Big Medicine Junk Science Isn’t Just for Guns Any More

JAMA junk science opioids guns second amendment


By Dr. Sean Brodale

Mainstream medicine is at it again. Amazingly enough it is not about gun control, although it sounds remarkably familiar. The most recent article to grace the pages of the Journal of the American Medical Association is “Association of Chronic Opioid Use With Presidential Voting Patterns in US Counties in 2016”by James S. Goodwin, MD and colleagues.

Why write about opioid use on a pro-Second Amendment site? Not because they are indirectly bashing Republicans or President Trump—we are used to that. The problem is that the same junk research that has been done on supposed gun violence for decades is now being done against a political party and the President of the United States. Worse than poor research being done, that research is being published in JAMA, supposedly one of the most reputable medical resources. Let’s look at some of the more glaring issues and how they parallel the gun control debate.

The article compares regions of chronic opioid use and presidential election voting patterns. How a person votes in a presidential election has nothing to do with their opiate use. This information will not save any lives or keep anyone from getting sick or injured. It’s all politics.

Are we now going to classify Republicans as mentally ill? This is an attempt to associate a political party with an epidemic that grew most under another party’s control. The Centers for Disease Control shows the first rise in prescription opioid deaths (Wave 1, as they call it) in 1999 during the Clinton administration. During President Obama’s first term, in 2010, heroin overdose deaths began to rise again (Wave 2). Wave 3, the increase in synthetic opioid overdose deaths, began in 2013 during Obama’s second term.  If there was any blame to ascribe, it would be for neither a single political party nor administration.

They chose Medicare enrollees as their target group, even though they are not a high risk demographic in the opioid epidemic.  This is just like previous “gun violence research” by which a gun in your home was found to increase the risk being murdered, when the gun didn’t even need to be yours.  (See my article on about Kellerman’s 1993 article for more.)

Next they honed in on opioids prescribed for over 90 days with the number of prescriptions written in the county significantly exceeding the mean rate for all counties to compare to party affiliation.

How do prescriptions place these elderly or disabled people at greater risk for harm from opioid use?  Perhaps they have fallen and broken a hip because they are frail.  Maybe they have pain from cancer because they are at ages most liable to malignancies.  They may have severe arthritis and require pain medications to function.

There are many good, appropriate uses of narcotic pain medications.  The paper makes no reference to any inappropriate use of opioid medications or any overdose rates.  These are the hallmarks of the opioid epidemic as described above by the CDC’s three waves of increased overdose deaths.

This is very like the constant cries that “there will be blood in the streets” each time a pro-freedom law is passed.  This is similar to the recent Defense Distributed lawsuit, settlement, and injunction story.  The information is already on the internet and available for all to see.  Home built guns have been legal to build and possess since the founding of our country.  Still, when many gun control activists heard that the DOD settled with Defense Distributed they went to court to stop it.

Just like those gun grabbers, these medical “researchers” need to stop looking for common things in common places and claiming they have found something significant. Their work is indeed “Spuriouser and Spuriouser”, as Dr. Przebinda explained in his piece by that name.

President Trump won a majority in an overwhelming 84% of US counties which cover over 75% of the nation’s land mass.  Of course there is a correlation of many things with counties that voted for Trump–because almost all of them did!  Yet the geographical distributions of opioid epidemic deaths and the results of the 2016 presidential election don’t even look that consistent.  Mainstream medicine is attempting to associate someone they don’t like (President Trump) with something that is actually tragic (the opioid epidemic) via something that isn’t necessarily wrong at all (appropriate prescribing of narcotic medicines).

They do the same regarding firearms in many ways.  For example, they associate firearm owners (people they don’t like) with something that is actually wrong (death by suicide and crime) via something that isn’t wrong at all (legal gun ownership, concealed carry laws, etc.). They not only try to associate the good with the bad while ignoring  the good that objects can serve, as the CDC recently found true for many years.  In the 1990’s the CDC conducted some surveys of their own on defensive gun uses (DGU’s). Their results showed that there are far more DGU’s than they were willing to admit and that those numbers fall right in line with the numbers Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck had  previously found, from 2 to 2.5 million per year.

Mainstream medical elitists have long been manipulating the facts about our Second Amendment rights and lawful gun use. It shouldn’t be surprising that their tactics are now being applied to other political realms.

This shows the corruption inherent in their controlling, anti-freedom tactics. The clearer that becomes, the clearer that JAMA’s and the AMA’s politicization is undeniable. If they would only look at reality and see that freedom for law abiding citizens is always the best policy.


Dr. Sean Brodale is a family practitioner in Iowa. He is pursuing the right to carry in hospitals for eligible medical personnel. At DRGO he is involved in membership and public engagement projects.

