Reality Check: Places With More Guns Don’t Have More HomicidesPosted: September 8, 2014
Robert VerBruggen writes:
In a new Voxsplainer on gun violence, Dylan Matthews claims:
Protestations of gun rights supporters aside, public health researchers who study firearms generally agree that increased firearm ownership rates are associated with higher rates of homicide. … Developed countries with more guns generally have more homicide; states within the US with more guns have more homicide…
The two assertions at the end are not true, and the first sentence explains why: If you want to give a good account of a debate about gun statistics, you don’t treat the consensus of “public health researchers” as gospel. The field is notorious for its anti-gun bias, and there’s a whole literature of work outside of it.
It’s true (as Matthews notes) that there are some studies showing guns to be associated with increased homicide once other factors have been statistically “controlled” (a highly subjective process that can be manipulated, even subconsciously, to make the data say whatever the researcher wants them to say). But there is no simple relationship between gun ownership and homicide rates as such, either among developed countries or among states in the U.S.
I did the math on developed countries last year. Looking at a collection of countries that had been featured in a poorly conducted anti-gun study, I found that there were two major outliers: South Africa (which has a pretty typical gun-ownership rate but an astronomically high homicide rate) and the U.S. (which, as Matthews notes in a different “card,” is high in both gun ownership and homicide — though Matthews does not mention the biggest explanation for the high homicide rate, which is that the U.S., like South Africa, has a large, historically oppressed black population with high crime rates). When those two countries are booted from the analysis, this is what we end up with…(read more)
- Americans more likely to die from firearm suicide than from homicide, News21 analysis finds (oregonlive.com)
- Harvard School of Public Health: More Guns = More bigoted propaganda and hysterical anti-science baloney from increasingly irrelevant Littlegreefootballs
- Gun Homicides Sharply Down, Ownership Up… Public Remains Brainwashed (personalliberty.com)
- The Times Embarrasses Itself on Guns – Again! (powerlineblog.com)
- A Reporter Explains Why Gun Coverage Is So Biased (powerlineblog.com)
- Krauthammer: ‘Unconstitutional’ gun confiscation ‘would cause insurrection in the country’ [VIDEO] (dailycaller.com)
- Lying About School Shootings (nationalreview.com)
- New Study Finds Firearms Laws Do Nothing to Prevent Homicides (powerlineblog.com)