With all the gun debate business, it’s good to recall how leftists tried to brainwash us with bogus statistics. This is an excellent piece by my friend and law school classmate, Dave Kopel.
Perhaps the most enduring factoid of the gun prohibition movement is that a person with a gun in the home is 43 times as likely to shoot someone in the family as to shoot a criminal. This “43 times” figure is the all-time favorite factoid of the gun-prohibition lobby. It’s not really true, but it does tell us a lot about the gun-prohibition mindset.
The source of the 43-to-1 ratio is a study of firearm deaths in Seattle homes, conducted by doctors Arthur L. Kellermann and Donald T. Reay (“Protection or Peril?: An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home,” New England Journal of Medicine, 1986). Kellerman and Reay totaled up the numbers of firearms murders, suicides, and fatal accidents, and then compared that number to the number of firearm deaths that were classified as justifiable homicides. The ratio of murder, suicide, and accidental death to the justifiable homicides was 43 to 1.
This is what the anti-gun lobbies call “scientific” proof that people (except government employees and security guards) should not have guns.
Of the gun deaths in the home, the vast majority are suicides. In the 43-to-1 figure, suicides account for nearly all the 43 unjustifiable deaths.
Counting a gun suicide as part of the increased risk of having a gun in the home is appropriate only if the presence of a gun facilitates a “successful” suicide that would not otherwise occur. But most research suggests that guns do not cause suicide….
via Dave Kopel on NRO.