Rx for Firearms Freedom,
Firearms Research Data

By Dr Robert B. Young, MD. DRGO, September 29, 2020

[Ed: This is the second of the talks that the DRGO leadership team gave September 20 online for the Second Amendment Foundation's 35th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference. In my talk below, I added a couple of things for which there was not enough time on video, as well as the pertinent references. See each of our talks on the DRGO YouTube channel or at 2:17:23 here. The entire schedule of talks is here, divided into 4 parts on the SAF channel.]

Evaluating so-called "public health research" on guns is our primary task. Typical career anti-gun academics work from unstated prejudice that guns are bad and so reducing gun ownership is desirable. They pick and choose their data, emphasizing factors that tend their way rather than objectively examining changes over time. Their statistical analyses are skewed toward methods that support their preferred outcome, that guns are responsible for violence. As a result, they make a lot of mistakes but keep getting a pass for them.

For example: https://drgo.us/and-the-beat-goes-on/ (CDC through Wintemute below)

In January, the CDC claimed that "school homicides" "skyrocketed" from 2009 to 2018. They implied that these represent the "mass school shootings" we all fear, but they included any shooting death on or even near a school property. This exaggeration netted 21 events per year. But by the FBI's standard "mass shooting" definition, there were just 30 episodes in schools with 90 total victims during all 10 years—3 per year, 3 victims each on average. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6803a1.htm?s_cid=mm6803a1_w

In February, Pediatrics asserted that increased handgun ownership over 3 decades caused increased child deaths by gunshot—"skyrocketing" during the 3rd decade in 1 to 4 year-olds from .36 to .64 per 100,000. There were 80 such deaths in 2017; if this held, the baseline would be 46, but that difference is just too small in our population to infer a meaningful trend. The truth: they cherry-picked their study years—these deaths have been declining consistently for decades. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/143/2/e20181171

Once in a blue moon, a well-designed study has unexpected results, such as work in February on California's highly restrictive state background checks from 1991 through 2005. The authors had to acknowledge that these checks made NO difference in the incidence of gun-related homicide or suicide rates.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1047279718306161 .....

"Science is supposed to be clear, logical and objective. Unfortunately, it is as messy and ego-driven as any other human endeavor. Even though these studies really show that neither civilian gun ownership nor gun laws have anything to do with rates of suicide, homicide, mass shootings or other violence, these researchers misstate their own results and cannot give up their bias against guns."


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