Gun Self-Defense Counter released
as Macintosh Dashboard Widget
Snapshot of Gun
Self-Defense Counter Widget
(Click image to download.)
If you use a Macintosh running OS-X 10.4 "Tiger" or later and carry a gun or just value our Bill of Rights, you might want to download our Gun Self-Defense Counter widget (v3.1). It is the widget form of the counter that appears at the top of this page, just below the menu. Using data from authoritative studies on the use of guns, in self-defense, it counts how many times guns have been used in self-defense, since the beginning of this year.
The widget ticks over another number every 13 seconds. The back side of the widget has a scrollable window that details where the data for these calculations originated. Those of you who saw the earlier versions of this widget will notice that the front side of the new version 3.0 has been reduced in size. This is to preserve Dashboard space for other widgets. But, the widget expands when flipped over, to make it easier to read the details. It also resets automatically on January 1 of each successive year.
Calculations used in this widget are based on the now famous study by renowned criminologists Gary Kleck & Marc Gertz that was reported in the The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, (Fall 1995) titled, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense With a Gun." This is the most exhaustive and detailed study of how guns are used in self defense, to date. The study shows that guns are used in self-defense about 2.5 million times a year or once every 13 seconds, on average. In other words, guns are used about 60 times more often to protect innocent life than to take a life. Over 1.9 million of those self-defense cases involve handguns.
In a book titled "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America (Social Institutions and Social Change)" Kleck's research showed that armed citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals every year as do police (1,527 to 606). Most of those instances were while the innocent victim was waiting on the police to arrive and many were even waiting for the police to answer the phone. Meanwhile, in the November 15, 1993 issue of Newsweek Magazine, George Will reported that police are more than 5 times more likely than a civilian to shoot an innocent person by mistake.
It is important to note that before researching the subject for himself, Kleck was an outspoken supporter of gun control. As a result of his own research, he now opposes the gun control agenda that he used to support.
The Gun Self-Defense Counter widget is designed to be CPU friendly. In order to maximize functionality and minimize overhead, the widget recalculates every time you open Dashboard and then every 13 seconds, for as long as Dashboard is open. Even though the calculations use a trivial amount of CPU time, as a courtesy, this widget stops calculating, when the Dashboard is hidden.
If you have a Mac and you are running OS-10.4 or later, just download the zip file here (601kb), unzip it and drag the widget to your widgets folder. That's all there is to it. It will be instantly available on your Dashboard. As you move the cursor over the widget, you will see an italic " i " appear on the right edge. Click on the " i " to flip it over and see information about the widget.
Also, if you just happen to know a self-defense advocate, who has a Mac, direct him to this page.
Interestingly, less than a week after this widget was released, it has been downloaded more than 500 times, from our site and several other sites that have hosted it. When version 3.0 was released, we were aware of more than 5000 downloads of this widget, in it's various versions, from this and other sites. We have stopped counting, since it hass availability has spread to other sites. But, we are pleased that so many patriots find it worth while.
We would also like to thank A Human Right, for permission to use the images in this widget.
Other more elaborate widgets that are available on Apple.com, DashboardWidgets.com and VersionTracker.com, include, but are not limited to, a Doppler radar viewer, a package tracker for FedEx, DHL and UPS, numerous RSS feeds, a phone dialer, traffic maps for various cities, a system resource monitor and an SMS messaging widget. At least one SMS widget is a commercial product, but most of the rest are free.
Life is good!... Well, at least it is if you don't have to deal with a PC.
Update: Action America has now released the Wham-Bam-Tram Ram Counter widget. If you live in Houston or are among the growing number of concerned citizens, across the nation, who are upset about your tax dollars being wasted on urban light rail, then you will appreciate this widget. (More...)
We also have a UNIX tool available that will add Houston or any other city, to Apple's World Clock widget. It requires that you log into the UNIX terminal mode and execute a shell script. Even though the script is copiously documented, you should feel comfortable operating in the UNIX terminal environment, if you intend to use this tool. Also, soon to be released, is a UNIX tool that will add Cartman and Mr. Hankey to your Hula Girl widget options. Please use our Feedback Form, if you are interested in either of these UNIX tools.