Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Well, more junk Social "Science," with respect to gun ownership, is being touted as demonstrating that those who own guns are more likely of dying from gun wounds than non-gun owners.

  • Story

  • Eugene Volokh, however, does a great job of showing the ridiculous nature of their claims
  • National Review

  • As for my take on the story, let me first point out the obvious error in the assumptions made. First, the study does not distinguish between those who obey the law and own guns and those who take part in criminal activity and own guns. Just by utilizing plain logic, one would see that criminals who own guns take part in dangerous activities and deal with unstable people. It would seem logical to assume that the ownership of the gun did not cause their death by a gun but rather their lifestyle. Would a soccer mom who owns a gun and does not take part in criminal activity have the same risk of dying by gun as a drug dealer who deals with unsavory people? Of course not. But the study does not make this logical distinction. Furthermore, there is no mention of a law enforcement exception in the study. Do police own guns, yes. Do police stand a higher likelihood of dying from a gun shot, yes. Is the higher likelihood of their death cause by their gun ownership? Of course not. Furthermore, because criminals often own guns and take part in illegal activity, they also stand a higher likelihood of being shot by law enforcement. This is also not addressed in the study. This story is nothing more than anti-gun propaganda that makes illogical conclusions based on the fact that criminals often die by guns and does no distinguish between those who are law-abiding gun owners and those who take part in unreasonably dangerous activities and own guns.