Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

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. 

TRENDING NOW
Who’s BS’ing Now? Gonzalez Argues for Gun Confiscation but Insists She’s “Pro Second Amendment”

News  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Who’s BS’ing Now? Gonzalez Argues for Gun Confiscation but Insists She’s “Pro Second Amendment”

Gun control advocates are constantly looking for the right messenger to push an agenda that boils down to law-abiding Americans giving up their freedoms, their security, and their property without expectation of affecting the behavior ...

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Jamie Lee Curtis “Proves” She is Not Anti-gun by Stating her Support for Banning Guns?!?!

News  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Jamie Lee Curtis “Proves” She is Not Anti-gun by Stating her Support for Banning Guns?!?!

Actors and actresses should generally stick to what they know best; repeating the lines others have written for them. Jamie Lee Curtis recently decided to try to explain, in her own words, how much she ...

Bloomberg Finds Home in Today’s Democratic Party

News  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Bloomberg Finds Home in Today’s Democratic Party

In what observers have pegged as a preparatory step for a presidential run in 2020, on October 10 billionaire gun control financier and former-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg registered as a Democrat. Bloomberg ran as ...

Politics over Data: The Rhode Island Working Group

News  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Politics over Data: The Rhode Island Working Group

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo convened a task force focused on “gun safety” last April, comprised predominantly of members drawn from “the judiciary, the Attorney General’s Office, state and local law enforcement agencies, gun violence prevention ...

Senator from Tennessee or Times Square? Bloomberg Hosts Manhattan Fundraiser for Phil Bredesen

News  

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Senator from Tennessee or Times Square? Bloomberg Hosts Manhattan Fundraiser for Phil Bredesen

Is Phil Bredesen running for U.S. Senate to represent Memphis or Manhattan? Rocky Top or Rockefeller Center? Appalachia or the Big Apple? Tennessee voters might wonder after billionaire gun control financier and former-New York City ...

Round Two: Gun Rights Groups Prevail (Again) in Second Challenge to Firearm Restrictions in Delaware’s State Parks, Forests

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Round Two: Gun Rights Groups Prevail (Again) in Second Challenge to Firearm Restrictions in Delaware’s State Parks, Forests

Gun rights groups, including the NRA’s Delaware affiliate, the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, scored an encore legal victory this week when the Superior Court of the State of Delaware invalidated parts of newly promulgated regulations ...

Federal Court Upholds N.J. Mag Ban, Reminds Gun Owners Importance of Federal Judiciary

News  

Friday, October 5, 2018

Federal Court Upholds N.J. Mag Ban, Reminds Gun Owners Importance of Federal Judiciary

Just in case gun owners needed another reason to back Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court or to get energized ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, the U.S. District Court for the ...

Anti-gun Researcher Refutes His Own Anti-gun Conclusion

News  

Friday, October 5, 2018

Anti-gun Researcher Refutes His Own Anti-gun Conclusion

Doctor Garen Wintemute’s latest contribution to “the prevention of firearm violence” comes in the form of a Perspective column published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Wintemute, you may recall, is the Director of ...

NRA Downgrades Sen. Tester's Rating to a D

News  

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

NRA Downgrades Sen. Tester's Rating to a D

NRA downgraded Sen. Jon Tester’s rating to “D” after he voted against confirming Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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.