The title simplifies it just a bit but Dr. Garen J. Wintermute of the Violence Prevention Research Program, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis does say there is a link between firearms ownership and alcohol-related “risk behaviours” according to an abstract published in Injury Prevention yesterday.
Alcohol use and firearm ownership are risk factors for violent injury and death. To determine whether firearm ownership and specific firearm-related behaviours are associated with alcohol-related risk behaviours, the author conducted a cross-sectional study using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for eight states in the USA from 1996 to 1997 (the most recent data available). Altogether, 15 474 respondents provided information on firearm exposure. After adjustment for demographics and state of residence, firearm owners were more likely than those with no firearms at home to have ≥5 drinks on one occasion (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.16 to 1.50), to drink and drive (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.34 to 2.39) and to have ≥60 drinks per month (OR 1.45; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.83). Heavy alcohol use was most common among firearm owners who also engaged in behaviours such as carrying a firearm for protection against other people and keeping a firearm at home that was both loaded and not locked away. The author concludes that firearm ownership and specific firearm-related behaviours are associated with alcohol-related risk behaviours.
I’m sure this must explain why the Brady Campaign ranked the state of Utah dead last with a score of zero. Why it must be full of gun-owning and gun-toting drunks!
Except that Utah is heavily Mormon (about 60%) and the Mormons have a doctrine against alcohol use. Utah also has the lowest alcohol-related fatalities per 100,000 people at 1.93 for 2008.
Cherry-picked data will give you any results you want especially if you start your research with an agenda.