Ignorance might be bliss, but stupidity is never useful. That is, unless you know how to manipulate stupid people. A perfect example is the latest anti-gun study that falsely claims a direct correlation to gun ownership and teen suicide rates. The study’s authors make invalid conclusions based on wholly false
The study was led by Boston University public health specialist Dr. Michal Siegel, who says he studies the relationships between gun ownership and suicide and homicide, among other potential effects. Siegel boldly claims the rate of gun ownership in households is the “single biggest predictor of youth suicide rate in a state.” He even rolls out some fairly impressive numbers and conclusions that uneducated liberals and independents would confuse with facts, rather than blatant logical fallacies.
The first problem with Siegel’s study is the methodology. Anyone who has ever been to grad school can tell you that one of the first things you’re taught is that methodology almost always is flawed, and observational studies do not show causation. Yet, that is exactly what Siegel and his cohorts attempt, and they know they are engaging in invalid science.
Basically, there are two scientific studies. One shows why things happen, but does not show any kinds of trends over time. That essentially is a qualitative study, and shows causation – what thing causes what other thing to happen. The other type of study is an observational study, which typically is done over time. Observational studies also are called quantitative studies, because they scientifically observe certain types of data over time to detect any changes that might occur.
What that means is, when you look at data sets to try to discern changes over time, it is impossible to determine what causes any changes you might notice. The only way to truly prove what causes something is to engage in a scientific study using a control method that absolutely shows causation. Observational studies, though, do not show causation.
Observational studies, such as the study Dr. Siegel falsely claims shows causation between states with relatively high rates of gun ownership and teen suicide rates.
Yet, Dr. Siegel and his cohorts boldly – and quite intentionally – proclaim a single year of data absolutely proves relatively high rates of gun ownership directly cause relatively high suicide rates among teens. That invalid conclusion comes with no qualitative study to back up it up, and based on quantitative data that is incomplete and absolutely does not show so much as a valid trend. You can bet Dr. Siegel and his cohorts know this, but they count on an ignorant public not seeing through their manipulative propaganda.
For quantitative data to demonstrate trends and to legitimately predict any future outcomes based upon a quantitative study, numerous data points must be acquired properly to make any valid conclusions. Yet, Dr. Siegel falsely claims a single year of data from each of 50 states makes it possible to predict teen suicides will be much higher due relatively high gun ownership rates.
The study claims for every 10 percent rise in gun ownership rates in a state, teen suicide rates jump by more than 25 percent. Yet, the study only looked one year of data for each state regarding gun ownership. That does not meet the requirements for statistical validity. The study also looked at multiple years of teen suicides, but did not bother to search for alternative explanations.
Ultimately, alternative explanations are what makes it impossible to determine correlation from an observational study. You only can observe the end result. You really do not know how it came about. The actual causation remains a mystery. Yet, the study claims it pinpointed causation to gun ownership rates. That is false. For states with high teen suicide rates as well as gun ownership rates, such as Montana and Alaska, teens may have monotonous and slow daily lives. The monotony can become overwhelming for many youth, who might opt to end their lives.
So, with a blatantly flawed study, Dr. Siegel and his cohorts have managed to give the liberal media yet another reason to falsely blame gun owners for bad things that happen to other people – even people they never knew. With Democrats controlling the House and a willful mass media working to put a Dem back in the White House in 2020, you can bet gun owners will continue being targeted with bad info and bad policies.
If you can, share this debunking of obviously misleading studies on guns so that the liberal sheep hear ALL sides of the story—not just bull$&!t theories from obvious gun haters like Dr. Siegel.