Newest piece at IBD: "Media Play Up Faulty Study Suggeting Link Between Guns, Death Rates"
My newest piece at Investors' Business Daily starts this way:
Do fewer guns mean fewer firearm deaths? If you believe the March 6th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association of Internal Medicine, the answer is "yes."
A study by Eric Fleegler and four other co-authors received massive national news coverage from USA Today to the television networks.
But the report is based on embarrassingly bad statistics that are rigged to get the result the authors wanted.
Take how they measure gun ownership. Believe it or not, this study measures gun ownership by looking at the share of suicides committed using firearms.
Then the authors go on to commit an egregious and basic statistical error. They claim that states with higher gun ownership have higher gun death rates. But wait a second — most gun deaths are gun suicides. And what they call "gun ownership" in their study is also measured by gun suicides.
In other words, all the study proves is that more gun suicides leads to, well — more gun suicides. Any serious statistical journal would not have published such nonsense.
The Fleegler study also involves a geographic comparison across the 50 U.S. states . . . .
"Florida firearm violence hits record low; concealed gun permits up"
I wouldn't put very much weight on time-series data from one state and obviously other factors aren't being controlled for, but it is consistent with what I would expect. The story is interesting if only for it shows that there is some positive news about guns in the media. From a TV station in Naples, Florida:
In the so-called Gunshine State, home to the most gun permits in the country, firearm violence has fallen to the lowest point on record.
As state and national legislators consider gun control laws in the wake of last month's Connecticut school shooting, Florida finds itself in a gun violence depression. The firearm-involved violent crime rate has dropped 33 percent between 2007 and 2011, while the number of issued concealed weapons permits rose nearly 90 percent during that time, state records show.
"We're happy to have facts and statistics put into these debates, because every time they do, we win," said Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry Inc., a pro-gun-rights advocacy group. . . .
Turning Americans against each other: New York state offers $500 reward for reporting people owning illegal guns
Great, now Americans will have to be fearful that their neighbors. If I really believed that someone owning a semi-automatic rifle that looks like a military weapon was more dangerous and less beneficial than another semi-automatic rifle that simply looks different, I would have a different opinion. But now we are simply are turning Americans against each other for no beneficial reason (or maybe even harmful effects). From the Daily Caller:
For more than a year, New York state has maintained a tip line allowing people to report illegal gun owners and collect a $500 reward.CBS-6 news reported the existence of the tip line on Wednesday. It was previously a “well-kept secret” that received little promotion from state officials or fanfare in the media, according to the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.
A February 2012 press release from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office first publicly announced the tip line, saying it was designed to “encourage citizens to report illegal firearm possession.”
The press release explained that reward amounts would be based on the usefulness of the information tipsters provide, but did not spell out explicit reward tiers. . . .
Elizabeth Warren stuns "Why Isn't Minimum Wage $22?"
The expert that she is questioning starts talking about a minimum wage of $36 an hour. Does Warren really think that the productivity of minimum wage workers has been as large as it has been for the average worker? How does she think that wages are set in the market? Does she understand that the rents that these price controls create are competed away? It is called rent-seeking by economists.
Yet another Democrat budget that claims to cut the deficit but actually increases it.
This is pretty amazing the way Democrats keep claiming to cut the deficit only to actually be increasing it. For past examples of this see here, here, and here. From Fox News:
Senate Democrats' budget plan is coming under increasing criticism from Republicans, who say it effectively pats itself on the back twice for savings that were only achieved once -- and even then, promises another $7.3 trillion in debt over the next decade. . . .
Democrats claimed all along their plan would achieve $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, half through spending cuts and half through tax hikes.
But the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, argues the plan is taking credit for the reduced spending level already achieved when mandatory, across-the-board cuts known as sequester took effect March 1.
The Democrats' plan would replace the sequester and build on that savings for a total of $975 billion in alternative cuts and $975 billion in tax hikes over 10 years. But, as Democratic staffers acknowledged during committee testimony last week, their plan also counts the replacement cuts toward their total deficit-reduction figure.
"I believe you're using the money twice," Sessions said, arguing that the true savings is more like $700 billion. . . .
State legislatures passing laws to prevent state employees from enforcing federal gun laws
From The Hill newspaper:
As of this week, at least 28 states had taken up consideration of gun bills this year, according to new data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than 70 bills have been put forward in all.
The burst of activity comes as the Obama administration and Congress pursue a series of gun control measures in the wake of December’s shooting massacre in Connecticut, which left 20 schoolchildren and six adults dead.
In addition to dozens of bills pending in the House and Senate, the Justice Department and other agencies are moving ahead 23 executive actions announced by President Obama in January.
The state bills vary in content and scope, but most are meant to nullify federal regulations that place new restrictions on gun rights, or other measures viewed as encroaching on the Second Amendment. . . . .
Utah’s . . . was designed to assert the state’s rights to enforce its own gun laws . . . .Montana, a similar bill prohibiting state or local police from enforcing a federal assault weapons ban . . . .There was an error in the piece.
UCLA law Professor Adam Winkler, an expert in the politics of gun control, said states are not at liberty to disregard federal laws and predicted few, if any, of the bills would be enacted. . . .States can't stop federal laws from being enforced, but they can stop state or local employees from enforcing them.
Colorado sheriff won't be enforce new state gun laws
From Fox News:
Weld County Sheriff John Cooke won’t enforce new state gun measures expected to be signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, arguing the proposed firearms restrictions give a "false sense of security."
Lawmakers in Colorado on Friday approved a landmark expansion of background checks on firearm purchases. Earlier in the week, Colorado lawmakers approved a 15-round limit on ammunition magazines.
Both measures are awaiting the expected approval of the governor.
Cooke told GreeleyTribune.com that Democrats in the state legislature are uninformed and scrambling in response to the Aurora movie theater shooting and other recent tragedies.
"They’re feel-good, knee-jerk reactions that are unenforceable," he told the news outlet. . . . .
Labels: background checks
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