Ever since Parkland, we’ve been inundated with student-activists who are bound and determined to push through gun control despite not being old enough to vote themselves. While I disagree with their efforts completely, I don’t have any moral qualms with student activists in general. I tend to think it’s good for the young to start understanding politics and to get involved.
However, they have been all about gun control, and that’s kind of annoying. To make matters worse, though, they’ve had ready allies in the mainstream media who have blasted their message loud and clear.
Now, a study finds that students in states with stricter gun control laws feel safer than those who don’t.
U.S. adolescents living in states with stricter gun laws may feel safer at school, a survey of high school students suggests.
Stronger gun laws were linked with lower odds that kids had been threatened or injured with any kind of weapon at school, had themselves carried a weapon, or had missed school because they felt unsafe, researchers found.
The data came from 926,639 teens in 45 states who participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a biennial survey of 9th through 12th graders conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Marco Ghiani from Boston College and colleagues assigned scores to each state based on criteria such as ease of gun access, presence or lack of gun safety laws, and the extent of gun manufacturers’ liability.
Stronger gun control was associated with a 0.8-percentage point decrease in the probability of being threatened or injured with a weapon at school, a 1.9-percentage point decrease in the probability of carrying a weapon at any location, and a 1.1-percentage point decrease in the probability of missing school due to feeling unsafe.
Now, what the study didn’t report is how many times was there really a weapon.
After all, depending on how the questions are asked, answers can come from various places. Was a gun flashed along with the threat or even as the threat? Or, was the threat simply by someone who claimed they had a gun?
Further, there’s also the possibility that some of these results were skewed by student-activists. Just like people on both sides rally the troops to bombard gun control surveys, it’s not unthinkable for anti-gun students to claim they were threatened by a gun despite having never seen one on campus outside of a police officer’s holster.
Then again, when the researchers are clearly biased, what do you expect?
His coauthor Christopher Baum, also from Boston College, commented in a separate email, “There is no real reason for civilians to be walking around with AR-15s. They are not hunting weapons. . . Do we really want our children to be exposed to this kind of threat?”
With an attitude like that–note that it’s highly unlikely the opinion was influenced by the study based on the findings that had nothing to do with AR-15s–it’s hard to imagine why I’d think the study was biased. Since it’s likely Baum had this opinion before the study, one has to wonder just how his biases colored the survey’s construction.
The article goes on to note:
The study, however, doesn’t prove that gun legislation — or lack of it — actually impacted school environments and students’ experiences in the study. Furthermore, the researchers lacked information on students’ socioeconomic characteristics, and the students’ survey responses might not have been accurate, the authors acknowledge.
In other words, it proves nothing and they know it. That’s even with the bias creeping in.