Despite claims to the contrary, Alan Korwin did make a public statement that is untrue (a lie), and given the opportunity to apologize or correct his statement, has chosen to defend this untruth.
On April 9th 2008, Alan Korwin appeared on C-Span. In that speech, in reference to gun ownership in America, Alan Korwin claimed “hundreds of thousands of lives are saved each year” [by the defensive use of guns]. His defense is a 1995 poll by Kleck.
But that poll never won peer review, and the 1997 National Institute of Justice Research Brief, “Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms” concludes, NSPOF (National Survey of Private Ownership of Firearms) based estimate of millions of DGUs each year greatly exaggerates the true number.
So Alan’s claim is not only laughable and absurd but also, demonstrably false and therefore irresponsible.
Just in the last 3 pages of this analysis (pg 9-12) finds the following phrases to describe the Kleck and Gertz poll:
“…surprising figure, estimates are far too high.”
“It does not make sense”
“…results are almost as absurd”
“If those percentages were close to accurate”
“That number also appears completely out of line”
“Evidence of bias in the DGU estimates is even stronger…”
“…many DGU reports are exaggerated or falsified..”
“…greatly exaggerates the true number…”
“…the DGU estimates are not informative…”
Please find below, the full excerpts from which the above phrases are taken for your convenience.
It is quite clear that integrity and honesty are not qualities that reside in the same personage as many gun-advocates, and most certainly, not ones possessed by Alan Korwin.
Alan Korwin certainly has the ability to verify the accuracy of his claims, as do his interlocutors, many of whom have come to his defense on this blog.
I repeat. THIS is the beauty of the Internet.
Page 11 Conclusion:
The NSPOF does not provide much evidence on whether consumers who buy guns for protection against crime get their money’s worth. The NSPOF based estimate of millions of DGUs each year greatly exaggerates the true number, as do other estimates based on similar surveys. Much debated is whether the widespread ownership of firearms deters crime or makes it more deadlyâ€”or perhaps bothâ€”but the DGU estimates are not informative in this regard.
Victimization Survey (NCVS) data, one would conclude that defensive uses are rare indeed, about 108,000 per year. But other surveys yield far higher estimates of the number of Defensive Gun Uses (DGU). Most notable has been a much publicized estimate of 2.5 million DGUs, based on data from a 1994 telephone survey conducted by Florida State University professors Gary Kleck and Mark Gertz.13 The 2.5 million figure has been picked up by the press and now appears regularly in newspaper articles, letters to the editor, editorials, and even Congressional Research Service briefs for public policymakers.
Almost half of these respondents reported multiple DGUs during 1994, which provides the basis for estimating the 1994 DGU incidence at 23 million. This surprising figure is caused in part by a few respondents reporting large numbers of defensive gun uses during the year; for example, one woman reported 52!
â€¦our comparisons are conservative, as they assume only one defensive gun use per defender. The results still suggest that DGU estimates are far too high.
For example, in only a small fraction of rape and robbery attempts do victims use guns in self-defense. It does not make sense, then, that the National Survey of Private Ownership of Firearms (NSPOF) estimate of the number of rapes in which a woman defended herself with a gun was more than the total number of rapes estimated from NCVS (exhibit 8). For other crimes listed in exhibit 8, the results are almost as absurd: the NSPOF estimate of DGU robberies is 36 percent of all NCVS-estimated robberies, while the NSPOF estimate of DGU assaults is 19 percent of all aggravated assaults. If those percentages were close to accurate, crime would be a risky business indeed!
NSPOF estimates also suggest that 130,000 criminals are wounded or killed by civilian gun defenders. That number also appears completely out of line with other, more reliable statistics on the number of gunshot cases. The evidence of bias in the DGU estimates is even stronger when one recalls that the DGU estimates are calculated using only the most recently reported DGU incidents of NSPOF respondents; as noted, about half of the respondents who reported a DGU indicated two or more in the preceding year. Although there are no details on the circumstances of those additional DGUs, presumably they are similar to the most recent case and provide evidence for additional millions of violent crimes foiled and perpetrators shot.
Regardless of which estimates one believes, only a small fraction of adults have used guns defensively in 1994. The only question is whether that fraction is 1 in 1,800 (as one would conclude from the NCVS) or 1 in 100 (as indicated by the NSPOF estimate based on Kleck and Gertz’s criteria).
In line with the theory that many DGU reports are exaggerated or falsified, we note that in some of these reports, the respondents’ answers to the followup items are not consistent with respondents’ reported DGUs. For example, of the 19 NSPOF respondents meeting the more restrictive Kleck and Gertz DGU criteria (exhibit 7), 6 indicated that the circumstance of the DGU was rape, robbery, or attackâ€”but then responded “no” to a subsequent question: “Did the perpetrator threaten, attack, or injure you?”