NSSF: Gun Control Activists Rush to Download Data for Biased Reports

Gun Crime infographic

President Trump’s ascension to the White House has sent shock waves rippling through anti-gun groups. The activists that seek to undermine the Second Amendment rights of Americans and put the firearms and ammunition industry out of business, see the new administration as a threat to their goals. Gun Crime infographic By Larry Keane Part of this perceived threat is taking the shape of news stories about researchers concerned they will lose access to publicly-available government data any day now. Without access to this data, the worry is they will lose an opportunity to continue publishing their highly-flawed reports with predetermined anti-gun “findings.” One recent article explains how a frequent author of gun control screed sent his staff into a “frenzy of downloading” after receiving a panicked note from another researcher/activist while she was “on Amtrak between Berkeley and Sacramento.” Forgetting for a minute that there do not appear to be any plans to dismantle the government data on criminal behavior, with such vivid scenes of panic, one wonders what these groups are doing with the data. After all, FBI crime data shows a steady decline in the violent crime rate, even while more and more firearms are legally purchased by consumers.

It turns out that the same author that sent his anti-gun staff into a frenzy recently published a study arguing that individuals who had been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) were “at increased risk of subsequent arrest for a violent or firearm-related crime.” The crucial dataset used here: “a random sample of 5923 persons ˂50 years of age who purchased a handgun from a licensed retailer in California in 1977.” Of that sample, only a third had prior convictions for alcohol-related crimes (or drug-related, since the report notes California lumped them together at the time).

For all of the obvious problems with the dataset we could point out (e.g. it’s old, limited to one state, extremely small and narrow), there were interesting findings that didn’t make it into the formal abstract. For one, the risk of a subsequent arrest did not increase with the number of alcohol-related convictions. In other words, more DUIs didn’t seem to be a factor in future criminal behavior.

Also, “prior convictions for violent or firearm-related crimes were generally not associated with risk of arrest.” So, if this study is to be believed, alcohol appears to be the “problem,” not firearms or even criminals who had already misused firearms in their crimes. Yet, naturally, based on an “association” (not a correlation) between prior alcohol-related convictions and criminal misuse of firearms, the author calls for increased restrictions on firearms purchases, rather than a return to Prohibition.

While the Administration may be tempted to clarify that public crime statistics will not be disappearing any time soon, one could argue there is no reason to rush this clarification. Clearly spending time in a “downloading frenzy” rather than churning out additional flawed research is the most productive use of these groups’ time.

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Comments (13)

  1. We are in dangerous times. The true identity of the press has been revealed and it is what one of the purposes of the 1st amendment was for: the drive-by media is in direct collusion with the democrat party. The reason for all the trump/russia stories is to make the case for impeachment. The democrats are throwing the word around, and the lap-dog press is doing everything to keep the story alive about any connections they can concoct to support that narrative. This would be an impeachable offense, if true. And as the left has proven in the past, it’s the seriousness of the accusations that really matter, never mind if there isn’t any evidence to support it. This looks like a story that’s already been written, they are just trying desperately to find the substance to fill the pages.

