# UC Mathematicians Try (And Fail) to Quantify Effect of Gun Control

There’s a study floating through the depths of the internet written by a couple of University of California mathematicians who have attempted to create a model to describe how increased gun control would impact the murder rate. That’s the stated goal, at least. As one might expect from a couple of UC perfessers, the whole thing sucks from start to finish. Let me explain . . .

Here’s the study in full as written by Dominik Wodarz and Natalia L. Komarova. Read it if you want, but here’s the overview.

They start by making a direct correlation between firearms ownership and the national firearms-related homicide rate which, on its face, doesn’t really make sense. Well, it makes sense if you care more about being killed with a gun than being killed via other means, but it doesn’t account for the possibility that criminals will shift from gun-based murder to knife-based murder depending on the availability of the weapons.

Common sense would seem to indicate that criminals will find a way to knock off their victims and opponents even if guns aren’t available. That’s what we’ve in England and other such countries that have tried radical gun control and confiscation. Since this entire analysis is based on the idea of seeing how different levels of gun control impact the murder rate, it doesn’t make sense to restrict your view to gun-related murders as the results will be basically useless. Which, in this case, they are.

In addition, performing a straight comparison of gun owners to the gun-related homicide rate suggests that legal gun ownership is a direct cause of murders. Even worse, the authors don’t differentiate between legal gun owners and criminals who have stolen or illegally purchased their guns. Grouping them all into one big pot and assuming that they commit murders at the same rate is lazy, disingenuous and offensive. All at the same time.

To be fair, Wodarz and Komarova do actually provide a function in their calculations to account for defensive gun uses. But since they’re only looking at firearms-related deaths, they miss out on the knife-related and other homicides that gun owners prevent, not to mention all the rapes, muggings, burglary, kidnapping, jaywalking…. Basically, their focus is so narrow that they can’t properly account for the benefits of gun ownership even if they wanted to do it properly. Which is doubtful.

Once they have that correlation hammered out, they add on a mathematical function to account for gun control. And that’s where we really run into problems.

First, the gun control function is a straight mathematical function that assumes all gun owners would turn in their guns immediately upon the passage of new and more restrictive laws. This assumption includes the sub-assumptions that incremental increases in gun control would correspondingly lower the number of guns in circulation, and that all guns have an equal probability of being used in a crime. However, as we all know from the recent focus on “assault weapons,” the scary black guns make up only 2% of guns used in a crime. In short, their assumptions are wildly inaccurate.

They base their premise of voluntary disarmament on exactly…nothing. Not even historical data. And since they don’t differentiate between legal and illegal gun ownership, the function assumes that even criminals will turn in their guns once a new law is enacted. It’s a flat-out WAG (wild-ass guesstimation), and one that severely undermines their credibility and prevents them from producing any data even remotely accurate enough for decision-making purposes. It might be nice if a mathematical model could predict the effects of gun control, but without any historical data backing it up, the Wodarz-Komarova is no better than Dianne Feinstein’s utterly uninformed opinions on the matter.

But they didn’t stop there! Based on their handy-dandy linear mathematical model of gun control, the authors also included a function to determine the availability of illegal guns. The function, as described, is basically an inverse proportion to the level of gun control, which assumes that (A) the guns used in crimes are currently perfectly legal – that contradicts the ATF’s statements that the majority of guns used in crimes are stolen – and (B) that formerly legal gun owners will happily sell their now illegal guns to criminals or use the guns themselves. Again, the authors assume that legal gun owners – not just criminals – will “snap” and kill people. Because that happens so often.

But the biggest issue I have with this paper is that in their model, the probability of being attacked remains constant. It doesn’t change with the implementation of gun control measures. It’s obvious that the authors didn’t read the FNS-9 contest winner post that told of his personal first-hand experience of gun control unleashing a crime wave in Iraq. If they had, it might have made the authors of this study think twice about their assumptions. Or not.

Even worse — the authors actually increase the probability of an attack taking place as a function of the availability of guns. So in their minds – as in those of most anti-2A types – more guns equal more crime, no matter the legality of those guns. Don’t believe me? Here’s an excerpt.

