Feds issue research agenda for more gun control junk science

Disarming statistical nonsense coming your way.

The media release is below.

Get the report from the NRC.

Date: June 5, 2013


New Report Identifies Research Priorities for Most Pressing Gun Violence Problems in U.S.

WASHINGTON — A new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council proposes priorities for a research agenda to improve understanding of the public health aspects of gun-related violence, including its causes, health burden, and possible interventions. The committee that wrote the report said significant progress can be achieved in three to five years through a research program that addresses five high-priority areas: the characteristics of gun violence, risk and protective factors, prevention and other interventions, gun safety technology, and the influence of video games and other media.

The report stems from executive orders issued by President Obama in January 2013 directing federal agencies to improve knowledge of the causes of firearm violence, interventions that might prevent it, and strategies to minimize its public health burden. One of these executive orders charged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with identifying the most pressing firearm-related violence research needs. In turn, CDC and the CDC Foundation asked IOM and the Research Council to recommend a research agenda on the public health aspects of firearm-related violence. The committee determined potential research topics by surveying previous relevant research, receiving public input, and using expert judgment. It was not asked to consider the amount and sources of funding required to carry out the research agenda and did not specify the methodologies that should be used to address the topics.

“The complexity and frequency of gun-related violence combined with its impact on the health and safety of the nation’s residents make it a topic of considerable public health importance,” said Alan Leshner, chair of the study committee and CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “Therefore, when developing its agenda, the committee took a public health approach that focused on gun violence problems associated with significant levels of injuries and fatalities. Although this research agenda is an initial, not all-encompassing set of questions, it could help better define the causes and prevention of firearm violence in order to develop effective policies to reduce its occurrence and impact in the U.S. Similar approaches to public health problems have produced successes in lowering tobacco use, accidental poisoning, and motor vehicle fatalities.”

The committee said this public health research agenda should be integrated with research conducted from criminal justice and other perspectives to provide a much fuller knowledge base, as no single agency or research strategy could provide all the answers. For the five research areas, the committee identified the following key research topics:

· Characteristics of gun violence
o Characterize the scope of and motivations for gun acquisition, ownership, and use and how they are distributed across subpopulations.
o Characterize differences in nonfatal and fatal gun use across the U.S.

· Risk and protective factors
o Identify factors associated with youth having access to, possessing, and carrying guns.
o Evaluate the potential risks and benefits of having a firearm in the home under a variety of circumstances and settings.
o Improve understanding of risk factors that influence the probability of firearm violence in specific high-risk physical locations.

· Firearm violence prevention and other interventions
o Improve understanding of whether interventions intended to diminish the illegal carrying of firearms reduce firearm violence.
o Improve understanding of whether reducing criminal access to legally purchased guns reduces firearm violence.
o Improve understanding of the effectiveness of actions directed at preventing access to firearms by violence-prone individuals.
o Determine the degree to which various childhood education or prevention programs reduce firearm violence in childhood and later in life.
o Explore whether programs to alter physical environments in high-crime areas decrease firearm violence.

· Gun safety technology
o Identify the effects of different technological approaches to reduce firearm-related injury and death.
o Examine past consumer experiences with accepting safety technologies to inform the development and uptake of new gun safety technologies.
o Explore individual state and international policy approaches to gun safety technology for applicability to the United States as a whole.

· Influence of video games and other media
o Examine the relationship between exposure to media violence and real-life violence.

The study was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the Foundation’s support originating from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The California Endowment, The Joyce Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, one anonymous entity, and two additional donors whose agreements have not been finalized with the CDC Foundation. Established under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council provide independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, the private sector, and the public. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. A committee roster follows.

Jennifer Walsh, Senior Media Relations Officer
Chelsea Dickson, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu

Pre-publication copies of Priorities for a Public Health Research Agenda to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence are available from the National Academies Press on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu or by calling tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).

# # #

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Committee on Priorities for a Public Health Research Agenda to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence

Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D. (chair)
CEO and Executive Publisher of Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Washington, D.C.

Louis Arcangeli, M.A.E.
Adjunct Professor
Georgia State University

Alfred Blumstein, Ph.D.
J. Erik Jonsson University Professor of Urban Systems and Operations Research
H. John Heinz III College of Public Policy and Information Systems, and
Professor of Engineering and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University

C. Hendricks Brown, Ph.D.
Center for Family Studies
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, and
Prevention Science and Methodology Group
Miller School of Medicine
University of Miami

Donald Carlucci, Ph.D.
Analysis and Evaluation Technology Division
U.S. Department of the Army
Picatinny Arsenal
Rockaway Township, N.J.

Rhonda Cornum, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of
Health Strategy
North Middletown, Ky.

