Some of this split could be the result of differing values concerning which goals and outcomes are more important (for example, protecting personal liberties or reducing community violence).
Some of this split could be the result of differing values concerning which goals and outcomes are more important (for example, protecting personal liberties or reducing community violence).However, from a survey we conducted of gun policy experts, we found that this is not the primary source of disagreement.
Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters March 2, 2018In addition to their many uses, guns have symbolic, cultural, and economic importance in the United States.
Supreme Court on November 27, 2017, the day the court declined to hear a challenge to Maryland’s 2013 state ban on assault weapons.
Faced with the difficulty of assembling reliable historical information on state implementation of gun policies, we developed a database of state gun laws that covers 1979 to 2016.
The database cites and quotes every law we have categorized, indicating both the date it was enacted and the date it was implemented.
So, although small effects are especially difficult to identify with the data and methods common in this field, that does not mean the effects are unimportant: Even a 1-percent reduction in homicides corresponds to more than 1,500 fewer violent deaths over a decade.
Beyond the fact that it is often difficult to identify the true effects of gun laws using available data and research methods, it is also true that gun policy, as a whole, is understudied. government has spent just 1.6 percent as much on gun policy research as it has on research involving causes of similar levels of mortality in the United States, such as traffic accidents or sepsis, meaning that published studies on gun policy are correspondingly rare (as detailed in a 2017 study by David Stark and Nigam Shah).
Perhaps partly as a result of the widespread availability of this data set, we found vastly more research on shall-issue concealed-carry laws than on any other gun policy.
Indeed, while we identified 30 studies that examined the effects of shall-issue laws using rigorous methods, the next most commonly studied policy (background checks) had just 13 studies, and the next beyond that (child-access prevention laws) had only eight.
That is, disagreements between experts favoring the policy positions of the National Rifle Association and those favoring the positions of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence do not stem from different views about the of different gun policies will be.
Both groups prefer policies that they believe will reduce gun violence, but one believes that eliminating gun-free zones, for instance, will accomplish this objective, while the other believes that such a policy would have the opposite effect.