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View Diary: Physician who headed up CDC's study of gun violence blocked by the NRA explains what they looked at (244 comments)

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  •  I'd certainly like to see more study (4+ / 0-)

    but facts can be misused and distorted by both sides of an issue.

    Look at the term gun violence. People use that term and spend an entire article talking about homicide when the preponderance of gun violence is suicide.

    Or the total percent of long guns of any sort ("assault weapons" are a subset of long guns) that are used in homicide let alone total incidents of gun violence. One would think long guns would be the last place people would look to curb gun violence. We do have the numbers on handguns/long guns.

    Or the fact that homicide by firearms as well as accidents are on a steep decline. One would think people would like those numbers. One death is too many but certainly we can note the fact that we are winning the effort to curb firearm accidents and homicide.

    I like facts and data and statistics but they get misused to often, I wish we would even use the ones we have.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:35:47 AM PST

    •  I don't think data are being misused in ... (19+ / 0-)

      ...pursuit of the assault weapons ban. It certainly can be argued that those pushing for such a ban are focusing their energy in the wrong place given the small number of killings by military-style semi-automatic rifles. But that's a political and emotional choice.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:42:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It can be argued (4+ / 0-)

        but when the argument doesn't then move to the logical end of addressing the 'right place,' that is, handguns, I recognize that the argument is disingenuous and intended to change nothing.

        “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

        by tytalus on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:21:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  true that, thanks for the reply, I've been away (0+ / 0-)

        working. These posts sure can make for lots of comments..I should have also stressed I'm all for better data collection. When I first started googling a month ago I was amazed at how little there was and who little of what was out there had been used.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 04:33:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  of course, that's not a reason to avoid collecting (31+ / 0-)

      data. All data can be misused, but the stronger and more transparent the data, the less that can happen.

      I, and my fellow newtown docs, strongly support data collection.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:45:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disciplined, scientific data collection (9+ / 0-)

        Documented, reproducible methodology, free of the misconduct that has marred some partisan studies.

        The CDC has a good reputation for doing the right kind of work.

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 12:15:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

          Transparency goes a long way to dealing with that.  It's 2013, not 1996, thankfully.  We have better coding (ICD-10) and more responsive means of netting and sharing data.  There's room to improve, but we're definitely living in times where we can afford to collect massive amounts of data for future analysis.

      •  I'd certainly agree with you there, I like data (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patrick Costighan, Greg Dworkin

        better than polling too. Polling can so often be thrown one way or another depending on phraseology.

        I'd think that changes in data collection would make it all the way into law, but I hear less about that than the universal background checks.

        Good data might well tell us where we need to work and what would be most effective.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 04:36:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  indeed! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Patrick Costighan

          and if it doesn't for example, favor an AWB, I'd go where the data takes us, and not twist the data to fit a preconceived outcome..

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:08:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Greg Dworkin

            In the near term, we're still going to rely heavily on survey data to put into context the sparse and not terribly granular sets we have today.  That's considerably more expensive than funding research on uniform coded sets, and involves deep inquiry into highly heterogeneous municipal and county level data.   This greatly increases the risk of cherry picking at the point of coding.  Kellerman, for example, coded for the presence of a gun in the household, a victim of a firearm homicide, but did not code for whether a victim was killed by a firearm belonging to anyone in the household.

            If we're going to do this, let's do it thoroughly.  Separate agencies responsible for collecting data and investigation, with collectors further broken into competing teams.  Commit to several validating investigations before expressing confidence in any results.  The President can direct the effort as he wishes, but to secure public confidence in the process, delegate oversight to a commission appointed evenly by the majority leaders of both the Senate and the House.  Each commissioner is equally entitled to a staff and free to pursue any additional outside, unfunded resource to perform their own audits.

            If we can achieve half that, we'll have put a lot of the contentiousness behind us.

    •  whatever (18+ / 0-)

      Facts can be misused, we all know that.  However, we should be united in making sure the information is available.  If the CDC had been allowed to complete its study, maybe some of the stuff you're belly-aching about would have been part of the national conversation.

    •  Did you do this deilberately (21+ / 0-)

      to make a point?

      Look at the term gun violence. People use that term and spend an entire article talking about homicide when the preponderance of gun violence is suicide.
      I would say the preponderance of gun violence is getting shot. Most of the time when you get shot, you don't die, so it's neither suicide nor homicide.

      Now, the preponderance of gun deaths is suicide, but unless you don't count that as a negative, I'm not sure why you particularly care if someone is dead because they were shot by themselves or someone else.

