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NRA Uses Political Force to Block Science

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by etrain16, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    According to this article posted on the super-gun-friendly folks at MSN takes another jab at the NRA stating they worked at the highest levels of political power to de-fund the CDC's studies attempting to show that a gun in the house makes it 10+ times more risk of a suicide or homicide by a young person in that home.

    I can't speak to the science or their findings, though I know I've heard that claim many times before. It does make me wonder if that claim takes into account guns that are locked away from young people, as they are in many homes around the country. Of course, this was taking place in 1993, when newly elected President Clinton was already working toward the assault weapons ban of 1994. I wonder??? Could there have been any political pressure from the other side on the CDC? Say from the office of the President? To get them to show 'science' that supported his need to pass the AWB???

    My guess is that there are two sides to this story, but, of course, MSN (and the article's source, PRI) are probably only sharing one side. I don't know, the whole thing sounds a little more than biased. And, they're using the same old, lame tactic of saying, essentially that the CDC is just a bunch of good scientists doing good science for the betterment of mankind. Gee, I have to also wonder, are scientists free of bias?? Free of influence? I think we all know the answer to that, especially when your results are likely to garner you more funding from the government. They really must think we're all fools. Unfortunately, many of the uniformed masses are.

    Read the article for yourself if you like:

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/gu...rs-said-then-the-nra-silenced-them/ar-AAaUFQx
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
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  2. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    First, you can't trust science because they get their money from those with a political agenda. They are proven liars by their man caused global warming scam.

    Second they would use gathered statistics that they want to include yet they will leave out anything that disproves what they want to say about guns.

    Third, true science isn't about politics it's about facts. Our scientist are chasing money so the facts are left out.
     
  3. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    100% right. Anyone who says anything to the contrary is after your money.
     
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  4. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    People forget that Eisenhower, in his famous farewell address that warned us all about the Military Industrial Complex, also warned us about the government funding research that served the government's purpose(s).

    http://www.militaryindustrialcomplex.com/military-industrial-complex-speech.asp

    We hear a lot about his MIC warning, but the reality is, he was at least if not more prophetic about the influence that government has had on science.
    And the pursuit thereof.
     
  5. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    You are going to see a lot of anti NRA propaganda on the net this election season . There will be a full court press to turn people away from the NRA in an effort to make us gun people dissatisfied with them. The NRA does protect our gun rights but it takes membership to keep that power. The goal of the left is to Alinski the NRA so you no longer trust them.

    Don't be fooled.
     
  6. Uberdillo

    Uberdillo Oregon Active Member

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    Where are you guys getting this crap about not being able to trust science? What are you talking about? Like a physics book or a microbiology book is some kind of socialist propaganda, what? If you're sitting here reading this you probably don't have polio as well as never suffered from a number of other maladies prevented by vaccines and antibiotics.

    There's good data, there's bad data, and there's a lot of fabricated data that looks like both. If you get all your "science" from Everytown, Ceasefire *Oregon, HERE, or even the media in general I might be able to understand, but simply promoting ignorance is bullbubblegum. Science, physics, chemistry, metallurgy, materials engineering were and are essential to all shooting sports.

    This is a fact that requires no science to prove. The CDC was effectively banned from using federal funding to study gun violence.

    Do you want to know what the most effective strategies would be for limiting suicides, homicides, and injuries as the relate to guns? That seems like a good thing right?

    We have been relieved of even pursuing ideas and statistics that would help understand how firearm possession, use, and criminal activity relates to public health. We've got some interesting examples around the country and some amount of data trickling out of various think tanks, universities, and the National Institute of Justice, all of which seems to be largely ignored or propagandized by both sides.

    I think that's the real problem. No one cares about the facts or the science when there is an agenda. People misquote and abuse it it in order to further their goals without actually looking at the implications. It always seems to go to the logically obvious solution that if you removed all of the guns, then people would not be able to kill each other with them. There's no debate there if you think about the ideal state and disregard the current reality of firearms ownership along with world and American history up to this point.

