The gun control debate has finally lost a little steam. That doesn’t mean the war is over. It just demonstrates the short attention span of liberals. While the country gets consumed with the latest media distraction, the hard-core gun haters have kept their noses to the grindstone. A new liberal study has been released in another attempt to attack our liberties. This one was conducted by Rand. The problem Rand runs into with their study is that it doesn’t support the anti-gun narrative they want.
What It Found
Before we jump into the study’s findings, it’s important to discuss bias. Bias has been a plague on science since its inception. Even at the best of times, it’s nearly impossible to remove all bias from a social study like this one. Rand does not represent the best-case scenario. They have an obvious and public bias. They even stated in the publication of the study that they were looking to prove the effectiveness of more stringent gun control. Keep that in mind when you read the rest of this. They are clearly on the gun-grabbing, liberal side of things, and this is what they reported.
The first thing they found is that background checks prevent gun crime. More specifically, they found that requiring background checks for every sale by a certified dealer significantly lowers gun homicide and suicide rates.
The second major finding was that mental health checks also reduce gun crime. Again being specific, the study empirically showed that enabling courts to ban certain individuals from owning guns based on their mental health status mitigated gun deaths.
There’s good news. Both of these things are already law, and they already largely work. We’ve even seen that some of the biggest mass shootings in recent years were only possible because law enforcement failed to act on existing law. New laws wouldn’t change that.
Rand found two other important pieces of information in their study. One is that mental health reform is more important than gun-law reform if saving lives is the goal. The other is that gun-control studies are difficult, and the majority of the study was largely inconclusive.
What it Didn’t Find
So far, Rand’s study supports what gun-rights advocates have said all along. But, the bigger story here is in what Rand couldn’t find, despite their earnest search.
One major conclusion lacking from the study is justification for abandoning due process. The study showed that regulating firearm sales to the mentally ill is effective, but it also showed that flat bans based on prescriptions are ineffective. Only regulating ownership to individuals with a documented history of dangerous mental health problems saves lives. This is already how it works. Rand could not find evidence to support more intrusive gun bans that are based on mental health problems.
They also didn’t find evidence to support the need for universal background checks. They tried, but they failed. The Rand research shows that background checks are useful when applied through certified sellers, but the checks lose usefulness when they are required for private sales. They aren’t sure why, but some suggest that private sales are willing to simply ignore the background check.
There is one missing notion bigger than the rest. Rand could find no evidence that gun confiscation saves lives. In fact, despite the goals of the study, they had virtually no suggestions on additional gun control laws. The only recommendation the study made for a new law is in regards to safe storage, and we’ll save that can of worms for another day.
What it Ignored
The study was robust, and it gave us a fair amount of useful information. There are still major components of the gun control debate that the study ignored. Maybe that was a result of bias. Maybe they were trying to limit the scope of their research. Regardless, they failed to investigate any useful aspects to armed citizenry.
The study did begrudgingly acknowledge the CDC’s findings that armed citizens stop a lot of crime, but Rand didn’t follow up on that notion at all. The entire study was performed under the assumption that guns only take life and never save it. We all know what an egregious error that assumption represents, but even with that basis, Rand’s study was a huge win for the 2nd Amendment.
This won’t be enough to stop the liberals from attacking our freedom, but it does highlight some important points. For starters, the leftist notion that gun research is illegal has once again been debunked. Congress isn’t allowed to spend money on gun-control propaganda. Research on the impact of gun control is fine, and it has been done continuously for decades.
The other big takeaway is that all of the research is in agreement. A few doctored studies can be cited by the left, but by and large, the numbers agree with us. Additional gun control is a mistake, and it won’t save lives. All it will do is make law-abiding citizens more vulnerable.
~ American Gun News