Kellermann and X times more likely: he's baaack


PDA






Monkeyleg
July 7, 2008, 01:12 AM
This column appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's op-ed section today. Notice that Kellermann is now down to 12x more likely.

*******
Guns in the home are still a public health risk

By ARTHUR KELLERMANN

Posted: July 5, 2008

The Supreme Court has spoken: Thanks to the court’s blockbuster 5-4 decision, Washingtonians now have the right to own a gun for self-defense. I leave the law to lawyers, but the public health lesson is crystal clear: The legal ruling that the citizens of Washington D.C. can keep loaded handguns in their homes doesn’t mean that they should.

In his majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia explicitly endorsed the wisdom of keeping a handgun in the home for self-defense. Such a weapon, he wrote, “is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper-body strength to lift and aim a long rifle; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police.”

But Scalia ignored a substantial body of public health research that contradicts his assertions. A number of scientific studies, published in the world’s most rigorous, peer-reviewed journals, show that the risks of keeping a loaded gun in the home strongly outweigh the potential benefits.

In the real world, Scalia’s scenario — an armed assailant breaks into your home, and you shoot or scare away the bad guy with your handy handgun — happens pretty infrequently. Statistically speaking, these rare success stories are dwarfed by tragedies. The reason is simple: A gun kept loaded and readily available for protection may also be reached by a curious child, an angry spouse or a depressed teen.

More than 20 years ago, I conducted a study of firearm-related deaths in homes in Seattle and surrounding King County, Washington. Over the study’s seven-year interval, more than half of all fatal shootings in the county took place in the home where the firearm involved was kept. Just nine of those shootings were legally justifiable homicides or acts of self-defense; guns kept in homes were also involved in 12 accidental deaths, 41 criminal homicides and a shocking 333 suicides.

A subsequent study conducted in three U.S. cities found that guns kept in the home were 12 times more likely to be involved in the death or injury of a member of the household than in the killing or wounding of a bad guy in self-defense.

Oh, one more thing: Scalia’s ludicrous vision of a little old lady clutching a handgun in one hand while dialing 911 with the other (try it sometime) doesn’t fit the facts. According to the Justice Department, far more guns are lost each year to burglary or theft than are used to defend people or property.

In Atlanta, a city where approximately a third of households contain guns, a study of 197 home-invasion crimes revealed only three instances (1.5%) in which the inhabitants resisted with a gun. Intruders got to the homeowner’s gun twice as often as the homeowner did.

The court has spoken, but citizens and lawmakers should base future gun-control decisions — both personal and political — on something more substantive than Scalia’s glib opinion.

Arthur Kellermann is a professor of emergency medicine and public health at Emory University. This article first appeared in The Washington Post.

If you enjoyed reading about "Kellermann and X times more likely: he's baaack" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
SomeKid
July 7, 2008, 01:16 AM
Anyone who is a better wordsmith want to issue a rebuttal, pointing out this guy is a fraud - again?

RancidSumo
July 7, 2008, 01:19 AM
I refuse to read any of his drivel.

Standing Wolf
July 7, 2008, 07:32 AM
I leave the law to lawyers, but the public health lesson is crystal clear: The legal ruling that the citizens of Washington D.C. can keep loaded handguns in their homes doesn’t mean that they should.

You can always count on leftist extremists to try to hand the nation's civil rights over to lawyers and self-appointed pseudo-medical busybodies.

Crunker1337
July 7, 2008, 08:20 AM
My God, the SCOTUS doesn't make rulings to keep us safe, it makes rulings to keep our rights safe! Freedom often lends itself to safety, but not for everyone (read: thugs and criminals will have harder lifestyles).

Deanimator
July 7, 2008, 09:50 AM
The court has spoken, but citizens and lawmakers should base future gun-control decisions — both personal and political — on something more substantive than Scalia’s glib opinion.
They have a technical term for "Scalia's glib opinion". It's called THE LAW.

Try to base "future gun control issues" on something ELSE and you'd better both have a fat bank account and a desire to share the physical act of love with another man... while living in a 12x12 room with steel bars on one side.

The Supreme Court has decided. You LOST. Get used to it.

