April 30, 2002

SPEAKING OF WOMEN AND GUNS, Wendy McElroy takes on another bogus public-health study on guns. I’m sorry, but these guys should either start looking at actual public health issues, like anthrax, AIDS, or smallpox, or they should just go out of business. The junk science coming out of the public health community has gotten more and more atrocious, and more and more obvious in its political biases, over the past couple of decades — and the result is that these guys won’t have credibility even when they’re telling the truth, and when we need to hear what they’re saying. Er, if such a time ever comes.

UPDATE: Say, it’s worth noting that one of the stars of “violence studies” is none other than Michael Bellesiles, who, as this article in Salon reports,

came up with the idea of violence studies four years ago, “over a bottle of wine” with Arthur Kellerman, head of emergency medicine at Emory’s medical school. As Bellesiles recalls, “We were having dinner one night and fantasizing about what a perfect program for undergraduates would look like.” . . . The 3-year-old Emory curriculum has become a model for other universities.

Bellesiles, it appears, has an active fantasy life. Kellerman, it’s worth noting, is the author of what might be regarded as the seminal fatuous and misleading public-health study on guns, a long-debunked piece that gave rise to to the oft repeated (but false) factoid that “a gun owner is 43 times more likely to kill a family member than an intruder.” Steven Milloy has a recent FoxNews piece that brings readers up to date on the many abuses of “public health research” in pursuit of a gun-control agenda.

UPDATE: Turns out Fritz Schranck was ahead of the curve in criticizing this study. I hadn’t seen his post until someone pointed it out — I don’t actually read all the weblogs every day, despite what it seems like (even, sometimes, to me).