There’s an interesting little scientific study put out by the publication ScienceDaily that’s been making the rounds of the #p2 crowd on Twitter. Be clinically trained in the psychology field, it naturaly caught my eye (you can read the study HERE for yourself.)
The title of the study? “Protection Or Peril? Gun Possession Of Questionable Value In An Assault, Study Finds.” So the Bias of the study seems apparent in the title. (The link to the article doing the actual study is here:
Charles C. Branas, Therese S. Richmond, Dennis P. Culhane, Thomas R. Ten Have, and Douglas J. Wiebe. Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault. American Journal of Public Health, 2009; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.143099)
The conclusions of the study?
What Penn researchers found was alarming – almost five Philadelphians were shot every day over the course of the study and about 1 of these 5 people died. The research team concluded that, although successful defensive gun uses are possible and do occur each year, the chances of success are low. People should rethink their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures, write the authors.
Well, granted; the object of firing a gun is to kill someone. That’s what they’re designed for; that’s what they were originally intentianed for; and that’s what they do best. And anyone who has ever had a gun safety class knows quite well that you don’t aim a gun at someone unless you intend to pull that trigger and kill them. It’s not a toy, a prop, or a threat. It’s a GUN — nothing else.
That the authors are concluding that “People should rethink their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures” shows that the authors have no idea what constitutes a gun safety course.
Penn researchers investigated the link between being shot in an assault and a person’s possession of a gun at the time of the shooting. As identified by police and medical examiners, they randomly selected 677 cases of Philadelphia residents who were shot in an assault from 2003 to 2006. Six percent of these cases were in possession of a gun (such as in a holster, pocket, waistband, or vehicle) when they were shot.
These shooting cases were matched to Philadelphia residents who acted as the study’s controls. To identify the controls, trained phone canvassers called random Philadelphians soon after a reported shooting and asked about their possession of a gun at the time of the shooting. These random Philadelphians had not been shot and had nothing to do with the shooting. This is the same approach that epidemiologists have historically used to establish links between such things as smoking and lung cancer or drinking and car crashes.
So, simply put, they matched victims of gun violence today with victims of gun violence past.
[E]pidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that, on average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. The study estimated that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.
Now this conclusion is where the study “jumps the shark.” Does possessing a gun mean you’re more likely to be shot? Of course it does — because if you have pulled gun, that means your assailant had one in the first place. And if your assailant had one in the first place, you were already in danger, correct?
Pulling your gun on your assailant makes you more of a threat; therefore, they’re more likely to shoot you — because you’re more likely to shoot them.
What’s the alternative? Lay down your weapons and let the criminals do what they want to you so that you might escape gun violence?
Does pulling a gun on your attacker mean you’ll very likely get shot? Of course it does — that’s why you never pull a gun unless you intend to shoot the other guy — first rule of Gun Safety. It takes a liberal who has never taken a gun safety course to turn that fact into a three year university study.
How much do you want to bet there was a government grant involved?