New database highlights ‘essential’ nature of gun ownership

The data are in: Americans are flocking to gun stores in unprecedented numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The spike has left many gun-control advocates struggling to find a motive other than pure, irrational panic. After all, the common narrative goes, “the good guy with a gun” is a myth and it’s very rare that any law-abiding Americans have to defend themselves at gunpoint. Enter The Heritage Foundation’s new Defensive Gun Use Database to help make sense of why so many Americans are now racing to exercise their Second Amendment rights, often for the first time. Our interactive map allows users to see how, even during normal times, law-abiding gun owners play an integral part in protecting individual rights and promoting public safety. At the touch of a button, the details of hundreds of recent defensive gun uses from all across the country are instantly available. The database, of course, is nowhere near comprehensive. The hundreds of stories from the last 16 months represent just a fraction of the defensive gun uses that actually occurred. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in 2013, almost all major studies on the issue have found that Americans use their firearms for self-defense somewhere between 500,000 and 3 million times a year. The Database includes only those instances that could be independently verified through public sources, and where sufficient evidence exists to believe the gun owner acted both lawfully and responsibly. There’s good reason to believe that most defensive gun uses […]

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