    I think that the lack of data shoots both sides in the foot by simply letting people fabricate correlations in the absence of real statistics. It makes it easier to focus on guns as the disease since we don't have scientists modeling gun violence in order to even have the opportunity to suggest that violent people are the cause of violence is the problem. Violence begets violence. Have a listen to this guy, I'm not saying he's right, but it's a neat thought that we could treat violence as a disease.

    I want more data. I think the CDC is hamstrung and banned from performing very duty job they were charged as it regards public health and safety by not rigorously evaluating the relationship between guns and all the kinds of violence.

    The problem is you could probably tell me exactly what our neighbors and politicians would do with data no matter what it actually implies, at least for now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  7. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    You mean houses that have guns in them have a better chance that some one will get shot than a house without guns will? Really, you got to be kidding.
     
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  8. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Where did you get from the posts above that anyone said we can't trust science? That's not what was being communicated, you may want to go back and re-read what was said.

    Rather, what I and others stated was that scientists are often biased. I'm anything but anti-science, but twist science (or math, or statistics, or anything else for that matter) for personal bias, or say for the purpose of helping push a certain agenda with the promise of monetary gain in the form of grants and funding, and you've got plenty of reason to question the "science" behind the scientists.

    As for not needing 'science' to prove the CDC's point, it was the CDC themselves that said they were doing 'science' in their study and implied that no one should question them for that reason.

    I'm not anti-science, I happen to really appreciate it. But I'm definitely against those that misuse the findings made in science, twisting their data, to arrive at a premeditated conclusion. I believe that's usually called confirmation bias - getting the 'science' to say what you want it to say while perhaps skewing the results in your favor or even tossing results that don't give you what you want to see. And that, is bullbubblegum. Unbiased science certainly exists, but when scientists are forced to get their funding from special interest groups, etc., they are sometimes (maybe often) informed that they will lose that funding if their 'science' doesn't confirm what the donors want to hear.
     
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  9. BoonDocks36

    BoonDocks36 Oregon, in the boondocks Christian. Conservative. Male.

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    So you offer up, the Director of Ceasefire, because he talks on TED, and you think he is Not Biased???????

    www.beachwoodreporter.com/politics/gary_slutkins_campaign_contrib.php

    philipism for this Post: Check your Data, before you Post your Data. Otherwise it appears you are chewing on your shoe, so you can have Foot in Mouth Disease!!!!
     
  10. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    damn hard to shoot yourself without a gun
     
  11. Uberdillo

    Uberdillo Oregon Active Member

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    Show me exactly how the words right there ARE NOT, in fact, the words that are right there on ALL of our screens.


    Check YOUR facts. Gary Slutkin is the director of Cure Violence, FORMERLY KNOWN AS Ceasefire. What do you think Ceasefire or Cure Violence IS? IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FIREARM PROHIBITIONISTS CEASEFIRE OREGON.

    As far as I can tell, THEY ARE TOTALLY UNRELATED.

    I welcome any rigorous proof that they are related.

    Now, show me any significant evidence of his campaign contributions reaching back to support an organizatoin such as Ceasesfire Oregon beyond his general support for a series of democrat, democratically elected or appointed officials.

    Even IF Dr. Slutkin WAS the director of Ceasefire Oregon or a similar gun-rights hating group, which he is not, IT DOES NOT MATTER. An interesting or good idea is still good or interesting regardless of whether it's from Charles Manson or Ghandi. Attacking an idea based on the character of a person is preposterous logic, it is nothing but an ad hominem attack.

    I did not offer up a person to put on a pedestal. I offered up an idea worthy of your consideration if you value your hobby.

    Further, without even checking your own facts, you would discredit ME and an IDEA from a third party based solely on YOUR OWN MISINFORMED BIAS on who presented the idea without even checking it's merits? How ignorant and hypocritical is that? Check your own biases before you open your mouth, otherwise you sound like you're full of bubblegum.

    Please educate everyone on this word that is not in the English dictionary so that we can understand what you're trying to communicate.

    The realities some of you are holding on to in this conversation are held together by burning threads.

    Let it burn.

    Cut through the bullbubblegum.

