University of Michigan junk science
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By Salam Fatohi

Figures don’t lie. Gun control advocates, however, will always figure a way to manipulate data to mislead the American people, hoping to trick them into supporting more Second Amendment restrictions.

The most recent and preposterous example comes from researchers at the University of Michigan. They took liberties with the definition of “child” to proclaim that firearms now cause more deaths than car accidents. The problem with their study is they included adults in their figures to make their argument appear impactful.

It’s just one more example of gun control smoke and mirrors.

Maize and Blue Manipulation

Universities and doctors regularly study events and compile reports for public education. Not all studies are created equal. Sometimes authors have predetermined conclusions and cherry-pick data to support those conclusions.

That is exactly what the doctors at the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention did in a study published in April. “Current Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States” is a misleading title because the study doesn’t concentrate on groups generally accepted as “children” and “adolescents.”

University of Michigan campus carry guns
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“Regardless, the increasing firearm-related mortality reflects a longer-term trend and shows that we continue to fail to protect our youth from a preventable cause of death,” said the study’s authors Dr. Jason Goldstick, Dr. Rebecca Cunningham and Dr. Patrick Carter.

“The previous analysis…showed that firearm-related injuries were second only to motor vehicle crashes (both traffic-related and nontraffic-related) as the leading cause of death among children and adolescents, defined as persons 1 to 19 years of age. Since 2016, that gap has narrowed, and in 2020, firearm-related injuries became the leading cause of death in that age group.”

The deception starts immediately by designing the parameters for the study to include individuals up to 19 years old. In the U.S., an 18- or 19-year-old is legally considered an adult who can vote, serve in the military and sign legally binding documents. The study’s scope suggests the focus is on a juvenile demographic when, in reality, it includes those who are nearly 20 years old. Given the conflation between those who are truly children and truly adults in this study, it’s difficult to trust the data and conclusions drawn by the authors.

Calculating Misrepresentation

Problematically, the University of Michigan study takes a broad view of these age groups and compares Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mortality data in 2020. If the University of Michigan researchers were truly confident in their data and the way they interpreted figures from the CDC as the basis for their analysis, why manipulate the numbers?

children causes of death
Leading Causes of Death among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 1999 through 2020. (courtesy nejm.org)

As the authors point out, total firearm-related deaths for people 1-19, including suicide, homicide, unintentional and undetermined intents, were the leading category at a total of 4,357 deaths, overtaking vehicle-related deaths for the first time. This is an alarming number for anyone to wrap their head around.

Upon further analysis, though, it’s clear why the authors included adults in the study. Almost half of the reported deaths, 47.9 percent, originate in the 18- and 19-year-old adult victims.

Including adults in a “children mortality study” is clearly a ruse to pad the firearm-related death numbers for institutional interests. Correcting the parameters to only include children, aged 1 to 17, the leading mechanism of death switches back from firearms to motor vehicles, the historic leading cause of death for this demographic.

This is a favored tactic of national gun control groups and the “scientific researchers” putting out their pre-determined studies. Publish junk science that fits their gun control narrative, score numerous headlines about said junk science and push the need for more gun control on law-abiding Americans because of media reports.

This particular study was even published in the home-state paper the Michigan Daily with no examination by reporters. The “news” article did include, however, a quote by gun control group March for Our Lives’ Michigan chapter. “I’m not surprised,” Zoey Rector-Brooks said. “There were so many guns that were purchased (in 2020) and now we’re seeing the effects of that…Our children are dying because of it.”

blame the guns cartoon
Some say this image bears a striking resemblance to Shannon Watts but we couldn’t possibly comment. (Shutterstock)

Since at least the 1990’s, gun control advocates have used this trick of including adults in the data set to manipulate inflate the number of “children” to evoke an emotional reaction from readers of these studies to sway public opinion in favor of their agenda.

Real Data. Real Solutions. Safer Communities.

It’s true – law-abiding Americans have purchased a lot of firearms over the past two years. More than 21 million in 2020 and more than 18.5 million in 2021. That includes more than 14 million first-time firearm buyers. Gun owners are defying gun control groups by seeking training, education and confidence in owning their firearms.

The firearm industry is doing its part to ensure firearms are safely stored and out of the reach of those who should not possess them. Every firearm that ships from a factory includes a locking device in the box. When that device is properly installed, it renders the firearm inoperable. NSSF further urges all gun owners that firearm should be properly secured when not in use and owners should explore the various options available to best meets their needs.

Industry initiatives like Project ChildSafe® and suicide prevention resources are a part of the industry’s Real Solutions. Safer Communities® campaign and are impactful ways to prevent tragedies, with undeniable results.

Using gun safety and education as primary tools to prevent firearm injury is likely unconscionable to University of Michigan’s Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention researchers. However, firearm safety is paramount to preventing tragedies, and misleading studies like this one only pander to the intellectually lazy.

