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States with more Gun ownership=More dead Cops

  1. Stacie L profile image90
    Stacie Lposted 2 years ago

    Researchers found that states such as Montana, Arkansas, Alabama and Idaho, which have the highest rates of state-registered private gun ownership, also have the highest rates of homicide of law enforcement officers. States including Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey experience some of the lowest rates of both police officers killed and gun ownership.
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/high-g … ar-BBlKMmv

    on the surface that would sound logical,but we all know a criminal will get a gun no matter whuish state they live in

    1. Jack Burton profile image82
      Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Stacie... let me explain how you were taken in by a bogus study. The four specific states that you noted in your post DO NOT require "state-registered private gun ownership" from their citizens. There is simply no provision to "register" a gun in those states (and indeed, this is true in the vast majority of states.).

      There is no way.... nada... zippo... that a "study" can determine which of those states have "more guns" or "fewer guns." That data does not exist in any government computer, or in any private hands.

      Those of us who know and follow gun laws spot things such as that in a moment... while those who are ignorant of the facts fall for this type of false and misleading "research" and "articles."

      1. Stacie L profile image90
        Stacie Lposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        No, let me explain to you, that I was posting an article for discussion...if you read my comments,you would have realized that I don't believe restricted gun laws help solve the problem.

        1. Jack Burton profile image82
          Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Posting a bogus study for discussion is still posting a bogus story. When we give the anti-freedom people ANY credence at all for their sloppy and willfully wrong research it just gives them incentive to produce more of it.

      2. GA Anderson profile image82
        GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        You make a good point Jack Burton. It is probably a safe assumption that statements such as this study's are referring to specific, as in non-antique,  hand guns. which are required to be registered.

        It is also probable that the fact qualifying such a statement with `hand guns' might change the narrative the poster wanted. So it becomes just 'guns` to fit an agenda.

        GA

        1. Jack Burton profile image82
          Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          No, there is NO requirement that handguns need be registered in those states or in most others

          1. GA Anderson profile image82
            GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Are we just talking semantics here? Is something about the word registered that is being misinterpreted?

            Save me a Google search about gun laws and explain what you mean.

            GA

            1. Jack Burton profile image82
              Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              "Registered" means what it says. The same as your car is "registered" with the state an individual, privately owned firearm may be "registered" with the state in a very few states. The vast majority of the states have no idea, no clue as to who owns what.

              1. GA Anderson profile image82
                GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                I take your point that there is no massive database of "registered" guns. But there are little ones at every licensed firearm dealer, (and the ATF). A Firearms Transaction Record - linking the gun information to the sale, and the sale to the person.

                Although you are right, guns aren't registered...  their sale is `recorded`... along with the same information that might be on a registration form, (if there were such a thing)

                So it was semantics after all.

                ps. thanks for prompting a learning moment. I was unaware of the technical difference, and the structure of gun sale information.

                GA

                1. Jack Burton profile image82
                  Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  I don't know if you are being willfully blind or just disingenuous. No, a record at the local gun shop is not "registration." And no, the ATF has no record to "keep" about what guns are purchased by whom. And five minutes after a person walks out of the gun store with the gun he can sell, give, or otherwise pass it along to any non-prohibited person with no record being made of that disposal in almost all, but with a few exceptions, states. This then breaks any possible chain that you think might exist.

      3. Don W profile image84
        Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        The abstract of the study says:

        "We obtained the mean household firearm ownership for each state from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System."

        According to the CDC, the BRFSS is:

        ". . . the nation's premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services".

        So they found out who owns a gun by just asking people. I guess sometimes low-tech solutions are the best way to solve a problem.

        1. Jack Burton profile image82
          Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Ahhhh.... except for the major matter that very few firearm owners in today's climate will actually answer honestly over the phone to a complete stranger the question, "Do you own a firearm?"

    2. rhamson profile image76
      rhamsonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I don't see where the training of experience is addressed in this study as domestic disputes were very lethal in Montana, Arkansas, Alabama and Idaho but in the most violent of cities this wasn't as great a problem.

