Jonathan Chait is the easy winner this week with this idiotic post, in which he suggests that gun owners should pay more for health coverage than people who do not own guns:

Of course, people who keep guns in their home are choosing to run the risk of incurring injury or death … But now those of us who choose not to run this risk have to pay to subsidize their risky lifestyle.

First, it isn’t true that those of us who don’t own guns are paying to subsidize the “risky lifestyles” of gun owners. This is yet another example of progressive illiteracy in economics.

Second, the objective data clearly show that owning a gun isn’t as “risky” as this genius claims. John Goodman provides a good illustration of just how ignorant Chait is on this topic:

How much risk are people who keep guns really incurring? If accidental gun deaths in the United States in 2006 are used as the measure, the data suggest that it is safer to own a gun than to ride a bike.

And, if that doesn’t convince you that Chait’s post deserves the “dumbest” award, then consider that owning a swimming pool is six times more dangerous than owning a gun.

Nonetheless, Chait calls the absence of a penalty in the “reform” bill for owning a gun “the NRA loophole.” By this logic, people who cycle and swim should also be penalized.

Chait, like most progressives, is too intellectually lazy to bother with facts. Thus, he writes dumb posts and congratulates himself on his moral superiority to conservatives.

Comments 8

  1. Marc Brown wrote:

    It doesn’t make sense to dismiss this by saying some risks are greater than others. Every day we see something like this:

    ‘A nine-year-old boy, who had been playing with a loaded handgun, shot and killed his two-year-old brother, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.’


    Risk of dying from a gun accident in a home with no guns = 0
    Risk of dying from a gun accident in a home with guns > 0

    Posted 30 Jul 2010 at 3:17 am
  2. Matt Horn CBC wrote:

    every day, huh? I would posit that you will find more stories about someone defending themselves or others from violent criminals than accidental discharge.

    Posted 30 Jul 2010 at 8:13 am
  3. Marc Brown wrote:

    Well Matt there are more than 600 accidental gun fatalities a year so you do the math. There are also about 18,000 injuries from gun accidents. And the mortality rate from accidental shootings is eight times higher in the four states with the most guns compared to the four states with the fewest guns. And a gun is 22 times more likely to be used in a completed or attempted suicide, criminal assault or homicide, or unintentional shooting death or injury than to be used in a self-defense shooting. A million Americans have died from guns since 1968.

    But more people die on car wrecks so if I were you I’d just give up and never bother doing anything about anything else. Ever.

    Posted 30 Jul 2010 at 11:41 am
  4. Catron wrote:

    Marc, your genius for missing the point is shining through once again.

    It’s absurd to denounce an “NRA loophole,” when more people are accidentally killed on bicycles or in their pools than by gun accidents.

    Chait only cares about this “NRA loophole” because he is a prisoner of his incoherent “progressive” ideology where firearms are concerned.

    Posted 30 Jul 2010 at 12:03 pm
  5. Matt Horn CBC wrote:

    Mark, The study by Kellerman was widely and soundly debunked. It is humorous that after he was taken to the woodshed in 93 he turned areound and re-released it in 98 with the same flawed methodology. I note you put the suicide mention in there, but did not mention the fact that there has never been any correlary to suicides and gun ownership. This tells me that you are aware that the suicide stat accounts for the majority of family related gun deaths that he cites. It also tells me that you are really reaching to make your point, even to the point of intelectual dishonesty.

    You don’t even have to go to the car fatalities. More people are killed by accidents in the bathtub and even plastic buckets than gun accidents.

    Posted 03 Aug 2010 at 9:03 am
  6. Marc Brown wrote:

    ‘Workplace Shooting in Connecticut Leaves 9 Dead’

    Way to go, Matt.

    Posted 03 Aug 2010 at 4:07 pm
  7. Marc Brown wrote:

    Yes Brian, but your point falls because there are any number of whistleblowing/cover-ups in American healthcare too, but only the US has a vastly elevated level of gun deaths.

    Posted 04 Aug 2010 at 5:10 am
  8. Matt Horn CBC wrote:

    Yep Mark, imagine if those other employees had the ability to carry, there may have been a different outcome.

    Posted 04 Aug 2010 at 8:39 am

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