There are some deep causality issues with this article. You are correlating gun law “rate” with gun death rate, not with gun homicide rate, and presuming causation.

The following are incontrovertible: 1. Gun laws restrict individual freedoms 2. Gun laws save lives. There’s no reason to waste energy debating these facts.

I’m afraid you will in fact need to “waste more energy” to show that #2 is incontrovertible, given the implied causation in the statement.


Gun homicide rate is not correlated with gun ownership rate:

Image from that article: (follow the link for references and methodology)

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But gun suicide is correlated with gun ownership rate. Reference:

..and gun suicide makes up two thirds of the gun deaths number you’re using.

Further, consider that states with higher gun ownership rates have less gun laws than states with lower gun ownership rates, owing to nothing more than voters voting in their own self-interest.

So all you’re actually showing, when you show a correlation between overall gun death rate and level of legal restriction of guns, is the relative difference in suicide. What looks like a “gun laws stop gun deaths” conclusion is most probably simply an artifact of how people vote. This is a “cum hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, where two resultants with a shared cause are being correlated, and one is presumed to be causative.

If you wanted to do the proper analysis, you should narrow your analytical scope to look specifically at the kinds of behaviors the gun law is supposed to prevent, as compared to the preponderance of gun laws. To make your case properly, you must correlate gun law rate with homicide rate, not “total gun death rate” which is two thirds suicide.

Based on the graph above, in which the data points have been color coded towards their voting tendencies, I doubt that a properly built analysis will help you make your case. But I’ve been wrong before, so I’d love to see the results of a revised analysis, and speak with you about them in more detail.

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