What facts are being missed in these reports?
I haven’t yet gone through the underlying studies referenced on the Gifford’s page and/or the Brady study. But just looking at the summary (emphasis mine) you can see it looks like they are really stretching to find any correlation at all.
That study found waiting periods were associated with reductions in the firearm suicide rate for people age 55 and older. However, waiting periods were not linked to lower suicide rates overall, which suggests some opted for alternative means of suicide.
Similar to the “proven effective” Firearms Licensing laws in some states, there is a difference between causation and correlation. If you implement a law and gun violence drops is it because of the law? Or is it because of other non-related factors? A write-up here on the oft-quoted “Connecticut implements firearms license, sees 40% drop in gun violence” myth which doesn’t take into consideration that the entire country also dropped 40% over the same timespan.
I suspect that is the case here when sometimes there is a drop in gun violence with a waiting period in effect that there are other factors in play.
The reason I don’t buy that it has any kind of significant impact is it doesn’t pass the sniff test. As @AlphaKoncepts points out, if you already have a firearm the waiting period is moot. Gun buyers who already have a firearm is likely the vast majority. So then out of the potential pool of people this might impact is only going to be first time gun buyers.
I have a hard time believing its going to be anything other than a tiny fraction of a percentage that would have to be so angry/sad that they would then hop in a car, drive to the store, talk to a salesperson (while still angry/sad), fill out a form, wait for a background check, pay for firearm, pick out and buy ammo, drive to wherever the target is (if murder) or home (if suicide), all in one go. All of that is at least a couple hours if not longer if you have to drive any significant distance to an LGS, plenty of time for most people to “cool off”. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but the number of people who bought a firearm and then immediately shot someone/themselves has to be a very small number.
Even the other side of the coin, where someone bought a gun out of fear for their life/safety, and then immediately had to use it is probably a fairly low number. (But I bet it’s higher than those who purchase and then immediately cause harm).
If there was a survey you could hand out to first time gun buyers to check in 30 days later and just say “did you shoot anyone”, that would answer whether or not the waiting period would be any benefit.