish to classify gun-violence (and thus research into such) as a public health issue instead of a crime issue to further your own agenda?
A new FBI report shows that while FBI NICS background checks (a proxy for gun sales) have soared nearly 82-percent over the past 15 years, violent crime has plummeted over 18-percent.
Anti-liberty Democrats keep screaming that there is an “epidemic” of “gun violence,” but the facts just keep proving them wrong, year after year.
The FBI this month released the 2014 edition of Crime in the United States, and it revealed that the estimated number of reported violent crimes decreased 0.2 percent when compared with 2013. And the estimated number of property crimes decreased 4.3 percent from 2013 levels.
Homicides with firearms in 2014 were down 3.9 percent on a year-over-year basis. Consistent with previous years of this ongoing work, the vast majority of these murders were committed with handguns, although all categories of gun murders were lower. Rifles of all kinds were involved in just 3 percent of gun murders in 2014, lower than the number of deaths attributable to knives, blunt objects, and even fists or feet.
Wow, a gun rights apologist is wrong on the facts again? That’s so rare! /snark.
Kudos for looking into the matter. Unfortunately, it takes 10 seconds to post some fake factoid and several minutes at least to research and debunk it. Apart from the facts, late term abortions are really a completely different category of deaths than gun deaths. Why, you might as well compare deaths from swimming to gun deaths. Wait, they do that too…
@bookdragon: Sorry, I went by the CDC data that wikipedia links to. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5609a1.htm#tab6
But I really only wanted to point out that claiming data to drive police is dangerous, not trying to argue whether late term abortions are more or less bad than suicides etc.
Wow, a flat out correlation = causation solecism. I thought those were all but extinct.
So, you’re saying there’s now less reason to own a gun in self-defense? Cool. Have accidental deaths and injuries due to guns also declined over that time? They have not. (Yes, I noticed the bait-and-switch from “gun violence” to “violent crime”…)
Not so long ago, Columbine was a shocking, terrifying, horrific event.
Now it’s “Some kids were shot dead in their classroom today, gee, what a shame. I’ll post a graphic on Facebook sending prayers to the families. Is dinner ready yet?”
@stonetools: There’s room in you mouth for a second foot. Bon appetite.
Violent Crime has declined, and that’s great . But there are still 30,000 gun deaths per year. (comparison: 58,000 killed in a decade of active involvement in the Vietnam War. )
Meanwhile, a comparison of gun homicides in leading industrial countries in 2011:
Great Britain 8,
UNITED STATES 10,728
Contemplate the difference between the number of gun homicides in UK and the USA, and tell me again that we don’t have an epidemic of gun violence.
Frankly, it shouldn’t even controversial that there is an epidemic of gun violence in America. It’s as uncontroversial as saying that the earth is old, that evolution happens, and the earth revolves around the sun. But by all means, keep on telling us that there is no problem and that the elephant belongs in room.
@michael reynolds: Don’t stop believing, Michael, but look at your up and down score and tell me we’re good enough people to get this done. We ain’t.
Hey I didn’t get the facts wrong in pushing a bad argument , buddy. Why don’t you just admit you got it wrong and then we can move on to a productive discussion?
@Mu: Thank you for acknowledging that.
It’s not data that’s a problem for making policy. Making policy without data is generally rather worse. The problem is using raw numbers, or worse, percentages and statistics, without context.
For instance, as someone pointed out above, crime rates as well as murders committed with guns have gone down. However that says nothing about ‘accidental’ deaths or shootings. I don’t know whether those numbers have increased or decreased, but the fact that so far this year we’ve had about one incident of toddlers shooting someone per week suggests something is wrong with the current system (imo).
Would requiring training courses that emphasized safety (as the polls suggest most people want) reduce gun-related accidental injuries and deaths? Would trigger locks or regulations requiring guns be locked up in homes with kids below a certain age? Sadly we’ll probably never know since the NRA seems hell bent on opposing any such measures. (I wish I knew what happened to the NRA. Once upon a time they encouraged gun safety. But remembering those days probably just shows how old I am…)
I didn’t make an argument. I stated a testable proposition and suggested we do so.
@RDS: And RDS wades into the debate with “sequence, therefore causation.”
Grumpy is right, Sandy Hook was our best chance of getting ourselves to do something and we blinked instead. Maybe Michael’s kids…
To be honest, this experiment has been run. There are plenty of other countries with gun safety laws that are roughly on the same level with America. One-Canada-shares the same language, the same continent , and even the same culture. The results are pretty clear-gun safety laws do sharply reduce gun deaths. But the gun lobby spends a lot of time trying to pretend either that the rest of world doesn’t exist, or that it’s irrelevant to America. Their propaganda is working too-hence the polls.
Whichever city has the most ethnic minorities (regardless of bullets supplied) will have the most crime, most murders.
According to 2006 census, 2.5% of Canadiens identifed as black. No comparison to US with 13%..
The point being you can’t make a case for “More Guns = More Violent Crime”.
President Obama Executive Ordered the Center for Disease Control to submit research on gun violence. The CDC complied and the research was published in 2013. The research selected contained the original reports of 22 authors with 270 sources to that research. Neither Obama, or any gun control Senator or Congressman disagreed with or disputed any part of the report. If they could have found any valid or relevant way to challenge it, these learned men and their staffs would have quickly done so. They could not, and did not. The report stands indisputable.