This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission. 


  1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    … the same junk research that has been done on supposed gun violence for decades is now being done against a political party and the President of the United States.

    Assuming that the author’s assertions in this article/editorial are correct, this “study” in the Journal of the American Medical Association simply reveals the Left’s ultimate goal: to eliminate their political enemies.

    And note that the Left wants to eliminate their political enemies for the “crime” of “wrong” thinking — not for property destruction, thievery, rape, or murder — for “wrong” thinking. Let that sink in.

    And the Left wonders why people like me INSIST on keeping and bearing arms.

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    One fun fact… the VA hands out opiates like candy. I’d imagine that their customer base tends to be far more on the MAGA side of the street than the average soy boy.

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      My dad’s got a client on drug charges who was shot three times in the chest with AK in Iraq. The VA got him hooked on opiates, but he couldn’t afford his prescriptions and ended up turning to heroin. I’m not sure he votes though, as he has no driver’s license or permanent address.

      1. avatar ComfortablyNumb says:

        The sheer amount of fucked-upness in those 3 sentences makes me want to drink heavily.

      2. avatar The Undead Cat says:

        This makes no (common) sense. With his wounds being absolutely “Service Connected”, and his disability rating is undoubtedly more than thirty per cent, why is he paying for his meds at all? For 51 years, my disability rating was only ten per cent, and I never had to pay for meds (Of course, the VA screwed me over other ways, like waiting 44 years to give me my hearing aids, and treating me for back injury effects, but not the cause. They finally upped me to 40 per cent this week).

    2. avatar Draven says:

      unless your pain is from a source they are trying to deny you disability on, in which case they will give you mild NSAIDs and tell you you’re fine.

  3. avatar anonymoose says:

    Republicans are pill-popping stoners? *confused Jeff Sessions face*

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      RINO’s and Leftard’s always have the look on their face and nada between their ears.

    2. avatar CC says:

      The study does not establish at all that Republicans are more likely to be addicted to drugs. And since all the secondary indicators we know that do corollate with drug use don’t correlate with most Republicans, we know it is probably Democrats who are more likely to be addictive drug users.

      For example Republicans voters are more likely to be employed. and Republican voters are les likely to engage in crime than Democrat voters.

      The numbers the researchers found more likely simply reflect the fact that in rural counties, which have an edge in GOP voting contain cores of Democrats who are opioid addicts.

  4. avatar ollie says:

    The main cause of the upsurge of opiate use is Obamacare. Many, if not most, of those folks newly getting free or cheap healthcare and prescriptions are using their “Freebee” to get drugs for use or to sell. Those folks have lots of experience scamming welfare and ssi administrators and naive docs are easy to fool.

    The left blames the drug companies, but the drug companies cannot sell to the public, only doctors, hospitals and pharmacies can put drugs into consumer’s hands.
    Prescriptions for opiates should be linked to social security numbers and put into a numerical database to prevent users from using xerox copies at different pharmacies.

    However, the really big crisis is Trump Derangement Syndrome in all leftists. The only cure is lobotomies.

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      The very last thing we need is more government involvement in healthcare for any reason. In fact, when has more government involvement ever been a good thing? Also, that’s not how prescriptions for controlled substances work at all, not even close. Try that just once and you’ll likely be arrested, and dismissed from your doctor’s practice, and barred from the pharmacy, and at any rate it won’t be filled because it will be immediately and painfully obvious that the script is a fake.

    2. avatar The Undead Cat says:

      Ollie, you are a racist idiot.
      “Many, if not most, of those folks newly getting free or cheap healthcare and prescriptions are using their “Freebee” to get drugs for use or to sell. Those folks have lots of experience scamming welfare and ssi administrators and naive docs are easy to fool.”
      If you read my previous post, you will notice that I was severely injured in the US Army in ’67, I survived the last two years of my service by sucking down a half dozen Tylenol 3’s a day, which is half of what I was prescribed by the Army doctor. My wife is now forced to use “Obamacare”, and has had 29 operations since 1974., She is currently recovering from a double mastectomy and is on 21 different meds. We both have been prescribed multiple scrips of opiate, and we have constantly refused them.
      And by the way, we’re both “Those folks”.

      1. avatar ollie says:

        I made no mention of race.

        I stand by my statement that Obamacare is to blame because it makes it too easy to abuse the system.

        Modern color Xerox can duplicate ANY document in a form that cannot be discerned as a copy — try to buy property with a cashier’s check these days and you have to wait until the check is completely cleared before you get your deed. People ARE copying their prescriptions and getting them filled at multiple pharmacies.

        1. avatar The Undead Cat says:

          Define “those folks”. Define “scamming welfare”.

