When Bloomberg’s Media Arm Uses the Bloomberg School Director for a Quote on Gun Research

Michael Bloomberg

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

The author quoted below, writing at Bloomberg Opinion, doesn’t mention that Daniel Webster is the Bloomberg professor of American health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Instead, Francis Wilkinson only IDs Webster in his piece as as director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins University.

Surely that’s just an unfortunate oversight.

[Bloomberg School of Public Health Director Daniel] Webster cautions, however, that the research doesn’t provide comprehensive answers.

What I haven’t seen in any recent study is an examination of the role access to firearms is playing in recent suicide trends. Firearm access is a tricky thing to measure. Background checks for firearm sales soared during the Obama years, but it is believed that much of that increase involved current gun owners stocking up with more guns and ammo. There’s no evidence that going from 5 to 10 guns in your house increases your risk of suicide.

Data from the General Social Survey suggest that the prevalence of guns in households has been relatively flat over the past decade. My sense is that places where firearm ownership is relatively high have experienced increased rates of suicide, though it’s not clear that this is due to increased exposure to guns. The isolation and economic struggles, losing loved ones to the opioid epidemic makes folks vulnerable and access to firearms increased the likelihood that they will kill themselves.

Firearms now kill more Americans than automobile accidents. In December, Congress approved $25 million to study gun safety. It’s not a lot of money, given the scale of death and injury. But after years in which there was an effective ban on federal funds for gun research, it’s a start.

Because blue states and NRA states have moved in opposite directions on gun policy in recent years, the potential to draw clear distinctions about policy effects is also increasing. The CDC data is precisely the sort of information that can help make America safer — provided policies are reality-based.

– Francis Wilkinson in This Is Why the NRA Hates Gun Violence Research

comments

  1. avatar cgray says:

    Still including suicides as “firearm” deaths. Never change, Democrats.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      ” …$25 million to study gun safety. It’s not a lot of money…”
      More money, never change, dempcraps.

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Because to the Democrats YOU are state property, and suicide is willful destruction of state property.

  2. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    The “ban on reasearch” lie again.

  3. avatar Swarf says:

    The CDC researched “gun violence” in 2012. The Democrats didn’t like the results (that there are as many DGUs as offensive uses, among others), and they pretend that it never happened.

    The CDC was never barred from research, they were barred from advocating for gun control.

    This most recent Bloomberg research also turned up many inconvenient facts for the antis.

    We get it, you think guns are icky. But let’s make policy based on facts and not emotion, how does that sound?

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      “… make policy based on facts and not emotion, how does that sound?”
      Well, anti-socialist for one thing.

    2. avatar napresto says:

      “Let’s make policy based on facts and not emotion.”

      Fair enough, but I’m of the opinion that we are already making a lot more policy these days than we ought to be. Maybe we could give just it a rest for a bit instead?

      1. avatar Dude says:

        “Maybe we could give just it a rest for a bit instead?”

        Exactly. There are plenty of current laws to punish criminals. Now all we need is the will to enforce it, but politicians have to justify their existence to the dim masses.

        1. avatar California Richard says:

          For THEM laws are an instrument of social engineering and not a means of addressing consequences for minor infractions or objectively evil acts. If you don’t get the desired outcome, then obviously there was a loophole and there needs to be MORE laws. They completely disregard human nature and humanity. That’s why their ideology has inevitably and historiaclly thrown the humanity in camps.

    3. avatar Miner49er says:

      “In 1993, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study by Arthur Kellermann and others found that guns in the home were associated with an increased risk of homicide in the home. The research was funded by the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). The NRA responded by lobbying for the elimination of the NCIPC. The NCIPC was not abolished, but the Dickey Amendment was included in the 1996 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 1997.[2][4]

      In a December 2012 article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Kellermann wrote: “Precisely what was or was not permitted under the clause was unclear. But no federal employee was willing to risk his or her career or the agency’s funding to find out. Extramural support for firearm injury prevention research quickly dried up.”[2]

      Equivalent “Dickey Amendment” language was added by Congress to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 funding the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This language was also lobbied for by the NRA.“

      1. avatar Dude says:

        You’re referencing a study that used data from 1978-1983. Beyond that, it’s an analysis, which is code for manipulating dim minds. Let’s see the full raw data and make up our own minds.

