Study on Guns and Risk

23:49 Tue 20 Oct 2009. Updated: 05:53 21 Oct 2009
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A recent University of Philadelphia study apparently shows that people in possession of guns were significantly more likely (4.46 times as likely) to be shot in an assault than people without guns. I’m particularly curious about some things that the study can’t really address—namely whether it’s causation or correlation. Is it the presence of the gun that increases the danger of confrontation? Is it that the presence of the gun makes the gun possessor more belligerent? Or is it that the kinds of people more likely to be belligerent are the kinds of people more likely to be carrying guns?

Another question is one of morality—if (as is strongly suggested by the study) resisting robbery or borderline situations leads to a higher likelihood of injury or death (on either side), does this imply that offering no resistance is the more moral act?

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