LITTLE ROCK, AR — Gun control advocacy group the Violence Policy Center published a study this week that claims Americans rarely use guns in self defense. Using FBI and Bureau of Justice Data, the group found there were 258 fatal shootings nationwide in 2012 justified as self defense. In comparison, that same year there were 8,342 reported shootings ruled as murder.
The findings don’t exactly go along with the rhetoric pro-gun groups, like the National Rifle Association, have used for years that says more guns in the hands of regular folks will help reduce crime.
If you ask those regular folks just out on the street here in Little Rock, their opinions seem divided.
“There are people that are crazy,” said Dan Orrantia, who carries a concealed handgun. “If they’re out there carrying a gun, you want to protect yourself and your family. The best way to do that is to do something that is equally balanced on your side.”
Others, like Deonte Alor, aren’t so sure.
“I feel like guns can cause more crime because nowadays, people don’t just necessarily have [guns] in their home,” Alor explained. “They carry it everywhere they go, and I don’t feel like that’s always necessary.”
Upon asking a couple state senators about the report — and gun control in general — we found their opinions were divided as well.
“I think having a gun does not deter crime, except for very very small instances,” said Senator Joyce Elliot (D). “Statistics just don’t bear that out, and have not for some time.”
“It’s never going to be perfect, there’s always going to be tragedies that occur,” according to Senator Jeremy Hutchinson (R). “But certainly, in my opinion, the benefits of people owning protection and firearms to protect themselves far outweighs those tragedies that are going to occur when you do have guns.”
KARK 4 News attempted to contact Second Amendment advocacy group Arkansas Carry for this story, as well as a local field representative for the NRA. The NRA rep did not respond back, and Arkansas Carry said it did not wish to comment on the Violence Policy Center report.