      2. avatar Anymouse says:

        “But no federal employee was willing to risk his or her career or the agency’s funding to find out.” Says the hack author of discredited antigun “research” papers. His kind of junk science fed the hoplophobia that led to the Dickey amendment.

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          “ Arthur L. Kellermann (born 1955) is an American physician, epidemiologist, professor and dean of the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.[1] Kellerman served as director of the RAND Institute of Health and founded the department of emergency medicine at Emory University and the Center for Injury Control at Rollins School of Public Health. His writings include 200 publications on various aspects of emergency cardiac care, health services research, injury prevention and the role of emergency departments in providing health care to the poor.[2][3][4][5] Kellermann is known for his research on the epidemiology of firearm-related injuries and deaths, which he interpreted not as random, unavoidable acts but as preventable public-health priorities.[6] Kellermann and his research have been strongly disputed by gun rights organizations, in particular by the National Rifle Association, although Kellermann’s findings have been supported by a large body of peer-reviewed research finding that increasing gun ownership is associated with increased rates of homicide and violence.[7][8]”

          So there’s a little info on the so-called ‘hack author’, including his academic credentials and experience.

          Are you willing to share with the group your academic credentials and experience, so that we may adequately judge the value of your opinion?

          Or is it possible you’re basing your opinion on ignorance and bluster?

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          What part is supposed to convince me he is not 100% hack, finding new ways to suck at the taxpayer’s tit and making up his results? Firearms are not an illness, and such “studies”, funded by removing money from the study of REAL illness, are transparent attempts to avoid any real work. Despicable.

        3. avatar UpInArms says:

          ” increasing gun ownership is associated with increased rates of homicide and violence ”

          Except that the murder rate is dropping (outside of a few dysfunctional cities controlled by Democrats) and gun ownership is increasing.

          At any rate, what you’ve got in that quote up there is correlation (if it actually exists) and not cause. It’s the same as saying that increased swimming pool ownership leads to increased drownings. Yawn.

          Sorry for throwing a turd in your punchbowl.

        4. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          Clementine’s Dad:
          The flaws in Dr. Kellerman’s propaganda work masquerading as research has been addressed numerous times, including on TTAG.

          https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/editorial-deconstructing-kellermann/

  4. avatar Dude says:

    “blue states and NRA states”

    Remember, it’s always the NRA and Russia pulling the strings. Only democrats are capable of independent thought.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      The Russia connection remains absolutely real and the USA is not Putin’s only target.

      The True Believers of our two big political parties are both incapable of thinking outside the box of Party Approved Thought. Dems or Reps, doesn’t matter at all. They are no longer Citizens of the USA, they are Citizens of their Party.

      To be a Party Member of such intensity (Dem or Rep) is to be disloyal to the USA, pure and simple.

      No difference that to be a member of the Chinese Commie Scum Party.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        Russian meddling worked beyond their wildest dreams ONLY thanks to the democrats and the media. If they would have just accepted the election results like they claimed Trump wouldn’t have, we wouldn’t be so divided today.

        Now they’re running the same playbook because they don’t care about a divided America. As a matter of fact, they promote it. The dims are so stupid, no one is stopping to ask why the Bernie campaign was notified of Russian interference immediately, but the Trump campaign never was in the last election cycle.

        And the best part is, the party that brought us the never ending Russia Scare is poised to nominate a Communist! And one who has a Real history of defending Authoritarian regimes! You couldn’t make this stuff up!

        1. avatar enuf says:

          To ignore the impact of the right wing ignoring the Russian effort, pretending it was not happening or was something domestic in nature, plays into Putin’s hands nicely.

