Guns are rarely used for self defense.

Dylann Roof in his booking photo Thursday. CHARLESTON COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA, SHERIFF
Dylann Roof in his booking photo Thursday. CHARLESTON COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA, SHERIFF

No surprise, gun nuts and right wingers are calling on pastors to arm themselves. What a wonderful world they want us to live in.

But the truth is, guns are rarely used for self defense. There were only 259 “justifiable homicides” involving a private citizen reported in 2012, compared to 8,342 criminal homicides committed with a gun. And that’s not even counting suicides and accidental deaths.

Contrary to what the gun lobby argues, personal firearms in the United States are rarely used for self-defense, a gun control advocacy group said Wednesday.

In an analysis of FBI and other federal government data, the non-profit Violence Policy Center said Americans are far more likely to hurt themselves or others when handling a lethal weapon.

In 2012, it said, only 259 “justifiable homicides” involving a private citizen were reported, compared to 8,342 criminal homicides committed with a gun.

Put another way, for every justifiable homicide involving a gun, 32 criminal homicides carried out with a firearm occurred. And that does not take into account “tens of thousands” of gun-related suicides and unintentional shootings.

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