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Michael Bloomberg’s legacy is alive and well and has now infiltrated America’s heartland at the University of Illinois. Today, the University of Illinois at Chicago is busily promoting a new junk science study about guns to the mainstream media. The study makes the highly dubious claim that police officers are most likely to be killed in states with the highest gun ownership . . .

The study is plagued with problems, and every one of its authors have close, long-time ties to Michael Bloomberg and his money. These factual and ethical problems haven’t stopped an associate director of news at the University of Illinois from working on the public dime to sell this agitprop as hard news.

About the University of Illinois

The University of Illinois is Illinois’ crown jewel of higher education. With a Champaign-Urbana campus, a Chicago campus (UIC) and a recently added Springfield campus, it serves over 70,000 students with an operating budget of $4.17 billion.

Yes, $4.17 billion.

The U of I has been in the news lately with one scandal after another, likely to cost the university many millions in the coming months and years.

But today the U of I has demonstrated that they still have plenty of extra money to fund junk science and then pimp it out like a cheap prostitute to the mainstream media. If this is the sort of work the University of Illinois is doing, then yes, there are many better places we could spend that money to get better results for our state’s residents.

Perhaps it’s time we encourage our elected State of Illinois Representatives and Senators – and the governor – to re-evaluate the Prairie State’s level of funding for the University of Illinois?

Here’s what the UIC is promoting to the media:

Police more likely to be killed on duty in states with high gun ownership

Camden and Newark, New Jersey, are perceived as two of the most violent cities in the nation, yet New Jersey’s police officers are among the least likely to get shot on the job. Montana, with its serene landscapes and national parks, has among the highest homicide rates for law enforcement officers. Why?
It’s interesting that Bloomberg-tied researchers considered “rates” of homicides for on-duty cops rather than absolute numbers. Could that be because these urban areas that regularly see officers killed in the line of duty employ so many more cops that the “rates” of homicide are skewed? For example, there are more police officers working in the City of Chicago than one or more entire states out west combined.
Across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, homicides of police officers are linked to the statewide level of gun ownership, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study found that police officers serving in states with high private gun ownership are more than three times more likely to be killed on the job than those on the job in states with the lowest gun ownership.
Previous studies have linked firearm ownership with higher overall firearm death rates in the United States and internationally.

Previous studies have also shown that cigarettes don’t cause cancer, that African-Americans have lower intelligence than whites, that Thalidomide was safe for pregnant women, and that so-called man-made global warming will doom us all. Just because a study supports a conclusion doesn’t make it science. It must be peer-reviewed, replicated and further studied.

Until now, none of the studies have examined the increased risk to law enforcement personnel.

David Swedler, the lead author of this study, has been working on this angle in his anti-gun research for years. From the Fall 2013 issue of the Johns Hopkins Magazine.

In 2010, David Swedler set out to better understand police officer homicides. How and why were cops dying on the job? A doctoral candidate in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Swedler wanted to go beyond the figures recorded in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

Back to the UIC’s press release:

Statewide gun ownership rates were calculated using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual nationwide survey that collects data over a wide range of health topics (including household firearm ownership) as well as state-level data on gun-related suicides, which have been proven to accurately reflect gun ownership rates.

Emphasis added. How proven and by whom? The fact is they are badly flawed. Let’s look at their claims of gun ownership for the State of Illinois:

From their 2001 study:

2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System:  “Are any firearms now kept in or around your home? Include those kept in a garage, outdoor storage area, car, truck, or other motor vehicle.”

Illinois* 2,103 survey size 396 20.2% YES 1,707 79.8% NO

The 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System claims that 20.2% of Illinoisans surveyed reported they owned guns in 2001. Illinois, until 2008, has consistently had about 1 to 1.1 million FOID cardholders. Illinois law requires anyone owning or possessing guns or ammunition to have a FOID card.  Possession of a firearm without a FOID card is a felony in Illinois.

Illinois’ population was 12.49 million in 2001. Assuming 1.1 million FOID cards, Illinois’ firearm ownership rate was 8.8% in 2001, or just over 40% of what the BRFSS claimed. And that generously assumes every FOID card-holder is also a gun-owner.

Pinning down state-wide levels of gun ownership is difficult at best. A stranger calling on the phone asking about gun ownership in the household is about as likely to get a straight answer as surveys asking about extra-marital affairs, venereal diseases, recreational drug use or income levels.

Based on their data, Swedler and his colleagues estimate that a 10 percent higher statewide firearm ownership would have resulted in 10 more law enforcement officer homicides in each state over the 15 year study period.

More law-abiding gun owners are a lethal threat to law enforcement officers?  That’s like saying increasing fire extinguisher ownership rates are a lethal threat to firefighters.

