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by Peter Moskos

May 6, 2009

No Shocker Here

States with higher gun ownership rates and weak gun laws have the highest rates of gun death: Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, and Nevada. Ranking last for gun deaths were Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.

If you want to argue that increased gun deaths are a small price to pay for freedom... well, I respectfully disagree. But let's at least all be on the same page and accept that fewer gun restrictions and more gun ownership means more gun deaths.

The report and the rankings from the Violence Policy Center.


Marc S. said...

The report is remarkably weak on facts. What's the breakdown of gun deaths? Homicide, suicide, accident? How are gun ownership rates calculated? Self report? Are people in more restrictive states less likely to self report? Over what length of time was the study conducted? Is it even plausible to offer this as causal evidence when we're not even shown how strong the correlation is?

Once again, this is VPC releasing "statistics" to their target audience so they can pat themselves on the back and hope that no one is going to ask them to reveal their statistical methods for review.

This report can be easily dismissed and while I'll grant you that more guns equals more gun deaths (like more cars equals more vehicular deaths). I won't grant that all gun deaths are preventable or even unnecessary. There are also statistically valid, peer reviewed studies that show that guns save lives, along with plenty of anecdotal evidence, like we just saw in Georgia http://www.wsbtv.com/news/19365762/detail.html

PCM said...

There are not many good, statistically valid, peer reviewed studies showing that guns save lives.

But I will grant (and I wish other gun-control fans would, too) that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence in support of guns. And these stories reflect reality. They should not be discounted as rare exceptions (though the anecdotal evidence for not having guns might be a dead-men-tell-no-tails thing).

There are cases where having a gun saves a life or prevents a robbery. No doubt. If you run a store in or near Baltimore's Eastern District, for instance, you should carry a gun. It wouldn't be safe not to.

What I think we have, in part, is a tragedy-of-the-commons situation where it does make sense for an individual to carry a gun. But if everybody does, we're all less safe.

Personally, I think I'm safer if I carry a gun. But I don't want you to carry a gun. But unless I'm a cop, I can't have it both ways. You show me a place where everybody carries a gun and I'll show you Somalia.

The other thing that anti-gun people too often don't understand is that even if, statistically, guns don't make me safer, there perhaps is a manner of death that is better with gun ownership. I'd prefer to die with my own stupid hands than as the victim of a criminal.

For instance, if the chance for death were the same, I'd prefer to risk shooting myself while drunka nd cleaning my gun than be killed by a robber breaking into my house.

PCM said...

And then see this story in today's paper. Having a gun changes things, that's for sure. Perhaps not the smartest move, but the man gets to keep his car.

DJK said...

C'mon Peter... this leaves out poverty, locality, etc... Rhode Island may be small, but New York isn't. That leaves a lot to chance...

VPC is a steaming piece of lying shit. Someone esteemed as you are shouldn't probably get your info from them.

DJK said...

Oops, I meant to say..."What Marc said!".

DJK said...

"What I think we have, in part, is a tragedy-of-the-commons situation where it does make sense for an individual to carry a gun. But if everybody does, we're all less safe."

Does "everybody" include criminals? or does it just include law abiding citizens that take their self defense into their own hands?

I mean...forcing grandmas and others who don't want to carry to carry would be a bad idea.

This is one of the huge problems I have with the guncontrolists, is that they never differentiate between good guys and bad guys. And then, they never mention that bad guys don't follow the law anyway.

DJK said...

"Personally, I think I'm safer if I carry a gun. But I don't want you to carry a gun. "

Seriously? What makes you better than me?

PCM said...

Well that's the problem, DJK. Nothing makes me better than you when it comes to carrying guns. From what you've posted here, I assume you're a model gun owner and carrier.

But everybody isn't like you. Or me (and I don't have a gun anymore).

I don't trust everybody with guns. And I don't know how such a decision can and should be made.