There’s a saying that possession of a gun makes you 100% more likely to be in a gunfight than not having a gun.
It seems like a bit of common sense. If someone else has a gun and you don’t have a gun, you’re not likely to get into an argument or dispute with them. You’re going to gulp, turn around, and walk away. If you have a gun and they have a gun, on the other hand… well, if you’re the kind of person who gets into arguments or disputes with others, you’re on equal basis now, so you’re likely to continue… and one or the other of you will get irate enough to attack the other, at which point it turns into a gunfight.
Thing is, how do you prove that notion. Well, here’s how NOT to prove it — find people who’ve been victims of assault, and see how many of them had guns vs. how many did *not* have guns and then note that the ones that had guns got shot more often. Yes that study has been done. Yes, lefties are saying this proves that it’s more dangerous to have a gun than to not have a gun. But the thing is… having a gun likely scared off a lot of thugs prior to them assaulting you. Meaning that the thugs who *did* bother assaulting you were the most violent ones who did have guns. Meaning that the study is looking at two entirely different populations — a population of people assaulted by both gun-wielding and non-wielding thugs (the general population), and the population of people assaulted only gun-wielding thugs (the gun owners). Pretending that two entirely different populations are different only due to factor A, when factor B is also different but is not controlled, is just not good science.
To properly do this study, you’d have to account for that — you’d have to compare assault rates for gun owners vs. non-gun-owners in the same population, controlling for age, race, and gender, then and *only* then looking at the percentage of the population that got shot in each population, adjusting for that assault rate. Did this study do so? If so, it’s not in the study, and others who’ve examined the study appear to view it as inconclusive due to lack of such controls.
In other words, it still seems to me that possession of a gun will make you more likely to end up in a gunfight, but this study in no way proves such, and lefties claiming that it does are acting on wishful thinking rather than science. Of course, given that Congress has cut off all funding for gun research due to pressure from the NRA that’s all we’re left with anyhow… but let’s not lie about the evidence, at least.
– Badtux the Scientific Penguin