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More gun laws = fewer deaths, 50-state study says
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:14 pm    Post subject: More gun laws = fewer deaths, 50-state study says Reply with quote

SO I'm thinking this might need it's own thread:

http://online.wsj.com/article/AP79eee542432a474e9631c1167346565e.html
Quote:
CHICAGO — States with the most gun control laws have the fewest gun-related deaths, according to a study that suggests sheer quantity of measures might make a difference.

But the research leaves many questions unanswered and won't settle the debate over how policymakers should respond to recent high-profile acts of gun violence.

In the dozen or so states with the most gun control-related laws, far fewer people were shot to death or killed themselves with guns than in the states with the fewest laws, the study found. Overall, states with the most laws had a 42 percent lower gun death rate than states with the least number of laws.

The results are based on an analysis of 2007-2010 gun-related homicides and suicides from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers also used data on gun control measures in all 50 states compiled by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a well-known gun control advocacy group. They compared states by dividing them into four equal-sized groups according to the number of gun laws.

The results were published online Wednesday in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

More than 30,000 people nationwide die from guns every year nationwide, and there's evidence that gun-related violent crime rates have increased since 2008, a journal editorial noted.

During the four-years studied, there were nearly 122,000 gun deaths, 60 percent of them suicides.


"Our motivation was really to understand what are the interventions that can be done to reduce firearm mortality," said Dr. Eric Fleegler, the study's lead author and an emergency department pediatrician and researcher at Boston Children's Hospital.

He said his study suggests but doesn't prove that gun laws — or something else — led to fewer gun deaths.

Fleegler is also among hundreds of doctors who have signed a petition urging President Barack Obama and Congress to pass gun safety legislation, a campaign organized by the advocacy group Doctors for America.

Gun rights advocates have argued that strict gun laws have failed to curb high murder rates in some cities, including Chicago and Washington, D.C. Fleegler said his study didn't examine city-level laws, while gun control advocates have said local laws aren't as effective when neighboring states have lax laws.

Previous research on the effectiveness of gun laws has had mixed results, and it's a "very challenging" area to study, said Dr. Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center For Gun Policy. He was not involved in the current study.

The strongest kind of research would require comparisons between states that have dissimilar gun laws but otherwise are nearly identical, "but there isn't a super nice twin for New Jersey," for example, a state with strict gun laws, Webster noted.

Fleegler said his study's conclusions took into account factors also linked with gun violence, including poverty, education levels and race, which vary among the states.

The average annual gun death rate ranged from almost 3 per 100,000 in Hawaii to 18 per 100,000 in Louisiana. Hawaii had 16 gun laws, and along with New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts was among states with the most laws and fewest deaths. States with the fewest laws and most deaths included Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

But there were outliers: South Dakota, for example, had just two guns laws but few deaths.

Editorial author Dr. Garen Wintemute, director the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, said the study doesn't answer which laws, if any, work.

Wintemute said it's likely that gun control measures are more readily enacted in states with few gun owners — a factor that might have more influence on gun deaths than the number of laws.


Emphasis mine btw. I'm curious about how this all breakdown in terms of suicide vs. homicide i.e. does legislation keep down overall gun violence, is it effective in preventing gun suicide, is it ineffective in preventing homicide, etc. Also, how do the respective state breakdown in terms of overall health care, in particular mental healthcare.

THE ACTUAL STUDY IS HERE: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1661390
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget base population; the fact cited about South Dakota is a pretty good example of that. You can't have a million gun-related deaths when your population doesn't even reach a full million, regardless of how many or how few laws might be on the books.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bitflipper wrote:
Don't forget base population; the fact cited about South Dakota is a pretty good example of that.

Yeah, Vermont and New Hampshire are outliers as well i.e. few laws, few deaths. I would like to see a more regionalized breakdown, I kinda get the feeling that more metropolitan areas=more gun violence.

Here's a pretty picture from the study itself:

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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What? Science? I thought my NRA membership dues went to quashing radical leftist schemes, like "data gathering and analysis" to inform policy! Mad Now how am I supposed to be able to say that there's no good data supporting gun control laws? Quick, somebody call this "junk science" so I can laugh at people using it!
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at the map, I'd say your hunch about metro areas has some substance to it, Darq. New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas--the states with our most populous cities--all high gun-related death tolls. But, then again, look at the Old South and the Old West: high figures despite lower populations and fewer population centers. And a lot of those states are in the second and third quartiles of number of gun laws, too. I suspect historical culture has a strong role to play, here, too.
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DeD CHiKn



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
What? Science? I thought my NRA membership dues went to quashing radical leftist schemes, like "data gathering and analysis" to inform policy! Mad Now how am I supposed to be able to say that there's no good data supporting gun control laws? Quick, somebody call this "junk science" so I can laugh at people using it!


It is junk, Maryland is way too low
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DeD CHiKn wrote:
It is junk, Maryland is way too low

I'd be willing to believe that, but do you have figures and sources that can refute those given for Maryland in the study that Darq cited?
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once read an interesting article on how it's all about culture.

From day 1 we are brainwashed to understand that holding a gun is always always always always bad. It starts with school teaching us about war and the violence of it, it's with parents that give you the association that guns are only held by hooligans and mobsters and with friends who never say that owning a gun would make you look cool. Thus as a population we own less guns, thus there are less deaths by guns. Now, that's not to say we have less deaths (I'm not sure if we do, but that's another topic) but deaths by guns, yes, a lot less.

