So it continues. Related to both the Martin-Zimmerman threads and the religion/science thread, we have a new study that is claiming that SYG results in more deaths.
http://econweb.tamu.edu/mhoekstra/castle_doctrine.pdf (They are calling the FL 2005 law "Castle doctrine", while most of us call it SYG.)See also here: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/06/11/...s/?mod=djemWLBSpecifically, we find no evidence of deterrence effects on burglary, robbery, or aggravated assault. Moreover, our estimates are sufficiently precise as to rule out meaningful deterrence effects.
In contrast, we find significant evidence that the laws increase homicides. Suggestive but inconclusive evidence indicates that castle doctrine laws increase the narrowly defined category of justifiable homicides by private citizens by 17 to 50 percent, which translates into as many as 50 additional justifiable homicides per year nationally due to castle doctrine. More significantly, we find the laws increase murder and manslaughter by a statistically significant 7 to 9 percent, which translates into an additional 500 to 700 homicides per year nationally across the states that adopted castle doctrine.
Thus, by lowering the expected costs associated with using lethal force, castle doctrine laws induce more of it. This increase in homicides could be due either to the increased use of lethal force in self-defense situations, or to the escalation of violence in otherwise non-lethal conflicts. We suspect that self-defense situations are unlikely to explain all of the increase, as we also find that murder alone is increased by a statistically significant 6 to 11 percent.
I've said for a while we've been a bit too smug, claiming that Lott "proves" that pro-gun laws decrease crime. Now, while we've been looking at Heller and MacDonald, we've left the back door open. We see more and more claims that Lott has been "debunked" (see here) and we will see (I predict) more and more studies saying that a "lack of" gun control kills people.
I'm sure a study about children and kittens being most at risk will follow. Kidding aside, these "scientific" studies will influence the politics.
A lot. Science is unlikely to be our friend here.