      "One reason, Swedler said, is that officers are often killed while responding to domestic violence calls and, where gun ownership rates are highest, they have a much greater chance of walking into a potentially lethal situation when arriving amid the tension of a domestic dispute.

      "The research paper, also involving experts at Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities, pointed out that the New Jersey cities of Camden and Newark are perceived as two of the most violent cities in America, “yet New Jersey’s police are among the least likely to get shot”.

    3. Larry Fields profile image80
      Larry Fieldsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Don, you really need to work on your reading comprehension skills, and on basic Scientific Literacy. Here's a difficult concept: I said what I said, and did not say what I did not say. A recent comment of yours was indented directly under a recent comment of mine. This suggests that your comment was at least partly directed at mine. Quote:

      "For example, you cannot reasonably suggest or imply that correlation vs causation is a valid criticism of this study, without actually knowing what's in the study."

      Don, can you say, “Straw Man Argument?” I never said that, and I never suggested that. However I did say, ". . . should know this."

      What part of the word, "should" are you failing to comprehend? I do not believe that the authors were unaware of the important distinction between correlation and causation, and I never said or even suggested that.

      Jack was the first person in this forum to make the crucial distinction between correlation and causation. Again, the distinction is an important part of Scientific Literacy. Can it be reasonably applied to the study in question? I have my doubts about that. However it can reasonably be applied to a certain scientifically illiterate commenter,. In an earlier comment, you wrote:

      “Controlling for variables, regression analysis etc. are  methods that enable statisticians to conclude how likely a causal relationship between different variables is.”

      This is pure BS. “Likely” is a key word here. It reflects a quantitative concept, rather than a qualitative one. Here’s a pertinent question: How likely is it that there’s a important, causal relationship within the study in question? You won’t say, because you cannot. The quantitative answer to my question is both unknown and unknowable.

      Although you can string words together in an entertaining way, it is painfully obvious that you have zero understanding of statistical analysis.

      1. Don W profile image84
        Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        I take it you now understand the difference between argument from authority and basic common sense. You didn't mention it this time round, so I was just wondering. Unfortunately your use of straw man here is also incorrect. It would only be a straw man if you did not imply (indicate without explicitly stating) that the authors of this study don't know about correlation vs causation. But your own words betray you:

        "Jack's point about correlation vs causation is not a cheap shot. It's Scientific Literacy 101. All competent social scientists --including the study authors -- should know this."

        Whether you intended it to or not, this comment implies that the authors of the study do not know about correlation vs causation. It's like saying: "Chemical analysts -- including you -- should have a firm grasp of the principles of chemistry". In the context of a general discussion that's fine, but in the context of a critical discussion about the merits of a chemistry paper authored by you, it implies you do not have a grasp of the principles of chemistry. That is how the English language works. If you are saying it was not your intention to imply that, then fine, but it's not a straw man for me to point out that your comment contains (intentionally or not) an implicit criticism of the authors.

        Likewise, Jack Burton stated ". . . correlation does not equal causation" and you responded "Jack was able to make an excellent point about correlation vs causation". As with your comment, there is an implicit criticism here. In this case the implied criticism is: this study claims that the correlation between prevalence of firearms and homicides of LEOs, equates to a causal relationship, which cannot be correct because "correlation does not equal causation". The problem is, the study makes no such claim. So if that was the intended meaning of Jack's comment, then it's wrong. If not, then what was the point of stating it? What is the relevance? Based on your subsequent comments, it seems you had no idea whether that implied criticism was relevant to this study or not. And in fact you now say you "doubt" whether it is. So far from being an "excellent point", it is at best an irrelevant point, and at worst simply incorrect. Do you often blindly approve of irrelevant or incorrect comments?

        You said nothing about the accusation made by Jack that the authors of this study falsified the results in return for payment. Do you believe that is the case? If so, please share your evidence. If not, then why have you not challenged that accusation, or at lest asked for some supporting evidence? Do you often accept things at face value without any supporting evidence?

        So you can see the issue here. First it's red-herrings about correlation vs causation (point out where in the study it claims a causal relationship). Then it's unfounded accusations of falsification in return for payment. Then it's implied that the authors don't know the basics about the field that they are experts in. It's all very sophomoric and vacuous isn't it.

