Gun Control Advocates Purvey Deadly Myths
Wall Street Journal, 11 Nov. 1998
By John R. Lott Jr.

The family gun is more likely to kill you or someone
you know than to kill in self-defense. The 1993 study
yielding such numbers, published in the New England
Journal of Medicine, never actually inquired as to
whose gun was used in the killing. Instead, if a
household owned a gun and if a person in that household
or someone he knew was shot to death while in the home,
the gun in the household was blamed. In fact, virtual-
ly all the killings in the study were committed with
guns brought in by an intruder. No more than 4% of the
gun deaths in the study can be attributed to the home-
owner’s gun.

This is so completely and thoroughly wrong that it makes me wonder
whether Dr Lott even read the study that he is criticising. Heck, I
don’t think he even read the abstract.

  1. The study did not find that the “family gun is more likely to kill
    you or someone you know than to kill in self-defense”. It found, and
    I quote from the abstract “guns kept in the home are associated with
    an increase in the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate
    acquaintance.”

  2. It is not true that virtually all the killings were committed with
    guns brought in by an intruder. The data is publically available on
    the net and shows that less than 10% of the killings were of this
    type. Note also that the abstract refers to family and lovers rather
    than intruders.

  3. It is not true that no more than 4% of the gun deaths in the study
    can be attributed to the homeowner’s gun. In fact, the majority of
    them can be.