TTAG hearts highlighting antis’ asinine analytics. Addressing that very subject, a regular reader writes:

The gun grabbers LOVE them some epidemiological studies. How may times are we forced to suffer the claim of “a person with a gun in the house is 40 times more likely to be shot than someone without one.” These conclusions are all based on epidemiological studies. This second half of this short Ted video explains the inherent flaws in epidemiological studies that occur even when they are well designed, which the various anti-gun studies most certainly have not been.ย With the Obama Admin getting ready to make a push on new “studies” of the “public health issues surrounding guns,” it’s important we understand this issue to make an effective counter argument.

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52 Responses to Anti-Gun Studies Suck

  1. The studies with a gun on the home do not control for the difference between illegal gun owners and legal gun owners.

    We know between 85% to 90% of gun murder VICTIMS are criminals.

    It is likely gun owning homes of persons who are not gang members or criminals are SAFER

        • Alex the administration spent $24 million taxpayer dollars on that CDC report and it completely backfired and hence Obama buried it.

          It isn’t just kleck but scores of researchers who have show from hundreds of thousands to millions of crimes prevented by gun owners each year. And the funny thing the CDC shows Kleck was right, as as the National Academy of Science study showed, despite the ad hominem against Lott, that his numbers and studies turned out to be predictive and accurate.

          On the other side w now know the US rate of murder of non criminals is LOWER than Canada or the European average. About 1/3 of Canadian murder victims are gang members, criminals, paroles, and 90% of US murder victims are.

          In our country of 340,000,000 the murder by all means, gun and otherwise, of non criminals is under 2,000 per year.

  2. Problems with gun owning homes studies:
    1) do not control for illegal vs legal gun owning homes.
    2) do not count crimes prevented except when the gun is fired
    3) absurdly included suicide (almost 70% of gun deaths at home) when gun suicide risk goes up with gun availability BUT overall suicide risk barely moves. Ie of the 20,000 gun suicides, if you removed all guns from society, between 19,500 to 20,00 would occur by other means anyway.
    4) do not consider the accident risk is lower than other activities, such as owning skies, owning a bike, way less than owning a pool, etc.

    What these studies actually show when controlled for criminal gun owners, is that having a criminal at home massively increase risk of death injury. Having a gun at homeless safer unless you are a criminal with more than several arrests, released felon, parole, or gang member, etc who are the victims of 85% to 90% of US gun murder.
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-08-31-criminal-target_N.htm

    These perverse gun at home studies are PRECISELY the reason why we correctly blocked CDC funded third party studies

    • That particular study and its oft-repeated claim was one that stuck in my mind when I was first getting into guns about four years ago, so I did some research of my own. I wanted to know if I really was (statistically speaking) putting my family in danger. Turns out…not so much. As you’ve shown, that “study” is crap. Inaccurate conclusions drawn from poor methodology at best — pernicious propaganda in scientific trappings at worst.

      And if I remember right, it was done in the Seattle area, which has one of the nation’s highest suicide rates to begin with. Yet another confounding variable.

      • Yeah the suicide numbers are really the complete perversity of the gun controllers “science.”

        The gun controllers count shooting yourself to death in suicide as violent, yet jumping in front of a train or intentionally overdosing on drugs as non violent.

        Some studies show no elevation when your remove guns. Some show a marginal (1% to 5%) elevation but don’t explain that a certain number of people who are already more likely to commit suicide by any means than average (white males) are also likely to be gun owners due to higher commonality of guns rural areas.

        And then you have the fact that guns are easier to count as suicide than other means. If you look at the CDC methods of suicide you will notice that they are in order of probative certainty! Why? Because if you do not have the foresight to set up gun cleaning materials before committing suicide with a gun you WILL be ruled a gun suicide by the coroner. Unless you leave a note, your suicide by drug overdose, swimming out to sea, etc will likely not be ruled suicide

        Gangbangers don’t think to gun safety. Their siblings shoot each other. Drug dealers who own guns at home get robbed and killed,. None of this is relevant to legal gun owners, yet it is used to skew the stats .

    • Ahh! Cool. I got into a ‘discussion’ over on Fark with some loser about that very issue. He just couldn’t get it through his head that there are studies and their are ‘studies’. Or as clarified here clinical vs. epidemiological. This guy just flat out couldn’t deal with the fact that not all studies are created equal.

