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…
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.
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.
From the paper…
Gun violence incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic is higher than before the pandemic in the United States
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.
Overall, U.S. and state-specific rates of gun violence are higher during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the same period pre-pandemic.
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>
Original Study DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-98813-z
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.
“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 “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“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
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS