The only “evidence” that “screening works” comes from their claim that, in 2008, 1.5 percent of those having a Brady background check were denied from purchasing a gun. What the authors likely are aware of, though they do not tell the readers, is that virtually all these cases represent so-called “false-positives”: In 2006 and 2007 (the latest data years available), a tiny fraction — just 2 percent of those 1.5 percent — involved possible unlawful possession; just 0.2 percent of the 1.5 percent were viewed as prosecutable — 174 cases in 2006 and 122 in 2007. At least a third of the remaining cases didn’t result in convictions. These are the types of errors that an academic journal shouldn’t let in, but if it does, they should fix it. But it is my understanding that the journal has refused to publish a clarification of these numbers.
Eventually even the subscribers to the New England Journal of Medicine will learn about these facts. Just look at the changes in the climate debate — not even the most prestigious places can get away with biased research for too long.
As I have said before people can appear to be normal functional members of society yet have severe mental defects. Just as people at the Brady Campaign can’t seem to distinguish between a hypothesis and a conclusion some of the “researchers” published in the New England Journal of Medicine have the same problem or are deliberately publishing bad papers. In either case they deserve to have their credentials pulled.—Joe]