Last Word on Gun Ownership Statistics (For Now)

On to the next dead horse… 😉

Gun Culture 2.0

My posts on gun ownership statistics, beginning here, brought out a number of excellent comments, some of which highlighted that others have made the same or similar points in the past. Teaching on this topic and posting about it has, therefore, been very educational for me. Which is a big part of the point of doing this, after all.

I teach and write about guns not because I ALREADY know everything there is to know about them, but because I WANT to know more about them.

From http://www.gunfamilysticker.com From http://www.gunfamilysticker.com

As before, I want to bring some ideas shared with me out of the comments and into the main text here.

@BostonTea84 reminds us of the Zogby Analytics poll in 2015 that asked: “If a national pollster asked you if you owned a firearm, would you determine to tell him or her the truth or would you feel it was none…

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Le Kellermann est mort, vive le Kellermann!

If you see the name Kellerman on a gun control study, always check the data.

Gun Culture 2.0

I have been critical of Arthur Kellermann’s gun research in the past, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but in reading for my post on the validity of gun ownership statistics came across another reason Kellermann’s name is so often taken in vain by those defending the gun culture in America.

kellermann4

In their 1995 article on the validity of gun ownership surveys, Rafferty and colleagues write:

Kellermann and coworkers conducted a landmark study validating responses to the question, “Are guns of any kind kept in your household?” in a face-to-face survey in Memphis, TN, and Seattle, WA.

Well, “Kellermann” and “landmark” in the same sentence merits a closer look. Unlike the Rafferty study, the Kellermann study is not freely available on-line, but everything important can be gotten from the abstract.

kellerman-validation-study

Beginning with 75 homes of owners of recently registered handguns, they were actually able to…

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More on Gun Ownership Statistics

Sometimes I help a little…

Gun Culture 2.0

Thanks to some helpful comments on my previous blog post (@BostonTea84 and matthewcarberryblog), I have done a bit more hunting and pecking on the question of gun ownership statistics.

In this post I want to look at a study matthewcarberryblog pointed me to, published in 1995 in Public Health Reports.

public-health-reports-validity-study

The study attempted to assess the validity of a household gun ownership survey question by calling up a sample of households in Ingham County, Michigan who were presumed to have a gun because they either purchased a hunting license or registered a handgun in 1990/1991.  For comparison the researchers also conducted a telephone survey with a random sample of the entire county population. Surveys were conducted in November 1991 and January 1992.

Interesting findings of note, all of which point to the extent of systematic under-reporting of gun ownership in surveys, are:

(1) Systematic Non-Participation in Surveys by Gun…

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How Many Households in America Today Have Guns?

Prof Yamane is doing stellar work from a fresh perspective both on his blog and in his classroom. Well worth following.

Gun Culture 2.0

Having addressed the issue of how many guns there are in the United States today (twice, actually), and why people own them, I now consider the first of James D. Wright’s  “Ten Essential Observations on Guns in America”: Half the households in the country own at least one gun.

Updating Wright’s first observation, although it would seem to be fairly straightforward, is actually quite challenging and controversial.

What percentage of households in the United States own guns? In 1995 Wright maintained that for 35 years “every survey has reported more or less the same result”: about half. Since 1995, things have gotten a bit more confusing. (Note: In the interest of time, I will focus here on the question of household gun ownership, rather than personal gun ownership.)

Photo/Douglas Bovitt Photo/Douglas Bovitt

Some surveys, like the Gallup Poll, show household gun ownership rates to be between 40% and…

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