Have We Found Gun Laws That Could Reduce U.S. Gun Deaths by Over 90 Percent? Not Really

Lancet study is far from proving its case, and highlights the difficulties of using statistical analysis to lead to causal conclusions about laws' effects.


A new study published in the British medical journal The Lancet last month comes to a startling, and pretty ridiculous, conclusion: that nationwide application of just three gun laws all at the same time would reduce American gun mortality by well over 90 percent. (They predict those laws could get our national firearm death rate down to 0.16 per 100,000 from 10.1 in the year they studied.) That's a level lower than we've ever seen as far as gun death statistics reach.

: ~Steve Z~ via / CC BY-SA

That conclusion (as is likely the point with studies like this) was a real headline-maker, with CNN declaring "Study: 3 federal laws could reduce gun deaths by more than 90%"; Ars Technica alerting us "Three laws could cut US gun deaths by 90%, study says"; and PBS asking "Could these 3 laws reduce gun deaths by 90 percent?"

The study was written by Bindu Kalesan (of Boston University Department of Medicine), Matthew E Mobily (Epidemiology Department at the Mailman School of Public Health), Olivia Keiser (Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern), Jeffrey A Fagan (Columbia Law School and Department of Epidemiology), and Sandro Galea (Boston University School of Public Health).

The researchers looked at just two years of gun death data, 2008 and 10, derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System. Data for the years before and after were available for examination had they cared to do so to check the robustness of their conclusions.

The authors examined 25 firearm state laws relevant to firearms in place in 2009, and controlled for "state-specific characteristics such as firearm ownership for 2013, firearm export rates, and non-firearm homicide rates for 2009, and unemployment rates for 2010."

That rather random selection of years for data or estimates which theoretically were available for the actual years they studied is also interesting and a little peculiar, other statistical reseachers have told me.

I asked Dr. Kalesan about the particular choices of years to study and other variables to control for, which seemed rather random to this layman. Her emailed response: 

This dynamic state of multiple laws makes it very difficult to obtain annual changes quantitatively equally between different states. This is the reason that we chose one year of gun laws (2009 laws) and two years of firearm fatality rates (the 2008 and 2010 firearm fatality rates). We consider year 2009 to be a momentous year, due to passing of the first radical pro-firearm legislation, where the Obama administration allowed carrying of guns in national parks, replacing the Reagan administration law that prohibited open carrying in national parks and wildlife refuges. This year represents the beginning of a turning point in the strengthening of pro-gun legislation in the US. Since we used only a slice of the data, we restricted the study to specific covariates and did not use a large number of social variables that may also pose statistical issues such as multicollinearity. 

Let's walk through what the study claims to have found, and how it claims to have found it.

Most state level gun laws, they found, do not seem to be associated with reduced firearm mortality, with 16 of the 25 laws they examined either seeming to have no discernible effect or to increase firearm mortality (more on which later).

But the headline grabbing part is they insist that three of the nine laws they claim do reduce firearm deaths do so in an almost shockingly huge way, such that:

Projected federal level implementation of universal background checks for firearm purchase could reduce national firearm mortality from 10.35 to 4.46 deaths per 100,000 people, background checks for ammunition purchase could reduce it to 1.99 per 100,000, and firearm identification to 1.81 per 100,000.

That's amazing, especially since the first thing a layman might think is, hm, if those laws would have that effect nationally, should it stand to reason they they could be seen to have had that effect, or something close to it, in the states where they actually exist, and if it is a genuine effect they'd continue to do so in years beyond the small handful the researchers looked at?

That seems to not be true.

Looking at 2014 gun death data for states (using their own classifications) that have universal background checks (which they say nationally would lead to a 4.46 death rate per 100,000 people), we find that of those seven states, only two of them had a gun death rate lower than that—Hawaii with 2.6 and Rhode Island with 3.0—and that two of them, Pennsylvania and Maryland, had gun death rates more than twice that.

To be more sure of causation, one ought to go back and see what their gun death rates were before the background check laws were passed. Not to mention the likely overreach involved in such a bold conclusion from a mere seven states, five of which have now higher death rates than they claim those laws would deliver to the nation.

Their even bolder claims about background checks for ammunition laws and firearm identification (meaning ballistic fingerprinting or microstamping of guns) look even more obviously unlikely. There were only three states with the former on which they based their wild claim: Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Their respective gun death rates, those three states with laws this study asserts would, if imposed nationally, bring down the national gun death rate to 1.99?

For 2014 (again, not a year they studied, but if those laws have causative effects we should see them moving forward as well) 9.0, 3.2, and 5.3 respectively. (Again, no looking at numbers and trends  before those allegedly powerful death-reducing laws passed, and no wondering if maybe three states aren't a big enough sample on which to base their headline-grabbing conclusion.)

And what about those firearm identification laws which would, if imposed nationally, allegedly lead to a 1.81 gun death rate? Again only three states have them, in this case Maryland, New York, and California. And those states respective 2014 gun death rates were 9.0, 4.2, and 7.4. All quite a bit higher than 1.81.

According to the generally pro-gun control researcher Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy & Research, those states weren't even enforcing those "firearm identification laws in a meaningful way in the years this study looked at."

Dr. Kalesan in an email acknowledged that the question of law existing vs. law enforced is "a chronic challenge to this type of work….However, the passage of a law is associated with a range of hard-to-measure actions on the part of law enforcement, many in anticipation of the law being fully implemented, that in and of themselves may well result in changes, even if not directly linked to the law itself."

She and her co-authors believe it is perfectly plausible to assume that anticipation on the part of would-be killers or self-killers that in the future a new handgun they buy would be microstamped has enormous effects on how many people die from guns.

The study itself says: 

We showed that federal-level implementation of the three most strongly associated laws— universal background checks for firearm purchase, background checks for ammunition, and requiring firearm identification by either microstamping or ballistic fingerprinting—would substantially reduce overall national firearm mortality…..On the basis of our model, federal implementation of all three laws could reduce national overall firearm mortality to 0·16 per 100000.

That's down from 10.1 per 100,000 according to their own study, an amazing reduction of well over 90 percent. That sounds like a causal claim to me, but in an email despite the above language of the study itself Dr. Kalesan said that "We specifically state that this is a cross sectional study. It does not imply causation." 