          Putin’s goal is to disrupt and weaken American confidence in our systems of elections elected representation. To sow discontent and mistrust among various sub-groups of Americans..

          He’s winning, and our two big political parties have been suckered into Putin’s plan and goals like the idiots they are.

        2. avatar Dude says:

          “To ignore the impact of the right wing ignoring the Russian effort, pretending it was not happening or was something domestic in nature, plays into Putin’s hands nicely.”

          And what was the impact exactly? The Russian meddling was a joke. Read some more and educate yourself. The ONLY reason there was ANY impact is because of the dim propaganda surrounding this mess. Even after the election, the Russians put together an anti-Trump protest where tons of dims showed up. Among them was Michael Moore. Look it up. So who’s the Russian stooge again?

      2. avatar Dude says:

        “To be a Party Member of such intensity (Dem or Rep) is to be disloyal to the USA, pure and simple.”

        I used to be an independent. Take a close look at current direction the dims are going in. Let me name a few: Green New Deal, New Way Forward Act, open borders, student loan debt forgiveness, free health care for as many illegal immigrants that can get here, promoting trans / cross-dressing ideology on kids, promoting chemical castration of children, promoting abortion, promoting hate against whites/men/Christians/republicans, promoting censorship of opposing views, oh yeah, and that whole 2A thing. This isn’t even a complete list. I can’t in good conscious ever vote democrat again, considering the current trajectory.

  5. avatar Joemoma says:

    Guns kill more then auto accidents?

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      You beat me to it.

      “Firearms now kill more Americans than automobile accidents…”

      What stats are available to back up that statement? Goes against anything I’ve ever read on the topic.

      1. avatar napresto says:

        I think this is a CDC number, and is (broadly) correct. Explainable, I suspect, because cars have become a lot safer in recent decades, and not because anything about guns or their use is appreciably different. If you compare survivability between a car from the 1980’s/1990’s and car from the 2000’s/2010’s, I’d be shocked if the more modern car typically doesn’t do a heck of a lot more to protect you in a crash (or prevent a crash in the first place).

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Only because suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t counted as ‘car death’.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        “Tail Pipe Death”?
        “Closed Garage Door Death”?
        “Transportational Internal Combustion Engine in a Closed Space Death”?

        Shouldn’t each of these receive $25 million a piece for study?

  6. avatar enuf says:

    1. There has never been a ban on research, only politically based irrational fear.

    2. There is no such thing as “gun violence” or “gun deaths”. Only HUMAN VIOLENCE exists, for only thinking creatures have the ability to take action. Inanimate objects are never responsible (unless those objects are Glocks, but that’s another topic).

    3. The threat of Bloomberg continues to be not his potential of winning the Presidency, that’s zero. It’s his billions, as he is a real billionaire (unlike that phony Trump, living off debt and the taxpayers). Bloomberg will spend hundreds of millions to influence the political processes of the USA. In this, he is as great a threat as Putin’s continuing assault on our political systems.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      They don’t want to identify the real culprit, which is criminals, because then they would have to go after criminals instead of their favorite target (us). The first step in solving a problem is identifying the problem. They can’t identify the problem because those are the people they favor. Democrats don’t want to punish violent criminals because that would be mean. Bernie wants the really mean ones that end up in jail to be able to vote (for him).

    2. avatar Miner49er says:

      “Instead of completely shutting down the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Rosenberg says Congress presented the Dickey Amendment as a compromise. But the center’s budget was eventually cut by $2.5 million, and Rosenberg was fired in 1999.

      Jay Dickey, the Republican congressman from Arkansas who spearheaded the legislation, told NPR in 2015 that he regretted his role in pushing through the provision.

      “It wasn’t necessary that all research stop,” Dickey said. “It just couldn’t be the collection of data so that they can advocate gun control. That’s all we were talking about. But for some reason, it just stopped altogether.”

      Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a congressional hearing in February that the 1996 law only prohibits the CDC from advocating for gun control and that it does not block research altogether. He told lawmakers that the CDC should resume that work.”

      Oh, the old ‘no ban on research but we’ll just cut the funding by 90% and threaten the researchers grant funding’ trick, very clever!

      Again, George Orwell would be proud of how effectively the American right wing has taken up newspeak. ‘We don’t want research‘ in order to find out more about a subject because:

      “Ignorance is Strength!”

      “I love the poorly educated… “
      (And they actually cheered this comment at a rally, hilarious!)

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        The US government’s share of total research expenditure is very small. You can actually do research with out stealing money from others. Your argument also ends with a non-sequitur – that because pro-second amendment people prevented anti 2nd amendment propaganda to be generated with their own money they are ignorant and proud of it.

        1. avatar LampOfDiogenes says:

          Yeah, I have noticed that the intellectual content of Miner’s ‘contributions’ to these comment threads is zero to negative.

          Sufficient citations were provided, upthread, to show Miner that there was NEVER any prohibition against research on gun safety, merely a prohibition on taxpayer-funded advocacy – a prohibition of which I heartily approve.

          Miner, show me the evidence that ANYONE ever said that they would not fund an unbiased study, WITHOUT proselytizing, of gun safety or statistics related to it. Oh, that’s right, there isn’t any, because it never happened. If NCIPC had ever proposed a budget including funding for a NEUTRAL, UNBIASED study? I assert that that would have been funded. A bunch of government sanctioned propaganda?? Pay for it yourself, gun-grabber.

        2. avatar Miner49er says:

          You know, the medical profession and the scientific community in general, consider Dr. Kellerman a credible researcher with hundreds of peer reviewed articles to his credit.

          Since you have no problem evaluating the good doctor, would you please share with the group your academic credentials, experience and peer reviewed papers you’ve had published in academic journals so that we may more effectively evaluate the value of your opinion?

          For example, here’s some information on Dr. Kellerman:

          “Arthur L. Kellermann (born 1955) is an American physician, epidemiologist, professor and dean of the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.[1] Kellerman served as director of the RAND Institute of Health and founded the department of emergency medicine at Emory University and the Center for Injury Control at Rollins School of Public Health. His writings include 200 publications on various aspects of emergency cardiac care, health services research, injury prevention and the role of emergency departments in providing health care to the poor.[2][3][4][5] Kellermann is known for his research on the epidemiology of firearm-related injuries and deaths, which he interpreted not as random, unavoidable acts but as preventable public-health priorities.[6] Kellermann and his research have been strongly disputed by gun rights organizations, in particular by the National Rifle Association, although Kellermann’s findings have been supported by a large body of peer-reviewed research finding that increasing gun ownership is associated with increased rates of homicide and violence.[7][8]”

        3. avatar Miner49er says:

          I agree, funding of research by the government has definitely decreased in recent years:

          “Looking at all federally registered clinical trials from 2006 to 2014, the researchers found that those funded by the National Insti­tutes of Health (NIH) decreased 24 percent to 1,048; those sponsored by industry (primarily pharmaceutical companies testing their own products) increased 43 percent to 6,550.
          That’s unfortunate, since government research is independent and much less susceptible to bias. The drop in federal trials can be attributed largely to a decline in the NIH budget (adjusted for inflation). Also rising in number were trials funded by other sources, including universi­ties, organizations, and non-U.S. agencies.”

          But like the above quote states, we need non-biased research, funded by government agencies that are publicly held accountable by our elected representatives in order to achieve valid and credible research results.

          There are many taxpayers who are thrilled that the government has funded research into everything from smallpox, polio, etc. to child seat and crib safety.

          While some people were happy during the snake oil patent medicine days, most prudent individuals welcome government oversight of Public health issues as an objective and competent oversight mechanism.

