omg horror
Bigstock
Previous Post
Next Post

By Salam Fatohi

Firearm ownership is a longstanding American tradition. New gun owners, an estimated 8.4 million in 2020 and an additional 3.2 million in the first half of 2021, represent a growing trend of Americans willing to exercise their Second Amendment rights and with it to take on the responsibility of gun ownership.

While firearm ownership can be a polarizing issue, the topic of safety, especially in regard to children, is a high priority for everyone. Lately, this priority of firearm safety has caught the eye of the Firearm Exposure Research Team at Harvard Chan School of Public Health.

The Harvard researchers recently posted an environmental research study in Science Direct called, “Firearm licenses associated with elevated pediatric blood lead levels in Massachusetts.”

On the surface, this study suggests this group cares about possible issues resulting from the mixing of firearms and children. However, a closer look exposes their biases against firearm ownership.

Bias-Driven Research

This “study” sought to determine an association between, “firearm-related lead exposure and pediatric blood lead levels.” The methodology utilized by the researchers leaves little confidence in their ability to report without bias and true correlation.

The team collected firearm licensing information from the Massachusetts Departments of Public Health and Criminal Justice Information Services and overlapped pediatric blood lead level data for the corresponding areas in 2017. Using these factors alone, the researchers concluded that ownership of a firearm is a contributing factor in pediatric blood lead levels.

The researchers assert that mere happenstance of Americans legally owning firearms results in lead exposure. This is somehow enough evidence for the folks at Harvard. The researchers did not tie a direct causal link between firearm ownership and pediatric lead exposure because there is none.

Half-Effort, Full Fail

The researchers did not interview firearm owners or parents to find predominant habits which could result in lead exposure. Nor did they take into account environmental factors to have conclusive evidence in the scientific community. One of the researchers said in a blog, “the study was of a single year only, and measurement of environmental toxicants is inherently difficult.”

mad scientist statistics black board calculate
Shutterstock

The truth is that these advocates want to use correlation, at best, not actual evidence of causation to scare people from owning firearms by suggesting the mere presence of a firearm will harm their children by exposing them to elevated blood lead levels. If their hypothesis was correct, with over 400 million firearms in civilian possession and conservative estimates that about 1 in 3 households have a firearm, surely there would be, evidence, if not, an epidemic of lead poisoning among children of gun owners.

With agenda-driven science, correlation is conflated with causation. You usually don’t have to scratch far below the surface to expose the bias.

 

Salam Fatohi is Manager of Legistlative and Policy Research at the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

 

 

Previous Post
Next Post

61 COMMENTS

    • Let me help you out there, Jim Warren. Publishing trash research such as the noted article should result in significantly higher lead levels in the researchers. And, Socialists trashing Americans’ rights should experience significantly higher lead levels. Our Founding Fathers would already have been finished raising lead levels in today’s many anti-American tyrants.

    • I am not sure but I think the lead in the air at the range comes from less azide in the primers and not the bullet alloy.
      In any case I can’t see how lead traces on shooters hands and firearm would spread to be absorbed to family members in a measurable way.

      • I went digging around and it seems that only the obvious things offer any plausible path for gun related lead into children. Putting bullets into mouths, handling of lead objects then eating food or putting hands in mouth. Extensive time at the range inhaling primer fumes (lead azide Decomposes only into lead metal fumes and not the more bioavailable lead oxide or other compounds). Or putting dirty cleaning patches in the mouth. Dirty case tumbler media handling or dust breathing.
        Casting of lead is also low risk, only by stirring the slag to make a dust is there a significant risk. So don’t let your toddlers handle lead bullets, suck on dirty cleaning patches, lick or mouth dirty firearms, play with dirty polishing media or dust around the tumbler and other absurdly obvious things. The exposure risk from old paint, water pipe scum, etc. must be hundreds or thousands of times greater. Also Chinese toys, painted objects, due to continued use of lead oxide as white pigment. Do not let your toddlers mouth painted toys, (or dirty firearms).

    • Oh, I don’t know about that. I routinely shoot my kids for misbehaving . . . I was so infuriated when one of them broke an heirloom vase, I shot him 32 times.

      I suppose it’s necessary to put a /sarcasm tag here – too many liberals will believe what I have typed above.

