Counters - Gun Self Defense Counter

Description: Counts how many times guns have been used in self-defense since January 1 of the current year, as a reminder that guns are used 60 times more often to defend a life than to take a life. V3 is smaller and automatically resets each January. Back side details source of data.
Author: JohnGaver
Version: 3.0
New in v3.0: Widget takes up less Dashboard real estate. Fixed bug that kept it from resetting on January 1. Though the front is smaller than earlier versions, the back expands somewhat, to make it easier to read the details.
Uploaded on: January 30th 2006 at 12:50 AM
Rating: (3.5 stars)   [Show Detailed Ratings]
Downloads: 737 (all versions), 238 (this version)
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Works as advertised. Great little reminder on the good that firearms can be part of. Thanks for this!

Posted by: ElJackalope on May 18, 05 (7:36 AM) for version 1.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Any chance we can get a "Gun Accidental Death" counter?

Posted by: Nate on May 18, 05 (9:19 AM) for version 1.0 (previous version)  

I'd agree with Nate on that one, so I won't be downloading (or rating) this widget. it probably does what it says, and does it with nice neat code, but I couldn't give it a good rating.

Posted by: CraigStanton on May 18, 05 (9:31 AM) for version 1.0 (previous version)  

I'd be interested to know the "statistics" behind this widget. "Used to defend a life" is incredibly vague and sounds like typical right-wing double-speak.

Posted by: loupus on May 18, 05 (4:51 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

Nate & Craig, accidental gun deaths are about 700-800 per year, according to the CDC—guns are actually one of the LEAST causes of accidental deaths, trailing far behind motor vehicles, falls, poisoning, drowning, fires, burns, smoke inhalation, medical/surgical, adverse drug reactions and other land transport accidents.

Posted by: guav on May 18, 05 (5:44 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

Maybe somebody should do a counter for the number of innocent people killed as a result of outrageously liberal american gun laws?

You could have counters for school, office and home shootings...

or how about a comparison counter between american gun killings and the numbers in the rest of the world?

Posted by: bobba on May 18, 05 (7:00 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

How can one be so dumb?? Start using your brain, it might help.

Posted by: SanHolo on May 18, 05 (8:24 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

There's really no need to call anyone dumb even if you don't like the purpose of this widget.

Posted by: Nate on May 18, 05 (9:36 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

How about gun-related homicides?
btw, if you have a weapon, your assailant is more likely to use one against you as they feel more threatened by you. so having a gun for defence isn't as smart as you think. I'm glad I live in a country where guns aren't handed out willy-nilly.

Posted by: mickeymoose on May 18, 05 (9:45 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

Dude! Can you make an abortion counter as well? Perhaps have the graphic of a three month old fetus or something.

Posted by: jeb20 on May 18, 05 (10:12 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  


I`m sorry, but I can`t call someone, who writes "Stay alive, stay armed", anything but dumb.

Posted by: SanHolo on May 18, 05 (10:20 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

Wow, that was quick to see the knee-jerking begin. Especially with the people saying OMG GUNZ AER BAD.

Still a nice widget.

Posted by: ElJackalope on May 18, 05 (10:53 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  


-How are the most people killled??

-Any chance we can get a "Gun Accidental Death" counter?

-"Stay alive, stop people using and making weapons." or " Stay alive, be friendly to each other."

-Why do you use your capabilitys in programing for THAT and no for a counter of people who are killed by weapons?

And why do we need guns, wo don't go for hunt, we dont use them to make a campfire and you cant eat them.

Why don't youu use Peperspray ( for those who cant live without something that hurts another human being)

Posted by: Bultie on May 19, 05 (1:02 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

Ah and I think I'll take my gun ( which I normaly use for selfdefense of course) and kill some people at my neigbbourhood.

Posted by: Bultie on May 19, 05 (1:04 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

If anyone out there cares to make a widget for it this site

was the first I found with some sort of Gun-Death counter, but I don't know how often it is updated. Maybe there is an active one somewhere that could be checked regularly by a widget.

Posted by: CraigStanton on May 19, 05 (5:03 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

An "Gun Accidental Death Counter" would only tick twice a day (i.e. not much of a counter). The "Gun Self Defense Counter" ticks every 13 seconds.

The source of the statistics is listed on the flip side of the widget. But, you can also find the links to all of the source data at

Most of the info was developed by former outspoken gun control advocate and noted criminologist, Gary Kleck, who after doing his own research, now opposes gun control.

Also, carrying a gun actually decreases the likelihood that a gun will be used against you. A 1979 Carter Justice Dept. study found that of more than 32,000 attempted rapes, 32% were actually committed. That number dropped to only 3% when the woman was armed. Somehow, I fail to see how the Carter Justice Dept. was right-wing.

Go to the above URL and follow the links. The fact is that guns save many times more lives than are taken by a gun (intentional or accidental). This widget is just a reminder of that fact.

Posted by: JohnGaver (developer) on May 19, 05 (8:23 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

The fact is, guns are only the answer against guns. If they were controlled and there were less guns about, it stands to reason that the number of people killed by them would be reduced. You only have to look at the the rest of the developed world and their instances of gun crime to realise allowing the public to have guns in their homes has horrific consequences.

Like others have said, I think you are wasting your skills on peddling these kind of far right views on a site which is for everybody use.

Posted by: bobba on May 19, 05 (1:55 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

This widget is intended, only for those who already accept responsibility for their own safety, as a reminder to that select group, that guns are used far, far more often to save a life than to take an innocent life. It's a reminder specifically for those people who refuse to become a victim, that should you ever find yourself facing a predator, it's up to YOU to defend yourself and your family, while waiting for the police to arrive and that your chance of survival increases dramatically if you are armed. It's a reminder that is based not only on numerous academic studies, but on solid statistics, such as the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports.

