I have been advocating for common sense gun control policy for damn near 40 years now, and the most frustrating aspect of doing that has to be the dearth of studies available showing the correlation between the easy availability of guns and the proliferation of gun crimes. I mean, common sense is good – and it just makes good common sense to assume that a greater availability of guns means a greater chance for a potentially violent asshole to get a gun and shoot someone, which in turn means a greater opportunity for gun violence, but it would certainly help with our daily sparring with the gun loon contingent if we could point to research proving that to be the case.
One reason why there are so few studies is because many of the federal agencies who would be charged with studying the relationship between guns and gun deaths are forbidden by law from actually doing so. All due thanks are given to the Republican Party, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Rifle Association, which used to be a credible organization dedicated to gun rights and gun safety, but which is now a gun lobbyist, for that effort to pretend guns aren’t dangerous, especially in the wrong hands.
Thankfully, not everyone is forbidden from studying the issues associated with guns, That’s why people like me are happy to see a new study out of the University of Indianapolis and published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. This study examined homicide rates on a state-by-=state basis from 1990 through 2016 and researcher found a significant link between gun ownership and certain types of homicides. Not all, of course; the most common forms of homicide, including those committed against friends, acquaintances and strangers – in other words, non-family members – are barely affected by gun ownership rates. However, one category of homicide was very closely correlated with the rate of gun ownership, and that was domestic violence.
According to the study, men and women were both found to be at higher risk of being killed by a significant other in a household with guns. This finding seems to confirm previous research suggesting that the presence of a gun or guns in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of death of the women by as much as 500 percent. The study also showed that other forms of gun violence – most notably suicide – have a strong correlation to gun ownership rates.
The findings of this study suggest that a variety of basic gun control measures could have a significant impact on certain types of gun violence. Registration, licensing and laws that require guns be kept secure could reduce the number if gun deaths significantly. This should also alter the arguments of the gun loons, if they’re being honest, although it’s rare for gun loons to be completely honest.