        I'm really not interested in having a p*ssing contest with you. I am interested in objective, evidence-based criticism. If you have any, share it. If you don't, then stop grasping at straws in a desperate attempt to criticise a study because it's conclusions don't suit you. That just makes you look intellectually dishonest. And remember, when you imply something (even unintentionally) and it's later challenged, you can't get off the hook by saying "I didn't explicitly say that". Whether you said it or implied it, the message is the same. You need to take responsibility for your comments, and be mindful of the context in which they are made.

  2. Jack Burton profile image82
    Jack Burtonposted 2 years ago

    This is why we state over and over again that correlation does not equal causation. Perhaps the reason why the gun ownership is so high is because the citizens know they need to protect themselves against the same social deviants and thugs that are out there killing cops.

    1. gator strong profile image64
      gator strongposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      amen Jack.

    2. colorfulone profile image83
      colorfuloneposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Bingo!

  3. Live to Learn profile image79
    Live to Learnposted 2 years ago

    I would like to know where those states rank as to the percentage of citizens being killed by cops.

    1. profile image0
      Kevin Goodwinposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      That's a very good point I would like to see these statistics as well.

  4. Larry Fields profile image80
    Larry Fieldsposted 2 years ago

    Let's tie a few loose ends together. Stacie wrote: "...state-registered private gun ownership..."
    Jack pointed out that this quote does not apply to the states in question. Don was more specific. He pointed out that the gun ownership data came from a telephone survey.
    Stacie does not have a hidden agenda. That said, a statement of questionable accuracy is not the world's best way to start a serious discussion.
    Nevertheless Jack was able to make an excellent point about correlation vs causation.

    1. Don W profile image84
      Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the summary.

      Regarding your final point. Correlation does not equal causation, true, but that does not mean the likelihood of causation cannot be determined. Controlling for variables, regression analysis etc. are  methods that enable statisticians to conclude how likely a causal relationship between different variables is.. I draw your attention back to the abstract of the study:

      "Using Poisson regression and controlling for factors known to affect homicide rates, we associated firearm ownership with the homicide rates for LEOs . . ."

      Edit: Anyone who is able to demonstrate flaws in the methods used to determine the likelihood of a causal link in this study, can certainly submit a response outlining those flaws to the American Journal of Public Health for peer-review and publication. But I think it might be a bit disingenuous to suggest that the conclusion of this study can be dismissed with "correlation does not equal causation". Moreover I'm certain that David I. Swedler, PhD, MPH, Molly M. Simmons, AB, Francesca Dominici, PhD, and David Hemenway, PhD were fully aware of that particular phrase prior to conducting the study, and I think it is unlikely that they would have risked their professional reputations by submitting for publication a study that could be so easily dismissed. It's also extremely unlikely that the study would have passed the peer-review stage if that was deemed to be a valid criticism.

      1. Jack Burton profile image82
        Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        "firearm ownership"

        Calling a social deviant or thug in illegal possession of a "firearm" a "firearm owner" is akin to calling a person who just stole a car a "car owner." The only way this study would have any worth is to define those who are doing the actually cop killings so that it is properly noted as to whether or not they are actually "owners" versus "possessors." And it you don't think that makes a difference then let me steal your car and you can now acknowledge me as the new owner.

        "I think it is unlikely that they would have risked their professional reputations by submitting for publication a study that could be so easily dismissed."

        It's very common for biased and bogus anti-firearm articles by people with lots of alphabets behind their names to have their studies shown to be biased and bogus. They have no real shame and are willing to sell their reputations to the highest dollar that the Joyce Foundation or Bloomberg coughs up.  Look at the "state registered" and then find out that it was really a "survey" and not an official state number. Who would really make that kind of mistake unless you don't give a damn about real research.

        1. Don W profile image84
          Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          1) The study is not interested in the "ownership" of firearms and the semantics of that particular terminology. It is interested in the prevalence of firearms. That is why the study is called: "Firearm Prevalence and Homicides of Law Enforcement Officers in the United States". As is often the case, the media have mis-reported the nature of a study. The headline of the article linked to, "High gun ownership linked to high rate of police officer deaths, study shows" is simply wrong. I have found it more useful to refer directly to studies (whatever the subject) rather than media reports about them. In my experience media reporting of academic studies is usually wrong, and usually aimed at attracting readers, viewers, listeners rather than accurately reflecting the content of the study.