We have no expectation that that people who are willing to wait for the police, in the event of attack, would even think of using this widget. It would shatter their illusion of safety. It should be obvious that this widget is only meant for those who refuse to become a victim.

Gun owners don't demand that gun haters carry or even try to defend themselves from predators, in any manner, though we feel sorry for them whenever they are victimized. We only demand the right to defend OUR selves and OUR families. This is a widget for survivors, not victims.

Posted by: JohnGaver (developer) on May 20, 05 (12:50 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

The statement "those who accept responsibility for their own safety" is only one of a few patronising and insulting comments in thie description from the author. Its rather insulting! He also presents people with the intelligence not to own weapons as victims which is also insulting.
its a shame you have the skills to make this widget yet waste them by creating something so negative and insulting.
Nil point from me my son.

Posted by: philk on May 20, 05 (11:50 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

I have one question to those who have bashed this widget. Have you actually taken a look at the statistical research behind it? More intelligent commentary would be nice every now and then. I say this because, even though plenty of you oppose the view point of this widget, only ONE of you offered an alternate source of information. Oh well, just another example of the failure of the American education system I guess.

Oh, and since I'm encouraging others to site research and information, here's some of my own:
Gun Facts:
Gun Research Articles:
And of course, has plenty of stories of people using guns in self-defense. In the vast majority of cases, the person defending himself didn't even need to fire a shot.

Posted by: parsec on May 21, 05 (9:05 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Mickeymoose, guns aren't handed out willy-nilly in this country either. However, criminals can obtain them in EVERY country, which means only law-abiding citizens in those countries are without a means to defend themselves.

Interesting that not one single poster has rebutted head on the simple fact of how often guns have protected inidividuals and families against criminals. But that sounds so right-wing, doesn't it? I suppose it would be fine to post widgets that espouse all the socialist causes out there. For instance, we really ought to be protecting the right of criminals to come into our homes, rob us blind and shoot us with impunity. Perhaps we could have a widget counting the number of times a simple-minded lefty wrings his hands in consternation over the injustice of it all?

Thanks John, for being a voice of reason in the mindless crowd. I don't own a gun, but I damn well want to protect my right to do so if I choose. I live in New Hampshire, the state with the lowest crime rate in the union, and I benefit indirectly from the fact that a good number of my neighbors have guns. Only the dumbest of the criminal population would attempt home invasion in this state, and I don't have any doubt of the reason why.

Posted by: benzopf on May 21, 05 (10:59 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Calling people "simple minded lefties" because they disagree with your view point certainly places you in the "voice of reason" catagory doesn't it Micky?

The statistical research in many other countries show that gun ownership doesn't mean killings left right and centre. But it seams to in America. Perhaps if the money spent on guns was spent on finding out what is breaking down in US society to create this situation, you would all be better off.

How about using your considerable skill, skill I don't have, to create a widget that examines expenditure on levels of education ,employment and housing per capita and cross culturally in your nation you may have something really positive to contribute?

Posted by: philk on May 22, 05 (10:04 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

Wow, another person from another country tellings us Americans how much our society sucks. I always wonder if people like that are surprised when they come to America and there isn't a blood bath in the streets.

Also, comparing gun crimes in America to gun crimes in countries that have gun bans doesn't make much sense does it? I mean, banning guns does work in getting guns out of the hands of criminals and honest, law abiding citizens alike. So yes, GUN crime goes down. But it's not 100% effective. Also, isn't the goal to reduce crime in general and not just GUN crime? If the guy who would have robbed you at gun point robs you at knife point instead, then the gun control law didn't really work did it? I mean, you still got robbed by someone shoving a deadly weapon in your face. If you examine the violent crime rate of the UK and the US which do you suppose is higher?

In both Australia and the UK the violent crime rate has nearly doubled since full fledged gun bans became effective in 1997. In the same period of time the violent crime rate has dropped in the US, even though gun ownership rate has grown. In fact, the violent crime rate in the UK is now higher than it is in the US. If gun control is so great, then why isn't it working in the UK?

Posted by: parsec on May 22, 05 (10:47 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

You can argue over these statistics as much as you like. Gun control might not be "100% effective" at bringing down the number but anything which brings it down from an insane figure like 11,000 has got to be the only way to go.

The uk violent crime stats might not be perfect but we are a heck of long way off this level of violence. For england 2002/03 there were just 80 homicides by guns and 187 by knives (still, I guess we could remove the gun control laws to combat those frightening knives). For the US it was an incredible 10,824 murdered by guns! I cannot believe that anyone could think that there is still a discussion to be had when around 11,000 people are shot dead by guns in your country every year. Talk about defending the indefendable...

Posted by: bobba on May 24, 05 (7:32 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

First, the vast majority of gun deaths in the US are criminal against criminal, not criminal against innocent civilian or even cop against criminal. You must look at the whole picture.

Since UK imposed a total ban on handguns & severely restricted long rifles, overall VIOLENT crime there has skyrocketed. Even avowed liberal, Dan Rather, in a 2000 CBS News report, called UK, "one of the most violent urban societies in the Western world" and that it is "worse than ours". In fact, because of the severe increase in violent crime since guns were banned there, UK authorities have started using tricks to make crime counts appear lower than they really are. A headline in the London Daily Telegraph back on April 1, 1996, said it all: "Crime Figures a Sham, Say Police." The story noted that "pressure to convince the public that police were winning the fight against crime had resulted in a long list of ruses to 'massage' statistics," and "the recorded crime level bore no resemblance to the actual amount of crime being committed." More recently, a 2000 report from the Inspectorate of Constabulary charges Britain's 43 police departments with systemic under-classification of crime.

Statistics show that rapes, assaults & other violent crime rises significantly (even more so for property crimes), in countries where gun-control is implemented, as is so painfully evident in both UK & Australia. Of note, is that burglars are more than three & a half times more likely to enter an occupied home in a gun control country, than in the USA (50% of UK burglaries occur in occupied homes, while in the US, it is less than 10% and most of those are in gun control states). Criminals know that homeowners are legally prohibited from defending themselves in gun control countries.

