KK: Marco, any response regarding firearm regulation?
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 35 – No 07 – July 2016
MC: What is the actual number of mass murders since Newtown [Sandy Hook]? Andrew, I admire you immensely because of your passion. But with increased numbers of people who are able to carry a gun, either concealed or openly, the crime rates in those states have plummeted. There’s a correlation, yes, but is there cause and effect? We don’t know because in a lot of those states, crime rates are coming down.
KK: Marco, do you think that more guns or fewer guns will improve safety regarding firearms?
MC: There are a lot of gun studies in the medical literature that are biased and methodologically flawed. Andrew’s correct: The NIH doesn’t fund many gun control studies, but there are a lot of studies in the economics and criminal justice literature based on data readily available from the CDC and other sources that show that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are not associated with more crime. The data clearly show that crime is reduced in states that have enacted right-to-carry laws.
KK: Andrew, are more or fewer guns better?
AF: I can’t imagine how more guns could make us safer. We already have about as many guns in this country as we have citizens. There are more guns in this country per capita than in any other country. I just don’t think that we can shoot our way out of this problem.
The data out there and the studies that have been done have some methodological flaws, I agree, and that includes a recent study that showed that in states that have tighter firearm regulations there’s less firearm violence. They didn’t prove causation, but there was a correlation. Another study noted that someone who has a firearm and is an assault victim is four to five times more likely to be shot and killed. So, in general, the more you increase firearms in a community, the more firearm violence you’re going to have.
KK: If you or your family was threatened and you had access to a firearm, would you use it?
AF: I don’t own a gun, Kevin. I do keep a 2-iron underneath my bed because I figure I might get some use out of that club that way. For the average person, though, when you bring a gun into the home, it does increase your risk of someone dying by homicide two to three times. The risk of suicide in that household goes up five times.