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View Diary: Repeal the Ban on Gun Violence Research (82 comments)

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  •  What kind of research do they intend (0+ / 0-)

    to do on mass killings? If they are planning to use animals, which I'm sure is the case, I'm not sure it is morally justified. To kill a bunch of pigs, or dogs, or even mice in order to see what happens when a madman opens fire with an assault weapon is something we already have an answer to. We don't need "research".

    •   Heres a snipet from the link (9+ / 0-)

      From 1986 to 1996, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sponsored high-quality, peer-reviewed research into the underlying causes of gun violence. People who kept guns in their homes did not — despite their hopes — gain protection, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Instead, residents in homes with a gun faced a 2.7-fold greater risk of homicide and a 4.8-fold greater risk of suicide. The National Rifle Association moved to suppress the dissemination of these results and to block funding of future government research into the causes of firearm injuries.

      •  that's not research, that's just data. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Samulayo

        Real research involves experiments. I'd like to know what they're planning.

        •  and I thought you where pissed at the moon (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, smartdemmg
        •  Here, lemme see if I can help you: (8+ / 0-)
          From 1986 to 1996, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sponsored high-quality, peer-reviewed research into the underlying causes of gun violence. People who kept guns in their homes did not — despite their hopes — gain protection, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Instead, residents in homes with a gun faced a 2.7-fold greater risk of homicide and a 4.8-fold greater risk of suicide.
          See you do "research" and then you publish the data in peer-reviewed publications like the New England Journal of Medicine.  I hope that clears things up.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:11:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kellerman's articles in the NEJoM were (0+ / 0-)

            "special articles", and were not peer-reviewed.

            Criminologists who are being kind consider them a joke (when not kind, they consider them a fraud).

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 03:56:08 AM PST

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        •  Playing devil's advocate can be fun. (3+ / 0-)

          But when you find yourself arguing that research isn't "real" unless it involves experiments, it's time to slow down and think about things.  Scientific research also includes statistical analysis and observation.

          I would think a responsible gun owner would be fine with that sort of research.   The NRA was fine with it until recently, when it was finally overwhelmed with the right-wing libertarians that run it these days.  

          The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

          by Beelzebud on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:40:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If it's just a matter of studying the data, I (0+ / 0-)

            Don't see hoe the gun lobby can stop that. The data is publicly available. It's nothing a group project, well organized fron here couldn't tackle. First step is that people here from each state contact their state police authorities to find out what information is available. The results of each dtate are compared, and what is available is used to determine the analytical projects available. Then we try to bring back the federal data to fill in the wholes. Lasty We take the final data
            And choose those studies that best show our position, while not burrying results that went against our thesis (that guns are always bad). Then we publish it hear, where it was
            Born. We'd need 20 people willing to spend a few hoUrs on this who have excellent google skils and aren't afraid of making a foia request or two. A well-led, competent, open-source project could produce a lot of gun usage statistical facts that people have never seen.

            •  No, the data is not publicly available (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Beelzebud

              Goddamned Tiahrt amendment made sure of that. Only the federal government directly working on an active crime can access the data. Can't be shared with anyone else, including local governments in a different locale where the crime took place. certainly not with universities or government agencies not directly investigating a crime.  Useful data such as which gun stores have the most weapons that end up being used in crimes, for example, have been shut away from almost everyone who could use it to... Show certain gun stores are enabling straw buyers.

              The way the damned amendment is written, a city cannot get the data on where a gun was purchased if it was obtained outside the city.

              And this has been discussed multiple times on the site, so now I am wondering if you're just trolling.

            •  Well, you should read a bit more before spouting (0+ / 0-)

              off, because the gun lobby (NRA) did in fact stop this data from being researched.  

              The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

              by Beelzebud on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 10:47:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Real research doesn't always involve (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          madhaus

          experiments.  The whole field of epidemiology is not based on experiments.  Much of Darwin's work was based on analysis of observations.  

          Before you dismiss the effort I suggest you brush up on how science is done.

