Mental Health and Homicides

It is time to tap dance on landmines and begin the Gun Facts investigation of the intersection of mental health and gun violence. This will be an ongoing project, as it appears to be a determinant variable in mass homicides (and hence, mass shootings). Main Takeaways Three forms of mental impairment are tightly associated with spree and serial killers. 74% of mass shooters had some form of genetic or induced disorder. Deinstitutionalization has removed dangerous people from being closely monitored In-patient psychiatric care was replaced, in part, with psychotropic medications, some of which can amplify violent desires. Triggering the Investigation News reports too often detail that mass public shooters had prior histories of mental health issues. One need only look at some of the twenty-first century’s mass murderers (the rogues galley at right being a representative sample) and you can tell there is something fundamentally different and dangerous about them. … Continue reading

Gifford’s Goof

Giffords Law Center Scorcard - Homicides - Assaults - Suicides

Just when you think people could not be more deceitful, they somehow manage. And by “deceitful” I mean Giffords Law Center and their rather ridiculous state-by-state scorecard on gun control policy, wherein they attempt to convince an unwary public that guns lead to mayhem (when in fact it is Giffords lawyers that lead intellectual mayhem). Major Takeaways “Strong” gun control is associated with higher rates of violent crime (homicides, assaults and rapes). They handily omitted Washing D.C., which has very high violent crime rates. They included suicides (which we know are not a gun issue). They don’t cite sources for their data. Their grading scheme for the “strength” of gun control laws is 100% opaque. The History of Scorecards, Branding and Giffords Law Center Gun control scorecards are nothing new. The formerly important Brady Center used to annually publish their bit of intellectual fraud in scorecard format. And, every year … Continue reading

Pondering Parkland

Now that details of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida have emerged, we can begin to explore causes and potential cures (unlike members of the gun control industry who didn’t hesitate a moment before proffering legislation of dubious efficacy). In this article we review: The high-level notes about the event Mental health and its recurrence in such incidents Legal intervention failures – Parkland and Virginia Tech (VT) Mass shootings as a policy priority What to watch in the political arena Legislative options and realities The high-level notes about the event The shooter was autistic, as was the Sandy Hook shooter. He had regular behavioral problems to the point that his mother would sometimes call the police to come over and talk to him. He had been treated at a local mental health center and had been on medications He was in a degrading mental state. He had a set of … Continue reading

Crossing Trends

FIREARM DEATHS - accidental and legal interventions - 1981 through 2015

While spelunking some data on the modes of gun deaths, I decided to have a look at some smaller instances, namely how often people die accidentally from gunshots, and the number of justifiable (perhaps even meritorious) homicides. Most readers already know that accidental gun deaths have been in sharp decline for several decades, despite the number of firearms in circulation skyrocketing. This is a curious situation, and one that goes directly against claims by the gun control industry. With concealed carry a fact of daily life in 42 states, one might also think justifiable homicides have gone up. They have, but only slightly. But this too also goes against the claims of gun control advocates, who maintain that concealed carry does not prevent crime (we’ll ignore the whole deterrence effect issue, which is likely contributory to the multi-decade drop in violent crime in America). Though the number of incidents for … Continue reading

Gun Deaths: Meaningless Metric

GUNS IN OTHER COUNTRIES gun homicides by number of gun in oecd countries

You can get an average citizen to cross their eyes in brain damaging confusion by telling them that “gun deaths” is a meaningless statistic. And it is, though members of the gun control industry continue to use the hollow phrase, and some members of the media never question its meaning or validity. It doesn’t stand up to domestic or international scrutiny. Since it is the job of the Gun Facts project to eradicate bad information, let’s spend a few electrons today killing off the “gun deaths” charade. What in the heck is a “gun death”? This is not a caustic question. In the realm of people dying by catching bullets, there are a number of categories concerning such deaths. And many of these categories are made up of sub categories. And for each of the categories, there are ways of achieving the same result (a dead person) without a using … Continue reading

Trace, Stolen Guns, Ineptitude

When 85% of your study’s data comes from 6% of the states, two of which are known as being anti-gun, you have a poor study and an even worse credibility score. Critique 85% of reporting law enforcement agencies come from just three states (6% of states). 51% of reporting law enforcement agencies come from just California. A mere 1,053 agencies participated (there are over 3,000 counties in the U.S. – multiply by the number of city agencies). Background First, let’s take NBC to task. The Trace is openly backed by Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire politician with a messianic quest to enact gun control laws. For a news organization to collaborate with an established front group calls NBC’s objectivity into question, though many people doubted their objectivity to begin with. “Every news organization has propagandist tendencies, except for MSNBC, which is a propaganda organization with news tendencies.” — Guy Smith What the Trace … Continue reading

California-Nevada Gun Shows – Not What The Media Reported

California gun deaths and injuries rate change before and after gun shows

Page 10 in the appendix is a handy place to put a statement like: No significant relationships existed between gun shows and firearm injuries along known trafficking routes or when California’s 10-day waiting period was excluded. That is where one of many key clues about the lack of viability of a recent piece or research was filed. That tax money from the federal (NIH) and California (U.C. Berkeley) governments was used to generate this paper and the minor media frenzy that followed should give voters something to consider at election time. Key takeaways Raw data shows lower rates of California death and injury after gun shows. Even after questionable adjustments to the data, rates of change in gun misuse were small, possibly within random variations. Controls for other influences (confounding variables) were odd and incomplete. Unexplained, undocumented adjustments leave the quality of the research in grave doubt. No verification that the misused guns … Continue reading

Gun Death Trends – 1999 through 2016

With fresh data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) causing the predictable odd media reporting, I wanted to post a mini-blog showing what is and what isn’t interesting about the numbers. Raw changes Foremost, take the chart at the right with a grain or three of salt. The changes are important, but the scale is misleading. Of note, … Continue reading

Unscientific American

The fastest way to destroy a brand is to do the opposite of the brand’s claim. Scientific American’s brand is now hopelessly corrupted by publishing the most unscientific of screeds. A recent piece in Scientific American titled “More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows” is a case study in the anti-science of cherry-picked data. Were I in a more charitable mood, I might assume the author, Melinda Moyer, of merely suffering from acute confirmation bias syndrome. However, the oversights were so vast and so egregious that I cannot bring myself to believe such. Hers was likely not a sloppily written article, but rather adroit agitprop. My initial clue that Scientific American had devolved into a propaganda rag came in the first paragraph that wasn’t literary fluff (the same tired, suicide saturated misstatement about “guns took more than 36,000 U.S. lives …”). The next was when she cited … … Continue reading

Las Vegas Perspectives

As any good researcher would, I waited a few days for most of the relevant information about the Route 91 Massacre to emerge. I await the police report before making too many conclusions. But enough is now known to see some old and new issues with this mass public shooting. Summary of the important Route 91 Massacre Highly unusual and well planned event Body count due primarily to the “cattle pen” situation Unusual firearm/accessory involved Possible mental health and medication complication Highly unusual and well planned event The killer (I decline to repeat his name) thought this attack through very well. This is an important variable for two reasons. First, he planned a scenario not only for maximum carnage but also to forestall his own capture or “death by cop”. When anyone puts a lot of thought into such, odds of preventing mass murder go way down. Second, the approach … Continue reading