All of these articles were pulled from fivethirtyeight.com, in the post God, Guns, and Gaydar: The Laws of Probability Push You to Overestimate Small Groups. I post them because, as some of you know, I am a gun owner, but for the most part I find the self-defense argument uncompelling*. This topic has come up a number of times with friends who, while they enjoy target shooting, as I do, also feel strongly about owning firearms for self-defense purposes.
The first two articles address the estimate of frequency of guns being used in self-defense; the third addresses churchgoing numbers.
* The first article strengthens my position on this. I generally find the defense against home-invasion case uncompelling, or self-defense while strolling around the city. I do find it a more compelling argument for women, especially for women who frequently travel alone or live alone. Women do, unfortunately, still face situations that men do not. Please note that I do not advocate blanket bans on firearms, or excessive restriction, but I am in favor of reasonable levels of regulation. I do not think that the self-defense argument forces a higher bar for justification of regulation.