CPRC at Fox News: Media cherry picks Missouri gun data to make misleading case for more control

21 Feb , 2014  

John Lott’s newest piece at Fox News discusses the forthcoming study in the Journal of Urban Health that has been getting a lot of media attention. His piece starts this way:

With headlines claiming “Study Shows Gun Control Works,” media outlets such as CBS, MSNBC, PBS, Washington Post, and BBC were breathless over a soon-to-be-released study by Daniel Webster in the Journal of Urban Health. The claim is that when Missouri in 2007 made it easier to buy handguns, the murder rate went up relative to the U.S. murder rate.

Prior to August 2007, Missouri law had established what is known as a universal background check, closing down the so-called gun show loophole.

While it is true that the murder rate in Missouri rose 17 percent relative to the rest of the U.S. in the five years after 2007, it had actually increased by 32 percent during the previous five years. The question is why the Missouri murder rate was increasing relative to the rest of the United States at a slower rate after the change in the law than it did prior to it. Missouri was on an ominous path before the law was ended.

Simply looking at whether murder rates were higher after the law was rescinded than before misses much of what was going on. Most likely, getting rid of the law slowed the growth rate in murders.

But there are other reasons not to accept the conclusion touted by the press. . . .

Emily Miller on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal discussed our research on Saturday, February 22, 2014.

Human Events also has this follow up discussion available here.

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2 Responses

  1. […] is a lot of arbitrary cherry-picking of the data,” said John R. Lott Jr., president of Crime Prevention Research Center, a research and education organization that studies the relationship between laws regulating the […]

  2. […] is a lot of arbitrary cherry-picking of the data,” said John R. Lott Jr., president of Crime Prevention Research Center, a research and education organization that studies the relationship between laws regulating the […]

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