Gun Owners Twice as Likely to Binge Drink as Those Without Firearms

People who own guns are twice as likely to binge drink and to drink and drive, compared with those who don’t own firearms, a new study finds.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis found that heavy alcohol use was most common among firearm owners who also engaged in behaviors such as carrying a firearm for protection against other people, and keeping a firearm at home that was both loaded and not locked away. The study included the results of a telephone survey of more than 15,000 people in eight states.

In the journal Injury Prevention, the researchers conclude that firearm ownership and specific firearm-related behaviors are associated with alcohol-related risk behaviors.  “It’s not surprising that risky behaviors go together,” Garen J. Wintemute, author of the study and director of the university’s Violence Prevention Research Program, told CBS 13 Sacramento. “This is of particular concern given that alcohol intoxication also impairs a gun user’s accuracy as well as his judgment on whether to shoot.”

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    Marshall Keith

    June 22, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    AP I agree with your statement “I have my doubts about some of these prohibitionist advocacy groups, so I take anything they publish with the proverbial grain of salt, but your objection here citing generic inanimate objects is ridiculous.” I have seen far too often those with a progressive mindset use studies like this to demonize those they disagree with.

    Of course the lattest tool in politically generated science is that of Meta-analysis.

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    June 21, 2011 at 4:54 AM

    Sure hope American taxpayers money didn’t have to pay for this study? And the point is?

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    June 20, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    The lawnmowers and chain saw references are over the top. However, I am curious, if they performed this study, did they also do a study on the owners of knives,bats, sling shots, or archery equipment? How about pitch forks or spears? In all these mentioned, they are easily made at home, do not require licensing, and all can easily kill a person. All can be used while binge drinking. None have a legal age limitation.

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    Michael Hetzman

    June 17, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    @AP…I’m wholly non-violent nor am I fearful, however I am a gun owner who has developed skill and competence with same in order to defend myself and family. Further, parents who can legally own a firearm/have the ability to learn to use it and don’t, yet contend they would defend their children at any cost are a classic dichotomy. The author of the study comments, “…that risky behaviors go together…”, would suggest that folks who engage in other “optional” behaviors (i.e., not mowing the grass on Saturday) such as sky-diving, SCUBA diving, mountain climbing, hang-gliding, etc. would also be binge drinkers.
    @Steve…guns are indeed a tool. They are used to strike something at a distance. Their capacity for good/evil is equal to the malice (or absence of) and competence of the person holding them. Do we want people drinking and shooting? Of course not, but nor do we want them operating any other tool with the potential to cause harm, including lawnmowers and chain saws.

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    June 17, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    I agree with AP, I couldn’t have put it better myself. On another note, I think Marbee has more of an issue with the Obama administration than this study….

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