In UK, when a homeowner does defend himself, they throw the book at him, to send a message to other homeowners - "SUBMIT!" In one notorious UK case, Tony Martin, a British farmer who had been repeatedly and VIOLENTLY burglarized and had received no meaningful assistance from the police, using a shotgun, shot a pair of career burglars who had broken into his home. For the crime of defending himself in the UK, Martin was sentenced to LIFE IN PRISON.

Every time this counter ticks, it reminds me to be thankful that I live in a country where self defense is still a basic human right and not a crime.

Posted by: JohnGaver (developer) on May 25, 05 (3:14 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

See what a little imagination will do!
I've Never seen so many people get their panties in a wad over nothing! GET A LIFE PEOPLE? IT"S A WIDGET! LOL.
Too Funny!!!!! I only wish I had thought of it.

The people who get upset at this hare no doubt, the same people that stood outside the WRONG movie theater waiting for the new Star Wars episode 3.5.

P.S. The force is..... the 2nd amendment.

Posted by: telefunken on May 25, 05 (5:52 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Its the right wing activists like JohnGaver who don't get it. Very sad indeed. I hope you never travel and just stay in your beloved USA.

Posted by: Bing on May 25, 05 (2:24 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

parsec.... If you compare gun deaths in countries that have high levels of gun ownership like Canada and Israel you'll still find deaths from gun related crimes down compared to the horrendous US figures. You assume I haven't been to the US? I have and I like the place and the people most of the time. I havn't seen blood running in the streets!
But I have had a gun pulled on me three times in the US, every time by a cop. If thats the way they approach citizens then that says a lot.
I havn't had a gun pulled or been threatned by anything in Panama, (before and after the US invasion), Marseilles - France, London, Iran, Iraq (before the US invasion), Egypt, Vietnam, Argentina (after we invaded the Falklands), Russia (before and after the collapse of communism), Germany and quite a few other places a lot would fear to tread because of reputation.
The US is still the most dangerous place to be an innocent bystander in the world.
Why don't you all march on Washington with your guns and throw those gangsters out and make the world a safer place.

Posted by: philk on May 26, 05 (9:45 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

I started actually looking into some of the claims that JohnGaver made in his last post.

John says: "[Tony] Martin was sentenced to LIFE IN PRISON."

Technically true, but misleading. Tony Martin was originally sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, but this was subsequently reduced to manslaughter. He was released in July 2003 after serving 3 years of a 5 year sentence. [1]

John quotes Dan Rather [apparently a US television news anchor] describing the UK as "one of the most violent urban societies in the Western world" and that it is "worse than ours [US]"

In response to Rather's comment, the British Home Office pointed out that "the average American is seven times more likely to be murdered than their British counterpart and 60 times more likely to be shot." [2]

Furthermore, under the UK crime reporting system, the majority of crimes recorded as "violent" are "low level thuggery that involves little or no physical injury" [3]

We do OK in comparison to our EU counterparts too. The UK has one of the lowest homicide rates among EU member states, and London is below average for EU capital cities. [3]

John also says that "a 2000 report from the Inspectorate of Constabulary charges Britain's 43 police departments with systemic under-classification of crime".

Systemic, maybe. Up to date, no, but more significantly the under-reporting was on nowhere near a scale that would bring UK serious crime to anything like US levels -- the alleged "no criming" varied between 7% and 0.4% of total offences. [4]

At this point I gave up checking.


Posted by: heck on May 27, 05 (1:45 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

widget's very well done.

Posted by: natalia on May 29, 05 (6:32 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

It seems that in trying to dismiss facts about violent crimes in UK, heck only used UK government propaganda and that he wants us to believe that sending a man to prison for 5 years (parole in 3) is an acceptable response for someone who did nothing more than defended himself and his property, after several previous robberies and the local police had done "NOTHING" to help.

First off, in Texas, Tony Martin would not have even been charged with a crime, let alone served a single day in jail and that is as it should be in a case of self defense. Speaking of Texas, we passed a concealed carry law in 1995, and subsequently saw the state's murder rate drop 34 percent in the ensuing five years.

Dan Rather has long been considered to be one of the most left wing biased news commentators on a major network in the US and one who is decidedly pro gun-control. Even so, his statements were about the average law-abiding citizen in each country - not the average criminal. The Home Office spin was to bundle all murders together, to make it appear that UK citizens were safer. In fact, when you eliminate the criminal on criminal murders (drug deals gone bad, etc.) that leaves the average US law-abiding citizen much safer, except in New York, California and Washington, DC, where they have severe gun control.

As for the way the UK officials try to undercount violent crime, to make it appear that there is not as much violent crime as there really is and to make it appear that there is less violent crime than in the US, I will simply point out a 1998 study conducted jointly by statisticians from the U.S. Department of Justice and the University of Cambridge in England, that found that most crime is now worse in England than in the United States. Before the UK gun ban, UK had much lower crime rates than the US.

The United Nations confirmed these results in 2000 when it reported that the crime rate in England is higher than the crime rates of 16 other industrialized nations, including the United States.[1]

And, before anyone tries to claim that those other violent crimes are safer, without guns, research shows that robbery victims are less likely to be injured in crimes where the assailant uses a firearm.[2] OTOH, a Carter Justice Dept. study showed that women who carry are 10 times less likely to be raped.

As for under-reporting of crimes by UK officials, the Electronic Telegraph reported on July 13, 2000 that "Police figures under-record offences by 20 percent." One of my business associates, who lives outside London, had his house robbed, but since burglars using the same MO robbed 3 other houses that night, police only counted it as one burglary. That was late last year. They are hiding the truth.

