John Lott demolishes gun study in The Lancet
Debate here. It underscores what criminologist Gary Kleck has said--all the antigun studies are being published in medical journals because the editors, and peer reviewers, don't know anything about criminology. Here they initially looked at several years, then decided to focus on just one because the data on laws was supposedly more comprehensive (??? Ascertaining State laws in 2009 should be no more easy than ascertaining them in 2010 or 2008. I suspect they ran several years, and picked the one that gave the desired result). And, as Lott points out, there are so many variables State-to-State, that it's better to use time-series analysis... here are the years when various States adopted various laws, did their crime rates before and after vary in ways that those of other States did not? In the end, the study's spokesman is reduced to "the study shows we need more studies," hardly a headlines-drawing conclusion.
The moment I heard of it -- universal background checks will reduce homicides by 90% -- I knew either the authors or the headline-writers knew nothing about the issue. Imposition of a totalitarian regime with random searches and a presumption of guilt couldn't reduce homicide rates by 90%.
And to think they managed to get this into The Lancet...