      • I think even those bean bag rounds are lead filled. So no more shooting those at children either.
        To idiots; this is sarcasm / a joke, I do not condone shooting any projectiles at children.

  1. Once again the people with no children want to tell me what not to expose my children to. And these same childless adults want to expose my children to legalized crystal meth, pot, crack, syphilis and HIV/AIDS. And they also say a father is not necessary in the home.

  2. Gun Control Zealots will stoop to any level to demonize The Second Amendment. But being sneaky has always rode along with Gun Control, Backdoor Gun Control, etc.

    This so called study is intended to leave milquetoast morons believing pacifiers are made with .45 cartridges.

  3. One of my first questions would be …. if this is true then why don’t over 400 million firearms held by over 60% of the U.S. population cause higher lead levels in adults who are directly closer to firearms and ammunition a lot more frequently than children?

  4. “Associated with” != “leads to”. Correlation does not prove causation. Epidemiological studies cannot and do not establish causation.

    • As soon as they said “the study was of a single year only, and measurement of environmental toxicants is inherently difficult.” then the “Research” becomes absolute trash.

  5. one thing we do know:
    gun ownership leads to higher blood lead levels in the bodies of some rioters and looters in kenosha wisconsin
    its a small sample size i agree
    but you have to admit
    its awfully scientific

  6. this is the type of argument one makes when one has no other good argument to make
    this is the type of argument one makes when one is reduced to “grasping at straws”

  7. My firearms are made of steal. Not lead. Maybe the kids are absorbing the lead by osmosis from the ammunition. Or, maybe, those Harvard researchers are just full of shit.

    • Well I “may” have a slight sensitivity to lead. Feel a bit woozy after I leave the(indoor)gun range. I suppose I could wear a hazmat mask-or NOT.

      • Indoor ranges do have higher levels of vaporized lead in the air that is mediated only by the quality of the air circulatory system. Lengthy shooting days can lead to an increased level of lead in the blood.

    • Yeah, I liked my kids when they were kids, and I like them now that they are no longer kids for 20 years or so. But I have NEVER understood why all arguments are supposed to center on children, and completely ignore the wants and needs of any adults.

  8. Garbage science. MLR modeling is notorious for how easily it can be ‘tweaked’ to prove the result you want. Add enough junk variables to your model and the “predictive quality” improves dramatically… Until you try and validate it on non-training data. P-values weren’t available in the abstract, but the following was enlightening:

    “Models were adjusted for percent of a population employed in construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, and mining, income distribution, and potential lead paint exposure, which were found to be the primary predictors of elevated pediatric blood lead levels”

    Translation: We ‘adjusted for’ (ignored) actual causal factors and zoomed in on minor variance in baseline data (random noise).

    “A one standard deviation change in firearm licensure percentage was found to reflect a 0.96% increase in elevated pediatric blood lead levels”

    Translation: Our proposed effect size is so small that a 34% change above the mean for the effect resulted in less than 1% effect change (even after manipulating the data?)

    “Regression analyses demonstrated that the inclusion of firearm licensure significantly improved the prediction of pediatric BLL”

    Translation: Our R2 value got better (even useless variables included in MLR will improve R2)

    • So, the primary predictors are everything but the cause they were shooting for, so they tweaked the math until they got this:

      “A one standard deviation change in firearm licensure percentage was found to reflect a 0.96% increase in elevated pediatric blood lead levels”

      and then they shouted “Eureka!” from the rooftops. Boy is that a stretch. Perfect example of the old saying, “Figures can lie and liars can figure.”

  9. Well those Harvard creeps have certainly earned their Pop Tart for today.

    Considering that Harvard and Yale appear to be at the center of all manner of rotten things in this world, has anyone considered showing up for school there with a bulldozer?

  10. IS THAT NAMED AFTER A MOVIE , ” BITE THA BULET , OR EAT LEAD N CHOKE ON IT …
    UUUM NOW WILL AMMO COME WITH CHOKING N LEAD HAZARD LABLE ???

