Study makes bizarre leap about guns and lethality of shootings

Glock Model 21" by Michael @ NW Lens is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED.

There’s always going to be some anti-gun study floating around. We’ve seen that time and time again, and the media will always be happy to report on that study with nary a word of criticism about, well, anything.


In fact, it’s almost amusing how little criticism these studies get.

The latest, in fact, doesn’t actually make a whole lot of sense. Why? Because it implies that guns have somehow become more lethal.

A new study has found that fatalities from gun violence in the U.S. have increased over time, with more victims dying at the scene of a shooting before they can be transferred to medical treatment facilities.

The research, which was published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined gun violence incidents from 1999 to 2021, including firearm deaths due to assaults, unintentional injuries and unknown intent.

Using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers discovered the proportion of deaths at the scene increased from about 52% in 1999, to almost 57% in 2021.

Nearly 49,000 people died from gun violence in the U.S. in 2021, according to the CDC.

The research letter summarizing the study said this increase in fatalities was likely due to several factors, including higher guns sales, social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a “lack of new federal firearm legislation.”


Now, the good news is that this study didn’t count suicides. That’s actually surprising because it’s a handy way to skew findings in an anti-gun direction.

So it seems the numbers are pretty accurate.

Where I have a problem, though, is their findings. Higher gun sales and lack of regulation don’t make guns more lethal. In fact, during the time period the study looked at, there weren’t really any advancements in firearm technology that would account for any such thing.

We also know that so-called assault weapons started becoming popular prior to this time period as a result of the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban, so it’s unlikely that would play a role. The researchers do try to blame larger capacity magazines, which might play a role–if you can put more rounds on target, the chances of killing someone are increased–but I don’t see how they figure they made that case.

In fact, they seem to suggest they didn’t even really look at that sort of thing when they note, “Further investigation of the temporal and geospatial distributions of prehospital deaths, weapons used, patterns of injury, and variations by race and ethnicity and age is needed to guide effective interventions.”


So they reached a conclusion as to why this was a problem when they don’t know any of that other stuff?

I don’t know, seems a little sketchy, which is why I say this study kind of doesn’t make any sense.

Yet again, though, they seem to just know the problem is the lack of federal gun control laws while not comprehending literally anything else? Yeah, no wonder people are growing to distrust research more and more.

It’s only too bad no one in the media will look at these studies twice.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member