The US murder rate has been dropping consistently, for the last 20 years. Interestingly, more and more states have passed concealed carry laws during that time. But, according to the BBC, handgun crime in the UK rose by 40% in the two years after it passed its draconian gun ban in 1997.[3]

In fact, since guns were banned in UK, violent crime against law-abiding citizens has skyrocketed.


Posted by: JohnGaver (developer) on May 29, 05 (3:43 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  


Now what we need is a "Number of people killed by Feral Government Thugs" -counter as well.

"Guns don't kill people!
Governments with guns kill people!!"

Posted by: jjkeller on Jun 01, 05 (6:07 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Excellent use of a Widget!

The "common sense" arguments used to bash this widget fit nicely into the definition used by Albert Einstein.
"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."

philk unwittingly touched on the ultimate reason for not banning guns when he said: "Why don't you all march on Washington with your guns and throw those gangsters out and make the world a safer place."

In the last one hundred years there were over 56 million defenseless people exterminated by their own governments AFTER those governments imposed some form of gun control. This subject is just too much for most people to handle so they quickly say something like "That could never happen here".

The gun grabbers mean well but their "common sense" is dangerously flawed as a result of their own limited experiences.

Posted by: YoPopa on Jun 05, 05 (5:49 PM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

The 56 million figure [1,2] is based on statistics from Nazi Germany in the period 1939-1945, Soviet Union (1929-53), Turkey (1915-17), China (1948-1952), Guatemala (1964-81), Uganda (1971-79) and Cambodia (1975-1977).

Standards in Washington DC have allegedly "slipped a bit" in recent years [3], but YoPopa are you seriously comparing the US, UK or any Western government with these regimes? If so I truly think you are in no position to accuse others of "limited experiences" or to pontificate on "common sense".


Posted by: heck on Jun 06, 05 (2:41 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)  

If you don't like this widget then you should put a sign in front of your house that says "This is a gun free household." Then you can feel completely safe as all the criminals pass your house by. Go ahead I dare you. Otherwise you are complete hypocrites.

Posted by: SolusLupus on Jun 06, 05 (6:42 AM) for version 2.0 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

"Stay Alive; Stay Armed"

Yes, let's all have guns so we can all stay alive. Makes perfect sense.


Posted by: galendw on Jun 18, 05 (8:48 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Here's an alternate liberal view bashing this widget;

This widget says 900,000 times this year guns have saved someone. Let's take a closer look:

• That's more than 5,000 people every day.

• That's one in every 50,000 people

• If 60 times more often is also accurate, that means guns hurt 63 times per day.

I think 900,000 times in less than 6 months is a bit high, don't you? I challenge your common sense.

Posted by: Garcon on Jun 19, 05 (2:46 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

I'm sorry, let me redo that post after I went to ActionAmerica.0rg, then did actual math. According to this Widget,

• An average of 6,674 people are saved each day.

• That's one in every 44,311 people - Including men, women, and children, in every single region of the US.

If 60 times is also more accurate, it's 111 people per day who are hurt by guns.

A bit high? You bet. I defy you're counting system.

Posted by: Garcon on Jun 19, 05 (3:02 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  



Posted by: Radruler on Jun 19, 05 (6:11 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

Kudos to the widget designer for having the guts to post such a controversial item. Don't worry about the people who try to attack it, they like walking around with their eyes closed.

Posted by: kineel on Jun 19, 05 (10:48 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

I give kudos to the designer for his design ability. But.. not for content. A waste of a skill.

radruler. I think this debate has been valuable, and if nothing else johngaver has given us this.
People here are generally posting in a good humoured way.
Maybe this widget will inspire a widget to tell a different story?
Innocent people killed by guns that should be not allowed out into society?
Of course the problem faced in America is putting the lid back on the Genie bottle!

Posted by: philk on Jun 19, 05 (6:34 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

People killed in our town (100'000 cit.) by guns: none in the last 10 years.
People killed in any American town roughly the same size: several every week.
People carrying guns in our town: only Policemen and Soldiers passing by.
People carrying guns in said American town: obviously too many…

'nuff said!

Posted by: Halix on Jun 19, 05 (10:22 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

"People killed in our town (100'000 cit.) by guns: none in the last 10 years.
People killed in any American town roughly the same size: several every week.
People carrying guns in our town: only Policemen and **Soldiers passing by.
People carrying guns in said American town: obviously too many…

'nuff said!
Posted by: Halix on Jun 19, 05 (1:22 PM) for version 2.1 (current version)"

**Don't you think that would make a difference?

Posted by: tux0beliver on Jun 20, 05 (1:25 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

i'm not going to rate this widget, but i don't think it's fare to rate it so low, since it is functional, it has a pretty good design, and it's creative. if you don't like the idea, though, you don't have to download it.

Posted by: modcaveman on Jun 21, 05 (9:40 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

Dumb as so much yankees...

Posted by: Skalp on Jun 22, 05 (10:56 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

People living in my town: 1 300 000
Number of civilians carrying a gun: 0
People killed by shooting (2000-2005): 0
People killed or murdered between 2000-2005: 3

The great thing about the States is that its on the other side of the Atlantic ocean.

Posted by: Bing on Jun 23, 05 (4:31 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

In reference to the statements about "people living in my town", it's easy for people to find small pockets of exceptions to any rule. For example, there are several large cities in Vermont that have murder statistics similar to that of those quoted above. But, wait a moment! That can't be! Vermont has NO GUN-CONTROL OF ANY KIND! Maybe the gun-control types would rather I cite a different exception.

Actually US murder statistics are skewed by cities like Washington DC and states like New York and California, where guns are strictly controlled and the murder rate is many times that of cities and states where there are concealed carry laws in place.

Without saying so, some of the above posters leave the impression that they may be in England, so let's look at England as a whole - not just small pockets (though the story in Australia is not that different). England historically had a murder rate that was much lower than that of the US. However, since banning guns, their murder rate is approaching that of the US and may soon pass the US. It's just that many of the murders are not committed with guns.