In other words, if more guns in the population increase the frequency of attacks and at the same time increase the danger of being killed in an attack, then the no-guns policy would be the optimal strategy. Moreover, any amount of gun control in this situation would lead to increases safety of the individuals.

I’m sure John Lott would have something to say about that idea.

Since, in their world view, the crime rate is a function of the number of guns available, and all parties are assumed to voluntarily hand over their guns the moment gun control is enacted, then the obvious conclusion is that increased gun control is better. But that conclusion, as we just saw, is based on the assumptions that (A) the gun-related murder rate is dependent on gun ownership levels, (B) the gun-related murder rate will decrease if gun control is enacted, and (C) you ignore all other crimes other than gun-related murders. In that narrow focus, with those constraints, no other conclusion was ever possible.

This study is little more than a poorly disguised wolf in sheep’s clothing. It talks the talk, striving to be a source for good data on gun control in an emotional debate, but it’s so shoddily constructed and skewed from the outset that it does little more than add another thinly sourced talking point for gun control advocates.

Given the right assumptions, people can twist and contort a study like this into saying whatever they want. But when you dig a little deeper, you can see the personal biases of the authors on full display. This isn’t science — this is propaganda.

1. JoshinGA says:

When it comes to guns, there seems to be a logical disconnect seen in many in academia…must be all the brainwashing Holder was talking about.

1. Daniel Raidt says:

1. JoshinGA says:

I work in Academia. There are those of us who are not “liberal” when it comes to guns…I suppose the liberals are the ones who can speak out on such issues without fearing reprimand from their “superiors” for their point of view.

1. Old Ben turning in grave says:

I’m in academia too. I know a few closet conservatives. Depends on both the campus and the department. In general, it’s tough to get hired and promoted if you are openly conservative.

2. Sivartius says:

As a student who actually talks to teachers, listens to them, and thinks about what they say and don’t say, I’ve found that their politics is spread in a predictable manner. Social Science: Liberals with a leavening of left leaning libertarians, Arts: Liberals, Engineering: many closet conservatives, or at least mildly conservative leaning moderates and Libertarians, Computers: as Arts and Engineering, depending on specific subject, History: Liberals with here and there a couple beleagered semi-conservatives, the Sciences: a spread, roughly corresponding to how “hard”/practical/engineering-like they were. Literature: Liberal.

2. AGEE says:

I too work in academia and on God’s green Earth I would never be considered a Liberal…The correct terminology for these types of individuals is “useful idiots!” True intellectuals wouldn’t be on this side of the issue. They would have enough sense to know that protect by any means is a basic human right.

2. Bob Wall says:

And, when Janet Napolitano is going to be your boss, make sure you know the answer, before you even start the math…

3. William Burke says:

Great article, Foghorn. However, you may want to re-phrase “But the biggest issue I have with this paper is that the probability of being attacked remains constant”, because it can be taken as your statement of fact, rather than an explanation of the paper’s author’s starting position.

1. Nick Leghorn says:

Fixed, thanks!

4. SpeleoFool says:

“Hey, look, we translated political bias into numbers, so when we translate it back it sounds like legitimate research!”

Fail…

1. Glenn in Oklahoma says:

That statement so good. May I use it in my “discussions” with my anti-gun friends?

5. Daniel Silverman says:

They do say in the Conclusions are that there are two vains of thought. I am paraphrasing here.
1. Take away all guns and you reduce the number of gun deaths.
Yeah ok makes sense. Forgeting of course violent crime will increase, and suicide will remain the same, but yes they are correct.
2. The other statement is that if you give every law abiding citizen a gun that will also reduce gun deaths, although they stick a were are guessing here because it doesn’t take into all factors.
Well yeah and neither does your original hypothesis. But they at least try to bring credibility to the study, by giving a hat tip to the phrase an armed society is a polite society.
Simply put they went into this trying to show that gun laws are good, and the reality is they can’t say that. They can’t prove that our society would be better off without firearms. Try as they may to skew the numbers they can not tell us that we as citizens will be safer without a heater on our hip.
They also toss the whole idea of murder, you know that thing in the ten commandments that we should not do? If you are dead you are dead. If you are raped you are raped, assaulted, yeah you get the idea.
Fact is, you are safer here in a given city street at night than in the UK. That is average of course. I probably would not walk around a bad part of Chicago at night alone, but that is just common sense right?