“Statewide firearm ownership is definitely a risk factor for police officers,” Swedler said. “Higher private gun ownership increases the frequency with which officers encounter life-threatening situations. If we care about the safety of those officers, then we need to think about them when considering state gun laws.”

Let’s put that in perspective. Some states report that over 30% of all homicides – including those of police officers – are committed by illegal aliens.

Illegal Alien Crime Accounts for over 30% of Murders in Many States

  • Between 2008 and 2014, 40% of all murder convictions in Florida were criminal aliens. In New York it was 34% and Arizona 17.8%.
  • During those years, criminal aliens accounted for 38% of all murder convictions in the five states of California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and New York, while illegal aliens constitute only 5.6% of the total population in those states.
  • That 38% represents 7,085 murders out of the total of 18,643.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that between 2008 and 2014, 35% of the all murder convictions were illegal aliens—averaging 472 murders each year from 2004 to 2008.

Perhaps David Swedler should have instead focused on a much more immediate danger to Americans, including our police officers: illegal aliens. Perhaps our focus should be on deporting illegals instead of infringing upon Constitutional rights. After all, illegal aliens are committing hundreds of homicides each year and millions of crimes across America.

America would be a safer place without illegal alien crime, would it not? Don’t we want safer cities, neighborhoods and families?

Back to the UIC solicitation to the media:

Molly Simmons of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Francesca Dominici and David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health are co-authors on the paper.

Yes, the prolific anti-gun “researcher” David Hemenway has been behind anti-gun junk science, paid for and/or pimped by Michael Bloomberg-, George Soros and other billionaire-funded foundations for over a decade. It’s all been dubious at best and an outright flim-flam at worst. Dominici has also worked as a postdoctoral fellow and later promoted to a professor with tenure at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Sadly, anti-gun research is given much less scrutiny than hard science by public health journals in the mainstream media. It’s almost as if they know it’s flawed.

What’s worse, when credible researchers ask for the data used in anti-gun “science” in an attempt to verify and replicate the findings, Hemenway and friends are too often reluctant to offer it.

(NRA-ILA) – It is common practice among legitimate researchers to give their peers access to data used in their studies, so that other researchers can review both the data and the methodology used in their analysis. Without such “peer review,” a study`s findings typically are not assumed to be valid. Many scholarly journals will not even publish an article summarizing the results of a study until the data and methodology have been peer reviewed.

Regrettably, however, medical and public health journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicineand the Journal of the American Medical Association, routinely publish articles on studies by anti-gun researchers held to a lower degree of scrutiny and academic standards. As civil rights lawyer and firearm issue scholar, Don B. Kates, has explained, since 1979 elements of the American public health community have promoted “gun control” by funding, producing and publishing studies that “prostitute scholarship, systematically inventing, misinterpreting, selecting, or otherwise manipulating data to validate preordained political conclusions.”1

Recently, prolific anti-gun researcher David Hemenway, of Harvard University`s Injury Control Research Center, released an article on a survey he and colleagues conducted, hoping to undermine laws respecting the right of people to carry firearms for protection. Their theory was that there would be a correlation between “road rage” incidents (including situations in which a rude hand gesture was made) and the presence of a gun in an automobile.2

Among the survey`s obvious flaws, it did not ask people whether they had ever used or observed a gun (as perpetrator, witness or victim) in any such incident. Instead, it asked people whether they had ever been involved in such an incident and, separately, whether they had at any time ridden in a vehicle in which a gun was present. Thus, it did not determine whether there were guns in any vehicles involved at the time of such incidents, let alone whether guns were brandished or used.

John Lott, Research Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Michael Brown, of Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws, took a quick look at Hemenway`s article and humorously observed that it showed that “liberals are much more likely to engage in road rage (both making obscene gestures and driving aggressively) than conservatives.” To thoroughly evaluate the survey, Lott has since asked Hemenway to share his data, but, he says, “Hemenway is not responding.” See for more information about Lott`s attempt to evaluate Hemenway`s silly anti-gun “study.”


(This post originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission)

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  1. Previous studies have linked firearm ownership with higher overall firearm death rates in the United States and internationally.

    That right there is all I need to know about these people. If they haven’t realized how ridiculous that is as a “scientific” research outcome, they should be neither producing nor reporting on any kind of research. Only morons, hacks, and liars would try to peddle that kind of crap as science.

    • Guessing that legal ownership of firearms is higher in high crime areas for their own protection. Same areas where more police are shot and killed by people that carry guns illegally. So the connection between these two things does not really make much sense. How is that for a simple explanation by a regular guy without a doctorate degree? Some people with a lot of letters behind their names don’t have ANY common sense. OR they are trying to get away with lying and confusing the issue. Which one is it ?

      • I vote for no common sense. I’ve worked with enough academics, and been one long enough, to have an appreciation of how thick and cloudy that bubble’s wall is.