          The OP mentions "state-registered", which in turn was taken  from the news report about the study. So again, I suggest you refer directly to studies, not the reporting of them, which is notoriously inaccurate.

          2) Are you suggesting the authors of this particular study were paid to make up the results, in order to further an anti-firearm agenda? Unless you have evidence of that, your comment is an unfounded accusation and has no place in a sensible discussion about the merits of this particular academic study.

          Edit: I just noticed your comment about the reliability of telephone surveys. There is much research on the reliability of telephone surveys as a method of gathering data. A quick literature review indicates that telephone surveys tend to be just as accurate as face to face interviews, and that subjects are often more likely to divulge information deemed sensitive, embarrassing, stigmatised or legally questionable, because of the perceived anonymity of a phone conversation compared to speaking face to face. If it's your suggestion that all surveys should be invalidated because some of the subjects may not have told the truth, then I suggest you investigate the subject of representative sampling more closely and familiarise yourself with the methods used to ensure such errors do not reduce the reliability of the data. Caveats always apply to any statistical analysis, but those methods have proven reasonably successful, which is one of the reasons representative sampling continues to be used as a reliable source of information by academic and research institutions around the world.

          1. Jack Burton profile image82
            Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            "Are you suggesting the authors of this particular study were paid to make up the results, in order to further an anti-firearm agenda?"

            No, I am not "suggesting" it... I am stating it directly. Here's a good look at just how that "study" was falsified.

            http://crimepreventionresearchcenter.or … ce-deaths/

            It's odd how study after study after study have the same type of fraudulant errors that never, ever seem to be noticed by the supposed peer reviewers. I think it is because they are "peer" in more than just the word alone.

            1. Larry Fields profile image80
              Larry Fieldsposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Jack, this is a general problem with Politically Correct studies. Some Climate Realists use the expression, "pal review," rather than "peer review," when discussing Gorebull Warming pseudo-science.

              1. Jack Burton profile image82
                Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                Peer review ain't what it is cracked up to be...

                "Leading science publisher retracts dozens of papers for fake peer reviews"

                Springer Publishing, one of the world’s leading publishers of Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) books and journals, issued an announcement this week that 64 different professional articles, primarily in the medical field, had been retracted. It turns out that the vaunted peer review process, designed to ensure that multiple sets of experts evaluate the quality of the work before it hits the presses, had fallen apart. The peer reviews in some cases were found to be “highly suspicious” with bogus email addresses and questionable credentials.

                http://hotair.com/archives/2015/08/19/l … r-reviews/

                Anyone else want to discuss the willing bogusity of supposed scientists and researchers.

                1. Don W profile image84
                  Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  How is this in any way relevant to the merits of this particular study? Are you suggesting that because examples have been found of falsifications in a peer-review process, that therefore this particular study is invalid, or that all peer review processes must be compromised? Using the same logic, if I show you 100 scientific articles in which the peer-review process worked well, does that mean this study must therefore be accurate, and the peer-review process must always be accurate? Or if I show you 20 reckless, unsafe firearms owners does that mean you must be an unsafe firearms owner? Of course not. That's irrational.

                  Do you have evidence that the peer-review process used for this particular study was falsified in some way? If so, then present it here. If not, then the above is irrelevant to the merits of the study in question.

            2. Don W profile image84
              Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              1) In case I have somehow missed something in that article, please point out which part of it provides evidence that the researchers of this study received payment in return for deliberately falsifying the results. If I have not missed anything, and that article does not support that accusation, then please present some evidence that does. If you have no such evidence, please explain on what grounds you are repeatedly making that accusation.

              2) One blog article (on a site which obviously has a pro-gun bias) and has copied and pasted whole sentences from an opinion piece at Fox News (that well known bastion of objectivity and scholarly rigour) claims the study is wrong. Therefore it must be wrong?

