If you Google “obama cdc gun study” you get interesting results: a bevy of mainstream pieces from January or February of this year when President Obama overrode Republican obstructionism to fund CDC research into gun violence and then a smattering of much more recent articles from conservative outlets crowing that the first such study proved they were right all along and that it “shreds” Obama’s position.
One of the first appears to be The New American which also links to a draft of the report. It’s mostly a glorified literature review an reinforces statistics gun advocates have long known about, such as the fact that lawful, defensive use of a firearm is more common (500,000 – 3,000,000 / year) than illegal use to commit a violent crime (300,000 / year). The study also found that many gun control laws are not reliably effective and, interestingly, it turns out that if you take California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. out of the national crime statistics, we go from a country that has 20 times the violent gun crime rate of the rest of the developed world to being basically average. These states have the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, and it doesn’t seem to be helping very much.
Good for the conservatives, but here’s the question: if they knew all along that this would be the result, why did they defund the CDC’s investigations to begin with? It’s a little rich to take credit for a report you would never have willingly permitted.
I’m glad more good evidence is out there, but both sides end up looking like fools to me.
5 thoughts on “New CDC Gun Study: Everyone Looks Foolish”
Shameless plug: http://theslowhunch.blogspot.com/2013/01/tickets-to-gun-show.html
Probably because the conservatives who opposed the study have convinced themselves that the entire government is an instrument of Obama’s tyrannical rule, and therefore believed that the CDC would falsify the data.
What Chris said. Which, if true, makes it even more sad considering the National Academy of Sciences and CDC reported similar findings several years ago. But that was the Bush years, so maybe conservatives knew what the data would show. ;)
“it turns out that if you take California, Illinois, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. out of the national crime statistics, we go from a country that has 20 times the violent gun crime rate of the rest of the developed world to being basically average. These states have the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, and it doesn’t seem to be helping very much.”
That’s just a list of states with lots of people and the country’s biggest, densest cities. Lopping them off produces an expected mechanical effect on the rate of gun crime since gun crime requires 1) a gun and 2) opportunity, aka proximity between criminals and victims. You could do the same thing with San Pedro Sula and Honduras, but it wouldn’t tell us very much about the wisdom of Honduran gun laws (side note: they had none until they became the murder capital of the world).
Per the FBI’s 2010 UCR, the top 20 states by gun murder rate are:
District of Columbia
Just one of these states can be said to have truly restrictive gun laws. So I think the important questions are: 1) would California, Illinois, New Jersey and DC (and thus the cities of LA, Chicago, etc.) have lower gun violence if their gun laws looked MORE like Louisiana’s, Missouri’s, or South Carolina’s? And/or 2) would the rates of gun violence in California, Illinois, New Jersey and DC be higher or lower if the federal policy floor mirrored these states’ gun laws?
“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals,” says the report, which was completed in June and ignored in the mainstream press.
The study, which was farmed out by the CDC to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, also revealed that while there were “about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008,” the estimated number of defensive uses of guns ranges “from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.”
Here are a few more salient points from the study:
• “Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue.”
• “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”
• One “body of research” (Kleck and Gertz, 1995) cited by the study found “estimated annual gun use for self-defense” to be “up to 2.5 million incidents, suggesting that self-defense can be an important crime deterrent.”
• “There is empirical evidence that gun turn-in programs are ineffective.”
From IBD: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/082113-668335-cdc-gun-violence-study-goes-against-media-narrative.htm
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