The answer is yes – negatively. In this case, negative is good. The more negative it is, the better.
We know that because of a lot of hard work and number crunching by Linoge at Walls of the City blog. He has just put out his Graphics Matter, Year the Third. He has examined the available data from the last 28 years and has thoroughly debunked the gun prohibitionists’ theory that more guns equals more deaths. His analysis leads him to conclude:
1. The hypothesis of “more guns = more deaths” is demonstrably false over the past 28 years of documented American history. The number of firearms in civilian circulation have been steadily increasing over that time period, and the number of firearm-related fatalities has not been equivalently increasing. However, again, since there seems to be some confusion on the concept, proving “more guns = more deaths” to be false does not prove “more guns = fewer deaths” to be true. Doing so would require accounting for far more variables than I did, and involve far more interesting math than I employed, and require controlling for far more variables than I care to.
2. When comparing raw numbers, there is a weak, negative correlation between the number of firearms in America and the number of firearm-related fatalities, and that correlation seems to become more negative with additional data.
3. When comparing rates, there is a strong, negative correlation between the number of firearms per person in America and the number of firearm-related fatalities per person, and that correlation seems to become more negative with additional data.
And unlike the gun prohibitionists, he provides his full analysis and data. That is very important in this sort of research. It allows other researchers the ability to replicate his results. Being able to do that serves to confirm the validity of his findings.
The work that Linoge did is very sophisticated but very understandable. I have had 5 semesters of statistics over the years and I would say the work he has done here is every bit as rigorous as what would be seen in a peer-reviewed journal article. Unlike a journal article, he explains what he did every step of the way and didn’t fill his page with academic jargon mumbo-jumbo.
The post that Linoge just put up should be read by everyone involved in the fight for gun rights. It is that important.