              Your friend Larry seems quite fond of logical fallacies. Ask him what a non sequitur is. I'm sure he'd be happy to explain (although I may need to correct that explanation as he does have a tendency get confused about the specifics).

              1. Jack Burton profile image82
                Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                "One blog article..."

                There ya go, Dear Readers. All you need to know about Don's willingness to actually look at evidence.

                1. Don W profile image84
                  Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  It's about reliability, and objectivity. Why? Because if one person (or ten people for that matter) says "this is the case" and others say "no it's not the case" unless you are going to undertake your own survey to confirm which is correct, the reliability and objectivity of the source is very important.

                  If a source of information is unreliable and biased, is it automatically wrong? Absolutely not, but unless you are in a position to independently verify what it says, it's reasonable to take the view that an unreliable, biased source is less likely to give an accurate view than a reliable, objective one.

                  I can find 10 blog articles supporting the findings of this report. Does that mean you have to accept the report is correct? Of course not. Likewise, I don't have to consider the study incorrect, just because someone writes a blog article saying it is. And I don't have to assign the same weight or level of consideration to every source of information on the web. I can make a reasonable distinction between sources that I consider to be reliable and sources I do not consider reliable. Sorry if that's inconvenient for you, but I believe that's a practical and reasonable approach.

                  So now we are clear on that, I repeat my questions:

                  1) Can you point out which part of this article provides evidence that the researchers of this study received payment in return for deliberately falsifying the results, oir present some evidence that is the case?
                  2) If you have no such evidence, please explain on what grounds you are repeatedly making that accusation?

          2. Jack Burton profile image82
            Jack Burtonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            "Edit: I just noticed your comment about the reliability of telephone surveys. There is much research on the reliability of telephone surveys as a method of gathering data. A quick literature review indicates that telephone surveys tend to be just as accurate as face to face interviews, and that subjects are often more likely to divulge information deemed sensitive, embarrassing, stigmatised or legally questionable, because of the perceived anonymity of a phone conversation compared to speaking face to face. If it's your suggestion that all surveys should be invalidated because some of the subjects may not have told the truth, then I suggest you investigate the subject of representative sampling more closely and familiarise yourself with the methods used to ensure such errors do not reduce the reliability of the data. Caveats always apply to any statistical analysis, but those methods have proven reasonably successful, which is one of the reasons representative sampling continues to be used as a reliable source of information by academic and research institutions around the world."

            Who said anything about ALL surveys? That is just a strawman argument you are resorting to.

            As to gun owners in specific... let us turn to the real experts on the subject of surveys...The Gallup Poll.

            "Self-Reported Gun Ownership in U.S. Is Highest Since 1993"

            "Given this, the latest increase in self-reported gun ownership could reflect a change in Americans' comfort with publicly stating that they have a gun as much as it reflects a real uptick in gun ownership."

            "A clear societal change took place regarding gun ownership in the early 1990s, when the percentage of Americans saying there was a gun in their home or on their property dropped from the low to mid-50s into the low to mid-40s and remained at that level for the next 15 years. Whether this reflected a true decline in gun ownership or a cultural shift in Americans' willingness to say they had guns is unclear"

            http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/self- … -1993.aspx

            I happen to be tied in fairly tight with the nationwide pro-freedom and anti-anti-gun folk. I can certainly say forcefully that I have heard thousands of gun owners state quite directly that they will never, ever, not once, say to a pollster that they have own personal firearms.

            1. Don W profile image84
              Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              A relatively reliable source (Gallup), objective information (I think we can agree Gallup does not have any particular agenda in relation to guns), and evidence presented to support an argument. Great. Just what I have been asking for.

              First lets agree that a "sensitive subject" is a subject that relates to something an individual may prefer to keep private, and on that basis, gun ownership can be deemed to be a sensitive subject.

              Refusal to answer survey questions (non-reporting) or not answering questions truthfully (misreporting) impact all surveys about sensitive subjects. That isn't a straw man. It's a fact. These types of issues are referred to as non-sampling errors. To suggest this only affects gun related surveys is special pleading. If you are saying that data from gun related surveys is invalid, because of non-sampling errors, then you are saying data from all surveys about sensitive subjects is invalid because of non-sampling errors.