        The good ones at least make an attempt to identify and account for their own preconceptions. But, as for anyone, that takes a lot of self-awareness and no small amount of humility.

      • I am currently doing a five year study to prove how dangerous shark attacks are to Americans and I can already see that statistically there are a lot more people eaten by Sharks in coastal cities than in the heartland of America .
        I was shocked by the numbers , almost 370 million to 1 .

  2. That state is one of, or the most Effe’ed up states in the nation on so many levels. Bankrupt, corrupt as hell (how many ex-governers are in prison), run by the city of Chicago and its stellar mayor, and against the constitution in so many ways. Not to mention the sate our current President resides from.

  3. Most people will never see the real numbers or question the logic behind them because most people still trust the main stream media and think a study like this must have already been judged fair to reported on by the great trustworthy MSM . The founders of this country believed rightly that without a free , honest , independent , non biased press we would not be able to have a free republic and also noted is the belief that when the press failed to do their duty a revolt of the citizens would probably follow .
    Here we are !

    • 1. Remember that the UIC hired a professor (with full knowledge of this) that co-started a domestic terrorist group with liberal agendas, and made him a senior university scholar (Bill Ayers).

      2. Why use data only through 2010 when more recent data is readily available? Why 1996? What would happen to the trends if you go back or forwards from this date?

      3. Why track homicides to gun ownership, as opposed to death by firearm to homicide rates? Again the data is readily available………

      4. Why not look at homicides in the total picture? California and Illinois, shows as “good low ownership” states, are #5 and #13 respectively for civilian homicides. It seems that a sister study would suggest low firearm ownership leads to higher civilian deaths…….South Dakota, shown as the “worst” state, is also #42 for civilian homicides.

      5. The states with highest cop homicides appear to statistical outliers……but apparently they’re using them as the basis for their “science”.

  4. Studies mean little! Any speaker or news media can grasp at wheat ever studies that suit their cause.

  5. Seems likely that the police officer’s deaths were caused by gunshots from criminals not legal owners of firearms. So how does this article relate to the owners of legally owned firearms at all ? Even IF the study was performed correctly, which it appears that it was not. Seems like the anti-gun folks will try to link anything to anything in an attempt to get the results they want and then spread those results as anti-gun propaganda. Attach someone’s name with a PhD to the study to make it look official and logical. Even it the person with those credentials is a known anti-gun propaganda tool. What will they try next ? Need to keep our guard up all the time to discredit stuff like this.

  6. On the one hand, I actually think this result may be true, and may be a feature not a bug. A no-knock raid at 5am will get a response from me since I have not done anything. A check on govt abuse of 4th amendment rights must have teeth.

    In the other hand, police killings are exceedingly rare. Being a police officer would not even rank in the top 10 most dangerous jobs. Try: logging, mining, fishing, or construction (esp of tall buildings). The biggest risk to police officers by far is the donuts for breakfast and tacos for lunch. The next biggest might be those massive unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities that were always too good to be true. A lot will retire and fund out these cities ran out of other peoples money a long time ago, and they have been living beyond their means.

    Seems to me there are few enough police shootings it ought to be easy to go through the list. Maybe its simply the case that in rural areas people think they can get away with it.

    • And when I say there are few police killed in the line of duty: So far YTD 2015, 19 killed by gunfire.

      It is such a small number (less than one per state) that one death boosts the total. I do wonder why Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama rank so high.

      • In Alabama, I can see how it might be higher than normal.
        It’s not uncommon to get pulled over and if they see you have a CCW, all of a sudden two more cars show up out of thin air like Army Drill Sergeants. Tou are then asked out of the car, patted down, remain on the cop’s bumper while the ninjas are searching the car, pistol removed from vehicle (all “for our safety”) and SN ran “To be sure it wasn’t stolen”. Once everything checks out, and your tounge doesn’t get you arrested, you can get back in the car, the holstered pistol is given back, then the empty mag, then the loose ammo. (Again “for our safety”)
        chances are…
        If someone decides to shoot it out with a cop… It’s rarely ever going to be A cop..
        It’s going to be three or four cops in a shoot out until the real back up arrives..
        Even as rare as shootouts with police are here, the sheer numbers that will be encountered is much higher than a lot of other states encounters. I’m no expert by any means.. Just an observation.

        • I would say that if someone is going to have a shoot out with police, they probably won’t have a ccl and therefore the officer will not have reason to call for the extra back up and may be caught by surprise.

    • I’ll give you two reasons why any given shooting incident in a rural area is more likely to end with an officer fatality than a shooting incident in an urban area:

      1. Long guns: In urban environments, the handgun rules, but in rural areas, officers are more likely to face long guns, which hit harder and, in the case of rifles, punch through standard police body armor.

      2. Backup: Help is simply farther away out in the sticks. That applies both to backup from other officers and medical help for any officer who is hit.