      Also, we already seem to understand why violence in general is going down (i.e. the link to leaded gasoline). But why would that be sufficient when there still is plenty of low-hanging fruit that would likely accelerate and further reduce the harm from gun violence?

      Makes as much sense as saying seatbelts were saving lives, therefore no reason to mandate airbags.

      •  The violence extends even further to all those (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WakeUpNeo

        who must pick up the pieces, whether it's healthcare for the injured, long-term loss of function, loss of income, caring for children, children and others who witness shootings all need care to process the trauma.

        Even if no one gets shot, being shot at exacts a toll.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:44:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Another variant of an NRA argument. (18+ / 0-)

      The NRA and other promoters of guns always claim we shouldn't pass laws regulating guns because some people will violate those laws.  This is an incredibly stupid argument, because if accepted, it leads inevitably to the conclusion that we shouldn't have any laws at all.  After all, we have very tough laws prohibiting murder, but murders occur all the time.  Using the NRA's "logic," we shouldn't bother banning murder, because we can be absolutely certain that some people will murder despite the existence of criminal laws that will punish them if they do.

      You're following the same absurd reasoning here.  We shouldn't be collecting more data because there are people who might misuse it.  Of course, people misuse data all the time, but most sensible people don't advocate refusing to investigate matters merely because there's a chance the information gathered will be misused or misrepresented.  

      If we're going to have good policy, we need good, hard data.  Permitting the CDC or another government agency to conduct the appropriate studies into the causes and effects of gun violence will benefit everyone.  Save perhaps the folks in the NRA, who seem to prefer whipping up paranoia to facts.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:29:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So pot should remain illegal, right? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patrick Costighan

        Lots of people smoke dope, even though it's illegal.  So we need more laws and tougher punishment for people that smoke it.

        •  Ummm . . . (0+ / 0-)

          Not sure what that has to do with my comment.  There are laws prohibiting the possession, sale, and use of marijuana.  Many people do not obey those laws.  But the fact that many people disobey those laws does not answer the question of whether the law should exist or not.  That is a matter of policy separate and apart from whether or not one can achieve perfect adherence to a law.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 04:43:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

            Compliance with the law is a key measure in determining its effectiveness.

            •  All laws are disobeyed. (0+ / 0-)

              That is a matter of common knowledge.  If we could expect or achieve perfect compliance with them, lots of people who spend their time enforcing them and prosecuting violations would be out of jobs.

              The fact that human beings do not obey laws doesn't mean that laws aren't necessary or appropriate.  It just means that there will always be people who will decide not to adhere to the law.

              "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

              by FogCityJohn on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 10:44:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                All laws are disobeyed.  Some laws are disobeyed more than others.  Compliance alone may not be sufficient to determine whether a law is ineffective.  Non-compliance with speed limits is so rampant that the typical American motorist has a better than even chance of getting ticketed in his lifetime, but such laws are widely credited with measurable improvement in operational safety.  Compare that with American narcotics law.

                •  I agree completely: (0+ / 0-)
                  Non-compliance with speed limits is so rampant that the typical American motorist has a better than even chance of getting ticketed in his lifetime, but such laws are widely credited with measurable improvement in operational safety.
                  Which is why I fail to understand the argument -- constantly put forth by the gun rights crowd -- that gun control laws shouldn't be passed because we know some people won't obey them.

                  "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                  by FogCityJohn on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 01:32:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                    Because that's not the argument.  The argument is certain laws (both proposed and enacted) are so ineffective that they serve only to burden those who bother to comply.  The AWB and magazine limits are examples.  Universal background checks and mandatory insurance offer benefits to law abiding, and possibly in the very long term will have an impact on gun violence.

                    •  Oh, it certainly is the argument. (0+ / 0-)

                      At least it's the argument put forth by some of the gun rights folks here.  Since you've been a member of this site for less than a month, you can be forgiven for your lack of familiarity with the discussions.

                      As for the AWB and magazine limits, laws that are designed to be ineffective (as the former AWB was) will turn out to be ineffective.  When a law is so riddled with exceptions and grandfathers in existing weapons that would be subject to the prospective "ban," it's not going to be effective.  That should surprise no one.  But that is an argument for broader, not narrower, gun control.

                      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                      by FogCityJohn on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 04:25:02 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

                        I've argued with "that guy" about whether or not the Moon landing was fake.  I can't get that time back, but I can at least avoid a second episode now that I know what to look for.  Point is, who cares what a random one liner spewed here or elsewhere?  The argument between people and groups that actually matter is over the effectiveness of proposed and enacted laws, not slogans.

