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.

56 Responses to Newsflash: Guns Involved in “Gun Violence”

  1. A new study shows that nitwit professors are the major cause of nitwit students who become nitwit professors producing more nitwit students.

  2. actually, my (least) favorite part is that if you actually check the table of results (table 5),

    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301409

    “percentage black,” “gini coefficient” (income inequality), and “violent crime” are all 5x better “predictors” of violence. Percentage black? If this were any OTHER study it would have been denounced as racist & flawed by implication. I just love how progressives ignore flawed studies like this when it suits them.

    • Never mind those other results, this is about gun ownership!

      Here’s the list of their final results, straight out of their study:

      Gun ownership 1.129 (1.061, 1.201) .001
      For each 1-SD increase in proportion of household gun ownership, firearm homicide rate increased by 12.9%

      Percentage Black 1.828 (1.536, 2.176) .001
      For each 1-SD increase in proportion of black population, firearm homicide rate increased by 82.8%

      Gini coefficient 1.129 (1.007, 1.266) .037
      For each 1-SD increase in Gini coefficient, firearm homicide rate increased by 12.9%

      Violent crime rate 1.154 (1.031, 1.291) .013
      For each 1-SD increase in violent crime rate, firearm homicide rate increased by 15.4%

      Nonviolent crime rate 1.100 (1.036, 1.168) .002 For each 1-SD increase in nonviolent crime rate, firearm homicide rate increased by 10.0%

      Incarceration rate 0.928 (0.868, 0.992) .027 For each 1-SD increase in incarceration rate, firearm homicide rate decreased by 7.8%.

      Their conclusion is technically correct, but it lies by omission and completely ignores most of the study’s actual results. Siegel and co. deserve to be laughed out of the arena of academic research for putrid intellectual dishonesty (of course they won’t be; this kind of crap is par for the course with “social science” research).

      But you all can make of it what you will.

    • ” For each 1-SD increase in proportion of black population, firearm homicide rate increased by 82.8%”

      That little gem is enough to have gungrabbers ignore the entire “study”. They can’t refer to any part of it without having that “finding” flung back at them.

  3. In other news, studies have found that if you take the violence out of gun violence you are left only with guns. In addition, statistics show that when there are more guns, violent crime tends to go down, while non-violent crime goes up. Obvious conclusion, adding guns takes the violence out of the equation…

  4. Evidently, the genetically challenged minds at “ThinkProgress” are unable to process the correlation between the rise of gun ownership and the drop in violent crimes since the 1990s.

    Really… Since it’s unlikely here, that I would ever find anything ThinkProgress has to say as interesting, it would suit me just fine if they, or anything they had anything to do with, ever appeared on this website again.

  5. I thought Violence was to blame for Gun Violence. If we just took the violence out then guns would not hurt anyone. Maybe?

  6. It is a little known fact that during the entire civil war there were no deaths resulting from automobile accidents.

    Now I understand why O’Barry (and Sharpton, and Jackson, etc) is constantly trying to stir up race issues, he wants another civil war to improve our highway safety. Didn’t realize he funded this crack group of statisticians working on the problem.

  7. This just in. 100% of people who come into contact with dihydrogen monoxide die at some point in their lives.

    Also, dihydrogen monoxide can be sythesised from burning rocket fuel!

  8. I’d like to do a study to determine if a blue sky is the color blue at least some of the time. Then maybe if there are still some grant money left I’d like to tackle what the meaning of “is” is.

  9. The purpose of universities is to employ professors.

    89% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

    If an entire think tank died in the woods, and nobody was there to laugh, I mean notice, wood their conclusions still be idiotic?

  10. I nominate this study for the Like Duh Hall of Fame. Right up there with the antis who put forth that England is so much safer because they have one quarter of our gun violence. Well, we have 300 million+ guns in US and firearms ownership is effectively outlawed in the UK, so what else would people expect?

    The more telling thing is that their violent crime rate is 3-4 times greater than ours. Oh, I guess that’s one of those nasty unintended consequences… Doh!

  11. Did we really need someone to research this to find out? Next thing you know we need someone to find out that car are involved in car accidents…actually I’m not sure that’s right…Quick! Somebody go start researching this.

