A shocking new study produced by Boston University professor Michael Siegel and two other authors has found a link between firearms and firearm-related homicides. Extrapolating the study’s findings to their logical conclusion, it appears to suggest that if guns didn’t exist, gun deaths would be – hang on, let me get my calculator — …zero? Whaaat?? That can’t be right . . .
According to the synopsis by ThinkProgress, Siegel and his coauthors “…set about seeing whether they could find any relationship between changes in gun ownership and murder using guns over time.” Don’t worry, though, to make sure they were looking only at how gun ownership rates affect whatever “age-adjusted firearm homicide rates” are, they ensured that their numbers weren’t influenced by other factors by employing statistical controls for such things as “age,” “income inequality,” “alcohol use,” “hate crime rate,” “number of hunting licenses,” and “age-adjusted nonfirearm homicide rate.”
Much to the surprise of, well, no one, they did apparently find that when gun ownership is high, guns are used more often in homicides. Nobel Prize nomination, anyone? Maybe they can take the one the president should be returning any minute now [COUGH]Syria[/cough]. This finding should not be confused with finding that the homicide rate actually increases.
Not only is that not the case, but the authors didn’t attempt to determine that or apparently even address it. That’s probably just an oversight, though. I’m sure everybody who reads the headlines and write-ups explaining the findings will notice that it’s just firearm homicides they’re talking about… Or…
We have yet another group looking only at gun crime or gun homicides. Get rid of guns, show a drop in gun homicides and espouse a win for the disarmament crowd. Let’s just push under the rug the fact that, as in the UK, while gun crime may go down when the guns disappear (duh), the total violent crime rate goes up and the murder rate usually does, too.
Demonstrating the success of a gun ban by touting a drop in gun crime only serves to reveal a person’s purely political purpose. These people don’t actually care about murders or crimes. It’s not about public safety or the children. It’s about gun crimes. It’s about gun control. Which is really about people control.
Even worse is the very foundation that Siegel and team based their data correlations off of: “…the authors ran a series of regressions to see what effect the overall national decline in firearm ownership from 1981 to 2010 had on gun homicides.” Whoa, whoa; wait a minute. Their entire premise of more guns = more gun homicides is based on a controversial and certainly unproven claim that gun ownership has been going down over the last thirty years!?!?
To be fair, they didn’t simply accept that marginalize-gun-owners-as-‘fringe elements’ narrative, but came up with their very own figures for household firearm ownership numbers “as measured directly” (are these the polling orgs’ phone calls asking gun ownership questions and expecting real answers?) and by extrapolating the percentage of suicides committed with a firearm.
Apparently a full study was warranted to show that more guns = more crimes with guns, but it’s perfectly fine for that very study to be completely based off of the assumption that more/less guns directly correlates to more/less suicides by gun. Literally, they use Firearms Suicides divided by total Suicides (FS/S) to get a percentage committed by gun, and this percentage is the number used to determine the household gun ownership rate in a specific time and place.
Of course, we have Harvard (Harvard > Boston U) and Jane M. Orient, M.D., basically refuting every darn thing in Siegel’s study. But, to be fair, that might just be because these two studies actually make freakin’ sense, and compare changes in gun ownership to total homicide, violent crime, and suicide rates.
Now I just need to get some grant money for my groundbreaking study in which I hope to prove that shark attacks are more likely near bodies of water and that skydiving accidents are more prevalent among those who skydive. Also, did you know that our current civilization takes more photos every two minutes than the total number of photos taken during the 1800’s? A friend posted that on his Facebook wall. Great! And we take INFINITELY more than were taken in prior centuries.
Yay? Maybe I can prove that microwave oven use as a percentage of food heating methods increases as household microwave oven ownership increases – total food heated doesn’t change, of course, but microwaves, being good tools for heating food, are often chosen given the choice. Much to the surprise of nobody Michael Siegel.