Our government is awash with statistics on almost any topic. When it comes to guns, the FBI and CDC can tell us how many people are killed by firearms each year. The FBI even breaks the homicide data down by type of gun. But, one thing that we don't know is how many times guns are used defensively and how they are a deterrent to crime. While there may be some independent studies, they're usually, at best, only estimates.
One way we can get a taste of how guns are a deterrent, is to compare burglaries in this country---where there are more guns than there are people -- to those in England, where there are strict gun controls. To do this we will compare "hot" burglary rates. A "hot" burglary takes place when someone is at home at the time of the burglary. In this country "hot burglaries" are typically known as "home invasions".
In the United States, just 10% of burglaries are "hot". In England, 50% of all burglaries are "hot" and on the rise. Also, the biggest problem in England is that 59% of "hot" burglaries result in violence or the threat of violence. On the other hand, in the U.S., only 26% result in violence.
The simple reality is that burglars are less likely to enter a house with someone at home if there is the possibility that person may be armed. This fact was born out in a study titled Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms that was published in 1986. It found that 40% of felons avoided committing a crime when they thought the victim might be armed. Another study said that 74% of felons said they avoided burglaries for fear of being shot. Also, it is safe to assume that the lower rates of violence (26%) are probably a result of the person at home confronting a burglar with a firearm.
Just some food for thought for Democrats who are so eager to control guns in this country. This is not to say that high-capacity weapons -- 10+ rounds or greater -- shouldn't be controlled in some fashion but, let's leave defensive weapons alone. In this way, we all benefit from guns, especially when burglars don't know if you have one or not.
An Englishman's home is his dungeon: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3613417/An-Englishmans-home-is-his-dungeon.html
Burglary victims attacked in their own home once every 30 minutes: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245417/Burglary-victims-attacked-home-30-minutes.html
Victimization During Household Burglary: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf
Crime and Guns: http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/crime-and-guns/#note-93-7