Paul K. Halverson, Ph.D.
Founding Dean and Professor
Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health
Indiana University

Stephen W. Hargarten, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Chair
Department of Emergency Medicine;
Injury Research Center; and
Associate Dean of Global Health
Medical College of Wisconsin

Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D.
McNeil Family Professor of Health Care Policy
Harvard Medical School

Gary Kleck, Ph.D.
Professor of Criminology
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Florida State University

John A. Rich, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Chair
Department of Health Management and Policy
School of Public Health
Drexel University

Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D.
Biologue Inc.
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Susan B. Sorenson, Ph.D.
Professor of Social Policy and Practice and Health and Societies
University of Pennsylvania

David Vlahov, Ph.D., M.S.
Dean and Professor of Community Health Systems
School of Nursing, and
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Medicine
University of California
San Francisco


Patrick Kelley, M.D., Dr.PH.
Study Director

12 thoughts on “Feds issue research agenda for more gun control junk science”

  1. Ahhh, but there’s the rub. If you take all the ghetto violence and in particular the drug related violence out, we wind up with numbers equivalent to Europe.

  2. Here we go with microstamping and magic guns that only the owner can use. Great ideas if only they actually helped the situation, which they don’t. Just more feel good nonsense.

  3. “the causes of firearm violence, …” – duh, criminals, nutballs, and suicides
    interventions that might prevent it, …” – duh (again), kill or imprison the criminals, disarm and treat the suicidal and crazies

    Criminals are not the brightest bulbs on the tree, but they do have survival instincts. Make the cost high enough for them and they’ll find something else to do than go around shooting up the place. As for the mental cases, this patient privacy thing has gone way too far. Paranoid Schizo’s are running around all over the place, a clear and present danger that is NOT getting reported to the BATFE. Etc., Etc., Etc.

  4. ‘“Gun fatalities” are a reality.’

    People kill people. Actually, it’s more black people kill black people. That people use guns to kill people doesn’t make them “gun fatalities.” They are murder victims. Focusing on the tool used is a distraction. The problem is people, not guns.

  5. Howdy Gamecock
    I surrender nothing of the language. “Gun fatalities” are a reality. Any attempt to reduce them must be based on recognizing them and understanding them as they are.
    The same applies more broadly to violence, whether directed at self or others. It’s a reality that more people kill others with guns than with any other single method — something like 2/3 of all homicides — and that people rarely kill themselves with hammers. Roughly half of successful suicides are with guns.
    We actually have more than twice as many suicides with firearms as homicides and something close to three times as many suicides overall as homicides. Based on the stats I’ve gleaned from the web, our suicide issues are very different from our homicide issues. Neither set of issues will be solved by any of the claptrap proposed by most gun control advocates. Probably neither set of issues will be solved by government programs at all.

  6. More appropriately called “The Disarmament of the American Public Endangerment Study”.

  7. “Suicides do represent a large share of gun fatalities.”

    You surrender control of the language. Do you talk of hammer fatalities? When someone hits someone else in the head with a hammer, it is murder.

  8. We are right to suspect that this research would be convinced of its own hypothesis from the beginning.
    We know the major element of gun violence: poor men between 12 and 30 who are willing, even eager, to prove themselves through gang membership.
    We have accidental discharges, some resulting in serious or fatal injury. They are very few, especially compared to the number of guns available. We have impulsive shootings “among the best families” and suicides. These are tragedies and suicides are a major element in gun fatalities, but they represent a small part of gun violence.
    Suicides do represent a large share of gun fatalities.
    Effective families are the most plausible way to reduce poverty and to reduce the willingness of young people to identify with gangs. Effective families are not the business of government but of society. However, governments could help by considering the implications of welfare policies.

  9. And they ignore the elephant in the room: to the extent that “gun violence [sic],” is a real problem, over half of it is blacks shooting blacks. 87% of the population could be excluded from their study.

  10. “priorities for a research agenda… and possible interventions” is a dead give-away. The point is anti-gun advocacy.

    The funny thing is that the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have always had the money to research the health effects of firearms. The only material factor is that the CDC is prohibited from is research advocating *against* firearms. Apparently unable to refrain from anti-gun advocacy, the CDC has voluntarily chosen not to study the matter at all.

    If you go here http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdgeff.html you can see that some halfway decent research has been done on firearms. It’s certain that more, and better research can be done.

    The trouble is, it’s *wasted* money, no matter how good the research is. It’s wasted money, even if the research is favorable to the private ownership of firearms. The reason for that is quite simple. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. Research all you want, find every finding to be found, and the right will still be there. No amount of research can change it.

  11. Politically mandated, funded,directed, managed, selected, and limited science. Smells like the rotting corpse of science.

  12. Citing “gun safety technology” means not one of these Ph.D.s knows a damn thing about firearms. Yet they are going to decide what policies the country should have. The policy should be to defund every one of them.

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