      Now in terms of the study I THINK you’re quote here that’s the ‘Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home’ ‘study’ from 1993. And that study PERFECTLY illustrates while it’s vitally important to read as much as you can about a study before quoting from it. Specifically it’s tiny sample size, it’s piss poor data collection methodology, and the fact it only pulled data from three urban areas. It also didn’t bother to collect any data on the hows and the whys of how the deaths occurred.

      • In addition to the flaws you mention in that study, they specifically chose, in all three cities, the center of “the hood” as the area to study. In Memphis it is an area know as “Orange Mound.” This is the poorest, most drug and gang infested area in Memphis. The other two cities were the same.

        Robert: “This second half of this short Ted video explains the inherent flaws in epidemiological studies that occur even when they are well designed, which the various anti-gun studies most certainly have not been.”

        I contend that these studies are extremely carefully designed. They are designed to show the results the “researchers” want, not to show reality.

        • It’s the same crap they’ve been using since Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” in the 1970’s, and has been used for every “scientific study” they’ve used to restrict Liberty ever since they discovered how bloody easy it is to lie with statistics. Throw in a little metadata analysis, and you can prove incontrovertibly that pigs can fly. Extrapolation is fun, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Ultimately the grabbers want our guns because it will make their guns or armed guards that much more effective.

    There is no point discussing the point with logic, rationalization or data.

    They will never give up.

    Neither must we.

    • Yup, their followers are punk ass liberal hipsters and rather rotund body guards, each of which with no real training or experience, and will flake like wee dogs. Ours are hardened combat veterans, skilled hunters, competitive shooters, and lifetime experience shooters. Our type of person is hard to herd into a concentration camp, or enforce a nanny state upon.

  4. You should site examples of those flawed studies that they use. Also I feel I should note that both sides use bad examples or rhetroic that could fit the definition of an epidemiological study. Like how the top 3 countries with privately owned firearms are the US, Yemen, and Switzerland. The 2nd one is a war torn country with political corruption, poverty and strife, so any anti using that as a reason for more gun control in the US is ignoring the massive difference in political and economic conditions. Likewise when talking about the Swiss I find many pro gunners ignore that they use the Militia style of army and basically require people to have a gun in the home after they finish their stint in the military. We don’t do that in the US, and while they are a well off 1st world country they don’t have the same social issues we do (population size, ethical diversity, etc.). When it comes down to brass tacks, both sides are guilty of forgetting that correlation /= causation.

    • BigRed the US in fact has a lower rate of murder of non criminals than Canada or the European mean.
      http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-08-31-criminal-target_N.htm

      US murder over the developed nation mean is a phenomena occurring with a an specific group of repeat criminals and gang members (about 75% of commission and 85% to 90% of victims).

      The rest of us appear safer than developed western countries than have more gun control than we have.

      And for Apples to Apples do look at Maryland and Virginia. Both same region. Both equal demos on education, income.

      Maryland has almost double the murder and about 40% more violent crime than Virginia.

      Virginia has much higher gun ownership, and way higher (many multiples) carry permits.

      • “Virginia has much higher gun ownership, and way higher (many multiples) carry permits.”

        Try 100% more. It is ‘New Jersey impossible’ for a regular Joe Maryland citizen to get a carry permit.

        • Kondor, by multiples I meant several times more. Va definitely does not have 100%
          more CCW permits than Md — but more like 620% more. (Md: 47,000; Va :291,000)

          VA vs Md drives the gun control advocates crazy because they love to compare non demographically similar jurisdictions, whereas VA and MD are used for many studies precisely because they are so similar in in the same region.

          The starkness and clarity of contrast in the gun laws, gun ownership and crime rates of Va and Md. sends the poor gun control advocates into a fit when you compare those two states.

          Instead they will compare Texas and Rhode island and tell you that is vilid comparison.

        • ChrisB, the way I read what he was saying is that for a “normal citizen” it is not possible to get a permit in MD, therefore VA has 100% more. You cite that MD has 47,000, but how many of those are LEOs, politicians, private security, celebrities, etc? VA allows the common man to get one, he’s saying MD does not.

        • Larry, I agree about “may issue.” It is more insidious and perverse than outright bans on issuing.

        • Nobody seems to be suggesting civil disobedience – carry “illegally”*, and have your DGU attorney on speed-dial. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          * An unconstitutional law isn’t a law.