      •  High quality? Kellerman's studies were (0+ / 0-)

        never peer-reviewed, the raw data never released, the methodology completely inappropriate, and the conclusions changed wildly every time you talked to him.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 03:54:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Other research supports Kellerman (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies, madhaus

          The odds ratios may vary but the outcome is the same, a gun present in the home is associated with increased risk of death for the owner or a family member.

          Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.
          Guns in the home and risk of violent death

          It's the Central Limit Theorem, Stupid!

          by smartdemmg on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 04:47:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Let me begin to list the problems with (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MGross, Neon Mama

        the study.

        Kellerman used a case control methodology and compared incidents of shootings in homes in three counties, to similar demographics where shootings didn't occur. He based his data on the shootings on police reports, and used them to resolve a few questions:

        Was there a shooting in the house?
        Was the homeowner shot?
        Was an intruder shot?
        Was there a gun in the house?

        He did not ask if the shooting was justified, or if it was a police action, or any details beyond this.

        He then compared this to nearby households where no shooting took place, and surveyed them to see if they had guns in the home to get a baseline measure of gun ownership in homes where no shooting took place.

        His initial study found the risk factor 47x as great, nearly all of which were suicides, for which he took withering criticism. When he excluded suicides in a second study, he got a risk factor 2.7x as great. He has since gone on the lecture circuit and was videotaped claiming (without supporting evidence) a risk factor 18x as great.

        Let's look at the problems:

        1) Kellerman used a case control methodology. It's a cheap way to do research, but one thing it can not do is establish causality, nor can it account for reverse causality.

        2) Kellerman's papers were "special articles" and were not peer-reviewed. He has never released his raw data, citing only percentages of the demographic groups in his shooting and control groups, so the research can not be independently verified.

        3) Kellerman's study group, and control group, were in poor, high-crime, minority communities. 51% of his control group had arrest records, and 60% were African-American. This is not a sample group that can be extrapolated to the nation at large.

        4) Kellerman's study of the defensive shootings only counted those where a shot was fired, and a police report was generated. It did not account for defensive uses where no shots were fired, which (as other studies have shown) make up the vast majority. It did not account for cases where the homeowner was a criminal shot by cops.

        5) Kellerman's study of the control group revealed a consistent error medical professionals make when dabbling outside their field into criminology - the failure to account for false negative responses when asking about criminal behavior. The reported gun ownership rate in the control group was contaminated by the fact that half of them had arrest records, and of those, most would have been prohibited possessors; and those that were not were in a bad neighborhood. He did not account for the number of people who would not admit to a stranger on the phone that they had a gun in the house.

        6) Kellerman didn't account for reverse causality - that high rates of criminal violence would drive up gun ownership rates, and only assumed the reverse, as a risk factor.

        7) Kellerman's results can be completely reproduced by taking a small high-risk population and conflating it with a large low-risk population; where his "risk factor" is actually a measure of homicide rate with gun ownership as a confounding variable.

        8) Kellerman had close but undisclosed ties to the lobbying organization Handgun Control (the old name of Brady).

        Basically, his studies are so methodologically flawed as to be worthless. This did not stop the scientifically worthless study from being widely cited by policymakers as justification for strict gun control.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 04:58:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  ???? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shopkeeper

      Are you joking?  How about a gazillion different neuropsychological and medical tests on those that commit gun violence???  Not just mass killings, but all gun violence.

    •  These are epidemiological studies (5+ / 0-)

      and yes, the field of epidemiology does involve rigorous methodoligal design. This is the same mechanism the CDC employs to understand the spread of disease worldwide, medical outcomes and prevention of serious illness.

      Aside from epidemiological studies, there is the field of "injury and prevention" which I suspect is where most of this research would fall. I have friends/colleagues who do this work and it has never involved animals. It involves understanding the mechanisms of risk for injury and mortality and the means of prevention in humans (kids in particular), employing experimental designs.

      With regard to epidemiology, those studies are typically the first step to identifying whether a problem truly exists because they involve large sample sizes. Studies employing experimental manipulations typically follow. It is because of this research that we know about the effects of primary and second hand smoke exposure from cigarettes, the effectiveness of smoking cessation programs and that prevention is much more effective than cessation.

      It's the Central Limit Theorem, Stupid!

      by smartdemmg on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:40:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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