Glen Otero

Monday, March 1st, 1999

Glen Otero of San Diego, California is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for March.

In nominating the Californian for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said “during this critical time in the ongoing struggle to maintain the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms, when anti-gun pseudo-intellectuals are advancing many bogus arguments to buttress their deep-seated gun grabbing obsessions, it is essential that genuine intellectuals of various disciplines stand up and come forward with the truth to counter the propaganda of the emotionally-challenged elitists.

“Such an individual is Glen Otero, the author of a briefing on TEN MYTHS ABOUT GUN CONTROL, published early this year by The Claremont Institute Golden State Center for Policy Studies.

“He certainly is most deserving of this Award.”

Born July 27, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois, Glen received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 1988, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of California (UCLA) in Los Angeles in 1995.

Dr. Otero is a Research Associate in the Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California. His research involves studying the expression of viral and cellular ribo nucleic acid (RNA).

One of the “myths” Otero cites in the Claremont Institute briefing paper is the gun grabber claim that “you, and your family and friends, are 43 times more likely to be shot by a gun kept in the home than is a criminal intruder.”

Taking direct aim at this propagandistic claim, Glen writes “the infamous study that yielded this illogical statistic is just one of many that litter the public health and medical literature. Serious shortcomings in rationale and methodology plague the study. Nevertheless, the 43:1 ratio is arguably the gun control advocate’s most cited statistic.

“The study’s authors start from the presumption that the effectiveness of gun ownership for self-defense can only be ascertained by contrasting dead intruders with dead innocents. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Similar to police forces and other household security measures, the real benefits of gun ownership, demonstrated in the National Self-Defense Survey (conducted by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz in 1993), are to be counted not in corpses but in lives saved and crimes deterred. In no way do the authors address this. In fact, the study only counted homes in which a homicide or suicide took place, ignoring gun-containing households that may have successfully defended themselves from criminal victimization with a firearm or had no incidents at all.

“In an attempt to conjure up a risk factor due to having a gun in the home, the authors tallied the gun related deaths in the homes studied. In doing so, the authors included suicides. Of the 43 gun related deaths included in the study, 37 were suicides. The inclusion of suicides as gun related deaths would be reasonable if gun availability affected suicide rates.

“But, as explained in disputing Myth #3, gun availability does not influence suicide rates. The suicides would almost certainly have occurred by some other means in the absence of a gun. Additionally, the authors excluded many cases of lawful self-defense homicide. So, in deriving their risk factor of gun related deaths vs. self-defense homicides, the authors used an inflated numerator and an under-representative denominator.

“Moreover, the Seattle-based homes investigated were not the average American households. The study was teeming with high-risk households that contained a disproportionate number of people with histories of arrests, drug abuse and domestic violence. By studying these high-risk homes, one cannot make sweeping generalizations regarding the rest of this country.”