To the lay reader, those sort of conclusions all seems preposterous on its face. But these are scientists, doing statistical analysis, in a very famous scientific journal. Even this layman realizes that if there other influences that increased gun deaths beyond what they otherwise would be, that could explain why we don't actually see those death-reducing effects in our complicated confusing reality.

Mykl Roventine via / CC BY-NC-SA

"The question of what is or is not 'plausible' is ultimately an empiric question," Dr. Kalesan wrote when I asked, well, doesn't this seem just utterly implausible? (Other pro-gun-control researchers feel the same, such as David Hemenway of Harvard's School of Public Health who told the Washington Post that "That's too big—I don't believe that…These laws are not that strong. I would just be flabbergasted; I'd bet the house if you did [implement] these laws, if you had these three laws and enforced them really well and reduced gun deaths by 10 percent, you'd be ecstatic.")

Kalesan writes:

….it strikes us as plausible indeed that background checks for purchase of ammunition—effectively making sure that we limit ammunition in the wrong hands— may in fact substantially reduce the gun death rate. In line with this, we found a somewhat smaller reduction in gun death rates for background checks for firearm purchases. The cumulative effect of three different laws, where we currently have at least effective federal laws, may very well be possible…..

However, we are very careful in the paper to note that we believe that this is a long-term effect and thus will take several years to occur after passing and implementation of the laws. We note in the paper: "Assessment of the effect of legislative policies is akin to assessment of the effect of natural experiments or real-world data. We expect the fall in mortality to be a long-term effect and might take years to occur."

In Reason's February issue I wrote a wide-ranging survey of how gun social science applies to gun policy debates, "You Know Less Than You Think About Guns."  The authors of this Lancet study are, as I was in that story, dubious of attempts to figure the effect of gun laws on gun deaths that rely on "an arbitrary legislative strength score" or "the effect of a select few laws." 

They looked at 25 different laws separately then, and found nine that they conclude have some association with reduced firearms deaths:

state licence to sell firearms, keeping and retaining of sales records, at least one store security precaution, firearm identification, reporting of lost or stolen firearms, universal background checks for all firearms, safety training or testing requirement to purchase firearms, law enforcement involvement in obtaining of permits, and background checks for the purchase of ammunition.

The same techniques find that nine other common gun laws are associated with increased firearm deaths. In most cases, the causal connection that leads these laws to increase gun deaths would require some imagination to guess.

Obviously most of the laws listed below are obviously intended to increase gun safety, such as the specific closing of the "gun show loophole" (that is, applying background check laws to gun shows but not all gun sales) and "assault weapon bans."

Still, here are a list of gun laws the study associates with increased gun deaths:

a requirement for the dealer to report records to the state for retention, allowing police inspection of stores, limiting the number of firearms purchased, a 3-day limit for a background-checks extension, background checks or permits during gun shows in states without universal background-check requirement (ie, closure of the gun show loophole), integrated or external or standard locks on firearms, a ban or restrictions placed on assault weapons, law enforcement discretion permitted when issuing concealed-carry permits, and stand-your-ground.

Not that this would be warranted either, but I saw no headlines crowing that social science in a prominent journal has proven that giving cops a say in issuing concealed carry permits, assault weapon bans, and laws limiting numbers of firearms purchased has been "proven by science" to lead to more gun deaths.

Do the statistical techniques used in this Lancet study support any actual reasonable confidence in the conclusion? Can it possibly be the case that background checks for ammo and microstamping would reduce our gun homicide rates to one lower than we pretty much have ever seen in any state anywhere ever?

Aaron Brown, author of Financial Risk Management for Dummies who uses statistical analysis in his work, examined the study at my request and found some interesting wrinkles, to start with that by their measures a combination of suggested gun laws would result in a negative gun death rate. Brown also notes that we have had federal background check laws, and wonders if Kalesan et al. are on to something, "why did we not see the predicting soaring gun death rate when the laws were enforced?"

Brown found lots of analytical curiosities that should have given the researchers pause. For example, "Why would record keeping and retention rules cut gun death rates by 21% in Alaska, but raise them 66% in Florida (the 95% confidence intervals are listed as reduction of 15% to 26% in Alaska, and an increase of 47% to 88% in Florida). Essentially all the rules have wildly varying effects by state in their model, this is not even an extreme example. So not only is it absurd that these minor rules could make such huge differences, but it's doubly absurd that they have wildly different effects in different states."

On the microstamping point, Brown, like Johns Hopkins' Webster above, notes that the laws weren't even in practical effect during the years the researchers looked at, but if they were, given that the three states supposedly with the laws "comprise 20% of the US population, and their gun death rates obviously wouldn't be affected by a federal law duplicating their (alleged) state law, there would be a national rate of 1.4 per 100,000 even if the other 47 states and the District of Columbia go their rates down to zero."

Another of the many problems with the study, Brown notes, "is they have only 51 states and they use 29 independent variables. What that does is make every variable look highly significant, but in mixed directions. That's why they find such gigantic and highly statistically significant effects in both directions, from laws that couldn't have anywhere near those impacts."

Brown provided a laymen's example analogous to how the Lancet researchers tried to prove their point.

A guy claims, "Women are all worse drivers than men." You say, "What about Danica Patrick who was third in the Indy 500?" He replies, "Except for Go Daddy girls." You say, "What about Aubrey McClendon who drove his car into an embankment?" He comes back, "Except for energy company CEO's." Now a few of these kinds of qualifications might be reasonable, but suppose there are only 51 drivers, and it takes him 29 qualifications before you can't think of any women who drive better than men, adjusting for his qualifications. Obviously there's no information there.

Looking at so many different laws at once allows the researchers to believe that certain laws would have had amazing gun death reducing effects by simultaneously assuming that other ones had improbably amazing gun death increasing effects. As Brown notes:

It's the multivariable problem. Let's say you checked only one law. 25 states have the law and have 9 gun deaths per 100,000, and the 25 that don't have 10 gun deaths per 100,000. You might guess that the law cuts gun deaths by 10%. It wouldn't be proof, maybe low violence states pass more gun laws rather than the other way around, or maybe it's random noise, but it does suggest that the law might work. You can't get too crazy with one variable.

