NCPA's Burnett Awarded CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender

Dallas - (June 23, 1999) - The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) has awarded NCPA Senior Analyst H. Sterling Burnett with its Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for the month of May for his research on the benefits of defensive gun use in his recent study Suing Gun Manufacturers: Hazardous to Our Health.

In nominating Burnett, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director John Michael Snyder said; "One of the major difficulties faced by us proponents of the individual right to keep and bear arms is the unsubstantiated, but nonetheless often repeated, contention that there is no legitimate basis for maintenance of that civil right."

According to the study, citizens use guns in self-defense about 2.5 million times each year. Violent crimes are prevented often by merely showing the weapon. This defensive use creates a net social benefit to cities from lower hospital bills to future crimes that are never committed. Using assumptions most favorable to gun opponents, the benefit from defensive gun use ranges from $90.7 million to $3.5 billion, every year. Using more credible assumptions, the net benefit from guns ranges from $1 billion to $38.8 billion per year.

Furthermore, Burnett points out that women faced with assault are 2.5 times less likely to suffer serious injury if they respond with a firearm rather than try to defend themselves with a less effective weapon or offer no resistance. Only one-fifth of victims of violent crimes who defended themselves with firearms suffered injury, compared to almost half who defended themselves using other types of weapons or who had no weapon. About 3,000 criminals are lawfully killed each year by armed civilians - that's more than three times the number killed by police.

"Sterling demonstrates that this latest thrust against the right to keep and bear arms - suing manufacturers for the criminal misuse of their products - would in all likelihood, undermine the public safety," said Snyder.

Burnett, who focuses on environmental and gun law policy at the NCPA, was also the recipient of the Second Amendment Foundation's James Madison Award for Knight-Ridder pro-con editorial exchange with gun control advocate Sarah Brady earlier this year.