The largest study of gun violence in the United States, released Thursday afternoon, confirms a point that should be obvious: widespread American gun ownership is fueling America’s gun violence epidemic.
The study, by Professor Michael Siegel at Boston University and two coauthors, has been peer-reviewed and is forthcoming in the American Journal of Public Health.
Siegel and his colleagues compiled data on firearm homicides from all
50 states from 1981-2010, the longest stretch of time ever studied in
this fashion, and set about seeing whether they could find any
relationship between changes in gun ownership and murder using guns over
Since we know that violent crime rates overall declined during that period of time, the authors used something called “fixed effect regression”
to account for any national trend other than changes in gun ownership.
They also employed the largest-ever number of statistical controls for
other variables in this kind of gun study: “age, gender, race/ethnicity,
urbanization, poverty, unemployment, income, education, income
inequality, divorce rate, alcohol use, violent crime rate, nonviolent
crime rate, hate crime rate, number of hunting licenses, age-adjusted
nonfirearm homicide rate, incarceration rate,and suicide rate” were all