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Study Shows Guns in U.S. Rarely Used for Self-Defense

Washington, June 20 (RHC)-- Guns in the United States are mostly used for purposes other than self-defense, a gun control advocacy group says, debunking what the country’s gun lobby attempts to promote.

The non-profit Violence Policy Center (VCP) said on Wednesday that guns mostly tend to end up harming the owner or other people, the study showed.

According to the organization’s findings, there were only 259 "justifiable homicides" out of the 8,342 criminal homicides committed with a gun.

“Comparing these numbers, in 2012 for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 32 criminal homicides,” said the study. “And this ratio does not even take into account the tens of thousands of lives needlessly lost in gun suicides and unintentional shootings that year.”

VPC executive director Josh Sugarmann said the study would prove wrong arguments by pro-gun groups like National Rifle Association (NRA).

“The NRA has staked its entire agenda on the claim that guns are necessary for self-defense, but this gun industry propaganda has no basis in fact,” Sugarmann said.

A man takes aim with a Sig Sauer MPX at the143rd NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 25, 2014. (AFP)

The study also outlined 13 US states with “zero justifiable firearm homicides” in 2012, including New York, Vermont, North Dakota, and Wyoming. It also shows that the shooters in justifiable homicides are “overwhelmingly male”, 91.5 percent in 2012.

“Purchasing a gun may help enrich the firearms industry, but the facts show it is unlikely to increase your personal safety,” Sugarmann said. “In fact, in a nation of more than 300 million firearms, it is striking how rarely guns are used in self-defense.”

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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