October 06, 2009

Why Skydivers Would Be Better Off Without Parachutes

On the heels of the Supreme Court's decision to grant cert in McDonald v. Chicage comes a study from the University of Pennsylvania that finds "possessing a gun is strongly associated with getting shot." Jacob Sollum, of Reason Magazine, does a good job taking apart this sudy with the help of a similarly idotic analogy.
"Since "guns did not protect those who possessed them," they conclude, "people should rethink their possession of guns." This is like noting that possessing a parachute is strongly associated with being injured while jumping from a plane, then concluding that skydivers would be better off unemcumbered by safety equipment designed to slow their descent. ...

The one explanation the researchers don't mention is the one that will occur first to defenders of the right to armed self-defense: Maybe people who anticipate violent confrontations—such as drug dealers, frequently robbed bodega owners, and women with angry ex-boyfriends—are especially likely to possess guns, just as people who jump out of airplanes are especially likely to possess parachutes."

As the issue enters the domain of the courts, expect increasing emphasis to be placed on studies trying to undermine the individual right to bear arms.

For a more detailed analysis of the study see Eugene Volokh's post here.

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