El Tejon
July 7, 2008, 10:12 AM
If pistols are so dangerous, why is the government so enamored with them?:confused:

Shouldn't government show us ignorant peasants the True Path and disarm themselves?

TexasSkyhawk
July 7, 2008, 12:41 PM
Funny how errant doctors kill more Americans than guns. . .

Jeff

bdickens
July 7, 2008, 12:42 PM
What studies might those be? Who conducted them? What journals were they published in? Is there any conflicting evidence? What data set did they use and what was their methodology for interpreting it? Those are basic questions any alleged scholar should pose.

1.5 - 2.5 million times firearms are reported used for self-defense per year sure is infrequent compared to the approximately 115,000 total firearms-related injuries per year.( http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5002a1.htm ) Approximately 30-40 thousand of those are fatal. ( http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/frmdth.htm )

Kellerman's 20-year-old study is deeply flawed and had been trashed thoroughly. For one, his data set is totally inadaquate in that it looked at only one county! The "subsequent study" mentioned (without citation) only took into account only three unnamed US cities! At least one study has been done that took into account every single county in the US. Interestingly, it came to a far different conclusion. An abstract of that study can be found at : http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/467988?prevSearch=%28lott%29+AND+%5Bjournal%3A+jls%5D

Now, I am not a "little old lady" by any stretch, but "..clutching a handgun in one hand while dialing 911 with the other.." is hardly an upper-body strength intensive task; it is actually quite easy. I can do it and then switch hands and do it again. So can my 110lb wife. And I think even my cat could do it if she only had an opposable thumb.

And finally, as has been pointed out before: 1) "the SCOTUS doesn't make rulings to keep us safe, it makes rulings to keep our rights safe." and 2) "They have a technical term for "Scalia's glib opinion". It's called THE LAW."

RPCVYemen
July 7, 2008, 12:50 PM
1.5 - 2.5 million times firearms are reported used for self-defense per year.

Do you have a citation for this one?

I thought that the "used for self-defense" figures were extrapolations based on assumption. It would be very nice to find that those figure were bases on some kind of "reported" frequency.

Mike

Tommygunn
July 7, 2008, 12:57 PM
Quote:
1.5 - 2.5 million times firearms are reported used for self-defense per year.

Do you have a citation for this one?

A Professor at the University of Florida, Gary Kleck, did a study a number of years ago. Originally, IIRC, he was trying to prove that we needed better gun control laws, but once his research was completed he was intellectually honest enough to change his mind, as his research indicated a million or more people used firearms to defend themselves or loved ones each year. Later, more research caused him to "up" the estimate to about two million.

It may be "extrapolation" or whatever. One quite common remark encountered in reading these studies is the number of incidents where people defend themselves -- and never report it for fear of government reaction.
Anyone wish to cast blame on people who do this?:rolleyes:
But, it will make actual studies difficult. Properly done extrapolations should be accurate enough for guestimates........

shdwfx
July 7, 2008, 01:00 PM
Can't fix stupid.

Bacardi151
July 7, 2008, 01:08 PM
I am sure his study considered:

In the real world, Scalia’s scenario — an armed assailant breaks into your home, and you shoot or scare away the bad guy with your handy handgun — happens pretty infrequently.
And if more housholds had guns would this number go up or down? And if every household had a gun and people properly trained to use it effectively, would the number of attacks buy "armed assailaints" go up or down?

12 accidental deaths
What was the root cause of these deaths?

41 criminal homicides
How many homicides not involving a gun? How many of theres 41 would have been prevented if the deceased had a gun? How many would have still occured without access to a gun?

and a shocking 333 suicides How many not involving a gun? How many would have happened in the absence of a gun?

I am sure all these and similar relevent questions were thoroughly analyzed in these "Studies". :rolleyes:

Robert Hairless
July 7, 2008, 01:18 PM
Oh, one more thing: Scalia’s ludicrous vision of a little old lady clutching a handgun in one hand while dialing 911 with the other (try it sometime) doesn’t fit the facts.

Arthur Kellerman has a real point there. It is indeed hard to dial 911 with one hand while clutching a handgun in the other. While that might be a good reason for not having a telephone or not dialing 911, only a knave or an addlepate would offer the difficulty as a reason for not having a handgun for the defense of one's life.

