90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Study Finds States With Most Gun Laws Have Fewest Gun Deaths But…

Figure 1. from the study: Firearm-related mortality rates, legislative strength scores and total firearm deaths in the United States, 2007 through 2010. (JAMA)

Figure 1. from the study: Firearm-related mortality rates, legislative strength scores and total firearm deaths in the United States, 2007 through 2010 (click to enlarge). (JAMA Internal Medicine)

Harvard researchers have found that states with the most gun laws also had the fewest firearm deaths.

The lead researcher of the study “Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Fatalities in the United States” published in JAMA Internal Medicine is Dr. Eric Fleegler, an emergency room pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital.

He told Here & Now’s Robin Young that while the study shows an association between gun deaths and gun laws, it does not prove that more gun laws are the reason for fewer gun deaths.

“In states that have the most [gun] laws, there is a 42 percent reduction in fatalities, compared to those states with the least number of laws,” Fleegler said. “You can’t necessarily say one absolutely led to the other … but you can say those things are related.”

The study underscores the need for better data, Fleegler said, to help us understand how gun deaths are distributed geographically, by age and other details, so we can act appropriately to curb violence.

“One of the major challenges that has existed over the past 15 years is that basically all avenues of federal funding – either the CDC or the NIH – have been cut off from studying firearm fatalities,” Fleegler said. “I’m a pediatric emergency medicine doctor. If there are ten children who die from a toy or some sort of injury, there is an incredible human cry that we make sure that we stop those types of deaths. Here on the other side you have 31,000 people who die every single year from firearms. That is a number of deaths on virtually an unprecedented level, and nothing is being done to understand this or reduce it.”


  • Dr. Eric Fleegler, emergency room pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and lead author of a new study on guns.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Docwhitner

    How about Vermont? They have a very low violent crime rate and they have few gun laws. A Vermont citizen does not need any permit to buy a handgun and can carry it concealed without any permit…the only State that realy trusts its citizens, I guess. So -called assault weapons are also legal there.

    • Bruce

      Vermont is anomalous and likely the most civil state in the US. It’s the only place I’ve been where virtually everyone drives at the speed limit and treats other drivers with utmost courtesy. Traffic even stops to let drivers back out from nose-in parking spaces and I was amazed when dump truck drivers waited for bicyclists to crest hills before going up.

      • Rural Ray

        sounds like where I live.  Its rural america my friend.  We all wave at each other as we pass on the highway too.  Plus my guess would be that in excess of 90% of us rural americans are firearm owners.  so maybe we are all so friendly because we all have guns.  :)

        • Michael Ruschak

          Whether or not someone owns a gun in the household is the biggest factor in supporting or opposing stricter gun laws.

          Among those who do not own a gun in the household, 75 percent support stricter laws. Among those who do, just 45 percent support stricter laws.

          Overall, 42 percent said someone in their household owns a gun.
          So who are they?
          There’s a gender split, with more men saying they own one (48 percent) than women (36 percent).
          It also varies, of course, by region. There are more gun owners in the South (50 percent) than anywhere else. The Northeast has the fewest (28

          There’s also an urban-rural split. Just 34 percent of
          those who live in cities said they own a gun,

          but six-in-10 rural respondents do (59 percent).

          (Just 41 percent of those who live in the suburbs do.)

          And there’s a Democratic-Republican split as well –
          just 30 percent of Democrats say they own a gun, while 55 percent of Republicans do. Forty-nine percent of independents said so.

          Reflecting that divide, just 34 percent of Obama voters said someone in their home owns one versus 57 percent of Romney voters.

          Byrace, whites own more guns than minorities. Nearly half of whites (47 percent) said they own a gun. Just one-in-five African Americans said so(20 percent) and just 28 percent of Hispanics.

          Gun ownership does not vary much by age, but younger voters (18 to 34) are the least likely to own a gun (39 percent).

          Andgun owners are more affluent. Those making more than $75,000 a year are the most likely to own a gun (50 percent) – even though professionals (40 percent) and white-collar workers (40 percent) are among the least likely to own one.

          This story was originally published on Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:44 AM EST

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        why do you think that is?


    We published a similar study just a few months earlier in Preventive Medicine, and used various techniques to minimize bias (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.07.019). We also found strong associations between more thorough background checks and fewer gun deaths. I strongly agree more research is needed, the challenge is finding funding! I am trying ‘crowdfunding for science’ to 

    • Sam Diener

       Thanks for doing this research. I’m looking forward to reading your study. One suggestion: both your links are broken as entered because of a trailing “)”. Until this is fixed, you can click the link, get the page not found error, then erase the last character in the url bar and reload.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      you all should take a look at the dangers of water

      • RandomGuy

        Apparently the CDC rates of unintentional deaths by drowning pale in comparison to gun related deaths.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          there are one third as many drownings as intentional homicides using guns. not really that pale considering how little press the drownings get.
          the number of “accidents” with guns is about 1/10 as many as drownings.  no one wants to ban pools or boats even though no one needs them and they kill thousands of americans a year.  i cant even understand why one would bother testing a hypothesis about if the raw number of gun laws correlates with “gun deaths”. the problem is that its very difficult to quantify the number of crimes prevented because of firearms. how could you count how many crimes did not happen or how many people were not killed because they had a firearm or the potential perpatrators did not commit a crime for fear of a legally owned firearm?