          Fortunately, most Blacks are not welfare defrauders, thugs, hood rats, muggers, rapists, pimps, prostitutes, or druggies. Neither ore most Whites intentional racists or bigots. When, however, a person uses certain sentence constructs, trigger words and phrases, the first thing they say is “I made no mention of race”, or the famous “I am not racist!”
          By your own words …

        2. avatar CC says:

          @undead cat, you are simply a outright race baiter. Ollie neither said nor hinted at anything in regard to race.

  5. avatar Bob Jones says:

    Communist Russia 1920’s = Nazi Germany 1930’s = USA Democrats Today

  6. avatar Mark N. says:

    “Prescriptions for opiates should be linked to social security numbers and put into a numerical database to prevent users from using xerox copies at different pharmacies.”

    To obtain prescriptions from a pharmacy, you have to have a picture ID and an ORIGINAL signed prescription. Copies are not filled. Further. the pharmacy can plug the scrip into their connected database to see if you have a scrip filled elsewhere within 30 days, plus the insurance company tracks the same information and will refuse multiple requests. Further, the FDA tells doctors how much they can prescribe, and if the prescription is for chronic pain management, they are required to do blood tests every 30 to 60 days to ferret out abusers. If a doctor wishes to prescribe more than the maximum, a specific request for approval must be made to the FDA to approve the treatment. Doctors who do not follow the protocols are subject to investigation, suspension or revocation of their licenses, and criminal prosecution.

    1. avatar ollie says:

      Color Xerox copies cannot be discerned from an original. Even cashier’s checks are being copied and the banks can’t spot the fakes until they have multiple copies that were all accepted for payment.

  7. avatar Mark N. says:

    Perhaps opiate users are more prone to vote Trump because they represent the blue collar workers in flyover country abandoned by he Democratic Party, people who suffer serious on the job injuries that prevent hem form working, and who love God, Guns and America.

    1. avatar Draven says:

      OR vets, or people who worked their fingers to the bone all their lives and now have to live with chronic pain. Something elitist democrats will never understand….

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    If [gun grabbers] would only look at reality and see that freedom for law abiding citizens is always the best policy.

    Gun grabbers have no interest in reality. They hold feelings and their notion of virtue above everything else.

    In the mind of a gun grabber:
    (1) It is a horrific event when someone murders someone with a firearm.
    (2) Therefore, we must oppose what makes that event horrific.
    (3) Both murder AND firearms make that event horrific.
    (4) Therefore, gun grabbers oppose both murder AND firearms.
    (5) Period. The end. Full stop. Mind closed to any further consideration.

    Our arguments that we truly need firearms for self-defense have ZERO impact because gun grabbers will argue that:
    (1) Violent murderous thugs should not exist.
    (2) Firearms should not exist.
    (3) Therefore we should not keep and bear arms.

    Saying it another way, gun grabbers will resolutely clamor that, “two wrongs don’t make a right”, where the two “wrongs” are murder and possessing firearms.

  9. avatar Binder says:

    What they should do is an article titled “Association of Felony Convictions With Presidential Voting Patterns in US Counties in 2016” Any bets on how that one will turn out?

  10. avatar FedUp says:

    Supposedly one of the most reputable…

    I learned to associate the names Lancet and NEJM with garbage by 1990, and I’ve been assuming the same from JAMA almost as long. If the topic has any possible non-medical significance, I can wave the BS flag without bothering to read the article.

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      Agreed, I don’t think that anyone who is paying attention takes JAMA to be anything but a leftist propaganda organ, with occasional medical articles of interest.

      1. avatar CC says:

        WRONG. if you look at the appellate and federal district court cases on gun control they are chock full of agenda driven studies like this entered into the record as evidence.

        It is a serious problem. The gun control lobby is hugely funding these quack researchers and they are passing peer review and getting right into the key court cases.

  11. avatar HoundDogDave says:

    Just go ahead and look at the JAMA Network Open site
    and look at all of the comments by other Doctors and Medical professionals. All of them call this “Research Paper” out as garbage

    Here is one excerpt from just one of the peer comments

    [“Political Science”
    Kurtis Elward, MD, MPH
    The JAMA Network Open article does not meet the standards and rigor of academic evaluation. The article seems to be a poorly veiled attempt to portray Trump voters as somehow impaired and convey a subtle message that one has to be on chronic narcotics or otherwise out of touch to vote for Trump.]

