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Anti-Gun Research Methods: Whatever It Takes

Friday, March 30, 2018

Anti-Gun Research Methods: Whatever It Takes

Background checks are one of the most common proposals to address firearm-involved homicides. Universal and/or expanded background checks are always high on the list of anti-gun groups’ proposals. But what does the research say?

The Rand Corporation’s review of firearms-related research found that dealer background checks may decrease firearms homicides but ruled the effect of private-seller background checks uncertain (based on inconclusive evidence). We discussed the Rand review earlier this month, but wanted to highlight again these findings and revisit an example of the steps anti-gun researchers will take to produce their desired findings.  

Rand determined that waiting periods have an uncertain effect on violent crime and intimate partner homicide. Last October, we reviewed a study conducted by a team from Harvard Business School that claimed handgun waiting periods reduce gun deaths. We noted several crucial concerns with their variable selections (or rather, exclusions). 

What we did not include in our initial article was a finding the researchers left out of their discussion. According to their models, background checks are associated with an increase in homicides. These coefficients were not statistically significant but do suggest their model is misspecified. The model produced the desired finding – that waiting periods reduce gun deaths – but did so at the cost of background checks, which they indicate increase all homicides and all suicides, as well as both firearms-related and non-firearms related homicides and suicides.

That doesn’t seem right. It also doesn’t mesh with the conclusions of the Rand review. Of course, the researchers don’t discuss their strange coefficient on background checks and media coverage of their paper focused almost exclusively on the headline. This was not the first-time anti-gun researchers have hand-selected findings to present and discuss, and we doubt it will be the last.

Remember the Kellerman study we often mention? It was funded by the CDC, was rife with methodological flaws, reached questionable conclusions, and yet is still regularly cited and referenced by pundits, politicians, and anti-gun organizations. Take a look at the table showing the final model output from the Kellerman study:

No one (except us and like-minded allies) ever mentions that the real “findings” of the Kellerman study are that renting a home or living alone are both higher risk factors than keeping a firearm in the home. Doctors want to opine about gun ownership, use, and storage but we’ve never heard of one referring anyone to a roommate finder or first-time homebuyer programs. Keeping a firearm in the home was actually the 2nd lowest risk factor in the model, but Kellerman and others only want to talk about firearms. 

Anti-gun researchers, their benefactors, and adoring media never let questionable model specification or odd findings undermine their predetermined outcome. There is an old saying in statistics: “all models are wrong, but some are useful.” Anti-gun researchers seem to take this as a green light to do whatever it takes to produce a “useful” model. 

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Florida Alert: YETI Drops NRA Foundation

For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country.  Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The ...

News  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

ALERT ! YETI Adds Insult to Injury

If it wasn’t bad enough that YETI dropped The NRA Foundation as a client, now they’re calling us liars because we informed our members and friends of their actions.  

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

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Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

Dick’s Sporting Goods took their campaign to alienate law-abiding gun owners to an extraordinary new level last week. The beleaguered retailer announced that in addition to removing certain types of semi-automatic rifles from their stores, the company ...

NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

News  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action executive director, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement on Tuesday regarding President Donald Trump's signature on the National Defense Authorization Act

California: Legislation Requiring Background Checks on Barrels and Other Parts Up For Hearing!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

California: Legislation Requiring Background Checks on Barrels and Other Parts Up For Hearing!

Several pro- and anti-gun bills are scheduled to be heard in their respective committees on Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24.  Please contact the members of the respective committee and urge them to SUPPORT ...

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms!  In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms! In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

In case you were worried there were not enough anti-gun organizations working to eradicate the rights of law-abiding gun owners, a new one has formed, and it’s called NoRA.  Get it?  The name implies that the ...

Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

Like the long-delayed coming of spring to the Mid-Atlantic, evidence is appearing that Americans are regaining their senses and reverting to an instinctual embrace of freedom after a withering barrage of some the nastiest and most ugly ...

Illinois: Senate to Consider Overriding Veto on Dealer Licensing Bills

Monday, April 23, 2018

Illinois: Senate to Consider Overriding Veto on Dealer Licensing Bills

With the April 25th deadline approaching, the Illinois state Senate is expected soon to consider overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto on legislation that would drive your local gun stores out of business with onerous red tape ...

Delaware: Mandatory Gun Storage Legislation to be Heard in Committee Today

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Delaware: Mandatory Gun Storage Legislation to be Heard in Committee Today

Today, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider anti-gun House Bill 366.

Minnesota: Two Anti-Gun Amendments to be Introduced and Considered Tomorrow

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Minnesota: Two Anti-Gun Amendments to be Introduced and Considered Tomorrow

Tomorrow, anti-gun state Senator Ron Latz is expected to introduce two gun control amendments to the Senate Judiciary Omnibus finance bill on the Senate floor.

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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.