Interestingly, according to the London Daily Telegraph, to help cover up the severity of the problem, the police all over England are now under-reporting (reclassifying) all types of crime. A woman who was found stabbed in a night club parking lot was listed as "undetermined cause", rather than "murder", because she may have committed suicide and someone could have taken the knife. Yeah, right!

But, the real story in England is that violent crime in general has skyrocketed, since guns were banned. Burglary, rape and assault, in England, has gone up dramatically. Furthermore, "occupied burglary" has gone through the roof in England.

In the US, where several states have recently enacted concealed carry laws, the "occupied burglary" rate has gone down very slightly, and remains at less than 10%. Interestingly, in the US, the "occupied burglary" rate is much higher than 10% in gun control states and much lower than 10% in CCW states. In England, BEFORE guns were banned, the "occupied burglary" rate was close to that of the US. Today, 50% of UK burglaries occur in OCCUPIED HOMES. Burglars in England are just no longer afraid of being caught by an armed homeowner.

When the public is disarmed, the miscreants of society feel free to prey on people, at will. When criminals don't know who is armed, they tend to either stick to non-personal, non-violent crime or go where the pickings are easier. The choice of whether or not you should be able to defend yourself, should be yours, not the government's. I am glad to live in a country and state, where the law does not require citizens to be sheep. In Texas, self-defense is still a right, as it should be.

Posted by: JohnGaver (developer) on Jun 23, 05 (4:28 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

I've lived in the UK all of my life, and I've seen the steady erosion of society. However I feel I need to put something straight here. Before the gun ban came into effect, almost nobody owned a gun. I certainly know of nobody who had one. I believe that rise in crime is indicative of decay in general. I've asked around (not particularly scientific I know) and most people didn't even know that the gun laws had changed, usually because they'd always assumed that the guns were banned.

Guns aren't the answer. Don't get me wrong, I know that they work as a deterrent, but it isn't a long term solution. Another way needs to be found.

Posted by: TheSpiral on Jun 24, 05 (4:12 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

It's OK UK, call on us again when another Adolf drops in.

Posted by: buzdots on Jun 25, 05 (2:35 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Buzdots... that was a crass and stupid remark (Not to mention grossly innacurate in its implication) and current world events should have taught you not to be so. Stick to discussing the widget.

Posted by: philk on Jun 25, 05 (3:24 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

philk - I agree with you, it was a crass remark. Inaccurate in implication - not hardly. Current WORLD events have absolutely nothing to do with this discussion, or the widget. Either use it for what is is worth - OR DON'T.

Posted by: buzdots on Jun 25, 05 (11:06 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

Guns are not the answer. But neither is penicillin. telefunken is right, to many panties in a wad - maybe even mine.

Posted by: buzdots on Jun 25, 05 (11:17 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

Some of you need to simply wake up to the fact that not all guns are used to kill people. Just like not all baseball bats are used to kill people. Anything that can kill in the wrong hands is bad. Trying to outlaw the device will never work, nor has it. Start ENFORCING the current laws that already ban such behaviour, and make the people that use guns, cars, knives, lead pipes, etc. in a criminal way actually PAY for their crimes to the extent to which they caused someone else harm, and the "guns" won't be so scary to all you weak kneed / weak minded people. There are WAY too many repeat offenders out there who can get a gun whether it is outlawed or not. DO something about our inept judicial system !!!!! Vote out lame / liberal judges who continually turn these idiots loose at our expense !!!!!!!

Posted by: SVT on Jun 27, 05 (6:07 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

There is very little that would make me happier than to be able to live in a world where guns were not a necessity, to insure one's safety and that of his loved ones. But, as long as just one criminal is willing to use violence against a perceived weaker person, a prudent person must take steps to insure the safety of himself and his family, against that one criminal, by making sure that he is not perceived by that criminal, to be weaker. Unfortunately, there is a lot more that one criminal and it is their nature to prey upon the weak.

So, if you take responsibility for your own safety and that of your family, the choice would seem to be to spend 3 or 4 days a week at karate class or one day a month at the range. But, since even karate is trumped by an armed criminal, the choice is simple. After all, one study a few years ago, showed that the vast majority of criminals who were arrested within a week of their parole, were armed at the time and that was in a gun-control state.

I don't like to HAVE to carry a gun. It's really an inconvenience. But, since I refuse to allow myself to become a victim or to fail to do everything possible to protect my family from predators, I do a number of things that I would rather not have to do. Carrying a gun is just one of them.

It's just not prudent to place all of your faith in a stranger who may be miles away whenever a predator attacks. After all, for some reason, criminals just aren't polite enough to commit their crimes in front of the police. That means that until the police arrive, your safety and that of your family is in your own hands. In most cases, the difference between a victim and a survivor, is what is in those hands.

I don't pack because I like it. I DON'T like it. I don't know anyone who carries, who does. I carry because it is my RESPONSIBILITY, to myself and my family. It would be just plain foolish to place all of the responsibility for my safety and that of my family, in the hands of even the best intentioned ARMED stranger, who may be miles away at the time a crime is committed against me or my loved ones. Should a predator pick us, we will still be alive, when that stranger arrives, with his red lights and gun.

This widget reminds us that 2.5 million times a year, someone uses a gun to protect himself or his loved ones. The purpose of this widget is to remind people that if you are not armed, you may not live to see the police arrive. The choice AND the responsibility, is yours. I'm thankful that I live in a country and state, where it is still legal for me to fulfill my responsibility.

Posted by: JohnGaver (developer) on Jul 03, 05 (11:58 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

John Gaver says that "this widget reminds us that 2.5 million times a year, someone uses a gun to protect himself or his loved ones. "

The 2.5 million figure John quotes comes from a study by Kleck & Gertz and is regarded by many in the research field as a considerable over-estimation. (Kleck & Gertz actually claimed between 2.2 and 2.5 million - but I'll try not to nit pick).

Kleck & Gertz surveyed just under 5000 people (in 1993) and asked if they had used a gun to defend themselves in the last year - a so called "Defensive Gun Use" (DGU). They then multiplied up the positive responses to give, what they claimed, was a representative DGU rate for the whole of the US.

Because such a small proportion of the respondents did claim a DGU - around 213, the Kleck & Gertz numbers are extremely vulnerable to "false positive" rates (ie people claiming a DGU in the survey period when none had happened). Just a small false positive rate would massively inflate their figures. A similar or even much higher false negative rate would do little to reduce that inflation. This is not a criticism of the Kleck & Gertz study in particular, it is a well known phenomenon in any study where the size of a small proportion of a larger population is being assessed.

Evidence of inconsistencies can be seen in their survey results (and has been pointed out in numerous subsequent studies - which those in the pro-gun lobby mysteriously fail to mention). As just one example: the number of respondents in the study who claimed to have wounded or killed their assailant, when multiplied up to the US as a whole, would far exceed those known to have been killed or received treatment for gunshot wounds for ANY reason that year-- including murder, assault, accident, suicide (and DGU).

A further example of the perils of extrapolating numbers in this way can be seen if you apply the same method of multiplying up survey figures from other areas. Using this technique on an ABC survey on alien contact and abduction, it can be concluded with equal validity that close to 13 million Americans have seen an alien and 785,000 have had direct contact with one.

One final point. There is an implication in John's comments that those who reject (or who live in a society that rejects) gun ownership are in some way negligent in their responsibility to protect their loved ones. As a British parent I resent that implication - to misquote Sting - "we love our children too".

Posted by: heck on Jul 04, 05 (3:30 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

heck does what so many other anti-self-defense types do. He tries to discount the facts, by playing a numbers game. The fact is that the Kleck/Gertz study used the same methodology that has been widely accepted in the world of statistical study for many decades. Statisticians have learned that with the proper sampling methodology, they can obtain accurate results, without the massive costs involved in querying millions of people.

This brings up the question of what sampling methodology was used. To answer that question, I will refer to a statement by Marvin E. Wolfgang, taken from the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Fall, 1995, "Guns and Violence Symposium", Page 188. In that article, Wolfgang begins by stating:

"I am as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country. If I were Mustapha Mond of Brave New World, I would eliminate all guns from the civilian population and maybe even from the police. I hate guns--ugly, nasty instruments designed to kill people."

That is not the statement of a person who is inclined to agree with the Kleck/Gertz study, if there were even the least possible reason to find fault with it. Yet, he goes on to say:

"What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. The reason I am troubled is that they have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator ... for now, I have to admit my admiration for the care and caution expressed in this article and this research."

"Can it be true that about two million instances occur each year in which a gun was used as a defensive measure against crime? It is hard to believe. Yet, it is hard to challenge the data collected. We do not have contrary evidence. The National Crime Victim Survey does not directly contravene this latest survey, nor do the Mauser and Hart studies."

That comes from a noted criminologist, who is on record as favoring the most restrictive type of gun-control. That is a professional, paying tribute to another professional, whose work strongly contradicts his own views.

But, there's more. Subsequent to the Kleck/Gertz study, the Clinton Justice Department sponsored a study in 1994 titled, "Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms". Clinton specifically wanted numbers to undermine the Kleck/Gertz study. To make sure that the numbers came out low, the criminologists chosen to lead this study were noted anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig. However, even Clinton's own hand-picked criminologists could only get the number down to about 1.5 million DGU's annually. Oops!

Going back further, the Carter Justice department gave noted gun-control advocate James Wright a grant to study the effectiveness of gun control laws. Carter obviously expected a report favoring more gun-control. But, like Clinton would later find, Carter learned that the facts just didn't support his position. Wright stated, "It seemed evident to me, we needed to mount a campaign to resolve the crisis of handgun proliferation. ... I am now of the opinion that a compelling case for ‘stricter gun control’ cannot be made." Wright subsequently wrote other papers opposing gun-control.

This brings up the fact that Gary Kleck, who authored the DGU study that this widget is based upon, began his criminology career as a strong advocate of gun-control and had written several papers to that effect. But, due to his own research, he became a strong advocate of gun ownership.

Kleck and Wright are only two of the many published professionals, who have switched from support of gun-control to support of gun ownership rights. Another who comes to mind is former gun-control advocate and law professor Sanford Levinson. The list of those who have switched from the anti-gun position to support of gun ownership rights is long and distinguished. Yet...



This suggests how heavily the weight of the evidence is distributed in favor of gun ownership rights. In all types of research, when professionals do their own research, the facts often force even the greatest skeptics to revisit their own positions. In the case of guns, the movement has been EXCLUSIVELY to the side of gun ownership rights. That fact alone, should be a wake-up call for those who would deprive themselves and others of the right to self-defense.

This widget was developed, simply to remind us of the fact that GUNS SAVE LIVES, too. As I said before, I don't like to have to carry. But I do, because it is my RESPONSIBILITY, to myself and my family. Some people may choose to delegate ALL of that responsibility to a stranger, who may be miles away. That is each person's choice and I don't seek to deprive those people of that choice, regardless of how foolish it may seem to me. However, since my life and that of my family is of supreme importance to me, I choose not to abrogate my RESPONSIBILITY, in that regard and resent the fact that anyone would seek to deprive me of my choice and ability to defend myself and my family. After all, that choice is often the difference between a victim and a survivor. Certainly, I will welcome the help of that stranger with a badge, WHEN he arrives. But, until that stranger arrives, I will fulfill "MY" RESPONSIBILITY.

