Skip to comments.Gun ownership, carrying a gun linked to heavy alcohol use
Posted on 06/20/2011 9:11:22 AM PDT by drypowder
Gun ownership, carrying a gun linked to heavy alcohol use Large, multi-state study shows certain gun owners more likely to drink excessively
June 14, 2011
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) Gun owners who carry concealed weapons or have confronted another person with a gun are more than twice as likely to drink heavily as people who do not own guns, according to a study by UC Davis researchers. Binge drinking, chronic heavy alcohol use, and drinking and driving were all more common among gun owners generally than among non-owners, even after adjusting for factors such as age, sex, race, and state of residence. But alcohol abuse was most common among firearm owners who participated in gun-related behaviors that carry a risk of violence, which also included having a loaded, unlocked firearm in the home and driving or riding in a vehicle with a loaded firearm.
The UC Davis study, which appears online in the journal Injury Prevention, analyzed telephone survey results for more than 15,000 people in eight states. The highest levels of alcohol abuse were reported by gun owners who engaged in dangerous behavior with their weapons. For example, gun owners who also drove or rode in motor vehicles with loaded guns were more than four times as likely to drink and drive as were people who did not own guns. But gun owners who did not travel with loaded guns were still more than twice as likely to drink and drive as were people who did not own guns.
Its not surprising that risky behaviors go together, said Garen J. Wintemute, author of the study and director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. This is of particular concern given that alcohol intoxication also impairs a gun users accuracy as well as his judgment on whether to shoot.
Wintemute, a professor of emergency medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine and one of the worlds foremost experts on gun-related violence, analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Study data on firearms ownership and alcohol use came from telephone interviews done in 1996 and 1997 with people in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota and Ohio. Participants were asked if they owned a gun, as well as if they engaged in specific firearm-related behaviors. Respondents also were asked about their consumption of alcohol, including whether they have had five or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion; if they drove after consuming perhaps too much alcohol; or if they had 60 or more drinks per month.
The article suggests several reasons why dangerous behavior involving alcohol and firearms might be linked. Drinking can impair judgment and lead people to use firearms in ways that they would otherwise avoid. Alternatively, underlying personality traits, such as impulsiveness or an inclination to take risks, could lead to an increase in dangerous behavior involving alcohol and guns.
The study also evaluated gun owners who indicated that they had attended a firearm-safety workshop in the previous three years. Those respondents were less likely to engage in alcohol-related risk behaviors than those who had not attended a workshop.
The data are 15 years old, but no more recent data are available. Only eight states chose to ask questions about both firearms and alcohol. Despite these limitations, Wintemute said, the studys results provide important evidence about gun ownership and the potential for gun use to be closely associated with the misuse and abuse of alcohol.
New and more comprehensive research is needed, since legislation authorizing the public carrying of loaded and concealed firearms has become almost universal in the United States, said Wintemute. Efforts to separate the use of firearms from the use of alcohol may have important benefits for the health and safety of the public.
According to a 2004 study done by the Harvard School of Public Health, there are 260 to 300 million guns in civilian hands in the United States. The University of Chicagos National Opinion Research Center estimates that 32 percent of American households contain firearms. In 2009, more than 30,000 gun-related deaths occurred around the nation, and more than 78,000 people suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds. About one third of firearm-related deaths involve alcohol. In the last three years, about 25 percent of gunshot-wound victims treated at UC Davis Medical Center tested positive for alcohol.
Federal law does not restrict the purchase or possession of firearms by alcohol abusers, who are sometimes defined as habitual drunkards or alcoholics, and few states do so. Four states allow concealed guns in bars, provided the armed person does not consume alcohol which, noted Wintemute, seems difficult to enforce because the weapons are, by definition, concealed.
The UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program is an organized research program that addresses the causes, nature and prevention of violence. Its mission is to conduct research to further Americas efforts to understand and prevent violence. Current major areas of emphasis are the prediction of criminal behavior, the effectiveness of waiting-period and background-check programs for prospective purchasers of firearms, and the determinants of firearm violence.
Its not surprising that risky behaviors go together, said Garen J. Wintemute, author of the study and director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program.
What an idiotic statement - assuming that carry a concealed weapon is a “risky behavior”. I pull reserve duty in the NCR and NOT being able to carry my weapon is “risky behavior”.
On January 1, 1996, the Texas Concealed Handgun Law went into effect. This law states that the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) "shall issue" a concealed handgun license (CHL) to any Texas resident who meets the application requirements for character (background check) and training. This is an analysis of arrest data for Texas concealed handgun licensees that was performed on data from the subsequent years of 1996 - 2000. A comparison was made with the arrest data for the entire Texas population for the same time period, showing that, on average: male Texans who are over 21 years old and are not CHL holders are 7.7 times more likely to be arrested for commission of a violent crime than male Texans with a CHL; and female Texans who are over 21 years old and are not CHL holders are 7.5 times more likely to be arrested for commission of a violent crime than female Texans with a CHL. Of the violent crime cases that have been adjudicated, approximately 26% of CHL holders who were arrested were convicted, and 44% are cleared of the violent crimes for which they were arrested.
