Magazine September 30, 2019, Issue

Do Guns Help People Defend Themselves?

(Roy Scott/Getty Images)
Yes, probably hundreds of thousands of times each year

One day at 5:30 a.m., a man with a machete hacked at two doors, leaving a trail of broken glass, to force his way into a DeKalb County, Ga., home. What he planned to accomplish once inside, though, we’ll never know: The homeowner had a gun, confronted the intruder, and fired two shots, killing him.

This is what’s known as a defensive gun use, or DGU. It is abundantly clear that such things happen regularly in this country, which should not surprise us: We have 323 million people, at least as many guns, and plenty of crime, so periodically a person will

This article appears as “Armed Citizen” in the September 30, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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