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PROGRESSIVE GUN VIOLENCE RESEARCH IS REGRESSIVE CLAPTRAP

GUN-VIOLENCEOnce again, we find worthless gun violence research that appears to align with the progressive communist democrat agenda.

The research is being promoted by Penn State, the home of the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal, and the Michael Mann climate scandal.

The “researchers” suggest that stress, domestic violence, lack of social interaction, and greater access to firearms might have contributed to the 30% increase in gun violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. My beef is that I did not see truly causal factors such as lax governance policies, increasing civil unrest, a reduction in policing, and the release of thousands of criminals back into our communities where they were statistically likely to re-offend included in the research.

The press release… 

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U.S. gun violence increased 30% during COVID-19 pandemic

Gun violence increased by more than 30% in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study by Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The researchers said that stress, domestic violence, lack of social interactions and greater access to firearms might have contributed to the increase.

[OCS: How much money was wasted on research that produces a wishy-washy “might have contributed to” finding?

According to the researchers, these findings come at a time when many hospitals remain inundated with COVID-19 cases and face challenges related to limited resources, such as blood products, intensive care beds, personal protective equipment and staffing. They said gun violence increases the burden on health care systems that are already in high demand. The researchers also warn that if gun-related incidents continue to rise, hospitals may experience additional strain.

[OCS: DUH! It seems that the researchers have a remarkable capacity for stating the obvious – self-evident truths that require only commonsense and absolutely no research. One might also posit that vehicles returning to the roads after widespread pandemic travel restrictions would result in a rise in automobile accidents, ergo, a further strain on hospital resources and emergency rooms.] 

The researchers obtained data on shooting deaths, suicides and gun-related injuries from the Gun Violence Archive. They analyzed daily incidents in each state, as well as the District of Columbia, from February 2019 through March 2021. They compared incidents reported before the pandemic (February 2019 through February 2020) to gun violence reported during the first year of the pandemic (March 2020 through March 2021).

[OCS: This is the type of study which is meaningless. One, because many variables are not included, stratified, or analyzed. And two, because correlation does not always imply causation.]

Twenty-eight states, including Pennsylvania, experienced a significantly higher number of shootings during the first year of the pandemic, the study found. In some states such as Minnesota, Michigan and New York, the rate of gun violence rose by more than 100%. Meanwhile, Alaska was the only state to see significantly lower rates of gun violence during the pandemic.

[OCS: Does anyone else see that Minnesota, Michigan, and New York have significant issues in governance, policing, a growing tolerance for left-wing domestic terrorism, and a concentration of criminal activity in dense minority-populated areas awash with drugs and drug-related crime? Or the correlations related to lock-down conditions.

As for the State of Alaska, there is a great difference in population density, mindset, the resilience of individuals, and the necessity and the legitimate use of firearms for protection and survival.]

According to the researchers, added stress and worry, along with fear and uncertainty may have fueled an increase in gun sales. Based on data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, there was a 41% increase in handguns sold in March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. According to the researchers, all of these factors may have led to the increase in gun-related injuries and deaths during the pandemic.

[OCS: Another specious “may have” finding. Yes, there is no doubt that there was a significant increase in gun sales. But I posit that the great majority of these individuals were law-abiding citizens as most criminals, crazies, and terrorists do not obtain their weapons legitimately – and if they do, they lie on their 4473-Firearms Transaction Record form.

I also posit that fear was a legitimate motivating factor as they saw an increase in civil unrest unchecked by police activity, announcements that police would no longer respond to certain crimes, and the genuine possibility of their stockpiled emergency supplies being stolen by roving bands of marauders much in the way cosmetics, shoes, clothing, and other goods were looted during civil unrest while the police looked on and took no action.]

The pandemic has yielded harmful ripple effects that need to be addressed,” said co-lead investigator Dr. Paddy Ssentongo, assistant professor at the Penn State Center for Neural Engineering. “The spike in gun violence in the era of COVID-19 comes as a stark reminder that we can’t afford to ignore it any longer. Now is the time to focus on this public health crisis.”

[OCS: Here, we see the progressive bias of the researchers and why the findings are meaningless.

I would suggest that the “spike in gun violence” is more a result of the failure of governance, including but not limited to pandering to a black population necessary to maintain a political coalition to gain or maintain political power, than the numerical increase in gun sales.

This includes disparaging, defunding, and harshly prosecuting police activities. This includes allowing an invasion of illegal aliens into the country without criminal background checks. This includes releasing thousands of criminals from jails and prisons back into the community, where the recidivism rate is staggering. This includes no-bail and lax catch and release programs. How many gun purchasers were merchants, property owners, or simply gun owners seeking upgrades to match the firepower of potential assailants?

