Thanks for the response.
I find your argument compelling, and to me it seems intuitively true to some degree or other, but in this space I really think we need to stick with data, and it’s tremendously difficult to extract exactly how many lives are saved by owning a gun. You can gather data on the number of self defense incidents involving a gun, but it’s tough to try and nail down how many of those incidents would have involved loss of life by the victim. We can spitball numbers, but the spitballing effort would not be rigorous enough to stand scrutiny. Someone could simply spitball a different number and we’re at an impasse.
I find the thought compelling that gun ownership may increase and decrease homicides at the same time. The number of hasty violent conflicts that escalate to homicide goes up, and the number of victims of unprovoked violent homicides goes down, and the whole thing pans out in the wash.
I think some form of that thought is probably the most true, but verifying that with numbers would be pretty difficult. At least the numbers I have access to.