Hold X to Doubt – CNN’s “300,000 Lives”

“Nearly 300,000 lives could be saved in the next decade if states followed California’s example on gun laws, study says”

The CNN headline is in reference to the very clearly non-partisan and unbiased study by the totally not Bloomberg owned and helmed Everytown for Gun Safety. So you know its legit…

Every time I see a headline making these bold and suspect claims, and then citing a gun control group helmed by blathering imbeciles, I just have to wonder who taught them statistical analysis.

Yes, their math “checks out” in so far as if you averaged the firearm related deaths nationwide and assume mirroring California magically results in California’s rate you “save” lives vs unchanged rates.

Here’s how they did that.

Everytown used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looking at their rates of gun deaths in 2022, and compared those rates with 50 up-to-date policies for each state that they say are scientifically proven to be effective in preventing gun violence. The CDC’s data includes homicides, accidental killings and suicides committed with guns.

The team then weighed gun safety policies based on their efficacy, ranked each state on its implementation of those policies and compared that score with the rates of gun deaths in each state.

The group also looked at whether the strength of each state’s gun laws increased or weakened last year, depending on legislation. Measures that require universal background checks for gun purchases – enacted last year in Michigan – and ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines – now in effect in Illinois – gave certain states higher rankings based on the strength of their gun laws.

But states like Florida and Nebraska became weaker on the gun safety scale last year due to passing legislation allowing people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a permit.

Here’s the problem, the Everytown scores are made up nonsense with little basis in efficacy where as a region’s socio-economic history and analysis of current events are much greater predictors of future trends. The South won’t magically go to a 8.0 per 100,000 death rate if they suddenly adopt California policy because it isn’t “The South” by state. Gun laws have very little effect on suicide for example, the states with high suicide rates tend to have a high population of older white males. Areas with espcially high homicide rates tend to be dominated by young males 15-35 and in low income brackets.

None of these things are accounted for in Everytown’s study of the states, it is literally just a feel good score for how much they like each gun control law and how many a state has. Michigan is cited multiple times in the CNN piece as having done well by implementing Universal Background Checks, but now they are in a position to use the already declining murder rate, down from the Pandemic and riot spikes of 2020-2022, as “evidence” that the new rule is working when they are instead riding a complex combination of factors that are measuring the slow improvement of the Detroit area in general and assigning all that success to the stupid and easily ignored UBC rules that had to be amended multiple times just to work at all.

It is also notable that Everytown’s “Foundational Laws” does NOT include a ban on “Assault Weapons” as the label continues to be used.

Everytown designated five foundational laws that they say have proven to be the most effective in lowering gun violence rates – all of which are in effect in New York and California. They include requirements for a background check and/or permits to purchase firearms; a permit to carry concealed guns in public; the secure storage of firearms; the rejection of ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws; and the enactment of ‘extreme risk’ laws that temporarily remove a person’s access to firearms when there is evidence that they pose a serious risk to themselves or others.

They like UBC’s, permitted carry (which does have some positive evidence in its favor), secure storage (which has the only truly strong evidence of efficacy), ‘rejection’ of Stand Your Ground laws (hard to quantify), and any variant of a ERPO or Red Flag law (until it doesn’t work in which case it will be called a ‘yellow’ flag law by media).

Again, vague policy implementation on the books that generates a feel good score and does nothing to address the easily identifiable societal trends that result in likelihood of homicides or suicides if you break it down by social groups and not “states”. States are the ultimate

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. editor@gatdaily.com A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.