Posted by: JohnGaver (developer) on Jul 05, 05 (11:49 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

too bad humans are too blissfully stupid to realize that the true reason so many gun related incidents happen on a constant rate is because we just can't get along. We will definalely be our own demise.

oh- and the design is quite poor.

Posted by: bast81 on Jul 16, 05 (4:30 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

I *hope* that the overriding goal of pro- and anti-gun lobbyists is to reduce the number of times people kill or injure themselves or others with firearms.

Now look at the message Action America, John Garver and this widget are putting across:

"Don't have a gun? Better go get one! Otherwise some other guy will get you first!"

I don't see how that helps the situation. It's short sighted and scaremongering.

Posted by: cod on Jul 28, 05 (2:39 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

For those asking for the "gun accidental death" , I'm working on a combined version showing accidental gun deaths alongside accidental swiming pool deaths. Accidental pool deaths is consistently a much larger number.

Excerpted from University of Chicago economist Steven D. Leavvit's July 28, 2001 Chicago Sun Times op-ed"

<i>In 1997 alone (the last year for which data are available), 742 children under the age of 10 drowned in the United States last year alone. Approximately 550 of those drownings -- about 75 percent of the total -- occurred in residential swimming pools. According to the most recent statistics, there are about six million residential pools, meaning that one young child drowns annually for every 11,000 pools.

About 175 children under the age of 10 died in 1998 as a result of guns. About two-thirds of those deaths were homicides. There are an estimated 200 million guns in the United States. Doing the math, there is roughly one child killed by guns for every one million guns.

Thus, on average, if you both own a gun and have a swimming pool in the backyard, the swimming pool is about 100 times more likely to kill a child than the gun is.</i>

Where is the hew and cry for Swimming Pool Control?


Posted by: melbeckman on Aug 03, 05 (12:15 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Quick question for melbeckman:

On average do children under the age of 10 clock up the same number of hours playing with loaded guns as they do playing in their pool?

No, thought not.

Posted by: heck on Aug 04, 05 (1:36 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

mel and heck, according to the National Safety Council, in 2002, there were 762 accidental firearm related deaths. That same year, 819 people choked to death on a piece of food. Seems it's more dangerous to eat breakfast, than it is to own a gun. I wonder what the alarmists think we should ban to prevent those "tragic" and "unnecessary" deaths. No more eggs and bacon - just oats and yogurt, I suppose.

What about the 785 who died falling off of furniture in 2002? This is alarming! It's worse than guns! We must immediately require that all furniture be equipped with air bags that will deploy if weight is removed from them too suddenly.

I suppose that we can ignore the 776 who died on ATV's. After all, legislation aimed at restricting ATV's is already in place or being crafted in many states. I find it amazing that in a nation of more than a quarter billion people, just 776 deaths can trigger such alarmism. Some people just spend way too much time worrying about the little things and not enough time living.

Of course, the next great threat to human life appears to be the pocket rocket (mini motor scooter). In 2002, they were either lumped in with the 3215 motorcycle deaths or the more than 15,000 "unspecified" land transport deaths that didn't fit into any other category, so we don't have accurate numbers on them, yet. But, after the worriers, who want to tell others how to live their lives, get through with ATV's, I'm sure that they will need something else to get alarmed at and kids enjoy pocket rockets far too much. Anything that is that much fun, must be stopped.

But get this. 1598 people died from falls on stairs! You are more than twice as likely to die going down stairs in the morning, as you are to die from an accidental gunshot! I wonder how many of those anti-gun alarmists live in two story houses. Hmmm?

Let's face it. It's not about accidental gun deaths or ATV deaths or pocket rocket deaths or anything else in particular. Why do the alarmists go after certain things that have amazingly low accidental death rates and ignore areas where the accidental death rates are much higher? Just look at what they focus on. People "ENJOY" hunting or going to the range, for an afternoon of shooting. Kids "ENJOY" ATV's and pocket rockets. These alarmists are people who don't know how to live and it bothers them no end that most of us actually "ENJOY" life.

It doesn't bother them that there are over 3000 fire related deaths a year. The more than 5000 suffocation and choking deaths a year are insignificant to those busy-bodies, as well. There are more than 17,000 poisoning deaths a year. But, what really concerns these people, is that there are actually people out there who are having fun! That's intolerable! It must be stopped!

Yet, I have trouble being angry with those people. Actually, it's really sad to realize that there are people out there who live such depressing lives. I occasionally want to say, "Get a life." But I don't, because I understand that they really don't know how. It's just sad.

Posted by: JohnGaver (developer) on Aug 14, 05 (4:43 PM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

I like the idea of your widget. I also appreciate JohnGaver's last comment. Alarmists are quite nutty, it's like the "next flu epidemic" that gets nationally publicized every fall.

I personally do not carry a gun but have given thought to getting my conceal carry permit. I certainly would never wish to restrict law-abiding individuals (non-felons, non-parolees, etc.) from owning hand-guns for the purpose of self-defense.

People need to understand that the reason the second amendment is there is not to protect individuals from other individuals, but it is there for the purpose of allowing individuals to protect themselves from an overbearing government, either individually or in groups (militias). It was stated earlier that it was silly to compare our government to that of the Nazi's or Stalin, but it is true that their murder and genocide could not have happened (or been so easily committed) if the citizens were bearing arms.

The USA's politicians seem to find ways to limit or try to limit our ability to arm ourselves. I don't think the ploy to do so is innocently-hatched either. There may be some honest do-gooders in the gun control movement, but most of them appear to have other ulterior motives. Honestly, what's next when the government has knowledge that its law-abiding citizenry is unarmed? Is the USA going to hand over government control to the UN? Is it going to be made illegal to be a Christian or express faith in God publicly? Is it going to be made illegal to think and say that homosexuality is immoral? Is it going to be made illegal to be an employer and not offer health insurance to part-time employees? Is it going to be made illegal to be a patriot and fly the Flag of the USA? Is the USA going to re-mint all its coin and create new currency that removes "In God We Trust"?