But let's say you checked 50 laws instead of one. You could come up with a model that predicted every state's gun death rate exactly, by saying some laws had a gigantic positive effect, and some a gigantic negative effect. You'd just choose the effects carefully so they offset in every state. But if you the picked the three biggest negative effects, they would predict that passing those three laws and no others would reduce the gun death rate far lower than any one actual state.

The overarching problem is that this sort of statistical analysis cannot in a certain sense prove what these sort of studies think they are proving minus some understanding of human beings and their incentives and some plausible story about how certain causes might have certain effects.

You can observe, Brown explains, that "states with some particular gun law have lower gun death rates. That suggests the law might reduce gun deaths….Now a statistician will ask, how many states have the law? If it's only one state, there's a 50% chance it would have a below median gun death rate even if the law makes no difference. So it's no evidence at all. Two states is still a 25% chance. Only if you have five states (1 chance in 32 if the law makes no difference) or more and all have below median gun death rates do you have a conventionally significant result (the probability of the result is less than 5% if the law doesn't affect gun death rates)…."

But the raw statistical fact of statistical significance doesn't tell you much causal except that you've observed the correlation of law and result successfully. But there is much more work to be done, because you don't know if the law caused the lower death rates, or if, maybe, places that have low gun death rates are more likely for some reason to pass such laws. You'd need to check what happened both before and after the laws were passed, which this study doesn't do. And you'd need a plausible story by which the correlation could imply causation.

"This study in particular has no logical case," Brown says. "They show that if you assume some gun laws cause big increases in gun death rates and come cause big decreases, and which laws do which vary by state, you can choose numbers so that your predicted gun death rates match the data pretty well."

This study was pretty widely shellacked even from a community of researchers who staunchly believe in the importance of tough gun laws. Besides the critiques from Webster and Hemenway quoted and linked above, another Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research faculty member (an institution generally pro-gun control), Cassandra Crifasi, bluntly told PBS: "To put it lightly, I was surprised to see a paper of this quality, or lack of quality, in a journal like the Lancet.".

But I suspect for many the news headlines crowing about gun laws and 90 percent cuts in gun deaths and scientific studies in reputable journals accomplished what I'm always darkly suspicious is the real point of "social science" like this: to get it stuck in the heads of people only half-paying attention that "science has proven" that we need tougher gun laws and that they'll do only and amazingly great things. But it is simply not reasonable to believe that it's true or close to true.

I critiqued last year an earlier shoddy study from the American Journal of Public Health claiming universal background check and permit requirements to legally obtain a gun in Connecticut proved such laws can or will reduce gun homicides by 40 percent.

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  1. Of course we have. The name of the law is ‘SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, BITCHES!’.

    1. Except if the arms only have a military purpose. Obviously.

      Oh, and except if they are particularly dangerous. Or if they could kill lots of people at once. Or if they are overly protective of the owner.

      Oh…. yeah. Or if they aren’t actually arms, but you could use them to make arms. Obviously. Oh, and no parts that might be able to be used in conjunction with a weapon to modify it. Even if you have to modify the part first. And obviously no instructions for how to make arms. Duh.

      Oh, and if they are actually really not all that dangerous, relatively speaking. Like pepper spray, or a stun gun… Or maybe a big stick. Or a knife.

      Ok, look. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed unless it is really, super-cereal important.

      There. That should do it.

  2. Meanwhile in California we have a measure going on the next ballot to require a background check for ammo purchases. I guess they really want that Cabellas in Reno to have to add an extra warehouse.

    1. The initiative also forbids bringing in ammo like that.

      1. Yeah, which will be followed not at all.

        Additionally, making ammo is easier than milling an 80% .

      2. In the Administrative (Progressive) State, everyone is a felon and can be deprived of every Right at any time when it’s convenient for the State to do so.
        Then, like VA’s Gov., they can parcel them out as they please, when they please, and to whom they please.
        Ain’t Liberty & Freedom wonderful?

      3. and a significant number of Californians and visitors to that communist outpost will simply NOT COMPLY. there WILL be a few martyrs to the cause, and some court cases… and eventually some court somewhere will have the brass to declare that law unconstitutionsl, and remand the matter to the State for “fixing”. Sort of like DC have been ORDERED to make a way for their residents to excercise their right to KEEP (own) and bear (possess and have with them) arms for their own defense. Yet their stupid and corrupt Police Chief, Katny Lanier, refuses to allow her “subjects” to make use of their right to go about in public SHE is in contempt of court, innocents are being assaulted and houses broken into and stuff stolenbecause of her blatant contempt for the Constitutioin she swore to uphold as Chief of Police.

    2. I’m just waiting for that one oppressive law too many, where everyone just says ‘fuck, no!’. Then serf’s up.

      1. Serf’s up.

        Bad pun or bad spelling?

        1. Great pun! You, mean! (other pun intended)

    3. that law may get passed because it also includes a law that make stealing guns a felony which it used to be until they reduced all crimes under $900 to just a misdemeanor ticket. and also because most large city voting blocks in Califonrian are idiots about guns

  3. OT: someone was discussing here the other day caches and hiding places. This is a little dated, I believe, but someone may find it useful.

    1. Published in El Dorado, Arkansas. A town which actually has a monument to their whorehouses and heroin dealers. It was really happenin’ in the 1920s when they were exploiting the smackover. Nice architecture and wealthy heirs persist.

    2. I believe the appropriate response is, “If it’s time to bury them, it’s time to use them.”

  4. Prophesies rooted in revelation are like that. The verb is always conjugated in the future–like coach or cheerleader predictions before a football game. The past is a trivial and inconsequential guide for action precisely because it so seldom agrees with the prophesies that preceded it. There is a lot of this over at the Real Science blog

    1. Do you have a link to this blog? Just curious.

      1. Don’t encourage him. He desperately need mental help.

  5. Given the right combination of laws leading to negative gun rates, how long until someone proposes the Justice Everywhere for Slain Underage Students act in order to reverse some of our more poignant gun tragedies? I sense a winning issue for a brave and innumerate politician!

    1. I prefer the For Universal Caring and Kindness Act.

      1. Nice.

        My “For Your Total Well-being” explanatory attachments to quoted official statements on other threads seem to have been unimpressive or missed, and I am glad to point out that your efforts were not unseen.