          • George Lenard

             You would freaking fund the research into your question, instead of backing the NRA-supported no-nothing ban on funding basic science in this area. Smart scientists can find ways to estimate the numbers you are interested in; some already have, with varying results. And why assume there would be no way to reduce gun deaths through wise safety laws without restricting the rights that allow for the deterrence of which you speak. A false choice, man. Typical of small-brain gun nut thinking. As to pools and drowning, one kid drowned because her hair got stuck in a pool grate and all public pools were required by law to undergo expensive renovations to prevent such accidents. http://www.poolsafely.gov/pool-spa-safety-act/virginia-graeme-baker/ ALL other human safety issues get proper research and legislation except gun violence. ALL.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            what “wise safety laws” are we missing? we have quite a few laws and even though this study attempts to suggest more volume of laws are better maybe we should try to figure out which laws in particular seem to be effective.  i am not saying thats thats not possible per se but none of the recent proposals have really had anything to do with safety. feel free to suggest a law you feel we are missing that will make things more “safe”.

             if a gun was shown to be defective in some way it would be quickly pulled from the market. despite fixes to grates hundreds of people, mostly children, die in needless swimming pool deaths.
            i am sure if our tax dollars were spent by the federal govt “smart” scientists would take a swing at estamating the number but so far they have pinned it down to somewhere between 2 million and 100,000 times a year guns are used for self defense a year because its really impossible to measure how often something does not happen.

          • StatBabe

            There is ALREADY research into accidental drowning and EVERY OTHER means of accidental death, particularly accidental death of small children! But guess what? YOUR crowd lobbied Congress to block federal funding of any and all research involving firearms in any shape or form! Heaven forbid that researchers actually discover ways to significantly reduce injury and death from firearms because you just cannot bear the idea that it MIGHT involve requiring firearms owners to be responsible, like keeping handguns away from small children! You zealots have no idea how callous and ignorant that you appear to most reasonable people, including those of us who are actually sane, responsible firearms owners!

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            then you should know that only research that “promotes gun control” is what is not funded. would you want to spend federal tax dollars to be spent to advance any political agenda?  you should also know that that happened because they feds were paying for studies that came to conclusions so absurd they had to be retracted by their authors. sadly people still quote those discredited studies so the damage of that federally funded gun control “research” is still being done today. I dont know about every state but here and CT already require guns to be stored securly.  Are storage laws being debated anywhere? What reseach would you like to be done and what impact do you think it will have?

  • Jann Ingmire

    I’d like to correct the attribution for the study:  
    It was published in JAMA Internal Medicine and is available for free on the journal’s website:   http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1661390Jann IngmireJAMA Network Media Relations

  • PaulD

    I see a few problems with this study.  

    First, it conflates murders with suicides.  Looking at MA as an example, yes, there are fewer licensed gun owners in the state because the gun laws enacted in 1998 made it very difficult to be a licensed gun owner.  So, fewer guns means fewer suicides by gun.  By comparison, NH has a higher suicide rate by gun but the murder rate is much lower than MA.  So more gun laws does not necessarily mean fewer murders.

    So which problem are we trying to solve?  In the wake of Newtown, the talk was about murder and “gun violence”.  Now we’re trying to solve suicide also?  If that’s the case, Japan has practically no guns but a high suicide rate.

    Next, I’m not sure how VT gets into quartile 2.  They have the most lax gun laws of pretty much any state, maybe short of Alaska.  This study simply looks at the number of gun laws, not what they actually do.

    • Compassionate gun owner

      Vt has also a high Raye of weapons sold to our of state residents. The point if the article is that there needs to be more money and research allocated to getting more information. Again this debate over guns is hostile, poorly facilitated, mostly uneducated and truly isn’t addressing the real issues with violence in general

    • George Lenard

       Don’t you care about suicide? For crying out loud, it’s a huge problem and one intimately related to the worst mass murders (ever notice how these guys kill themselves after killing others? That’s called suicide!) Ready availability of guns dramatically increases likelihood of successful suicide. Sure, there are many other means possible, but none so quick, easy, and virtually guaranteed to succeed. You bet people that care about gun violence care about gun suicide. As should all decent human beings.

      • PaulD

        First, where did I say I don’t care about suicide?  My point was they are, almost always, two separate problems and both should be fully understood.  Yes, there is the occasional monster who kills many others before killing himself.  These events are exceedingly rare (despite the subsequent publicity these people unfortunately receive).

        You seem willing to ban guns because of suicides.  Is that correct?  What about an 70 year old facing a painful, terminal illness.  Should this person not have the right to take his or her own life?   

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i guess you never heard of jumping off a tall thing. in china guns are banned and in the country there arent any tall buildings so there is a big epidemic of rural girls drinking pesticides to kill themselves. the govts solution was to mandate locks on the pesticide cabinets. is this really addressing their problem?

      • Kriegar

        How absurd. Do you really believe that the gun laws currently on the books, or newly enacted, create a noticeable difference in suicides?

      • Andy Rockafeller

        are you a troll? He clearly explained that gun laws don’t reduce suicides with Japan as an undeniable example. 

