michael bloomberg angry johns hopkins
(AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
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Week two of the Bloomberg school massive open online course on “Reducing Gun Violence” ran the same week that one of the lecturers was in the news for exclusionary comments that apply more readily to his course than to the intended target.

Jon Vernick, JD, MPH, told an audience at a recent Health Journalism conference that journalists shouldn’t contact NRA for comment on gun control studies because he thinks we aren’t qualified. “At least in my experience, journalists bend over backward to give organizations like the NRA or other gun-owning or opposition groups a chance to comment, sometimes on things that they don’t know very much about. And so, when I will do a research study and the studies get coverage, I sometimes wonder if it’s necessary to have a non-researcher from the NRA or another group respond.”

Our public affairs staff set the record straight about our qualifications and Vernick offered a milquetoast approval of our qualifications to comment on research.

Thanks, Jon. Is foot-in-mouth a public health issue, too? We’ll wait.

In the meantime, we’ll turn our attention to the second module in the Coursera program. We’d like to raise several concerns with the material presented in this module (don’t fret, Jon – we’re qualified).

For starters, the 2nd Amendment is described as “a legal and political challenge” to gun control and “the elephant in the room” when talking about gun policy. Constitutional rights should not be considered “challenges” to any worthwhile endeavor, but that sort of (un)subtle bias is present throughout the week two presentations.

Most concerning was the discussion between Doctor Daniel Webster and Doctor April Zeoli. In the context of reducing domestic or intimate partner violence, Zeoli emphasizes “all the hoops” required to have a person’s Constitutional rights revoked. Those “hoops” are obtaining a conviction in a court of law for a disqualifying offense.

The hoops are due process – the foundational principle that supports our entire judicial system. Zeoli supports expanding the qualifying relationships for domestic violence restraining orders and revoking 2nd Amendment rights based on ex parte and emergency restraining orders. The subjects of such orders would not have an opportunity to defend themselves in court before their rights are revoked.

Depriving someone of their Constitutional rights should not be an easy or convenient task, no matter how worthwhile the intended result may be. It seems as though the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments would be sacrificed alongside the Second.

Other presentations in week two focus on “Litigation as a Public Health Strategy” and “Obstacles to Research, Policy Advancement, and Data Transparency.” Vernick himself leads the presentation on litigation and laments the enactment of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was passed to end a coordinated effort by anti-gun organizations to bankrupt firearms manufacturers and dealers through frivolous lawsuits.

The lawsuits filed before the PLCAA were intended to bankrupt targeted gun manufacturers and dealers by forcing them to spend exorbitant amounts of money fighting absurd lawsuits. Vernick argues that “virtually no other consumer product” in the U.S. has the same sort of protection from liability as firearms. Internet service providers and small aircraft manufacturers both have similar levels of liability protection. And, no other consumer products face the same sort of organized, rabid opposition to their very existence as firearms.

There are no anti-car organizations bankrolling lawsuits they know will fail just to win a war of financial attrition against a small business – or even against a corporation. When you have all the money in the world behind you, all you have to do is force the other guy to choose how he wants to go out of business: spend all of his money defending himself against a frivolous lawsuit or close up shop while he still has a dime to his name.

Public health officials regularly compare firearms to automobiles in terms of access and regulation, but no one wants to hold car manufacturers responsible for the criminal misuse of their products. That farce is seemingly reserved for the firearms industry alone.

The “Obstacles to Research, Policy Advancement, and Data Transparency” include the Dickey Amendment (acknowledged to not actually limit research) and the Tiahrt Amendment, which limits access to gun trace data and was supported by the ATF. The utility of the trace data for researchers is almost certainly overestimated, as it is limited to the point of sale.

The presenter claims that “law enforcement has been hampered by its ability to trace crime guns and implement these policies.” We’ve consulted the highly qualified research attorneys on staff and none agrees that law enforcement has been hampered in such a way. Law enforcement agencies still have access to firearms trace data and can still request a trace by ATF for recovered firearms.

These aren’t the only policies that are misrepresented or trivialized. Vernick notes in his presentation on child access prevention laws that “we don’t go door-to-door” to determine how gun owners are storing their firearms. Nice to hear that the Fourth Amendment isn’t to be completely destroyed on the Bloomberg School’s chopping block, but there are important questions to ask about these sorts of laws.