  6. There is one law change that would almost certainly decrease the murder rate dramatically,
    which is legalizing all drugs right now. Not surprised that suggestion isn’t even mentioned
    in the article.

    1. That’s because the article is about gun laws. I think everyone here will agree with you about the WOD.

      1. Funnily enough, a huge chunk of the reasons we need guns in the first place are related to the fact that drugs are illegal.

        And the article is about *laws* that reduce gun violence.

        One of the biggest ways you could reduce ‘gun’ violence is to end the WoD. I mean, I know only white people count, but this would end the massive amount of ‘gun’ violence that happens right across the border.

        1. I agree with you. But, the article does say ‘Gun Laws That Could Reduce U.S. Gun Deaths’ and it keeps repeating that, so I think we’re talking about ‘gun laws’ specifically, right?

          1. It wouldn’t be H&R if someone wasn’t complaining about the blog that should have been written.

            1. The “we” isn’t HnR. The “we” is the United States.

              And “we” keep talking about guns in isolation from root causes of violence because “we” don’t like the conclusions that this line of questioning leads to.

              Among which is drug laws cause harm. There may be a counter argument about drug availability being worse… but ain’t nobody looking to have that discussion.

              And guns are only one of the topics that are opened by lifting the lid on that can of worms.

              So no, we aren’t going there. We’ll stick with “guns are bad, m’kay?”

              The micro-“we” over here at HnR can discuss whatever we want. We are the weirdo fringe. Nobody cares what we think.

          2. That is because MDs are always asking the wrong questions.

            Epidemiologists just do what the mds tell them because mds have the funding.

        2. I suspect that ending the prohibitions on most or all drugs would not have as much effect on gun deaths as one might hope. Not that I’m against the idea. I’m just suspicious of simplistic solutions to complex problems. The bootlegging gangs quickly found other ways to prey on society.

          1. Not that I’m against the idea. I’m just suspicious of simplistic solutions to complex problems.

            Considering the number of studies that conflate suicide by firearm with gun death, I agree.

            I wholly expect the WOD to end and suicides to remain unchanged (possibly exchanging ‘drug deaths’ for ‘gun deaths’) and have half the political spectrum saying, “WTF libertarians?”

            I think it should be pretty clear about ending the WOD up front that people will still die, the difference is that we won’t be sending men with guns to lock them in cages until they do so.

      2. Yes, only gun laws can address gun violence. No fair actually trying to affect root causes of violence like the WOD.

    2. Another law that would almost certainly decrease the murder rate dramatically is to ban cops from carrying guns.


    OT: Has anyone seen Agile Cyborg on here lately? The Jewish Mother in me becomes worried about him from time to time.

    I submit this abbreviated set from Daft Punk in his honor.

    1. You’re a Jewish mother?

      This place.

      1. Trigger Hippie clearly said he has a Jewish Mother in him. Not going to ask how she got there. Or why she’s more worried about AC than the fact that she’s inside Trigger. Or whether she’s operating Trigger like a meat puppet.

        1. A Jewish Mother once shot an elephant in my pajamas. How she got in my pajamas, I’ll never know.

          1. There seem to be an increasing number of Groucho Marx references of late.

        2. Or whether she’s operating Trigger like a meat puppet.

          Like this?

        3. Not going to ask how she got there.


          1. Now that’s a nice visual. And does she have a tablet on Trigger’s lower back, and is she using it to post her concerns using his account?

            1. The only thing that has ever occupied my lower back is the bottom third of my shirt, my tramp stamp and the pale scar from its removal, thank you very much.

              We all outgrow our love of butterflies, yes?

      2. Don’t get me feeling verklempt.

        Oh, by the way, how was the Andy Kim concert? I hope he was hearty and hale.

        1. Good performances but a little too subdued. He was rockin’ as always.

          1. Subdued is forgivable at his advanced age. Or are you referring to the audience? If so, for shame. If fully expected to hear about the flying unmentionables of the 50-70 female demographic continuously pelting his magnificent mane.

          2. Would you describe him as rockin’ slowly or rockin’ gently?

    2. Yeah, he was here yesterday and the day before.

      1. I have it upon good authority that AC was indeed here… and several other places and times as well.

        1. He folded time and was omnipresent? Yep, that would be our AC.

          1. He is The Man Who Folded Himself.

            1. If I could fold myself, I’d never leave the house.

              1. That isn’t nearly abstract enough a metaphor…

      2. Okay, good to know. The old fella does get a touch beyond the pale at times and I don’t peruse every article. Just checking in. The world would be a far less interesting place without him.

        1. Yeah, I enjoy his writings a lot. He said something a couple of days ago that was just like poetic justice. I can’t remember what it was.

    3. Yeah, there have been AC sightings in the last day or two.

  8. OT: I have no idea what to make of this but a liberal sent it to me sooo…


    1. Rufus,

      Does the second page’s appearance differ from the first and third’s in your monitor/viewer?

      1. Yes it does.

        1. I only performed a very brief search and did not find a more congruent copy.

          Repeated in this article are some of the quotes which are in the document provided to you through the link you were given.

          Aside from this, my guess is that some members of Congress who are members of a political party opposed to the political party currently occupying the Executive Branch were seeking to undermine faith in their opposition.

          I apologize for a better review.

          1. I apologize for a better review.

            I apologize for not providing a more researched response.

            Sheesh. Not only that mistake, yet also the omission of the suggestion that you use your preferred search methods to verify the authentically of the document sent to you.

          2. No apologies needed.

  9. Given the politicized climate, Crifasi [Cassandra Crifasi, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research] said that it is especially important to be rigorous.

    I agree with Dr. Crifasi in this regard, and will add what is likely obvious to her by her statement and should be obvious to all of us: that it is important to be rigorous in our research for reasons of principle.

    1. Heh. Hopkins is the same as all major universities these days. You can absolutely predict what their position is on any given topic by guessing what the most extreme left position is at the current time.

    2. Nope. Its important to get your grants renewed. But given the politicized climate its important to be rigorous because outside people will be looking closely at your data and it will be very embarrassing if they find major errors in your work. That sort of thing could lead to your grants not being renewed.

      That’s why its important to step outside your bubble before you tackle a highly politicized topic. Sure, *everyone you know* already knows what the research will show, but if you’re sloppy in showing your work your ideological opponents will use that against you. The bastards.

