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Writing about No-Fault gun insurance that provides an incentive for each successive owner to have insurance, one of the most common concerns in the comments was that insurance would protect criminals and wrongdoers.  

Defenders of gun rights in articles and comments often seem to be writing from an assumption that the typical person who is shot is some sort of intruder or attacker who ran into the unexpected self-defense by an armed good guy.  They often complain that media don’t cover such events.  I don’t see much evidence, especially convincing evidence, to back that up.  For example, Kleck and Gertz’s famous 1994 Survey claimed that there were about 2.5 Million incidents in which victims used guns in self-defense.  Many of the loose figures in circulation come from this number.  It was calculated by applying a 1.366% positive response on the survey to the estimated 190.5 Million households.  This method has received a lotof criticism because of the likely possibility that no matter how low the real number was it only took a very small percentage of persons surveyed answering falsely to make up 1.336%.  I expect you could get that many people to claim just about anything you want (say that they had ridden on a flying saucer in the last year) if you are taking that kind of a survey.

It’s really hard to get recent good figures on the nature of the shootings.  Real data on most issues comes from government agencies collecting it from local sources and using their powers as part of federal government to insure that it is reported to them with a good bit of completeness and with consistent methods.  That process has been shut down by political processes that oppose collection of data and examination of the subject.  See Arthur L. Kellermann, MD, MPH and Frederick P. Rivara, MD, MPH   “Silencing the Science on Gun Research” in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

So I’m looking at the log of news reports of gun deaths which you can get by following @GunDeaths on Twitter or use the excellent page on Slate which tracks it.  I read the last 50 deaths reports as of this morning (January 8, 2010) and found that 7 were shooting by police, 1 was an accident, 2 suicides and 4 that were murder components of a murder/suicide.  The rest were just plain murders by bad guys.  It’s a pretty small sample but easily big enough to show that self-defense by innocent parties must not be common, in order to have it not appear at all.  It’s likely that local media don’t usually report suicides; but it’s hard to imagine, they wouldn’t jump on the high reader interest that a real self-defense shooting would have.  So I’m concluding that when a through study is done that gun insurance would not be protecting attackers killed in self-defense by legal gun owners.  It does leave the question of whether, persons killed by police should be covered.  I do imagine that there would be a resistance to insurance investigations to discover whether a person killed by police was actually committing a crime. 

Crossposted to guninsuranceblog

Poll

What is the nature of most non-suicide shooting deaths in the US

20%6 votes
44%13 votes
0%0 votes
34%10 votes

| 29 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Most self defense cases (4+ / 0-)

    don't result in a shooting.  Simply having a gun in your hand when someone breaks into your house is generally good enough for the intruder to simply flee.  Without the home owner possessing that firearm, the outcome may easily have resulted in another murder.

    I think most self defense cases are as such.  You don't need to pull the trigger to defend yourself.  Simply brandishing the firearm is usually enough.

    •  "I think most self defense cases are as such." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckydog, Kevskos, splashy

      I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but do you have any evidence to back up that thought? Like links to police reports of intruders? Anything like that?

      Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Monkeys kill people too, if they have guns.

      by DaNang65 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:47:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would imagine there is a paucity of reporting (3+ / 0-)

        about successfull self-defense that ends up not being called into 911.

        Sort of like the news doesn't report daily that 115 million Americans went to work and drove home without an incident today: good news isn't considered news.

        I used self defense several months ago when I saw a guy choking a young woman at a bus stop across the street from where I work. I yelled at him from the other side of the street telling him people are watching.

        He proceeded to put on a classic higher primate show of aggression, to which I reacted by staring and not moving.

        He never made a move to come near me. Cops finally came and I talked to them as he and 2 buddies exchanged shirts to throw off the complaint I gave to the cops.

        I was ready to beat him down - I don't own a gun. If I want to hurt somebody, I'll do it manually.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:00:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And the diarist assumes that the high DGU (6+ / 0-)

      numbers were from people answering "falsely", implying dishonesty, rather than a threshold problem - when self-reporting, how do you define a Defensive Gun Use? False positives will be driven mainly by those encounters where the person perceiving themself as defending are overestimating the hostile intent of the person they perceive themselves as defending against.

      Case in point:
      Years ago, a friend of mine described an incident while on the road, a car full of teenaged youths drove alongside him for an extended period of time. He claims the youths made rude and threatening gestures, as if his car was being targeted. He removed his firearm from the glove compartment, set it visibly on the dashboard. The youths, seeing this, gave his car a wide berth. Incident over. Was this a Defensive Gun Use? He certainly thought it was. But whether it would constitute a false positive to this survey would depend at least as much on the youths' actual intent. If their intent was merely to prank, to scare, or to just make general asses of themselves, it would count as a false positive in the survey.

