Are Gun Background Check Claims True?

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 2 months ago

Reno Gazette-Journal:

Background checks for all handgun sales make women and police safer: The group cites a different report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

In this one, the group uses FBI data to come up with its own conclusions. It does this by compiling data from states with mandatory handgun background checks and those without to arrive at the claim that women and police are about 40 percent less likely to be killed with a handgun in states with mandatory checks.

Fact Checker started re-creating the finding about women but soon stopped after the first four states examined. New Hampshire and Vermont, which have no background check at shows, had much lower rates of women being killed by men than New York and New Jersey, which do require background checks on handguns at gun shows.

But that wasn’t the reason Fact Checker stopped this line of inquiry. The homicide statistics come from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports — and the FBI cautions against people comparing places based on the statistics because not all law enforcement agencies submit their data and there are other factors that can also comparisons, such as more densely populated areas vs. more rural places.

Further, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns report was not peer reviewed, it doesn’t share the numbers used to reach its conclusions, and it treats correlation as causation, strongly implying that lower rates of violence against women and police was caused by handgun background checks without even attempting to deal with all of the factors that would make the statistics less valid. One could just as easily come to the opposite conclusion by pointing to the surge in gun sales with a corresponding drop in murders of women over the past 20 years nationwide.

There has been a peer-reviewed study on this topic worth noting. A 2000 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association examined data to see if the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act made a difference. The law was implemented in 1994 and instituted background checks and waiting periods for handgun sales. The study concluded that it was not associated with “reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates.”

Mark Robison does a very good job with his analysis.  He begins by addressing the charge that 40% of the firearms sold in the U.S. are sold without a background check, finding it false.  Frankly, I couldn’t care less if it was 100%, since I believe that the federal laws and regulations concerning such sales are an infringement of the Second Amendment.

However, it’s good to see honesty in the media, with the result that the claims of the anti-gunners are proven to be without merit.  Furthermore, the whole issue of peer review is important to me for reasons that I have pointed out before.

Note to the collectivists.  If you want your “studies” to hold any merit at all, analyze it, get a report written and a professional engineer’s seal on it, send it to me and let me analyze it, and then we’ll talk.  Until then, you’re just a nagging old woman making stuff up.


Comments

  1. On September 15, 2014 at 9:19 am, Paul B said:

    Kind of like my wife. A nagging old woman that is. Hopefully my jaded outlook on life will not permanently harm our son. The girls are beyond any further guidance but he is still a blank slate.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns and was published September 14th, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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