89% of statistics are made-up, or so the often repeated joke goes. Unfortunately, the tongue-in-cheek remark is all too often true, with various sources making statistics up, changing their meaning, or cherry-picking the data for a personal or political bent. A classic example of this is various “definitions” of “school shootings” that distort perception on a critical issue.
Fortunately, there are those who take the time to toil through the hard-wrangled data to provide solid facts for others to base informed decisions upon. In this case, my hat is off to Tier Three Tactical, who searched for and cited their data on 17 various facts on actual gunfights. Further, they use data from all sides of the debate and provide solid analysis of the implications.
The First Four Facts:
1. Each year there are roughly 300-400 police officers that fire their weapons at a threat (source)
2. In an Officer’s career, there is a 12% chance that they will fire their weapon (source)
3. In 2012 the Violence Policy Center counted 259 justifiable homicides, where citizens defended themselves and killed their attacker. (source)
4. National Crime Victimization Survey estimates that about 67,740 times a year a crime is stopped by the presence of a firearm. (source)
First Paragraph of Analysis:
I like to first point out the numbers of police officers that are involved in shootings annually, which is incredibly low, considering the amount of police contact with the public. This is also important to note because a police officer’s sworn duties put them in dangerous volatile situations, where use of force is more common than would be the norm for your average citizen. From these stats, we can infer that a police officer is roughly twice as likely to use their firearms as the average citizen.
The full article is a fascinating read and the reader can go as deep as they want by following the source trail. For anyone wanting to see actual numbers, I highly encourage you to go check out the article over at Tier Three Tactical.