      1. By Hastur itself, I sincerely hope that you and Hyperion are more jaded and cynical than I had previously observed.

        1. I cannot even think what I have said here to make you think I’m less jaded and cynical than pretty much anyone on the planet. Ok, maybe as far as cynical goes, certainly there are those here more cynical than I, but jaded, I doubt it.

      2. Have you ever worked in a research environment?

        1. I have. And the Lancet is a very high-end journal that you would never expect to have obviously flawed papers. Except when politics are involved. The Lancet is also a very actively liberal publication with strongly aligned political views.

          This blog and associated articles are not strong enough in their takedown of this paper. From all of the descriptions, this sounds exactly like the alternative medicine fishing expedition papers. There are way, way, way too many researcher degrees of freedom. The clearly cherry picked some data and variables to arrive at a conclusion that was pre-determined. Even a novice reviewer should have easily seen this and rejected the paper. It looks for all the world like a publication from “Homeopathy Today”.

          Even with the motivated reasoning of a reviewer who agrees with the political conclusion, this paper would never have been approved by a physicist or a virologist or geneticist or chemist or mathematician… Anyone from the hard sciences would be embarrassed to be associated with such drek. Unfortunately it seems that this sort of thing is much more normal in the social sciences.

      3. “Rigor” in research is defined as committing sins that are no worse than everyone else commits (with a sliding scale which depends on your stature). This in a research community where publication bias and failure to reproduce results are rampant problems. You cover your ass by discussing the potential for incorrect results in the conclusion. They even admit practical reasons led to their study falling short of what they should have done.

  10. So in other words, gun grabbers are liars and manipulators who rely entirely on buffaloing stupid people with bullshit statistics.

    1. Yes, I’d say you got it.

  11. Don’t forget that 5 out of every 4 coeds are raped.

    1. You just may as well go there. Which famous commie was it who said if you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big one? So why stop at 1 out of 4? Just go for it. 5 out of 4 sounds good to me. The brain dead sheep will probably get more excited about that.

      1. Which famous commie was it who said if you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big one?


        1. Wasn’t it Joseph Goebbels, not Hitler? Oh, I guess I stand corrected. The national socialists were not commies, they were a FAR RIGHT BAND OF TEABAGGERS!

          1. It’s true. Hitler was agitating for balanced budget and limited government.

    2. I count 3 reasons why this scene alone in Sixteen Candles would cause modern feminists’ heads to explode.

      1. ALL movies from the 80s would make feminists and snowflakes cry.

        1. Don’t worry, they are on it:


          1. The subheading says it all:

            Sadly, these rom-coms are a bit problematic.

            They are self-parody. The “everything is problematic” blog actually gets reblogged as if it were not a parody. Because there is no extreme that isn’t close enough to be taken seriously.

      2. As would most scenes in any porno film.

        1. I wish I could see Michael Schoeffling in a porno.

          Wait, what?

  12. We consider year 2009 to be a momentous year, due to passing of the first radical pro-firearm legislation

    No bias there, no sirree.

    1. Cmon Ted, we all remember how many people were massacred in national parks in 2009 after this radical pro-gun law passed. It was a veritable bloodbath, you can’t just cover that sort of thing up.

    2. Not trying to unconstitutionally kill an amendment is radical.

    3. Evidently all the state CHL laws aren’t radical, nor pilot carry.

  13. They really fucking love science, don’t they?

    1. That of course is the target audience.

  14. I think they’re hinting at the idea that if these three laws were rigorously enforced they could cut gun deaths by 90%. But if we’re counting on rigorously enforcing the law, you really only need one.

    Still, given that the majority of gun deaths are suicides it’s hard to imagine how you can expect that kind of drop whatever the law is short of confiscating all the guns. I don’t think suicidal people really wait until the last minute to go out and buy the guns and ammo they plan to kill themselves with, so how would you screen for a future suicidal impulse at the time the gun and ammo is sold? And the firearm ID thing is irrelevant – the suicide weapon is usualy laying right there next to the body so it’s not very hard to track.

  15. Does it really matter? Unless by some small miracle Cruz gets the nomination and is then elected, guns are a thing of the past in the US, thanks to Scalia dying.

    1. If Saint Cruz does not get the nomination, then it’s all over, cats and dogs leaving the water, frogs sleeping together, all that shit. Gawd has spoken to Saint Cruz.

      /Trump fanboy

    2. Trump sounds good on the 2nd Amendment, the last I heard.

      1. As good or better than any other GOP nominee since WWII

  16. So they don’t claim it will reduce deaths, just gun deaths.

    They admit up front they’re not even measuring the, what do you call it, substitution effect, where suicidal people use knives, razors, ropes, poison, etc., when a gun isn’t available.

    1. The focus here is gunz, gunz are bad, mmkay? You’re harshing the narrative, bro.

    2. “Would it make you feel any better, little girl, if they was pushed out of windows?”

      1. +1 white haired man in armchair

  17. I hereby correlate the election of a GOP House with a reduction in US AIDS deaths. Thank you, Newt!

    However, the leveling off of the decline is associated with a Republican in the White House. More research is clearly needed.

  18. Ah, another day, another broken sewer pipe! Actually, it was the same pipe with a new leak 4′ downstream. Ima have to tear out some cinder blocks to fix it, but I got it fixed good enough for the weekend.
    I am now a fan of a product called FiberFix. It is not a dietary supplement, but a mesh tape with some sort of fast setting, water activated, resin in it.

    1. is this a CHAT ROOM I’ve blundered into? Or is it a comment section on firearms issues?
      there’s more “chat” comments than firearm comments.

      Take it elsewhere,people.

      1. You’re new to H&R, aren’t you?

        1. No,but this is the worst I’ve seen. it does NOT belong here,this is not a chat blog,it’s for talking about the topic.
          So,take it elsewhere if you’re not going to be on topic.

          and for the other chatters,the same. (like DenverJ…same to you. you’re MFFY.)
          Folks like you RUIN these blogs.

          1. Look, asshole, we’re libertarians. Being told what were are supposed to do or not to do doesn’t suit very well with us.
            Second, this is a place where people with similar outlooks can talk. For years now it has been a “chat room”.
            I’m a widower with very few friends, and none that get my sense of humor.
            I consider the people here my friends, and if that seems sad to you, well, too fucking bad.
            Also, download Reasonable and you can screen out all of mine, or any one else’s, comments.

