Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Limited Data, the NRA Annual Meeting, and Ignoring Intent: The Latest Study

Friday, March 2, 2018

Limited Data, the NRA Annual Meeting, and Ignoring Intent: The Latest Study

Have you heard the latest breaking news? 

“A study pokes holes in the idea that experienced firearm users are less likely to injure themselves.”

“To see gun injury drop, hold an NRA Meeting.”

“Gun injuries fall during NRA conventions.”

A Harvard doctor and a Columbia grad student published a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine this week that found gun injuries drop 20% during the NRA’s Annual Meeting. The researchers used more than 75 million patient observations over a nine-year span, using the three weeks before and after the Annual Meetings as a control.  The argument coming from this letter, as noted in Scientific American:

If guns were perfectly safe in the hands of trained NRA members, Jena and Olenski reasoned, they should have found no differences between gun injury rates on convention days versus other days. Yet injury rates were, on average, 20 percent lower on meeting days. “We believe this is due to brief reductions in gun use during the dates of these meetings,” Jena says.

In other words, the researchers are using NRA’s focus on safety and training as part of a natural experiment. They believe that Annual Meeting attendees – all of them NRA members committed to safety, training, and responsible firearms ownership – abstaining from using firearms reduces the number of firearms-related injuries. 

Usually, one would look at the data behind the analysis. This may be an unusual case, and not just because we don’t have access to the subscribers-only database the researchers used. Basic logic and math calls their findings into serious question. 

Start with their premise: that firearms injury would decline during a period of firearms abstinence – the Annual Meeting. The researchers obviously have not attended an Annual Meeting or read much about the event; if they had, they would know that there is no prohibition on carrying firearms at the Annual Meeting. NRA actively schedules the Annual Meeting in cities and venues that respect the right to keep and bear arms.

So, we’ve established that the people at Annual Meeting may be armed. What about the magnitude of the crowd size? About 80,000 people attend in a given year. There are about 100 million or so gun owners in the country, so the researchers are claiming that less than one-tenth of one percent of firearm owners are responsible for a 20% drop in the firearms-related injury rate nationwide. Whatever nonsense they conducted with the data and their methods, this finding flies in the face of common sense and logic.  It would be laughable if not so completely absurd. 

The authors suggest that there is a trickle-down effect of sorts. They believe that going to a shooting range, hunting, plinking, or carrying a firearm for self-defense doesn’t occur during the Annual Meeting.  Again, this is absurd.    

But even more extreme, these researchers actually hypothesized that the level of “non-engagement” with firearms and the shooting sports would be widespread enough to contribute to a measurable difference in the firearms-related injury rate nationwide

 even beyond common sense, the methodology used by these researchers is very unusual

This brings up an interesting point. While the researchers use some mysterious variable to account for state firearms ownership rates (a number that doesn’t actually exist), they don’t control for firearms usage at all. They see 80,000 Annual Meeting attendees and work from there, but not all of those attendees are firearms owners. Some attend with their family or significant other. And among the firearm owners attending, many are carrying concealed.  That is, they remain actively engaged in the use of firearms while they attend. There is no “stoppage” of folks exercising their Second Amendment rights.  Quite the contrary.

But even beyond common sense, the methodology used by these researchers is very unusual. Instead of publicly available injury data from reliable government sources, they use a proprietary database of emergency department visits and hospitalizations among private insured patients. Guess what?  This means not everyone in the country.  Not even close. 

They acknowledge that privately insured patients account for only about a third of all unintentional firearms-related injuries (though they use all injuries regardless of intent). Their population is skewed female and southern, and the western U.S. is underrepresented. Their study period also covers the Great Recession, in which a significant number of people lost their jobs and, presumably, their privately held insurance. 

Oh, and one last point.  Which “injuries” counted for these researchers?  You’d think that true firearm-related accidents, but you’d be wrong on this. In addition to accidents, they included legal intervention and terrorism.  If legal intervention sounds like self-defense to you, it does to us too, as that phrase is commonly used in this way.  It is hard to tell because the authors are not forthcoming about why they included these injury codes in the analysis, so we can only guess. And why injuries from terrorism were included, again, is anyone’s guess.

Oh, and by the way, the Annual Meeting has actually been found to reduce crime in the host city. Louisville serves as a great example.

TRENDING NOW
Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Yesterday, NRA filed a legal challenge in the Thurston County Superior Court objecting to the misleading and inadequate ballot title for Initiative 1639, which seeks to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of Washington's law-abiding citizens.  The Thurston ...

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

Hunting  

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic ...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

ALERT! Can't Wait for Your YETI Cover Up Stickers?

Approximately 100,000 free stickers, proudly displaying the message "I STAND WITH THE NRA FOUNDATION," were distributed at the NRA Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas last week.  These stickers were designed to cover up the YETI ...

Sorry, Alyssa, But We're Glad We Came

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sorry, Alyssa, But We're Glad We Came

You likely recall we mentioned a new anti-gun organization recently formed, which was billed as the brainchild of actress Alyssa Milano.  You may also recall that we reported her group, NoRA, had made the vaguely threatening proclamation, ...

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After "Resisters"

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Anti-Gun Democrat Proposes Banning Semi-Autos and Going After "Resisters"

The headline of the USA Today op-ed said it all. Anti-gun Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) last week advocated for legislation to ban an as-yet undetermined class of semi-automatic firearms and to “go after resisters” who refuse to relinquish their ...

Oregon: NRA Files Comments Against Initiative to Restrict Your Right to Self-Defense

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Oregon: NRA Files Comments Against Initiative to Restrict Your Right to Self-Defense

On May 15th, NRA filed comments with the Oregon Secretary of State opposing the proposed ballot title for Initiative Petition 44, which seeks to restrict the self-defense rights of Oregon’s law abiding citizens.  The state Attorney ...

Illinois: Senate Passes Another Bill to Shut Down Your Gun Store Despite Veto of Previous Two

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Illinois: Senate Passes Another Bill to Shut Down Your Gun Store Despite Veto of Previous Two

Today, the Illinois state Senate voted 35-18 to pass Senate Amendment 3 to Senate Bill 337, which would shut down your local gun stores with onerous red tape and regulations.  Governor Bruce Rauner has previously vetoed two ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Swiss Gun Rights Supporters Refuse to Capitulate to International Gun Controllers

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Swiss Gun Rights Supporters Refuse to Capitulate to International Gun Controllers

As NRA-ILA reported on April 27, peaceful Switzerland is in the crosshairs of international and domestic gun control advocates who are intent on abolishing the idyllic nation’s tradition of an armed citizenry. Using the 2017 changes to ...

News  

Friday, April 27, 2018

NRA Statement on Yeti

The National Rifle Association released the following statement from in response to Yeti’s inaccurate statements:

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.