“I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.
the Kleck Study:
Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
Number Of Protective Uses Of Firearms In U.S: Projected at a minimum of 2.5 million cases annually, equal to 1% of total U.S. population each year. Criminal assailants are killed by their victims or others in only about 0.1%, and wounded in only about 1.0% of incidents as described above. Most such crimes are prevented by mere presence of a firearm in the hands of an intended victim.(Dr. Gary Kleck, PhD, Florida State University, Targeting Guns, 1998)
A 1993 Gallup Poll study (hardly a conservative partisan group) found a likely annual rate of defensive gun use (DGU) of 777,153 per year in the US.
An LA Times 1994 study found an implied national DGU of 3,609,682.
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
Data from the NCVS imply that each year there are only about 68,000 defensive uses of guns in connection with assaults and robberies,  or about 80,000 to 82,000 if one adds in uses linked with household burglaries.  These figures are less than one ninth of the estimates implied by the results of at least thirteen other surveys, summarized in Table 1, most of which have been previously reported.  The NCVS estimates imply that about 0.09 of 1% of U.S. households experience a defensive gun use (DGU) in any one year, compared to the Mauser survey's estimate of 3.79% of households over a five year period, or about 0.76% in any one year, assuming an even distribution over the five year period, and no repeat uses. 
The strongest evidence that a measurement is inaccurate is that it is inconsistent with many other independent measurements or observations of the same phenomenon; indeed, some would argue that this is ultimately the only way of knowing that a measurement is wrong. Therefore, one might suppose that the gross inconsistency of the NCVS-based estimates with all other known estimates, each derived from sources with no known flaws even remotely substantial enough to account for nine-to-one, or more, discrepancies, would be sufficient to persuade any serious scholar that the NCVS estimates are unreliable.
...The NCVS was not designed to estimate how often people resist crime using a gun. It was designed primarily to estimate national victimization levels; it incidentally happens to include a few self-protection questions which include response categories covering resistance with a gun.
The Kleck study concluded that there were possibly as many as 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year, many of which involved no shots fired or no one injured, and many of which were not reported:
These Wikipedia articles are good sources of general information on concealed-carry permits and related issues.The most technically sound estimates presented in Table 2 are those based on the shorter one-year recall period that rely on Rs' first-hand accounts of their own experiences (person-based estimates). These estimates appear in the first two columns. They indicate that each year in the U.S. there are about 2.2 to 2.5 million DGUs of all types by civilians against humans, with about 1.5 to 1.9 million of the incidents involving use of handguns.
They include information from both pro and anti perspectives.
Concealed carry in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
More Guns, Less Crime - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaNorth Carolina reports only 0.2% of their 263,102 holders had their license revoked in the 10 years since they have adopted the law.
Permit holders are a remarkably law-abiding subclass of the population. Florida, which has issued over 1,408,907 permits in twenty one years, has revoked only 166 for a "crime after licensure involving a firearm," and fewer than 4,500 permits for any reason.
John Lott's study is not without controversy, but despite nit-picking about techincal proceedures remains siginficant:
Lott examines the effects of shall issue laws on violent crime across the United States.
His conclusion is that shall issue laws, which allow citizens to carry concealed weapons, steadily decrease violent crime. He explains that this result makes sense because criminals are deterred by the risk of attacking an armed victim. As more citizens arm themselves, the danger to criminals increases.
From the FBI Uniform Crime Report:
Expanded Homicide Data - Crime in the United States 2009
Of the offenders for whom race was known, 51.6 percent were black, 46.3 percent were white, and 2.1 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 4,339 offenders.
Violent crime in the USA has been falling for a long time, at the same time as gun ownership has increased...
Violent Crime - Crime in the United States 2009When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2009 estimated violent crime total was
5.2 percent below the 2005 level and 7.5 percent below the 2000 level.
Coinciding with a surge in gun purchases that began shortly before the 2008 elections, violent crime decreased six percent between 2008 and 2009, including an eight percent decrease in murder and a nine percent decrease in robbery.1 Since 1991, when violent crime peaked, it has decreased 43 percent to a 35-year low. Murder has fallen 49 percent to a 45-year low.2 At the same time, the number of guns that Americans own has risen by about 90 million.NRA-ILA :: More Guns, Less Crime AgainOver the last quarter-century, many federal, state and local gun control laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive. The federal “assault weapon” ban, upon which gun control supporters claimed public safety hinged, expired in 2004 and the murder rate has since dropped 10 percent. The federal handgun waiting period, for years the centerpiece of gun control supporters’ agenda, expired in 1998, in favor of the NRA-supported national Instant Check, and the murder rate has since dropped 21 percent.
UK violent crime:
UK is violent crime capital of Europe - TelegraphThe United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) has low levels of gun ownership and generally one of the lowest rates of intentional gun deaths. However, this is only in mainland Great Britain. Firearms ownership is still very high in Northern Ireland. Private ownership of firearms is far more common and largely accepted in rural areas. The gun crime rate rose between 1997 and 2004 but has since slightly receded, while the number of murders from gun crime has largely remained static over the past decade. Over the course of the 20th century, the UK gradually implemented tighter regulation of the civilian ownership of firearms through the enactment of the 1968, 1988, 1994 and 1997 Firearms (Amendment) Acts leading to the current outright ban on the ownership of all automatic, and most self-loading, firearms in the UK. The ownership of breech-loading handguns is, in particular, also very tightly controlled and effectively limited
The United Kingdom is the violent crime capital of Europe and has one of the highest rates of violence in the world, worse even than America, according to new research.
By Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent 7:00AM BST 02 Jul 2009
Analysis of figures from the European Commission showed a 77 per cent increase in murders, robberies, assaults and sexual offences in the UK since Labour came to power.
The total number of violent offences recorded compared to population is higher than any other country in Europe, as well as America, Canada, Australia and South Africa.
The figures were sourced from Eurostat, the European Commission's database of statistics. They are gathered using official sources in the countries concerned such as the national statistics office, the national prison administration, ministries of the interior or justice, and police.
It means there are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the UK, making it the most violent place in Europe.
By comparison, America has an estimated rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 population.
So tell me again how the UK is less violent than America? And how we need to learn from the UK, with a violent crime rate four times as high as the US?
Fiddling While Rome Burns
Carthago Delenda Est
"I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.
I think I can sum up your argument a bit more succinctly than you did:
"YOU COMMIE EUROPEANERS HATE MAH FREEDOM!"
On a totally random note, you might find this interesting:
Democracy Index - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia