• [538] This Year’s CDC Gun Injury Data Is Even Less Reliable Than Last Year’s
    41 replies, posted
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/this-years-cdc-gun-injury-data-is-even-less-reliable-than-last-years/
Why even bother to release this figure? How do you even arrive at this (in)conclusion? https://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/trace-gun-uncertainty-1.png?w=575 "Oh it might be around 30,000 or it might be ten times that number."
Last year, FiveThirtyEight and The Trace, a nonprofit news organization covering gun violence in America, reported that the rising trend in the number of nonfatal gunshot wounds in the CDC’s estimates was out of step with trends reported by other public health and criminal justice databases, which found flat or declining numbers of these injuries. The CDC’s most recent estimate — nearly 134,000 injuries — suggests that the upward trend in its data is accelerating, with injuries jumping over 57 percent between 2015 and 2017. But that number is suspect, in part because the agency sources its data from a small number of hospitals: just 60 in 2017, according to data obtained in a public records request by The Trace and FiveThirtyEight. Drawing data from such a small pool means that a single hospital that treats a disproportionate number of gun injuries has the potential to drastically skew the entire estimate. In contrast, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), another database under the Department of Health and Human Services, uses data from more than 950 hospitals to create its own gun injury estimate, which contains much less uncertainty than the CDC’s. HCUP’s website also prevents users from accessing any estimate with a coefficient of variation greater than 30 percent.
A government agency lying for political purposes? Color me surprised.
There are so many interest groups actively trying to muddy the waters (from both sides) that it's insane. How can you possibly make an educated decision with so much information obfuscated or manipulated?
Under a Republican administration, wouldn't it make more sense to lie the other way around? Sounds more like non-malicious factors like external changes or just incompetence.
You dont
I can think of a couple reasons: Republicans don't like government agencies in general. When it comes to most agencies, Rep. administrations tend to self-sabotage them to make them less effective, paving the way for budget cuts and downsizing. With less reliable data, its easier to muddy the waters. Republicans side with the NRA and don't want ANY gun regulations. If there is data to suggest some forms of gun control might be effective, it undermines their ability to control the conversation and opens a window for regulations. Like with most Rep. agendas, the facts don't matter. It's the FOX and conservative media narrative that matters. I'm not sure that the administration is actively undermining the CDC, but those are the motives to do so.
For context- in the late '90s, CDC leadership openly stated that they opposed gun ownership and wanted to lead a public image campaign against it, and published a slew of research pieces in support of gun control that were rightfully criticized for shoddy methodology, deliberate misrepresentation of data, and transparent political agenda. The response was a law (the Dickey Amendment) that prohibited them from taking any political position for or against guns in their reporting, which gave rise to the widespread myth that the CDC is barred from studying gun violence. That was twenty years ago and I don't want to leap to assumptions, but it's possible that there are elements within the CDC still up to their old tricks.
I don't know the specifics of that amendment, but the way you word it makes it sound pretty shit. If a properly conducted study leads to a conclusion that supports or opposes certain aspects of gun ownership, they should absolutely be allowed to publish it. I don't see why they'd specifically do that starting in 2016 and to such an extent, though.
Good thing that publishing an article is different from, as catbarf said: Key phrase: "in their reporting". Now, what "reporting" would they be doing if they weren't able to publish anything at all? The logical answer is that they are, in fact, allowed to publish articles. Oh, look! Catbarf actually said exactly that in their post, too:
Note, the CDC announces openly on both its website and its results that these numbers are unreliable due to their methodology. Please don't generate outrage from nothing. I'm glad the trend is apparently showing there's less gun violence year by year though. CDC has been getting fucked hard when it comes to researching gun violence for decades now, it seems to be a norm in both D and R administrations.