This is not a public health crisis, even though the politicians want to use public health emergency powers to override the Constitution’s Second Amendment and disarm law-abiding gun owners. I would also suggest that the study’s authors consider the resultant emergency room impact of knives and bludgeons when firearms are not available.]

Our data reinforces the need to promote multiple interventions — vaccinations, testing, contact tracing, masking and ventilation — to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and in doing so, hopefully we can mitigate the downstream effects,” said co-investigator Dr. Jennifer McCall-Hosenfeld, associate professor, Departments of Medicine and Public Health Sciences.

[OCS: More progressive talking points – most of which have nothing to do with weapons and everything to do with the assumption of emergency powers using science and public health as a rationale. Of course, there is great and growing distrust in doctors associated with public health who have perverted science to advance a progressive political agenda.]

Penn State researchers Anna Ssentongo, Emily Heilbrunn, Dr. Joshua Hazelton, Dr. John Oh and Vernon Chinchilli contributed to this research. Claudio Fronterre from Lancaster University and Dr. Shailesh Advani from Georgetown University School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health also contributed to this research.

The researchers declare no conflicts of interest or specific funding for this research.

[OCS: Perhaps, they should disclose their political affiliations so that readers can detect implicit bias.]

<Source>  Read the full study in Scientific Reports. 

From the paper…

Gun violence incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic is higher than before the pandemic in the United States

Abstract

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, gun violence (GV) in the United States (U.S.) was postulated to increase strain on already taxed healthcare resources, such as blood products, intensive care beds, personal protective equipment, and even hospital staff.

This report aims to estimate the relative risk of GV in the U.S. during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic. Daily police reports corresponding to gun-related injuries and deaths in the 50 states and the District of Columbia from February 1st, 2019, to March 31st, 2021 were obtained from the GV Archive. Generalized linear mixed-effects models in the form of Poisson regression analysis were utilized to estimate the state-specific rates of GV. Nationally, GV rates were 30% higher between March 01, 2020, and March 31, 2021 (during the pandemic), compared to the same period in 2019 (before the pandemic) [intensity ratio (IR) = 1.30; 95% CI 1.29, 1.32; p < 0.0001]. The risk of GV was significantly higher in 28 states and significantly lower in only one state. National and state-specific rates of GV were higher during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same timeframe 1 year prior. State-specific steps to mitigate violence, or at a minimum adequately prepare for its toll during the COVID-19 pandemic, should be taken.

Conclusion

Overall, U.S. and state-specific rates of gun violence are higher during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same period pre-pandemic.

[OCS: Yada. Yada. Yada.]

Strengths and limitations

Our study included several strengths and limitations. It is the first study to report the rate of gun-related incidents in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic and compare them to the pre-pandemic period. Including data on all incidents reported to police across all 50 states is another strength of the study. Due to the interdependence between events, auto-regressive covariance structure, non-linear effects, and non-Gaussian distributions, the Poisson GLMM model with cubic polynomial spline we used for the data analysis was appropriate and advantageous in estimating time and space events, including removing the confounding effect of both time and space and non-linearity The geospatial analysis method we fitted is granular. We did not map the state-specific counts of events to avoid aggregation of data, thereby preventing ecological fallacy and modifiable areal unit problems. One limitation of using police reports is that the homicide/suicide investigation is often still pending at the time of the report. Therefore, it was not possible to determine whether these recent incidents were due to suicide or homicide. In addition, although we adjusted for other major confounders in the models (state’s median age, race composition of the state), it is possible that residual confounding remained and could bias the estimates observed. Lastly, the high-order polynomial models we used to estimate the risk of GV have the disadvantages of model overfitting. Despite this, our study remains strong. It is the first of its kind to identify a substantial change in fire-arm-related incidents during the pandemic and estimate the relative spatial risk using GPS location of the events. <Source>

[OCS: Another worthless model that overlooks significant causal issues to pump out progressive propaganda that can be used to drive or justify public policy prescriptions.]

Original Study DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-98813-z

Bottom line…

Research studies likely to agree with the prevailing political views of the funders are likely to be funded as they can be used to advance a political agenda or public policy prescriptions. Unfortunately, the elite experts fall short of the mark by concentrating their research on broad areas which they statistically examine and draw conclusions that overlook elementary causal themes.

This type of statistically-modeled research is an example of garbage in – garbage out thinking.

We are so screwed when we allow the use of crap research to negate our constitutional rights or convey more power to politicians.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell