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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A new study from UC Davis finds a disturbing link between people who own guns and heavy alcohol use.
Perhaps more disturbing, the study found alcohol abuse was most common among gun-owners who engage in risky behavior like having a loaded, unlocked gun in the home and driving or riding in a vehicle with a loaded gun.
“It’s not surprising that risky behaviors go together,” said Garen J. Wintemute, author of the study and director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. “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.”
The UC Davis study is published online in the journal Injury Prevention. Researchers analyzed telephone survey results for more than 15,000 people in eight states.
The article does not say owning guns is the reason for the drinking or vice-versa. However it suggests that drinking can impair judgment and lead people to use guns in dangerous ways. It also suggests that personality traits, such as impulsiveness or risk-taking, could lead to an increase in dangerous behavior involving alcohol and guns.