The head of a pro-gun-rights physicians’ organization today blasted the findings of a research project published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that intimated states with more gun laws have a lower rate of firearm fatalities.
The JAMA report was first publicized by NBC News, which also has been blistered by a National Rifle Association official for an unrelated story yesterday that suggested the NRA was ready to make a behind-the-scenes deal on a national universal background check bill.
BULLETIN: Breitbart is reporting that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wants the state attorney general to appeal a ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that found the state’s ban on concealed carry to be unconstitutional. That appeal would be to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The case, Moore v. Madigan, was filed by the Second Amendment Foundation. A related case, Shepard v. Madigan, was filed by the National Rifle Association.
Dr. Timothy Wheeler, director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership – a project of the Second Amendment Foundation – faults the report, done by Harvard medical researchers, as biased. He uses an unlikely source to support his arguments, Dr. Garen J. Wintemute with the University of California, Davis, who has been associated with other anti-gun research.
According to NBC News, Wintemute faulted the study’s conclusions, contending, “Correlation does not imply causation. The plain English way of saying this is: Just because two things exist at the same time, that does not mean one thing caused the other. That's what's being implied here. All they counted in that analysis was the number of laws in each state, not which laws. There's no information in this study on the specifics of the (state) laws and whether they were enforced or not."
"So in a sense,” Wintemute added to NBC, “the only conclusion you could draw would be: Pass more laws but it doesn't matter which ones or what they're intended to do. That's just silly."
Wheeler, of California, published his rebuttal today in The Gun Mag’s on-line edition, and it will appear in the next print edition as well. In his opinion piece, Wheeler observes, “Wintemute faults the Harvard authors for relying on a state gun law grading system used by the Brady Center (formerly known as Handgun Control, Inc.) and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Both of these organizations are dedicated gun control advocates. Using their political ploy in a scientific journal is disgraceful.”
“Intentionally or not,” Wheeler writes, “these authors tailored the data to favor the pro-gun control conclusions they wanted.”
Retired about two years ago after a career as a nose, ear and throat surgeon, Dr. Wheeler has been a leading critic of anti-gun propaganda disguised as scientific research. He also notes that, “Further refutation of the Harvard study comes from none other than the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no friend of gun owners. A CDC task force concluded that it could not find any evidence that gun control laws reduce violent crime.”
Meanwhile, NRA’s Chris Cox, executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, was compelled to respond to an NBC News report that the organization was making a back-room deal on background checks.
“An article appearing…on NBCNews.com is falsely reporting that NRA will not oppose legislation being negotiated in the U.S. Senate that would mandate background checks for all gun purchasers,” Cox said.
“The story posted on NBCNews.com alleges that NRA will not oppose expanding the background check system to include all private firearm sales, ‘provided the legislation does not require private gun sellers to maintain records of the checks’. This statement is completely untrue. The NRA opposes criminalizing private firearms transfers between law-abiding individuals, and therefore opposes an expansion of the background check system.
“The NRA supports meaningful efforts to address the problems of violent crime and mass violence in America, through swift and certain prosecution of violent criminals; securing our schools; and fixing our broken mental health system,” Cox concluded.
The NBC story quoted unnamed sources, identified as Senate aides.
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