As the nation contemplates yet another mass shooting perpetrated by a freakishly-flawed individual, I received a notice of another academic study with media coverage touting, “Model reveals potential link between gun trends and mass shootings.”
And once again, an academic at a prestigious school has presented another firearms study, this time purporting to show the need for a national gun registry.
Firearm violence is a major public health crisis in the United States, where more than 200 people sustain a nonfatal firearm injury and more than 100 people die from it every day. Despite these unsettling figures, scientific research on firearm-related harm significantly lags behind because spatially and temporally resolved data on firearm ownership are unavailable. This paper presents a spatiotemporal model that predicts firearm prevalence at the resolutions of one state and one month from the numbers of background checks and suicides committed with a firearm. Drawing on principles from econometrics, the model also accounts for interactions between states. The model’s output is challenged in causal analysis, which uncovers unprecedented associations between firearm prevalence, media output on firearm regulations, and mass shootings.
MODEL REVEALS POTENTIAL LINK BETWEEN GUN TRENDS AND MASS SHOOTINGS
Policymakers are faced with an exceptional challenge: how to reduce harm caused by firearms while maintaining citizens’ right to bear arms and protect themselves. This is especially true as the Supreme Court has hobbled New York State regulations restricting who can carry a concealed weapon.
[OCS: Ignoring the intuitively obvious fact that policymakers can reduce harm by promoting policies that reduce crime, not limiting law-abiding citizens’ ability to protect themselves. Notice the politicized slant of the Supreme Court ruling, which should more accurately read; Supreme Court reaffirms Second Amendment protections for citizens.]
“THE POTENTIAL LINK BETWEEN MASS SHOOTINGS AND FIREARM PURCHASES IS A UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION OF OUR MODEL.”
[OCS: This is a nonsensical call-out as there is also a potential link between mass killings and vehicles.]
While meaningful legislation requires an understanding of how access to firearms is associated with different outcomes of harm, this knowledge also calls for accurate, highly-resolved data on firearm possession, data that is presently unavailable due to a lack of a comprehensive national firearm ownership registry.
[OCS: Criminals, crazies, and terrorists do not often purchase guns legally and do not respect nor abide by any laws. Counting firearms held by law-abiding citizens for self-defense, sport, or in collections is immaterial when considering their use by mass murderers. The goal of the progressive communist democrats is the national registry as a prelude to limited or complete gun confiscation and the disarming of America. A registry means nothing to criminals, crazies, and terrorists.]
The new research describes a spatiotemporal model to predict trends in firearm prevalence on a state-by-state level by fusing data from two available proxies—background checks per capita and suicides committed with a firearm in a given state.
[OCS: I call bullshit! This type of half-ass correlation and prediction makes me want to shred the study. One might suggest that a better proxy would be the prevalence of street assault and the use of weapons in criminal activities. Filter for the Democrat’s gun-control-restricted governance in the inner cities, and you have a large segment of the harm caused by guns.]
The study in the journal Patterns details how by calibrating their results with yearly survey data, the researchers determined that the two proxies can be simultaneously considered to draw precise information regarding firearm ownership.
[OCS: The word “precise” is nonsensical in this context.]
Maurizio Porfiri, a professor at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering who in 2020 received one of the first newly authorized NSF federal grants for $2 million to study the “firearm ecosystem” in the US, has spent the last few years exploring gun acquisition trends and how they relate to and are influenced by a number of factors, from media coverage of mass shootings to the influence of the sitting President.
[OCS: I see a potential funding bias. Where is the study to independently replicate, corroborate, or falsify this study? It appears that the researcher’s livelihood is dependent on gun-related research and is unlikely to pose alternative truths that run counter to the regime’s narrative.]
“There is very limited knowledge on when and where guns are acquired in the country, and even less is known regarding future ownership trends,” says Porfiri, professor of mechanical and aerospace, biomedical, and civil and urban engineering and incoming director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) at Tandon.
[OCS: The trend is more crime = more guns, and needs, availability, and price control the acquisition rate and timing.]
Their study shows how their model can be used to better understand the relationships between media coverage, mass shootings, and firearm ownership, uncovering causal associations that are masked when the proxies are used individually.
While the researchers found, for example, that media coverage of firearm control is causally associated with firearm ownership, they discovered that their model generating a strong firearm ownership profile for a state was a strong predictor of mass shootings in that state.
[OCS: No shit, sherlock! The media scare the bejesus out of law-abiding citizens, amplifying the danger, and citizens respond by buying firearms. Why not study the spatiotemporal distortion of the media that makes it appear that there is a disaster waiting around every turn in a city block. Truth be told, mass shootings are statistically rare given the size of our population and the number of criminals, crazies, and terrorists.]
“The potential link between mass shootings and firearm purchases is a unique contribution of our model,” says coauthor Manuel Ruiz Marin of the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain. “Such a link can only be detected by scratching the surface on the exact gun counts in the country.”
“We combined publicly available data variables into one measure of ownership. Because it has a spatial component, we could also track gun flow from one state to another based on political and cultural similarities,” says coauthor Roni Barak Ventura, a postdoctoral researcher at Porfiri’s Dynamical Systems Lab, adding that the spatial component of the work is novel. “Prior studies looked at a correlation of two variables such as increasing background checks and an increase in gun violence.”
[OCS: An easy test would be to study increasing background checks and rising gun-related crime in the inner cities since background checks only affect law-abiding citizens, not criminals and others who purchase weapons off the street.]
Hidden behind the academic jargon, assumptions, mathematical equations, parameterization, and graphic results, are several essential truths.
1. Gross human behavior and the environment present so many confounding variables that cannot be addressed or controlled as to make the study little more than a sociological exercise driven by funding that inculcates its own political bias.
2. In any large population there will always be a number of flawed individuals that will act beyond acceptable societal norms which may be based on religion, tradition, and contain internal inconsistencies and contradictions.
Example, for those who believe body sovereignty is an absolute right, how does one reconcile the differences in matters of abortion, vaccination, or other compelled medical treatment, and the right to commit suicide in the most effective, efficient, and painless manner. In the present context, one wonders how the availability of a suicide pill would affect the number of suicide-by-gun deaths which constitutes a major component of firearms deaths?
3. A firearm is a tool used to achieve an outcome, a force multiplier if you will. Blaming a tool as a controllable instrumentality of death or injury is to assume that other tools or force multipliers are not available -- a nonsensical assumption.
4. Likewise, one might correlate the reduction in crime with the reduction in gun deaths and injury. Yet, the politicians are making excuses for criminals, especially minorities, and releasing repeat offenders into our community and plea-bargaining away gun charges in return for a guaranteed conviction on a lesser charge.
Where is the commonsense wisdom of reducing crime and making suicide without firearms easier? Where are the media’s self-imposed restrictions on publicizing and glorifying “big gesture” killings on a 24/7 basis?
Disarming law-abiding citizens does not make them safer.
Promoting the police, who do not have a non-custodial duty to protect citizens, as a replacement for self-defense is nonsensical and may have dire consequences.
Excusing criminals based on historical wrongs is insane.
Pointing to mental illness when laws prevent protective custody is futile.
But, most of all, putting forth academic studies based on the pretense of knowledge is absolutely worthless.
We are so screwed.
“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