It's much harder to hold a crying baby while dialing 911 for emergency medical services, but what fool would suggest that it is a reason for not having children.

"Addlepated" seems the kindest word to describe Arthur Kellerman. "Knave," "charlatan," "incompetent," "unscrupulous," and "dishonest" might be more accurate terms to use in characterizing someone who suppresses or ignores evidence that destroys his thesis with one mighty blow.

What Arthur Kellerman says "doesn't fit the facts" are the facts. In April 2007 (which is within living memory) 82-year-old Venus Ramey did exactly what Justice Scalia understood that the Constitution protected (http://www.womenandguns.com/archive/old0907issue/feature0907.html). Miss Ramey used a snubnose .38 Special snubnose revolver to hold criminal intruders until the police arrived. It was indeed especially hard for her to dial 911 while clutching her handgun, because Ms. Ramey uses a walker. Fortunately, the 82-year-old little old lady with a walker has more intelligence than Arthur Kellerman: she had someone else place the 911 call. The police arrived and arrested the criminals.

I don't know whether Arthur Kellerman is incompetent or dishonest. Perhaps he's a mixture of both, with more than a bit of knavery and charlatanism additional. Who in his position could have missed the story of Venus Ramey-- the little old lady with the walker and the .38 Special snubnose revolver--that was published widely in newspapers, magazines, the Internet, and other media? Ms. Ramey's story was big news because she was Miss America of 1944 and a notable pinup girl of World War II.

But Arthur Kellerman neglects to mention her and other, less newsworthy, little old ladies who survive because they have the means to defend themselves when there are no other means available. Knaves like Kellerman want to deny them that last best chance. Thank God the Constitution prevents the charlatans from having complete control over the lives of other people, especially the weak and the elderly. It's now up to those who want some control over their own lives to repudiate the Arthur Kellermans of the world. Otherwise the Kellermans will really kill them with hypothetical kindness.

That's not a change anyone sensible wants to believe in.

grimjaw
July 7, 2008, 01:48 PM
Kellermann's studies are trotted out every so often, and he still preaches what he believes to be the gospel of saving from guns in the name of "public health." It is an effort to save us from ourselves with legislation.

jm

TallPine
July 7, 2008, 01:57 PM
Stuff happens. Everybody has guns around here. The young son of a friend of ours "accidently" shot and killed himself with a .22 rifle some years back. The JH age son of another friend "accidently" strangled himself in his bedroom. :( Should we ban guns, rope, beds, and closed doors ????? :rolleyes:

Just a couple weeks ago, some young guys flipped a Mustang convertible, killing one and seriously injuring the other three. Let's ban cars, too - or at least convertibles, V-8s, gravel roads, and driving under the age of 30.

A couple counties over, a teenager went off his meds and killed his mother and brother several years ago. No, I can't personally recount an equal or greater number of DGU's. But neither can anyone count the number of crimes that just simply don't happen in the first place because most BGs know better than to mess with armed rural folk.

Kellerman apparently has never read any "Armed Citzen" stories in the NRA publications, or had his eyes closed when he did so.

divemedic
July 7, 2008, 02:17 PM
The legal ruling that the citizens of Washington D.C. can keep loaded handguns in their homes doesn’t mean that they should.


Similarly, the legal ruling that the First Amendment Guarantees his right to speak his mind doesn’t mean that he should.

RPCVYemen
July 7, 2008, 02:37 PM
But, it will make actual studies difficult. Properly done extrapolations should be accurate enough for guestimates ...

Yeah, I remembered the study vaguely. I recall that it had a lot of speculation and extrapolation. Given the massive under-reporting of guns used for self-defense where no shots are fired, it seemed like the estimates came out of thin air.

I hope that there were newer studies that were based on some kind of reports.

Mike

Tommygunn
July 7, 2008, 02:57 PM
RPCVYemen, why would studies today necessarily be any better than those done 3,6,10, or 15 years ago?
Do you think people will be more willing to talk today? I don't think so.
ALL these studies involve some sort of extrapolation and guesstimations. You can't poll 320 million people.
Political polsters don't do that...you think university based researchers will have the $$$ for it?

anarchris
July 7, 2008, 02:59 PM
I leave the law to lawyers, but the public health lesson is crystal clear: The legal ruling that the citizens of Washington D.C. can keep loaded handguns in their homes doesn’t mean that they should.


