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.
The UC Davis study Says it all - I need to read no further. Sometimes the smell of BS just reeks from the page!Kind of like a story on "global warming" that begins with:
A new IPCC study reveals...
...and there’s a high correlation between liberalism and illicit drug use. Let’s ban liberals.
This “study” (so-called) is an unusually large pile of crap, even by Academic Gun-Grabbing Peace-Creep standards. The use of outdated and cherry-picked statistics, combined with an intentional conflation of inherently risky behaviors (e.g. - drunk driving) and demonstrably safe behavior (legal concealed carry) would be bad enough, but the unchecked assumption of causality behind it renders it all a great big steaming load.
15 years ago, how many States had legal concealed carry? The study doesnt differentiate between those who illegally concealed carry and those who do so legally. Those who engage in criminal behavior are more likely to drink? Wow, who knew?Excellent points.
Also, aren't there boatloads of studies that show that where there is legal concealed carry there are WAY FEWER carjackings?
Well, y'all be careful about which one you pull out and stick into your mouth then, y'heah?
that’s funny...most RATIONAL people would clearly conclude NOT carrying is probably riskier..but who knew? Then again I’m not a perfesser....
So from now on, I simply say "molon labe". Come get 'em, bitches. If you want mine, you'd damned sure better bring yours...and pack a lunch, too.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
Nice. I'll be over this weekend. Looks like my type of place. Only thing missing is the "shooting car" out back.
“about 25 percent of gunshot-wound victims treated at UC Davis Medical Center tested positive for alcohol.”
So you are much more likely to be shot if you’re sober. Good to know.(snicker)
“What an idiotic statement - assuming that carry a concealed weapon is a risky behavior.”
Hopefully, the author was referencing this study finding:
“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.”
Let’s concede that alcohol abuse impairs judgment (witness: drinking and driving deaths). This study is the equivalent of finding that drivers who drink alcohol are more likely to be involved in automobile accidents. Given the disproportionate share of carnage caused by drunk drivers, this wouldn’t be at all surprising. But the solution to this problem isn’t to ban either alcohol use or cars: it is to impose heavy penalties on those who drive their cars recklessly—a standard that inevitably will snare more drunk drivers than average drivers.
Likewise with guns. No one can defend the carnage caused by guns. And to the degree it arises from irresponsible behavior, it should be punished just as severely as drunk driving deaths. But the solution isn’t to inhibit the freedom of everyone else to drink or own guns.
If this solution is acceptable for cars (drunk driving causes 10,8000 deaths a year
http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/Impaired_Driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html while gun-related homicides and accidents account for about 13,500 http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNSTAT.html), there’s no reason (except for ideological bias) it can’t work for guns.
Garen Wintemute is an anti-gun activist of the first order and anything he has to say needs to be vetted thoroughly. If that pony-tailed freak said that water was wet I’d be sure to verify the fact.
Is this like the study that once proved that marijuana use made White women want to have sex with Black Jazz musicians?
The way gun owners and dealers get treated by the statist JBT's, can you blame them? Rein in the ATF, and the problem would be solved. Refreshing honesty from a lying liberal university, as much as admitting the policies are the cause of the problem.
When you're a liberal. If you're a liberal and own a gun, it's risky because you're an idiot and will probably shoot your wife or dog. If you're a liberal and OTHER people own guns, it's risky cause you might end up watering the tree of liberty.
Well Malone, you just boiled down the alcohol/gun link to the love of fine, polished wood. Are you up for a grant?
Tip: Before sticking either in your mouth, double check to make sure you grabbed the right one!
Wow, what a complete load of cr@p ping.
This study must be true. Shortly after I gave up alcohol, I lost all my guns in the lake.
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