    And here is another excerpt

    [Interesting But Skewed Premise of Opioid Use Amongst Trump Voters
    Anish Korula, M.P.A ’03 | USC Public Administration Alum
    It was an interesting read, but I feel the study has an inherently biased hypothesis that poor, white voters who voted for Trump were most affected by opioid use. It supposes that political beliefs determine the type of addiction of a specific drug. ]

    And just one more for the fun of it

    [William Richardson, MD | Private Practice, previous NIH T-32 researcher
    Let me say how brave the JAMA network was in publishing such an enlightening piece of research! As a previous NIH-sponsored researcher, some issues remain.

    Correlation is not causation–not that causation is expressed. But it IS implied. It is SO easy to throw all kinds of factors into a multivariate analysis, even to invent some novel ones (called “transgenerated” variables, mathematical constructs from the observed data), stir them up, and get what you want out of it. We see it all the time in complex sociological research.]

    Translation:”this is a crock from a crack-pot”

  12. avatar CC says:

    This is just like previous “gun violence research” by which a gun in your home was found to increase the risk being murdered, when the gun didn’t even need to be yours. (See my article on about Kellerman’s 1993 article for more.)

    Quack Kellerman never once applied key variable of criminality and illegal gun owners vs legal gun owners.

    Most murder victims are criminals, on the order of 90% to 93% in all the studies, over 80% being persons with ten or more arrests. Of the 10% to 7% remaining murder victims who are not criminals, for example minors, they tend to be living in homes with criminals.

    Kellerman’s numbers to proving households with LEGAL firearms are safer than homes with no guns, if one assumes just 25% of households with murder victims are homes with illegally possessed guns, never mind the more likely number of 80% to 90% which would show households with legal guns are half as likely to see criminal violence victimization, than households with no gun.

    If a 5% subcohort of a certain cohort (all criminals possessing guns and their household members within all “gun owners and their household members) account for 90% of all of a variable (gun murder victimization) it is patently obvious that the risk factor is not gun ownership but criminality.

    Kellerman took gang bangers who owned guns killed by other gang bangers; meth-dealers who owned guns and killed by addicts, people robbing them, or cops; women and children living with active felons felons; and a bunch of other criminality based shooting perps and victims — all constituting the vast majority of shootings and murder — and lumped them in with the 95% of “gun owners” who are safer and safer to be around than being around than non Kellerman himself, to create a single “gun owner” class in his junk science.

    Imagine if you will that of all drivers, 5% of them drank and drove, and those 5% were the cause of 90% of road deaths. Would we be assigning all road deaths to all “car owning” households??? No. We would not be talking about car owners but about people who drink and drive. yet Kellerman aggregated all gun owners. That is specifically why researchers like Kellerman ended up themselves killing CDC funding for their bogus “studies” and agenda driven junk science.

    good new is that less and less people believe Kellerman’s completely bogus quackery:×367.png

  13. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Correlation =/= Causation.

    And Tyler Vigen demonstrates the idea way better than I can:

    My favorite is the graph that links the number of letters in the Winning Spelling Bee with Death by Venomous Spiders.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Spurious Correlations is a brilliant website.

  14. avatar Robert Powell says:

    the jerka at jama need to look closely at the deaths caused by doctors,bad diagnosis,drunken doctors, and the largest of all the lists,abortion. they are the major killers in this nation.

  15. avatar neiowa says:

    WHO says there is an “Opioid Crisis”? That there was none until 2min after the OBum left the Whitehouse? The same lying POS that gave us Global Warmin/Climate Change, Pound ME2, BLM, “Antifa”, “Occupy Wall Street” etc etc etc advomitus.

    A trustworth bunch of scum.

  16. avatar DaveP says:

    Okay, now do “Correlation of Cocaine And Crack Addiction With Clinton Voters”.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Hey, if JAMA is doing the spurious correlation thing, why can’t the rest of us?

      Democratic presidencies do, apparently, correlate with the emergence of drug abuse epidemics. Prevent drug epidemics: vote Republican!

  17. avatar little horn says:

    correlation is not causation

  18. avatar Raed says:

    “Why write about opioid use on a pro-Second Amendment site? Not because they are indirectly bashing Republicans or President Trump—we are used to that. The problem is that the same junk research that has been done on supposed gun violence for decades is now being done against a political party and the President of the United States.”

    The moment we start to support parties and people we have lost our way, they are both fickle and will change with the circumstance. The arguments should always and only be for Policies and Ideas.

    But the republican party and the current president have delivered both national carry reciprocity and the hearing protection act! Wait, never mind, not even a vote. Lets not be distracted by the guy showing up with a suit and promises.

    Freedom, and the 2nd Amendment are the true north.

  19. avatar T says:

    All I have to say if folks don’t think these “red flag /Extreme Risk Orotection Orders” are not connected with this type of “research” you are crazy. These people are looking for any reason, one house at a time, to disarm Americans.

  20. avatar That Deaf SOB says:

    Old Sam Clemens said it once, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email