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The Myth Behind Defensive Gun Ownership. In the early hours of Nov. 2, 2013, in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, a pounding at the door startled Theodore Wafer from his slumber. Unable to find his cell phone to call the police, he grabbed the shotgun he kept loaded in his closet. Wafer opened the door and, spotting a dark figure behind the screen, fired a single blast at the supposed intruder. The shot killed a 19-year-old girl who was knocking to ask for help after a car accident. Shortly after midnight on June 5, 2014, two friends left a party briefly. Story Continued Below On Sept. 21, 2014, Eusebio Christian was awakened by a noise. What do these and so many other cases have in common? In 1992, Gary Kleck and Marc Getz, criminologists at Florida State University, conducted a random digit-dial survey to establish the annual number of defensive gun uses in the United States.

It may sound reassuring, but is utterly false. First, there is the social desirability bias. How I Got Licensed to Carry a Concealed Gun in 32 States by Barely Trying. Armed and quite possibly dangerous According to the state of Utah, I earned the right to carry a concealed handgun on a Saturday morning in a suburban shopping center outside Baltimore. Toward the back, next to a pawnshop and White Trash Matt's tattoo parlor, is the global headquarters of Dukes Defense World, a mom-and-pop firearms instruction shop certified by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification to teach nonresidents firearm safety as a prerequisite for obtaining a concealed-carry permit. My achievement doesn't make sense for a number of reasons. One, I don't live in Utah. I'm a resident of Washington, DC, a city that holds concealed handguns in roughly the same esteem as working escalators.

I've never shot a gun. Over the last two decades, Utah's concealed-carry permit has emerged as a de facto national ID for handgun owners. Illustration: Jack Unruh The result has been a boom in out-of-state residents seeking permits and the birth of a cottage industry catering to them. More guns mean more gun murders. Here's how we know. After the San Bernardino shooting and the intense debate over guns that has followed, some conservative commentators are pushing back on the evidence that more guns mean more gun deaths, citing their own data and charts. But they're making a grave statistical mistake. Over at National Review, for example, Robert VerBruggen wrote that more guns really don't lead to more homicides. He pointed to his own chart, which simply plots gun ownership against homicides at the state level: National Review "There is actually no simple correlation between states' homicide rates and their gun-ownership rates or gun laws," VerBruggen wrote.

But VerBruggen's chart and the analyses he cites make no effort to control for factors besides guns — poverty, urbanization, other crime rates, and so on. Usefully, quick-and-dirty scatter plots like VerBruggen's aren't actually necessary here. When you control for other factors, more guns really do mean more gun homicides Ryan Houston/Moment via Getty Images. Why Hawaii Serves as an Example for Gun Reform. It’s not hard to come up with reasons why Hawaii ranks among the country’s happiest states. What you may not know is that it’s also the healthiest. While that status is largely attributable to public health phenomena like lower rates of smoking and depression, there’s another factor playing a small part: Its residents are at a significantly lower risk than mainland Americans of dying by gunshot. According to a data calculator maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hawaii’s rate of gun homicide clocks in at just 0.62 victims per 100,000 people.

(The rate for the United States as a whole is 3.99, a nearly sevenfold difference.) Hawaii boasts one of the country’s lowest suicide rates, which have been shown to increase when a gun is kept in the home, and just 20 percent of the state’s suicides are committed with firearms — nationally, guns are responsible for a little over 50 percent. Put together, the numbers point to a conundrum. FALSE: Harvard University Study Reveals Astonishing Link Between Firearms, Crime and Gun Control : FACT CHECK: Did a 2007 Harvard University study prove that areas with higher rates of gun ownership have lower crime rates? Claim: A 2007 Harvard University study proved that areas with higher rates of gun ownership have lower crime rates. WHAT'S TRUE: Gun rights advocates Gary Mauser and Don Kates jointly authored a 2007 paper in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy arguing that higher rates of gun ownership correlated with lower crime rates. WHAT'S FALSE: The paper in question was not peer-reviewed, it didn't constitute a study, and it misrepresented separate research to draw shaky, unsupported conclusions.

