More guns≠ more safety

Contrary to the belief of many, many gun lovers, the empirical evidence (bah, who needs that), strongly suggests otherwise.  Scientific American with a recent summary of the evidence:

Most of this research—and there have been several dozen peer-reviewed studies—punctures the idea that guns stop violence. In a 2015 study using data from the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University reported that firearm assaults were 6.8 times more common in the states with the most guns versus those with the least. Also in 2015 a combined analysis of 15 different studies found that people who had access to firearms at home were nearly twice as likely to be murdered as people who did not…

But the sense I got in Kennesaw—which feels like a typical small city, not some gun-frenzied town—is that data don’t matter to a lot of people. It was similar in other places I visited. What matters more is apparent logic: guns stop criminals, so they keep people safer. The night before I met Graydon, I attended a lecture by a Second Amendment lawyer in Stone Mountain, Ga., 30 miles southeast of Kennesaw. At one point, the lawyer mentioned Samuel Colt, who popularized the revolver in the mid-19th century. “I haven’t seen the statistics, but I’ve got to assume that the instances of rape and strong-arm robberies plummeted when those became widespread,” he said. Numbers and statistics, in other words, were almost unnecessary—everyone just knows that where there are more guns, there is less crime… [emphasis mine]

More than 30 peer-reviewed studies, focusing on individuals as well as populations, have been published that confirm what Kellermann’s studies suggested: that guns are associated with an increased risk for violence and homicide. “There is really uniform data to support the statement that access to firearms is associated with an increased risk of firearm-related death and injury,” Wintemute concludes. Gun advocates argue the causes are reversed: surges in violent crime lead people to buy guns, and weapons do not create the surge. But if that were true, gun purchases would increase in tandem with all kinds of violence. In reality, they do not.

Couple of nice infographics with the article, too:

Meanwhile, thousands and thousands of Americans each year will needlessly die because their fellow citizens believe in myths instead of evidence.

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