Gun control advocates often bemoan the restriction on using federal funds for research on firearms issues and gun violence. I had recently posted a comment on one of your threads in this regard and then today, I read this article on the dreaded Fox News website.
"Study aims to shoot down media narrative on frozen firearms research"
"The Crime Prevention Research Center study examined how a 1996 decision by Congress to strip funding for firearms research actually impacted the world of academia. To hear national media outlets tell it, the decision led to a drought in research from 1996 to 2013 -- when such funding was once again allowed. Stories from The Washington Post, NBC News, Reuters and other outlets all have claimed that Washington, with the backing of the National Rifle Association, basically banned gun studies during that period.
Far from it, the study claims. “Federal funding declined, but research either remained constant or even increased,” the authors wrote.
The study, though, acknowledges that “firearms research in medical journals did fall as a percentage of all research.” In the relevant period, the total number of published medical journal pieces has climbed from about 450,000 to 1.1 million a year – gun-related articles did not increase nearly as much."
One possible area where I might differ is that if this affects research conducted by governmental agencies, When studies are released by a governmental agency, there is at least an initial presumption of accuracy, though that might be wishful thinking on my part. For example, we tend to male a presumption of accuracy when looking at FBI crime statistics, or injury reports from the CDC. Though we have had some discussions based on inaccuracies on the part of the CDC. I'm guessing there are similar errors in the FBI's numbers since all of their data is sent by other agencies which can lead to those errors. But there is at least an initial assumption that the government doesn't necessarily have an ax to grind.
So in the case of gun research, this restriction might have been a good thing because it addressed the perception that the research was starting to take on the appearance of a bias in the direction of one side of the debate.
I will give you a heads up that the Crime Prevention Research Center is headed by John Lott, and therefor can be inferred to have at least some bias as does The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I actually believe that the preconceived assumption of bias can be a good thing, because if the data can survive such a confrontational review process, then it makes the study much more credible.
John Lott's research reminded me of what our own TS can do when faced with uncomfortable reports. In the end you have to still ask yourself if the original proposition was really addressed.