Friday, August 19, 2016


This article, by the Washington Post, discusses the crucial issue of what type of gun control works.  Gun controllers assume it will work without harming legitimate self-defense.  They are loath to discuss the issue as are most of the media.

Gun control works, but you have to be smart about it.
That's the takeaway from a major new analysis out this month in the journal Epidemiologic Reviews. Columbia University's Julian Santaella-Tenorio and a team of researchers pored over the results of 130 studies on gun control legislation passed in 10 different countries to find out which policy interventions worked, which ones didn't and on what issues the jury was still out.
Big caveat up front: Sussing out cause from effect in the policy realm is a complicated task. Most of the studies we have on gun violence are able to describe associations -- after you pass X law, Y effect happened. But that doesn't necessarily tell you that Y happened because of X. Researchers can control for various other factors that might also cause Y to happen, like changes in economic situation or demographics, but you can't eliminate uncertainty completely."

If the studies were poorly done, of the researchers biased, both of which are much more frequent than you think (Gargage in,Garbage out), what was the conclusion.

"Its No. 1 conclusion was that comprehensive gun legislation packages -- which include an array of different policy changes -- seem to be associated with reductions in gun deaths.
"The simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple elements of firearms regulations reduced firearm-related deaths in certain countries," Santaella-Tenoria and his colleagues conclude."

However, the 'certain countries' where gun control has worked, does not include the U.S.  It is na├»ve to believe that just because something works in country X it will work in country Y.   Further,
The problem with this study, as it is with all studies of this type is that correlation between two variable does not prove causation.  The effect may be caused by some other variable.

For a scholarly critique of this study see


  1. To repeat my 40-year question: What gun control law has ever served to reduce the rate of violent crimes with firearms?

    So far, never an answer.


  2. Excellent question that needs to be covered in the media and debates. Overall, the research suggests no gun control law has ever significantly reduced gun crime.