  2. In response to Quick Draw and Art’s posts, I worked in the CA court system for 25 years and so am in a position to have some knowledge about how it works — or doesn’t. First let me say that no one believes in punishment for criminals more than I. I met criminals during my 25 years that I could drop the pill on or pull the lever for the chair or trapdoor on and go home and consider I had done a good day’s work. Several come immediately to mind even now. However, the system is set up to protect the occasional good guy who for some reason gets caught up. We don’t want to wrongfully convict and deprive an innocent man of his liberty. It doesn’t happen often but it does happen. The power that the state has in prosecuting criminals is awesome and is difficult to resist. If we could depend upon prosecuting attorneys to seek justice and not play games, the system would work better. Too many DAs are trying to establish a record because they have some career goal in mind as opposed to doing their job which is to administer justice fairly. A typical ploy is to threaten to charge a man’s wife with a crime in order to compel a guilty plea. If the wife is arrested and charged, then the kids are picked up by child protective services. Certainly you can appreciate what a powerful pressure tactic that is. So instead of going to trial and perhaps being acquitted because of weak evidence, the accused pleads guilty to a lesser crime with a reduced sentence. The DA gets another “win” and the defendant gets a reduced sentence but is left with a grudge against law enforcement. Once I noticed a public defender having a heated discussion with his client. After the chaser removed the client (he was in custody) I asked the public defender what the discussion was about. He said, “Oh, I am having trouble convincing him it won’t help his case for him to testify that the cops are lying. He didn’t have 10 bindles of heroin when he was arrested, he had 25. They took the other 15 for whatever purpose. Yeah they’re lying under oath but that still won’t help him.” Whatever you feel about the drug trade and efforts to stamp it out, lying under oath is a felony. One is never justified in lying under oath for any reason. I recently had a discussion with a retired police officer whom I think is generally a square shooter and I am sure he considers that he is an upright person and is proud of his police career. I was talking about police lying under oath to establish probable cause for a search. Rather than admitting that some cops do commit perjury, he kept insisting, “But you have to have probable cause to conduct the search.” In his mind if you had to lie to establish probable cause that was okay. He couldn’t make the connect that it is as wrong for a cop to lie under oath as it is for a defendant to lie under oath. When you have a mindset that it is okay for cops to lie under oath, you can see that you are at a disadvantage right from the start. If it is okay to lie about how many bindles a defendant had is it okay to lie about whether he had any at all? Where do you draw the line. If it is okay to lie about some minor traffic infraction in order to initiate a stop and then proceed with a search based on another lie, is it okay to lie about the forensic evidence? Is it okay to testify that a fingerprint of the defendant was found at the scene when in actuality the fingerprint was taken from the defendant at the jail when he was arrested and is being used to bolster an otherwise weak or non-existent case because “you know that the defendant is the one who committed the crime” even though you don’t have any evidence to that effect? Or the more likely scenario, lie about having a search warrant when certain evidence was seized even though the search warrant was obtained after the evidence was seized and the time and date the evidence was found is changed to post search warrant. I finally stopped working in court because my sense of justice was so outraged I couldn’t stand it. Not just from the defense side, but the failure of the courts to deal with habitual, career criminals. A felon is on parole. One of the terms of all paroles and probation releases is consent to search by any peace offficer at any time of the person, vehicle or residence of the parolee or probationer. So Officer Smith sees Johnny Felon walking down the street at 23:00. He knows Johnny is a convicted felon. There has been a holdup a couple miles away. He stops Johnny and searches him. Well, lookee here. Johnny has a pistol on him. Busted. Now in CA the penalty for felon in possession of a weapon (not just a firearm) lis 5 year bottom which means must serve 5 years before being considered for parole. It is also a federal felony with an 8 year bottom. Does Johnny serve 5 or 8 years? No, they take away his gun. He spends some time in jail while a new probation report is prepared and the judge puts him back on parole. What is that? Well, I will tell you. It is make work. The cop gets credit for a felony arrest. The DA gets credit for a felony conviction. The probation office gets credit for another report written so they can add to their staff to meet the work load. The public defender gets credit for another defense. The judge gets credit for another case handled and John Q. Public gets another felon back out on the streets. I am confident that Johnny Felon didn’t have the pistol in his pocket because he had just come back from an NRA pistol match. You can guess why Johnny probably had the pistol. Oh, I almost forgot. The Sheriff or Chief of Police is able to add the gun to his collection so that next year he can go on the 6:00 o’clock news with a photo op of all the guns they have taken off the streets and are going to melt down. Win-win for everyone except the victims of Johnny’s depredations. See, I think justice would have been for the DA to call up the Deputy AG for the Southern CA District and tell him they had a suspect that they wanted prosecuted and they wanted Johnny sent to federal prison in South Dakota with an 8 year bottom. But he wouldn’t do that because then Johnny is out of circulation for 8 years. Johnny is job security. We need him on the streets because we know every time some cop is bored and spots him we can add to our stats because Johnny always carries. Well, I’ve ranted on long enough about our court system. Not our justice system, our court system.

