A recently published study by Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership members found no link between increased legal gun sales and violent crime rates. This starkly contradicts the widespread belief that increased access to firearms leads to more violent crime.
This comes as a surprise even for many firearms insurance companies. It’s a common belief that restricting gun ownership would reduce violent crime, especially in inner-city neighborhoods where guns are more readily available. The study found that this may not be the case.
In this article, we delve deeper into the findings of this study and how it was conducted.
Understanding The Methodology
The research team compiled state and national crime rate data from 1999-2015 obtained from a list of sources, such as:
- U.S. Department of Justice
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
The team utilized a general multiple linear regression model to examine the correlation between firearm sales and homicides. This method is common in social sciences and used to identify complex relationships between several variables.
They also used generalized estimating equations estimates performed on a state basis to adjust for standard errors. The result was a comprehensive model that allowed them to objectively analyze the correlation between firearms and violent crime.
Results of The Analysis
The results of the analysis yielded a surprising outcome. Nationally, all crime rates designated as firearm homicides decreased despite firearm sales increasing over the study period.
Through the naive national model, they also found that an increase in firearm sales can often be associated with a significant decrease in multiple crime categories. These were seemingly counterintuitive results that challenged the idea of a correlation between firearms and violence.
A thorough analysis found no correlation between increased legal gun sales and crime or homicide rates. There is no evidence that limiting lawful firearm sales would affect rates of crime, homicide, or injuries from violence committed with firearms.
Putting Their Reputations at Risk
In today’s political climate, debates about gun rights are often heated and biased. This makes the findings of this study all the more remarkable since its authors had a lot at stake.
One of the study’s authors, Mark Hamill, MD, is a Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership member. This organization is well known for supporting gun rights, and its members put their reputations at risk by publishing such a study.
With the publication of their work, mainstream media outlets began to take notice. This prompted many questions about the findings of this study and its implications on gun control laws.
However, this also opens up Dr. Hamill and his team to criticism from those who disagree with their findings. This is similar to John Lott’s work, which received a lot of criticism despite its scientific integrity.
A Hard Truth
The hard truth is that there is no correlation between firearm sales and violent crime rates. At least according to the findings of Dr. Mark Hamill and his team’s study. While more research is needed, this study is a great step toward understanding the complex relationship between firearms and violence.
It also serves as a reminder. We should strive to remain objective and not be carried away by our opinions in the heated debates about gun control and rights. We must always rely on evidence and analysis when making decisions.
Joseph Chiarello & Co. is a respected insurance company in the firearms industry. Contact us to discover how we can help you protect your firearms business.