Glenn Reynolds comments on the CNSNews article. Despite Ayres and Donohue’s best efforts, Reynolds is all agnostic on the Lott question, but fortunately he has an opinion on the study by Ludwig and Cook (who Reynolds calls “antigun researchers”):
What’s most striking to me, though, is another study, by antigun researchers, that tries to measure gun ownership by suicide rates. (And it’s not mentioned here, but I believe there was another that tried to use subscriptions to gun magazines as a proxy.) This seems rather bogus to me, and I can only imagine the general derision if this kind of proxy were employed by researchers whose work supported gun ownership.
Why imagine? Kleck used the percentage of suicides with guns as a proxy for gun ownership (see J Quant Crim 9:249-88). There doesn’t seem to have been any derision.
While people throw stones at Lott, whether deservedly or not, it’s worth remembering that the anti-gun side has been throwing out utter bilge disguised as “research” for years without a peep from the usual guardians of scientific rigor.
I asked Reynolds to explain what “anti-gun” bilge he was referring to, and he said was thinking primarily of Kellermann. Let’s see how accurate his criticism of Kellermann is:
In their famous “rabidly antigun” article Kopel and Reynolds assert that a 1993 study by Kellermann et al that found that gun ownership was associated with a three times greater risk of becoming a victim of a homicide in the home was “junk science”. They argue that
hardly any of Kellermann’s murder victims were killed with a gun from their own home, and a significant number of the murder “victims” were lawfully killed by police, and the whole factoid disappears once you account for the true rates of gun ownership among the “control group” of people who weren’t murdered
All of these claims are false. Enough of the victims were murdered by the gun in the home so that all of the extra risk from guns was associated just with gun homicide and homicide by people with access to the home gun. Only four (out of 400) were killed by police. You can speculate that the correlation may have be caused by gun ownership being more underreported in the control group, but that does not make the speculation true.
Kellermann’s paper has been subject to many erroneous criticisms. This article by Steve Kangas corrects many of them.