            1. Hey, we’re libertarians! Stop telling him what he can and cannot talk about! Oh, wait.

              Dangit. Hoist by my own petard.

          2. this is not a chat blog,it’s for talking about the topic

            I think that’s up to the commenters, don’t you?

            1. You know who else tried to control what people could talk about?

              1. John McLaughlin?

                1. Who the fuck is this whiny new fuck? Hey dipshit, shut the fuck up and read a little bit before you act like you own the fucking place. Cunt. Fuck off.

                2. Wrong! The answer is Putin in a T back.

          3. In honour of Prince, this guy’s partying like it’s 1999.

      2. Perhaps because there is very little to no difference of opinion among libertarians concerning the right to keep and bear arms. Also, GFY 🙂

        1. There should be no differences, but alas.

      3. On Range is the new Glock?

      4. Whodafucinvitedu?

  19. I fucking swear I will install hubcaps on my goddamn spaceship.

    1. Someone’s looking for you up above.

    2. Hmm… Hubcaps, eh, AG?

      Would these accessories have anything to do with the “Heavy Unseen Particle Cosmos Antiparticle Possibility” apparatus which are definitely not now nor have ever – ever! been researched by “Top Xes”?

      1. A bit late for a comment, to be sure, but wouldn’t that end up being HUPCAP.? Which sounds tantalizingly-close to a SIGHUP. I’m certain AC wants hubcaps.

  20. Ballistic “fingerprinting” or microstamping is a JOKE. New York and New Jersey tried ballistic registration of handguns,it was a COMPLETE waste of millions of dollars and uncountable manhours,and failed to solve a SINGLE crime. They ended up SCRAPPING all the collected brass,there was SO much of it,it was impossible to compare it to a casing found at a crime scene. Canada gave up gun registration as unworkable,after wasting a couple billion dollars on it.
    While human fingerprints do not change over time,firearm signature markings or microstamping change after firing the gun in practice. Plus,it’s easy to intentionally alter them.

    1. Fingerprints fade. Potters, for instance, are hard to fingerprint.

  21. Regarding “universal background checks”,NO stolen gun will go through any background check. Gun store burglaries for firearms are becoming more common. Dozens of guns get stolen in one burglary,despite heavy gates,concrete barriers,etc. They even hack through roofs.

    Also,FEDGOV can’t even keep track of their own guns.

    FEDGOV is “missing” several thousand of their guns,some being full-auto machine guns. that does not include US military arms losses. TSA alone is missing 100s of their guns. Then state and local law enforcement have guns stolen from their vehicles frequently. Former Orlando POLICE CHIEF Val Demings had her service handgun stolen from her unmarked SUV in 2009,and years later,it still hasn’t been recovered. OPD has “lost” 2 AR-15 kits,and had 2 machine guns stolen from vehicles.
    Post-9-11,several armed Federal employees have LEFT their loaded handguns on commercial air flights and deplaned,the guns being discovered by other passengers. One guy in Alabama stole rifles (real assault rifles,select-fire) and grenades from Anniston Army Depot.
    guns will ALWAYS be available to those who really want them.

    1. yes, we know.

      You’d probably be better off sharing these factoids somewhere where there MIGHT be 1 or 2 ‘pro-gun-control-readers’.

      Here, the spectrum ranges from “Firearms training should be part of public schooling” to “i strongly resent needing so-called ‘licenses’ for my Bazooka collection”

      1. Right? I feel like gun control is one of the few things we can all agree on (that it sucks). Maybe we disagree on whether the second amendment is the most important (yokels) or the second or third most important (cosmos)

  22. What a silly premise to begin with.

  23. Background checks for ammo purchases is another worthless bit of red tape and intentional added expense for lawful people. Just as people now make straw purchases and transfer the gun to prohibited persons,they can do the same with ammo,and it’s untraceable. Ammo doesn’t have serial numbers,and even if they did,the record keeping for such HUGE amounts of ammo that lawful US citizens (and police and FEDGOV) shoot every year would be unmanageable. The serial numbers would HAVE to be huge,and there still would be repeats or misread numbers.Then there’s ammo reloading. Brass left at a shooting could come from police or gov’t purchased ammo that was reloaded. Reloading components are routinely purchased in bulk by 100s of 1000s of shooters.

    These so-called “researchers” just don’t know the subject.

    1. Salient points yet made by an asshole. You should hang out with Michael H.

      1. C’mon! Mikey doesn’t have the ability to recognize salient points

        1. Haven’t seen The One True Libertarian in a while. Gee, I hope nothing unfortunate happened to him.
          I kid, I wish ill on very few people, and random internet assholes are seldom in that group.

          1. He usually carpet-bombs one post and then doesn’t show up for awhile.

  24. Now about that 97% consensus on global warming…

    Oh, and if this ruined the experience for JayWye, tough shit.

  25. Is this evidence of The Libertarian Moment?

    1. Gee, Winston, how would we know without one-trick imbeciles pointing it out?

  26. nationwide application of just three gun laws all at the same time would reduce American gun mortality by well well over 90 percent

    And why would I want to trade my liberty for that?


    1. Oh, you’re one of those that thinks everyone should be allowed to carry RPGs into convenience stores. What good is your pea shooter against an F16?

      BTW, these type of arguments are why I chose straffinrun as my handle. Just come in and drop statements filled with faulty premises and force you to unravel them. I often end my straffinruns with, “I’m just sayin'”.

      1. Simply tell them that the F-16s will be shooting in the same direction I am.

      2. This is why I need a directed energy weapon.

        1. I read a book years ago, may have been one of The Stainless Steel Rat books, where there was a rail gun that had been developed to supply insurgents. It was like a blunderbuss, and would use for ammo any thing you shoved down the barrel. Genius concept.

        2. I would give my left arm (literally) for a Mega Buster.

    2. Would it be so that they could, in addition to taking away our ability to defend ourselves, take advantage of light rail and other mass transit options to get us to the camps?

  27. that nationwide application of just three gun laws all at the same time would reduce American gun mortality by well well over 90 percent.

    Will it cause my brother-in-law’s aunt’s roommate’s barber to make $1000 an hour working from home?