Some of the report’s findings:
1. Citizens armed with a gun are less likely to be injured by an attacker than citizens that use some other means of defense.
2. Defensive gun uses are common, more common even than criminal misuse of guns.
3. Mass shootings and accidental shootings account for only a small fraction of gun related deaths, and both are declining.
4. Gun control laws and bans have mixed results at best.
5. Gun buyback programs do nothing to reduce crime.
6. Stolen and retail/gun show purchases account for a small fraction of gun crime.
7. The vast majority of gun related deaths are suicides.
Here is the response of 12 News Media sources who reported on the research submitted by the CDC in response to Obama’s Executive Order:
1. “CDC STUDY Ordered by Obama Contradicts White House Anti-gun Narrative”
2. “CDC GUN VIOLENCE STUDY Findings Not What Obama Wanted”
3. “Obama orders CDC GUN VIOLENCE STUDY, study shreds his position”
4. “Results of Obama’s own CDC STUDY on guns support other side”
5.) “A sweeping federal review of the nation’s gun control laws — including mandatory waiting periods and bans on certain weapons — found no proof such measures reduce firearm violence. THE REVIEW was conducted by a task force of scientists”. appointed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
6.) “CDC STUDY: Use of Firearms For Self-Defense is ‘Important Crime Deterrent’”
7.) “CDC GUN VIOLENCE STUDY’S Findings not what Obama wanted”
8.) “CDC Releases STUDY ON GUN VIOLENCE: Defensive gun use common, mass shootings not”
9.) “Obama orders CDC GUN VIOLENCE STUDY, STUDY SHREDS HIS POSITION”
10.) “CDC STUDY Found No Evidence That Gun Laws Reduce Violence”
11.) “The REPORT ON GUN VIOLENCE from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the overall gun-murder rate dropped by about 15 percent overall between 2006-2007 and 2009-2010 in a majority of the nation’s 50 largest cities.”
12.) “The CDC ISSUED A REPORT commissioned by President (Barack) Obama”.
LINKS TO THE RESEARCH CONTINUED BELOW:
January 2013 $10 Million CDC Study Executive Ordered by Obama Contradicts White House Anti-gun Narrative
January 2013 $10 Million CDC Study Executive Ordered by Obama Contradicts White House Anti-gun Narrative
@C. Clavin: claven =numbnutts
Actually, you can — in the same way that it is possible to study the effects of all kinds of things that are happening against a changing background of contexts and confounding factors. There’s even a name for the branch of social science that does this; it’s called “econometrics”.
And even if you want to stay at the level of descriptive statistics, the overwhelming correlation between laxity of gun laws and prevalence of gun homicides in the first world is the elephant in the room that needs explanation. (Hint: “It’s them n!ggers” is, to put it as charitably as possible, at best an implausible hypothesis.)
Let me introduce you to the state of Hawaii- a state that’s 75 per cent minority. You might also want to look, Mr. Racist, at the rest of these stats.
The article starts off:
Thanks for playing. You can get back over to your Aryan Nation forums now.
@stonetools: smear and insult .. luv the aryan nations stuff …. you need help and fast ….. children and small animals are certainly not safe around you
This again….the CDC thing was a suggestion for research topics and was contracted to outside entities. The CDC has not done gun research and is prevented from doing so by NRA toadies in Congress.
Reading comprehension problems? Get to your local community college before Republicans slash education funding to pay for tax cuts that won’t go to people like you.
Sorry, I’m going to need a link to an actual source for that one.
(In case you hadn’t noticed, you have thus far linked exclusively to news stories, except for one link to the CDC’s proposed research plan, which they were never permitted to implement.)
Compare, for example, these data:
In 2012 there were 259 gun homicides deemed ‘justifiable’ by the FBI.
That same year, there were 548 unintentional gun homicides and > 8400 criminal gun homicides.
Your claim was not about homicides but about ‘uses’ — but you still need to show some data… And explain why you think two accidental victims per justified self-defense is not a problem.
@RDS: But, apparently, you can for “more melanin= more violent crime?” Do elaborate, please.
@DrDaveT: Well, the pro-gun side usually classes the simple display of a gun as a “defensive use” if it results in an assailant turning tail and running. It’s not necessary to actually fire the gun. Also if the gun is fired but misses, or the assailant is hit but doesn’t die, etc. That’s the source of the claim of huge numbers of defensive uses.
IIRC it’s based on survey data rather than actual uses reported to law enforcement.
A year ago I thought conservatives had won on this issue, no ifs, ands, or buts. Now I’m not so sure. I feel a bit of change in the air…
And I actually don’t have a problem with that, so long as (1) you have a credible source of numbers on how many times showing the gun averted a crime, and (2) you then compare against the equivalent illegal use — namely, showing a gun while committing a crime without actually shooting anyone.
…Then think about what it would actually mean for ‘defensive’ gun uses to outnumber ‘offensive’ uses…
I would guess a lot of those so called defensive uses involve someone feeling they are being followed to closely and waving their gun at a random pedestrian that leaves quickly and tells their friends about the crazy person that waved a gun at them for no reason.
@RDS: OK, following up on that… unexpected number of defensive gun uses, we find that the report in question was co-written by someone who had already been criticized in the past for making wild claims about the prevalence of defensive gun use.
So yes, I’m really going to need a citation to a better source.