I argued that the estimate of 200,000 DG woundings derived from
Kleck’s survey (p163 of TG) was inconsistent the estimate of
7700-18,500 DG woundings on page 164 of TG. Kleck accuses me of
sloppy reading for not noting that the p 164 estimate is for medically
treated wounds only. However, even if we accept Kleck’s generous
estimate that there are as many untreated gunshot wounds as treated
ones (chapter 1 of TG), it is quite clear that if we multiply the page
164 estimate by two to allow for this possibility, that it is still
not at all close to the estimate from Kleck’s survey.
In any case, we can do better than multiplying it by two: The crucial
number used to compute the p164 estimate is the ratio between hospital
treated nonfatal shootings and fatal shootings. On p 164 Kleck uses
5.67 for this ratio, in chapter 1 he uses 5.25. Since I’m trying to
get an upper bound, I’ll use the higher number, 5.67.
Now we need to allow for woundings that were not treated in a
hospital. NCVS data shows that more than 90% of people suffering a
gun shot wound in a gun crime received hsopital treatment. Of course,
criminals who are shot while attempting a crime will be less likely to
seek hospital treatment since it might lead to their capture, so let’s
assume that NONE of them get hospital treatment. On page 163 of TG,
Kleck estimates that 5-13\% of homicides are legal defensive ones.
Since we are trying to get an upper bound, we’ll use the 13% figure.
Putting it all together we get a revised ratio of:
5.67/0.9/(1-0.13) = 7.2. This is the upper bound of the ratio between
ALL nonfatal shootings and fatal ones.
Redoing the calculation on p164 using this ratio yields an upper bound
of 22,600 legal shootings of criminals. A similar calculation yields
a lower bound of 8,400.
These estimates are inconsistent (by a factor of at least nine) with
the survey derived estimate of 200,000.
Another way to look at this is to take the 7.2 ratio and apply it to
the survey derived estimate of 200,000 DG woundings. This suggests
that there were at least 24,000 lawful killings of criminals. This
exceeds the total number of gun homicides by a healthy margin, let
alone the number of lawful ones.