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Sorry but that’s bullshit

The New Scientist:

GUN lobbyists like to repeat the quote often attributed to American writer Robert Heinlein, that “an armed society is a polite society”. But this is certainly not true for motorists.

A survey of 2400 drivers carried out by David Hemenway and his colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health shows that motorists who carry guns in their cars are far more likely to indulge in road rage – driving aggressively or making obscene gestures – than motorists without guns. Some 23 per cent of gun-toting drivers admitted making rude signs, compared with 16 per cent of those who did not carry guns (Accident Analysis and Prevention, DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2005.12.014).

Then why is it that in every case where CCW laws have passed there has been no dramatic increase in crimes? There is also the fact that there is no indication from this survey they determined that those armed actually used their weapons.

Via KABA who notes Do Hemenway and crew ever change their tune or admit their blatant bias?

Update: John Lott has more.

11 Responses to “Sorry but that’s bullshit”

  1. Rick DeMent Says:

    Without commenting on the relevance of the study cited, Iím not sure that the study intended to make the point that the gun motorists who carry guns in their cars were likely to actually use them, but rather it talked about the temperament of those who carry guns in their cars vs those who donít. Statistically, motorists who carry guns in their cars are a vastly smaller group (Iím guessing here), and it seems that a few extra hot heads have the ability to skew the data.

    I making this up here but stay with me, out of the 2400 if only say 10% or 240 people carried guns in their cars, then it would only take 30 people admitting to be hot-heads to get the results cited in the study. What you would have to do in order to make the study more relevant is to interview 2400 gun toters vs 2400 non-gun toters to ďeven the scoreĒ then I would bet you would get results closer to the 8 to 1 ratio.

    I mean if you were doing a Six Sigma style analysis this study would be the kind of thing that would identify an assumption (gun toters are more hot headed then non-gun toters), and then you would have to do a follow up with two groups consisting of an identical demographic spread where the only difference being the gun variable.

    Now I donít know the methodology nor do I know what kind of care the study took in eliminating the other variables (did the sample of gun toters include an over sampling of Mafia Wise guys, or did the sample of non-gun toters over sample Amish people?), but from the story it seems that this study really canít make any definitive claims about the average temperament of those who carry guns. On the other hand citing the lack of increase in gun crime in CCW states canít make any definitive claims about the average temperament of those who carry guns either.

    Anecdotally I have know people who carried guns who range from very even tempered, to those I will not keep company with do to their hot temper. Sort of like Ö well people in general.

  2. Rick DeMent Says:

    That would be 30 “extra” people in para #2

  3. Janine Says:

    Anyone have a copy of the actual study? I’m in a psych MA program and would love to rip this apart in a paper for my scientific methodology class.


  4. SayUncle Says:

    Janine, haven’t found the study but here’s the guy’s webpage. You may be able to get a copy from him. He has quite the anti-gun rťsumť.

  5. Janine Says:

    Thanks. I’ve requested a copy. I’ll let you know if he responds and what the study looks like.

  6. SayUncle » More on guns and road rage (or the lack of) Says:

    […] John Lott has an update on the study that tries to intimate that drivers with guns in their car are more dangerous and notes that Hemenway refuses to provide his data. […]

  7. _Jon Says:

    I’d have to see the study data too.

    And – although this isn’t related to the study – calling the cops and reporting someone brandishing a weapon in a road rage incident is _very quickly_ followed up on by the local police here in Detroit. As in – 8am the next day you have two uniformed officers at your front door asking to interview you about the details of your complaint. And they are very insistent that you show up and testify against the dumb-ass that waived his illegal handgun at you and your friends after they find him, search his car and arrest him.

    Don’t ask me how I know. But I seem to have some element of “luck” at pissing off people when I’m driving. heh. (8 mile isn’t just a dividing line of north Detroit – it’s also a good race track. Did I mention “Don’t ask me how I know”?) heh.

    (I’ve never been the one to waive the gun. But when it gets waived at me, I don’t hesitate to make the call. Some people are just too stupid for their own good. I mean, really – if you had an illegal handgun in your car and some punk pissed you off, would you keep it in your car the next morning after you waived it at the punk? Well, this moron did.)

  8. SayUncle » Says:

    […] […]

  9. SayUncle » Reuters and numbers Says:

    […] And Reuters used the number provided to them by anti-gun “researcher” David Hemenway. You remember him? He said guns cause road rage. […]

  10. SayUncle » That’s a lot of turd polish Says:

    […] What’s that? Hemenway sounds familiar to you? Of course it does. He’s the anti-gun Harvard hack who asserted that folks who carried guns were more likely to indulge in road rage. This despite the fact that there were no notable increases in instances of road rage after states passed concealed carry laws. And, of course, Hemenway refused to release his data. He also has provided some rather questionable numbers to the press. […]

  11. SayUncle » Another alleged gun study Says:

    […] David Hemenway (an anti-gun hack who asserted that folks who carried guns were more likely to indulge in road rage (despite the fact that there were no notable increases in instances of road rage after states passed concealed carry laws); and refused to release his data) is at it again. This time, the hack asserts that if guns in homes cause homicides. Well, that’s not what he says specifically but that’s the impression that he wants to leave you with. Turns out, he’s wrong as usual. Jeff has the full report. He also took the exact same data and came to an entirely different conclusion, noting that Hemenway’s use of controls was just a way to get the desired result. […]

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