        • Devon

          Comparing Japan to US is a red herring because the culture and population isn’t the same, so the reasons and attitudes to suicide aren’t the same.

  • joe davis

    Did a bunch of Harvard professors simply set out one day to investigate gun violence and regulations by state in a ‘let the chips fall where they may we have no dog in this fight’ attitude? Or would one be correct in inferring a pre-existing bias? We are told that the study was engendered by the Trayvon Martin shooting but the facts in that case are in dispute. If Zimmerman’s account is accurate he believed that Martin was going to kill him by persistently slamming his head into the curb. Would the dr. have counseled that he should just submit to his fate rather then protecting his life in the only way he could? Is it also coincidental that the findings are congenial with how everyone associated with producing this NPR show also believe a priori? (how do I know this? trust me) maybe if they had had someone on capable of challenging the methodology or conclusions we few in the audience who are not liberals would feel reassured they were getting actual science and not agitprop.

    • Really?

       Joe is your skepticism your natural reaction to every study or do you come to this one with an obvious bias?  Sounds to me like you WANT to see data that validates your own bias (“how about”…..we look at information that lines up with what I already think).  The lead researcher, a pediatric emergency room doctor, states in the interview “the study shows
      an association between gun deaths and gun laws, it does not prove that
      more gun laws are the reason for fewer gun deaths.”   That doesn’t sound like someone trying to mislead, there is no suggestion there is a causality, the statement is that there is a relationship.  Generally speaking, junk science doesn’t get published, because if it did the publisher loses credibility.  I don’t think many would argue that the Journal of the American Medical Association has a reputation for publishing junk science.

      Is your take on the Trayvon Martin case also influenced by a whole variety of biases, or are you just an objective observer?  It seems to me the unarmed teenage boy with skittles in his pocket walking to his step  mother’s house and not bothering anyone would be the victim.  And the wannabe cop that was told by the real police not to intercede, not to approach, but did anyway and then shot the unarmed person…yeah he seems more like the criminal here.  I’m also fairly certain that if he wasn’t carrying a gun at the time, he would have listened to the police and never approached Trayvon in the first place, and would have found out afterward that his own racism and ignorance made him think the unarmed teen, that was just walking home, was exactly where he was supposed to be and wasn’t a threat to anyone.

      I suppose if the situation were reversed, and you were being followed by a black man with a gun, and you thought your life was threatened, you wouldn’t try to defend yourself in some way?  Seems rather unlikely to me. 

      Maybe if you were actually an unbiased consumer of this article and the study, you would be more open to the data it presents, while acknowledging the caveats the researchers themselves include with the data. 

      It’s interesting that an obviously pro-gun consumer of the article would state, with no actual facts to reference, just some ‘trust me’ opinions that the people that did the study were biased, and not just biased (because bias isn’t enough to change data)…they must also be unprofessional,  and the JAMA that published the peer reviewed study, they must also have an anti-gun agenda (not because of the data, but because they just ‘feel’ anti-gun), and then of course the people that wrote and published the article must also be biased, dishonest and trying to spread their dishonesty and biased perspective to the rest of us. 

      It’s a giant liberal conspiracy to reduce gun violence.  Not because anyone wants to do something beneficial, but just because they want to take your guns away.

      It seems like maybe you just want to see studies that line up with your existing beliefs, and the rest must be junk.  Your mind is made up, and not due to any science whatsoever, but due to the fact that you want to carry a concealed weapon or have access to semi-automatic weapons, yada yada yada.  Worse, you will ignore every bit of science that disagrees with what you want.

      Why don’t you provide some links to your scientific, peer reviewed studies that show the data about how more guns=less gun violence?  Then we can all have an unbiased look at those (assuming those studies that line up with your beliefs were all carried out by completely objective scientists, reviewed by completely objective peers, and published in a completely objective journal…because those are the only studies you would reference).

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i think the “giant liberal conspiricy” is the idea of “gun violence” that it is some how seperate and distinct from other kinds of violence and that guns somehow cause violence by themselves.  Apparently its working because you believe in it.  I don’t understand why someone would care about “gun deaths” or “gun violence” but ignore the myriad of other kinds of violence or death.  by focusing on guns we ignore the real causes of violence and killings.

        • Really?

          Are you referring to someone you know?  You should broaden your circle of friends.  You should also avoid making ridiculous statements, gun violence is in a class by itself.  The Newtown shooting was the second deadliest shooting in American history..and the second deadliest mass murder in American history..and yet you seem surprised that it created a renewed interest in gun violence and how to prevent? 

          Most folks, liberal, conservative, libertarian, communist, socialist,  all agree that it’s way past time for some sensible effort to reduce gun violence.  It’s only the wildly gun obsessed that feel differently.  And it makes perfect sense that the gun nuts are getting worried, because the majority of Americans intend to change the game.

          Enlighten the rest of us about the other forms of violence that can kill 20 kids and 6 adults in less than 5 minutes.