              If, on the other hand, you are just saying that the reliability of such surveys can be negatively impacted by non-sampling errors, then I agree. So now we have a choice. We can either dismiss all surveys about sensitive subjects because they may be unreliable due to non-sampling errors (and thereby invalidate all studies that use that data), or we can acknowledge that such surveys can be affected by non-sampling errors, but still give a reasonable indication of trends.

              The fact that well respected organisations like Gallup and the Pew Research Centre continue to use such surveys to identify trends around sensitive subjects, suggests that the latter view has been adopted. In relation to Gallup you said ". . . let us turn to the real experts on the subject of surveys...The Gallup Poll" (my emphasis). How likely is it that the "real experts on the subject of surveys" would continue to publish that data, if non-sampling errors made it significantly unreliable? I think it's very unlikely (and to preempt another incorrect use of a logical fallacy, no that is not argument from authority. I'm not saying the data must be reliable because Gallup are experts in surveys. I'm saying that their reputation and expertise make it unlikely they would publish data they know to be significantly flawed).

              So the evidence you have presented is reliable, and it is objective, but it does not support the suggestion that gun ownership data (like that used within this study) is invalid. Evidence (look at Gallup methodologies, look at Pew methodologies or methodologies for any other well respected data gathering organization) suggests that while it is widely acknowledged that non-sampling errors can have a negative impact on the reliability of such data, the impact is not deemed to be significant enough to render the data invalid, and such data continues to be accepted as a reasonable indicator of trends in attitudes and behaviours around sensitive subjects, including guns.

  5. ahorseback profile image82
    ahorsebackposted 2 years ago

    As a gun , owner ,collector , carrier  for many years , after being a card carrying member of the NRA for years , belonging to  shooting clubs , hunting fishing  AND  especially being a news buff , I have grown weary  informational  statistics , studies  and  graphs  about crime .  !    Or I should say , I have become far more critical of them ,  I actually love to read them however , AND here is the  point , There is so much miss-information out there  that it isn't even funny !     

    I even gave up my NRA membership years ago for the same slander that they expounded upon for quite some time , in fact they still do .   There is so much hysteria about guns  AND about the proposals of gun legislation in America right now , and for the last thirty years ,that  you nor I can believe anything we read about it  - from anywhere !

    It is highly unlikely that cities and states  that  have handgun bans , firearms controls  and local legislated  bans  , have lower crime rates for one ,  Or more police killings for another !   Show me a statistic  supporting this ! I'll show you one that doesn't -and  THAT , is the problem with information today .

  6. Larry Fields profile image80
    Larry Fieldsposted 2 years ago

    Hello, Don. Jack's point about correlation vs causation is not a cheap shot. It's Scientific Literacy 101. All competent social scientists --including the study authors -- should know this.

    Correlation is sometimes explicable in terms of the two phenomena having a common cause. Jack articulated a cogent hypothesis to explain the apparent correlation that Stacie mentioned:

    "Perhaps the reason why the gun ownership is so high is because the citizens know they need to protect themselves against the same social deviants and thugs that are out there killing cops."

    The argument form in your paragraph that begins with "Edit" has a Latin name. It's called Argumentum ad Veracundiam (AAV). In plain English, this means Argument from Authority.

    My daddy can beat up your daddy. Or in the present context, my expert can beat up your expert. Yeah, that's really grown up. /sarc

    IMHO, those who make frequent recourse to AAV have nostalgia for the intellectual rigor of the Middle Ages, when the teachings of The Church were regarded as inerrant.

    These days, that same anti-intellectual attitude is called Political Correctness. If your 'study' comes to the foregone conclusion, then you're a good little munchkin, and you'll have no trouble getting funding for your next 'study'.

    Shock news! Intelligent conversation is about analysis; it's not about trotting out mavens.

    I am not motivated to read the study in question. Obviously, it passed muster with the peer reviewers. Is it a conversation-stopper? Probably not. I'm guessing that it's on a par with the Kellerman study, which was blown out of proportion by those who hate the Bill of Rights.

