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Dubious Data Used in Gun Control Debate

Posted Apr 20, 2007 12:25 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Dubious data is being used by both sides in the gun control debate ignited by Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech, reports the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

For example, a claim by advocates of greater firearm restrictions that gun violence is costing the country $100 billion a year is questionable. Among other reasons, it is based on a telephone survey in which respondents are asked how much they would be willing to pay if gun violence could be reduced, according to "Numbers Guy" Carl Bialik.

Another researcher told Bialik in an e-mail that he excluded gang killings from his data on multiple murders. Presumably because they do not routinely comply with legal requirements, chronic criminals "would not be directly affected by the passage of right-to-carry laws," the researcher explained.

For more on the gun control debate, see these Daily News posts earlier this week:

Laws Restrict Actions Against Troubled Students

Gun Debate Heats Up

Bush: Prosecute Crimes, Don't Restrict Guns

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