    1. Maybe if you apply this one weird trick.

  28. I’m always darkly suspicious is the real point of “social science” like this: to get it stuck in the heads of people only half-paying attention that “science has proven” that we need tougher gun laws and that they’ll do only and amazingly great things.

    Someone doesn’t Fucking Love Science…

    1. Science is teh debbil. 95% of what passes for it it should be skewered on pitchforks before being set alight with torches.
      Spit on and kick the ashes as necessary.

  29. Kudos to Doherty for picking a stock photo of a gold box Model 27.

  30. The researchers looked at just three years of gun death data, 2008-10, derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System.

    I call BS. Liberals have assured me such data doesn’t exist because Republicans have blocked the CDC from doing the research on guns for years.

  31. “I critiqued last year an earlier shoddy study from the American Journal of Public Health claiming universal background check and permit requirements to legally obtain a gun in Connecticut proved such laws can or will reduce gun homicides by 40 percent.”

    If you haven’t, read the entire article. Kulesan et al deserve to be deprived of tenure for that editorial masquerading as a “study”.
    You, me an a couple of other guys or gals could do just as well over some beers after work one night; I hope they have the decency to be embarrassed, but I doubt it.

  32. Not a fan of Crowter, but this was excellent.…..n-cupcake/

    1. Is Crowder gay? Not that I care, but he sounds lispy.

      1. Holy shit, “The George store, they’re running out of you, you androgynous little amoeba.” Christ almighty, that’s superb.

        1. Right? Thanks, Straffin’

          1. Sadly probably lost on the muppets whom he rebutted.

  33. Q: How do you treat a boil if you’re a British medical scientist?

    A: Lancet!

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  35. This is exactly why Congress has specifically prohibited the Center for Disease Control from researching guns as a “disease.” The CDC is a federal bureaucracy staffed with gun grabbing sympathizers who would dearly love to join the war on the Second Amendment. The CDC lumps 15-24 year olds in the same group for Unintentional Deaths, Suicides and Homicides to build the number of “children” involved in gun deaths.

  36. Here we go again more stupid gun laws. Sigh.

  37. “that nationwide application of just three gun laws all at the same time would reduce American gun mortality by well well over 90 percent. (They predict those laws could get our national firearm death rate down to 0.16 per 100,000 from 10.1 in the year they studied.) ”

    I get 97.5% reduction, so “well over” 90% is correct but you might as well say “damn near 100%”.

  38. “…pro-gun-control researchers…”

    When your work reaches the conclusion you set out to find you aren’t a scientist or a researcher.

    This ‘study’ is one giant crock of shit.

    No, you can’t have my guns. Try and take them and I will shoot you.

  39. Welcome to the party Reason. This is old news. It was debunked the day after it was published, even some Anti’s said it was rubbish.

  40. This was obviously a typical liberal “study” designed to “prove” their point by using carefully selected data (in this case, selected years) that conveniently happens to match their claims.

  41. Simply put, I do not give a fig about the validity of this study. It’s underlying premise is unacceptable. When considering human rights any sorts of utilitarian arguments simply do not deserve the time of day.

    You would think an article at a libertarian publication might note that somewhere.

  42. A “medical” study published in a “medical” journal on gun use is a crock of shit? Who could have foreseen it?

  43. There are a few things the authors do not know. For example, you can not buy a firearm in the USA with out having an agency background check run on your SSN. That law has been in effect for 25+ years. In the past you had to show ID and sign to buy ammunition for a firearm, even ,22cal. But that law fell out of favor after several hundred million dollars were spent for tracking signatures over decades and the whole effort failed miserably. The government was just too incompetent to implement tracking ammunition a la ‘fast and furious’ where the ATF lost track of thousands of firearms sent to Mexico. Weapons used to kill USA citizens and LEO’s in both Mexico and the USA. And gun safety training is not a requirement, but is enforced by gun owners everywhere. You do something stupid with a gun at the range, out hunting, or just plinking in very rural areas, and another gun owner sees you, you will be corrected PDQ, or shot in self defense, depending upon how stupid you are. All of Obama’s 2016 gun control initiatives were already in effect and have been for decades, making Obama look really stupid in the eyes of the knowledgeable people who know what they are doing. The whole article is a lost ball in the deep weeds. None of these people ever research the status quo of any given proposed problem before issuing utterly ridiculous or redundant solutions.

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  46. “Lancet study is far from proving its case”

    how can it be wrong when it feels so right?

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  48. As someone who buys guns and as someone who attended the gun show in Fort Worth today and as someone who has attended them all over our great state, I will tell you there are not many private sellers at the shows. Many of them are selling used guns for more than new ones and I dislike buying used guns as I don’t know how they’ve been treated over the years. The whole universal background checks and closing gun show loopholes argument is silly. Most of the vendors are dealers and they have to run the background check before you purchase the gun. And trust me, I’ve seen plenty of potential buyers turned away because of something on their record. (And it’s a hoot to listen to the arguments that ensue when they have been denied the purchase!)

  49. I find that Brian Dohery has confused the issue by using his own statistical techniques as he criticizes theirs. He has an obvious (NRA) bias and was looking to find fault with the Lancet paper; that’s his job, using hokey-pokey language and statistical.deception. That was realized as soon as he reached for the ‘correlation is not the same as causation’ argument (that’s a standard NRA ploy). So without a doubt he reached his conclusion before writing his 1000 word article.

    1. Ah yes, the “standard NRA ploy” of using statistics in a logically valid way.

      But hey, don’t let your ignorance stand in the way of demonizing the boogeyman.

      1. That’s nonsense. You cant understand crap.

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  51. I question the statistics used as they likely assume normal distributions of outcomes and are inappropriate for rarely occurring outcomes. Unfortunately, I see this commonly in medical literature. To correctly analyze the data one needs to use nonparametric statistics. One example would be Logistic regression analysis.

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  53. these laws “may” work only if they take away all existing guns and ammunition and then implement the the laws on all new purchases.

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  55. The choice of words is important. “They” call it gun control, not gun safety. Prevention of death would be a safety issue, not a control issue.

    In other words, this isn’t about public safety, it’s about control of the public.

    1. Sending illiterate men with guns out to shoot potheads is safety?

  56. RE: White Teen Girl Sends Nude Photos to Black Male. Police Arrest Him for Child Porn.
    Louisiana sexting case illustrates the absurdity of regulating teenagers’ sex lives.