1. Jason Lynch says:

If you include the caveat of “avoid the obvious, known bad spots” then the UK and US are both generally safe places to be, which is one reason our beloved politicians get away with the weapon laws they’ve enacted. You can walk across London from Dollis Hill to Wembley at 2am without problem or incident (I know, I’ve done it).

That’s not an argument for disarming the US: the evidence seems to suggest that, for the US, there’s a negative correlation between legal weapon ownership and crime rates (helped by having different laws state-by-state so there’s more room to compare). In the UK, unfortunately for us ex-shooters, the evidence points the other way: violent crime was trending down and kept doing so as the ratchet of weapon control was tightened. Cause, effect, or irrelevant? Not sure, but it means we’re stuck with it.

Back to my main point, though – stay out of the UK’s dodgier bars and nightclubs late at night (where, as I understand it, you couldn’t carry in most of the US either) and you’re avoiding much of the risk of random violence.

6. Old Ben turning in grave says:

If these numbers are valid:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state#cite_note-3

Then the correlation (across states) between % of the population who own guns and number of gun murders/100,000 people is r = -0.11, not statistically significant (basically no relationship, though, if anything, it favors more guns fewer murders).

The correlation between strictness of gun laws (Brady score) and number of gun murders per 100,000 people is r = 0.05, not statistically significant (essentially no relationship).

And if these data are reliable:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list#data

Then the international correlation between firearms homicide rate and number of guns owned per 100 people (for all 107 countries for which both numbers were available) is r = -0.10, not statistically significant (basically no relationship, but if anything more guns = fewer murders).

So, what were we talking about here?

1. JoshinGA says:

Math in general, and statistics in particular, is confusing to many people, hence it is very very easy to manipulate data to trick these easily confused people into believing the data supports a conclusion that it actually does not support.

7. rich says:

apparently, you didn’t read the study. after a very complex discussion of the formulations used, the study states:
We analyzed mathematical models in order to calculate the gun-induced homicide rate of people depending on different gun control strategies. In particular, we examined the tradeoff that legal gun availability could either increase the firearm-induced death rates by increasing the number of gun-mediated attack, or reduce the death rate due to protection offered by gun ownership. Such a mathematical framework has so far not been constructed and analyzed, although our work falls into the larger area of shooting and crime modeling, which has been briefly reviewed above.

The gun control strategies in our model were expressed by a parameter that describes the fraction of the population that can legally own firearms. The strategies can range from a ban of private firearm possession to a “gun availability to all” strategy. We first investigated a situation in which one shooter is faced by only a single person that could potentially own a gun and that could fight back against the shooter. This can correspond to a one-on-one attack, such as a robbery, or a school shooting where the only person in the classroom that could carry a gun is the teacher. Subsequently, we examined a different scenario where a shooter faces a crowd of people, all of which could potentially own a gun and fight back against the attacker. This corresponds to shootings in public places such as movie theaters and malls.

8. B says:

There’s no disconnect, they’re doing junk science just like the anthropomorphic global-warmists. They know what they want the answer to be, its just a matter of cherry picking and skewing the data to “prove” they are right.

9. BDub says:

GIGO (garbage in, garbage out)

10. Davis Thompson says:

I hope Natalia is good looking, at least, because she sucks at math.

1. DJ says:

Ouch.

2. Old Ben turning in grave says:

She’s not bad. Try looking at even most celebs without makeup. Regardless, even if she were absolutely gorgeous it wouldn’t make up for the fraudulent report she co-authored

11. Fred says:

Why do they even concern themselves with these “studies” when we have real-world, decades-long case studies on the topic? Oh yeah, they need to fabricate some kind of work in order to keep getting paid, the more errors in the work the longer they can work on the topic. I wouldn’t be surprised if those errors were intentional, that way they can be peer-reviewed and edited again and again forever. Then again this work could have been commissioned by anti-gun groups, they need snippets to quote for their low-info followers that could hardly understand the introduction, let alone the data.