Well, mister, just because you have the right to write a letter doesn't mean you should either!

RPCVYemen
July 7, 2008, 03:13 PM
RPCVYemen, why would studies today necessarily be any better than those done 3,6,10, or 15 years ago?

Because those studies were done 3,6,10 or 15 years ago. Usually, particularly when a study has an unpredicted outcome later studies usually replicate and refine the original study.

firearms are reported used for self defense

I read that to mean that someone had done a study based somehow on reported usage instead of speculation and abstraction. I guess that he meant something more like "reportedly used" meaning that "someone said they were used", not that new studies had somehow been based on actual reports. I had hoped for the latter.

BTW, I wasn't objecting to original study - I have no clue what the real numbers are. The study just didn't seem very solid to me, and I hoped that someone else had come up with a less speculative study.

Mike

Librarian
July 7, 2008, 03:50 PM
"Dr. Arthur Kellerman, stated: "If you've got to resist, you're chances of being hurt are less the more lethal your weapon. If that were my wife, would I want her to have a .38 Special in her hand? Yeah." (Health Magazine, March/April 1994) " link (http://www.sightm1911.com/Care/Gun_Quotes.htm)

Evidently Dr. K lacks confidence in his own research.

Blackbeard
July 7, 2008, 04:24 PM
I can't believe anyone listens to this clown anymore. His research is completely skewed and starts from false premises. He starts with the population of "homicides in the home with gun present", and then figures how many of the victims were family members vs. intruders. It doesn't exclude suicides, which is a big factor right there. He doesn't compare to the death rate in non-gun homes.

A true comparison of safety for gun vs. non-gun homes would be to compare the following:

A) Residents killed or injured by accident in home in gun vs. non-gun homes, per 100,000.

B) Residents killed or injured by intruders in home in gun vs. non-gun homes, per 100,000.

That would reveal the true risk or benefit of having a gun. If it's truly as he says, then the numbers for A) and B) will be much higher for gun homes than non-gun homes. I suspect he did this study and it didn't give the results he wanted, so he came up with the stupid "the gun is X times more likely to kill you than an intruder". It makes for good news headlines but is absolutely meaningless.

Tommygunn
July 7, 2008, 04:25 PM
Quote:
RPCVYemen, why would studies today necessarily be any better than those done 3,6,10, or 15 years ago?

Because those studies were done 3,6,10 or 15 years ago. Usually, particularly when a study has an unpredicted outcome later studies usually replicate and refine the original study.

And this overcomes people not wanting to talk about or report self-defense uses ....how?????

I won't deny that subsequent studies might provide better results ... but it just seems to some factors will always be imponderables ... to me, atleast.
Maybe I'm being too picky.:scrutiny:

RPCVYemen
July 7, 2008, 04:57 PM
And this overcomes people not wanting to talk about or report self-defense uses ....how?????

The point would be that someone might have figured out some other methodology to get at the number of defensive gun uses. I'm sorry I didn't state that - I thought it was obvious, since folks are probably no more or less likely to report now than they were are the time of the original study.

The original study was set of telephone interviews that extrapolated something like 1.5 million defensive uses based on 80 or so defensive gun uses reported in the telephone survey.

In essence, as I recall the methodology, they called up some number of people, and asked if they had used a gun for self defense. Some very small percentage of the folks they called said they had used a gun for self defense. They measured that percentage, and multiplied it times the population of the US as a whole to get the number of defensive gun uses in the US as a whole.

That seems like fine methodology to start with, but when you extrapolate from 80 to 1.5 million, I am a bit skeptical.

Mike

rainbowbob
July 7, 2008, 05:23 PM
In essence, as I recall the methodology, they called up some number of people...

In fact, 4,978 households were contacted. That is considered to be a powerful statistical sample size by folks in the stats business. I believe this study is the largest and methodologically strongest study to date.

This is a link to an interview with the author of that study if you're interested:
http://www.vcdl.org/new/kleck.htm

The biggest fallacy of Kellermann's study is that it ONLY considers deaths as criteria for defensive gun use. Given that in excess of 90% of defensive gun uses do NOT include a death - or even a shot fired - this seems to me a particularly blood-thirsty requirement for the use of our guns. Kellermann isn't satisfied that we are killing enough bad guys?