Examples: [Collected via e-mail, October 2015] I am suspect of this article being circulated by "Beliefnet" about Guns and Violence. According to a study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, which cites the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. The paper was credited to authors Don B. In this connection, two recent studies are pertinent. Is There A Link Between Mental Health and Gun Violence? On Friday, October 24th, during the busy lunch hour in the school cafeteria of Marysville-Pilchuck High School, in Marysville, Washington, Jaylen Fryberg opened fire on his classmates, killing one student and wounding four others, three of whom later died from their injuries.

Then he killed himself. Just a week earlier, Fryberg had been crowned prince of the school’s homecoming court—he was a community volunteer, student athlete, and all-around “good kid.” But within hours of the shooting, that picture had changed. Quickly, media outlets analyzed his tweets, Facebook page, Instagram account, and his text and Facebook messages. He was “full of angst” and “anguished.” One media report concluded that “he just wasn’t in the right state of mind.” Another went further: he was a “depressed sociopath.” When mass shooters strike, speculations about their mental health—sometimes borne out, sometimes not—are never far behind. That belief has shaped our politics. Roanoke and the Value of Guns.

More Guns Don't Mean Less Crime. Posted at 7:27 a.m. on Jan. 12 A new analysis of the impact of right to carry (RTC) laws by Stanford University’s Abhay Aneja and John Donohue and Johns Hopkins University’s Alexandria Zhang debunks the “more guns, less crime” thesis. “On the contrary, the evidence suggests that the effects of RTC laws on crime are positive, meaning that adopting RTC laws appears to result in crime increases. This effect is strongest and most consistent for aggravated assault.” “Different models yield different estimated effects: while no model shows that RTC laws decrease crime, the impact of RTC laws varies from model to model. In some models, RTC laws are associated with substantial and statistically significant crime increases across multiple crime categories. In others, the extent of the crime increase is more modest, or observable only in one crime category. More guns, more crime: New research debunks a central thesis of the gun rights movement.

Making the world safer, or less safe? (Flickr user Robert Nelson / CC) "More guns, less crime" - surely you've heard this mantra before? There's even an entire book devoted to it. As Emily Badger noted awhile back, it has become a staple of our national gun control debate: "The idea that more guns lead to less crime appears on gun policy 'fact sheets,' as evidence debunking gun control 'myths,' in congressional committee reports. " The notion stems from a paper published in 1997 by economists John Lott and David Mustard, who looked at county-level crime data from 1977 to 1992 and concluded that "allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths. " Of course, the study of gun crime has advanced significantly since then (no thanks to Congress).

These findings build on and strengthen the conclusions of Donohue's earlier research, which only used data through 2006. These new findings are strong. More Guns, Less Crime: A Dialogue - Ta-Nehisi Coates. Sam Hodgson/Reuters My label-mate Jeffrey Goldberg was kind enough to take some time to talk with me about his most recent story in the magazine -- "The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control)". Both Fallows and I have some disagreements with Jeff on this. Here, Jeff and I try to talk it out. We do not agree. But we also avoided challenging each other to a duel. Ta-Nehisi Coates: Do you own a gun? Are you a gun person, at all? Jeffrey Goldberg: It doesn't make much sense to tell people that you are unarmed. The theory, obviously, is that violent criminals, or the dangerously mentally ill, are not generally stopped by signage declaring their target to be a gun-free zone, and indeed they could be encouraged by such signs.

To your second question, am I gun person? TNC: Here's something I've been thinking about: In African-American history, guns have a particular meaning. Jeff: So just to be clear, the question isn't, "Did you write this article because you're Jewish"? Jeff: I know you. It's Really Hard to Be a Good Guy With a Gun. My dad left my a handful of guns when he died and I recently took a conceal carry class to learn how to use them safely. I love guns. Guns are awesome. Fuck yeah! The NRA instructor, who seemed like a pretty level headed guy, was laying out all these scenarios in which everything was merely escalated by having a gun on your person.

