Just about anyone interested in gun rights has probably heard about the "study," appearing in the American Journal of Public Health, claiming that possessing a gun increases the likelihood (somehow) of being shot, by a factor of 4.46. Led by Charles Branas (who, as David points out, is a beneficiary of Joyce Foundation anti-gun largesse), the study looked at gun ownership in Philadelphia over a period of a few years, and came to the above . . . remarkable conclusion.
Others, like Clayton Cramer, have done a good job of pointing out numerous problems with the study, such as the fact that it made no distinction between peaceable gun owners who have no inclination toward nefarious behavior, and gangbanger thugs who can't wait to show how tough they are by shooting it out with other gangbanger thugs, or with the police.
Like I said, the above is kinda old news--I just included it as background, and a refresher. The new part is something I picked up from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), which in turn quotes an article by Ronald Bailey, of Reason Magazine. It's a February article, and not available online yet, but NCPA provides a tantalizing quote.
According to Reason magazine, however, the one explanation the researchers do not mention is that people who anticipate violent confrontations -- such as drug dealers, frequently robbed bodega owners, and women with angry ex-boyfriends -- might be especially likely to possess guns, just as people likely who jump out of airplanes are especially likely to possess parachutes.In other words, the authors admit that an extremely obvious weakness in their theory of a causal relationship between gun ownership and being shot is left completely unaddressed.
The authors acknowledge that they did not account for the potential of reverse causation between gun possession and gun assault -- that is, the possibility that a high risk of being shot causes gun ownership, as opposed to the other way around.
That would seem, pretty much, to be an admission that the entire "study" is a worthless, steaming heap of . . . propaganda.