Self-defense rare in gun deaths

A second new survey, this one by the anti-gun Violence Policy Center in D.C., found that when guns are used to kill people, all but a tiny number are used for murder, not self defense. During a four-year period ending with 2012, according to the study, 42,419 killings were criminal homicides and just 1,108—or 2.49 percent—were justifiable homicides.

“We found no support for the hypothesis that owning more guns leads to a drop or a reduction in violent crime,” Harvard epidemiologist and pediatrics professor Michael Monuteaux—lead researcher on the study—told Live Science.

That publication also reported that gun suicides “outpace gun homicides by far.” Suicide is usually an impulse act, it noted.