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One of the most common “facts” anti-gun advocates like to toss around is that people who have guns in their homes are more likely to be shot with a firearm than those who do not. The University of Pennsylvania recently published one such study, which was then quickly picked up by The New York Times and other national news outlets. This supposed truism is relentlessly repeated by those seeking greater gun control, but as is often the case with academic studies that get distilled to a few talking points for general consumption, a closer look at the details reveals this conclusion is unfounded.

Specifically, the study failed to take into account whether the “gun owners” who were shot were law-abiding citizens or career criminals who, because of their chosen profession, are more likely to suffer a bloody end due to gun violence. For a more detailed analysis of the shortcomings of this study, look for Eugene Volohk’s essay “Domestic Disputes” at the National Review Online (

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