Monday, January 15, 2007

The Press Release and the Damage Done

Some number of years ago, a neighbor of ours got a phone call from someone purporting to be conducting a marketing survey, who asked my neighbor if she woudln't mind answering a few questions related to everyday consumer products.

Among the questions asked were, "Do you own a dog?" and "What kind of dog food do you purchase?".

Two days later, this neighbor's house was broken into and burglarized while they were out of the house.

Now, let's go back to the recent gun "study" correlating gun ownership with homicide rates. As I understand it, the method used to determine the number of households where a firearm is kept involved calling people on the phone and asking them if there were any guns in the house.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong.

Now, I know quite a few gun owners, and I can tell you, unequivocally, that not one of them would so much as give that anonymous person on the other end of the line the time of day, let alone offer any details as to the presence of firearms in their home.

So, I've got some questions.

1. Is the complete phone survey data available for review, to show the number of "No Answer Given" or "Caller Hung Up" responses?

2. Were only law-abiding citizens - persons not prohibited by federal and/or state law from owning firearms - contacted for this survey? Or were gang members and drug dealers called at their homes at dinnertime for their input, as well?

3. If Joe Crackhead, residing in Trenton, Los Angeles, or Boston, was reached by phone and asked by an anonymous caller if he had any guns in his place of residence, how do you think he would reply?

The use of government crime stats and catch phrases such as "multivariate analysis" and "negative binomial regression models" are nothing more than a smokescreen to mask the fact that the other half of the data they're using is crap.

Using Jeff's table showing overall homicide rates and the percentages given for household gun ownership, I could easily come up with some "scientific" methodology to show that, overall, more homicides occur in warm weather states, regardless of the number of guns believed to be in private homes.

It's like comparing Boston's murder rate with that of New Orleans, or Houston. The average monthly temperature for January in those cities is more than 20 degrees warmer than that of Boston. And, what do you know? New Orleans already has considerably more homicides this month that Boston does.

I blame the law-abiding gun owners in that city!

Oh, wait. The cops already went door-to-door in that city, conficscating many of those lawfully-owned weapons at gunpoint. Never mind.

Call it an extended "murder season", if you will. The more nice weather you have, the more you're going to see criminals walking the streets OUTSIDE. You want to control the climate variable? All you need to do is compare the homicide rates and the overal violent crime rates of the six New England states with those states' level of gun ownership and the severity of those states' restrictions on the same.

All issues of discomfort and scratchiness aside, I wouldn't wipe my ass with this piece of "scholarly" research.

Unfortunately, questions regarding the validity and methodology of this study are irrelevant at this time. The misleading press releases have been sent. The "news" stories have been published. And, the uninformed masses are wiping their chins, having eaten them up without question.

The damage has been done.

Of course, that was the plan all along.

Anyone who thinks this study, released just weeks after the Democrats asumed control of Congress, was designed to serve any purpose other than to manipulate public opinon, and prepare the masses for the upcoming wave of "common-sense" gun control legislation coming from the Feinstein/Schumer/Kennedy camps, is a weak-minded fool.

Naivete - it's not just for breakfast anymore.

More on this topic to follow, when I have the time.