Another Flawed Gun Crime Study

The Brady Campaign is citing a 2005 study that claims that workplaces that allow guns are more likely to have a workplace homicide than those that do not, saying that allowing guns in the workplace puts employees at greater risk.

The study has a number of serious flaws. To begin with, the study starts with 105 companies that had workplace homicides, and 210 “control” companies. Studying the policies of the employers that experienced a workplace homicide compared to companies that did not can only prove whether a workplace that experienced a homicide is more or less likely to allow guns. The study, however, purports to find that allowing weapons makes homicide more likely. Just like proving that grass is likely to be green does not prove that something green is likely to be grass, proving that workplaces that experience violence are more likely to allow guns does not prove that workplaces that allow guns are more likely to be experience violence.

A major factor that needs to be considered is geography. In many cities, violent crime is concentrated in certain areas, and almost nonexistent in others. Businesses that are in areas where violent crime is more prevalent are more likely to allow guns. In fact, some even keep guns behind the counter. In Milwaukee, there was a recent incident where a convicted felon was in a shootout with a robber, but felon in possession charges were not filed because the gun was kept in the store, by the store, not the employee. As to violent crime in the area, my map of 2007 Milwaukee homicides shows 13 homicides in about a one mile radius around the store.

In contrast, a similar store in a less violent part of the city is less likely to feel the need to have a gun on premises, and more likely to have a policy against them.

Which store is more likely to experience a homicide? The first store would be MUCH more likely, not because of the gun, but because of the environment. Furthermore, the policy allowing weapons is a result of the violent environment, not a cause of it.

Hat tip Snowflakes in Hell


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