Everything is "political" to an extent. We're living in an era where things that are undeniably scientifically proved like climate change or vaccines being efficient are "political positions". "Political position" is vague in terms of wording and maybe that's worded in a more specific way in the amendment itself, but my point is that from what I currently see, it can be abusive. You can be allowed to do studies so long as you don't touch on sensitive subjects, that doesn't mean those studies aren't gimped or limited in terms of scope as a result. Cut out your passive aggressive bullshit mate, I'm merely wondering and asking questions. Catbarf can clarify his post himself and he's obviously much more qualified to do so than you are.
Yeah the problem is CDC officials who were openly and publicly anti-gun directed CDC researchers to find data supporting that position. They are no longer permitted to espouse a political slant in their studies, but can still conduct them.
Coming from a dude who spent 10 pages arguing with Grenadiac over my posts as if he's responsible for them.
CALM
I wonder what that has to do with this specific thread? You can find the rebuttals to your stupid quip in the relevant thread, won't waste time derailing this thread with you here.
This is slightly misleading. Dickey himself said he regrets the amendment, and would rather they had "started the proper research and kept it going all this time" Dickey himself said that the effects of the Amendment were more than what was written down, and that it was over-interpreted by everyone involved (very deliberately, btw) to be a ban on gun research in the first place. Proper interpretations of laws are important for everyone. Take the first amendment as an example. It says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The words "Church and State Separation" do not appear in there, anywhere. And several religious organizations have offered money to anyone that can find it. The words "a wall between church and state" were said in an entirely different context and not written down. However, "Church-State Separation" are what those words Mean. And there's been a buttload of controversy over what "respecting" or "establishment" and "free exercise mean"
You could look it up for yourself: none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control. There is a clear, obvious difference between publishing a study and, quote, "[advocating] or [promoting] gun control." People have been getting ever more irrationally fervent in favor of gun control in recent years. You don't see why an agency that's publicly against guns such that it intentionally released shoddy studies to promote their agenda might get caught up in that?
So, for example, they can't make a study on the efficiency of a specific gun control measure? That sounds very counter-productive to providing data that would lead to making rational policies in the fire.
It's the distinction between presenting your findings and telling people what to do with them.
They can study the outcome of an extant policy and present their findings neutrally. They can't say "this was a great idea, we need more of this" or use their statistics to propose policy.
Not really, no. Again, if publishing a study that asserts the efficiency of a given gun control measure is "advocating for it" (which it pretty much is), then this amendment prevents it.
Not too different from the Tories over on our side of the Atlantic. Blame austerity on problems before pushing more austerity, rinse and repeat until an excuse to privatise can be made.
"In 1996, the Republican-majority Congress threatened to strip funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unless it stopped funding research into firearm injuries and deaths. The National Rifle Association accused the CDC of promoting gun control. As a result, the CDC stopped funding gun-control research — which had a chilling effect far beyond the agency, drying up money for almost all public health studies of the issue nationwide." Wapo source "The so called the Dickey amendment has not definitively outlawed research on gun violence and safety, but Congress “coincidentally” removed funding from the CDC to the exact amount it once spent on that research. This sends the message to CDC scientists that such research is strongly discouraged, deprioritized, and ultimately, it is not conducted." ucsusa source (fairly biased) Again, that's not what the words say, but it is what they mean
You can examine the results of a piece of legislation and neutrally present the data about it without advocating for or against that piece of legislation.
Studies really shouldn't be asserting things. You've seen how carefully people say "this suggests" in every study ever, right?
Step one is demonstrating they lied.
So it's the difference between something like "this measure led to a reduction in gun death rate" and "this measure led to a reduction in gun death rate, so we should implement it more fully"? That sounds more like a restriction on wording and form, rather than on the studies themselves. Also, it doesn't seem to really prevent biased use of statistics and poor, dishonest methodology (all of which can be presented neutrally), even though that was the goal of the law. I mean, the fact that we're wondering here whether the inconsistency of recent studies is a testament to its inefficiency.
I got no idea, even Dickey himself says the amendment was used to choke the CDC far beyond what he intended. Like EcksDee said, it was taken beyond the meaning of what was written. It's definitely not how I would have approached the issue.
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