how is "gunviolence" like an epidemic?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jamesjames, Nov 18, 2017.

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  1. jamesjames

    jamesjames Member

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    The talk out there about trying to get the CDC or other research organizations to study "gunviolence" from an epidemiological perspective is really bugging me. The implications are myriad. The idea that guns or gun owners are like parasites or disease that can be eradicated is chilling. It seems like the connections to mental illness, social media and mass media involvement in mass shootings would be minimized. It seems like mass shooters seeking fame in going out in a blaze of gory would be paved over while the simple anti-gun bias of the left would be confirmed. Confirmation bias seems such a looming risk in dressing up a set of conclusions in statistical, scientifica-sounding garb. What do you think?
     
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  2. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    So far the UN and CDC haven't stopped the spread of pneumonic plague in Madagascar, which is a very tragic but relevant point to make when it comes to discussing their track record. Same for other diseases elsewhere.

    While it's expected the CDC would just publish hit pieces on gun control don't forget that it's well out of their ballpark to make substantive findings on something that is a purely social issue. Internal competition for funding alone is a major disincentive - nobody wants to see some other vector uncontrolled because another project head got their funds. And answering for it later when it's suggested a paper on social issues sidetracked manhours and efforts to limit other disease outbreaks? Survivors would have a field day with Congressmen and those people are very much in the business of avoiding open conflict when they can't control the narrative.

    The results are what we see - very few papers or findings as the money has to be packaged in a special way to prevent any blowback.
     
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    It can be useful to keep tabs on how government money is spent in ways that could impact our rights.

    However some things to keep in mind:
    1) Groups like the CDC and WHO and NIH study all sorts of factors that contribute to the health of populations. They'll study things like seat-belt use, bike helmet use, trans fats, sugar consumption, radiation exposure, etc., etc. None of which have anything to do with biological epidemics. Guns are a consumer product used and misused in our society. It isn't necessarily in any way nefarious that they would study gun use, safety, storage, ownership rates, etc. as their job is to describe and advise on what things are involved in the health and deaths of our citizens.

    2) STOP HIDING FROM NUMBERS. We just had a long thread on mass shooters that I feel illustrated this very well. Statistics, taken as a scientific function, are simply the record of history. This is what happened. While there are always nits to pick, and statistics can be purposefully misused to send an incorrect message, they are simply the numeric truth of what we as a people experience in the real world.

    2a) The numbers appear to be on OUR side! Rates of violent crime have fallen off -- right along side large increases in the numbers of guns out in the nation. Rates of accidental shootings continue to fall significantly -- we're doing better and better with that all the time. Rates of crime among concealed carry license holders appear to be so low we should be SHOUTING about this. Hiding from the numbers seems just daft because the numbers will actually support our case!

    2b) Trying to prevent health organizations from studying something makes us look like shady, backward, stupid, fearful, GUILTY hicks who are trying to protect something they know to be a social evil. We DON'T have something to hide, nor something to hide FROM. Friggin' quit acting like we do!

    2c) Solid numbers can tell us things WE need to know. Education is always a benefit. If we have problems we need to fix, we should WANT to hear about them so we can be better. How can we be the positive influence in society that we claim to be if we refuse to look at where we might be able to do better?

    2d) The 2nd Amendment doesn't rely on statistics for its strength or its supremacy as a founding principle of our nation. Even if the numbers DID say bad things about gun owners' safety or "gun crime" we do not hold our right hostage to current statistics. And it would do us well to stand a little firmer on the "freedom isn't free" argument.
     
  4. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    The "gun violence" or "gun death" statistics are being deceptively misused by the antigunners. (For example, the majority of these "gun deaths" are really suicides, and many others are the result of turf wars between inner-city gangs.) Focusing on these deaths as an "epidemic" confuses the means (guns) with the underlying causation. That's junk science, at best. All this is is grist for the antigun propaganda mill.
     
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  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    AlexanderA, I agree with that, but that's a problem which can be solved through vigilance and a simple examination of the terms and definitions in a study.

    You'll find, I believe, that news reporting OF studies tends to gloss over things like suicide rates and so depict reasonable studies in a "junk science" way.

