Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Anti-Gun Researchers Undermine the Anti-Gun Narrative

Friday, November 30, 2018

Anti-Gun Researchers Undermine the Anti-Gun Narrative

We have good news from a joint effort between the Violence Prevention Research Program at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins University.

Comprehensive background checks and prohibitions based on violent misdemeanors had no effect on homicide rates in California.

The latest study published by the highly-credentialed researchers in these well-funded programs, “California's comprehensive background check and misdemeanor violence prohibition policies and firearm mortality,” was designed to evaluate the effect of California’s 1991 comprehensive background check and prohibiting those convicted of violent misdemeanors policies on firearm homicide and suicide. The study period was 1981-2000, with secondary analysis up to 2005.

Using a synthetic control methodology, the researchers found that the comprehensive background check and violent misdemeanor prohibitions were not associated with changes in firearm suicide or homicide.

In conversational language, the two policies had no effect.

We credit the researchers for publishing these findings that run contrary to their own established opinions regarding firearms. There are, naturally, some methodological questions. For instance, the violent crime index only had a low predictive value and so was not included in the final model. The variables that did make the cut included specific age groups, race, gender, poverty level, veteran population, unemployment, alcohol consumption, and the proxy for gun ownership rates. Violent crime is often associated with homicide rates in other studies, yet was not included here.

The general design of the synthetic control model also raises questions. In this methodology, other states were combined and weighted to match California before the new policies were implemented. Eleven states were used to create this “synthetic” California but the contributions each of these states made to the synthetic California are not presented in the paper. The donor pool of states was limited to those that did not have policies similar to the comprehensive background check or prohibiting violent misdemeanor at the start of the study period and did not enact major firearm policy changes during that period, but…the differences between California and Alaska, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin are not limited to the social and demographic variables included in the model.

But back to the findings. You will recall, from just a few short paragraphs ago, that the notable anti-gun researchers – at least one of whom joined the anti-gun march on Washington this past March – found the comprehensive background check and prohibiting violent misdemeanor policies had no effect on firearm homicides or suicides in California.

The article about the study on the UC Davis website presents that finding with some spin: “Study does not find population-level changes in firearm homicide or suicide rates…” Maybe our understanding of the anti-gun bias driving this research colors our perception, but “does not find” and “were not associated with” seem like two sides of two different coins.

The discussion section of the study itself is dedicated to explanations for the lack of an association.  The authors suggest that the problem may have been limited records in the background check system, a lack of enforcement, or maybe that there were just too few purchase denials.

Their first explanation is not enough gun control. The authors note their findings conflict with some of their own prior research on other states. They claim the difference is that the other states’ comprehensive background check policies included a permit to purchase component. That must be the key difference, right?

Ignore the fact that all three studies to which they point were reviewed by the Rand Corporation for The Science of Gun Policy. In fact, two of these three studies were the only studies considered in the section for the effect of licensing and permitting requirements on violent crime. Rand found, based on these two studies alone, that licensing and permitting requirements have uncertain effects on total homicides and firearms homicides because the evidence is inconclusive. The third study was focused exclusively on suicide rates, and was one of two studies included in that section in the Rand review. Rand also found that licensing and permitting requirement have uncertain effects on total suicides and firearm suicides, due to inconclusive evidence.

So, yes, ignore that and let’s get back to the point the authors make about permit to purchase. They fail to consider that California enacted a permit-to-purchase system, the Basic Firearms Safety Certificate, in 1994 – right in the middle of their study’s postintervention period.

Still, we credit the researchers for sharing these results and we look forward to sharing their evidence when anti-gun organizations demand further obstacles to law-abiding gun owners.

We’d like to thank the Joyce Foundation and, perhaps unwittingly, California taxpayers for making this study possible.

 

 

TRENDING NOW
H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

The Nancy Pelosi Speaker Era 2.0 continued on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with a markup of H.R 8, the “universal” background checks bill, in the House Judiciary Committee. Following on the heels of last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, the same committee held a markup on ...

Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

H.R. 8, which would criminalize the private transfer of firearms, has received significant attention from the gun rights community. However, H.R. 1112, which purportedly targets the inappropriately-named “Charleston loophole,” is just as insidious an attack ...

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

A study published in Preventative Medicine by Yu Lu and Jeff R. Temple concludes that “the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. Instead, access to firearms was the primary culprit.”

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

Thursday marked the one year anniversary of the terrible crimes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. It was a somber occasion, but some media outlets couldn’t contain their glee this week that ...

Indiana: Self-Defense Bill Passes House, On To Senate

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Indiana: Self-Defense Bill Passes House, On To Senate

On February 11th, the Indiana state House of Representatives voted 80-13 to pass House Bill 1284 to enhance protections afforded to law-abiding citizens acting in defense of themselves and others.  HB 1284 will now go to the ...

Washington: Magazine Ban & Firearm Seizure Bills Pass Committee

Friday, February 1, 2019

Washington: Magazine Ban & Firearm Seizure Bills Pass Committee

During the executive session on February 1st, the Washington state House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary voted to pass House Bill 1068 to ban many standard capacity ammunition magazines and House Bill 1225 for firearm ...

Illinois: Gun Tax Legislation Introduced

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Illinois: Gun Tax Legislation Introduced

On February 11th, legislation was introduced (HB 2331) in the Illinois House that would impose a new gun tax on all firearms and firearm components sold in Illinois. 

House to Move Forward with Ineffective Gun Control Proposals

News  

Friday, February 8, 2019

House to Move Forward with Ineffective Gun Control Proposals

On Wednesday, gun owners got to see what a Nancy Pelosi controlled Congress looks like as the House Judiciary Committee held its first gun control hearing in nearly a decade. Things went as one would ...

Congress to Take Up Gun Control Next Week

News  

Friday, February 1, 2019

Congress to Take Up Gun Control Next Week

On January 8, two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called "universal" background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is ...

Arizona state flag

Friday, February 15, 2019

Arizona: Committee to Hear School Pick-up/Drop-off Bill

On Wednesday, February 20th at 9:00AM, the Arizona state House Committee on Public Safety will be hearing House Bill 2693 to improve the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families by reducing arbitrary ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.