ABSTRACT: Determining the relationship between gun ownership levels and firearm homicide rates is critical to inform public health policy. Previous research has shown that state-level gun ownership, as measured by a widely used proxy, is positively associated with firearm homicide rates. A newly developed proxy measure that incorporates the hunting license rate in addition to the proportion of firearm suicides correlates more highly with state-level gun ownership. To corroborate previous research, we used this new proxy to estimate the association of state-level gun ownership with total, firearm, and non-firearm homicides. Using state-specific data for the years 1981–2010, we modelled these rates as a function of gun ownership level, controlling for potential confounding factors. We used a negative binomial regression model and accounted for clustering of observations among states. We found that state-level gun ownership as measured by the new proxy, is significantly associated with firearm and total homicides but not with non-firearm homicides.
NOTES: (1) Studies show there is very little correlation between heavily armed citizens & democracy around the world. (2) Juxtaposing the US with Switzerland, China, or Cuba (a handful of the 175 countries with data on the subject) is cherry-picking. Counterarguments are easy presented with the majority of countries. (Ghana, Indonesia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Venezuela, Russia, etc.)
NOTES: Having few guns does mean that few people get shot. In 2008-2009, there were 39 fatal injuries from crimes involving firearms in England and Wales, with a population about one sixth the size of America’s. In America, there were 12,000 gun-related homicides in 2008.
ABSTRACT: Alcohol use and firearm ownership are risk factors for violent injury and death. To determine whether firearm ownership and specific firearm-related behaviours are associated with alcohol-related risk behaviours, the author conducted a cross-sectional study using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for eight states in the USA from 1996 to 1997 (the most recent data available). Altogether, 15 474 respondents provided information on firearm exposure. After adjustment for demographics and state of residence, firearm owners were more likely than those with no firearms at home to have ≥5 drinks on one occasion (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.16 to 1.50), to drink and drive (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.34 to 2.39) and to have ≥60 drinks per month (OR 1.45; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.83). Heavy alcohol use was most common among firearm owners who also engaged in behaviours such as carrying a firearm for protection against other people and keeping a firearm at home that was both loaded and not locked away. The author concludes that firearm ownership (and specific firearm-related behaviours) are associated with alcohol-related risk behaviours.
FINDINGS: (1) Where there are more guns there is more homicide; (2) males commit approximately 90% of all homicides & representing 75% of the victims; (3) households with firearms are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.
RESEARCH FOCUS/QUESTION: Relationship between gun ownership & crime.
FINDINGS: (1) The gun ownership rate is positively correlated with the homicide rate; (2) The gun ownership rate has no significant bearing on rates of other crimes. (3) Concealed Carry laws do not reduce crime.