The gun lobby says firearms keep us safe by protecting us against bad guys and reducing the crime rate. But, what does the science say? We find out how many times a year guns are used in self-defense, how many times they’re used to murder someone, and what impact guns have on the crime rate. In this episode we speak with Prof. David Hemenway, Prof. Helen Christensen, Prof. Gary Kleck and New Jersey gun-range owner Anthony Colandro.
Credits: This episode has been produced by Caitlin Kenney, Heather Rogers and Kaitlyn Sawrey. Edited by Annie Rose Strasser and Alex Blumberg. Production Assistance by Austin Mitchell. Sound design and music production by Martin Peralta and Matthew Boll, music written by Bobby Lord Crisis hotlines:
- United States: US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (2755) (Online chat available) US Crisis Text Line Text “GO” to 741741
- Australia: Lifeline 13 11 14 (Online chat available)
- Canada: Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (See link for phone numbers listed by province)
- United Kingdom: Samaritans 116 123 (UK and ROI)
2013 US Mortality Statistics - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (published 2016) Gary Kleck’s defensive gun use survey Kleck & Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun”, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1995 Survey of virgin births in the US Herring et al, “Like a virgin (mother): analysis of data from a longitudinal, US population representative sample survey”, BMJ, 2013 David Hemenway’s defensive gun use analysis using National Crime Victimization Survey Hemenway & Solnick, “The epidemiology of self-defense gun use: Evidence from the National Crime Victimization Surveys 2007-2011”, Preventive Medicine, 2015 Study on means restriction in Sri Lanka Gunnell et al, “The impact of pesticide regulations on suicide in Sri Lanka”, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2007 Analysis of suicide rates and methods in Australia Large & Nielssen, “Suicide in Australia: meta-analysis of rates and methods of suicide between 1988 and 2007”, The Medical Journal of Australia, 2010 John Lott’s study on right-to-carry laws and crime rates Lott & Mustard, “Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns”, Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics, 1996 National Research Academies Panel which found guns don’t increase or decrease crime Wellford, Pepper, and Petrie, editors, “Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review”, The National Academies Press, 2005 US Crime statistics, 1990-2009 (US Dept of Justice, FBI) A strong association found between state-wide gun ownership and homicide of women Siegel and Rothman, “Firearm Ownership and the Murder of Women in the United States: Evidence That the State-Level Firearm Ownership Rate Is Associated with the Nonstranger Femicide Rate” Violence and Gender, 2016 Study on the Southern Sand Octopus Montana et al, “Liquid sand burrowing and mucus utilisation as novel adaptations to a structurally-simple environment in Octopus kaurna Stranks, 1990”, Behaviour, 2015