The Joyce foundation has funded a study showing that you’re stupid if you carry a gun. You can see the PDF here, but just giving it a cursory look, it has flaws. Let me outline. From the “Methods” section:
Gunshot assault cases caused by powder charge firearms were identified as they oc- curred, from October 15, 2003, to April 16, 2006. The final 6 months of this period were limited to only fatal cases. We excluded self- inflicted, unintentional, and police-related shootings (an officer shooting someone or being shot), and gun injuries of undetermined intent.
Why limit to only fatal cases in the final six months? It’s legitimate to exclude accidental and self-inflicted wounds. But why is it legitimate to exclude police from this? Police carry firearms for self-defense, the same as ordinary citizens. If your premise is that carrying a firearm makes you more likely to be assaulted, it’s not legitimate to exclude police use.
We excluded individuals younger than 21 years because it was not legal for them to possess a firearm in Philadelphia and, as such, the relationship we sought to investigate was functionally different enough to prompt separate study of this age group. We excluded individuals who were not residents of Phila- delphia as they were outside our target pop- ulation and individuals not described as Black or White as they were a very small percentage of shootings (<2%).
It’s legitimate to exclude people under 21 who carry guns, but why is it assumed that anyone over the age of 21 was a legal gun owner? It’s illegal to carry a firearm on the streets of Philadelphia without a License to Carry firearms. Why did the study not exclude people who were carrying firearms illegally? Could it be because you needed people involved in dangerous illegal activity to get the results you wanted? Why exclude people who are not residents of Philadelphia? They are more likely to carry a legal firearm. Why the racial exclusion?
This study is comparing apples and oranges, which is interesting, but not really that useful, and can’t be used to come to the conclusion that an ordinary, law abiding person, who is not involved in the illegal drug trade or involved in gangs, is taking a risk by carrying a gun to defend himself.
7 Responses to “A Stinker of A Study”
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