    DON’T SHOOT ME DADY OR MOMIE OR BOTH , CAUSE I MIGHT GET LEAD POISON .
    YES THAT’S A SICK COMMENT OUT OF TASTE WITH IT ALL … SORRY , APOLOGIES

    ANYWAY DON’T LETS KIDOES PLAY WITH LEAD BULLETS HAVE BE 21 OR OLDER ..

  11. I know a lot of homes in western mass closely resemble and likely were built in the same decade as many of the suburban homes in upstate NY. Lead pipes and paint are fairly common even now in NY. I would take a wild guess it’s not terribly different for our eastern neighbors. Would this study show the same results in Colorado, Florida, or other states who had more recent building sprees?

  12. I’m dubious of the study,, especially in an old large city where lead paint and leaded gas residue can lead to contamination, and it will especially be concentrated in low income areas where people are more likely need guns for defense. Richer people live in newer homes away from highways. The guns equal higher lead levels would be true everywhere,, but it won’t be. Heavy metal poisoning can be serious, especially for young kids. If you shoot a box every few months or years, it’s not a problem. Lead sitting in cartridges isn’t going to spread. If you shoot thousands of rounds a year, especially at indoor ranges, you should take precautions to prevent contamination. I take off my shooting clothes in the garage and then shower and shampoo with lead removing soap. Then I’m OK to interact with the family. The shooting clothes eventually get washed with lead removing detergent and stored separately from my regular clothes. The RSOs at my club also wear respirators when running a dynamic firing line downrange, despite having a modern positive ventilation system and maintained rubber backstop. You should also have your lead levels tested routinely.

  13. As a competition shooter my blood lead levels are elevated; particularly in the winter months when we’re indoors.

    My children and spouse were all tested. Didn’t even register lead in the blood for any of them.

  14. Per what I’ve been reading; If the range would ventilate from behind the shooters to down range, even with modest air flow, we can expect your lead levels to drop as breathing the primer fumes can be an issue.
    Or, if you use a K95 mask or such, that should capture some of the lead metal mist from the primers.
    Then wash hands before eating and especially smoking.
    Wash hands after cleaning the gun.
    Clearly your family have not been putting lead bullets in their mouths. I wonder if some of the researchers have been testing on themselves (mouthing lead bullets). This might explain their work.

    • my understanding is that wines are heavily contaminated with lead, arsenic, and cadmium, and that the producers have known this for decades.

  15. meanwhile leftist governments pass out free needles, don’t enforce laws against fentanyl, and mandate acceptance of unsanitary homeless camps.

  16. It happens that organizations are enticed to announce findings per the funding.
    Scientific prostitution is a thing.
    Many shamed scientists’ names appear on documents explaining how cigarettes and bleached flour are good for your health.
    But it’s our job to sift through the nonsense like here. This “guns lead kids” is garbage and doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny.
    I’m glad I refreshed my lead hazard awareness.

  17. Cuz, you know how we gun ownin’ rubes raise our kids. Instead of giving our babies pacifiers like everyone else we give them lead-cast 45-70s to suck on.

  18. Were those elevated lead levels taken from victims of gang-related shootings? Phony research. Did they document (ha, ha) that children with elevated lead levels actually lived in homes with guns? Was there a control group (ha, ha) of children from homes that didn’t have firearms? If so, what were their rates? Did the children with elevated lead levels live near any toxic waste sites? How many of the children with elevated lead levels lived in homes that owned vehicles? An average-sized car battery (40lb) has enough lead in it to produce over 275,000 bullets. Vehicle batteries emit copious amounts of lead vapor which is spread through the environment and easily inhaled by anyone. If they are so concerned about lead contamination, maybe they should recommend banning all lead batteries? Electric car batteries weigh in the hundreds of pounds and also contain other dangerous chemical compounds. Phony research, phony science. Commies all.

  19. No, the lead in the wine comes from the lead foil that used to grace more expensive wines. I have long maintained if you are exhibiting certain symptoms that might be lead poisoning, those symptoms are not coming from the lead left on the lip of the bottle being washed off into your wine glass, those symptoms are from drinking too damned much wine. That’s what makes you take funny and do things you don’t remember the next day. It isn’t lead poisoning, it is alcohol poisoning. Read “John Barleycorn” by Jack London for a full explanation of how to acquire alcohol poisoning. Now there was a man who had first hand knowledge of the effects of alcohol.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here