You will often hear a news story about someone's life being saved, either through an act of heroism, or blind luck, or by something as common as a seat belt.
Everyone knows seat belts save lives. It is a Universal Truth.
And if you don't know it there are TV ads to teach you.
But how many lives are saved by seat belts? Again you can't really prove that someone is alive when they could have been killed...
But the best number I could find online comes from the CDC:
Seat Belts Have Saved an Estimated 255,000 Lives Since 1975
255k lives saved in 33 years? Am I the only one who thinks that number is shockingly low?
Well Dr. Gary Kleck, at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, did a study on guns and their use in self-defense in 1993. And from that study he extrapolated that guns are used for self-defense 2.5 million times each year.
But wait... We still can't prove that someone is alive when they could have been killed. And we don't need to.
All we need are 10% of one year's worth of defensive gun use to be a life saving event, to equal the lives saved by seat belts each year... Oh, I'm sorry that is not correct. All we need are 10% of one year's worth of defensive gun use to be a life saving event to equal the lives saved by seat belts in 33 years.
That seems like a very low bar to reach.
You will often hear the poorly informed mantra that we need to treat guns like cars.
Instead of treating guns like cars, we need to treat guns like seat belts.