    Simply collecting, reporting on, and summarizing findings from statistical measurement isn't junk science. And honestly, I don't fear groups like the NIH doing such things. I believe they're always about as fair and ethical as possible in explaining exactly what they were studying. e.g. -- suicides, homicides, accidental death, etc.
     
  6. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    They have their conclusion already and taint the evidence to support that preconceived conclusion. But a gun is final and the suicide victim has no chance to recover or reconsider, well so do suicide victims who jump off a bridge.
     
  7. jamesjames

    jamesjames Member

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    When I go to the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research (at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland), I see many links to many hit pieces on guns dressed up as journalistic fact-finding.

    OTOH, yesterday, Yankee Marshall came out with a YouTube video piece on NICS in which he claimed the CDC looked at "gunviolence" during the Obama administration and couldn't find a correlation that gun laws ever stopped violent crime.

    Interpretation of the facts is where politics and spin intersect with data.
     
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Then there's the question of "they." Who is "they?" If by "they" you mean anti-gun activists, fine, but they aren't the ones doing serious scientific analysis. They may take a study done by the NIH or some similar group and cherry-pick from it and misrepresent it. But when we're talking about research organizations of scientists who spend their careers studying numbers from public health records, that's a different set of people from anti-gun activists.

    And saying publicly that they taint evidence is a pretty serious thing. You'd better have a REALLY significant pile of evidence before you try to show that the NIH or CDC is falsifying their data.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  9. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    Global warming Sam, see all the scientists and their preconceived conclusions tainted by their political agenda.

    They're not immune to it either.
     
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    We aren't going to go down that rabbit hole. There's a reason this forum does NOT entertain political debates such as that, which fall outside of gun control.

    Suffice it to say, even if you do have clear evidence that proves global warming is false (not just your own beliefs which contradict current trends in research), and that "all the scientists" are falsifying data about that, that says nothing about THIS issue, nor about public health statistics in general.
     
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  11. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    You used the word Falsify I didn't. I used the word 'taint' the evidence or steer the evidence towards their preconceived conclusion.

    Big difference.
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Whichever. Anything that pushes a conclusion instead of drawing one from available data is falsifying in my opinion. And I don't believe that this is a real problem with accredited research organizations, despite the fact that our side tends to be really scared of it.
     
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  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The only problem with sticking to "Just the facts, ma'am" is that the opposition likes to spew out random numbers and present them as facts, and do it continually, and this reduces belief in the numbers we cite, even when .gov sources are cited. The opposition doesn't care about facts, they attempt to manipulate emotion, and they will lie through their teeth with numbers to hit that nerve that sets "Mr. and Mrs. America" on edge; their power base is fear, and it is hard to counter that with facts and logic.

    I'm not implying the CDC would cook the numbers. The media, OTOH, can and does.
     
  14. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    Correct - gun use has nothing to do with biological epidemics. And that is precisely why calls to study "the epidemic of gun violence" are objectionable. It ceases to be unbiased analysis of data when conclusions ("the epidemic") are baked into the premise for studies.
     
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  15. Resist Evil

    Resist Evil Member

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    Nice pun.
     
  16. dirtman

    dirtman Member

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    I could not agree more, we must be ever vigilant in the protection of our 2nd amendment rights. We cannot allow ourselves the luxury to sit idly by while others decide the fate of our rights. “shall not be infringed” is pretty self-explanatory.
    dirt
     
  17. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    So, if I steer the evidence to a preconceived (and presumptively false - because if the preconceived conclusion is objectively true then it is still correct) conclusion, I haven't falsified anything in your mind?
     
  18. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Such implications as you identify are only relevant if the study does not follow the scientific method. What you are really saying is that you don't trust the CDC or NIH to do their job properly. And if what we're talking about here is the fact you believe - as an article of politico-religious faith - that anything done by a government funded agency will be in some way "wrong", well then, I doubt anything anyone says on this thread will convince you otherwise. And I fear that means that all of Sam1911's wonderful, logical, posts on the subject have been a waste of his time.
     
