Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Violence Prevention" Researcher Says Gun Owners Are Drunks

The title simplifies it just a bit but Dr. Garen J. Wintermute of the Violence Prevention Research Program, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis does say there is a link between firearms ownership and alcohol-related "risk behaviours" according to an abstract published in Injury Prevention yesterday.

Alcohol use and firearm ownership are risk factors for violent injury and death. To determine whether firearm ownership and specific firearm-related behaviours are associated with alcohol-related risk behaviours, the author conducted a cross-sectional study using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for eight states in the USA from 1996 to 1997 (the most recent data available). Altogether, 15 474 respondents provided information on firearm exposure. After adjustment for demographics and state of residence, firearm owners were more likely than those with no firearms at home to have ≥5 drinks on one occasion (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.16 to 1.50), to drink and drive (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.34 to 2.39) and to have ≥60 drinks per month (OR 1.45; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.83). Heavy alcohol use was most common among firearm owners who also engaged in behaviours such as carrying a firearm for protection against other people and keeping a firearm at home that was both loaded and not locked away. The author concludes that firearm ownership and specific firearm-related behaviours are associated with alcohol-related risk behaviours.
I'm sure this must explain why the Brady Campaign ranked the state of Utah dead last with a score of zero.  Why it must be full of gun-owning and gun-toting drunks!

Except that Utah is heavily Mormon (about 60%) and the Mormons have a doctrine against alcohol use. Utah also has the lowest alcohol-related fatalities per 100,000 people at 1.93 for 2008.

Cherry-picked data will give you any results you want especially if you start your research with an agenda.

H/T Josh


  1. I've made the same conclusions about riding bulls, riding motorcycles, skydiving, NASCAR and drag racing, as well as engaging in unprotected sex and/or working as a pizza deliveryman.

    My gawd! Breathing is eventually gonna kill you.


  2. @Tim: you're fighting the Narrative. Dontcha know, Gun Owners are icky conservatives, clinging to faith and guns while nursing (no that's too supportive. . .), nay, SLAMMING Buds. . .

  3. At best, at BEST, assuming that the data was honestly analyzed with no introduced bias the quoted section supports the idea that people who meet their criteria for "heavy drinker" are more likely to _report_ carrying a firearm for self defense.

    Most likely their results are completely spurious because the data was just gleaned from other studies, _not_ correctly gathered for this study.

    And since they didn't mention any of that in their "conclusion" all benefit of the doubt for honesty goes away.

  4. Funny, guns are MY anti-drug. The only time you'll find me less than stone cold sober is if I've been ambo'd to the ER* and administered pain medication.

    *Because my government was only interested in protecting criminals by disarming their law-abiding victims.

  5. I carry a gun. Then I lock up the gun and have a few drinks. I also drive a car. I park the car, get comfortable and have a few drinks.

    Go figure that the anti-rights people also seem to think prohibition is a good idea...

  6. Here; hold my beer whilst I write an anti gun piece.......