From the real world we see when you drop the “gun-ownership” slider the “gun death” value declines. That’s just simple statistics. But that’s not the whole story. Overall crime does not decline, in the case of the UK and AUS overall crime increased rather drastically and murders spilled over into other categories. The UK has an extremely low number of gun deaths, that is true. That has something to do with relatively few LEOs carrying firearms and even fewer subjects, so defensive killings related to crime are rare. On top of that the UK has defense law that is the polar opposite of the US to the point that the idea of defense in the UK almost does not exist, so even if you did have free gun ownership the citizenry could not make use of it or would be too afraid of the potential consequences to use any weapon. The gun ban worked so well in the UK they decided to ban knives shortly after, and yet a terrorist murdered a soldier with an illegal machete and knife in plain daylight and crowds gathered around him to listen to his rantings. The UK is not a model to emulate.

These “studies” make me think of Kleck’s work. When his work was published on defensive gun uses in the US it was “contradictory” because some felt the estimates were high, they argued the numbers, with these “studies” the foundation is completely wrong, too many assumptions are made and few variables are used. That is ignoring the rule right out of Stats 101 that mathematical models are not relevant for social issues.

1. Bob Wall says:

Fred – UC rules vs. CSU rules in CA. UC = “Publish or perish”

2. Jason Lynch says:

Fred,

Crime in the UK (as in the US) has been trending down for some time. It was going down before the 1998 handgun ban and continued to drop after it. There just weren’t enough of us (literally, one in a thousand of the population) to have a significant effect. I’d have loved to be able to do the “told you so!” dance if post-ban we saw a spike in any category of crime… but we didn’t. Confiscating handguns from 57,000 law-abiding shooters just didn’t make a difference to the Big Picture, it was just politically expedient on the back of a mass killing and an epic enforcement failure (the Dunblane killer had been warned to the police as a “this man is not fit to own weapons” by his fellow shooters, which was ignored)

You’re also out on self-defence: the UK is actually pretty robust on using force to protect yourself or your loved ones (though less so on property, which is where some well-publicised “can’t protect yourself” cases have been inflated from). Doesn’t mean a killer will always be stopped, but then that’s fairly universal (see the Joseph Lozito piece, this site, yesterday) where the police locked themselves away while a knife-wielding killer rampaged around.

Agree completely that the UK model is neither ideal, nor one that would suit the US (though some of your jurisdictions seem to be trying) – but it’s nowhere near as dangerous here as some USAians seem to believe, it mostly just sucks that I can no longer blow tightly-grouped holes through cardboard on Wednesday nights with like-minded friends.

1. Ardent says:

I’m afraid you’re making an apples and oranges (or pears if you prefer) comparison Jason.
The UK lacks the large minority population of the US (which account for an inordinate percentage of the violent crime). While the UK is overwhelmingly homogeneous (91% white) the US is highly racially diverse. Even if it weren’t for the high crime rate among minorities in the US the very fact of having three major and uncountable minor races sharing the country would account for higher crime rates.
While the UK shares a border only with France (murder rate 1.1) while the US shares one with impoverished and crime ridden Mexico (murder rate 23.7) which also happens to be the most prolific illicit drug pipeline in the world.
Also weighing heavily are the number and population of urban areas which are known to produce more violent crimes per capita than smaller towns or rural areas. While the UK has only 8 cities with populations over 600K the US has 27.
Once these factors are adjusted the violent crime rate in the UK is at the same time hideous and completely inexplicable. Meanwhile the violent crime rate in the US is remarkably low given its population centers, racial diversity and location.

2. Fred says:

In Australia crime rates increased in multiple categories, in the UK and Aus murders transferred to knives.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-defence_in_English_law
Reasonable force would be the topic in question. Standard statutes established reasonable force would be just enough to retreat, usually a push and run is considered appropriate, although there are cases as you mentioned where that convicted the defendant as an assailant.

12. uncommon_sense says:

So, how do the “study” authors explain the fact that concealed carry license holders — a population of over 8 million adults with a nearly 100% firearm ownership rate — commit almost zero murders annually with their firearms? And when I say, zero, I mean zero as opposed to something like 0.01%.