          Here is one simple example for you of how gun violence is different from other types of violence:

          The same days the 20 six year old’s and 6 adults were killed in Newtown in less than 5 minutes with an AR15, there was a knife attack on children in china at an elementary school by a 36 yr old lunatic.  23 children were injured, none fatally, not a single person died.  So if our Newtown lunatic didn’t have access to a semi-automatic weapon, he  may have killed a small fraction of the death toll and if instead of a gun he had only had access to a knife or a hammer or all the other ridiculous references the gun nuts make to other items people can get hurt with….it’s possible that few or nobody would have been killed.

          That is the reality for you, mass attack same day, on similar age group by crazed man….in once case 26 people dead, in the other nobody dead….including the crazy guy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            and in a third case one man with a ryder truck of fuel oil and fertalizer killed more people in 3 seconds than all the “mass shootings” put together and was not caught for weeks.
            anecdotes are great.
             and if we are just making up what ifs i could say that if he did not have access to a semi automatic weapon he may have just invested in a rental truck and some fertalizer or maybe a can of gas and some matches
            what ifs are fun
            “gun” is not a form of violence. why did you not use the term “knife violence” to refer to the stabbing of the children? why do you blame one incident on a 35 year old lunatic but blame the other on an AR15?  do you see where you are inconsistant?

          • George Lenard

             One idiot just had to gran his mom’s guns and ammo and go. Another just had to mail order the crap via Internet and UPS (Aurora). Compare that to the effort required to make and deliver a car or truck bomb. Sure, there will alwayse be murder and suicide. Does that mean we should make no efforts to reduce them?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i am not sure how we can reduce suicide. maybe having fewer wars would help for our soldiers suicide rate. i do know that the solution cannot be to turn the world into a rubber room free of guns, sharp things, high places or fast moving busses or trains. i know this because they try to prevent suicide in prison by attempting to make it physically impossible but people in prison still kill themselves. thus the answer to these problems is not to focus on the means but on the underlying factors that lead to them. if you wanted a realistic proven method to reduce murder you would try to get this war on drugs ended. last time we ended prohibition in america the murder rate dropped 99%

          • Really?

            To correct your first misstatement, total dead in Oklahoma city 168.   “All Mass shootings” well over 500 people killed, just since 1980.  And what exactly is your point?  “we shouldn’t do anything about people that are killed by guns because more people can be killed with rental trucks and fertilizer bombs”?  Interesting reasoning.

            Nobody is blaming anything on guns, the idea is ridiculous.  The debate is over access to guns, which guns, and who should have access.  Trying to say otherwise is just dishonest and a distraction, but that is the strategy for someone without any good points to make. 

            The point, which despite it’s simplicity seems to have escaped your understanding…is that the knife in the hands of the lunatic didn’t kill anyone.  If that same lunatic in China had an AR15 every single person and likely many others would be dead.  It seems he didn’t have access to a rental truck and a bomb either.  Neither did he fly a plane into the elementary school there.  Apparently that guy had access to a knife, so that is what he used and the damage…while horrible, pales in comparison to what happened at Newtown.

            So now I’m the person that coined the term ‘gun violence’.  That seems exceptionally ignorant, even for you.

            “if he didn’t have a gun, he would have just….”  “Are we going to outlaw planes after 911…”  “how about hammers”.  These are the typical false choices the pro-gun crowd offers.  Same crap as your reference to the rider truck and fertilizer bomb.  No rational person is suggesting that limiting access to certain weapons, and universal background checks is going to prevent all gun crimes or mass shootings.  But neither would a rational person suggest that if access to guns was more limited, that the perpetrator would instead fly a plane into an elementary school.  Is it possible?  Sure.  Is it likely, no.

            What a bunch of garbage, comparing the constant mayhem with guns by individuals, daily, weekly, monthly shootings all over the country…with 1 time or extremely rare events like 911 and Oklahoma City to justify your gun obsession.  Are there other ways crazy people do damage, absolutely…does that have anything whatsoever to do with the gun control debate?  No.

            The pr0-gun crowd keeps saying how more guns= less gun violence.  The estimates are 300 million+ guns in the US, about 1 for every man, woman, child in the country…and yet still not enough good guys with guns.  Hmn.  How many do you think we need in order to have the right mix for safety?  Maybe 2 per person would do it?  600 million?  You let us know what the right number is to keep us all safe.

            The pretender is you, pretending that the weapon is irrelevant.  How
            many deaths in America caused by a rental truck and a fertilizer
            bomb annually?  How any with guns?  Do the math. 

            Easy access to guns creates an opportunity for a person to carry out violence that would otherwise be much less likely, much less deadly, or not possible at all.   Even you can understand that, can’t you?

            Also, i can’t thank you enough for bringing up Oklahoma City, just to refresh your memory that was carried out by one of your paranoid, delusional, militia nutballs against the federal government.  The same mentality that fuels the gun nuts (not the normal gun owner that supports universal background checks and common sense restrictions, but the gun nuts who think they should have unlimited access to every gun/missile/grenade/rocket launcher/etc).

            You don’t speak on behalf of gun owners, you’re on the fringe.  Most gun owners and non-gun owners are on the same page regarding universal background checks, limiting access to certain types of weapons, large clips, etc.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            Easy access to guns creates an opportunity for a person to carry out violence that would otherwise be much less likely, much less deadly, or not possible at all. Even you can understand that, can’t you?
            thanks for acting so superior. people can and will carry out violence whether or not they have a gun and it will not reduce the effects of that violence.
            so if you have common sense and relise that universal background checks are a scam you are a  “paranoid, delusional, militia nutballs against the federal government”
            what firearms do “most gun owners” agree should have “limited access to”?
            whats the “etc” that gun owners want?