      The thing is, the author of the study - which found between 800k-2500k DGUs a year himself has discussed the false positive problem, and his own personal "guesstimate" of the number of actual DGUs runs around 600k, less than the minimum number in his own study. But 600k is still a very substantial number.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:53:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  prank or not..... Defensive use (2+ / 0-)

        A message was sent not unlike when I had a big nasty dog.

        She never hurt anybody, but damn, were people terrified shitless of her.....

        Once I heard her barking and barking and looked out the back door. A young teenager was leaning over the fence and tormenting her with a stick. She was DISPLEASED.

        I asked the boy" Hey....would you like to be on TV?"

        "Yes" he said"

        "Then keep fucking with that dog!".

        he left.

        Prank or not one is stupid to assume less than nefarious intent until proven otherwise, IF you like yourself and all your fingers and toes.

        People shouldn't fuck around....

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:06:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite what I'm saying. I'm saying that (5+ / 0-)

          such incidents will inflate DGU numbers, even though the respondents are, from their own perspective, being perfectly honest. If the reaction is to an imagined threat, it is arguable whether or not the use is truly defensive. There's also the issue of incidents such as this growing in the retelling, as the survey will generally take place some time after the incident that produced the positive response.

          This is in no way to suggest that DGU numbers are as tiny as gun controllers want them - by refusing to acknowledge DGUs without shots fired as actual and legitimate DGUs.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:16:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  "set it visibly on the dashboard" (0+ / 0-)

        Actually that was a crime, it's called brandishing.
        If he was a licensed gun owner he should have lost his license for that.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:46:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  All depends on whether the jury thought (0+ / 0-)

          he was reasonably acting in self-defense.

          Brandishing laws generally have a "self-defense" exclusion. If they thought the passengers in the other vehicle were acting in a sufficiently threatening manner, then he has an affirmative defense, as I understand it.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:08:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Specifically, here's Virginia's law. Other (0+ / 0-)

          states will be similar:

          It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:16:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Self Defence cases. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaNang65, splashy

      The diary is about the question of insurance paying criminals who were shot in self defense.  Criminals driven off by brandishing or who simply don't commit the crime because of fear of self-defense occur in unknown numbers, but they don't file insurance claims, so they're not important here.

      •  You mentioned guns. You kinda sound like you (0+ / 0-)

        might be against them. Highjacking of the thread by changing the subject was a predictable outcome.

        Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Monkeys kill people too, if they have guns.

        by DaNang65 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:17:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not half so concerned about that as (4+ / 0-)

        the typical relationship of shooter to victim in a homicide is one of shared participation in a criminal enterprise, that any scheme to remunerate gun crime victims, especially with premiums paid by law-abiding gun owners, will either go to the insurance companies (if they refuse to cover injuries associated with criminal acts), or as a subsidy to the criminal underground (if they do pay benefits to those engaged in criminal acts).

        The only rational reason for insurance is to protect the lawful gun owner in the event of legal fees in a self-defense shooting, and for accident. The latter would likely be covered in a homeowner's insurance policy.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:26:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Add to this the obvious fact that the overwhelming (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          meagert, Utahrd, fuzzyguy, KenBee

          damage caused by guns are by those in criminal hands (a class of person it seems hardly likely will be fastidious in making regular gun insurance premium payments); meaning that gun insurance punishes the law-abiding for the actions of the criminal.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:34:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Evidence for such magical gun powers please? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, alain2112, splashy

      There is none, at least in the real world empirical evidence sense.

      Brandishing a weapon raises the stakes, and what limited evidence that is available on the subject is suggestive of greater likelihood of death or severe injury when firearms are involved.

  •  Hey Tom, are you in the insurance business?nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, meagert, Hey338Too, fuzzyguy

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:13:55 AM PST

    •  Tom? (0+ / 0-)

      Are you outing a Kossack?
      I believe that is a banning offense.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:51:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  his name is posted over at his blog (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas

        all up and down the page.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:32:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But not here at dKos, right? (0+ / 0-)

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:44:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  doesn't matter (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas

            it's public infoz.

            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

            by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:28:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Zat how it works? It's situational? (0+ / 0-)

              Not how it was explained to me.

              If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

              by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:08:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  so how was it explained to you? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas

                the guy linked to his own blog here at dkos.  on his own blog, his name is clearly indicated.

                how is that situational?

                Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                by Cedwyn on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:54:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Because here at dKos, he has a screen name (0+ / 0-)

                  regardless of what he does elsewhere. If he wanted his real name used here, he'd have that for a screen name. My understanding was that the screen name was as far as ID was to go, unless the poster put their own name up here.
                  I guess that was wrong.
                  In some cases.
                  The rules are very tricky here. The one and only donut I've received was in reference to a bully who's screen name was TheaterGoon, I got H/R'd for referring to him and his crowd as goons (which was an accurate description of their behavior) because I was being impolite, violating the tiptoe rule.
                  Again, situational. It's Ok when he does it, not when I do it.

                  If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                  by CwV on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:12:07 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  well, i guess i'd say that by linking to his blog, (0+ / 0-)

                    where his name is quite prominent, here at daily kos, that would count as having "put their own name up here."

                    peace

                    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                    by Cedwyn on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:46:55 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  An important discussion to be had (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, Cedwyn

    would be that of the number of people gunned down by police every year.  Whether they were "bad guys" or innocents there seems to be a "Judge, Jury, Executioner" attitude by LEOs who will then avail themselves to counsel provided for by the municipality, a system that won't even hesitate tamper with evidence, witnesses - if it even gets that far.

    I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.…We're better than this. We must do better. Cmdr Scott Kelley

    by wretchedhive on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:17:29 AM PST

  •  What other mandatory insurance for exercise of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, Robobagpiper, fuzzyguy

    other constitutional rights might we have to buy? Free speech insurance (in case my political speech results in violence)? Abortion insurance (in case the fact of my abortion arouses a mob)? Equal protection insurance (to pay for enforcing EEOC and to compensate white males who believe they were outcompeted for jobs by 14th Amendment protected groups?

    How about voting insurance, in case the legislators I vote into office start unjustifiable wars that cost trillion$$$, thousands of U.S. lives, 10s of thousands of injuries to U.S. troops, untold hundreds of thousands or millions of civilian deaths, injuries, displacements, etc.?

    YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

    by raincrow on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:20:23 AM PST

    •  is there some part of "well regulated" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too, splashy, CwV

      you do not understand?  The SCOTUS made very clear in their decision that gun possession is not an unconditional right.

      •  I'm pretty sure you're the one who doesn't (2+ / 0-)

        understand the Constitutional meaning of "well-regulated", seeing as you neglect to mention the noun it modifies, and the type of clause that noun is in.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:43:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You've avoided my question entirely. (0+ / 0-)

        This has nothing to do with regulation per se, only the KIND of regulation suggested by the diarist.

        The diarist is advocating that before a citizen can exercise a constitutional right in ways that may, directly or indirectly, cause great harm to others, s/he should be compelled to buy liability insurance or s/he cannot exercise that right.

        I have asked which other potentially (but not necessarily) dangerous rights should also mandate that a citizen buy liability insurance before s/he can exercise that right.

        You have elected to avoid my question. I infer that you've done so because you have no good answer.

        YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

        by raincrow on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:01:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've always thought that insurance or a (0+ / 0-)

      requirement to post a bond might be the solution to many of the problems come from liberty limiting laws.

      Want to be a drug addict? Cool - buy heroin insurance & nod to your heart's content. Hang gliding? Motorcycles? (Oh, we already have that).

      But, anyway - so you want to be a hedge-fund whiz, with the chance you can plunge the Western economy into a death spiral - minimum sixteen billion in liability coverage - might put actuarial limits on some behavior.

      "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." - Isaac Asimov

      by greenotron on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:50:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're talking constitutional rights here. (0+ / 0-)

        There is no explicit constitutional right to take heroin or other intoxicants, and no constitutional license or restriction on the way the government allows you to operate your business.

        YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

        by raincrow on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:03:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  all "rights" are subject to constraint (0+ / 0-)

          you have as many rights as you take - & are willing to go to jail or be killed for.

          The government has absolute power - that is, can take any sanction with no recourse

          taking of life, limb & property are just the start - they can make you torture other people to death, & like it

          talk of "rights" is silly, the prating of a child - what matters is lawyers guns & money - money being the most salient

          "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." - Isaac Asimov

          by greenotron on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:03:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  UFO Abductees (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, splashy, Cedwyn
    I expect you could get that many people to claim just about anything you want (say that they had ridden on a flying saucer in the last year) if you are taking that kind of a survey.
    Actually, several surveys do indeed suggest that over 2% of the population claims to have been abducted by UFOs. Kinda puts things in perspective.

    Didn't Lott claim to have done a similar survey to the one you reference? Then when called on it, claimed he had lost all his data when his computer crashed (no backup copies, ya know -- I guess he was too busy pretending to be Mary Rosh to do any disaster planning...). I think that's what he claimed, anyway.

  •  a simple solution (2+ / 0-)

    which has been already implemented in some states - persons killed or injured in the act of committing a crime are not eligible for compensation

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