I am not attempting to sound unreasonable, but there are political movements in place now that are trying to implement the ideas I listed above. I worry that by ignoring the wisdom of our founding fathers (who were not perfect men, but united in purpose to form a more-perfect union) by tossing the Constitution out the window bit by bit, the government will no longer be a government that is limited in powers and authority by the Constitution, but one that will make up its own laws to fit its actions - it's pretty much that way now as I see it.

Once the guns are taken away, who's going to enforce the government's obedience to the Constitution? (It would have broken the oath to uphold it by passing the ban in the first place). I doubt the criminals (who would likely NOT have turned in their weaponry) would come out of every nook and cranny and form a militia against the government if more and more rights of the people were usurped...

In the end, I honestly am saddened that there is a need to bear arms. It's sickening to watch the news or read about innocent lives being taken in any manner, with any weapon. There is much more wrong with society that gun control or lack of gun control. I wish there was a magic pill that people could take to get rid of the evil and cruel intentions that so many people seem to have within them nowadays. I do know that if there was a gun ban in the USA, only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their weapons, leaving the vast-majority of 300 million people un-armed against criminals and unable to defend themselves against their ever-socializing government.

I don't believe the people from Europe posting here about conditions in the USA have any idea of what really is at stake. We need to protect ourselves from becoming more like Europe (the governments, not the people, who I believe are quite nice, actually). We need to be able to keep our government reasonably in check.

I believe the politicians of both major parties(endorsed by supporting groups) will try to allow and promote the erosion of time-tested truths and morals that will slowly but surely guilt the people of America that it's quite barbaric to carry weapons, allow only marriage between a man and a woman, eat a Big Mac, and so on until most of the rights I was born with cease to exist anymore and none of the morals I was raised with are thought to be valid, but rather very quaint, old-fashioned ideas that are probably illegal to be thought of out-loud. Mmmmmmm.... Big Mac.

"philk" posted that he's (I apologize if you're a female) been to the USA and have had a gun pulled on him by a police officer three different times. That's quite a statment. I've been in the USA for 33 years and have never had a gun pulled on me by a police officer or anyone for that matter. I haven't spent all my time in little towns, either. Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Nashville, El Paso, Salt Lake City, they're all big cities with very visible police forces, yet none of them ever thought it was prudent to approach me at gun point. It'd be interesting to know the circumstances behind your unfriendly encounters with the police... what time of day was it?... had a major crime occurred nearby and maybe you fit the description of the perpetrator (three different times, even!!!)?... who knows. It's unfortunate you received that kind of treatment.

I wish you all well wherever you are and whatever your side is on this general subject. I hope crime goes down everywhere, but it really won't until we focus more on raising children as a family, focusing on our spouses rather than our buddies, sports, computers, etc., and generally being less selfish with our time, money, and thoughts. More ideas: Be good neighbors. Spend time playing with your kids. Enjoy a good movie. Go boating. Stay out of excessive debt. Eat ice cream occasionally. Go fishing. Exercise more. Talk to your spouse. Get married. STAY married. Start a family, learn about sacrifice and service to others and the joy it can bring to your life. Get an education. Attend your church. Read your scriptures. Go on vacation and learn about other cultures. Don't be spiteful or rude to others with differing opinions. Mow a neighbor's lawn or help them in with groceries occasionally. When you vote, sincerely study the persons and issues you're voting on and then vote your conscience. Feed the poor. Clothe the poor. Visit a prison church service, speak with the inmates and listen to their ideas of why they're there - learn from their mistakes. None of these things needs to involve the government forcibly taking money from you in the form of taxes - try to do something yourselves and know exactly where your time, effort, and/or money has gone and see the benefits. I know one person or family actively pursuing good things won't seem to make a different, but one is better than none and can lead to great changes in future generations.

It's quite late for me and I hope I didn't ramble.

Anyway, my panties are not in a wad about this subject or any of the posts... I wear boxers. smiley

Great widget, even better research (not just because it matches my reasoning). Keep it up.

Posted by: montyc on Aug 15, 05 (11:25 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)  

lol Ill give this widget 5 stars just for all the controversy it started

Posted by: Motoi on Aug 16, 05 (1:16 AM) for version 2.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Lies, damned lies and statistics..

The numbers quoted by JohnGaver may be accurate but his interpretation of the relevance is way off.
"1598 people died from falls on stairs! You are more than twice as likely to die going down stairs in the morning, as you are to die from an accidental gunshot! "
Given that maybe 200 million Americans use stairs every day and only 1598 die on them every year, and far, far less use guns every day and yet 762 manage to get killed accidentally, his assertion that you're "more than twice as likely to die" is ridiculous. For example if 1000 people did sport A and 20 of them died, then 11 people did sport B and 10 dies, which would you think was a safer sport?
John your maths just don't add up. By all means share your opinion, but get some advice on your numbers before shooting your mouth off.

Posted by: CraigStanton on Jan 30, 06 (5:35 AM) for version 3.0 (current version)  

" a reminder that guns are used 60 times more often to defend a life than to take a life"

Something puzzles me about the basic statement on this widget. If guns were used 157,456 times in self-defence, what were they defending against? I don't think these citizens were defending themselves against attacks by swimming pools or stairs or the other threats mentioned above. I think it would be fair to say that most of those using guns for defence were in fact being threatened by guns. Perhaps we could balance the number of times guns were used in defence of life against the number of time they were used to threaten life.

Posted by: Denis on Jan 30, 06 (7:42 AM) for version 3.0 (current version)  

So if the 'defend a life" incidents more or less balance the "threaten a life" what is there to balance the "take a life" incidents? How many time does a gun "give back a life"?

Posted by: Denis on Jan 30, 06 (8:38 AM) for version 3.0 (current version)  

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