          • Kriegar

            In actuality, the debate is over whether or not we are going to tolerate a basic Constitutional Right to be tampered with, or chipped away at. (Trying to say otherwise is just dishonest and a distraction, but that is the strategy for someone without any good points to make. )

            Your assertion regarding planes, trains, and automobiles being “false choices” is a specious argument that does nothing to answer the question. The fact of the matter is this: Where firearms are not employed, other means of violence are. PERIOD. Hence, the reason persons such as yourself refuse to address the argument.

            NO, obviously we are not going to be able to outlaw every means employable for violence, which is REALLY the point reasonable people are trying to make to you-that you refuse to reasonably understand.

            So, if you want to address “gun violence” in a constructive fashion, improve mental health care, and leave law abiding citizens alone. After all, they are the only people affected by your idiotic knee-jerk gun laws.

          • Really?

            The same tired second amendment BS.  Guess what, there was an assault weapons ban for many years, it remained in effect until it expired.  No constitutional challenge.  So your second amendment argument is garbage from top to bottom.  Even when the supreme court recently ruled on the DC case, the right wing justice that wrote the opinion states very clearly that there is no constitutional argument that prevents restricting access to particular weapons, etc.

            It’s a fantasy in the minds of a very small number of gun owners that the 2nd amendment entitles them to any/all weapons for self defense.

            You don’t give a rat’s ass about the constitution except to manipulate the argument over gun control.  Freedom of speech, yes, restrictions…yes.  Perhaps you’ve heard of “hate speech”?  It’s against the law.  That would be a common sense restriction on the right to free speech.  I suppose you were all up in arms over that one?  Ready to start a revolution over limiting hate speech oh great defender of the constitution????

            So your suggestion is that Adam Lanza could have killed 27 people by driving his car into the school?  And because of that ridiculously unlikely scenario…we shouldn’t try to do anything about what actually took place?  That is the brilliant reasoning of the pro-gun fringe.

            Reasonable gun owners aren’t on your side of the argument, plain and simple.  90% of Americans in poll after poll support universal background checks.  The majority by 15% in every poll i’ve seen support an assault weapons ban.  One of my best friends is a former special forces sniper, has a concealed carry permit, and an AR-15.  He would be the first to tell you that the current discussion about how to reduce gun violence does nothing to infringe on his rights.  He makes no claim to need his AR-15 for self defense because the argument is absolute horseshit.  Neither does he worry that the govt is coming to take his guns…because only people that have lost touch with reality think that.

            You’ve likely never used a gun for self-defense in your entire life, you’ve sure as hell never used an AR-15 to defend yourself or your family….so you’re all wound up about a fantasy ‘whatif’ and in complete denial about the reality that takes the lives of thousands of people on a regular basis. 

            I saw a recent article about deep vein thrombosis that will undoubtedly interest you.  100,000 Americans die annually from blot clots caused by this.  I expect to see you reference that as a good reason to stop worrying about people that get shot on purpose and by accident every year.

          • Kriegar

            You’re uninformed, and unnecessarily vitriolic reply is indicative of the ignorant people among us who are so rabid to jump on every passing train that comes by to attain your goals, although they never address the actual problem.

            The number one fact of the matter is this: You don’t begin to know me, and you don’t begin to have any idea what in the hell you’re talking about. In reference to me, my use of firearms, or everyday life outside of your little glass house.

            It may interest you to know that it is the law that you can resist an unlawful arrest in Florida-yet when a law enforcement officer tried that very thing, he was convicted just the same, with the court agreeing that he was within the law to do so. However, they felt that this LAW was bad for public policy, so too bad, so sad for the officer in question. And THAT is what I think about your quoted supreme court ruling.

            The very fact that you cannot construct your infantile retort without condescension, vitriol, and name-calling simply illustrates what a weak and retarded retort it is, frankly.

            Further, for your less than important little self, I actually HAVE used a firearm in self defense, and I suppose that my use of an actual AR15 in the U.S. Army counts for nothing, in your less than esteemed opinion.

            As far as someone driving a car into a building to kill people goes, I don’t know what rock YOU’VE been hiding under for the last decade or two, but it is HARDLY an unlikely scenario at all. You ought to wake up and look around you, because you’ve obviously been asleep for some time Rip Van Winkle.

            If you want to give up, or infringe upon, your own rights to own and use firearms, then by all means, go ahead. But you can leave the rest of the law-abiding public the hell alone. Just because you wish something does not make it so, neither in real life, gun ownership, or your specious little rant above.

            Frankly, it is YOU who do not give a RATS ASS about the Constitution of this country, and it is YOU who would wish to puke your absurd notions upon everyone else, and ignore the problem-which is mental health, not piling more laws upon people who are not breaking the law in the first place, you idiotic moron. Do you truly believe that the Adam Lanzas’ of this world give two shits about your inane laws? NO. They do not. They BREAK the law. I mean really, how hard is it for you to follow simple logic, you ugly little person?