    Then maybe together we can start to figure out if the NRA or the CDC or researchers like Gary Slutkin are bubbleguming us or helping us.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  12. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    I can see your train of thought but it's worthless in society today. If there were no guns there would be no shootings, no booze then no drunks, no drugs then no drug addicts , no cars then no wrecks. Fact is the commonality in everything involves people so maybe if there were no people there would no problems. o_O
     
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  13. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

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    MSN explains it all from the first post.
    MSN = MSM = PROPAGANDA for the leftist/Socialist/Marxist/Communist/Scumbags.
    Ie; ZERO truth and credibility from the getgo.
     
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  14. Uberdillo

    Uberdillo Oregon Active Member

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    I'm not sure how it's worthless if it made you clarify for yourself the point I was trying to make. Yes. People are the problem. I argue because there is little data about firearms violence and related violence, we do not have convincing data that correlates firearm use not only with possession (ban the guns), but behavior(fix the behavior). The logical step is to eliminate the behavior IF you want to keep the guns.

    Though, I have to admit, removing the people gave me a laugh. Good kind of outside-the-box thinking.

    I think this is where etrain16 is trying to say that the legal, legislative, lobbyist, and scientific communities are conspiring against unbiased research to various degrees even if Federal funding were allowed. I have to agree. So how do we champion unbiased research and maintain our rights even though we know there are people with much more money and power than any group of gun-owners that simply want to abuse it for and against 2nd Ammendment rights?

    I want to hear some good arguments why we shouldn't be supporting more research.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  15. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    It's how you approach a problem that matters. You are not going to stop suicide by taking away the tools used, you have to give the suicidal something to live for. I think the promotion of common sense in the use of tools would be a start but the real answer is questioning what science says.

    Look at this study and tell me what the agenda is...

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3278790/posts

    How much money went to this out of our pockets? If nobody lived next to the ocean you wouldn't die from a tidal wave.:D
     
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  16. Uberdillo

    Uberdillo Oregon Active Member

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    Yes, but didn't we just agree that you could stop a lot of them if you took away ALL the tools or you could at least stop suicide with a certain tool if you took them all away?

    What are you basing your advice on? Science? Common sense? "Anecdotal evidence" (I hate it when people use that)? Why should I listen to you?

    Either way, I agree with what you're saying. So what exactly is our approach or should be our approach?

    I don't actually see an agenda besides public safety of people living in the coastal range. Now you've got data to scientifically support the idea that running away from a Tsunami is better than walking and that it matters.

    I think anyone would tell you that common sense isn't cutting it. Education is great, so why aren't we doing that in school? I think there's a bill right now, but how much support will that get?

    You say science might have the answer. Well, that's what we're talking about right? The NRA and politicians have put such pressure on the CDC and others that they are scared to publish research on that topic even if they've done the research. The ban has been lifted. They're still not doing it.

    The problem in the 90's seems to have been that a lot of the research advocated policy in line with using the same flawed logic we used earlier with saying that, we proved "X" hurts people, obviously we need to get rid of all "X". There wasn't, if you have "X", you should take into account "A, B, C, & D" and develop a strategic plan of action regarding education and prevention for everybody.

    The paragon of research is supposed to be unequivocal, peer reviewed data and analysis. The entire system is set up specifically to handle bias, but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of scandals out there even in the physical sciences because PhD candidates need "results" in order to eat. And when it's so political like this, we can't even get a straight answer about whether the planet is getting hotter or colder, so there's that.

    I sure would like it if there was a paper on domestic violence and the purchase of firearms. Do people really not own firearms and go buy one from a private seller in order to murder their significant other? That seems to be what all the DV organizations were testifying for these universal background check laws. I think the answer would be surprising either way, but I don't think there's any data yet.
     
  17. tiggers97

    tiggers97 United States Well-Known Member

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    For those of you wanting some background on why the CDC was barred, here's an article that covers some of the high-points:
    http://www.drgo.us/?p=549
    Directly funding gun-control groups, and making statements about wanting to ban guns BEFORE their research is out?

    And here is a three part article (starts with part III as it is easier to link back to parts 1 and 2) that covers earlier attempts at pushing gun-violence as a 'social disease'.
    http://www.drgo.us/?p=314
     
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  18. meener777

    meener777 King County Active Member

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    Full disclosure: I am a professional data scientist and I have degrees in pure mathematics and computer science.

