Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Price of Lax Gun Control

Access to guns increases the risk of suicide and homicide.  If people have a gun, they are more likely to use it. That's a no-brainer.  Do the benefits of an armed populace outweigh this cost?

2 comments:

OztN Miller said...

I didn't look that closely at the studies in the meta-analysis, but it looks like they have established a correlation--not necessarily causation.

What unobserved variable might lead to both an increase in gun availability AND an increase suicide/homicide likelihood? Did any of the studies control for local criminality or gang activity?

Kendall Miller said...

They were focusing on suicides and homicides and didn't include data about accidental deaths. So a comparative research about other causes of death in homicides would be helpful as well as general homicide rates.

The same would go for suicides. How did overall suicide rates compare, for example?

What is actually more telling in my mind is the historical experience of places like Australia that went from little regulation to strict regulation in a short period of time. Gun violence dropped dramatically. Don't have the data at hand but I would hazard to guess that both homicide and suicide rates in general dropped as well.