Study Shows Correlation Between Mass Shootings and Gun Laws, Falls Flat

A new study claims to show the correlation between mass shootings and how easy it is to buy a gun in that state. This study, oddly enough, is based on a book we sell in our store called the Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States.

That's a great book if you travel, and highly recommended. Do yourself a favor and buy one.

The anti-gun media, of course, has picked this up and ran with it, cherry picking the stats the study shows while avoiding one small bit of information found at the bottom of this biased study:

There are several limitations to our study. Our study design incorporated a time series component, lagged variables, and multiple covariate adjustment strategies, and was primarily able to show broad associations between state gun laws, gun ownership, and mass shootings.

I'd go one step further to point out that much information is left out.

I'm not here to debate the truth of the study, nor do I care about trying to prove the study wrong. They admitted in the study that there were limitations and that's good enough for me. There are some things I wanted to talk about, however, that should be addressed.

For example, while it's never my goal to limit the importance of the lives lost in a mass shooting, there are other numbers that should be used. One of these sets of numbers are the violent crime rates in the states listed on each end of the spectrum.

After all, violent crime is, in my opinion, much more telling than mass shootings are.

Mass shootings, by comparison are rarer than your average shooting or display of a weapon in attempted robbery or other crime.

Here is a screenshot I took of a page showing violent crime rates in the top 20 states —

I pulled the top 20 in my screenshot just because it was all my screen would allow, since I'm on my small Microsoft Surface writing this article from a school function with my kids. But if you look closely, there are some states on this “most violent states” chart that shouldn't, in anti-gunner theory, be here.

So, what's the point? Well, there are a couple. First, it's really hard to show proof that mass shootings or other violence are more likely to happen in gun-friendly states with inaccurate data.

I can only imagine that those states aren't ranked higher in the flawed study because of extreme bias.

Violence is very well documented, and when studied properly shows a lot.

In the chart above, there are definitely some states on there that shouldn't be if gun control worked. Maryland, DC, California, Delaware, and Illinois would not be listed if the study was true.

In fact, I read one report that said you had a 1 in 13 chance of becoming the victim of a crime in one subsection of Baltimore, MD. This is in despite of the fact that Maryland is one of the strictest states in the Union for gun laws and is listed pretty low on this table from the flawed study:

Another report I just read showed the 30 most murderous cities throughout the country. Gun control role model, NJ, was listed twice in the top 15. California was also listed a couple of times throughout the entire list, as was (not as strict but still pretty bad) Chicago, IL.

As a side note, Chicago is getting better for the second year in a row. That report showed it ranked at 24.

The thing is, all of the states where those cities I just mentioned reside, have gun control measures in place.

In fact, Maryland and California are the poster children for gun control advocates. Why are Compton, CA and Baltimore, MD being ignored? Why doesn't Newark or Orange, NJ make their lists?

Perhaps because it goes against their agenda?

Finally —

I'm also not blind, as there were also cities in pro-gun states listed on all the reports I read. The difference between my conclusions, is that I'm willing to see that there are murders in these pro-gun states.

I'm willing to admit that they're there and that something needs to be done about it.

But, saying that I should give up my guns in NC because a place called Salisbury, NC was listed at number 9 is asinine.

The point? Murder happens everywhere. Bad people are all over the place. And, you can't really show a correlation between people dying and how lax the gun laws are. Because, if that was the case, NJ, CA, and MD wouldn't have cities listed in the most violent.

Let me know if you agree in the comments below.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. Dennis Sumner on March 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Of course they think we’re stupid! All arrogant people always think they’re the most intelligent people in the room. We’ve all been too compliant far too long@

  2. David McGill on March 8, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    I have to agree with the author. As a statision, statistics can paint whatever picture I choose. States and cities that have some of the strictest gun control laws have some of the highest violent crimes.

    • Curious 1 on March 11, 2019 at 1:41 pm


  3. Dave on March 8, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Facts don’t matter to the anti-gun crowd. They will twist things to fit their agenda.

  4. Paul on March 8, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    One can pretty much twist facts as they need to reach a conclusion that is precluded. That includes the pro-gun crowd as well.

    I am pro-gun, I own some and like shooting targets mostly, and believe in self defense. Self defense is pretty well needed in this country considering the violence.

    Maybe a true study would consider the situation in an area (race relations, drug use, population density, etc) and ask what would gun violence be if those restricted rates had less strict gun laws.

    Might be higher or might be lower. I don’t know, just saying folks like to twist things around and find studies to suit their opinions. 🙂

  5. Ron Steiner on March 9, 2019 at 7:21 am

    As a truck driver, I travel around much of the country, I often engage in conversation with other people about various topics. While guns aren’t usually one of them, I’m finding that much of this country is turning liberal and it bothers me greatly. I think the educational system is greatly to blame for this, its nothing more than indoctrination.

    I’ve never served in the military, never been outside the country, I feel I’m as spoiled as most here are, I’ve never experienced the HELL of Venezuelan living, never experienced war, God blessed me with being born in the safest country in the world as have most here. The problem is I / most of us don’t realize how BAD life can become if we listen to social media ( I don’t use ANY of it ), the Clinton News Network etc. Our Gov’t is full of this Elite power grabbing thinking.

    They all want to be in the ruling class, and in charge of it, “The people” being the ruled class, and without guns, no way to fight to remain FREE. I feel we’re heading for our second revolution.

  6. Patrick on March 11, 2019 at 5:00 am

    If you can’t spell statistician don’t claim to be one.

  7. David on March 11, 2019 at 9:40 am

    This study and report needs to be sent to every politician in every state. We need to keep as many on the 2A side. If not we may lose them to the falsehood espoused by the gun grabbers.

  8. Steven on March 13, 2019 at 9:17 am

    I just wish Bill H 38 passes and I hope there will be an article on this bill here soon!! Amen

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