Rule Five Lousy Mass Shooting Study Friday

Last week, City Journal’s Ian Kingsbury presented us with an example of a lousy “mass shooting and structural racism” study, and told us why it was a lousy study.  This is an essential read if you’re on the Second Amendment side.  Some highlights, with my thoughts:

Is there any limit to the degree to which “researchers” will discredit themselves to prove their woke bona fides? A new study published in JAMA Surgery suggests not.

The study, “Association Between Markers of Structural Racism and Mass Shooting Events in Major US Cities,” purportedly seeks to understand whether evidence exists that “structural racism” plays a role in mass-shooting events.

To test their theory, the researchers quantitatively examine the correlation between mass shootings and “structural racism.” They define mass shootings as any incident in which four or more people are shot, and they define “structural racism” according to various factors, including the percentage of black population in a major metropolitan area, the proportion of children living in a single-parent household, the violent crime rate, and measures of segregation and income inequality.

The definition of mass shootings looks a lot like the one the FBI uses, but the definitions of “structural racism?” Some of those might be racial, others economic, others cultural.  So their initial, operating assumptions are crap.

Worse, it apparently assumes that people can’t or don’t migrate out of those areas.

The assertion that metro-area demographics are a measure of structural racism is especially problematic. It ignores the fact that the Great Migration featured millions of blacks moving from the rural South to the industrialized North in search of greater tolerance and opportunity. In other words, freedom of movement has existed for generations, and the escape from structural racism largely defines black migration in the twentieth century.

But the authors of this study don’t let the lousy definitions and ignoring of historical trends color their conclusions.

A reasonable person would conclude that this analysis fails to find a link between structural racism and mass shootings. Instead, the authors claim that demographics themselves (that is, the metro areas that black people choose to reside in) are an “imperfect” indicator for structural racism. They conclude that “structural racism appears to be associated with MSE (mass shooting event) incidence.”

In other words, “the study data didn’t support the hypothesis, so we bullshitted our way into the conclusion we wanted.”  This isn’t science, this is naked, partisan propagandizing.

And, of course, the legacy media snapped it up.

The researchers’ sloppiness didn’t get in the way of media coverage for the study. CNN plugged a story on it within hours of its publication. It’s only a matter of time, no doubt, before judges cite the study in their rulings or policymakers use it to craft the “science-based” policies that progressive activists purportedly favor. This study’s proper function, however, is to serve as a prime example of the medicalization of social issues and public health’s growing penchant for policy-based evidence-making.

Read the whole article.  Bookmark it.  Make notes.  It’s a good counter to a bad study.

Too much of the social sciences and medical worlds no longer have even a nodding acquaintance with actual, evidence-driving-the-conclusion science.  The study, by the way, was carried out by these supposed medical professionals:

Michael Ghio, MD; John Tyler Simpson, MD; Ayman Ali, MD; Julia M. Fleckman, PhD, MPH; Katherine P. Theall, PhD, MPH; Joseph I. Constans, PhD; Danielle Tatum, PhD; Patrick R. McGrew, MD; Juan Duchesne, MD; and Sharven Taghavi, MD, MPH, MS.

This isn’t science, and it certainly isn’t medicine.  This is naked propagandizing, it’s unworthy of anyone purporting to be a medical professional, and it’s sure as hell unworthy of anyone professing to be a scientist.  But just watch, True Believers, and be aware and ready to respond, because this “study” will end up in the quivers of the would-be gun-grabbers, and the Second Amendment community should stand ready to refute it.

Fortunately Ian Kingsbury has given us some ammo (hah) of our own to counter this crap.