You have to do the self defense seperate from war, I think, but it is still quite large.

Lets take some arbitrary new york times article quoting the NRA as saying 2x10^6 times a year ( I believe this includes you have it and they run from the house), so 350x10^6 into 2x10^6 is 2/350, so something between 6 and 7 % each year. Using the math that comes out to be..... a large statistic over your lifetime. And, yet, as you say, many of us never will pull out let alone fire one at another.

Your question is why ?

I'm not as mathmatical as my kids, so here is how one of them saw this right away - instead of flood plain and gun use, I was explaining how the societal status quo is not honest with young people about birth control statistics, because they will say it is, let's say between 95-98% effective, so a teen hears this and takes best case, 98% then thinks a 2% chance. I would have to be pretty unlucky to be in that 2 out of 100. So, I explain, that it is that percent each year, so 2-5 people this year, another 2-5 next year, etc..... so over 10 years, that would mean 20-50 people ( because I am too lazy to do his fancy math). Math teen saw right way that "hey mom, this wouldnt neccessarily be different people, could be a smaller group getting pregnant multiple times" Yep, this is true ( but you could be in that group...)

So, gun self defense can be that some people ( so some high risk jobs, where they live, bad neighbors, etc....) have multiple instances and others none. This is much more likely to be the case than the birth control example.

So, the fact that a majority of people have not pulled put a gun does not invalidate the statistics at all

we do these types of statistics on the probability of a super large earthquake, or Yellowstone blowing. Oregon and California take these rising percentage risks very seriously, there are quite serious preps and plans in place, and yet, none of us has had this happen in our lifetime, and most likely wont. But, the risk is increasing the longer we go since the last large one. Do you think their statistics are invalid just because we have not personally experienced it ?