    By the way, my academic background is in science (analytical chemistry). And I'm an amateur mathematician. I published a hub about my original mathematical work on Bedford's Law. Since I do not have institutional affiliation at the moment, it is extremely difficult for me to get published in academic journals. (However I do have a publication in the top journal in my field from the 1980s.)

    1. Don W profile image84
      Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      1) You are confusing argument from authority with the application of reason. It would be an argument from authority if I had said the authors are all experts in their field, therefore the study must be correct. I said no such thing. I have made no reference (positive or negative) to the accuracy of the study findings, or the correctness of the methods applied in it. I have suggested that it would be unlikely that the authors of the study are unaware that correlation does not equal causation, given their expertise. That is not argument from authority. It is entirely reasonable to suggest that people who have obtained a certain level of expertise within a chosen field, are likely to be aware of the fundamental principles within that field. In short, you are refuting an argument I have not made. As you know, refuting an argument that someone did not make, is itself a logical fallacy: a straw man.

      2) If you don't read a study, or know the details of the methods within it, is that a conversation stopper? No, but it does limit the type of criticism you can reasonably make. For example, you cannot reasonably suggest or imply that correlation vs causation is a valid criticism of this study, without actually knowing what's in the study. The most you can reasonably do is speculate on whether or not that issue has been addressed, and if so how. It's unreasonable to suggest it hasn't been without evidence of that. You admitted you have not read the study, so on what evidence is that suggestion based?

      The implication of the criticism I have seen so far, is that the authors of this study, the professionals who peer-reviewed the study, and the editors of the journal that published the study, are not aware that "correlation does not equal causation" so went ahead and published a study which does not address the issue. Or, as Jack Burton suggests, that all those involved with undertaking, reviewing and publishing the study, are fully aware of that basic principle, but have taken payment from some unspecified person or entity, intent on furthering an anti-firearm agenda.

      On the balance of probability, I think it's more likely that those involved in researching, reviewing and editing this study, are fully aware of the basic principles like correlation vs causation, but are satisfied that the initial hypothesis is falsifiable, that the research methods are reproducible, and that the application of methods to reduce the impact of confounding variables etc. have been rigourously applied. I have not seen one shred of evidence to suggest otherwise. If you have evidence that does suggest otherwise, I invite you to present it here.

      In relation to Jack Burton implying that the results of this study were deliberately falsified in return for payment. I invite him to present evidence of that here also. If there is none, then I consider it to be a scurrilous attack on the reputations of the authors, peer-reviewers, and publication involved. I don't know if you personally support that view, but if you do, then it does you no credit.

      Please don't get me wrong, I am fully aware that "junk science" does exist, but it is unacceptable to imply that a study is junk science because we don't like the findings, which (in the absence of any actual evidence) appears to be what is happening here. Even if the findings of a study happen to be wrong, that does not mean the study was junk science. Being wrong is a fundamental part of scientific method.

      As it stands, I have seen no valid criticism of this study whatsoever. All I have seen is conjecture, thinly veiled accusations of impropriety and not much more. Here are the facts:no evidence has been presented to suggest that the this study does not address the issue of correlation vs causation, and no evidence has been presented that supports the suggestion that the study has been falsified for personal gain. As those assertions do not appear to be based on any supporting evidence, they are by definition, unreasonable and can be discounted on that basis.

  7. ahorseback profile image82
    ahorsebackposted 2 years ago

    Perhaps we need a lesson on firearms purchases ,-- Legal one's that is ,  One ,  When I purchase through a  federally licensed arms seller , of which all  legal retail  dealers are . I fill out a  federal form  sheet  with my info , including SS # ,   answer about a  dozen and a half questions ,  That form is immediately  called in to the ATF  federal  firearms check list , .......In my presence,      Once all the info is given  , he computer checks whether I have any legal issues  , past infractions  , felonies ........anything ! I am then given an approval or a  NOT approved for this purchase .  That is the only way to purchase a firearm in Vermont and most states , except !


    TWO  ,  If I purchase , within my own  state,  from a private owner of a gun , family , friend ,  even a stranger .  Legally ,    Then ,  I only have to pay the owner  if we can come to a deal !  IN THIS instance ,as  it is becoming more and more dangerous to  do  given todays legal   liability !     I personally would still go to a dealer to perform the transfer of ownership , just out of  being legally and liability free !

