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The scientists at the Center for Disease Control have shown their prejudice against firearms ownership once again. This time, it’s with selection bias and word manipulation.

Scientists are supposed to evaluate factual information to arrive at testable theories about objective reality. For that reason, scientists are supposed to be aware of (and guard against) selection bias.

Like most humans, scientists are more likely to both include data that bolsters their pre-conceptions and exclude data that refutes their theories. It takes self-discipline and self-examination to avoid doing these things.

The CDC, however, has committed both of these selection bias errors in their National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS). Through the selection of what to study and how to define violence, the CDC has manipulated the NVDRS data in support of one political side.

Consider the choice of words and the study issue first.

Violence is morally neutral, like gravity. Violent acts can be good, bad, or neutral. A thunderstorm is violent. It is morally neutral. Defense of self or the nation can be violent. It is morally good. Aggression against individuals or groups can be violent, and tends to be morally bad.

Some people consider suicide to be a bad, violent act, although the primary victim and perpetrator are the same. Others consider suicide to be gentle, non-violent, and good, when sanctioned by the state in the form of “assisted” suicide.

The CDC selects certain violent actions, which may be good, bad, or neutral, and lumps them all together in one category, violent deaths, with the implication that violence is always bad. Lumping some violent acts together lumps the good, the bad, the ugly, all together in a mishmash. Other violent acts are excluded based on value judgments. The numbers are used to promote the political values of one side.

Even worse, the CDC arbitrarily includes unintentional firearm deaths in the violent death count. They exclude unintentional deaths in vehicles, drowning, with poisons and other causes.

If a fatal gun accident is violent, so is a plane crash, a fatal car accident, a fatal poisoning accident, and a fatal drowning accident.

The CDC even acknowledges this bias. From

NVDRS defines a death due to violence as “a death resulting from the intentional use of physical force or power against oneself, another person, or against a group or community.” NVDRS collects information about homicides, suicides, deaths by legal intervention-excluding executions-and deaths of undetermined intent. In addition, information about unintentional firearm injury deaths (i.e., the individual did not intend to discharge the firearm) is collected, although these deaths are not considered violent deaths by the above definition.

In other words, the CDC treats firearms accidents, and only firearms accidents, differently from all other accidents. According to the CDC, unintentional firearms deaths are “violent,” whereas no other kind of unintentional death is considered “violent.”

Why are unintentional firearms deaths included? Because the CDC wanted them included. Why are unintentional motor vehicle deaths, drownings, and poisoning excluded? Because the CDC wanted to exclude them.

While not perfect, the rates of death in the 27 NVDRS states is close to the rates of death in the United States as a whole, as recorded in the CDC WISQARS data base. The “violent death rate” in the 27 NVDRS states is calculated at 19.67 per 100,000 population, age adjusted.

The rate of death, including all age adjusted firearm-related deaths, is 9.90 per 100,000 population. The rate in the entire United States in the CDC WISQARS database for the same year, 2015, age adjusted, is 11.03, about 11% higher.

The rate of unintended deaths per 100,000 by poisoning (14.92),transportation (11.95 ), falling (10.40), drowning (1.10), and fire/burns (.76) in the WISQARS data for the entire United States add up to 39.13 deaths per 100,00 population, age adjusted. 39.13 dwarfs the entire “violent death” list put together by the CDC NVDRS of 19.67.

The unintentional death rate by firearm for 2015 is .15 per 100,000 population, age adjusted, in the United States. That is about 0.4% of the total unintentional death rate.

That number is virtually lost in the noise of other unintentional deaths. So, to make it look bigger, the CDC groups those accidental deaths in with “violent” deaths, concluding that firearms-related deaths make up 50.3% of violent deaths.

However, when all injury-related deaths are tallied, firearms-related deaths, which include homicide, suicide, and unintentional injury, are in fact only 17.3% of the total. (In WISQARS for 2015, the total comes to 63.76 per 100K population. All firearms-related deaths are 11.03 per 100K).