  3. it appears for a ;long time the left’s view is the end justifies the means. they do not care how many people they kill with guns as long as they can get rid of the guns. just look at fast and furious and project gun runner. they wanted to use all those deaths and the ones still being killed to further gun control. to bad we found out about it.

    they are afraid of losing the info, what about the freedom of info act? these democraps have lost their minds totally. i hope they lose a lot more support from their actions. not identifying with any party they have lost any support from me for the for see able future. the elites putting money into instigating riots i believe will back fire big for them. it does amaze me how many idiots they get to follow some dingbats lead. you can spot them in the crowd stirring up things and actually starting the property destruction. no one not even they want open borders that let in terrorists, but they believe it can be controlled in some way, they just do not know how. they appear to advocate breaking laws when they do not get their way.. i guess every brat has to be disciplined now and then.

  4. Howdy all. I’ve always thought the bad guys are treated to “special treatment”
    Way to many laws to protect the bad guy and make life miserable for the “Good Guys”. I know defending the bad guys is a very lucrative profession, but when do we say enough is enough? We turn bad guys loose faster than they are sentenced and that’s not working to clean up the streets, is it? When do we start correcting the problem in earnest or should I ask do we want to?

    1. unfortunately that is true, but it has it’s advantages. the reason the bad guys get better treatment is to insure that fewer good guys are sent through the system and convicted wrongly. i think it is a better idea to let some bad guys go instead of lock up some good guys. while nothing is perfect it is the best way to deal with it in my opinion which a lot think stinks…

  5. Wintemute et al are notorious quacks, they’re “underfunded” because they haven’t produced anything worthy of funding in their entire history.

    I lived in northern California during Wintemute’s “golden years”, everyone in the Self Defense Rights community knew who he was, and better yet, what he was.

  6. And panicking for no reason. The climate data was moved to Obama archives, not removed by Trump. It’s part of the natural transition of Presidents. The old is removed to make way for the new. This just shows how much they simply pile-on when it comes to Trump. No basis, no underlying conspiracy, no evil intent. But it happened so it must be Trumps fault!

  7. This now demonstrates why they are such alarmists, always claiming their “research” is so important. When you start with an anti-gun premise, you find an anti-gun conclusion. Only I call it propaganda. It’s why Congress limited the CDC from promoting pure propaganda under the veil of “research” and using public funds to do it. Guns Save Lives. Criminals don’t follow the law. If politicians and VPC could wrap their heads around these facts there would be a lot less hyperbole, shrieking claims of doom, and gun control laws.

  8. President Trump has openly declared war on the news media and other organizations who pursue the dissemination of inaccurate or “fake” news. I, for one, am enjoying the effects of the Trump administration’s boldness on the left-wing liberals and the establishment right-wingers, as well. This is likely to get pretty interesting and…..entertaining.

  9. When in college working on my Masters, my Statistics book flysheet stated “There are lies, damned lies, and Statistical lies’. By working on data points and figuring out what to leave in and leave out due to the data points you can make Stat prove anything.

  10. In a further study, over 90% of gun crimes were perpetrated by non LBGTQ adults. I guess we can see now where the fault really lies. Perhaps a law to stop selling guns to straight people would eliminate 90% of the gun deaths.

  11. What they fear is no longer being able to claim their research data came from government sources. Claiming government statistics as a source tends to lend an air of credence to their final publications.

    Never mind the fact they re-interpret and exclude certain data until they get it to look anyway they want; all they really care about is their continued ability to cite that statistical elements of their reports came from the government. This in effect makes their misleading reports appear as if they were an “official government” finding.

    My point is, they don’t really care what the data actually shows, their panicking from the fear of no longer having the government data from which to alter and manipulate future publications.

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