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Thread: Joint U. of Michigan and U. of Maryland study says gun shows don't contribute to murder or suicide

  1. #1
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    Thursday, October 2, 2008
    U-M study: Gun shows don't increase homicide, suicide rates
    Doug Guthrie / The Detroit News
    ANN ARBOR -- Gun shows don't contribute to increased homicide or suicide rates, according to results of a study announced Wednesday by the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

    The joint University of Michigan and University of Maryland examination of gun death data in the weeks surrounding more than 3,400 California and Texas gun shows concluded tighter regulation of the flea market-like operations did nothing to reduce firearms-related deaths in the following month.

    Researchers compared gunshot death data surrounding every known gun show in California and Texas between 1994 and 2004. California has some of the most stringent gun sale rules in the country. Texas is among the least restrictive.


    "To the extent that 33 regulations such as those in place in California reduce any deleterious effects of gun shows, one might expect to detect a larger effect in a relatively unregulated state such as Texas. Our results, however, provide no evidence to suggest that gun shows lead to a substantial increase in the number of homicides or suicides in either California or Texas," said U-M professor Brian Jacob, head of the Ford School's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy.

    Like Michigan, California requires background checks for all gun buyers and a multiday waiting period to obtain the firearm. The wait in Michigan is three days and 10 days in California. Texas has no similar regulations.

    "I'm not surprised they found those results. I'm surprised it took so long for someone to actually do the study," said Mike Thiede, spokesman for Michigan Gun Owners, a 3,700-member Dearborn Heights gun rights and gun education advocacy group.

    The data came from within 25 miles of the shows. Of more than 105,000 homicides and suicides reported in the two states during the 11-year period, 61 percent were gun-related. Using ZIP codes, trends before and after the shows were examined. Researchers say gun-related homicides in the weeks immediately after gun shows in Texas declined slightly.

    "That claim about increased homicides and suicides is something that we hear mostly from the East and West coasts. Here in the Midwest, people know better," Thiede said.

    Gun control advocates believe the study is flawed.

    "My main concern about this study is what it appears to be measuring is pretty narrow," said former Fort Wayne, Ind., Mayor Paul Helmke, now president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. "When I've talked to California law enforcement, they are happy with how their regulations work. But they see guns coming from Nevada and Arizona. We have a very fluid market, and the gun shows are a part of that. This study answers an interesting question, just not the crucial question."

    In the report Jacob co-wrote with Mark Duggan and Randi Hjalmarsson of the University of Maryland, he said, "We believe that this analysis makes an important contribution to understanding the influence of gun shows, the regulation of which is arguably the most active area of federal, state, and local firearms policy. To our knowledge, this is the first study that directly examines the impact of gun shows on gun-related deaths."

    In the paper, Jacob wrote about gun control advocate complaints about "the gun show loophole" that exists in many states that makes it easier for potential criminals to obtain a gun. Gun shows may also affect suicide rates by making it easier to get a gun.

    Helmke said unlicensed sales regularly take place at gun shows between private parties who meet at the events.

    "The shows allow a private seller to have a floating place of business, to go to gun shows and stay in business without advertising," Helmke said. It's a venue of people who are in the business but don't meet the requirements and that makes it easier for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons."

    Sport Shows Promotions Inc. of Mason has scheduled 27 gun and knife shows throughout Michigan this year. Events this month are set for Kalamazoo, Cadillac and Grand Rapids and Oct. 11-12 at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit. The Gibraltar Trade Center will host a show the same weekend in Taylor and another Oct. 17-19 at its Mount Clemens location.

    "The AFT comes into our shows and monitors us all the time," said Doug Carl, head of Sport Show Promotions. "It's against the law in Michigan for private parties to sell to each other without the same FBI background check and proper permits as the commercial sales. That's where other states drop the ball, I think. I'm not opposed to being safe."

    You can reach Doug Guthrie at (313) 222-2548 or

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member PrayingForWar's Avatar
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    They needed to do a "study" to figure that out? It's common sence. What's next, a study to determine that milk goes bad if you leave it out in the sun?

    I've sold 2 guns in my life at Saxet Gun Show. One was a .380, and when I asked the guy for his license so I could take his info down, he showed his CHL, so there was no point. The other one was to a guy with a stand and an FFL. I'd have to guess that the majority of people who sell privately don't want to sell their guns to some BG, only to have it come up in a crime, or even a murder. I know I wouldn't want it on my concience (sp?), let alone have police coming to my door asking questions.
    If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training. You will become a minister of death, PRAYING FOR WAR...

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    "Blah, blah, blah doesn't agree with my emotional world view so it is horse squeeze," said former Fort Wayne, Ind., Mayor Paul Helmke, now president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C.

    On the one hand I am happy to see a common anti-gun argument easily beaten down by facts. On the other hand the anti-gun types have no use for facts as their arguments are already entirely based on emotion so while it confirms the reality for the thinking people, it has no effect on the emotional dumb masses.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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