Knives and Guns

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Death rate from gun assaults vs death rate from knife assaults (Sam A. Kersh) writes:

> The aggressor's possession of a handgun in a violent incident
> apparently exerts a very slight net positive effect on the
> likelihood of the victim's death.  The linear probability
> interpretation of the OLS coefficient implies that the presence of a
> handgun increases the probability of the victim's death by 1.4%.
> thus the violence-increasing and violence -suppressing effects of
> gun possession and use almost exactly cancel each other out.  This
> small association is statistically significant, however, because of
> the very large (n=14,922) sample size.
> the effects of aggressor weaponry are quite substantial when taken
> stage by stage, i.e., when separately examining attack, injury, and
> death.  This is why impressive-appearing results can be obtained
> when researchers examine, for example, only the last stage, looking
> solely at the impact of guns on the likelihood of the victim's
> death, among those wounded...........
> The findings also imply that if gun possession were reduced among
> aggressors in violent situations, total assault injuries would
> increase, the fraction of injuries resulting in death would
> decrease, and the total number of homicides would remain about the
> same....

This is perhaps the most bone-headed claim Kleck makes in his book.
Thanks for bringing it up.  Kleck's data implies that a 10% reduction
in gun possession by aggressors would result in a 2% decrease in
injuries and a 6% decrease in homicides.  This is definitely not
"remain about the same."


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