Friday, November 13, 2015

Study Finds States With Background Checks Have Fewer Mass Shootings

Huffington Post

States that require background checks for all handgun sales have significantly fewer mass shootings than states without them, according to a new analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety,a gun violence prevention organization backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Under federal law, licensed gun dealers are mandated to conduct criminal background checks to identify those who are prohibited from owning guns. But in many states, individuals can skirt background checks by purchasing a gun online or through private sellers. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have closed that loophole by requiring background checks for all handgun sales, including online and at gun shows.
Between January 2009 and July 2015, Everytown identified 133 mass shootings in the U.S. -- defined as as incidents in which at least four people were killed with a gun. Controlling for population, states that required background checks saw 52 percent fewer mass shootings than those without them. 
Not that surprisingly, states with mandated background checks also saw 63 percent fewer mass shootings committed by individuals barred from gun ownership. Nationally during that period, nearly 40 percent of mass shootings were perpetrated by people prohibited by federal law from possessing guns. 

12 comments:

  1. This is very confusing methodology to the uninitiated. What does a number just over 2 million person-years over a five and one half year period even mean in a population of 200 million adults?

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    1. "What does a number just over 2 million person-years over a five and one half year period even mean in a population of 200 million adults?"

      Howdy FJ, I'm not sure, but I think you may have misread the data a bit. If you're referring to the mass shootings committed by prohibited persons number they came up with, its actually 2.13 per 100 million person years.
      As for what it means, the short answer is that Everytown is trying to sell their assertions using very small numbers. In fact, they had to use the term 100 million person years just to be able to use a whole number. For example, keeping in mind that I'm just a dumb infantryman, you could also use the number .002 per million person years and still be saying the same thing. And as happens with a lot of these "studies", when the numbers aren't big enough, they have no problem using data from multiple years, as you can see here. If I'm wrong on my math, please correct me.
      I'm not well versed in statistics, but when you get down below a certain level, your numbers get less reliable. A good example of this is a database maintained by the CDC. They have a really neat interactive database they call the "Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System" or WISQARS™ for short. I've found it to be very informative and easy to use. But when you get below a certain threshold, they don't supply numbers or rates because it just isn't reliable.

      http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal_injury_reports.html

      I imagine that in the near future we might hear from other sources as to the accuracy of their data. Everytown has had some issues with this in the past. I'll just quote the conservative mouthpiece Politifact,

      "The group’s figure is accurate only if you use a broad definition of "school shooting" that includes such incidents as suicides, accidents and spillover from adjacent criminal activity. The figure has some value in quantifying the proximity of guns to school campuses, but the group makes a significant stretch by tying the statistic so closely to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook. By doing this, the group closely associates the statistic with planned mass shootings targeting students and school staff -- a category that, using a more strict definition, accounts for only 10 of the 74 incidents.
      The statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False."

      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jun/13/everytown-gun-safety/have-there-been-74-school-shootings-sandy-hook-clo/


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  2. Even though most mass shooters passed their background check. Amazing how that works.

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    1. Most, yeah, but not all, not by a longshot.

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  3. Maybe we can start a little spat between the illegal mayors and CSGV who says, "it has become apparent that the screening process in most states does little or nothing to stop dangerous individuals from carrying guns in public spaces."

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  4. If Bloomberg hates guns, why does he surround himself with bodyguards carrying high capacity magazines? Seems hypocritical. Guns for me but not for thee!

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    1. I don't know if you're the same Anonymous, but that's one of the stupidest comments we've seen in a while. You must be one of the mindless followers who repeats things that on the surface sound cool.

      Bloomberg, and most gun control folks, do not hate guns. We hate guns in the hands of the unfit and dangerous people who so often have them. Body guards are trained professionals, something that cannot be said about your average civilian gun owner.

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    2. MikeB: "We hate guns in the hands of the unfit and dangerous people who so often have them. Body guards are trained professionals, something that cannot be said about your average civilian gun owner."

      Indeed. He hates guns in the hands of your average civilian gun owner and loves them in the hands of his numerous bodyguards. "Guns for me, but not for thee". That's exactly what anonymous said.

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  5. 33,000 gun shot deaths a year. A little over half of those are suicide. That's less than 12,000 deaths by gun shot per year. 12,000 divided by a 310 million population. The result is so minuscule that it only shows an irrational fear by those who claim they need to carry a gun for self defense.

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    1. "33,000 gun shot deaths a year. A little over half of those are suicide. That's less than 12,000 deaths by gun shot per year. 12,000 divided by a 310 million population. The result is so minuscule that it only shows an irrational fear by those who claim they need to carry a gun for self defense."



      "How small is the risk of having to carry a gun, just in case? 12,000 gun shot deaths (minus suicides from 33,000 gun shot deaths) out of a population of 310 million. Carrying a gun for such a small percentage, is an irrational fear. "

      http://mikeb302000.blogspot.com/2015/11/oregon-man-shoots-himself-in-bumbling.html

      Interesting Anon, you and Tad seem to be remarkably like minded. So I'm sure you wont mind if I just use what I replied to Tad not so long ago to answer you,

      "How small is the risk of having to carry a gun, just in case? 12,000 gun shot deaths (minus suicides from 33,000 gun shot deaths) out of a population of 310 million."

      The problem is Tad, is that you're using incorrect numbers. A better way of looking at it, in my opinion, is to do the math using the number of violent crimes reported. The FBI defines violent crimes as murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Crimes which most people would allow a person to use deadly force to defend against.
      The latest number of violent crimes reported by the FBI was a bit over 316 million in 2013. After doing the math, one might ask whether its irrational to not carry, though that is a decision that is an individual one.

      https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/1tabledatadecoverviewpdf/table_1_crime_in_the_united_states_by_volume_and_rate_per_100000_inhabitants_1994-2013.xls"



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    2. You always change the facts. A sign of a weak argument.

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    3. "You always change the facts."

      Nope, just making the facts more accurate. Your statement seems to suggest that the only thing that should be considered as to whether there is a reasonable need to carry for self defense is the number of homicides.
      So my question then is, are you suggesting that people shouldn't be able to use a firearm to defend themselves against the other crimes that the FBI defines as violent crimes? Those being,

      "murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault."

      If you think those are justifiable reasons to defend yourself with deadly force, then those numbers belong in calculation.

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