Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News Second Amendment

The Privilege of Misconstruing Data

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Privilege of Misconstruing Data

Earlier this month, the head of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (Shannon Watts, not benefactor Michael Bloomberg) brutally dismissed an op-ed in the New York Times by Bethany Mandel as an anecdote of fear and paranoia. 

The anecdote? As a young girl, a home intruder climbing through her bedroom window threatened Mandel. Her mother used a firearm to defend her. More recently, Mandel routinely received death threats for her political commentary and was doxxed by neo-Nazis – which led her to obtain a firearms permit in her home state of New Jersey. In other words, Ms. Mandel was literally saved by a firearm as a child and obtained a firearms permit to protect herself and her own child after neo-Nazis published her home address. Ms. Watts chalked Ms. Mandel’s efforts to protect herself from the very real threats as privilege:

 

Watts seems to be referencing CDC data from a 1993 study led by Arthur Kellerman that concludes, “Rather than confer protection, guns kept in the home are associated with an increase in the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.”

This study focused on different time periods in three counties in three different states, none of which is as diverse as the country itself. Researchers canvassed the neighborhoods of murder victims in these counties to find someone who roughly matched the victim’s demographic profile (age, sex, and race) to use as a control and interviewed relatives of the actual murder victims. 

Methodological concerns include biases, ignorance of relatives’ criminal behavior, coverage issues, and even the possibility that canvassers may have avoided going to certain houses if they felt uneasy or frightened. Often overlooked is the finding is that renting and living alone provide the second highest odds of being murdered (illicit drug use is first).  

Perhaps the most glaring issue is that only cases that resulted in a fatality were included. Non-fatal defensive gun uses were by intent excluded. Noted criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz found in their 1995 study Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun that only about 4.5% of defensive gun uses involved the defender firing a weapon at a perpetrator (note: this is not the number of defensive gun uses that resulted in a fatality). In total, only 24% of defensive gun uses involved shots fired – meaning Kellerman et al. focused on a minority of all defensive gun uses. Kleck validates this estimate by noting that the National Crime Victimization Survey found that 17% of gun crimes involve the offender shooting the victim.

But Ms. Watts happily throws a false claim of CDC data at a woman who wants only to protect her child from a very real threat. If Ms. Watts really wanted to use the Kellerman study to guide Ms. Mandel’s choices regarding her safety, she should urge Mandel to neither rent nor live alone – both of which are, according to the flawed Kellerman study that Watts relies upon, substantially more dangerous than keeping a firearm in the home.

TRENDING NOW
Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Maryland: Montgomery County Passes Carry Restrictions

Maryland’s most anti-gun county has continued its tantrum, lashing out against lawful carry in the only way it thinks it can. Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to pass Bill 21-22E, to remove the exemption ...

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

NY AG James Sends Threatening Letter to Ammunition Sellers

In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, anti-gun New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced last week that she would expand her assault on the Second Amendment by targeting ammunition sellers. AG James claimed, ...

Hawaii: Honolulu Seeks to Severely Restrict Carry

Monday, November 28, 2022

Hawaii: Honolulu Seeks to Severely Restrict Carry

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 29th, the Honolulu City Council will hear an ordinance to prohibit citizens from exercising their right-to-carry in many places. This is an attempt to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s NYSRPA v. Bruen ...

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

News  

Monday, March 14, 2022

Recent ATF Action Shows Need for Suppressor Reform

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors on February 28. These denials were apparently made due to ...

Emboldened, Opportunistic Biden Continues to Promote Gun Bans

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

Emboldened, Opportunistic Biden Continues to Promote Gun Bans

Whatever else can be said of Joe Biden as a politician, he has been consistent and unwavering on at least one point: he wants to take your guns. Make no mistake: Left to his own ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

News  

Monday, March 7, 2022

ATF Mass Denial of Suppressor Form 1 Applications

On February 28, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) denied approximately 850 Form 1 applications for prospective makers of suppressors. These denials were apparently made due to a change in ATF policy ...

CPRC: FBI Wrong – Armed Citizens Stopped at Least 34% of “Active Shooter” Attacks

News  

Monday, October 17, 2022

CPRC: FBI Wrong – Armed Citizens Stopped at Least 34% of “Active Shooter” Attacks

Recent polling indicates that an increasing number of Americans view the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with distrust and disfavor. The results of a national survey conducted in August by Rasmussen Reports found that a majority of voters asked ...

California DOJ Awarded Participation Trophy for Losing Bruen Brief

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

California DOJ Awarded Participation Trophy for Losing Bruen Brief

Those of earlier generations used to chuckle when small children were presented trophies merely for participating in organized sports. When this practice began, few could have predicted that this effete custom would someday extend to ...

Déjà vu: Biden Taps Operation Chokepoint Veteran to Again Lead FDIC

News  

Monday, November 21, 2022

Déjà vu: Biden Taps Operation Chokepoint Veteran to Again Lead FDIC

Of all the scandals of the anti-gun Obama/Biden administration, Operation Chokepoint was perhaps the most insidious. NRA-ILA covered the story at the time, explaining how federal regulators – including the Department of Justice and the ...

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.