“Their analysis is a bunch of sheep dip.” – GOA board member Sam Paredes in California: Did tough gun control laws cut firearms deaths? [at msnbc.com]

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21 Responses to Quote of the Day: That’s One Way to Put It

  1. It’s the same old thing from here to eternity. Start with a conclusion then work up the numbers. I’m 90% sure that 85% of statistics are made up on the spot. I’m 100% sure that most statistics are biased one way or another.

  2. I believe I’ve posted this study before, but it bears repeating:

    False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant

    The basic point is that a researcher’s freedom to make decisions about study design make it easier and easier to produce a significant false positive result the more degrees of freedom they have available. When applied to the social sciences, this becomes a huge problem, because the number of degrees of freedom is almost incalculable. For instance – researchers can look at murder rates. They can choose to compare them over time for the same place (and they choose the place) or they can choose a comparison between different places (start/stop times chosen, control locations chosen). If murder rates don’t yield significance, firearm murder rates can be used. Or violent crime rates. Or firearm crime rates. Or they can add in gun suicides and call it “deaths by gun violence.”

    In this case, they use exactly the same flawed rationale the NYPD recently used to justify their “Stop and Frisk” policy – a longitudinal study noting the decline in violent crime over the past 20 years. Like the NYPD’s editorial, they avoid any mention of the nationwide, indeed international nature of this trend, and simplistically attribute it to California’s strict gun laws.

  3. definitely not a fan of the format, especially when I scroll up and the title of the article disappears.

    • I also hate that the comment box of a reply is not nested under the comment you are replying to, while typing it. It prevents me from rereading the OP so as to respond correctly and accurately to what was said.

  4. Even though the time frame that they are examining is 1993 to 2013, they don’t address California’s “three-strikes and you’re out” law which was enacted in 1994….

  5. Let’s assume that the their figures are right and gun control reduces gun related homicide (I don’t believe it either) …..the next question should be, how is the overall violent crime rate since the draconian laws were enacted?

  6. Pretty lame article. California state law does not require gun stores to record ammo sales–some cities do, but not the state. And California does not record–at least until the end of this year–information on long gun sales, other than as required by federal law. The article points out the “Safe Handguns” law, but neglects to mention the rate of accidental handgun shootings, before or after the law, and ignores the fact that pre-law handguns are still perfectly legal to own and thus remain in circulation; therefore there is no evidence at all that the law has any contributory or causational impact on gun homicides or accidental deaths. Nor does the article mention that the group touting these supposed improved numbers is a well-known advocacy group formed by anti-gun lawyers in San Francisco. And so on. Yup, sheep dip.

    • Cognitive Dissonance. Where if reality and perceptions clash, reality is ignored and perceptions are still used.

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