 

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

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36 COMMENTS

  1. I saw this quoted in an article, when I pointed out the fact that 18 and 19 year olds weren’t children I got attacked for spreading a false narrative…facts don’t matter to gun grabbers..

    • Obiden’s Ministry O Truth is going to be making a call on you. You suppose any of the Marines that Joey kill at Kabul airport in 2021 are included in this prog “study”?

      I’d have bet the utes would be to age 25 as I recall for obumer can “kids” can stay on Dads medical policy thru 25.

      • We’ll, 18 and 19 year olds definitely fit the gangsta crowd, and not only are they good at killing each other- they’re hell on bystanders as well, many of whom are within the 0-17 age group.

        Another thing to keep in mind- as adults age, it becomes fairly common for all sorts of accidents, diseases, life behaviors and the like to claim lives, along with the generic standby- old age/natural causes. (Well, before the Wu Flu anyway…)

        With children, most of those issues don’t come into bearing so any death is likely attributable to an accident or some intentional act.

        (Not to mention the potential mother’s “right to choose”…)

  2. If we had a Ministry of Truth, they couldn’t publish studies like this.

    • As long as law abiding gun owners allow their guns to be Center-X for Gun Control zealots who run around hanging the acts of criminals around the neck of the Second Amendment it’s going to be business as usual. To win this fight for Freedom Center-X has to be Gun Control and its rot…

      1) The Second Amendment is one thing.

      2) The criminal misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, vehicles, etc. is another thing.

      3) History Confirms Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is a racist and nazi based Thing.

      • Your version of ‘TRUTH’ would have any conta-viewpoint banned and only YOUR TRUTH accepted. ‘Truth’ is NOT a matter of opinion – truth is absolute THat is why one must be very careful when defining TRUTH. Your ‘truth’ has no more weight than my ‘truth’. Reasoned discussion and informed opinion has no part in absolute truth.. HIstory confirms no such thing as being some kind of NAZI RACIST plot.
        One the one hand t Europe is seen by the Americ an giuun freaks as being subk jected to some knind of ‘Commie’ control withoutb understanding inn the slightest as to what ‘COMMIE actually means and now peiople like youself are saying that it’sds a NAZI plot and the two suppositions are diamentrically opposed o in any POLITICAL sense You cannot have ot both ways.
        If very much doubt that The rest of the CIVILISED world thinks GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION is in anyway connected with either ‘Commie OR Nazi points of view world .
        What you American ‘Gun Freaks fail to realise is that in the matter of Gun Control it’s AMERICA that is very much the odd man out.
        In Europe Draconian for instance and in most of the Commomwealth of Nations gun controls are very much unaminously supported by the electorate and as far as I can asceertain there is no move in any other civilised country to alter the situation.
        It sometimes seems to the rest of the world that Americans . or a very fair portion of the population are looking, nay HOPING, for an opportunity to shoot some poor bugger in the head.

        • ‘Gun freaks’. No bigotry there. Do you have a love child by the name of dacian?

        • AH —

          “What you American ‘Gun Freaks fail to realise is that in the matter of Gun Control it’s AMERICA that is very much the odd man out.”

          Our nation is exceptional in many ways that you wouldn’t understand. Our freedoms, codified by our written Constitution, set us apart from the overwhelming majority of the world’s nations. Americans aren’t followers — we’re leaders. The rest of the world’s people want to come here, seeing this as the “shining beacon on the hill” more so than any other nation on this Earth. It’s indisputable.

          So we’re out of pattern on gun control? That’s as it should be — guns are nothing more than tools, and man has been fashioning and using tools before sentient memory.

          Our focus here is not on the tool; it is on the person using it, again as it should be. A criminal who uses a tool for an unlawful purpose is personally responsible for his actions — the criminal and the criminal alone. It is not logical to blame the tool and seek to deny its use by responsible, law-abiding citizens.

          But these concepts may be beyond your comprehension. In that case, I pity you. I’m incredibly blessed to be a free man. I’m certain that most of my fellow citizens feel that way.

        • Albert Hall, What goes on here in the US is none of your damn business. You are a subject, not a citizen.

        • Still longing for the three great traditions of the Royal Navy? Rum, sodomy, and the lash.

  3. Is it bad my very first thought is how many of those deaths were gang related and what the breakout was of innocent victim vs rival gangmember?

    • majority are black on black male gangbangers (most of the remainder at bystanders). If we were to teach the SOBs to shot straight would be win/win (less damage to bystanders/property and more dead gangbangers (a stat I’d be willing to accept).

      • Maybe Wayne could slice off suit and mistress money to go an NRA training program. We could name it Eddie Gangster.

        • “Maybe Wayne could slice off suit and mistress money…”

          Reality?

