| Scroll down and you will find:
- American Firearm Institute’s Approach to
- Societal problems and the misuse of firearms
– the real issue
- Firearm Research
- Firearms and Firearm Ownership
- Trends in Violent Crime
- Defensive Gun Use
- The source of guns seized in crimes in America
- Suicide and Firearms
- Suicide rates per 100,000 by country, year and sex
- Firearm Suicide, By Race/Ethnicity and Age-U.S. 1999-2002
- Violent Crime in Europe and the USA
- Crime and firearms
- The top ten guns used in crime
- Juvenile Crime and firearms
- Crime Statistics
- Weapons and violent crime
- Types of Accidental Deaths, USA 2002
- Homicide Demographics in the USA
- Firearm injury in the US
- The role of alcohol in crime victimization
- Weapon Use and Violent Crime
- Where does armed violence occur
- Race and ethnicity
- Annual Household Income
- Time of incident
- Activity and location
- Victim-offender relationship
- Victim Self Defense
- Cycle of Violence
- Psychosocial Repercussions
- The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
- Firearm Statistical Data Sources
- Leading Causes of Death in the U.S. (We all die)
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
This well-known saying is part of a phrase attributed to Benjamin Disraeli (former British prime minister in the 1800s) and popularized by Mark Twain. The statement refers to the persuasive power of numbers, and powerfully describes how even accurate statistics can be used to bolster inaccurate arguments.
Statistic truth is in the eye of the prepared – the source of the survey. Statistics can be generated to bolster any argument even in the face of insurmountable indicators against it. Statistic generation wade through the mud of variables which like a herd of cats are near impossible to control. For example, statistical surveys are influenced by the researcher’s
- personal opinion,
- preparation, research and collection methods,
- rate of pay
- experience in life
- experience with the topic in question
The survey to collect the information can be influenced by:
- geographic location
- questionnaire type and length
- inflection of the interviewer
- audience demographics
- compilation methods
- computation and
In other words statistics can be made to say anything.
When we look at the audience being questioned two glaring anomalies arise that have proven to be true in the experience of interviewing people over time:
- People often lie, their answer often does not reflect the truth or their true feelings, as they may be embarrassed by them.
- People like to give a pleasing answer to the interviewer telling them what they think they want to hear.
Our researchers at AFI provide extensive and ongoing research into the cause and effects of gun ownership and violence. Why? To counter the heavy slant in the media against gun-owners and gun ownership.
One common thread throughout all of our investigation can be found early in the literature being analyzed and that that is the bias of the researcher who compiled the numbers, who believe it or not, are usually anti-gun. Once that has been determined, you realize, the numbers presented are statistically and practically useless because of their inherent skew.
After wading through countless studies, research and medical papers about firearms and gun control, they all – with a tiny exception – enter their research pre-determined to prove that firearms are bad. And that legal firearm holders are irresponsible and need to be controlled. Their research methodology -who they interviewed, when and how, – leaves a lot be desired.
American Firearm Institute’s Approach to Statistical Research
To counter this bias our researchers examine indirect resorts that don’t have firearms as their primary focus. For example, crime statistics from the Department of Justice. Similar numbers from the World Heath Organization and Governmental numbers from the Home Office in Britain. They are then cross checked with other reports and we garner our conclusions from that.
Societal problems and the mis-use of firearms – the real issue
On close examination of the much touted reports connecting crime and homicide with firearms, are glaring issues that are completely ignored even through they exist as if surrounded by flashing neon lights.
Crime and homicide survive in the following fertile breeding grounds:
- Alcohol abuse
- Drug use
- Inner City Cycle of Violence
Firearms are brought into the equation as means of protection and enforcement. Tackle these issues of 1 – 4 and you’ll solve, to a large degree, the problems of violence in society. But they go ignored. They easier route is to “ban the gun” and in doing so what happens? Nothing.
For firearms critics guns are tangible and visible and attacking them, vilifying them polarizes voters into agreeing to something that seeks to provide a quick fix to a problem that will not go away. Tackling issues 1 through 4 above are too difficult, their range and lifecycle too long for a 4-year politician to tackle. Politicians survive from visible sound-bite issues like gun control. And so these issues go unresolved and 150 million American firearm owners pay the price as they are pushed step by step through increasingly oppressive gun control toward becoming unwitting and unwilling criminals.
In the United States, research into firearms and violent crime is fraught with difficulties, associated with limited data on gun ownership and use, firearms markets, and aggregation of crime data. Research studies into gun violence have primarily taken one of two approaches: case-control studies and social ecology. Gun ownership is usually determined through surveys, proxy variables, and sometimes with production and import figures. In statistical analysis of homicides and other types of crime which are rare events, these data tend to have poisson distributions, which also presents methodological challenges to researchers. With data aggregation, it is difficult to make inferences about individual behavior. This problem, known as ecological fallacy, is not always handled properly by researchers, leading some to jump to conclusions that their data do not necessarily support. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States#_note-NAS-ch4]
Firearms and firearm ownership
Depending on what statistics you read:
- there are 250 – 280 million firearms in the US
- 40 – 50% of US homes own a firearm, that’s 120 – 150 million people
Trends in Violent Crime
The late 1990s saw promising decreases in violent crime in large cities, providing an important opportunity to identify factors that might be used to further reduce firearm violence. The decrease was likely the result of several factors that include:
- The collection of location-specific crime data, the analysis of those data, and the
- development of strategies to efficiently allocate police resources.
- Improving troubled neighborhoods.
- Stricter sentencing and stricter laws to keep felons from obtaining firearms.
[Blumstein A, Rosenfeld R. Assessing the recent ups and downs in US homicide rates. National Institute of Justice Journal, October 1998: 9-11. Full article Available: The Journal of Law and Criminology, 1998; 88(4).] (more…)