                        Any AWB is ineffective if the goal is to reduce gun violence, because sporting rifles are negligible contributors to violence and there are plenty of alternatives.  Magazine limits represent a particular brand of stupidity in two ways: we now have what's masquerading as a semi-serious argument that we should base policy on the off chance you can tackle an active shooter before he reloads.  Two, magazines are damned easy to manufacture; it's only going to get easier.  I'll readily admit that some people hold AWBs and magazine limits with a faith that could rival a small child's belief in Santa Claus, but the main reason anyone pushes for either is straight up maliciousness.

                        •  LOL! (0+ / 0-)

                          Now you're a mind reader, eh:

                          I'll readily admit that some people hold AWBs and magazine limits with a faith that could rival a small child's belief in Santa Claus, but the main reason anyone pushes for either is straight up maliciousness.
                          Yes, people who advocate gun control are just malicious!  They're all out to get you and all the other "responsible, law-abiding gun owners" in this country.  

                          Look, from your UID, I suspect you may be just another one of the large number of right wingers who joined this site in the wake of Newtown and who do nothing but troll diaries about guns.  Of course, I could be wrong about that, and only time will tell.  

                          But it'd behoove you to do a better job of disguising your paranoia.  Those of us who support stricter gun control do so for policy reasons.  We don't hate gun owners, and we aren't out to make your lives miserable.  We're just sick and tired of the endless loss of life.  So stop impugning the motives of people who happen to disagree with you.  It only makes you look petty.

                          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                          by FogCityJohn on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:56:36 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

      •  yep--whenever the RKBAers tell me (4+ / 0-)

        "assault weapon laws would not have prevented Newtown from happening !!!!", I respond with "murder laws didn't prevent it from happening either.  Does that mean we should repeal murder laws?"

        It makes them look like the buffoons they are.

        if accepted, it leads inevitably to the conclusion that we shouldn't have any laws at all
        But then, a large proportion of the gun-toters are libertarian kooker types who DO, literally, think we should have no government and no laws.  Just free-living rugged individuals blah blah blah defending their individual rights and liberty blah blah blah with lethal weaponry.  Like, ya know, Somalia.

        They don't see your objection as an objection---they see it as a GOAL to be reached. The Hobbesian "paradise" in which each fights against all.

        What can I say---they're nutty.  (shrug)

        •  There's certainly that element. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dream weaver, LilithGardener

          I think you can see it in the militia types who think they need to have private arsenals either because the government is suddenly going to become a tyranny or alternatively that government is going to become dysfunctional, so we'll be living in Mad Max world.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 04:46:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

        Let's be fair.  Certain low information types treat pithy sayings like "only the law-abiding obey the law."  The NRA and other gun groups certainly dish out the red meat, but the policy argument is that a specific slate of proposals are demonstrably ineffective and serve only to burden law-abiding gun owners.

        I can sympathize with the desire to cut CDC's injury centers off at the knees; in 1996, data didn't flow nearly as freely, widely and cheaply as it does today; if you didn't have the money to fund a validation of a study like Kellerman's, your only hope was to pressure the authors to release their data for additional scrutiny.  Kellerman's data was collected by 1992, but not released until 1997.  This is research that was paid for by American public, in a politically charged atmosphere that produced the likes of Arming America, issued by a center that seemed singular interested for years to even pursue validating work.

        But none of that would have presented Congress, which was decidedly more gun-friendly after 1994, much of a problem.  All they needed to do was set aside funding for competing data collection and subsequent research.  Instead, the NRA and friends circled wagons and sought to forestall debate entirely.  They didn't succeed beyond getting an appropriation scuttled, but their efforts have put gun rights advocates on the wrong side of evidenced-based policymaking.

    •  You're misinformed (25+ / 0-)

      When you write this:

      Or the fact that homicide by firearms as well as accidents are on a steep decline. One would think people would like those numbers. One death is too many but certainly we can note the fact that we are winning the effort to curb firearm accidents and homicide.
      One of the common falsehoods told by firearm advocates, including our little RKBA glee club here at Daily Kos, is something along the lines of:
      Homicides are decreasing despite the increasing prevalence of firearms in American society. Consequently, burgeoning concealed carry permits and gun sales are not associated with increasing homicide rates.
      I've repeatedly made the point that the rate of homicide decrease in the U.S. is substantially slower than other, wealthy, stable, industrialized nations such as the UK, Germany, and France. I've wondered if the increasing presence of firearms in the U.S., compared to these other nations, might be the reason why.

