Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ignoring Half of the Story on Guns

The author left a lot of the discussion off of the table - to wit, no discussion of the utility of guns, and how guns provide for the defense of their owners, most often with no shot being fired.  By focusing only on gun violence/death, and ignoring the other modalities of violence/death, it is easy to create the notion that taking away guns would take away violence.

"Evaluations after the reforms suggest that they saved lives. A study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University estimated that buying back 3,500 guns per 100,000 people led to a statistically significant drop in firearm suicides — 74 percent, in fact, with no parallel increase in non-firearm suicides. While gun control opponents have tried to rebut those results, those responses have been riddled with methodological flaws, and even some of the study's critics have conceded that the laws likely cut down on suicides."

It would be great if fewer folks were killing themselves, but if that's all you look at, you are not getting any useful information.  How many people who are not suicidal save their own lives, or the life of their family member, or simply defend themselves from a violent crime, by having a gun in their hand?  The estimate by John Lott is approximately 500,000 incidents each year.

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