Thursday, December 30, 2010

TS Proves My Point

As I sagely noted in another most excellent post, when gunloons are confronted with a study they don't like, they respond in certain ways.  Commenter TS illustrates my sage assertions vividly.

Please recall I noted 3 typical responses:
1. they haven't read them (reading is hard) and thus feel free to pretend the study has overlooked or omitted something they feel is crucial;

2. they believe studies are conducted by universities, Government organizations, and professionals who are all biased against guns;

3. the gunloons don't understand statistics(math is hard). In fact, recently, a gunloon claimed all statistics are "hogwash."
TS illustrates all 3 responses in his comments.  First, he hasn't read the study. This small failing doesn't prevent TS from claiming the Kellermann is all wrong:
I’ll give you some examples of why this is faulty. Let’s say I wanted to do a study on car safety. I start by examining all fatal car crashes, and one of the questions I ask is “was the driver wearing a helmet”? In the end I get a shocking conclusion- you are 2.7 times more likely to die in a car crash if you are wearing a helmet! Of course people who think for themselves would realize that those wearing helmets were race car drivers. Do you see the problem with working backwards now?
Of course, had TS read the study, he'd know this (race car driver) is a variable which would be controlled for.  Similarly, one wouldn't design a study investigating average heights that involved NBA teams exclusively. 

Second and most predictably, TS claims Dr. Kellermann is biased and has committed fraud.  All without any proof:
The answer being that he is smart enough to conduct the study in a way to reach the result he wanted; which is to scare people away from gun ownership.
Third, it's pretty clear TS doesn't understand basic statistics.  Note this gem:
You see, this works both ways. You can look at patients with lung disease and find higher rates of smoking. You can also look at smokers and find higher rates of lung disease. Both ways



  1. I think my forehead has a permanent palm mark on it from smacking it so hard after reading this…

    I did read the study. I am beginning to think that you didn’t even read the abstract since you don’t understand how Kellermann doesn’t address the correlation that Linoge initially referred to- sparking this whole topic.

    I have acknowledged what he controlled for. And it is quite possible that his study was accurate in making a correlation between people who are prone to being murdered as being more likely to own a firearm. If you think someone wants to kill you- you bet you should go out and get a gun. What that does not mean is that if someone goes out to buy a gun, they are now more likely to be murdered. Kellermann never looked at this.

    And once again, you have dodged the question of how come Kellermann’s study falls apart in the face of reality. Our current murder rate is almost half that of 1993. Where are all the murders? Where are all the murders after the buying spree of 2009 given that there are so many more people who are now 2.7 times more likely to die?

    Finally, yes I believe Kellermann has an anti-gun agenda. You got me on that one.

  2. TS: It's really very simple.

    What's Kellerman's conclusion? It's that a household with a gun is 2.7 times more likely to experience a homicide than one without a gun.

    So when you claim Kellermann has been disproved by time--you simply show your ignorance. Kellermann's claim doesn't depend on whether there are 100 homicides or 100,000 homicides. This is simple math. All Kellermann says is that if you have a gun, your household is 2.7 times more likely to be a homicide victim than one without.

    I reiterate: you have not read the study.

  3. Jade,

    If it is true that owning a gun makes you 2.7 times more likely to be a homicide victim, then as gun ownership increases the number of homicides would have to increase as well. A 100% increase in gun ownership should equate to a 270% increase in the number of homicides via the 2.7 times more likely factor.

    Now if recent statistics do not support this finding, then the finding must be wrong.

  4. Jade: “All Kellermann says is that if you have a gun, your household is 2.7 times more likely to be a homicide victim than one without.”

    I sense you are starting to back off. What you said does not mean that an increase in guns will lead to an increase in murders, but rather than guns are often used when someone wants to kill another person. All across the globe, and all across time there is no correlation between gun availability and murder rates. That is what Linoge said which led you to say you have “many, many studies” which we are yet to see.

  5. Jim: I see you are math-challenged as well.

    If your risk of anything is 2.7 times greater than mine, it doesn't matter if anything occurs 10 times or 10000000 times.

    Jeebus, I ought to be paid for teaching basic math. Consider this example: Suppose we know that for every person born, approximately 80 percent will be right-handed. That means the liklihood of baby being born righthanded is 4 times greater than being left-handed. Follow so far? It doesn't matter if there's a sudden population explosion or a rapid decline in births--the rate of babies being born right-handed will still the same.

    TS: Your spider-sense is not working well. The point of bringing up the Kellermann study is to show how gunloons react to studies they don't like.

  6. And how do you react to studies you don't like?

  7. TS: Actually, I have never used an attack on an author as a reason to discredit a study--even when I discuss John Lott, who has plenty of ..extracurriculars to discredit him.

    Frankly, I look at each study and examine it on its merits.

    For example, I'm pretty hard on Gary kleck and his many DGU surveys. But I use his own numbers to show how wrong he is. I can also point to his methodology which leaves much to be desired.

  8. Kellerman's conclusions are perfectly consistent with common sense. That's what the pro-gun crowd is lacking.

  9. Crotalus (Dont Tread on Me)January 1, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Kellerman's study has been debunked many times by his own peers. You know, by the ones who DO understand math and statistics.

    Mike, I look in on Joan's site every now and then, and she at least tries to keep the facade of civility, though she is dismissive of the views that do not conform to hers. But YOU, sir, are nothing but vitriol and venom. This, I don't need.

  10. Crotalus, You must be confusing me with my blogging partner, I'm the sweet one. He's the vitriol and venom.