"If you have a gun on you and a guy starts wrestling with you, then you gotta make sure you get to your gun before he can. You only draw your weapon with the intent to use it". I mean, sure, I guess there is a one in a million chance that I could be grocery shopping with my S&W 9mm jammed in my pants and somehow be in the "right place at the right time" (I put this in quotation marks because the "right place" for me is generally not getting shot at). Homicide - Firearms Research - Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide (literature review). Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide. Hepburn, Lisa; Hemenway, David. Firearm availability and homicide: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal. 2004; 9:417-40. 2. We analyzed the relationship between homicide and gun availability using data from 26 developed countries from the early 1990s. Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. 3. Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. 4. Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. DEPUTIES_TEXT. Deputies on Scene Community Resource Officer Called to “Back Lot” Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Neil Gardner soon would complete his second year as the uniformed community resource officer assigned to Columbine High School.

Gardner, a 15-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, normally ate his lunch with the students in the cafeteria during first lunch period. His car would have been parked in his “normal spot” in front of the cafeteria doors - between the junior and senior parking lots. On April 20, however, Deputy Gardner and campus supervisor Andy Marton, an unarmed school security officer employed by the school district, were eating lunch in Gardner’s patrol car.

Gardner had just finished his lunch when he received a call over the school’s radio from a custodian. Gardner pulled out of the parking lot near the school’s tennis courts and drove onto Pierce Street in front of the school. In his own mind, he recalled later, he thought someone probably had been hit by a car. “NO!!!! Sgt. The Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 27, No. 1 (January 1998), pp. 209-219. Anatomy of a Murder-Suicide. The Strangest Conservative Priority: Prepping a '2nd Amendment Solution' - Conor Friedersdorf. The Bill of Rights offers much smarter, more effective ways to safeguard liberty than preparing for armed insurrection. Reuters In the National Review, Kevin Williamson argues that nearly everyone calling for gun control either doesn't understand or refuses to address the actual purpose of the 2nd Amendment.

They talk, he says, as if there's no legitimate reason for an American to have military grade weapons, as if the 2nd Amendment protects mere hunting and home security. "The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions," Williamson writes. "There is no legitimate exception to the Second Amendment for military-style weapons, because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny. " Walter E. I respect that general reasoning. 'Stand Your Ground' Linked To Increase In Homicides. Hide captionGeorge Zimmerman (left) and his attorney appear in court for a bond hearing in June. Zimmerman's case sparked a nationwide debate about so-called "stand your ground" laws. Joe Burbank/AP George Zimmerman (left) and his attorney appear in court for a bond hearing in June. Zimmerman's case sparked a nationwide debate about so-called "stand your ground" laws.

If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. In 2005, Florida became the first of nearly two-dozen states to pass a "stand your ground" law that removed the requirement to retreat. Now, researchers who've studied the effect of the laws have found that states with a stand your ground law have more homicides than states without such laws.

"These laws lower the cost of using lethal force," says Mark Hoekstra, an economist with Texas A&M University who examined stand your ground laws. Advocates for the laws, like Republican state Rep. Comparing States Notes But which is it? There's Little We Can Do to Prevent Another Massacre. The things that would work are impractical and unconstitutional. The things we can do won't work. There just aren't good words to talk about Newtown. It is a crime that literally defies imagination--hell, it flings imagination down and dances upon its head.

No one reading this can imagine strolling into an elementary school and opening fire on a bunch of small children. You can't imagine even wanting to. Most crimes are motivated by unlovely impulses that are at least comprehensible: the desire for money, sex, respect, revenge. We don't do these things because we have been taught that "good people don't do that! " The alternative is Newtown. Since we can't understand it, we can't change it.

On the other hand, I also hope that we'd be willing to accept the answer that maybe, there isn't anything. How small, of all that human hearts endure That part which laws or kings can cause or cure! In this case, there probably is a policy which could stop mass shootings. Perhaps we need to go farther. The Case for More Guns (And More Gun Control) - Jeffrey Goldberg. Ten Arguments Gun Advocates Make, and Why They're Wrong. Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No. A Non-Gun-Owner's Guide to Guns. The NRA Myth of Arming the Good Guys. Replying to my pro-gun friends - Coffee Party USA. To a Bright Kid With Trouble(s) - Unwrapping the Gifted. Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States. Race, Class, Violence and Denial: Mass Murder and the Pathologies of Privilege. Five Lies The Gun Lobby Tells You. More Guns, More Mass Shootings—Coincidence?