What is the actual compliance rate among people subject to these laws? In other words, are people more likely to store their firearms “safely” if there is a law on the books that threatens them with punishment? Would a public awareness or an educational campaign be more effective than a punishment imposed after a tragedy has already occurred? All Vernick mentions is a variation between felony and misdemeanor penalties.

Dr. Webster and Dr. Crifasi offer a final wrap-up discussion of the week two material. They reiterate the major points their colleagues made in this module, including the impact of prohibition based on violent misdemeanors but again ignore their own work that found California’s prohibition on violent misdemeanors and universal background checks had no effect on firearms homicides.

Jon Vernick and his six coauthors on that study hold fourteen advanced degrees between them. We’re sure that Vernick and his colleagues in the Bloomberg School of Public Health Coursera program excluded that study for a good reason.

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  1. At least with Bloomberg you know what your getting and paying for, unlike the NRA who’s Wardrobe is Paid Out of NRA Organization Due’s. Instead of the NRA Chairman’s salary…

        • Leslie, you’re pretty clearly a troll come to sew dissent against the NRA. While I may agree with the sentiment that the NRA needs new blood, I don’t need a gun grabber like you coming in here talking smack. Now go away.

        • There is a lot of legitimate discontent with the NRA’s management, been that way for years. I dont know leslie, she could be on Putin’s payroll for all I know, but I dont think its unfair to be bagging on the Wayne and the boys.

    • Wayne’s wardrobe was paid for about 15 years ago. Since then, the practice has been stopped. His clothing is paid for out of his salary today.

      Many office holders may not possess the clothing considered acceptable to rub elbows with the rich and famous during a banquet. They must start with something.

      Consider that the anti-gun people will definitely follow their tried and true tactic of divide and conquer. They will seek to turn members against leadership by pointing out things like Wayne’s wardrobe, legitimate or not, to start a rebellion and, in their minds, destroy the organization.

      I’m NOT saying that there are no problems. The bumpstocks and other things the leadership was willing to accept is insane when dealing with people who will use every chink in the armor to wear away at the 2nd Amendment. Those kinds of problems can be fixed internally. The income situation can be addressed as well.

  2. Yo, bright boy, the 4th is the elephant in room when it comes to collecting evidence about a crime. We could catch many more criminals without it. The same goes for the 5th, the 6th, 7th, and 8th. What makes the 2nd any different as a right? Now, if you’re as smart as you think you might be, give me a philosophical reason why a law-abiding populace should be disarmed? I have yet to hear one. ps I always heard people yelling we should be more like Europe, we can be if we get rid of the 5th and that little item of double jeopardy. Oh, by the way, if one cannot be compelled to testify against himself why is lying to the FBI and other law enforcement a crime???

  3. Interesting, subtle instance of “Who, whom?” by Venkman, there.

    I’ll make him this offer: I agree to be bound by the outcome of any debate or vote, on any issue, if I get to choose who debates, who decides, and the venue? Deal?

  4. Sounds like we need some “common sense” accademia control. How about this, if your research posits that the rights of millions are a “challenge” to your agenda, you get stood up against a wall and shot? Deal?

    • Do you pleasure yourself thinking about scenarios where you get to line people up and shoot them with needles, rifles, whatever..?

      • Go away pg Mengele, I don’t have time to deal with your delusional tinfoil hat dumbfuckery today.

        • Awww, serge needs a safe space from people calling out his tamper tantrums and making gun owners look like lying diphits. Fixed it for ya serge.

        • Says the guy who proposes replacing vaccines with saline to find out if they are “safe”

        • Comedy gold. I just have to supply you the rope, you do the rest. Why safety test any pharmaceutical?

        • There’s other ways to safety test pharmaceuticals. Double blind studies are used for efficacy, not safety. By the time you hit double blind clinical trials, all the safety issues have been worked out in non-human testing. Do you even pharma bro? Why do you think it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to bring any new drug to market?