I do not expect the CDC to reform their partisan definition of violent deaths. The CDC excludes most unintentional deaths as violent deaths while including unintentional firearms deaths. They have done this deliberately.

It is selection bias, and it shows the wisdom of forbidding the CDC from using tax dollars to produce firearm related political propaganda.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

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    • They are paid to lie. Just like Dr Ford & company are being paid to lie about Brett Kavanaugh. These people have no scruples , they lie to accomplish their anti 2nd views. They lie to get their way. Dem’s lie that’s a scientific fact.

    • It should not even *be* their job, firearms are not a disease. The entire reason for including firearms in the CDC bailiwick is to fund their propaganda with taxpayer dollars and make them appear knowledgeable. It is a con, and always has been.

      • Working for a government period should not be a job. Full Stop. Oppression and thievery are not careers, even though most oppressors and thieves would disagree.But then, a man would does something(anything…) for a living always thinks its great and should be protected. Which is nothing more than some human saying: “look at how important I am!” An opinion bought and paid for is no opinion to trust.
        You wouldn’t trust a used car salesman to tell you the condition of the car you are thinking of buying would you? Of course not! All hidden agenda’s are exactly the same. It’s only that the car salesman’s agenda is not very well hidden. Even a teenager(a group not well known for excessive wisdom) can see that. Or, if not, they will soon after their first purchase…..

    • Lie, just like all of those supposed climate change scientists. Let’s face it, they get money to do studies, and in order to do the study, they HAVE to know what outcome the people who PAY for the studies want……

  1. The CDC is terminally corrupt. Just another alphabet soup agency attacking our rights in the name of public health, greater good.

  2. A bullet to the head would be a much easier way to go vs being run over by a car , by the car I think there would be much more suffering before passing on to the great beyond. The car would be more violent imho.

  3. May the Lord of our land help us when ” They” break the spirit of the black man as “They” broke the spirit of the people

  4. I think TTAG should reach out to a right leaning news organization and get on air to start this conversation on the national level.

  5. There’s Bias against Firearms (and their owners) at the CDC?

    I am shocked! Shocked I say! Next you’ll be telling me there’s gambling going on at Ricks’ Cafe.

    • This is the reason the CDC are forbidden from publishing BIASED anti-gun “research”.

      They could publish unbiased research into firearms but they don’t want to.

  6. “Scientists are supposed to evaluate factual information to arrive at testable theories about objective reality.”

    OTOH, bureaucrats and Democrats are spared such a burden.

  7. The CDC is a private, for-profit corporation working only on behalf of its shareholders and can be found on the official Dunn and Bradstreet directory. Perhaps the most egregious aspects of the CDC, while being a for-profit entity, are also consuming more than 12 billion dollars a year from taxpayers squandering hundreds of millions of our tax dollars on Hollywood scripts, posh fitness clubs, amenities, parties and more. 10 million dollars worth of furniture for their 110 million dollar headquarters, 106 million dollar communication and visitor center complete with waterfalls, plasma TVs, and more. A $200,000 fitness center boasts $30,000 saunas, “quiet rooms” and “zero gravity chairs” that provide “mood-enhancing light shows” for CDC employees.

    An investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that three key “scientists” who helped develop official swine flu policy for the World Health Organization (WHO), recommending that practically everyone be vaccinated, received cash payments from both Roche and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), two pharmaceutical giants that manufacture swine flu vaccines. These two companies, as reported by The Guardian in 2010, paid off policymakers in multiple countries, including in the U.S. at the CDC to write the WHO’s guidelines for swine flu that pushed dangerous swine flu vaccines on millions of people globally. With the help of the CDC and other corrupt agencies, these pharmaceutical corporations pocketed billions of dollars.

    *2007 US Congressional Investigation lead by Tom Coburn
    *2010 investigation by BMJ/BIJ

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