According to the Violence Policy Center — a rabidly pro civilian disarmament pro gun control organization, over the last 5 years or so there have been about 400 concealed carry licensees who have murdered someone with their firearm. It works out to about 1 concealed carry licensee per state per year. Given that there are at least 8 million people who legally carry concealed and only 48 states with anything close to concealed carry (I exclude Illinois and Hawaii where even retired police officers cannot get a concealed carry license), that averages to 166,000 people per state carrying concealed legally. Soooooo, just 1 out of 166,000 concealed carry licensees per state per year apparently murder someone with their firearm.

Their “study” is complete garbage.

1. DJ says:

Sociology – The study of how to secure federal grant money.

2. JoshinGA says:

Assuming Florida as a representative case study, the number of crimes committed with a firearm by the concealed carry population is something like 0.00009%, considering over 20 years of data and a population of 1.85 million. So yes, statistically zero firearms crimes are committed by concealed carry permit holders, yet the libs wet their panties every time a concealed carry law is enacted or extended, statistics be damned.

3. Nick Leghorn says:

You have a link to the source on those concealed carry murderers?

13. uncommon_sense says:

I am appalled at any study or argument that tries to claim that the only good outcome is a reduction in deaths with firearms. Such a mindset claims that a policy which reduces deaths from firearms is a good policy — never mind that murders and brutal assaults (including rape) increase with other weapons … or that suicides continue unabated with other methods.

Such policies also fail to account for secondary effects of gun control. For example I know someone who works hard to provide nice rental housing in rough areas of a city. In other words this person actively eliminates urban blight. Given the rough areas of the city where this person provides nice housing, concealed carry is mandatory for his personal safety. If gun control eliminated concealed carry, he would no longer provide nice housing. The same dynamic applies to technicians who work for telephone, cable television, and public utilities in rough areas. I know technicians who only work in urban areas because they carry concealed. Technicians have been robbed, assaulted, and murdered too many times and they know better now.

But no one ever thinks about these additional effects of gun control and they certainly do not try to quantify them.

1. uncommon_sense says:

I want to make something in my comment above clear. Eliminating concealed carry means many technicians will refuse to maintain or expand infrastructure in urban centers. Deteriorating infrastructure is obviously an extremely undesirable outcome … but it is an inevitable outcome if gun control proliferates.

14. Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

OK, if there were a positive correlation between gun ownership and the firearms-related homicide rates, we here in Wyoming would be awash in blood, because we’re sure as hell awash in firearms. About 60% of all households here have guns. And I can count on one hand the number of people I’ve met who own but one gun.

No, you see, in Wyoming, we own guns. Lots of them You’ll have your “nice” shotgun for trap and skeet. Or you might own two clays shotguns – one for trap, one for skeet. And then you have your hunting shotgun. And you might have a shotgun for upland game and a different shotgun for waterfowling.

And then you’ll own a rifle or three. Pretty much everyone owns some form of semi-auto rifle in .223 or similar, then everyone has a big game hunting rifle. Then people might also own a varmint rifle, then a lever gun (because this is the west, and who the hell doesn’t own at least two leverguns?) and .22 target rifles.

Then there’s handguns: Some people here will never adopt RF’s idea of “home carry.” Just won’t do it. But they’ve got a S&W or 1911 in a drawer or up on a shelf everywhere in the house. And a “car gun”… or two. And then their carry pistol. Then they might have a hunting revolver…

Pretty soon, 60×30 safes look very small indeed.

And oddly enough, we have a homicide rate (all in) that is lower than many places in Canada.

If guns caused violence, Wyoming would be awash in rivers of blood. But nope. People here are more polite than Canadians.

1. Bob Wall says:

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” – Robert A. Heinlein

1. Liberty2Alpha says:

2. Fred says:

Academia does not concern itself with reality, reality is just too messy to consider, too many variables, too much complexity. Their neat little models are all that matter, along with continuing their job.

3. CarlosT says:

Even big city Seattle, with over 40,000 more residents than the state of Wyoming, is pretty safe. State preemption keeps the idiots in city hall from enacting the gun control they’d love to impose, so Seattle residents are as free as any other Washingtonian. Our homicide rate hovers in the low twos, usually around 2.3 or so.