I had a discussion with an American lady once on another forum and she was absolutel convinced she needed guns to stay safe. That the moment she would give up her gun, she would get hurt, be it some guy randomly barging into her house or a serial killer on the loose on the road. Even my reasoning of the fact that he could pull a gun faster than she would didn't deter her.

I've never felt the need for a gun to make me feel safe. Sure I've had moments where I thought I could take self-defense classes or mace to protect myself, but a gun? Never. I felt a gun would always do way more harm to me and the 'innocent' surroundings than to the attacker him/herself. Again, this is part of my brainwashing. It's effective because I know this and still will never want a gun.

I guess you could call it a positive brainwashing. If continuing a cycle helps lead to less deaths by guns, then I don't see why we should stop it.

So as for the actual topic, I don't think more gun laws could deter gun deaths per se, unless it comes with educating people about gun violence and enforcing the idea that gun ownership leads to bad results.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bitflipper wrote:
DeD CHiKn wrote:
It is junk, Maryland is way too low

I'd be willing to believe that, but do you have figures and sources that can refute those given for Maryland in the study that Darq cited?

He's referring to the Baltimore metropolitan area, I believe. Also, notice DC and it's statistics are missing.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
bitflipper wrote:
DeD CHiKn wrote:
It is junk, Maryland is way too low

I'd be willing to believe that, but do you have figures and sources that can refute those given for Maryland in the study that Darq cited?

He's referring to the Baltimore metropolitan area, I believe. Also, notice DC and it's statistics are missing.

I caught that; it's one of the things that sprung to mind when trying to correlate populous cities with the given map. DC has a notoriously high crime rate and an equally notoriously high number of gun-related deaths, yet the numbers for Virginia and Maryland don't seem to reflect that. That's why I'd like to see some opposing figures. I was hoping DeD would save me the trouble of looking for myself. :sheepish_grin:
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yinello wrote:
I guess you could call it a positive brainwashing. If continuing a cycle helps lead to less deaths by guns, then I don't see why we should stop it.
Because I like my gun. I like it very much. There's nothing I enjoy more than getting back to Nature and blowing some poor, innocent little fluffy bit of it clear to Hell and back by emptying a full case of ammunition at it until my rifle's barrel melts! Endorphins, man! Now there's a positive brainwashing experience for ya!
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Sam



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can definitely understand gun culture to some extent. guns are cool to me! and they're fun! pew pew. Shooting clay targets is awesome. I could hunt if it were at all necessary. Might even still hunt if elk continue going fucking out of control nuts (it's convenient, it makes hunting them a total good).

but honestly people who try to tell me that guns are vital for something, be it that they are effective for personal protection or that we need it to water the tree of liberty with government goon blood or something, that they protect us from tyrrany, or keep us safe in our homes?

Yeah keep making shit up dudes, it's not true. sorry. as much as you too may like guns, they are a fringe convenience that comes at much more cost than benefit.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
I can definitely understand gun culture to some extent. guns are cool to me! and they're fun! pew pew. Shooting clay targets is awesome. I could hunt if it were at all necessary. Might even still hunt if elk continue going fucking out of control nuts (it's convenient, it makes hunting them a total good).

but honestly people who try to tell me that guns are vital for something, be it that they are effective for personal protection or that we need it to water the tree of liberty with government goon blood or something, that they protect us from tyrrany, or keep us safe in our homes?

Yeah keep making shit up dudes, it's not true. sorry. as much as you too may like guns, they are a fringe convenience that comes at much more cost than benefit.

Sam, you're a damn commie Razz



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On a more serious note, I wish there was more of a breakdown between types of firearms.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ignoring the cities with very high murder rates, and instead rolling them into the statewide averages, seems disingenuous. I mean, Chicago, LA, Oakland, Baltimore, DC, NYC, Cinncinati, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Newark... all have very high murder rates AND strong/numerous gun laws. The study explicitly does not look at the city level, but (misread - the study just took data from the Brady group) I have to wonder if this was a deliberate choice.

EDIT: Actually, I'll be more direct. When the data has already been collected (number of applicable firearms laws other than federal laws being the difficult portion), is there any reason *not* to look at the relationship between gun laws and violent crime at a city level besides that it doesn't support the desired conclusion? As "what about Chicago?" and its variants is an immediate and obvious question, it would seem to be a methodological failing of the study if there is not, at least, an explanation of why that aspect was omitted.

EDIT 2: CNN's article has more detail on the study. I went looking for it, but naturally you need a JAMA subscription to read the actual thing. However, from the CNN report it does appear the authors acknowledge the "correlation does not equal causation" problem. However, they *do* still combine suicide and homicide rates, and use tactics like pointing to the differences between states in suicides by firearm (obvious problem: those same states have a dramatic difference in firearm ownership, and if fewer individuals own firearms... it becomes more likely that suicidal individuals are going to use some other method).
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Finnegan



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it was The Daily Show the other day that referred to (an admittedly slightly outdated) Harvard study that showed somewhat related results on an international scale: fewer guns = lower homicide rates. Not that any of these conclusions are very far removed from commonsense.

I didn't read the study yet or look at the figures (I'll go back and do that when I have the leisure) but most respectable studies should factor in population size when reporting statistics on gun deaths. To do otherwise can not only be misleading but is just plain poor methodology.
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