AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Actually, New Study Doesn’t Say Jack About Gun Storage Laws

We already know that there’s a major issue about gun studies. Cam wrote about it a while ago, and the post he links to goes far more indepth. However, another issue is that a lot of people don’t really understand what some research is actually saying.

People tend to work in their own interpretations, their own biases, and unless they’re careful, they read a study and get a takeaway that has nothing to do with the research in question.

And when you couple it with researchers’ bias, one has to wonder if that’s by design.

A great example of this comes from an op-ed talking about a Johns Hopkins study and headlined, “New study shines light on need for gun storage laws.”

A new study from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun
Violence Solutions analyzing 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicates what many have feared, that America’s gun violence epidemic has gotten worse.
In total, 4,752 young lives were claimed by guns, surpassing the record total seen during the first year of the pandemic. The study showed that more than 80% of gun deaths were among males aged 19 and younger.
This is the second consecutive year that gun-related injuries are the leading cause of death among children and adolescents, surpassing car crashes, drug overdoses and cancer. Nearly two-thirds of the gun deaths in 2021 were homicides, although unintentional shootings have killed many children.
Perhaps what is most troubling is that many of these child gun deaths could have been prevented if the gun owner had the firearms secured in a locked container, properly engaged so as to render the firearm inaccessible or unusable to any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.

In June, Evanston became one of the few municipalities to pass a law where gun owners who are found to have improperly stored their firearms at home will face stiff fines and civil liability. The Evanston ordinance requires gun owners to meet specific definitions of safe storage, which include locking guns in a container or gun room or securing it with an engaged trigger or cable lock. Under the act, gun owners will be fined between $1,000 and
$2,000 per violation, and are subject to civil liability if their unsecured gun is used to harm a person or property.
This is a good step, but much more needs to be done.

Clearly, the author is using the study to justify mandatory gun storage laws, but this is how people misuse data to try and reach some objective or another.

For example, what we have here is someone who is using a study that just looks and child gun fatalties and is trying to draw a conclusion that simply isn’t there. On one hand, he acknowledges that two-thirds of those fatalities are homicides. That means the lion’s share were intentional actions of another individual.

Further, the age range on the study was, once again, ages 1-19.

18- and 19-year-old people are not children. There’s no attempt at all in this “study” to differentiate between legal adults and actual children, nor is there any acknowledgement that older teens such as 16- and 17-year-olds are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, such as being members of a gang, which might increase their chances of being killed. Instead, they keep lumping grown adults in with children, then presenting the findings as if it’s really kids that are the ones we should focus on.

And believe me, all of this matters with regard to the author’s underlying premise.

Criminal kids and young adults are obtaining guns through illicit means. While I get the desire to address their deaths, the truth is that mandatory storage laws won’t impact those numbers in even the slightest.

Most of the deaths in question, homicides primarily, are also conducted by people who got their weapons illegally. Folks who do that aren’t likely to worry about a mandatory storage law, now would they?

Over and over again, we keep seeing these so-called studies that are little more than anti-gun propaganda dressed up as research, then we have jackwagons draw conclusions that would impact gun laws if they got their way.

Look, I think people should keep their guns secured when not in use. I’ll advocate for just that until I’m blue in the face. However, once you start passing laws about it, what you get are rules and regulations that have no regard for your individual circumstances.

That’s especially problematic when it’s being pushed by bad research, bad reading comprehension, and bad thinking in general.

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