  12. And someone pays the study authors for that drivel?

    Perhaps they can explain something else. The murder rate and violent crime rate peaked in these here good old United States of America around 1993 … and all categories of violent crime have been falling every since. In fact the murder and violent crimes rates are at something like a 40 to 50 year low. And yet, strangely, citizens in our country own at least twice as many firearms today as we did 40 or 50 years ago.

    So can those geniuses please explain how the number of murders and violent crimes continues to plummet as firearm ownership increases sharply? And keep in mind that murders where the criminal used a firearm for the murder weapon have been dropping just like all the rest of the violent crimes.

    • Lead exposure is a pretty popular explanation these days:

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2013/01/03/how-lead-caused-americas-violent-crime-epidemic/

      Every country studied has shown this same strong correlation between leaded gasoline and violent crime rates. Within the United States, you can see the data at the state level. Where lead concentrations declined quickly, crime declined quickly. Where it declined slowly, crime declined slowly. The data even holds true at the neighborhood level – high lead concentrations correlate so well that you can overlay maps of crime rates over maps of lead concentrations and get an almost perfect fit.”

  13. Michael Siegel parrots the deceptive, and very flawed, argument that if fewer guns exist, then less violent crime will be committed with guns.

    That statement is undeniably true.
    It is mathematically certain that —
    GIVEN :

    If some percentage of the guns in existence are put to criminal use, (‘bad guns’)

    THEN :
    reducing the total number of guns (‘all guns’) will, ‘ceteris paribus’, reduce the number of ‘bad guns’ used in crime.

    AND :

    If the number of guns in existence (‘all guns’) is reduced to zero, then there would be absolutely no possibility of any gun being used for a criminal purpose. (There can be no ‘bad guns’, if there are no guns at all).
    We can then feel confident that nobody, none of our families or neighbors, will ever be shot by a criminal.

    I find no fault in the mathematics implicit in this argument — I embrace it as mathematically valid.
    THAT DOES NOT MEAN it’s a good idea.

    Let’s apply the same logic to an analogous situation.

    GIVEN :
    If some percentage of the dogs in existence are vicious animals, which attack innocent people (‘bad dogs’)
    THEN :

    reducing the total number of dogs (‘all dogs’) will, ‘ceteris paribus’, reduce the number of ‘bad dogs’ which commit such attacks.

    AND :

    If the number of dogs in existence (‘all dogs’) is reduced to zero, then there would be no possibility of a dog attacking anyone. (There can be no ‘bad dogs’, if there are no dogs at all).
    We shall then feel confident that we ourselves, our families, and all our neighbors, are safe and secure from the danger of attack by a vicious dog.

    But —- at what cost? What is the price of this ‘safe and secure feeling’? Indeed, have we gained or LOST ‘safety and security’ no matter how we may ‘feel’ about vicious dogs ?

    Can you justify why I must give up my faithful, loving dog –who never harmed anyone– so that you may achieve your misguided ideal of a dog-free society, in which you ‘feel’ you are at last ‘safe and secure’ from attacks by a vicious dog? The greater good in our society is the preservation of the Freedom and Liberty of all the people, not the sacrifice of Freedom and Liberty to calm the paranoid fears of some.

  14. When I was just beginning as a Gummint consultant, my peers advised me of the importance of the “Plop Factor” in my products. Products were studies and reports.

    Essentially what this meant was this: Put a lot of time and thought in the Executive Summary and the Conclusions and Recommendations sections. The remaining sections could just as well be pages from the phone book, because nobody ever reads them. It’s much better if you throw in a LOT of charts and tables; and desirable if they even have something to do with the subject of the product. And finally, sprinkle technical terms and obscure formulae throughout to make it look learned. The initial draft should be around 200 pages long, and the final product from 300 to 500 or more pages long. The idea was when you gave it to the client, and they passed it along, it should make a resounding and satisfying “PLOP!” when dropped on a desk or table.

    I think this was one of those products.

  15. I’m about to apply for funding to study the effect of “Motor boating and big boobies: The correlative relationship of fun bags and multi-directional, dynamic rotational force.”

    • Let me know if it gets approved, I’ve wanted to write “Surveying the impact of recoil on the gluteus maximus” for a while now.

      Getting paid to watch the 2014 Gear Girl Calendar Trailer would be a sweet gig.

  16. A tautology used to be a fault in logic, and would have resulted in less than an A on your college paper. Now you can make a living at it.

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