Dominik Wodarz and Natalia Komarova, UCI Math Professors, See Gun Control in Numbers

Could a husband-and-wife team of math department eggheads at UC Irvine have picked a more controversial issue to explain through formulas?

Professors Dominik Wodarz and Natalia Komarova are using numbers and graphs and whizzamabangs to chart whether gun owners are more likely to die via homicide and whether data leans more favorably toward banning firearms or arming everyone. Let's just say Sarah Palin won't cheer the results.

Nonprofit, international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication PLOS One this week published "Dependence of the Firearm-Related Homicide Rate on Gun Availability: A Mathematical Analysis," and scrolling through it makes my head hurt. No one said there would be math with this job.

With the caveat "Limited data available in the literature were used to demonstrate how the model can be parameterized," the mathing couple found "this preliminary analysis suggests that a ban of private firearm possession, or possibly a partial reduction in gun availability, might lower the rate of firearm-induced homicides."

What the what now? Sounds like we need another caveat.

"This, however, should not be seen as a policy recommendation, due to the limited data available to inform and parameterize the model. However, the model clearly defines what needs to be measured, and provides a basis for a scientific discussion about assumptions and data."

Um ... so ... let the blasts from both sides of the gun debate begin!?!

The authors claim to have no competing interest in how their research pans out. We'll see how long it takes Open Carry Once Out of the Womb Inc. to shoot that assertion down.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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Lets use CHICAGO, a gun free zone, as our control group shall we?

vegandawg23 topcommenter

Strange this social utility maximization with no regard for the rights of the individual. Same idiotic mindset that led to eugenics, prohibition, etc. Gun deaths are the price of freedom. Freedom is a word academics need in their vocabulary. 

JGlanton topcommenter

That is really, really dumb. It starts with a nonsensical premise and comes up with nonsensical conclusions. One of the primary reasons that people buy guns is because they believe they are in danger and need protection. Of course there is a higher homicide rate among these people. The homicide, robbery, and rape rates would be much higher if these people had no means of protecting themselves.

They could have just as easily concluded that black men have a 10 times higher homicide rate because they wear baggy jeans and pricey kicks. It's nonsense.

Coker you admit to one of the greatest failings of today's journalists: a lack of education in math, statistics, and economics. That never stops any of them from pontificating on economics, science, and global warming even thought they never understand the data and just regurgitate press releases from activists and political organizations. And universities sucking on the teat of government grants. The UCI folks wouldn't get more grant money if they said that they found no problems.


@vegandawg23 , Gun deaths are the price of freedom as long as it's somebody else's death.  Would you be willing to die in the name of freedom?  Didn't think so.


@JGlanton You clearly don't understand statistics, do you?

MatthewTCoker topcommenter

@JGlantonBased on when the post went up, it took 1 hour 25 minutes for Open Carry Once Out of the Womb Inc. to shoot the assertion down.

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