          Let me simple it up for you. The preservatives you are so paranoid about are in almost EVERY IV medication. The idea that they could cause autism is absurd. You have no education on the topic and no qualifications to even begin to discuss the issue. All you are is a deluded little pissant who swallowed a lie pushed by the genocidal left to prevent advances in medical technology that save millions of lives. Worst part, you have no personal skill in the game. It’s other people’s kids that will get sick and die. But hey, I suppose letting thousands of kids die from preventable childhood diseases is ok with you so long as it protects your twisted little anti-science fetish.

          Quite frankly, I’m surprised your ass hasn’t been banhammered yet. You’re a delusional fucktard that derails every single thread into your own paranoid delusion and ignores facts that have been established in the medical community for decades as well as real world examples that your argument is full of shit.

        • Your opinion means zero fucks. You’re a guy that knows childhood vaccines are not safety tested, yet you’ll make shit up and outright lie to push the industry myths behind the lack of childhood vaccine safety science. Who does that? Idiot or sociopath, who cares?

        • Yeah, fuckatard, double blind testing is not the end all be all of safety testing. The fact that you think it is shows that you have the same level of medical ethics as Dr. Mengele. In the real world, pharmaceutical companies spend billions on safety testing before a single human being is exposed to any new drug. If you had any education into the topic, you’d know the FDA procedures for even first stage medical trials make the sort of safety testing you propose a crime against humanity.

        • Says the guy that pleasures himself dreaming about using the power of the state to force untested pharmaceutical agents into families and their children. Fixed it for ya serge. Comedy gold.

        • Pg2, do some research and look up child mortality rates before and after mass vaccinations. Of course, you probably won’t believe it.

        • Pg2, I thought spoonfeeding you was mommy’s job.

          I found these in less than 2 minutes. Although, you probably won’t believe any of it so I don’t know why I bothered.

          First up, CDC overview how infant mortality declined 90% from 1900-1997. Note these numbers are particular to the US. Other countries may vary. Vaccination is part of the story.

          Proof vaccines work, with timeline graphs that indicate key events.

          Part of a FAQ querying were death rates from diseases were dropping before vaccines came along?

          The CDC document does refer to improved sanitation, living conditions, hygiene, and improvements in medical response having an impact on disease incidents and mortality. However vaccination does lessen the rates of incidents in the first place.

          Ever heard of recent incidents of polio or smallpox lately.

          The relation between vaccines and autism could be vague because definitions of autism have varied greatly over time.

          And now the quid-quo-pro. You have to prove vaccines cause autism. And without using the already debunked study.

          As for being full of crap, that describes your diaper.

        • SC, incidence and mortality rates had precipitously declined for nearly all infectious disease prior to any mass vaccination campaign. This includes diseases we didn’t even vaccinate for. Maybe you can explain why the cities in England That had the highest small pox vaccination rates had the highest smallpox infections and mortality rates. The historical data does not support your bumper sticker smallpox statement. There is no evidence vaccines have saved lives or made any population healthier. The studies to make these claims have never been done. Feel free to cite something that proves me wrong. CDC and WHO statements are not data.

        • When smallpox was a frequent occurrence in Britain, the common method of vaccination was cowpox. But the effects of cowpox were not pleasant but did often result in increased resistance, if not immunity, to smallpox. Medicine in that time was reactive, and not proactive. Vaccinations were to contain outbreaks, not eliminate the disease entirely. It was a matter of resources and logistics.

          So far you have not convinced me about the anti-vax program. I’ve had the full course over my lifetime. My son has had the full course up to his age. He is athletic, fit, healthy, and intelligent. But this could be as much to environmental and upbringing as anything else.

        • I’m not trying to convince you of anything. And what is the “antivax” program? There is push to make these products mandatory for the American public, and it’s really a worldwide push. If and when this happens, the 2A becomes a meaningless artifact. The government and industry will be able to do anything for the “ greater good”. We can argue whether or not vaccines had this benefit, or caused that problem all day long. At the end of day, It’s an important rights issue, maybe he most important of all.

        • Serge, just saw your post higher in thread stating that many of the ingredients in vaccines are also used in IV medications…:you’re a full of💩 liar. Name any IV medication that contains aborted fetal tissue. thimerasol? Aluminum? Dozens others? Not to mention how many healthy babies are administered IV medications on first day of life? Idiot or sociopath?