    Three ,  as to " gun shows" ,   these shows  are legal forums to sell or purchase firearms   ,    each and every one I have ever attended  was monitored by  the same  rules as # ONE ,   all transfers go through a federally licensed dealer . the same calls are made as in the retail  store.  As per state and federal law !

  8. ahorseback profile image82
    ahorsebackposted 2 years ago

    I remember once in the nineties getting a phone call survey about  marketing and being foolish enough to answer  the questions ,One of the questions ;
    "Do you object to the use of the image of the American flag in  corporate advertising  ?"

    I remember thinking , What a foolish question and answering- NO . ! And now today look at the fall out in 'patriotic  advertising'  alone  . Want to sell something , stick a flag on it !

    Surveys however ; are the newest national  sales gimmick !  Got something you want to sell , the anti- gun  idealism for instance  , and it's not simply limited to this ,   any issue that media  , the institutions of education ,   the government  ,  states or federal , wants to project onto the masses .   Show them a survey ,  Sad part is  that the American public is so naïve   ,that they will fall for it .   

    The  entire public aura of honesty , integrity  ,  truth or   consequences  is so  diluted with surveys , statistics and  other like sales gimmicks it is entirely possible these days to sway public hysteria  en-mass and   instantly !   Gallup used to be the central  go- to for "honest ' surveyed information ,   but all of them are politically driven .or driven politically .

  9. rhamson profile image76
    rhamsonposted 2 years ago

    No survey is 100% accurate and in many cases preys upon general knowledge or lack there of the respondent. We see it all the time where a canvasser takes to the street and asks simple civics questions or questions about current events and we a flabbergasted at the answers they come up with. We have seen where focus groups gathered and then polled by known biased interviewers garner expected results.

    With so many media whores who are paid to say what they are expected to say and report on the bias that they either hold internally or are paid to espouse it is hard to rely on many of these surveys.

    1. Don W profile image84
      Don Wposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      You're right, it's very unlikely any survey will ever be 100% error free, but surveys can still give a reasonable indication of attitudes and behaviours, which is why they are still used.  Where there is evidence that a survey is biased, then it makes sense to throw out that survey. But it doesn't make sense to assume every survey must therefore be biased, and throw out survey data collection in general. That's not so much throwing baby out with the bathwater, as throwing the baby, water, and bath out all at the same time.

      You're also right about the media, especially "new media", that may have an agenda to push and certainly push it. And the media establishment like Fox, MSNBC etc. can also be guilty of the same.

      But individual bias can also be an issue. This particular gun related study for example, concludes that there is a correlation between X and Y, so it might be worth trying to reduce X in order to reduce Y. That was immediately misinterpreted as "X causes Y" and the validity of the study called into question on that basis. When it was pointed out that it's unlikely the authors would publish such a study given their expertise, and that the study doesn't say that anyway, the integrity of the authors was called into question with accusations of payment for falsified results. No evidence, just an accusation. That is nothing to do with media bias, it's about individuals being so strongly entrenched in a worldview that it warps objectivity. It's one of the reasons it's so difficult to have a sensible discussion on the subject, and it reduces the chances of having a sensible national debate even more.

      The most appropriate way to refute an academic paper, in my view, is through an academic paper, published in a reputable journal. Blog/newspaper articles, radio/podcast/TV programs are not the most appropriate way. And where a study is refuted, that doesn't necessarily mean there is a conspiracy, or some impropriety. Being wrong is a fundamental part of the sciences, including social sciences. So instead of trying to discredit entire processes and fields of expertise (survey data collection, statistical analysis, the scientific peer review process etc..) on the grounds that they are not 100% error free, perhaps we should focus on the merits of each study individually, and if that study is deemed to be unreliable for whatever reason, then that study is rejected. Because ultimately, although we are free to discuss the merits of academic studies as much as we want, surely reason dictates that we recognize the difference between objective, evidence-based criticisms and simple, blatant bias. I have seen no objective, evidence-based criticism in this thread that leads me to believe that this study should be rejected.

 
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