Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Center for American Progress Study on 'Gun Violence' Includes Suicides as Indicator of 'Gun Violence'

Here's the CAP report, "STUDY: States With Loose Gun Laws Have Higher Rates of Gun Violence." (At Memeorandum.)

I don't normally click the crap from CAP, but the headline is precisely the opposite of statistics cited by firearms advocates, that crime is higher in locations with aggressive gun control laws. Or, conversely, "more guns = fewer murders."

But I clicked through anyway, and my first objection is that CAP doesn't define "gun violence." What kind of gun violence are we talking about? Is gun violence being committed by people who bought firearms legally? Or what? The piece doesn't say. But it does spout a bunch of scholarly jargon about "regression," "empirical evidence," and so forth, so it sounds really awesome!

And wouldn't you know it, but the New York Times picked up on the piece as TOTALLY AUTHORITATIVE MAN! See, "Report Links High Rates of Gun Violence to Weak State Regulations."

That endorsement pretty much proves CAP's suckage, although Tom Maguire went through the Times' piece with a fine-toothed comb, "Gun Magic, Or, More Fun With Numbers at the NY Times." Tom notes that "violent" states with the "loosest" gun control laws score high with suicides as a leading indicator, such as Montana. He writes:
It will be interesting to peruse the study when it hits the intertubes. The lead tells us that low control states score high on "numerous" indicators, such as "gun homicides and suicides, firearm deaths of children, and killings of law enforcement officers". Yet I think we will find states like Montana ranking high on just one factor. The suspense mounts!

Should suicides be counted in the overall gun violence statistics? I would boldly say "No", and "Maybe". If the topic is making mental health part of a robust background check system, and denying guns to people judged to be at risk of suicide, then yes, the suicide rate is relevant. And there is evidence that the suicidal impulse can be transitory, so lack of access to something quick and decisive like a gun can have an impact on the suicide rate (1, 2, 3).

But when Obama et al start talking about gun control in terms of assault weapons and limiting magazine capacity, I think it is fair to note that the link between those factors and suicide is not firmly (or even vaguely) established. Are we facing a national crisis of suicides by people who shoot themselves sixteen time and then bleed out? I missed that report.
More at the link.

The depraved gun-grabbing left will stop at nothing to push their un-American gun control agenda. It's truly evil. Seriously. Un-American and evil.