15. ChuckN says:

My first issue with this report begins in the Introduction. The authors
state “it has been pointed out that lack of control measures enables
more people with criminal and violent predispositions to legally
obtain guns”. Apparently they side step the fact that convicted felons
cannot legally acquire a firearm and consider some people to be unfit
for ownership based on “possible” actions. The authors also view the
legality and likelihood of carrying as homogenous across the country.
This does have an obvious effect in their calculations. The second more
major issue I have is, as Nick points out, the authors assume that all
firearms are turned in following tightening gun laws. The probability
equations for criminals do address the likelihood of them having an
illegal firearm but there is no mechanism to increase this rate at more
gun-control is enacted.

The authors do at least state, several times, that there is a distinct lack
of hard data. They also state that one of the main results of their paper
is not conclusive proof in any direction but identification of areas lacking
in statistical data.

After reviewing their methods and equations I concur that the lack of
data is troublesome. That said there would be a way to show a statistical
curve. The authors created an over arcing equation that essentially covers
the entire country. The lack of data showing positive results is going to
have a more noticeable effect. However, if focus was placed more on gun
ownership then a trend line might appear. If someone were to take these
equations and break them down by state or even county one could see
changes between areas with different levels of gun laws.

In their conclusions they state, “The model suggests that the rate of
firearm-induced homicides can be minimized either by a ban of private
firearm possession, or by the legal availability of guns for everyone,
depending on the parameter values”. So, the results don’t support or
refute either the antis or pro-2A arguments. They do go on to state that
a ban on firearms will result in a decrease in firearm related homicides.
This, of course, makes perfect sense, and the data does support this. It
DOES NOT state that fewer guns = fewer deaths. Think of England. After
guns were banned gun related homicides decreased. Of course, as we all
know, homicides via knives and other methods rose. But this study isn’t
measuring outcomes involving anything other than firearms. They also
explicitly state that the report should not be considered for policy debate.

In short, this paper is a good start. As Nick and others have detailed,
there are plenty of variables that need more analysis. I would argue that
there are so many variables in a shooting to consider that even if you had
all ofthe data it would still take years, if not decades, just to create a
equation. We’ve all seen how similar studies have been twisted to support
gun ontrol (with some papers being openly biased). So skepticism is not
without justification. However, I think the best move for the Pro-2A side is
not to lambast or outright dismiss this paper, but to acknowledge that
there are areas that need more study and add in variables when we see
them missing.

16. ChuckN says:

My first issue with this report begins in the Introduction. The authors state “it has been pointed out that lack of control measures enables more people with criminal and violent predispositions to legally obtain guns”. Apparently they side step the fact that convicted felons cannot legally acquire a firearm and consider some people to be unfit for ownership based on “possible” actions. The authors also view the legality and likelihood of carrying as homogenous across the country. This does have an obvious effect in their calculations. The second more major issue I have is, as Nick points out, the authors assume that all firearms are turned in following tightening
gun laws. The probability equations for criminals do address the likelihood of them having an illegal firearm but there is no mechanism to increase this rate at more gun-control is enacted.

The authors do at least state, several times, that there is a distinct lack of hard data. They also state that one of the main results of their paper is not conclusive proof in any direction but identification of areas lacking in statistical data.

After reviewing their methods and equations I concur that the lack of data is troublesome.
That said there would be a way to show a statistical curve. The authors created an over arcing
equation that essentially covers the entire country. The lack of data showing positive results
is going to have a more noticeable effect. However, if focus was placed more on gun-ownership
then a trend line might appear. If someone were to take these equations and break them down by state or even county one could see changes between areas with different levels of gun laws.

In their conclusions they state, “The model suggests that the rate of firearm-induced homicides can be minimized either by a ban of private firearm possession, or by the legal availability of guns for everyone, depending on the parameter values”. So, the results don’t support or refute
either the antis or pro-2A arguments. They do go on to state that a ban on firearms will result in a decrease in firearm related homicides. This, of course, makes perfect sense, and the data does support this. It DOES NOT state that fewer guns = fewer deaths. Think of England. After guns were banned gun related homicides decreased. Of course, as we all know, homicides via knives and other methods rose. But this study isn’t measuring outcomes involving anything other than firearms. They also explicitly state that the report should not be considered for policy debate.