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Unfortunately perhaps, that means vastly different things to different people. In light of this conversation I mean it to say we need to look at studies, look at numbers, make sure that we can identify any actual falsifications and expose those. Don't allow the actual anti-gun forces in the world to misrepresent the truths uncovered by statistical analysis.

    Unfortunately for our side sometimes that means try to block people from even looking at things. Don't let people and society have certain conversations. Hide from the truth, don't look at it. Even if doing that means that we look guilty by default, and blinds us to things that we should know and things we could potentially use to our own benefit.

    Yes we need to do what we can, as intelligently as possible. In the end the Constitution actually means what 9 black robed people say it means. Vote wisely.

    If only phrases like that meant something in the real world.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  20. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    If it is a matter that truly concerns them, what scientific/medical initiatives are being undertaken in their labs?
     
  21. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Truly concerns who? I think violence and how to reduce it, are things that concern almost everyone.

    What kind of initiatives are you talking about?
     
  22. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse Member

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    I had a blog for awhile on Tumblr; complaints from liberals kept getting it deleted.

    This was one of the advertisements run by antis (probably Bloomberg):


    What if we treated violence like a contagious disease? We know that violence spreads like a virus. When one person becomes infected, it spreads throughout entire communities.

    There are US cities that are doing just that, and the results are amazing. Take a look:
    •In one community in Chicago, shootings dropped by 67%
    •New Orleans went 200 days without a murder
    •In one Brooklyn community, an entire year passed without a single shooting

    Cure Violence’s “Health Approach” is effectively stopping the spread of violence. Together, we can cure violence. Learn more and take action HERE.


    I posted a response to it:


    What if we treated gun control like a contagious disease?

    We know that gun control spreads like a virus. When one person becomes infected, it spreads throughout entire communities.

    There are gun-rights organizations that are doing just that, and the results are amazing. Take a look:

    1) All of the U. S. mass shootings but one in the last several decades have occurred in a "gun free" zone;

    2) In the U. S., you are 9 times more likely to be murdered by an average person than by a permit holder carrying a concealed gun;

    3) The murder and violent-crime rates are lower in the 25 states with the highest percentage of concealed-carry permit holders compared to the rest of the U. S.

    The concealed carry of guns by "good guys" is effectively stopping the spread of violence by making crime much riskier for criminals, and by doing so, has made everyone safer.

    But gun-free zones make criminals safer.

    Whose side are you on?
     
  23. jamesjames

    jamesjames Member

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    Is "gangviolence" an epidemic? We used to use the phrase "gangviolence" a lot in the 1990s. It seems to have fallen out of favor, in part, because it implies a racism that the left now finds distasteful. "Gunviolence" is the new "gangviolence", because it seems that guns are a socially-neutral enemy to blame for conditions or phenomena that we don't like.
     
  24. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    What I think is: tempest in a teapot.
    CDC & NIH have, in fact, made several studies on guns and violence and the like in the last 25-20 years.
    Every single one of those studies always comes back disproving the premises of liberal-originated law-making.
    More guns does not equal more crime.
    More gun control does not equal more crime control.
    More guns does not equal more gun suicides.
    "High capacity" arms do not cause more crime.

    The researchers already know this. There are millions of unfilled grants for more research, but no one wants them as they already know the outcome, as will the peers reviewing any new research.

    This makes lefties cross-eyed.

    Since they do not apply scientific method to their own lives (emoting and histrionics tend to obviate rigor); they remain convinced that "more research" will Prove Them Right. But, all the want-to in the world will not make the Sun rise in the West, no matter how baddly the Left would have it be so.
     
  25. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Government funding of "gun violence research" is no different from government funding of "research" on:
    • a flat earth
    • phrenology
    • Nazi racial "science"
    • astrology
    • Lysenkoism

    The only real "research" is into more effective ways of duping the uninformed, uneducated and gullible into believing a predetermined conclusion "supported" after the fact by cherry picked, or (as in the case of Michael Bellesiles) FRAUDULENT "facts".

    Most "gun violence research" never rises to (never mind above) the level of an anti-Semitic screed in "Der Sturmer".

    The proper term for "gun violence research" is "black propaganda".
     
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