October 18, 2015

Colin McNickle Fails To Adequately Research His Topic

This must be so embarrassing for The Tribune-Review's Colin McNickle.

Here's what he wrote today:
Writing in the American Thinker, Thomas Lifson points to a 2007 study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy that debunks every contemporary contention of the latest crop of gun-grabbers.

Criminologists Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser, in the 46-page study, found “a negative correlation” between banning guns and reducing murder and suicide rates.

To wit, “where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where gun laws are least dense, violent crime rates are highest.”

The bottom line of Messrs. Kates and Mauser:

“(T)he burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra.

“To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and the nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide).

“But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world,” the researchers concluded.
Colin's "research" began and ended, apparently, here with this piece in the American Thinker.

He should have checked Snopes (oh, he so should have checked Snopes!).  Had he done a modicum of research, Colin McNickle would have discovered this:
Claim: A 2007 Harvard University study proved that areas with higher rates of gun ownership have lower crime rates.


WHAT'S TRUE: Gun rights advocates Gary Mauser and Don Kates jointly authored a 2007 paper in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy arguing that higher rates of gun ownership correlated with lower crime rates.

WHAT'S FALSE: The paper in question was not peer-reviewed, it didn't constitute a study, and it misrepresented separate research to draw shaky, unsupported conclusions.
Snopes continues:
Of primary importance is the subsequent, widely misapplied label of the word "study" with reference to the 2007 item in question. The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy describes itself as "one of the most widely circulated student-edited law reviews and the nation’s leading forum for conservative and libertarian legal scholarship." Papers published in that journal are (while perhaps competitively sourced) in no way equivalent to peer-reviewed research published in a credible science-related journals as "studies." Use of the term "study" to refer that 2007 article dishonestly suggested that the assertions made by its authors were gathered and vetted under more rigorous study conditions, which didn't appear to be the case. [Link and Bolding in original.]
This applies to Colin McNickle's use of the term "study" as well.

Snopes leads us to this 6 year old criticism of the "study" Colin loves.  The criticism, by an actual expert at the Harvard School of Public Health, begins thusly:
The article appears in a publication, described as a "student law review for conservative and libertarian legal scholarship.” It does not appear to be a peer-reviewed journal, or one that is searching for truth as opposed to presenting a certain world view. The paper itself is not a scientific article, but a polemic, making the claim that gun availability does not affect homicide or suicide. It does this by ignoring most of the scientific literature, and by making too many incorrect and illogical claims.
Oh and by the way, the guy who wrote that published some actual science that said:
Firearms are used to kill two out of every three homicide victims in America. In the first nationally representative study to examine the relationship between survey measures of household firearm ownership and state level rates of homicide, researchers at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found that homicide rates among children, and among women and men of all ages, are higher in states where more households have guns.
Analyses that controlled for several measures of resource deprivation, urbanization, aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, and alcohol consumption found that states with higher rates of household firearm ownership had significantly higher homicide victimization rates for children, and for women and men. In these analyses, states within the highest quartile of firearm prevalence had firearm homicide rates 114% higher than states within the lowest quartile of firearm prevalence. Overall homicide rates were 60% higher. The association between firearm prevalence and homicide was driven by gun-related homicide rates; non-gun-related homicide rates were not significantly associated with rates of firearm ownership.
Snopes sums up what McNickle mistakenly trusts:
In short, the purported 2007 Harvard "study" with "astonishing" findings was in fact a polemic paper penned by two well-known gun rights activists. Its findings were neither peer-reviewed nor subject to academic scrutiny of any sort prior to its appearance, and the publication that carried it was a self-identified ideology-based editorial outlet edited by Harvard students. The paper disingenuously misrepresented extant research to draw its conclusions, and researchers at Harvard (among which Kates and Mauser were not included) later objected to the paper's being framed as a "study" from Harvard (rather than a law review paper). The paper wasn't "virtually unpublicized research" (as BeliefNet claimed); rather, it was simply not deemed noteworthy at the time it was published due to the fact it was neither a study nor much more than a jointly-written editorial piece representing its authors' unsupported opinions.
He would have found this with probably the same 20 minutes worth of googling that I did.  But he didn't.  Now nothing of what he wrote has any real value and he looks very very foolish.

If it this isn't incredibly embarrassing for him (a pause to let that sink in) then I just don't know what to say.


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Snopes is run by 2 progressives. They will "debunk" in favor of the Progressive narratives
See Al Gore created the Internet.
Snopes: Reliably Liberal and Liberally Unreliable

Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

"The paper in question was not peer-reviewed"

However, This "study" was consider gold standard social science by progressives.

Author retracts study of changing minds on same-sex marriage after colleague admits data were faked

Dayvoe said...

Martian artful carmels farted farther, Lars.

Remember that.

Zeus0209 said...

el perro de chile rojo cambió el reloj cuando el cartero le dolía furiosamente

Ol' Froth said...

When does the peace notify the actually degree?

Dayvoe said...

red chili dog changed the clock when the postman ached furiously