Defense Of Waiting Periods Doesn’t Give Whole Picture – Bearing Arms

Defense Of Waiting Periods Doesn’t Give Whole Picture – Bearing Arms

Maine Democrats want waiting periods following Lewiston. In fairness, they’re not the only Democrats who want waiting periods on gun sales. It seems to be one of the bigger asks from anti-gun lawmakers and has been a consistent talking point for them for years.

And, unsurprisingly, their buddies in academia have concocted a lot of supposed research all about how waiting periods do all this good.

In Maine, that “research” is being trotted out to justify the waiting period proposal now being pushed. There are problems with this, however.

Americans and Mainers are generally very supportive of stricter gun laws, including waiting periods and tighter background checks.

But votes on the legislation that Maine lawmakers will soon consider aren’t just about popularity. They are about saving lives.

And waiting periods, along with stricter background checks, have been shown to help.

“Absolutely, this study demonstrates a robust association between waiting periods and gun deaths,” Margaret Formica, a public health researcher at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, said of a Harvard University study published in 2017. The research, which she was not involved with, found a 17 percent drop in homicide deaths and a 7 percent to 11 percent drop in deaths by suicide when gun purchase waiting periods were in place. 

Except that’s not what that study found. It found a reduction in suicides by gun. That’s an important distinction, because people commit suicide through a variety of methods. Waiting periods may be enough to cause some people to stop and think for a bit and decide against taking their own lives, but many will just use any of a thousand other methods they know about.

Is it a net win for society if someone finds out they have to wait for a gun, then goes across the street to buy razor blades and takes their life with those instead?

I wouldn’t think so.

And this is part of why so many gun studies are garbage. They misrepresent the reality, treating guns as a thing in a vacuum, and never look beyond that. They never look to see if those who are want to take their own life get help or just find another method.

Then, of course, the researchers make broad claims about how it makes people stop and think, but that’s just a guess. They don’t say it does that, they say it “could,” meaning they’re trying to find a reason and they think this is a possible one.

But they’re also unable to account for a lot of extraneous factors, such as economics during the time periods they’re looking at. People who are doing well financially may well feel less stressors regarding their lives, thus be less likely to want to take their life or someone else’s.

See, the problem with gun studies in general is that the research is so heavily biased that we can’t take any of the research seriously in the first place. We see the problem with the cited study above, but people like this will push waiting periods based on this problematic research like it’s nothing.

They never stop to even address the fact that buying a firearm is a constitutionally protected right, and we don’t delay rights. As they say, a right delayed is a right denied. So it’s unlikely the courts, particularly post-Bruen, would go along with this, which the author of this piece even acknowledges by noting the courts blocking Colorado’s waiting period.

So, we’ve got a study that’s biased being misrepresented to push for legislation that courts are already calling unconstitutional.

Seems like a winner to me.

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