    There are several problems with "firearms research". One of the worst problems is that although it appears on the surface to be focused on saving lives, in reality it is focused on demonizing guns. We can see this clearly if we examine the studies carefully.

    For example, see the following study: http://johnrlott.tripod.com/Gun_Ownership_and_Firearm_Rates.pdf

    In theory this is a great study. It uses as much data as possible, studies changes over time instead of comparing apples to oranges, and includes several non-gun factors in the analysis. The study states that their findings indicate almost a 1:1 % relationship between firearms ownership and homicide rates. The authors make the following statements:

    Results. Gun ownership was a significant predictor of firearm homicide rates (incidence rate ratio=1.009; 95% confidence interval=1.004, 1.014). This model indicated that for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%.

    Conclusions. We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.​

    On the surface this would appear to be pretty damning for firearms!

    However, I want to draw your attention to table 3 in this paper. It shows the results of significance calculations for the various factors they analyzed. It shows the percent change in Firearms Homicide Rate (FHR) for each percent change in the input variable.

    Let’s take a look:

    Gun ownership: 1 : 12.9%

    Percentage Black: 1 : 82.8%

    Gini Coefficient (income inequality): 1 : 12.9%

    Violent Crime Rate: 1 : 15.4%

    Nonviolent Crime Rate: 1 : 10%

    Incarceration Rate: 1 : 7.8%​

    The researchers make it clear to the reader that guns are correlated with higher homicide rates (1% for .9%). What they do *not* make clear (but the data does) is that several other predictors they used were approximately equally or more predictive of firearms homicide rates than gun ownership levels, including *all of them* but Incarceration Rate (which is still pretty significant)! If you look at this data with eyes open then it becomes clear that if one is interested in controlling the FHR then there are *obviously* social factors that must be looked at! But they do not state that, and neither does any news author who cites this paper (at least the ones that I’ve seen).

    Another problem is that people have a hard time teasing apart these studies to understand what they have done and what it means, even when it is stated explicitly. In this particular case it is important to note that the authors are studying the *firearms homicide rate*, not the *total homicide rate*. There is a BIG difference between the two! Obviously fewer guns should imply fewer homicides by gun, after all if the tool is not available then it CANNOT be used! That is not a scientific discovery. On the other hand, it is NOT necessarily the case that fewer firearms means fewer *total homicides*. That is because there is the possibility of substitution effects, that is to say that someone could simply pick up a knife or use their hands if they want to kill someone else. So this study *DOES NOT* say that more guns -> more homicides, it just says more guns –> more *gun* homicides (where -> means correlation, not causation). This does not mean that reducing the number of firearms would save lives, nor does it really have *any* bearing on that question.

    Be extremely wary of anyone who talks about saving lives and then brings up Firearms Homicide Rates – that’s the wrong variable to measure and we should *always* be examining the Total Homicide Rate. If guns are a factor in saving or losing lives then the statistics should bear that out in the totals.

    Also, people rarely read the fine print in these articles. For example most don’t realize that gun ownership levels are not actually known! The numbers they use are either survey data (which tends to under represent firearms ownership levels and is wildly variable depending on people willingness to honestly respond to surveys) or a *proxy* variable, typically Suicides by Firearm. Suicides by Firearm has been chosen to be the best proxy variable based on comparison to survey data. So we have a sucky proxy for a sucky original variable. This is not a very good situation from a data perspective. Furthermore, correlation is *not* causation and it should *never* be interpreted as such, etc…

    Eh… I could go on and on and on about this stuff. I won’t bore you. As a scientist, I strongly support honest research towards a legitimate goal (saving lives) based on quality data, subject to peer review, and interpreted correctly by the media and the politicians. The problem with research is that it is often insanely biased and tends to be abused by the media and by politicians who don't understand what it says.

    Where is the righteous push to find out *where* homicides occur and find out why those people are doing so much killing and figure out how we can help them? It’s not there because solving the problem of “saving lives” is *not* the goal.
     
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