Rebuttal – CarsonWentz11

Gun Control Statistics are Too Broad

The topic of gun control is very controversial, in which people will go back and forth on whether there should be more restrictions on buying guns, and if these type of laws even lowers gun violence, especially homicide.  I have set out to find two very similar cities, by characteristics, in which they also are in states with different gun laws, and investigate the differences in gun violence, especially homicide.  I have discovered two cities, Houston, Texas, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in which they are very similar.  Both of these cities have a very close population, a very similar percentage by race, but the states of Texas and Pennsylvania have different gun laws.  I found that the city of Philadelphia, yet being in the state of Pennsylvania with more strict gun laws than Texas, had no only more gun violence, but a higher homicide rate.  These findings are very narrow and only include two cities, and obviously can’t be correlated to the whole country.  On the other hand, statistics that have been done around the country, or even in other countries, on this gun control topic, can’t be correlated down to specific cities, like Philadelphia or Houston, because every city, state, and country has differences.

In German Lopez’s “The Research is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives,” he explains his reasoning on why he disagrees with those who say that gun control doesn’t actually reduce gun violence, especially homicides.  Lopez gathered plenty of research on this topic for his writing, but there are some flaws with the information.  One of the major pieces of evidence Lopez uses for his argument is a researched review of more than 130 studies on the effects of gun control from 10 different countries.  Lopez goes on to use these findings to support his argument stating, “The findings were clear: “The simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths.””  Not only did he use this review for his his argument, but he also used statistics from the United Kingdom and Australia on how gun control is effective.  Both of these example Lopez uses is good for attacking an argument about gun control in a broad way, such as world wide here.  On the other hand, my argument is narrowed down far more than world wide statistics and looks into two particular cities.  Gun statistics can change from town to town, so why is Lopez comparing gun control effects from different countries.  Each country has there own characteristics and it is impossible to correlate from country to country.

More key pieces of evidence Lopez uses in his argumentative article are research done by Harvard researchers and by a Boston University researcher, about the correlation between gun ownership and gun homicide.  The Harvard researchers stated that there research “shows a correlation between statewide firearm homicide victimization rates and household gun ownership,” and in the Boston University research they found, “That each percentage point increase in gun ownership correlated with a roughly 0.9 percent rise in the firearm homicide rate.”  The major problem with this evidence that can reject my argument is that the areas where this research was done by these two Universities, was not in Philadelphia or Houston.  Since this information wasn’t gathered in the two cities of my argument, the information can’t reliably be correlated to everywhere else in the country expecting to have the same results.

Altogether, there isn’t that much empirical data on gun control effects on gun violence and homicide.  Unfortunately, for the data that is available for us, it is very broad and a lot of false correlations are made.   Data on effects of gun control from other countries can not necessarily be correlated to different countries, and that goes the same for data on certain parts of our country being correlated to the rest of the country.  Every city, state, and country is has different characteristics and laws which play big factors and correlating data to other places can sometimes be misleading.

References

Lopez, German. “The Research Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives.” Vox, Vox, 4 Oct. 2017, http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/4/16418754/gun-control-washington-post.

 

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