Skip to comments.US STATES WITH MORE GUN OWNERS HAVE MORE MURDERS
Posted on 12/04/2002 10:58:29 AM PST by ServesURight
US States with More Gun Owners Have More Murders
By Charnicia E. Huggins
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Homicides in the United States are more common in states where more households own guns, according to researchers.
The study findings imply "that guns, on balance, lethally imperil rather than protect Americans," lead study author Dr. Matthew Miller of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health.
"This inference is consistent with previous...studies that have found that the presence of a gun in the home is a risk factor for homicide, and starkly at odds with the unsubstantiated, yet often adduced, notion that guns are a public good," he added.
Miller and his team investigated the association between homicide and rates of household firearm ownership using 1988-1997 data collected from the nine US census regions and the 50 states.
They found that household gun ownership was linked to homicide rates throughout the nine census regions. At the state level, the link between rates of gun ownership and murder existed for all homicide victims older than age 5, according to the report in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
In fact, the six states with the highest rates of gun ownership--Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, West Virginia and Arkansas--had more than 21,000 homicides, nearly three times as many as the four states with the lowest rates of gun ownership--Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey.
Further, people who lived in one of the six "high gun states" were nearly three times as likely to die from any homicide and more than four times as likely to die from gun-related homicide than those who lived in "low gun states," the report indicates. Their risk of dying in a non-gun-related homicide was also nearly double that of those who lived in states with the lowest rates of gun ownership.
On average, about half of households in high gun states had firearms, according to data reported by three of the six states, in comparison to 13% of households in low-gun states.
Although homicide rates were higher in poor areas and in states with higher rates of non-lethal violent crime and urbanization, the association between household firearm ownership and homicide remained true when the researchers took these and other factors into consideration.
Still, Miller's team notes that it is not clear whether the higher rates of household gun ownership caused or resulted from the increased number of homicides.
"It is possible, for example, that locally elevated homicide rates may have led to increased local gun acquisition," they write.
SOURCE: American Journal of Public Health 2002;92:1988-1993.
Our boy, Sherlock, is on the case.
Rhode Island?!?!? RI has less people than a medium size city! Not exactly a state large enough for such studies to arive at an accurate conclusion.
And how many people live in Hawaii?
I checked the US census website. I saw NO references to data about firearms ownership.
So, in other words, there is definitely SOME OTHER FACTOR at play here. Plus, you gotta love the wording. If the baseline in the low-gun states is 1, the non-firearms murder rate could be 2.2 (nearly double) and the firearms murder rate could be 2.7 (nearly triple) - when I see general words in a study like this, it usually means some fudging is going on.
Floods in the United States are more common in states where more households have flood insurance, according to researchers.
Earthquakes in the United States are more common in states where more households have reinforced structures, according to researchers.
dead bolts cause burglaries
flood insurance causes floods
reinforced structures cause earthquakes
Look at me! I'm a researcher! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
So, I guess what they're inferring is that the mere presence of guns in greater numbers cause people in those states to commit more non-gun murders?
And what exactly is a non-gun- or gun-related homicide anyway? Pistol-whipping?
Unsubstantiated? John Lott's studies are FAR more rigorous than this nonsense. Why are they only analyzing rates of firearm ownership? Why not also factor in elements such as income level, educational level, racial makup and whether or not drugs were involved? I would imagine the differences would flatten out rather quickly if that were done. But figuring out the truth was not the objective of this study, from the loaded language the researchers are using here.
Here's what it means: Over 10 years, the total number of murders in SIX "high gun ownership" states (21,000) was nearly three times the number of murders in four "low gun ownership" states. No per capita calculations, or other adjustments to make a valid comparison. Typical anti-gun BS.
Guess that would completely invalidate their theory, eh?
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