  5. The balls of these mfs. They really believe that crap, too. Steeped in ignorance, prejudice, hysteria… it is these people who literally know nothing about American gun culture, the tools themselves, or have any damn notion of reality when it comes to idiots running around committing crimes with inanimate objects that magically entrance their user to mystical “gun violence.” These are a lot of over-paid Professional Stupid People… and it is really they who should literally have ZERO say or influence in anything concerning our Constitutionally-protected guaranteed civil rights. Ever, beyond their token subservient vote for statist retardation.

    And it is our job to make sure they are ineffective and checked at every idiotic turn like this Bloomberg indoctrination nonsense. Hold the line, then push back.

    Be safe. (Mort… actual/AZ)

  6. “Litigation as a Public Health Strategy” tells me all I need to know about these people.

    I don’t agree with pwrserge very often, but more and more it seems to me that standing them up against a wall and taping targets on their chests would be a very good start to fixing what’s wrong with this country.

  7. The best thing that could possibly happen for the American people would be Michael Bloomberg being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and live 2 days after diagnosis. If there was ever an Antichrist Michael Bloomberg is it. He is the most evil SOB that ever walked the American Continent

  8. Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, the home of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, is in one of the most dangerous parts of one of the most dangerous cities in America. There are armed police officers in guardhouses on every corner, constant roving police cruisers, and elevated hallways that connect all the hospital buildings.

    Is it at all ironic that these academics are protected from evildoers by men and women with guns?

  9. The American ideal that we should all strive towards, despite being not always achievable, is that the rights of the individual never be compromised in pursuit of the greater good.

    This is especially the case when the greater good of an action is not easily proven, or downright unlikely.

  10. 15 of the 25 top officers in the Nazi Einsatzgruppen had doctorates. Those were the nice folks who were in charge of killing all the undesirables in the nations conquered by the Germans during World War 2.

    The possession of a PHD or Masters is no guarantee that a person is moral, wise or intelligent. I know plenty of them and most are somewhat short in the common sense department.

  11. I’m no expert on the bloomberg day to day life , can anyone tell us if they have seen one of them walking the streets of say , los angeles , chicago or new york , un escorted by armed security ? Are their dwellings open to invasion or bordered by armed security , walls & video surveillance ?
    Could anyone be so foolish as to believe that bloombergs or anyone like them are so civic minded that the safety of general public is a Paramount concern to them ?
    These people are self serving , always have been & always will be ! They want OUR guns for one reason & one reason only !
    If they can get OUR guns , they will be the only ones with a gun ! And they already believe they are better & brighter than everyone else & therefore , should be the ones who decide what’s best for us all !
    Aside from knowing how to cheat & manipulate the financial system , they are all but worthless !
    WE should never , ever let the wealthy or entertainers or corporate have any controlling say in what’s best for sociaty !
    We don’t let thieves dictate what measures to use to lock down our homes !
    Stop electing lawyers , stop listening to hollyweard & lock the wealthy out of the lobbying INDUSTRY & you might be surprised at how quickly things straighten out !
    History has DOCUMENTED again & again , that greedy people screw up societies & they manipulate governments & courts to make their atrocities legal !
    Wealth by virtue of wealth it’s self , will always insure it’s own future !
    So why do you suspect that the wealthy always endeavor so diligently to control governments ? GREED !

    • agreed. while that broken record keeps skipping it is something i have repeated since i understood the concept fully, and is impossible to counter.
      it was one of my very first posts here.
      lipsmacking greed vs. the golden rule.

  12. I guess they don’t teach the difference between false equivalence and ad hominem at Johns Hopkins either.

  13. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the amendments about limiting the power and reach of government ? I dont believe their intended purpose is about limiting the freedom of individuals. That means any restrictions outlined in the amendments is basically telling the government, ” Hands off “. Perhaps I’ve over simplified things, but I dont think so.

  14. The upshot of this course of indoctrination: We would all be so much safer if we simply turned control of our lives over to Bloomturd and his Johns Hopkins puppets who are all way smarter than us.

    • And our money. Don’t forget we have to give them more money, more authority, and more control over our day to day lives. The money is just as important as the control.

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