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Old January 17, 2013, 05:18 PM   #1
Al Norris
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Using the CDC for Firearms Reseach

While we're waiting for the actual text of this (and other) EO(s), it appears that some think the CDC is relatively unbiased in all their approaches. They are not. In the case of firearms and so-called gun violence, they heavily influenced by the AMA, the AP(ediatric)A, and the AP(sychiatric)A.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy View Post
I have no problem with the CDC maintaining gun violence databases and studies.
You should not only have a problem with them maintaining a database, but also any studies by them or supported by them that contribute to the data. Such as the following "Study:"

Quote:
Having a gun at home not only increases the risk of harm to one's self and family, but also carries high costs to society, concludes an article in the February Southern Medical Journal, official journal of the Southern Medical Association. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy.
That was the leading paragraph, Feb. 4, 2010, from Guns in homes can increase risk of death and firearm-related violence

One of the oft qouted themes from this study is, "A gun in the home is twelve times (reduced from 43 times in the original Kellerman study) more likely to result in the death of a household member or visitor than an intruder."

This is the "new" but only slightly modified study by Kellerman that was published back in 1986 (Protection or peril? An analysis of firearms related deaths in the home. New Engl J Med 1986. 314: 1557-60). Kellerman's study was thoroughly debunked by Gary Kleck in 1997 (Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, pp. 177-179, 1997)

Anyone who relies upon the CDC for an impartial study on firearms and public harm, would do well to research who their study came from and who funded the initial study. You might just be amazed at how biased their research really is. The most researched and publicized study, to date, funded by the CDC was the rather ineffective Task Force on Community Preventive Services (emphasis, mine):

Quote:
First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws

Findings from the Task Force on Community Preventive Services

Summary
During 2000--2002, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force), an independent nonfederal task force, conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury. The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified firearms or ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition, waiting periods for firearm acquisition, firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners, "shall issue" concealed weapon carry laws, child access prevention laws, zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools, and combinations of firearms laws. The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.) This report briefly describes how the reviews were conducted, summarizes the Task Force findings, and provides information regarding needs for future research.
In the area that I bolded, is the actual finding of this non-Federal Task Force. Remembering that this came out towards the end of the previous Federal Assault Weapons Ban, it is instructive. What is also instructive, is the "Note" (the part I underlined) these researchers included.

That note basically says that in all the reports and studies they used, they didn't find a thing... But with more time, they surely could! Really?

What ever has changed that would make one think that now, ten years after this study, that they would "find" a different correlation than they found before? The AWB no longer exists. Yet Crime with guns, overall, has still gone down.

Where is the fiscal justification to spend upwards of $500 million dollars on a "new" study? The justification is not fiscal, of course. It is purely an emotionally driven response.

I would now direct your attention to the actual conclusion of this study:

Quote:
In conclusion, the application of imperfect methods to imperfect data has commonly resulted in inconsistent and otherwise insufficient evidence with which to determine the effectiveness of firearms laws in modifying violent outcomes.
The answer to "whatever has changed," is nothing. Each and every study since, that has been put forth as determining that (so-called) gun violence can be remedied by more bans and/or restrictions, have been shown to have the same "imperfect methods to imperfect data," as the 52 studies used in the CDC meta-study of 2002.

I won't quibble with anyone on the data of the CDC in any other area. But when it comes to guns and violence, the CDC is heavily weighted on the anti side of the equation.

Still don't think so? It should be just as instructive to you that this meta-study included the work of Kellerman but not that of Kleck, which debunked the Kellerman study. Fact is, you won't find any supposed pro-gun studies among those researched.
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Old January 17, 2013, 05:32 PM   #2
JimDandy
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I was referring to
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm
and http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/acc-inj.htm mainly.

I don't believe many of the text based summarizations and reports -by either side in an argument- is unbiased. The only thing I look for in reports like these are raw data, and how it was collected.
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:59 PM   #3
Al Norris
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You may have been, however that is not what the presidents EO is about, nor is it what you specifically wrote. I quoted your entire sentence in context.

Your link to the FastStats page is also problematic, at best. Homicides are all deaths. What you want are murders, but that data is not separated out. It is included with suicides and justifiable homicides. So the figures you see are specious. This is an instance where the FBI data is more correct.

The data you want is actually located at Data & Statistics (WISQARS TM ). It tracks closer to the FBI BCI stats.
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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CDC "data" also include under "child" homicides "children" up to the age of 21 (or is it now 25?). To the general public, they read "child deaths due to gun violence" and they see visions of kindergartners and first graders being gunned down by a nutcase at Sandy Hook Eelemtary School. They don't realize the number includes adult and near-adult gang bangers and chronic offenders who are killed by police in the line of duty.

Remember, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:29 PM   #5
lefteye
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Why would the CDC be the correct entity to study gun violence?

Why not the NSSF?

Or even a randomly selected, demonstrably neutral entity?
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:35 PM   #6
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As I noted in other threads, the CDC figures on deaths in the home include suicides.

Since they look at deaths, and since most successful defensive uses of guns (around 90% according to Kleck) result in no shot needing to be fired, that means suicides kill more homeowners (in nearly 100% of suicide attempts by firearm) than homeowners kill intuders, in the ten per cent of cases where homeowners might actually fire.

