Anti-Gun Researchers Undermine the Anti-Gun Narrative
The findings are in from a prestigious anti-gun research program but not with the results its proponents expected. Prohibitions based on violent misdemeanors and comprehensive background checks had no discernible effect on homicide rates in California.
Anti-Gun researchers undermined their own anti-gun narrative in this joint study by the Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins.
Highly credentialed researchers in this well-funded program found that California’s “comprehensive background check and misdemeanor violence prohibition policies and firearm mortality” had no effect on firearm suicide or homicide.
To their credit, the researchers published findings that undermine their own established opinions regarding firearms. At least one of the study’s lead anti-gun researchers was part of the anti-gun march on Washington this past March. Gun rights advocates weren’t surprised by these findings, but the study’s authors were.
The study period was 1981-2000, with secondary analysis up to 2005 and compared California’s gun-violence rates to 35 control states with less restrictive gun-carry laws.
Strip away the scientific jargon and the study shows California’s restrictive gun-control laws had no effect.
Sources like the UC Davis website did their best to put a positive spin on the study’s findings as did some of its researchers. Garen Wintemute, a senior author on the study and professor of emergency medicine and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis, senior said:
“In the 10 years after policy implementation, firearm suicide rates were, on average, 10.9 percent lower in California than expected, but we observed a similar decrease in non-firearm suicide. This suggests that the policies’ estimated impact on firearm suicide may be part of broader changes in suicide risk around the time that the California policies were implemented.”
Even though the empirical findings of this study undermine the anti-gun narrative, its lead researchers determined the problem may be – wait for it – not enough gun control.
According to this twisting of their own paper, the authors claimed data from other states’ comprehensive background check policies that include a permit to purchase component skewed the findings.
The Rand Corporation for The Science of Gun Policy contributed to the study but refuted those on its panel who tried to explain away their own findings.
Rand found that licensing and permitting requirements to have “uncertain effects on total homicides and firearms homicides because the evidence is inconclusive.”
Unlike Rand, other authors of the study say several factors might explain its findings. According to them some reasons include incomplete compliance with existing laws, the small size of the population directly affected by the laws, and inadequate criminal and mental health records.
This contorted reaction to their own study should not be surprising since the authors are a veritable who’s who of the anti-gun narrative.
Authors of the study included Magdalena Cerdá from the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and Cassandra Crifasi of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The UC Davis VPRP is a multi-disciplinary program of research and policy development that focuses on the “causes, consequences and prevention of violence.” VPRP is home to the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center that was funded by $5 million appropriation from the state of California to conduct leading-edge research on the prevention of firearm violence.
There is no doubt this study was intended to prove California’s stance on gun ownership is superior to other states. Liberal elitist was prone to ignore verifiable facts and UC Davis is no exception.
Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is a prime example of this intellectual double-talk. She piously tweets that her state has the lowest rate of gun homicides in the country and proceeds to lecture the rest of the country on inadequate gun control laws. The problem is Massachusetts does not have the lowest rate of gun violence.
As Evan Boudreau of The Federalist wrote, “If one state’s leader is going to preach, ‘We know best,’ thereby tacitly discounting the policies and belief-systems of the people in all other states, the data behind the hubris had better be sound. However, Massachusetts does not possess the lowest rate of gun homicide in the country or some magic formula that specifically curtails gun murder.”
One has to wonder how soon Warren will join the UC Davis Study authors in ignoring their own findings.