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
Washington: Attorney General Introduces Additional Gun Ban Legislation

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Washington: Attorney General Introduces Additional Gun Ban Legislation

Just months after pushing for the passage of Initiative 1639 to impose severe regulations on purchasing and possessing semi-automatic firearms, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has now introduced legislation that would outright ban commonly owned semi-automatic ...

Keep Telling Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

News  

Friday, January 18, 2019

Keep Telling Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

On January 8, two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called "universal" background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is ...

Law for Thee But Not for Me: Pittsburgh Officials Defy DA’s Legal Advice in Gun Control Push

News  

Friday, January 18, 2019

Law for Thee But Not for Me: Pittsburgh Officials Defy DA’s Legal Advice in Gun Control Push

Pittsburgh City Council member Corey O’Connor wants local residents to relinquish important aspects of their Second Amendment rights. If they refuse, he would have it cost them their liberty and treasure. But O’Connor himself apparently ...

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Critical Second Amendment Case

News  

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Critical Second Amendment Case

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today praised the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a critical case involving the fundamental, constitutional right to travel with a firearm. The case, which is backed ...

New Mexico: Governor Lujan Grisham Highlights Gun Control In Opening Day Speech

Thursday, January 17, 2019

New Mexico: Governor Lujan Grisham Highlights Gun Control In Opening Day Speech

In her opening day speech to state lawmakers, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham called on them to pass various gun control proposals that she supported on the campaign trail and which have been filed in the ...

Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban (S. 66)

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban (S. 66)

On Wednesday, longtime gun control extremist Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the latest version of her perennial bid to rid America of its most popular types of rifles, as well as the standard capacity magazines that ...

Who Are the Real Extremists?

News  

Friday, January 18, 2019

Who Are the Real Extremists?

NRA is often vilified by the gun-ban community and its supporters in the mainstream, legacy media as an “extremist” organization because of its steadfast defense of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. A simple ...

Washington: Committee Hearings Scheduled on Anti-Gun Bills

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Washington: Committee Hearings Scheduled on Anti-Gun Bills

Anti-gun bills will be heard on January 21st at 10:00AM by the Washington state Senate Committee on Law & Justice and by the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary on January 22nd at 10:00AM.

Virginia: Bills Defeated in Committee

Friday, January 18, 2019

Virginia: Bills Defeated in Committee

This week, the Virginia Senate Committee on Courts of Justice and the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee heard and voted to defeat many of Governor Ralph Northam’s requested gun control bills.

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

Monday, January 14, 2019

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

With the 2019 Wisconsin Legislative Session convened, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul are already working with legislators to pass sweeping gun control.

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.