The juiciest graphs you've ever seen, and a grocery store.
The labels on the first graph threw me off. At first I thought that Latinos were especially gun-owning, but the Latino/Black/Asian bars are actually just population totals. Maybe title it "Demographic Groups vs. Gun Owners Affected" or something like that.
"there are 86 times more defensive gun uses than there are gun murders"
the wording here gave me a hunch, so I checked your math: 1670000 / 19384 = 86.15, so there are 86 times *as many*, or 85 times *more* DGUs than there are gun murders.
This is one of the more interesting datapoints, although I suspect it's mostly handguns: perhaps even more than 86 in 87 DGUs are handguns.
You might want to look at gun murders broken out by firearm type, as it would seem, from skimming a WaPo article and two seconds of mental math, that handguns are vastly more likely to be used in criminal homicide than ARs by proportion of ownership. That's the talking point I would raise if I wanted to speak against an AR, or 'Assault Weapon' ban.
I'm not sure I follow your claim that 50 million incidences of defensive gun use = 50 million unique people (and therefore 4/20 in the "average grocery store"). That would only hold if each person defended themselves exactly once, which is not so. In the survey, the author writes,
"Extrapolated to the population at large, this suggests that approximately 25.9 million gun owners have been involved in an incident in which the presence of a firearm deterred crime on some 44.9 million occasions."
So I think the math is 25.9M/250M ~= 1/10 = 2/20 people in the average grocery store who have defended themselves with a gun at least once.
Granted it doesn't change the magnitude of the comparison with gun murders.
Posted this in Slack as well, but even if the study's generous definition of defensive gun use is overstated by a factor of 10, it’s STILL 8 - 9X the number of murders!
Brilliant! I'm not sure what it would take to change minds on the subject of gun control, but data like this makes me hopeful that some folks might see the truth. Thanks for your fine work.
> "The survey was undertaken by the national private survey firm Centiment, which screened 54,244 total people, and then transferred 16,708 people into a more detailed survey about gun ownership itself. This is the largest sample set of any gun survey study I’m aware of, vastly exceeding the n count for prior well respected surveys. I do not know whether their sample set was subject to any sort of selection bias, but their sampling methodology was approved by the Georgetown University Institutional Review Board, whom I hope did their job properly."
Yeah, zombie comment, I know. But the biggest question I'd have about their sampling methodology would be what measures they took to not spook their potential respondents. Because I know if someone called **me** out of the blue and asked if I was a firearm owner, I'd say "Nope."
"Dear person. We are conducting a survey about firearm statistics in the US, and will be conducting a survey in which all responses will be anonymized..." would be a pretty good place to start for me.
Thank you for sharing this study. On the whole it’s a great article. I have a couple of criticisms, however.
1) The dig into the ATF (burning children/shooting dogs) comes off as crass. I thought you were trying to side-step the culture war? IMO this just alienates anyone open to reading actual data by hitting them with inflammatory rhetoric.
2) Comparing “people effected by” something and “death” and showing a big discrepancy isn’t alarming to me in the slightest. How many people are “effected” by mandatory seat-belt laws? A lot. And it saves lives. Does that make the law bad? There is nothing connecting the “effected by” group and the “deaths” group to make these claims meaningful.
Anti-gun folks will assume if we make fun-owners “fill out a piece of paper” it will save lives so what’s the big deal?
Thanks for adding your analysis and perspective. It’s the only reason I subscribe here.
Where are we with actual violent crime though? Just because people get shot doesn’t mean they die. How are those numbers looking??