          • Kriegar

            And let me tell you something else, little man-I quite believe that YOU’RE Version of a “reasonable gun owner” is constituted of small-minded people who only believe as you do. I always find it fascinating when socially retarded keyboard warriors such as yourself have such an inflated opinion of themselves AND their opinions, that they have no room for the opinion of someone else.

            But, you just go on with yo’ bad self there, boy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/roger.brown.35912 Roger Brown

            Second deadliest mass murder?  Look up Bath Township school bombing, 1927.  44 dead.  Murrah Federal building bombing, 168 dead.  9/11 terrorist attack, 2,996 dead.   Happy Land night club fire, an arson that killed 87 people.  Firearms weren’t used as the main weapon in any of these mass murders.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            you forgot waco texas where the fedeal govt used a smoke grenade to burn up 23 children and their parents

          • Really?

             My mistake, you’re right we should really focus on the bombing problem.

          • http://www.facebook.com/roger.brown.35912 Roger Brown

            I was merely pointing out your error in classifying Newtown as the second deadliest mass murder.  Do you disagree that you are wrong about that statistic?  

          • Really?

             Apparently I referenced an incorrect published statistic…which of course has nothing to do with the argument.  It’s typical of folks to point out a misspelled word rather than address the crux of someone’s statements.  Is your point that if Newtown was the 5th deadliest vs the 2nd then somehow the basic argument about gun control is different?  Or are you just a fact checker doing your best to correct misstatements or errors on both sides of the argument?

            Keep up the good work.

          • Kriegar

            And had he employed the use of an automobile to commit the same assault, what then becomes of your numbers?

            And what of Terry McVeigh? He used no gun to commit his attack.

      • http://www.facebook.com/roger.brown.35912 Roger Brown

        How about this study?  It was published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.  

        • Really?


          I thank you (no sarcasm).  You’re the first person that i’ve encountered on any of these discussions that may actually be basing his pro-gun stance on real facts.  I’ve looked at the study and its conclusions, it’s interesting.

          Unlike some of the pro-gun crazies….I don’t automatically dismiss it because it contradicts my own opinions or other studies.  I’ll need to find out more about the authors, who funded it, and how it agrees or disagrees with other scientific information.

          If there were a few more people on the pro-gun side of the argument referencing rational ideas and scientific information…there might be room for a rational conversation…that would rise about the constant pro-gun refrain of “they are coming to take your guns!!!’ and “out of my cold dead hands”.

          I’m not anti-gun, i”m not pro-gun.  I’m interested in solutions to problems.  It seems to me when a woman is allowed to buy an AR-15, keep it in her home in an unsecured manner, when she lives with a person with a history of mental illness…and all of that is completely legal-there is a problem.  That isn’t a responsible gun owner.  Clearly the gun owner can’t be trusted to have good judgment, it endangers all other gun owners and non-gun owners.

          While individuals are allowed to own explosives, there are severe restrictions on the possession, storage, documentation, etc of them.  I think the self-defense argument can very easily be extended to include land mines in my yard.  If I’d like to place land mines around the perimeter of my property to keep criminals out, I would imagine this is against many laws, even if I were licensed to possess the explosives, I seriously doubt I could bury them around my yard.  Why?  Why can’t I have land mines to defend my family?  Why is there a distinction between explosives (a weapon in this context) and an assault weapon?

          Society is entitled to decide who has access to guns and who doesn’t, as well as what types of guns are available.  While I’m not 100% sure there is a law stating it, I’m assuming a 10yr old can’t legally own a gun/buy a gun.  That is a restriction, but hopefully most would agree a common sense restriction.  There should be room for other restrictions that prevent Adam Lanza’s mother from purchasing a gun if a member of her household has a history of mental illness.

          • StatBabe

            My problem is with laws that specifically ban funding of any and all research aimed toward reducing deaths from firearms. The firearms manufacturers and their lapdogs GOA and the NRA cannot be satisfied with defeating even the most diluted firearms safety bills–they just HAVE to silence any research that MIGHT reduce deaths from firearms. As Dr. Fleegler pointed out, his study raised more questions than it answered, and the way to really get to the heart of injuries and deaths from firearms and how to reduce injuries and deaths from firearms is to allow that research to go forward! The kicker for the uninformed is that the REASON for the law prohibiting ANY federal funding of research to reduce injury and death from firearms goes back to a seriously flawed study conducted by John Lott that purportedly showed that MORE firearms actually reduces injury and death from firearms. Yeah, right–that makes a whole lot of sense *dripping in sarcasm*. When academics all over the country were unable to replicate John Lott’s results with many discovering rather large errors, the gun industry and its lapdogs leaned on Congress to an ANY funding of research involving firearms because it would be such a bloody shame if some simple measures like safe storage laws or liability insurance just MIGHT save lives!

