Greg Gutfeld took to Fox News’ “The Five” to discuss how much better a place Detroit is now that more law-abiding citizens have guns. Many of his panelists agreed that having a gun for safety inherently makes people safer, especially in a city where people don’t trust the police to show up to a crime scene.
Gutfeld cheered Detroit for becoming gun-friendly, and lauded the fact that it’s now easier to get concealed-carry permits there. He’s right that we can’t blame people for wanting to protect themselves, but then he said, “Only a piece brings the peace.” His panelists agreed, and brought out the right’s favorite, tired arguments regarding mass shootings, such as, “What if someone had been armed and had been able to stop the shooter,” and “The criminals are going to get guns anyway.” Are they right? Do more guns mean a safer society?
Surprise, surprise, the answer’s no. According to Mother Jones, David Hemenway, of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, said that there’s absolutely no evidence that’s the case. But he didn’t just point to all the existing research out there, and say, “Read.” He conducted his own meta-study, similar to the one from 2010 that showed 97 percent of scientists agree on man-made climate change.
He went through 1,200 peer-reviewed articles on firearms published since 2011, and focused on those in journals from the fields of public health, public policy, criminology, and sociology. He then started sending surveys to more than 300 authors of these articles, asking them various questions on gun laws and safety.
What he found was that most experts agree that more guns means a more dangerous society (to see all the data, click here):
64 percent of respondents agree that a gun in the house makes it a more dangerous place:
71 percent agree that strong gun laws reduce homicide rates:
62 percent disagree that relaxing gun laws has reduced crime rates:
73 percent disagree that guns are most often used for self-defense:
84 percent agree that having a gun in the house increases the risk of suicide:
72 percent agree that a gun in the home increases the risk that a woman will become a homicide victim:
60 percent agree that strong background checks reduces the chances that guns will end up in criminal hands:
65 percent agree that keeping guns locked up inside a safe reduces the risk of suicide:
Conservatives, like those on Fox News and in the NRA, love saying that stronger gun laws lead to more mass shootings, because mass shooters are drawn to places were guns aren’t allowed. Media Matters for America talks about how Fox News blamed France’s gun laws for the Charlie Hebdo shooting, saying that the people in the office were essentially sitting ducks because they couldn’t shoot back. “This would not happen in New York City,” said Fox business analyst Andrew Napolitano.
They also disagree that there’s a link between firearm ownership and suicide, and that increased concealed carry reduces crime, according to Media Matters. In fact, when it comes to concealed carry, some at Fox News actually blame victims for their attacks if they aren’t packing.
But the expert surveys contradict everything that Fox News and the NRA says. People like Greg Gutfeld and his panel on “The Five” will continue to push the idea that nothing means safety more than having as many guns as possible.
Featured image via screen capture from Fox News’ “The Five“