HK G3
July 7, 2008, 05:24 PM
Freedom =/= Safety

In fact, Freedom usually implies increased risk. Risk which is well worth it. Unless you hate freedom and just want to be protected from yourself under penalty of death :rolleyes:

jaak
July 7, 2008, 05:41 PM
while he tries to "save" the world from guns, who is going to save us from this idiot and his stupid opinions?

oh thats right... hes protected under the first ammendment, just like guns are under the second.

RPCVYemen
July 7, 2008, 06:06 PM
In fact, 4,978 households were contacted.That is considered to be a powerful statistical sample size by folks in the stats business.

It would seem to me that the size of the sample needed would need to be related to the frequency of the behavior . I don't now much about stats - so I may be wrong.

Does sample size need to be adjusted for the frequency of the behavior?

For example, 5000 household might be a very large sample for a political sample.

If they talked to 5,000 households and found that 1500 of them were McCain supporters and 1500 were Obama supporters, I would be less skeptical - since supporting one or the other is a relatively frequent event. I would guess that 60% of people support on or the other.

I am skeptical 1.5 million gun uses based on 50 gun uses.

Have other more recent studies replicated Kleck's results? Any of them with larger sample sizes?

Mike

TallPine
July 7, 2008, 06:10 PM
Kellermann isn't satisfied that we are killing enough bad guys?


Apparently :rolleyes:

Maybe we need to work to change that :D

RPCVYemen
July 7, 2008, 06:46 PM
By the way, just goofing around on the net, I found that my intuitions about skepticism over sample size was not completely off base. The first part of the articles some of the issues that make me skeptical:

http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/Hemenway1.htm

While I have no idea if Hemenway is right or not, I think the following captures my skepticism in more precise language:

The fact that the survey is trying to estimate a low probability event also means that a small percentage bias, when extrapolated, can lead to extreme overestimates.

Note that I started asking questions on this thread not because I disagree with the estimates, but because I hoped bdickens had a better study - by that I mean one with less extrapolation.

Mike

Monkeyleg
July 7, 2008, 06:52 PM
Kleck's study is backed up by a 1994 US Bureau of Justice Statistics report which put the number of defensive uses of firearms at roughly 1.5 million.

Kellerman, on the other hand, looked only at homicides, which we know make up a small fraction of the defensive uses of firearms.

Aguila Blanca
July 7, 2008, 07:09 PM
But Scalia ignored a substantial body of public health research that contradicts his assertions. A number of scientific studies, published in the world’s most rigorous, peer-reviewed journals, show that the risks of keeping a loaded gun in the home strongly outweigh the potential benefits.

Kellerman should stick to diseases. Gunshot wounds are neither a disease nor an infection, and discussing them in terms of epidemiology is intellectually dishonest.

Deanimator
July 7, 2008, 07:11 PM
intellectually dishonest
The ONLY people I've ever seen more dishonest than anti-gunners are Holocaust deniers and not by much.

Conqueror
July 7, 2008, 11:52 PM
Kellerman's studies are the worst form of junk science. In medical school my entire class spent 2 weeks studying his second paper and punching holes in it.

First of all, he approached the studies with a foregone conclusion. A trauma surgeon at Emory, he tired of suturing GSWs and sought to prove why guns are a blight on society.

Second, his methodology is deeply flawed. As mentioned above, he only looks at bad guys KILLED instead of crimes PREVENTED. His math also contains unexplained and deeply troubling flaws. For example, his adjusted odds ratio for gun deaths in the home is HIGHER than his crude odds ratio. This is, generally speaking, impossible with a properly-conducted study.

Lastly, he draws conclusions which are not supported by his research, even if you believe his research as reliable (which is unlikely).

HK G3
July 8, 2008, 01:02 AM
Just about every public health study ever conducted is guilty of the same intellectually dishonest tactics that Kellerman uses - it makes for a more interesting (sensationalist) article. Why do you think everything both cures you and gives you cancer at the same time? :p

If you enjoyed reading about "Kellermann and X times more likely: he's baaack" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!