Bear in mind, the lawful self-defender shoots to stop, as opposed to killing, and that a very high percentage of those shot by handguns survive if medical attention is prompt.

The CDC is not known for pointing such things out.

Edit: As I have also pointed out, while firearms are the preferres suicide tool of American males, a significant minority choose to hang themselves. Women are more likely to overdose on pills or slash their wrists; I read once that women seem to prefer methods that won't disfigure their faces.

So, unless we pass rope control, pill control, and razor blade control, the death in the home numbers probably will not shift much, but the methodology will shift.

Accidents resulting in injury are probably worth tracking, if kept in perspective with such things as pool and bathtub drownings, accidental poisonings, etc.
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:05 AM   #7
JimDandy
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No, the CDC deaths figure (at least on the study I linked to) does not include suicides. That is just homicides. THose numbers also track pretty closely to the FBI crime report that lists "murders". Given the choice of semantics, I'll take homicides on the CDC report where I can point out some homicides are ruled Justified over the FBI terminology that refers to them as murders.
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:36 AM   #8
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JimDandy, the study you linked to did not specify "in the home."

That changes parameters, don't you think?

The "in the home" study included suicides; at the very least, it has been reported to have done so by several nationally published writers, and I have never seen their claims refuted.

Edit: Out of curiousity, I just checked Appendix 2, Definitions to the study you linked. Much to my surprise, Homicide and Suicide were not among the defined terms....
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:42 AM   #9
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I think the main difference may be the one is a conclusion based study, while the other is a purely data based study.
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:52 AM   #10
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I reiterate my point: data independent of context says whatever the message bearer wants it to say.

I think some of these things are worth studying, but only if they are kept in perspective, and only if supporting details aren't buried somewhere in a basement that is marked no trespassing, in a room with a sign on the door that says, "Beware the leopard."

Douglas Adams had no idea he was describing our current administration, years in advance...
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:20 PM   #11
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Are you trying to say that those two reports I linked to are somehow biased, and- even tough the numbers that jibe with the FBI's crime report is somehow flawed and biased? I'm not saying the CDC didn't put out some hogwash crap, but I am saying the FASTSTATS reports are useful and helpful.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:23 PM   #12
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Flawed CONCLUSIONS

Quote:
One of the oft qouted themes from this study is, "A gun in the home is twelve times (reduced from 43 times in the original Kellerman study) more likely to result in the death of a household member or visitor than an intruder."
This is one of the perfect examples of (possibly accurate) data being used to support a flawed conclusion. It presents the claim of a ratio of data, WITHOUT providing the data, and then a conclusion, again, without any data to determine the reliability or real world applicability of the conclusion!

What is the likelyhood of death of a "household member or visitor" when there is no gun present? And, under what situation?

Ok, lets assume the situation is a home invasion. Now, what is the actual number of % likelyhood of "death of household member..etc.."? Is it 1% of the time? 12% of the time? .005% of the time? WHAT IS THE NUMBER??!!!

Because without that number, likelyhood of death when no gun is present, simply stating that it is 12 (or 43, or whatever) times higher when a gun is present means absolutely NOTHING other than a statement of the ratio of the numbers.

Lets say it is 12% (with no gun in the home), just for the sake of argument. Then, since the rate when a gun is in the home is 12 times higher, then the actual number would be 144% chance of death to a household....

Clearly, since 100% is certainty, if the 144% number were real, then EVERY home with a gun in it would have a death in the given situation. Patently false.

Now, suppose the number is .005% when there is no gun in the house. 12 times that would be .060%. They would technically be telling the truth, .060 is 12 times more likely than .005, BUT what is the real world risk? Raising the odds of a death from nearly zero to just over one half of one percent likelyhood doesn't seem like a large increase in my risk, in practical terms.

The CDC has a long history of supporting the idea that gun violence is a disease. I don't accept that conclusion. One might, mentally stretch the language to consider gun violence in society as a symptom of something, but as a disease? really?

How is it that someone(s) with all the education it takes to become a DR, cannot be intellectually honest enough with themselves, let alone others, to so seriously misuse the definitions in their own field of expertise?

I can't tell you how, but I can give you a pretty good guess as to why.
MONEY

Money, power and influence. That's what they get from saying gun violence is a disease. How can you expect them to be honest and truthful when they stand to gain so much from reporting biased conclusions? They can even claim to be honest in their research, reporting what the data says, technically honestly, and still issue biased conclusions, as my example above clearly shows. After all, its not like they are lying about what the data shows, now is it???
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Old January 20, 2013, 01:33 AM   #13
johnwilliamson062
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It would be interesting to see a statistic of "gun owners" who impulsively commit suicide and suicidal people who plan things out and go buy a gun for the deed.

Would be nearly impossible to generate the info. A few years ago there was a local guy who committed suicide. It turned out he had one or more life insurance policies that had just lapsed the one year suicide exclusion. Not only that, but the normal is two years. The guy had started quoting insurance, asking for full copies of the policies, then studying the suicide exclusions months before he purchased to find companies with the shortest suicide exclusion. This wasn't a case of being out of work and looking for money to support his family either.

He did not use a firearm to commit suicide, but I don't see how you could stop someone with that level of resolve and planning to kill themself.
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