Target on Taradiddle

New York’s attorney general produced a report on crime guns and their alleged rates of trafficking.

I cannot say the report is flawed. Instead I must ask “Sweet Jesus, what kind of medications was he swallowing wholesale?!?!?”

Major Take-Aways:

  • Half of the crime guns had insufficient data to complete their analysis, so they ignored it.
  • Most crime guns, by an overwhelming margin, still come from New York itself. The report claims that a full half of crime guns come from inside New York.
  • In-state sourced crime guns exist despite New York having so-called “universal background checks“.
  • No attempt was made to study guns that enter the state via normal human relocation, instead assuming such movements were intentional trafficking.
  • Used an arbitrary and statistically inept scoring system to create a “trafficking index”.
  • Demonstrated that their key indicator for trafficked guns accounted for a minority of recovered crime guns.
  • Brushed-over the fact that the lion’s share of crime guns are recovered in New York City and the adjoining section of Long Island, which indicates a highly isolated problem source.
  • Cited ranking systems devised by a gun control group as being “objective measures”.

For a brief run-down of the major problems with the report, see the Target on Trafficking section of the Gun Control Research Analysis page.

Criminal Research …

The report by the New York attorney general is criminal research, meaning the product is criminal in nature. In the world of gun control policy propaganda, there is a never ending stream of equine effluvium. What New York State produced is not the worst, but my palomino senses competition.

What the authors wanted to do was to convince the public that crime guns in New York state were the fault of other states. The report reanimated to corpse of the failed “iron pipeline” myth, at attempted to blame every state on the southern end of the I-95 corridor (clue to Eric Schneiderman’s staff: Those pesky Appalachian Mountains, and the more rural populations west of them might explain quite a bit about natural people/firearm migrations up and down the east coast).

The problem is that they did not succeed is substantiating anything. Between having to ditch half of the BATF’s gun trace records for New York, misrepresenting the definition of “trafficking” and pulling a trafficking scoring system out of their southern most orifice, the report falls below even junk science standards.

Score one for propaganda

The most glaring irregularity is the issue of time to crime (TTC herein). This is the span of time from when a gun is retailed (perhaps legally, perhaps not) and when it is recovered at a crime scene.

The report claims that a short TTC (less than three years by their arbitrary standard) is the primary measure of the probability that a gun was intentionally trafficked. So too is border crossing (BC), which means the gun was retailed outside of New York, but used in crime in New York.

Here’s the big, obvious problem. A gun must cross the border to have been trafficked, by definition. They gave BC a 10% weighting. However, a gun legally purchased in another state might legally enter New York in less than than three years, but the “researchers” gave this an 80% weighting in their trafficking index. The critical variable (BC) was discounted and the unsubstantiated variable (TCC) was lionized.

Now, this is where it gets really squirrely. Only 19% of the guns New York traced fit this report’s definition of having a short time to crime. Less than 1/5th. So to create a high trafficking index and inappropriately indict other states for New York’s woes, they had to give short time to crime statistics a very heavy weighting. Without doing this, their index would not have show what they wanted it to show.

Ignore the people

One failure of this report is in basic math. The so-called “iron pipeline” states are large in both land and people, compared to the states that surround New York. hence, the I-95 southern states plus Penn have 85% more people, and likely at least 85% more guns, that New England turf.

With New York being a financial capital, many people are constantly moving in and out of there, including people coming and going from the “iron pipeline” states. They bring legally obtained guns with them. Since theft (after importation) is a primary path for guns to enter underground markets, this should have been part of the analysis. After all, 185% of the North East regional population is significant.

Iron Pipeline my arse

It is inarguable that out of state crime guns in New York come mainly from southern states along the I-95 corridor. But it is also inarguable that most Big Apple crime guns come from New York state, not elsewhere. It is also inarguable that statistical analysis based on faulty baseline data, irrational modeling and a seemingly preformed conclusion should not be entertained seriously by anyone.

It is also inarguable that Eric Schneiderman should be ashamed of himself.


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