        4. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          The federal government and the people who work for it are in no way, shape, or form, “independent” or “unbiased”. No one is. The US federal government first and foremost grows and protects it’s power like all governments. The people who work for it do it for the money and or power like most everyone else everywhere. Arguments stand on there own merits not on how popular the author is with their peers who not coincidentally have the same interests. Researchers that don’t produce work that serves the ends of their employers don’t stay employed. Your implication that government employees are more altruistic than other people is absurd.

        5. avatar Miner49er says:

          Vicky, do you believe that the FAA employees are not altruistic? And yet you still fly on airplanes?

          What about the FDA, is that completely compromised as well? So you don’t trust any prescriptions, the regulatory agencies are all compromised so who knows what you’re taking?

          I think that most reasonable people realize that no human is perfect but a accountable elected representative who has oversight over the federal agencies has a much better chance of being held accountable then researchers paid by industry or special interest groups.

        6. avatar Dude says:

          Washington D.C. voted for Hillary by over 90%. Even the most left wing states, where few conservatives bother to even vote, could only muster about 60% for Hillary. D.C. and the surrounding area has thrived and prospered (even during the recession) while the rest of the country has struggled. And you don’t think those people have an agenda?

        7. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Miner, professional pilot here (retired). FAA personnel are certainly not altruistic, and that would be terrifying. They are professional, they have to be in order to have a high-paying job. As such, they don’t have the ability to make up meaningless “studies” to suck up FAA funding in order to spread propaganda. They have to leave that to the CDC.

      2. avatar napresto says:

        “Oh, the old ‘no ban on research but we’ll just cut the funding by 90% and threaten the researchers grant funding’ trick.”

        You know, that sounds a lot like the old, “guns are constitutionally protected and totally legal, but there should be a registry, high taxes, a publicly available database of gun owners, and a lot of hoops to jump through in order to purchase them,” trick…

        Funny how that works.

  7. avatar RedFlagRising says:

    The Message Of Bernie is spreading like wildfire.

    The Message Of Bloomberg is spreading like coronovirus.

    Of which MOB will you partake?

  8. avatar CliffG says:

    You would think that a guy who is supposedly an expert on suicides would read the f..g research! Suicide rates by gun are down while suicide rates are back up to the rate in….1969. F…wit. Just duckduckgo look for the official government statistics on suicide. It is pretty damned easy.

  9. avatar Brainman says:

    More deaths than auto accidents, but about half as many as the flu. Why don’t I see any Democrats screaming about flu shot registration?

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      The fact is, Democrats do push for more flu vaccinations. But Donald Trump opposes vaccinating, just like mini tin hat conspiracy theorist also oppose this settled science of the value of vaccination.

      “In a newly released letter, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and 12 of her Senate colleagues denounced the Trump administration’s decision not to vaccinate families in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention against the flu as “immoral and irresponsible.”

      1. avatar Dude says:

        We all know how your mind functions:
        Democrats good!
        Republicans bad!
        Also, fire bad!
        That’s pretty much it. No thinking required.

      2. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

        From last September, start of the flu vaccination season:

        “President Donald Trump yesterday issued an executive order directing the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to overhaul seasonal flu vaccine production and urge more Americans to be vaccinated.”

        http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/09/trump-signs-executive-order-improve-flu-vaccines

  10. avatar Lance says:

    “Firearms now kill more Americans than automobile acci-”

    No. No they don’t…

  11. avatar Ben says:

    Ol Bloomy the tiny tyrant that wants my guns, soda and salt lies about gun crime research. Shocker….

  12. avatar possum and the Coons of Doom says:

    Bloomberg is one of the Space Alien Invaders. Once we find the Hive we’ will take care of this.

  13. avatar Darkman says:

    Bernie Bros blamed for attack on another one of Mini Mike’s campaign offices in Chiraq. The Bolshevik’s have begun their Revolution. Against the Oligarch and his money.

