Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More Guns, More Crime

Media Matters

FACT: Greater Firearm Availability Is Actually Linked To Higher Rates Of Homicide And Suicide  

Economist Mark Duggan: Rate Of Gun Ownership "Significantly Positively" Correlated With Incidence Of Homicide. A study by economist Mark Duggan found that "changes in homicide and gun ownership are significantly positively related," as he reported in "More Guns, More Crime" in the Journal of Political Economy in 2001. Duggan wrote:
My findings reveal that changes in homicide and gun ownership are significantly positively related. This relationship is almost entirely driven by the relationship between lagged changes in gun ownership and current changes in homicide, suggesting that the relationship is not driven simply by individuals' purchase of guns in response to increases in criminal activity.
These findings contradict the results from recent work suggesting that legislation allowing individuals to carry concealed weapons (CCW) caused a significant decline in violent crime (Lott and Mustard 1997). [Journal of Political Economy, 2001]
Harvard Injury Control Research Center Director David Hemenway: Guns Used "Far More" To Threaten Or Intimidate Than Protect. From a study published in Injury Prevention, "an international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals":
Even after excluding many reported firearm victimizations, far more survey respondents report having been threatened or intimidated with a gun than having used a gun to protect themselves. A majority of the reported self defense gun uses were rated as probably illegal by a majority of judges. This was so even under the assumption that the respondent had a permit to own and carry the gun, and that the respondent had described the event honestly. [Injury Prevention, vol. 6, issue 4, 2000] 
Hemenway: "States With Higher Levels Of Household Gun Ownership Had Higher Rates Of Firearm Homicide." From the Harvard Injury Control Research Center:
Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries.  Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the U.S., where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide. [Harvard Injury Control Research Center, accessed 1/9/13]
American Journal Of Epidemiology Study: Having A Gun In The Home Increases The Risk Of Violent Death. A 2004 study conducted by employees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that individuals who had firearms in the home were more likely to be victims of firearm homicides and suicides than individuals who did not have firearms in the home. The risk occurred regardless of the type of gun or number of guns kept in the home. [American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 160, issue 10, 2004]


  1. Thats some BS! WE NEED TO ARM EVERYONE NOW! if everybody had a gun there wofld be NO CRIME! Nobody wold get robbed or killed because they would be trusted to defend themselfs instead of begging the goverment to help. A gun for everybody today!

  2. Now, before I respond, are these subject to the same sort of criticism you level at contradictory studies or are we to view these as sacrosanct?

  3. How do you know when a study has gone off the rails? When it flies in the face of facts. Gun ownership and carry is on the rise and has been for years. Rates of violent crime have fallen over the same period. But as Retired Mustang asked, what's the standard for knowing which studies are valid and which are bogus? As far as I can tell about your attitude, Mikeb, it's determined by the conclusion that the study reaches.

    1. It's sometimes jokingly called "The First Law of Graduate Work". Whereas legitimate research requires that your conclusions be derived from your findings (your research results come first and from them you draw your conclusions), the "First Law" says "make sure your findings support your conclusions". The point, of course, is that sometimes people first decide what they believe and then (sometimes unconsciously) make sure their research proves what they thought. It's very convenient.