      • Maybe so, but peruse the actual list (there are about 100 “died in the line of duty” deaths a year, of which 40% are by gunfire).

        Truth, with such a small sample, it could just be random.

        I am also wondering if a lot of these are drug raids in rural areas where people try to grow weed etc.

        • Has been that way for years. The “life on the line every day” is BS, Auto accidents, like every other grouping you might draw, is the highest risk activity health adults in the US engage in.

          Same for Fire Dept. of the approx. 100 deaths per year about 1/2 anually are from auto/truck collisions with fire trucks or private cars going to fire/station. Fire service embarked on a program several years ago to reduce this number. Perhaps the cops need to drop the “we be in combat daily” nonsense and start a safety program. 1st year call it “DROP THE DONUT – HANDS ON THE WHEEL” Next year “GET YOUR SAFETY VEST ON AND YOUR ASS OUT OF THE ROAD”

  7. Bone to pick:

    “Previous studies have also shown that cigarettes don’t cause cancer, that African-Americans have lower intelligence than whites, that Thalidomide was safe for pregnant women, and that so-called man-made global warming will doom us all. Just because a study supports a conclusion doesn’t make it science. It must be peer-reviewed, replicated and further studied.”

    Lumping climate change in with those other studies is disingenuous at best. Despite what Fox news has to say, the science is quite clear on this issue, and it has all been peer-reviewed, replicated, further studied, and then further studied some more. CO2 levels have been steadily climbing since the industrial revolution, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, retained heat from said greenhouse gases can have drastic effects on climate, and while weather models aren’t able to predict exactly what will happen if we continue on our current trajectory, there will be effects, they are very likely to be major, and our political, economic, and physical infrastructure aren’t prepared for massive changes in climate.

    If you’re going to go after a study (albeit rightly) for junk science, repeating nonsense from people who wouldn’t know a beaker from an electron microscope is going to significantly detract from your point.

    • No, it hasn’t. Anthropogenic climate change is not merely junk science; it’s outright fraud. Atmospheric CO2 is a lagging, not a leading, indicator. We’re currently around 400ppm and the earth is continuing on a 20-year period of no warming, which is part of an 80-year cooling trend.

      Climate “scientists” would have you believe that there was no medieval warm period, that there was no little ice age, and that the climate today is hotter than the climate during the dust bowl era of the 30s and 40s.

      I’m not speaking as someone who even watches Fox news, but as someone trained in the sciences, and who understands the science behind the fraud.

      The projection models don’t work, because they are based on junk science. Feed in any arbitrary data set, and the “models” will spit out a hockey stick. Their claims about TOBS, by which they justify their fraudulent manipulation of historical data, are utterly specious. The current surface temperature record consists of a full 50% data that are completely fabricated, in-filling missing rural station data with averages from UHI-inflated urban station data. This non-scientific data-infilling accounts for 100% of the reported warming.

      The claim that man impacts climate is an utter and complete fraud.

  8. Hi, this is the Social Justice Warrior Project calling. I’d like to ask if you have any guns, venereal diseases, lion trophies, or extra-marital affairs in your household.

    Whats that? And the horse I rode in on???

  9. I did my own study. It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that police more likely to be killed on duty in cities with Democrat leadership and a high population of lawless thugs.

    • … not done, apparently.

      But if there are O(100) officer involved deaths per year, then your error bars are going to be at least, what, 10%?

  10. If more guns mean more Police deaths then why do Police, according to a Police One survey, overwhelming favor more legal guns in citizens hands as a crime deterrent?
    PS, Governor Moonbeam says it is a criminal offense to us the word alien. Say you’re sorry.

  11. My own scientific study proves that more cops are killed in places controlled by Democrats containing a high number of murderous thugs.

  12. Who refers to Ill-A-noise, as the American heartland?. That crap hole isnt anything close to Americas heart… If I was in the funeral business, id have a shop in Chicago..

    • Not all of the state is a crap hole. Just Chiraq, Peoria, East St Louis, Danville, Champaign. Oh, wait….

  13. Yes indeed, makes me soooo proud to live in Illinois, the land time, and responsible government, forgot. Obviously need to add higher learning to that list. 5 more years, I can retire, and go south. Hate to wish my life away, but…

  14. So what they are directly saying is the law abiding citizen is killing cops. It is okay to say I hate Bloomberg and the anti-2A BS, isn’t it?

  15. Left-wing academics and university regents are happy to take big bucks, and pervert science in pursuit of the Narrative. No need to go much further than mention two most obvious:
    ClimateGate, and Orientalist Studies chairs.

    Bloomturd has funneled $1B to his alma mater,
    and that includes a big chunk to the “public health science” of the anti-gun crusaders there:

    Another example is UC Davis, where Dr Wintermute has received big bucks funding from the Left via the Joyce Foundation, the same folks pushing the anti-gun narrative politically elsewhere.

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