  14. avatar Top says:

    I’m thinking that, much like John Stossel when he was with ABC, Dr. Webster will soon be dusting off and polishing up his resume. The powers that be don’t care for their messengers having their own epiphanies.

  15. avatar strych9 says:

    “There’s no evidence that going from 5 to 10 guns in your house increases your risk of suicide.”

    This relatively innocuous statement contains the central problem with this entire argument; what does “risk of suicide” mean and how is it operationally defined?

    There are those out there who would like to conflate the issues so as to create the belief that inanimate objects effectively drive people to suicide. Like it or not that’s what this debate centers on: the attempt by some to create the illusion that guns cause suicide rather than that guns are a tool that might be used to great effect by suicidal people. Also, some people are just sloppy with their language and that assists other people who are actually dishonest.

    The above is actually quite different than the honest argument. It could rationally be argued that guns offer a quick and effective method for suicide and therefore present an increased “capability” to actually kill oneself right-the-fuck-now. The gun allows someone to kill themself “in the heat of passion” where for some people minor barriers like having to go out a knot a rope, or the time required sitting in a car inside a closed garage, would give them the time they need to calm down. In that “lag time” these folks might then decide that suicide isn’t the best option and decide to go a different route. Logically that makes sense if we assume suicide to be a generally irrational act (which most people, for better or for worse, do) and it’s almost a statistical certainty that if we look hard enough we can find someone who was actually “stopped” from suicide by a lack of access to “quick” methods, someone who was “serious” but “calmed down” as they made the preparations to end their life and therefore decided not to kill themself. We should avoid casual dismissal of both that data point and the general argument it represents.

    Now, you don’t have to buy the second argument and the percentages affected are debatable (and probably unknown/unknowable) but at least that second argument is an honest debate about the marginal effects of various suicide methods rather than an implicit suggestion that inanimate objects influence human behavior like the “One Ring” from LOTR.

    The point being that “risk of suicide” is, generally within this debate, a nebulous term and many of the people using it in this context are using it specifically because it’s nebulous and therefore a way to push a narrative. Their dishonesty in this regard is an issue but we need to be careful in the way we deal with it. To simply say “that’s a lie” comes across to many people as just being cold and uncaring about people with mental health issues. That is probably not the usual intent of the people dismissing the suicide argument here but that’s how it comes across to the actual audience, which is exactly why this vague argument was produced in the first place: they can make the argument seem to mean what they want and make our response seem to be what they want rather than what we intend. Generally speaking I’d point out that making this into a “hard sell” when it doesn’t need to be is counter productive.

    The better response would probably be “OK, can you define “risk of suicide” for us before we continue to discuss this topic?”. That would give us the ability to ascertain if the person in question was 1) interested in an honest discussion, 2) had a general idea of the topic at hand and 3) define the parameters of the discussion before it begins so that moving the goalposts during the discussion becomes a more difficult thing to do and we can hold people to an actual standard definition within the discussion.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    I think Napoleon had a Bloomberg complex.

    1. avatar Daniel Zimmerman says:

      I LOL’d.

  17. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Bloomturd for @zz hole of the century !

  18. avatar Saran Wrappe says:

    Firearms are NOT responsible for any deaths. The projectiles they shoot do.

    Also, MADD stats: 10,511 killed in 2018 with 300,000 injuries from drunk driving.

    36,000+ total auto deaths in the US in 2018.

    Ban alcoholic beverages? BUT, its for the children!!

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Booze is, mkstly, for the people who have to deal with children.

  19. avatar Hannibal and the Elephants says:

    “Firearms now kill more Americans than automobile accidents.”
    Proof, please.

  20. avatar John says:

    “But after years in which there was an effective ban on federal funds for gun research, it’s a start.”

    I emailed Francis and called him out about that line. He didn’t appreciate that and said I was spreading NRA propaganda. I responded that being lectured on spreading propaganda from a Bloomberg “journalist” was the definition of irony. Francis really didn’t like that. His email is at the bottom of the article. Hit him up.

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