          • Tired of Ignorance

            It is amazing to me how incredibly ignorant some people are who favor gun control. All you want to do is repeat each other’s lies. A few points:
            1) John Lott did not take federal tax dollars to do his research so anti-freedom advocates shouldn’t either.
            2) The CDC was using federal funds to push gun control. One researcher took $2,000,000 of tax payer’s dollars for his study and when freedom advocates challenged his conclusions and asked for his data he had lost it. This is why congress (representing the majority of Americans) passed laws to prevent goverment agencies from using tax dollars to push political agendas.
            3) A VERY EASY SEARCH that even a moron could do if they actually wanted the facts would find More Guns, Less Crime in Wikipedia and see that many academics agree with Lott. For you to say, “academics all over the country were unable to replicate John Lott’s results with many discovering rather large errors,” is an outright lie. You OBVIOUSLY have not looked at what they actually disagreed with. You OBVIOUSLY have no clue as to the details of Lott’s research.
            4) How many people have gone into a police station and attempt mass murder. None that I am aware of. If the idea that having more armed and honest citizens around could make everyone (even you) more safe, then the shortcoming is in your mental capacity and not Lott’s research. I encourage you to begin the end of your ignorance by reading the results of a recent survy of rank and file police officers.  http://ddq74coujkv1i.cloudfront.net/p1_gunsurveysummary_2013.pdf
            Pay particular attention to questions 19 and 20. Academics with a political agenda may disagree with Lott but rank and file police do not.

      • George Lenard

         Right on the money.

      • PaulD

        I would say that if you’re willing to assign guilt before someone has had a full and complete trial, you ought to examine your own biases.

        • Really?

           Are you kidding me?

          Last time I checked, the accused was assumed innocent until proven guilty…and i’ve not ever seen a reference to an assumption of guilt for the victim.  The poster I was responding to was suggesting the victim was ‘guilty’ in some way.  Here are the facts, Zimmerman arrested 3 times prior, once for domestic violence, twice for resisting arrest, one of those arrests was resisting with violence.

          Trayvon Martin suspended from high school for pot possession, no criminal record.

          So, feel free to assume Zimmerman is innocent…that is the standard…but let’s not assume the victim is guilty in some way which is what I was responding to.

  • joe davis

    Also, how about looking more closely at groups. Which states have more home invasion, violent assault(mugging), armed robbery etc. In other words, criminal gun use vs regulation. I think concealed carry states have lower rates of this. Am I wrong?

  • TJM

    One flaw this study might have is not measuring total injury by firearms instead of just deaths.  It’s possible that areas with extensive firearm laws are also areas where gunshot trauma treatment is superior and is saving persons who would die from gun shot wounds in areas where such treatment is not available and where the laws are less restrictive.   My general reaction to this study is that it is poorly designed and has a predetermined outcome bias.

  • Lindz12coop

    I don’t see any reason to separate murders from suicides — both are violent deaths caused by a firearm.  As a humane, civilized,  society, we should be concerned about all forms of violent death and should work toward eliminating it.  If that means regulating one major cause of violent death, so be it.

    • Aevsand

       AND, in both cases of  murder and of suicide, numbers of fatalities are increased when impulse meets lethal opportunity.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        then why is it that the number 1 country for suicide completly bans personal possesion of guns?   what is “lethal opportunity”?

        • George Lenard

           “Lethal opportunity” is a killing machine, that is, a gun, in close proximity. Are those words too complicated for you? Look them up if you have to.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            you make it sound like a gun is the only thing that is used as a killing machine. i have never heard anyone call a gun a lethal oppurtunity it sounds like a steven seagal movie.  whats wrong with a good old kitchen knife for crimes of passion? you know that if someone wants to kill someone not having a gun handy is not going to stop them. making a law is not going to stop people from having guns especially those who should not have them. i see you dodged the suicide question when confronted with facts 

        • Kaybee1019

          Since when did Lithuania (number one in the world for suicide rate per 100,000 people in Nov 2012) ban weapons? Actually, I believe they are quite the opposite. If you were referring to Japan, part of that equation may be from the idea of honorable suicide that their culture has embraced for centuries. The Japanese government is trying to change this, going so far as charging the family of the deceased if the suicide disrupts the daily ebb and flow of the general population. Not saying this is good, but maybe “less honorable” for the person contemplating suicide.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            the stats i saw had s. korea ranked #1, guns are banned there. i am sure it is cultural and that does not change the fact that gun ownership rates do not correlate with sucide so there is no reason to believe firearms increase suicide rates because if they did we should top the list but we don’t

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      so tell me how a firearm causes someone to kill themselves or anyone else for that matter? firearms are not capable of causing anyone to do anything. they are not alive and have no will of their own

      • George Lenard

         Wow! That makes me really think–NOT. An original gun argument-NOT. Do you fools really think people who want sane gun law reform–as the majority of Americans do–do not realize that guns are inanimate objects that require a person to pull the trigger? Go look up “straw man argument”–you imply we think this and then take great satisfaction in your brilliance in “disproving it” Guess what? You prove your ignorance, not brilliance! What happens, for your information, is that the availability of a firearm when someone is temporarily experienced overwhelming emotion–whether anger (murder) or depression (suicide) makes it far more likely that death will result. Common sense and end of story. I do understand your vigor in resisting all gun law reforms–you realize you gunlovers are now in a shrinking minority, as are rural white male Americans generally.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          if someone is angry and trying to murder you how are you supposed to defend yourself,especially  if they have a gun, unless you have a gun?
          i havent heard anyone do the NOT thing since the 90s that was fun.  i do not agree that the mere presence of a gun increases the likelyhood of suicide or murder. we are pretty low on the list of countries for suicide yet we are close to the top for gun ownership. japan and skorea are in the top ten (s korea is #1) and guns are completly banned there. so those things do no correlate. when your argument is  “Common sense and end of story.” it seems like you do not want to look more closely at your assertions. gun owners are a growing minority but i don’t know too much about what your deal is with rural white males.

