The DGU War

Dr. Paul H. Blackman writes:

Just a very few comments: Folks can report an incident to the police
without reporting gun use. I once fetched a gun to encourage some
burglars to leave, and reported the burglary but not the gun use,
since the gun possession was unlawful.

The Kleck estimate is not just inconsistent with police records of gun
use against crime, but with police records of crime. There were
300,000 DGUs amongst the robberies known to the police? Are we to
suppose that criminals seek out armed victims.

Kleck/Gertz have a nice response to the ludicrous Hemenway reliance
on Kellermann’s home invasion data as part of Hemenway’s argument
that Kleck/Gertz’s data are implausible.

Really? It would seem that they felt that this nice response was less
compelling than the ad hominem argument, because it got left out of
the published paper.

Kleck’s rejection of the NEISS data on the number of gunshot wounds
treated in emergency rooms is consistent with many previous
estimates on the number of gunshot wounds annually. Kleck’s view
that criminals wounded will not seek treatment unless the injury is
life threatening is not undermined by the NEISS data that many
emergency room treatments lead to hospitalization; persons can be
hospitalized for injuries which are not life-threatening.

Untreated serious gun-shot wounds are likely to become
life-threatening. Consider the mortality rate for gun-shot wounds in
the days before antibiotics. In any case, even if we accept Kleck’s
dubious estimate for the percentage of gunshot wounds that are
life-threatening (this is a lower percentage than most previous
estimates for the FATALITY rate), and even if we accept his dubious
claim that NONE of the other wounded criminals would get treatment, it
still implies the absurd proposition that most of the hospitalizations
for assaultive wounds were actually life-threatening DGU-related wounds.

While Tom Smith does, indeed, say more research is needed, his
estimate of protective gun uses is closer to the low end of the
Kleck range than to the Hemenway estimate.

You are mistaken. He produces two estimates – one, based on Kleck’s
estimate, is closer to Kleck’s estimate, while the other, based on the
NCVS, is closer to the NCVS.