Junk science on mass shootings

Junk science:

The study by Adam Lankford, a criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, was published in the journal Violence and Victims in January and has been cited by media outlets — including The New Yorker, The Washington Post and Time magazine. But the study, formally published earlier this year after a draft was released in academic circles, has raised questions about what critics consider dubious methodology.

“The Lankford ‘study’ is nothing more than junk science disguised as research, and never should have been published in a responsible scholarly journal,” Florida State University criminology professor Gary Kleck told FoxNews.com.

Academic peers who have sought to examine the findings say Lankford refuses to share the data and details he used to support his findings.

He refuses to share the data? Why am I not surprised? Oh! That’s right, it happens so frequently when they come up with results which support the anti-gun narrative!


16 thoughts on “Junk science on mass shootings

  1. Climate “science” works the same way.
    Real scientists, on the other hand — people like John Lott — make their data available. Even to people who distort it for their own agendas. (The second edition of “More guns, less crime” documents some of those distortions. For example, carefully selecting one-seventh of Lott’s data to “prove” the opposite. Cherrypicked data which excludes whole states, in fact.)

  2. “…should have been published in a responsible scholarly journal…”

    It wasn’t.

    Ye shall know them by their fruits.

    • While publication in a scholarly journal is a good sign, it is not sufficient. Junk “science” does sneak through from time to time especially in what Heinlein called “the fuzzy subjects” — which this one is. Consider the infamous forgeries of Bellesiles for example. Also, “global warming research” is generally published in “scholarly journals”.

  3. If they’re refusing to share data, it’s not science.

    Ye shall know them by their fruits, alright.

    On the other hand, your rights are not contingent upon statistics, and so if every other gun owner on the planet tried to murder someone last night, and you didn’t, you’re free as a bird. Your rights are unaffected by the actions of others. This is what we call justice. Punishing you for the actions of others, when you had nothing to do with it, is what we call injustice.

    So which is it going to be? Injustice or justice?

    • Replace “Gun Owner” with “Black Person” and the flaw in their thought process (can’t call it reason or logic) becomes clear. It should also be clear replacing “Gun Owner” with “White Person”, but we’ve had scores of years of university elites dreaming up crap like “White Privilege”, so I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised that the low-reasoning crowd does not understand prior restraint.

  4. Unless the social science rules are very different from computer science, not being willing to share his data would mean that it shouldn’t have been published in the first place. Anything I did, I had to anonymize the data and store it in case it would turn into a paper, even if it was just a class project.

  5. My rights were not created by science, or by statistics, or by smart people with a commission, and neither science nor statistics nor any authorized panel of experts can take my rights away.

    The very idea of looking at the world as though The All Powerful We can decide who has human rights and who doesn’t, and plan things out accordingly for everyone else to follow under government order, that whole mindset, that desire to be the smart guy telling everyone else how to live, is in and of itself the problem. The would-be Central Planners, the wanna-be smart guys, the wise guys who think they deserve authority over others, wherever and whenever they pop up, must be put down as quickly and as completely as possible before they gain any further power or influence. They’re the apprenticing Nazis, the studying communists, the adolescent Fascists, the budding dictators, incipient gangsters, totalitarians-in-waiting, Klansmen-to-be, and collectively they and those who cooperate with them are the would-be mass killers of society.

    • In as much as I agree with the thrust of your post, statistics and some investigation can be valuable.

      A study that is properly done to document and quantify facts can help us identify real issues to address and evaluate proposed public policies better. It may show us where we can best focus our efforts to have an impact without shredding the constitution.

      The latest study by Cook, Parker & Pollack[1] done in Illinois helps shine some light on how criminals obtain guns. It shows criminals do not get their guns directly from legal sources like an FFL or buying them at gun shows. They obtain them from others in their criminal-social networks from people they know or trust.

      This study really blows a huge hole in the supposed “need” for the “expanded background checks” pushed by the Democrats & media.

      [1] https://d3uwh8jpzww49g.cloudfront.net/sharedmedia/1508093/ccjstudy.pdf

    • I completely agree with this sentiment; the fact that, time and again, study after study (well, *serious* study after *serious study*), we see that freedom to own and carry guns *at most* doesn’t have an effect on crime — and where it *does* have an effect, it reduces crime — only creates delicious irony.

      Indeed, it seems that the technocrats and bureaucrats who wish to use statistics to illustrate how we need to destroy rights for the common good, almost always have to make up and distort their statistics in order to justify their actions. It’s especially ironic when one considers that these very technocrats and bureaucrats always insist that they are “scientific”, and that the “march of history” somehow points towards *their* “inevitable” vision of how society is supposed to be structured.

      And just as the DNC emails showed that Democrats don’t give a darn about LBGT rights, they don’t give a darn about “science”, either. To the extent that they care about such things, it is only because they see it as the quickest path to power. Indeed, I suspect that if Hillary woke up tomorrow, and decided that the best way for her to secure power would be to support gun rights, give the Western States their rightful use to their lands, disband the EPA, the Department of Education, OSHA, and every other meddlesome Federal agency, and to balance the deficit and slash the Federal debt, she would do all of this in a heartbeat!

      (Of course, this will never happen, because the entire Federal infrastructure, and the entire point of destroying individual rights, is to exercise power over the revolting plebes, so this will *never* happen, except as a “promise” to do these things, as Hillary pretty much attempted to do at the DNC convention, in an attempt to woo over disgruntled anti-Trump conservatives over to the Democrat party…)

  6. Marc Edwards, the VA Tech civil engineering professor that exposed the Flint, MI, water crisis summed it up very well:

    “So when you start asking questions about people, and you approach them as a scientist, if you feel like you’re talking to an adult and they give you a rational response and are willing to share data and discuss an issue rationally, I’m out of there. I go home.

    But when you reach out to them, as I did with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they do not return your phone calls, they do not share data, they do not respond to FOIA [open-records requests], y’know. … In each case I just started asking questions and turning over rocks, and I resolved to myself, The second something slimy doesn’t come out, I’m gonna go home. But every single rock you turn over, something slimy comes out.”

  7. I wouldn’t be surprised if more guns means more mass shootings. That’s not the relevant metric, though. Do more guns equal more mass murder (including murder done by the state)? That’s the question- and the antis won’t like the answer. Which explains why they don’t study the right questions.

    • Given what is know, I would be surprised that more guns means more mass shootings. At least if the intent is “more guns in the hands of those who are currently allowed to have them”. All the evidence, and there is plenty, says that increasing the number of armed good people is a definite deterrent. That applies not just to the obvious case of run of the mill criminals; it also applies to wacko mass shooters and terrorists.

  8. Pingback: Weekly Gun News – Edition 45 | Shall Not Be Questioned

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