There’s No Correlation Between Gun Ownership, Mass Shootings, and Murder Rates

This is a Mises.org article from 2015.

We have touched on the gun issue in the wake of the Las Vegas shootings largely because the “never waste a crisis” – “take every chance to expand the state” – folks have made many arguments on the issue of gun control that just don’t hold water. As such they need to be countered in a thoughtful way at least to some extent.

Others are better equipped to do this, and frankly guns are not really our thing, but the Bill of Rights is.

(From Mises)

As you can see, there is no correlation. In fact, if you run the numbers, the correlations coefficient is 0.1, which suggests a negligible correlation, or none at all. The murder data is 2012 data from the Justice Department. The gun ownership rate data is from a 2015 report called “Gun ownership and social gun culture.”

Just for good measure, I also went in and looked for a correlation between mass shootings and gun ownership rates. Here, I took the total number of mass shooting victims in all states so far in 2015. This is updated constantly by¬†Mass Shooting Tracker, and includes the most recent Oregon mass shooting. Mass shootings here include a shooting involving 4 or more people, and do not necessarily mean school shooting. They can mean someone went nuts and shot his wife, her lover, and two bystanders at a birthday party when the shooter personally knew all the victims. There are not just cases of random public shootings. If we only included those, the total numbers would be microscopically small. Even with all mass shooting data together, it’s obvious that your odds of being involved in one in any given year are vanishingly small, and less than 1 per 100,000 in 48 states. I’ve included all victims, not just fatalities here. If I used only fatalities, the mass shooting numbers would be much smaller (x axis = gun ownership percentage; y axis = mass shooting deaths per 100,000):

Click here for the article.