          Besides your offering no more than cliche suggestion of such (and to date, Leticia James and all of NYS’s hit people have turned nothing, either), it wouldn’t interest you in the least that NRA training, safety and marksmanship/competition programs are still moving along as ever.

          Since the early 1980s, WLP has raised billions of dollars to be used in defense of 2A and equally as important- to support elected reps and candidates who can be counted on to do likewise. No easy task- the paltry $25 annual dues money ($35 over the last 5 or so years) barely covers the general membership costs, particularly when at least half of the membership is in some form of Life category. A fair number of those haven’t contributed anything since, and many of those became Life members at the ridiculous cost of $300 through Gresham or Glenn Beck. Mine was something like $250 years back and I realized, even after doing the full tag price to finally progress to Benefactor that yearly giving is necessary.

          Even if WLP has negotiated a good “package” as head of a $350+ million organization (a number incomprehensible to many around here), his fundraising efforts in the past far outweigh the efforts of anyone else. NRA shouldn’t be willing to toss him under the bus because a lynch mob of “HANDS UP- DON’T SHOOT” activist wannabes claim something happened.

          Justice will eventually be served concerning all this. Whether or not it will be accepted is the real question.

    • I had the same thought. Scumbag on scumbag gang violence accounts for a huge percentage of the murders in the US, and they aren’t exactly shy about recruiting minors

  4. Now then lets do this by break out of how many were bangers of any age…….

    Bet Biden’s “misinformation thought police” have nothing to say on this one…..

  5. Lies, deceit, etc. Such filth comes along and rides along with Gun Control. What else could come from an agenda that history confirms is rooted in racism and genocide?

  6. Funny how the inflection point coincides with condoned BLM riots, police defunding, obliteration of the criminal justice system, and mandated isolation. Go figure.

  7. The vast majority of “Scientists” have become just like the vast majority of Journalists”.
    Can’t trust them any further than you can throw them.
    They treat the citizenry like feeble children.
    They will declare whatever their “Owners” pay them to declare.
    They consider themselves to be “Gods”.
    Anyone who thinks otherwise should Google “Tuskegee Syphilis Study” for an education.

  8. These bought and paid for “researchers” inventing numbers out of whole cloth need to be brought to account for wasting OUR tax money, and for lying to the public. There should be some way of blowing the weasel on them for taking the research funds under false pretenses, using them to lie in order to support a false meme and use that to infringe upon our rights. Perhaps a Deoartment Head should know about this deliberate falsification. Unless, of course, he is one of the “researchers”?

  9. 18-20 year olds are just victimized children.
    8-10 year olds understand sexuality and can consent to medical procedures.
    Only in clown world.

  10. The authors of this study are playing a shell game to exploit a quirk in our language, with nefarious intent. “Adolescent” can refer to “teenager” and vice versa, and most “teenagers” are “children.” As we all know, much of the crime we see today is being perpetrated by gangs, comprised mostly of young people. An adolescent/teenage gang-banger is exsanguinated during a drive-by shooting, and even though he likely was a shooter himself, he now becomes a child victim statistic. His grandmother, herself likely barely in her 30s, cries over her innocent dead criminal baby in front of the cameras, that he was just a boy, adding to the false narrative of children victims.

    Quit lying.

  11. Of course the T Tag article is slanted and crass as well. The Far Right claim that if only 1,299 children were killed unnecessarily instead of 1,300 then the body count is not enough to worry about or do anything about. Its about as sick as you can get.

    • Enlighten us dacian:

      If arsonists began using feminine products to start fires–killing more than 100,000 people every year–how far would you go on the “feminine products control” bandwagon?

      Would you ban those products outright?
      Would you only allow medical institutions to have them?
      Would you require universal background checks before purchasing them?
      Would everyone have to fill out a federal form before purchasing them?
      Would people be limited to purchasing/possessing small quantities of them?
      Would people have to store those products in safes?
      Would people have to pass a psychological screening to buy them?

      • “Enlighten us dacian … ”

        Ummm …

        “Light is born of the mind – where there is a mind there is possibility of light.”
        ― Abhijit Naskar, Neden Türk: The Gospel of Secularism

  12. From this article:

    Sometimes authors have predetermined conclusions and cherry-pick data to support those conclusions.

    Well, any official conclusions coming from an organization with the name “Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention” are highly suspect. Next, add the fact that a university on the extreme Far Left political spectrum (but I repeat myself) apparently funds or supports that organization and now their conclusions are worthless until independently and thoroughly scrutinized and verified.

  13. until pro americans are willing to do what it takes to take the country back from the squad of animals…expect more of the same

  14. what do you say to a pro american with a gun?

    thanks

    what do you say to a lefty with a gun?

    no no noooo please dont sh00t me

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