  • Keith

    The doctor mentioned toys and kids but how about adults and alcohol.  As a nurse in the ER I saw 100 times more of the latter then the former.  AND the studies are not there.  Guns that cause fatalities are by people that have a choice to make.  Kids do not know how to make a choice.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i think we have done a major disservice to our children by not educating them about firearm safety especially when the programs and funding are available to every public school. we educate them about sex, drugs, traffic, disease and bullys why would we not teach them : stop, dont touch, leave the area, tell an adult.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    so they just looked at the number of gun laws? thats odd

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.blau1 David Blau

    Correlation is not causation.  I suppose next you’ll be telling me that because you see more firemen around large fires, that firemen cause fires to be bigger.

  • second amendment sister

    another bullshit study.

  • http://www.facebook.com/designSimple Bill Smith

    That’s a good angle, but you have to look deeper into the statistics and apply them to the relevant variable, in this case gun laws.
    It’s pretty logical that states with higher per-capita ownership will experience higher per-capita accidents and killings with guns. That’s like saying states with more cars will have more auto fatalities. Well, no kidding.
    But the logic doesn’t carry over precisely to legislation. There’s no correlation between escalating restrictions and decreased criminal gun deaths. There is a foggy correlation between states with looser restrictions and higher per-capita deaths, but again that is a result of more guns not fewer laws.
    If stricter laws were imposed on gun-friendly states, ownership would likely remain high and so, too, would gun-related incidents.

  • StatBabe

    My problem is with laws that specifically ban funding of any and all research aimed toward reducing deaths from firearms. The firearms manufacturers and their lapdogs GOA and the NRA cannot be satisfied with defeating even the most diluted firearms safety bills–they just HAVE to silence any research that MIGHT reduce deaths from firearms. As Dr. Fleegler pointed out, his study raised more questions than it answered, and the way to really get to the heart of injuries and deaths from firearms and how to reduce injuries and deaths from firearms is to allow that research to go forward! The kicker for the uninformed is that the REASON for the law prohibiting ANY federal funding of research to reduce injury and death from firearms goes back to a seriously flawed study conducted by John Lott that purportedly showed that MORE firearms actually reduces injury and death from firearms. Yeah, right–that makes a hole lot of sense *dripping in sarcasm*. When academics all over the country were unable to replicate findings and discovered numerous errors, the gun industry and its lapdogs leaned on Congress to curtail ALL funding of such studies. After all, it would be such a damned shame if we found that measures like safe storage or requiring gun owners to have liability insurance actually reduced injury and death from firearms! NOT!

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      it was the kellerman study.

  • ironhorsetamer

    Murder is a deliberate act, not an accident with a faulty product. Murderers will turn to other tools, or simply ignore the laws and use illegal guns. Disarming the victims has never been an effective way to combat crime.

  • Jbirge2545

    A Harvard study . Think about what that means . A bunch of 19-20 year olds doing a class project . The Instructor has told everyone what he wants the results to be . His final conclusion ” more research and funding is needed to study the problem further “.

  • Truebeerking1

    Random conclusions drawn. Look at California! Very strict gun laws, but one of the highest, if not THE highest rate.

  • Sherry Mitchell

    Sooo I guess no one noticed that this chart is bs….Ill has almost twice the death rate as Oklahoma but they are shown by color to have less death…am I reading the chart wrong..that’s possible but I don’t see how I could be.

    • Entheogen

      Higher population density – this is per 100,000 people. The state of Illinois has a population that is much greater than Oklahoma, so it is going to have a higher total amount.

  • Josh Powell

    Chicago most strict gun laws, most deadliest city….

  • Josh Powell
  • James E. Chandler

    Every study for the last 20 years has found the opposite of this. Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the U.S. but you are more likely to get shot in Chicago than a soldier in Afghanistan. New York City, Washington D.C., Trenton N.J.,Boston, Mass. have some of the toughest gun laws in the U.S. and have some of the highest gun crime rates. In every state that has passed concealed carry and castle doctrine the violent crime rate has gone down. Criminals do not like armed victims.

  • k


  • k

    can i discuss

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 21 21 Comments

The Challenges Of Recruiting An All-Volunteer Army

The Army is meeting its targets, but the man who runs recruiting says finding qualified candidates in the 17 to 24 age group can be difficult.

August 21 Comment

Syrian Clarinetist Finds A Home For His Music

"Does the clarinet stop a bullet or does it feed a child or does it rebuild a destroyed home?" Kinan Azmeh asks. "Of course it doesn't. But... it can inspire."

August 20 Comment

James Foley Remembered For His ‘Extraordinary Courage’

U.S. officials have confirmed the authenticity of a video showing the beheading of the American journalist.

August 20 7 Comments

L.A. Moves To Arrest Fewer Misbehaving Students

The change in the school district's policy is the culmination of a long fight by judges, government officials, advocates and attorneys.