      I did a little research using FBI annual homicide reports and found that that was, in fact the case:

      Firearm Homicides, USA photo firearmhomicides_zps5e23cd96.png

      table photo firearmhomicdes_table_zpsb297469e.png

      In short, homicides committed with firearms are not in a "steep decline." It is true that the total number of firearm homicides has decreased as the murder rate in this nation has dropped substantially, but year after year, there's a fairly consistent trend that a greater and greater proportion of the homicides in the U.S. are committed with firearms.

      We're not "winning" in the effort to curb homicide by firearms. We're losing. And thousands of Americans per year are dead because of this nation's odd fetish for deadly weapons.  

    •  In my entire family, in my entire life, there has (6+ / 0-)

      been exactly one suicide, and in that tragic event my nephew killed himself with his deer hunting rifle.

      For me, that's 100%, and would still be 100% even if he was the only one ever.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 01:05:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The fallout on the living (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anana, oldpotsmuggler

        Those who were shot at, those who were shot and survived, those who must pick up the pieces to fill the whole in a family, all bear ongoing costs of a shooting death.

        IMO, losing a loved one to a gunshot costs much more than 100% of a life.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:56:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Would you support work on a vaccine (0+ / 0-)

      for an illness that kills 100 people a year ?

      How about supporting research for a cure to an illness
      that kills only 1 person a year ?

      Are those numbers to small to be of importance to you ?

      Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

      by indycam on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:08:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Guns And Suicide - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      http://thedianerehmshow.org/...

      A very good show to listen to .

      Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

      by indycam on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:14:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed -- and a bit more info FYI: (0+ / 0-)
        In 2010, more than 30,000 Americans died from gunshot wounds, and about two-thirds were self-inflicted. More people used a firearm to take their own lives than every other method combined. For most, if not all victims, suicide reflects a treatment failure -- someone in distress who didn’t get the right kind of help when they most needed it. People determined to take their own lives can find a way, but research shows that having easy access to a gun boosts the likelihood that an attempt will be successful. Diane and guests discuss who is at risk for suicide, and what can be done to reduce that risk.

        Guests

        Dr. Matthew Miller associate director at Harvard Injury Control Research Center and associate professor of health policy and injury prevention at Harvard School of Public Health.

        Dr. Jana Martin clinical psychologist and leader of public education efforts with the American Psychological Association.

        Dr. Alan Newman associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center.

        Lucinda Bassett author of "Truth Be Told: A Memoir of Success, Suicide and Survival" to be published March 2013.

        (some emphasis added)

        See more at: http://thedianerehmshow.org/...
    •  That's exactly where data such as this would be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      beneficial, suicides. I have long suspected that all gun suicides are simply in one category and the pro gun side loves to throw this suicide number out there as if they don't count towards deaths related to guns. Okay, but what I'd LOVE to know is just what percentage of those suicides that they claim don't count were actually murder/suicides. They happen quite often and I have wondered for some time if indeed they are not just lumped into one category whereas they should read something like "asshole took out 20 kids and a 6 adults, THEN committed suicide"....
         

      Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

      by teabaggerssuckbalz on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 04:24:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's some data for you... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, anana

      with an interesting graph and more at the following link:

      American Gun Deaths to Exceed Traffic Fatalities by 2015

      Guns and cars have long been among the leading causes of non-medical deaths in the U.S. By 2015, firearm fatalities will probably exceed traffic fatalities for the first time, based on data compiled by Bloomberg.

      While motor-vehicle deaths dropped 22 percent from 2005 to 2010, gun fatalities are rising again after a low point in 2000, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shooting deaths in 2015 will probably rise to almost 33,000, and those related to autos will decline to about 32,000, based on the 10-year average trend...

      Gun deaths by homicide, suicide or accident peaked at 37,666 in 1993 before declining to a low of 28,393 in 2000, the data show. Since then the total has risen to 31,328 in 2010, an increase of 2,935, or eight more victims a day...

      (emphasis added)

    •  Selective use of facts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      And then there are people who talk about gun violence - and only want to talk about those who died.

      As if there was no effect on those who lived through a shooting.

      Selectivity - how can one talk about gun violence without talking about those who were shot and had to be patched up by emergency medical care.

      And then there are those who help them with nursed recovery and rehab.

      Meanwhile someone has to pay the bills, get the kids dressed for school, etc.

      The children who witness a shooting (no nightmares?).

      First responders, stress, nightmares, PTSD.

      The toll is much more than just counting up the bodies of those who died.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:38:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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