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View Diary: Statistics, Guns, and Wishful Thinking (106 comments)

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  •  Right, you need crosstabs for it to be meaningful (2+ / 0-)
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    gerrilea, oldpunk

    What you need is:

    % of people who own handgun
    % of people who own long arms, without hand guns
    % of people who own no guns

    then in each category, statistics for gunshot deaths (of any kind)

    That way you can distinguish whether it is primarily handguns that are the problem, or whether there is a statistical difference between the "long arm guns are tools" people and folks without guns.

    Note that some "I don't own a gun" gunshot deaths involve going to the home of somebody who owns a gun and killing yourself or another either by accident or on purpose.   So this kind of a study starts with the idea that there are guns in our society, so what happens with different ownership profiles.

    Then you can maybe compare to countries with no legal gun ownership.   In the case of gun-assisted suicide you'd also want to look at total suicide attempts in a gun-society vs non-gun-society, cross-index them by type and success rate, and see if you can make a guess  at how many "non gun society" suicides found another way to die, to subtract out the number "saved" by having their method of suicide less convenient.

    Ditto homicides - homicide by gun is easier than without it, but # of individuals with motivations to kill will be similar across societies, presumably.

    The accidental deaths by gunshot can all be blamed on having guns around.  no guns, no accidents.

    It's difficult to do a study that really gets at cause and effect.  The studies cited in the main article and the comments try, but I keep wanting more crosstabs breaking things down to really get at the meat of it.

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