Gun owners who carry concealed weapons or have confronted another person with a gun are more than twice as likely to drink heavily as people who do not own guns, according to a study by UC Davis researchers. Binge drinking, chronic heavy alcohol use, and drinking and driving were all more common among gun owners generally than among non-owners, even after adjusting for factors such as age, sex, race, and state of residence. But alcohol abuse was most common among firearm owners who participated in gun-related behaviors that carry a risk of violence, which also included having a loaded, unlocked firearm in the home and driving or riding in a vehicle with a loaded firearm.
"It's not surprising that risky behaviors go together," said Garen J. Wintemute, author of the study and director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. "This is of particular concern given that alcohol intoxication also impairs a gun user's accuracy as well as his judgment on whether to shoot."
Over at The Truth About Guns they didn't like this one bit. And can you blame them? It's a damning indictment.
Some of the guys pointed out that telephone surveys cannot possibly yield the data necessary to draw valid conclusions. I agree with that. But many of the others responded with sacrasm and jokes, pretending to be as responsible with their guns as the blog host and one commenter named Van. I doubt they are. My money's on Wintemute.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.