Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Saturday, February 09, 2002

This is a rather bold proposal/challenge to the gun rights types, but I have some questions to pose, and would like, rather than rhetoric, some concrete answers. Now, my opinions are already present on this site, and I doubt that my gut feeling on the issue will change, but I am willing to entertain the notion that I may be wrong. So, I think I have come up with some concrete, quantitative questions that may lead to the answers I seek. Here are the ground rules. 1) Facts and figures are only accepted if issued by gov't sources (some may object, but they have the best data, and are relatively neutral) or published in peer-reviewed books or journals. 2) No diatribes or "logical" inferences will be accepted. Only factual relationships are at issue, not "well, if everyone had a gun, there would be no crime." That is an opinion, not a fact. Without further ado, the questions are;
1) How many accidental handgun deaths are there, per year? Is there a correlation to rise in gun ownership? Is there a negative correlation to gun safety classes?
2) How many crimes are averted by the presence of a privately owned handgun, per year? Correlation to gun ownership?
3) Is there a demonstrable negative correlation between gun ownership and crime rate? This must be subject to rigorous analysis, accounting for changes in income, population size, etc over time. Not fair to compare NYC to Bismarck, ND, for example!!!
4) Is it possible to measure the economic cost of widespread gun ownership? Is it possible to measure the economic benefit? A CBA could be a tool in the debate, but careful consideration must be given to how it is designed.

I welcome suggestions as to additional questions to be asked, and will post responses to this that are sent to my e-mail. Let's keep it clean, people!!