    • When I talk about the Swiss’s high gun ownership rate, it’s precisely for that reason. I’m not pointing out that more guns=less crime (though that is true), but rather that even with high rates of gun ownership, they have some of the lowest crime rates in the world. In other words, you cannot point to high rates of gun ownership as the cause for crime.

      It’s a subtle difference, but one worth making. It’s always a great argument to stump the antis with, because it blow the mentality of “guns cause crime” right out of the water. Not that many antis will admit to a belief that inanimate objects cause crime, but the point is, comparing the two countries in a vacuum (looking only at gun ownership and crime rates) proves conclusively that guns do not cause crime.

  5. This is a bit off point, but it shows that what counts, is the way you tell the story
    Some time ago there was a big international horse race, and many countries entered their fastest steed.
    But, when the race started most all horses had been scratched, and only two remained, the Russian horse, and the American entry.
    The American horse won by 10 or more lengths. When the owners of the Russian horse went home, they were of course asked how their horse did.
    They said, “Well, we came in 2nd. best, and the American horse came in next to last!”

  6. In my opinion many of those studies have a source bias. It is said that no government study is undertaken without already knowing the conclusion. With the bias built-in, only “relevant” data will be used in the study.

    • Yep. Especially as there is already a MASSIVE body of research into the subject of guns and crime. The ONLY reason for the government to fund and conduct another study is to get a more desirable outcome, because it’s certainly not something that needs further study to come to a conclusive answer.

  7. Glad to see someone made this video. So many scientific studies (really, you’d be shocked at just how many) have serious errors, either in methodology or in math (apparently scientists aren’t particularly familiar with statistics). Whenever I find a “study” claiming something or other that I care enough about to possibly cite later on, I always look for the information on said study. Hypothesis, funding source, methodology, etc. If that information’s not available, I dismiss the “study”.

    For example, I’m sure we’ve all heard the “1 in 4 female college students will be sexually abused” line. It’s become so ubiquitous that no one questions it, and it’s been used to create an unfortunate culture of “you will be raped by a man” on college campuses. And it’s been repeated so often that it’s now accepted as unquestionable fact.

    But it’s dead wrong. They did a series of surveys on the matter (and surveys are already not the most precise form of study available, due to the human error factor, though sometimes there’s admittedly no alternative), but the kicker is the way they defined this “abuse”. Their definition was so broad that verbal sexual advances were considered abuse. Also, one of the questions was about participation in a specific sex act, however, the question was simply about participation, rather than consent. In other words, they asked, “How many times have you participated in this?”, and if the answer was anything more than 0, it was assumed to be non-consensual. DESPITE the administers failing to ask about consent.

    I chose that particular one to rip apart to demonstrate the importance of doing your own research, ESPECIALLY of supposed “scientifically proven” (and widely accepted) “facts”. “Studies have shown” is an utterly useless phrase, yet a lot of people give it credit. Bottom line: be wary and skeptical of science.

    • I don’t know about that. I used to sexually abuse a poor helpless girl while she was in college, and I bet they’d count that even though I’ve now been married to her AND sexually abusing her for 47 years.

    • “Bottom line: be wary and skeptical of science.”

      As a scientist, I wholeheartedly, one HUNDRED percent agree with this sentence.

      Modern science is a farce of objectivity; contemporary science lives in the world of both funding and publication bias, not to mention the flaws and declines in rigorous education in recent decades.

      All that though does not take away from the basic fact that skepticism is always part of the scientific process anyway.

      I mean, we called “defended my thesis” for a reason; we did not call it “pat me on the back just for showing up.”

  8. This goes back to the actual intelligence of the anti-rights
    crowd. I maintain that if the average anti was actually
    intellectually capable of understanding research analytics,
    they could see the flawed methodology used so very often
    in these “studies”. For me, this places the antis into two
    basic camps: the ignorant and the disingenuous. The
    ignorant cite these studies to appear more educated than
    they really are. These are particularly easy to spot as
    chances are they never actually read the research and get
    easily tripped up when you ask for sources or specifics.
    On the other hand the disingenuous group knows full well
    that the research is utter nonsense and it serves only to
    reenforce their hold on the ignorant.