The chart below illustrates the arrest rate comparison for each of the years 1996 2000.
The purpose of this analysis is to attempt to quantify the negative effect, if any, of Texas Concealed Handgun License holders on crime and crime rates through a comparison of arrests rates with the Texas population as a whole. The scope of this analysis is the five-year period from the law's enactment in January of 1996, through December of 2000. For the proper perspective, the analysis of the DPS arrest data for CHL holders is juxtaposed against the arrest data for the state's entire population.
Unfortunately, this analysis cannot attempt to quantify the positive effect, if any, of the Texas Concealed Handgun Law, as there is no data available regarding the number of crimes prevented or the number of lives saved when a concealed handgun is used in self-defense.
With the information available, a juxtaposition of the arrest rates for Texas CHL holders and the general public is the best, though imperfect, method of determining any negative effect (an increase in violent crime) of the Texas Concealed Handgun Law on Texas society. If allowing normally law abiding and peaceful citizens to carry a weapon concealed on their person were to somehow convert them into violent predators, it would be expected that CHL holders would have a higher crime rate than unlicensed Texans. The comparison of arrest rates suggests just the opposite Texans licensed to carry a gun are much less violent than Texans who are not.
Since the age/sex demographics of the CHL group is so significantly different from that of the total Texas population, (Notes 1, 2), the comparison of the two groups was made between males age 21 years, CHL v. non-CHL; and females age 21 years, CHL v. non-CHL.
Males:Top of Page
The average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 7.7 times more likely to be arrested for the violent crimes of murder, rape, robbery, and assault than the average male CHL holder.
Looking at violent crimes individually, the average male Texan who is 21 years or older is 1.7 times (rate of 7.4 v. 4.3) more likely to be arrested for murder; 87 times (rate of 24 v. 0.3) more likely to be arrested for rape; 53 times (rate of 44 v. 0.8) more likely to be arrested for robbery; 3.4 times (rate of 202 v. 60) more likely to be arrested for aggravated assault; and 10 times (rate of 892 v. 87) more likely to be arrested for other assaults than the average male CHL holder.
No male Texas CHL holder was arrested for negligent manslaughter during the 1996 through 2000 period.
Females:Top of Page
The average female Texan who is 21 years or older is 7.5 times more likely to be arrested for the violent crimes of murder and assault than the average female CHL holder.
Looking at violent crimes individually, the average female Texan who is 21 years or older is 2.0 times (rate of 1.2 v. 0.6) more likely to be arrested for murder; 2.5 times (rate of 48 v. 19) more likely to be arrested for aggravated assault; and 17 times (rate of 178 v. 11) more likely to be arrested for other assaults than the average female CHL holder.
No female Texas CHL holder has arrested for negligent manslaughter, rape, or robbery during the 1996 through 2000 period.
Notes:Top of Page
William E. Sturdevant, PE
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001,
Of course we are supposed to believe these CRACK smokers!
"Only eight states chose to ask questions about both firearms and alcohol."
Whenever I come across a survey that gets into the "none of your business" zones, I tend to get creative
Any of you?
Sigh - It is Bravo Sierra time again, at another Kalifornia ‘institute of the academented’.
Let’s look at this whopper: “gun-related behaviors that carry a risk of violence, which also included having a loaded, unlocked firearm in the home and driving or riding in a vehicle with a loaded firearm.”
According to the sentence, the “study” assumed that driving in a vehicle with a loaded firearm is carries a significant “risk of violence”. The Academented seem unaware that an unloaded gun is an expensive and unwieldy ‘blunt force weapon’, better known as a ‘club’.
Clubs are notably useless in a vehicle when attacked by a criminal with a gun who is outside the victim’s car.
Given the prevalence of armed, two legged predators, a case can be made that leaving home without a loaded gun is an invitation to Murphy. And, never forget Murphy knows what you did with his youngest daughter that night!
“It is the right and duty of the citizen to be at all times armed...”. Good enough for the Founders is good enough for present day Americans.
hmm I must be an outlier...
120+ Rifles (milsurp)
20+ hand guns (milsurp_
only drinking alcohol I partake in is NyQuil when sick...
Paying idiots like Garen J. Wintemute is why California is broke.
Hey UC Davis!, I have a great idea for your next project! - How much violence & crime is committed by illegal aliens! follow up - how much & crime could be prevented with systematic deportations and a protected border.
I'll even volunteer to write out the grant applications
Wierd that I almost never drink.
The places my brother has to go it would be “risky behavior” to be unarmed!
What next? Good grief.
Total BS. I carry daily. I don’t drink.
however, I conducted a study that shows all liberals are mentally deficient and cannot be trusted with reality.
Well, this certainly explains why Coos County, Oregon leads the nation in gun related homocides.