    You are not to question these people or their conclusions.
    They’ve been to college.
    They are doing their level best to eliminate gun ownership from the unwashed masses.
    They want to make sure only the police and the military to have guns so they can further suppress us, not to mention all the elitist turds bodyguards to have guns in order to protect them.
    Who are we to question them?
    We’re just little people.

  57. RE: Have We Found Gun Laws That Could Reduce U.S. Gun Deaths by Over 90 Percent? Not Really

    Sorry about the above post.
    I got the title wrong.
    It should read:

    Have We Found Gun Laws That Could Reduce U.S. Gun Deaths by Over 90 Percent? Not Really

    You are not to question these people or their conclusions.
    They’ve been to college.
    They are doing their level best to eliminate gun ownership from the unwashed masses.
    They want to make sure only the police and the military to have guns so they can further suppress us, not to mention all the elitist turds bodyguards to have guns in order to protect them.
    Who are we to question them?
    We’re just little people.

    Not enough bourbon consumed.

  58. If our politicians were “protecting and defending” the constitution (as they swore on oath) we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

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  60. I am certain that ONE single law could reduce gun-death to zero (if only everyone would follow it, that is).

  61. What dont these people understand about “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”

    Marxists and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the media whores who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.

    The Second Amendment foes lying about gun control – Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government.

    Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream media whores tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

    American Thinker

    1. These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jews, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.

      Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved.

      Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us?

      American Thinker

      1. Reading through some of the comments makes me think that it is not taken with much seriousness. No gun law is going to apply to any criminal, as far as they are concerned!. They don’t give tinker’s damn about the laws! They will do what they want, never caring about any gun law. As will people who think that ending someone’s life is going to solve their problems. Insanity is seen with almost every mass shooting, whether it be powered by religious fanaticism of Islam, some lover who thinks he has been wronged, or some racist who is going to start the ultimate race war! Why do we push and bully each other to the point that violence occurs? Gun laws are only restrictions on the rest of us that might have to fight the wars, that you point out, will be brought against people, by our own governments.

        1. The criminals are people that would bring their tyranny on the people, who just want to live in peace and raise their families. I don’t have any of the answers. How do we live safely among other humans? When do we learn to get along? It won’t matter how many of us have guns if we view them as only to be used to preserve lives and keep us safe. We don’t even have leaders who understand what a department of DEFENSE is really for!? It has been proven, so many times, in the past, that private weapons are the only things that can protect us against tyrannical governments. And that include any and all weapons, identical to those the government would use to kill the rest of us! The founding fathers had legitimate reasons for writing the second amendment the way they did!

    2. Even Gandhi regarded British Kristallnacht laws disarming India’s colonial chattel population as a ghastly crime–the sort of crime that led to Amritsar massacres there and fish-in-barrel school shootings here.

  62. That’s one of the most over-written, convoluted pieces of unintelligible nonsense I’ve ever tried to read on this website — a total waste of time.

  63. Moreover, have we found drug laws that reduce drug use? Has the “War on Poverty” reduced poverty?
    Of course not, dumbo! Those BILLS were signed to create jobs – i.e., bureaucrats.
    From a purely economic standpoint, gun laws will mirror drug laws . . . they will create a crime franchise for gun cartels and street gangs – and a “jobs program” for the police, penal, and legal bureaucracy.

  64. Peeps, this is not complicated: We spent to many words on it

    “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Capitalize what you want, guess what these people who just fought a war, wonder what great grandpa demanded. Its not complicated. 27 words, ending with “shall not be infringed.” It was meant as a reminder of who retains the right, not as a simon says.

    Don’t know about you but , “shall not be infringed.” means something. Its like full stop. They meant, don’t fuck wit it, or we will come back and get you.

  65. The commie dems and nazi republicans are huffing away at this pantomime as misdirection. The second amendment is not going to be repealed, not the 14th, nor Ror Roe v Wade overturned. All of this is to distract from how prohibitionist asset forfeiture looting causes money to flee banks and securities markets, and the resulting contractions cause liquidity vacuums that destroy our life savings. Key would be to point out to the looters that their heroes–the IRS and state excise gougers–all wear guns and shoot people. It is a blind spot that could use some illumination. Repealing at least the personal part of the income tax and victimless prohibition usurpations is the way to reduce gunshot deaths–that and staying in our half of the planet.

  66. Have We Found Gun Laws That Could Reduce U.S. Gun Deaths by Over 90 Percent? Not Really

    Re the opening question, ad it’s answer, it strikes me that the answer, as it is put, is overly gentle, excessively polite.

  67. Have We Found Gun Laws That Could Reduce U.S. Gun Deaths by Over 90 Percent? Not Really

    Strikes me that the answer appearing above, given the stupidity of the question, is unwarratedly polite.

    1. A seeming timing problem led to two posts, when only one was intended.

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  69. Obviously, any pro gun control studies are accepted as fact, while any anti gun control ones are dismissed outright.

    1. Of course pro gun control studied are accepted as fact and anti-gun control studies are dismissed outright.
      Otherwise the truth may come out regarding gun control.
      Do you really want to disarm the socialists who are taking the time and trouble to disarm and enslave us all?
      Where’s your head?

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  78. I believe it was Illinois had a requirement that all new firearm purchases by state residents must be first sent to state police labs where a round or three would be fired, and the “fingerprint” of the shell casing in the chamber would be taken and retained in a computer database, to be accessed whenever a “crime gun” would leave empty casings at the scene of the incident. The fee for this “service” was substantial, the newly purchased firearm would be removed from possession of the new owner for a signficant period of time…..

    after more than a decade of this charade, NOT ONE CRIME was solved based on the use of this system, and it had cost taxpayers millions. Further, the unlawful use of firearms within that state (think Chicago) was not diminished one bit. Chicago’s gun death rates continued to climb in spite of this stupid requirement, and thousands of hours of State Police time were involved. There was a legislative move to end the programme, but I can’t remember its outcome. Bottom line, illions of dollars wasted, NOT ONE CRIME solved, and shooting death rates have climbed significantly since the charade was initiated.

    Where are the “numbers” involving THAT programme, in one of the worst states for violence with guns?

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