    As a tip for whether to be skeptical or not check out the
    authors. There are an awful lot of people who pass them
    -selves off as legit scientists or researchers who have zero
    background in either. Check out their credentials and
    background. Google the person’s name. If it shows up that
    they’re a major DNC contributor don’t bet on impartiality.

    • its not about intellect, its about emotions. The reason progressives like to talk about “emotional IQ” is because with emotions you turn off your brain. Plain and simple. Emotions > Logic. This is not to say that emotion is not important, but if our legal system was simply based on emotions you would have a jury of car accident victims from two weeks ago on the jury of a car accident trial and how well would that go?

      When the logic or research does not fit, many are taught or conditioned to fall back to raw emotions and throw away the facts — many are taught that satisfying their feelings is more important than the rights of others. When you are conditioned over and over to turn off your brain, facts do not matter because they may not have the results that make you feel good.

      A good example is a co-worker of mine. He is ardent supporter of climate change theory — he has articles all over his cube to the point you can no longer see the walls for all his articles. He will stand on top of a table if he has to claiming all sort of scientific facts that support climate change and that all deniers should be struck down. However, present him with claims against gun control, and all the science is false, made up, fake and paid for and that it is not true.

      His emotions for saving the planet blind him from maybe some of those climate studies are wrong just as his emotions against guns tells him all the gun studies that show guns are not the problem are wrong. If one accepts science and says this proves climate change is true, then one should accept science that says the anti-gun facts are false. Instead this co-worker simple works off of what satisfies his emotions regardless of facts. And that, is the true nature of many in the anti-gun worlds as is possibly true for pro-gun/pro-liberty people as well.

      Being run by your emotions is a bad thing which is why in financial dealings or legal dealings you want an unemotional 3rd party to help you so that your judgment is not clouded.

  9. “Epidemiology” is just another fancy buzzword for lying. They take garbage data, run it through a garbage computer “model,” and get garbage squared out.

  10. This made for some good watching.
    If nothing else, it finally gave me some proper terms and explanations for why so many of these cooked studies, and not just where guns are concerned.
    Because let’s face it, calling them bullshit just doesn’t quite do it.

  11. The biggest problem with studies of controversial subjects is that most of those conducting them have an agenda. The study’s purpose is to go find the proof supporting your position; even if you have to concoct evidence, coerce conclusions and torture the data until it confesses. What should be a window into science then becomes a mirror reflecting nescience.

    Factor in that with many such subjects, non-researchers tend to consider themselves sufficiently qualified based on anecdotes, personal experiences, and the infamous “common sense.” The facts are an afterthought if they’re thought of at all.

    Filter a flawed-to-fraudulent study through an obsequious media, then feed it to an already overwrought public shrinking the limits of critical reading skills. It’s a formula for manipulative public opinion shaping. Even if people see through such shady methods, they end up confused and jaded; unsure even of legitimate studies and of what to believe.

    • Nescience — great word! Captures the essence of the anti-gun mindset: the art of not knowing. I’m storing that one in the memory banks. I actually had to look it up; it’s not often that happens.

  12. Since the Antis just make sh?t up anyway,why bother.They are libererals which means they are arrogant on the gun topic,they lie through their teeth,and since they can’t back up a lick of what they say,they change the topic.Why bother ,what’s the point.Just keep kicking their asses with progun organization memberships and votes and recruit everyone around them,against them.

  13. Great video!

    As a scientist, I fully understand the concept. What the average person hears, however is something like this: “Blah blah blah, words words words, DEATH AND FIRE AND PLAGUES! Blah blah blah”

  14. I don’t really care if a study proves my guns are bad for my health. It’s my right to own a firearm whether it causes heart disease or not. The problem here is that the culture of victimization and over medication is so out of control in this country that all of these little hipster neurotics reflexively feel the need to diagnose every crime or tragedy as a medical issue. In the 90’s, parents evidently had a meeting and said “ADD… yeeeeaaaaahhh….” so now “call it something and throw slimy doctors at it” is our nations MO for handling what should be considered social issues.

  15. Decent information, but remember to translate to other aspects of life. Much of what we see coming from the medical industry itself does not meet these requirements. Vaccines for example, and realize how many drugs are pulled off the market each year.

  16. The inaccurate stats do not really matter. The fact is Obama machine wants to have all Americans disarmed so he can live out the socialistic dream. Screw that. If you are not a criminal, keep your arms and hope that you never have to use them.

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