Guns ADD Risk of Negative Outcomes – Part 2 (Light Over Heat #44)

This video continues last week’s video on how scholars, especially public health scholars, see guns as adding to the risk of negative outcomes.

This is part of my ongoing series systematizing the dominant academic approach to understanding Gun Culture 2.0, what I call “The Standard Model of Explaining the Irrationality of Defensive Gun Ownership.”

Here I engage the third of the model’s 6 points, offering my own take on guns as a risk factor that tries to navigate between the “YES THEY ARE” and “NO THEY’RE NOT” that too often characterizes discussion of the issue.

Links to videos 1 (Light Over Heat #41) and 2 (Light Over Heat #42) and 3 (Light Over Heat #43) are below.

In this video I again focus in particular on an article by David Studdert and his colleagues from the Annals of Internal Medicine in June 2022, “Homicide Deaths Among Adult Cohabitants of Handgun Owners in California, 2004 to 2016: A Cohort Study.”

It is an excellent model of how scholars attempt to isolate guns as a risk factor when the gold standard of causality — the randomized controlled experiment — is not possible. It is also not without its limits.

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3 comments

  1. Going back to Kellerman, Campbell, and similar studies, those “confounding factors” were all very important contributors to gun violence. So if you are at risk from other factors leading to violence, its best not to have guns around.

    From Professor Yamane’s post on case control studies (link below):

    From Kellerman. Adjusted odds ratios for homicide from multivariate logistic regression (Table 4, p. 1089):

    Illicit drug use in household 5.7
    Home rented 4.4
    Previous fight in home 4.4
    Lived alone 3.7
    Gun(s) kept in home 2.7
    Previous arrest in household 2.5

    and from Campbell et al. Adjusted odds ratios for intimate partner femicide among women in physically abusive relationships from multivariate logistic regression (Table 3, Model 6, pp. 1095-96):

    High control of victim & separated 5.5
    Abuser access to gun 5.4
    Abuser unemployed/not seeking job 4.4
    Abuser not high control & separated 3.6
    Threatened victim with weapon 3.4
    Threatened to kill victim 3.2
    Victim had child by previous partner 2.4
    Never lived together 0.3
    Previous arrest for domestic violence 0.3
    Victim sole access to gun NS

    (https://gunculture2point0.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/understanding-case-control-studies-of-gun-ownership-as-a-risk-factor/ )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems the “victim” evaluation oversimplifies an important variable to make its conclusion:
    Do victims occur more frequently when “living in a household with a gun” versus “homes with ‘other’ weapons?
    Put another way: Does a person living in a household with propensity toward violence face a greater likelihood of “being a victim” BECAUSE there is a gun, or is the victimization a comparably likely outcome with whatever weapon of convenience may occur?

    I also question how “victim” is defined? The courts (and especially the media) view the “dead guy on the floor” as being the victim and the significant other bearing bruises and scars but standing over him as the Aggressor/Assailant. Even much more so when it is a male being abused by his female partner! How many legitimate self-defense cases are taken to court and become part of the “another victim” storyline, when it should in fact be a “survivor” story?

    Like

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