With ample study data you can find anything you are looking for

Surprise, surprise! A recent study out the hallowed halls of  UC Berkeley found a 70 percent increase in gun deaths and injuries in California communities after gun shows in nearby Nevada cities, but no increase in gun violence following gun shows in California.

If research shows it, it must prove something nefarious about the difference between gun laws in California and those in Nevada.

“Our study suggests that California’s strict regulations — on firearms, generally, and on gun shows, specifically — may be effective in preventing short-term increases in firearm deaths and injuries following gun shows,” a news account quotes the study’s lead author, Ellicott Matthay, as saying.

The news account detailed the findings, “Compared to the two weeks before the gun shows occurred, post-show firearm injury rates remained stable in regions near California gun shows. But post-show firearm injury rates increased from 0.67 per 100,000 people to 1.14 per 100,000 in regions near Nevada shows. This 70 percent increase translates to 30 more firearms deaths or injuries in California near the state line after 161 Nevada gun shows.”

There is no mention of whether or not anyone bothered to ask whether any of the guns used in said deaths and injuries had any link to any gun show anywhere. It was noted that the California areas “near” Nevada gun shows are largely rural. Presumably gun shows in California are in urban area surrounded by typical urban rates of violence less susceptible to spikes than rural areas — you know two gun incidents as opposed to one.

Nor was there any mention of whether there is a spike in gun violence during a new moon as opposed to a full moon or the frequency of sun spots.

Caption on news account of Berkeley study reports: “An AR-15 for sale at a gun show with a sign indicating a private sale, where no background check would be required in Nevada. (Photo by Garen Wintemute)”



10 comments on “With ample study data you can find anything you are looking for

  1. Steve says:

    I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.

    By Leah Libresco
    October 3, 2017 at 3:02 PM

    “We save lives by focusing on a range of tactics to protect the different kinds of potential victims and reforming potential killers, not from sweeping bans focused on the guns themselves.”


  2. Rincon says:

    According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “In the 2013 survey, 84 percent of gun owners and 90 percent of non-owners supported background checks for all gun sales.”, yet nothing has been done (there’s a more recent survey too, which is in agreement). More than 85% of the people want it done, but this super majority is ignored.


    The will of the majority? Not important to Conservatives when it is their ox being gored. How can this happen in the United States? It happens all the time now, since moneyed interests have wrested control from the people.

    Anyone who supports the gun show and individual sale loopholes agrees that crazy people and felons should have the right to buy virtually unlimited numbers of guns. Of course. Those ARE the crazy people and felons! Sorry if that insults anyone here.

  3. Rincon says:

    How apropos. Just what I was talking about:

    “The Republican-led Senate narrowly voted Tuesday to repeal a banking rule that would let consumers band together to sue their banks or credit card companies to resolve financial disputes.”

    Once again, moneyed interests win the day. Now, each of us must fight the two hundred billion dollar credit card companies on our own, no matter how egregious their behavior. Interesting that banks and credit card companies are exempt, but not auto companies, airlines, equipment manufacturers, etc. Double standard? What’s that? It just means that the manufacturing sector just hasn’t donated enough money yet. Give them time.

  4. Steve says:

    I bet you didn’t read the Washington Post Op/Ed.
    Had you done so, you might have a different view on the problem.

  5. Rincon says:

    The author of your link as described on a Google search: “Leah Libresco is a blogger for Patheos and works as an analyst fellow for Education Pioneers. She is a 2011 graduate of Yale University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She has told the story of her conversion from Atheism to Catholicism on CNN, NPR, and other broadcast outlets.”

    Since she has a bachelor’s from Yale and I have a doctorate from the University of Illinois, I consider myself just as much of an authority on gun control as she is. Would you buy it hook, line and sinker, if I wrote an editorial? Then why do you buy what she says? Perhaps it has more to do with the fact that she says what you already believe than because of her brilliance.

  6. Steve says:

    Attack the messenger.


  7. Rincon says:

    I agree that mas shootings are only a small part of the gun violence picture in America and should be treated as such, but the lack of regulations for sales among individuals affects daily gun violence, since one of the most common ways for a convicted felon to acquire a gun is to purchase it from someone else who purchased it legally. Might as well not bother with any background checks at all if they are so easy to circumvent.

  8. Steve says:

    You do realize it is already against federal law to sell a gun to a known or suspected felon, right?
    It’s also illegal to gift a gun to a known or suspected felon.
    The real question is still not background checks, it’s how do we get prosecutors to actually do their jobs?

    “It’s called a “Straw Purchase”, buying a firearm for someone other than yourself who can’t possess it. One of the few crimes where the individual committing it actually signs a form under penalty of law that they know they are committing it! Merely lying on the form is a 10 year Federal prison sentence. And in this case you’ve literally handed a signed confession for a prosecutor to use against you.”


    And, as a contributor to deaths in the US overall, guns are a very small portion of the causes.

    People stand a better chance of dying from poisoning or car crashes than a person using a gun.
    Be careful out there!

  9. Rincon says:

    At least one ATF agent says you’re wrong. “An expert on crime gun patterns, ATF agent Jay Wachtel says that most guns used in crimes are not stolen out of private gun owners’ homes and cars….
    Wachtel says one of the most common ways criminals get guns is through straw purchase sales.”

    Guns ARE a small contributor to deaths in the U.S. if you dilute the statistics with 90 year olds that die of cancer and heart disease, but in years of productive life lost, guns are amazingly high. Homicide is one of the top five causes of death in people ages 1- 44 and suicide is in the top 5 for ages 10-44 https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/pdf/10lcid_all_deaths_by_age_group_2010-a.pdf

    70% of all homicides are with firearms https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm
    About 50% of all suicides are with firearms. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm

    More die from car crashes? “Gun homicides are a common cause of death in the United States, killing about as many people as car crashes (not counting van, truck, motorcycle or bus accidents).”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/14/upshot/compare-these-gun-death-rates-the-us-is-in-a-different-world.html Gee whiz, that sounds like it’s pretty significant. You don’t agree?

    “Poisoning is the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Drugs—both pharmaceutical and illicit—cause the vast majority of poisoning deaths.” https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/factsheets/factsheet_drug_poisoning.htm

    So deaths by firearms are no big deal? And of course, Conservatives feel no shame whatsoever knowing that our death rate from firearms is over 5 times higher per person than Greece, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Lithuania, Finland, Germany, Australia, Iceland, Canada, Ireland, Norway. Those are just the ones with less than a fifth of our death rate. Virtually all advanced nations have a far lower rate that us. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/14/upshot/compare-these-gun-death-rates-the-us-is-in-a-different-world.html

    OK, I’m done. You take the last word and we’ll wrap this up.

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