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The American Psychological Association has released the following study:


Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and Policy


The study immediately highlights the following statement:


Firearm prohibitions for high-risk groups — domestic violence offenders, persons convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes, and individuals with mental illness who have been adjudicated as being a threat to themselves or to others — have been shown to reduce violence.

Which seems fairly reasonable, but then goes on to conclude that:


The licensing of handgun purchasers, background check requirements for all gun sales, and close oversight of retail gun sellers can reduce the diversion of guns to criminals. Reducing the incidence of gun violence will require interventions through multiple systems, including legal, public health, public safety, community, and health. Increasing the availability of data and funding will help inform and evaluate policies designed to reduce gun violence.

I simply do not understand where they get their data from to draw those conclusions, instead it seems to attempt to lend an air of authenticity to existing executive orders. It is a simple fact that almost all guns used in connection with a crime, including most mass murders, have been disconnected from the legal acquisition of firearms at some point through theft, straw purchases, etc.


In the study itself, you will find this near admission of wishing to agree with an agenda and with political leaders:


Gun violence demands special attention. At the federal level, President Barack Obama announced a new “Now Is the Time” plan (White House, 2013) to address firearm violence to better protect children and communities and issued 23 related executive orders to federal agencies.

The main body of the text starts with the following assertion that accidents and suicides (and criminals killed by self defenders and cops, judging by the numbers) somehow can be described as "violence" and lumped in with the legitimate criminal violence, and all but saying that without guns, these people would have not killed themselves or others (an unknowable, and therefore dishonest argument):


Gun violence is an important national problem leading to more than 31,000 deaths and 78,000 nonfatal injuries every year. Although the rate of gun homicides in the United States has declined in recent years, U.S. rates remain substantially higher than those of almost every other nation in the world and are at least seven times higher than those of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and many others (see Alpers & Wilson).

When it comes to understanding how guns work and ignoring factors such as the fact that more lethal guns also make for better self defense options, the study becomes especially hard to read during its more "technical" parahraphs. For instance it advocates "smart guns", "assault weapon" bans, bans on hollow point bullets (without a hunting license, a gross misunderstanding of the Constitution), and magazine capacity restrictions. At no point do they examine the implications of these things on successful self defense from a determined and violent criminal.


There are also references to MAIG policies, demonization of anti-litigation laws, while gun shows (we know this is a lie), flea markets, and the Internet (another lie) is listed as a source of unchecked gun purchases, etc.


It calls out gun owners as being more likely to drink (and drive), and it conflates purchasing a gun specifically for suicide with the likelihood of committing suicide when owning a gun. It also downplays the amount of gun owners in the nation (despite the impossibility of assessing this without a registry), citing that 65% of all guns are owned by just 4% of the population. Maybe the latter is true, but I just have a hard time figuring out how they found those numbers.


You know, the usual.


There are of course also some reasonable and good arguments in this study, but to me it all becomes tainted by politics, rather than science in light of the above.
 
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