GOAL Responds to Bogus Boston University Gun Homicide Study

Firearms Homicide Rates GOAL
Firearms Homicide Rates GOAL
Gun Owners' Action League - The Official Firearms Association of Massachusetts
Gun Owners' Action League – The Official Firearms Association of Massachusetts

Northboro, MA – -(Ammoland.com)-   This week WBZ TV ran a story about a bogus Boston University study which tries to draw a parallel between gun ownership and homicides. We were asked to respond via e-mail and they did run one sentence of our response.

For the record, here is our full response and a link to the story.

(Note, this “study” is now being touted by many other anti-freedom outlets as well)

GOAL Response: GOAL has not yet had a chance to review this latest study, but the summary and abstract conflict broadly and directly with both available data from the Department of Justice as well as prior studies such as that of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy by Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser (Volume 30, No. 2).

That study looked not just at the US, but globally and stated:

“[T]here is no consistent significant positive association between gun ownership levels and violence rates: across (1) time within the United States, (2) U.S. cities, (3) counties within Illinois, (4) country-sized areas like England, U.S. states, (5) regions of the United States, (6) nations, or (7) population subgroups…”

Without reviewing this latest study further, we can only say that even their summary points to a problem with their conclusion when it says, “For all states, the average firearm homicide rate decreased from 5.2 per 100,000 in 1981 to 3.5 per 100,000 in 2010.”

This drastic reduction in per-capita firearm homicide rate over that period is consistent with Department of Justice reports that show homicide by firearm down by 40% from 1993 to 2011 despite a breathtaking rise in firearms ownership during that same time.

The notion of correlating civilian gun ownership to homicide by firearm is further called into question by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) data on homicide coupled with firearms ownership estimates from the Small Arms Survey. Data as recent as 2007 shows the US with 10 times or more the number of civilian firearms than countries with 3 to 10 times higher per-capita rate of homicide by firearm such as Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia and Guatemala.

As their summary says, “the study did not determine causation.”

We understand the problem of violence to be a “people problem” and attempts to deflect blame to firearms a costly distraction from addressing those actual causal influences to violence.

Gun Owners’ Action League is the official state firearms association in Massachusetts. We are an association of law-abiding citizens who believe in the basic right of firearms ownership for competition, recreation and self-protection. GOAL works hard to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights against those in Massachusetts who wish to infringe upon the freedoms guaranteed by our forefathers. The programs sponsored and developed by Gun Owners’ Action League are supported by competitors, sportsmen, recreational shooters and law enforcement throughout the state. We were formed in 1974 to protect the right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We are recognized as the state’s premier gun rights association. www.goal.org

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