In short, this paper is a good start. As Nick and others have detailed, there are plenty of variables
that need more analysis. I would argue that there are so many variables in a shooting to consider that even if you had all of the data it would still take years, if not decades, just to create a equation. We’ve all seen how similar studies have been twisted to support gun control (with some papers being openly biased). So skepticism is not without justification. However, I think the best move for the Pro-2A side is not to lambast or outright dismiss this paper, but to
acknowledge that there are areas that need more study and add in variables when we see them missing.

17. Andy says:

If less guns means less crime then Chicago and New York City should be crime free,right?Well that kinda shoots down that model,These are just more liberal anti-gun educators that think they have the answer for how to tell other people to live their lives,or know better how the world should be.The CDC,which has a lot of intellectuals working for them have come to the conclusion that more guns means less crime,heck they just wasted 10 million dollars on a study that Dr. John Lott did and can be checked for less than30.00 dollars,by buying his book!Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

18. Jason says:

A mathematical model, when applied to historical input data, should match the historical output data.
So…if we apply this model over a historical period, let’s say 1993 to 2011, there should be correlation between gun ownership and firearm violence. We all know that gun ownership, both by good guys and criminals, went up over that period, but as the Department of Justice [sic] announced as quietly as they could recently, firearm homicide is down 39% and non-fatal gun crimes are down 69%.
Either the model is bad, or reality is wrong. I wonder which one it is…

19. 5spot says:

TTAG Owners/Operators:
You most likely won’t catch this comment but….do you ever shoot your opposing rebuttal pieces to the originators of the flawed studies? I would think, at least, the institutions of higher learning would be appreciative.

You can show them the light switch but can’t make them turn it on.

LOL, using standard shots fired per 100% of incidents (its 15%) per DOJ forearm use by Offenders Nov 2001, and # of shots hit per # of shots fired (police average 15% per police firearm discharge reports) , then the % of violent crimes not reported (USDOJ National Victimization report 2001-2011 = 73.95% avg not reported) and use that data to calculate back from the number of justifiable homicides using the # of violent crimes reported and how many involved a firearm and the ratio of 1 death for 6 injuries as these % are rather consistent throughout the years, we see since 1960 that law abiding citizens have prevented in the neighborhood of over 581,000 murders and prevented over 3.334 mil injuries.

Were you aware of this study? It’s not done by a pro-gun think-tank , it’s the CDC.

“Estimating intruder-related firearm retrievals in U.S. households, 1994.”

The CDC estimated that “497,646 incidents occurred in which the intruder was seen and reportedly scared away by the firearm… ”

And that is an annual number.

Almost 500k defensive uses of a gun in one year, only in homes. So you going to prove not one single violent crime is committed outside the home, lol!

Many defenses uses of guns are never reported because the defender simply shows the gun and the criminal ceases.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9591354

Funny how the antis have never refuted in any logical or academically accepted fashion the validity of this CDC study!

Love it when they spew and sputter about what the benefits are!

21. Alkemyst says:

I am reminded of a statement made by Harry Hurt regarding the IIHS report in the 1980s on motorcycle safety saying that the IIHS study was “fatally flawed”. It would seem that the antigunners have learned absolutely NOTHING and continue to produce this same type of fatally flawed “study” while dismissing genuine science, statistics and analysis. Whereas the pro gun side seems to be content with data that disagrees with their assumptions, thereby accepting truth whether it helps them or not, the anti-gun camp seems willing to promote lies and reject out of hand ANY data that does not conform to their preconceived notions. Call me crazy, but if I have a choice between gun nuts who are willing to embrace truth and fact of any stripe and anti gun nimnoes who are willing to lie, steal and hypocritize to serve an agenda, I’ll take the gun nuts every time. At the very least they’re willing to attempt intellectual honesty…

22. Reality says:

We could all hand in our guns so the government can round us up and put us into labor – I mean FEMA camps. Why is anyone even remotely thinking this is a good idea?
If you don’t like guns, go live in a country that has gun control, same as if you don’t like Christianity, go to a non-Christian country.
Why are people always trying to “fix” America? If it’s so broken, why are so many breaking down the gates to get here? Oh yeah…they don’t have to break down the gates, the flood gates are open. Different example of people trying to change America when they shouldn’t.