Guns Figure

Dennis Putnam putnamd%atlodbs1 at DRAGON.COM
Mon Sep 18 11:35:38 MDT 1995

> Well, I think the NRA IS biased!  I would be very surprised if you
> disagreed!  I never said, nor implied, that lefties like Schumer were
> not!  I guess you ignored my Devil's Advocate position here, Dave.
> Lighten up a little, will you?  I'm just looking for rational,
> objective information that can be used against the leftists regaring
> the issues of gun control.  I'm telling you that NRA statistics,
> regardless of where they cite their sources, will not do much good in
> our efforts to defeat the left.  This is not to say that the left's
> arguments are rational, most of them are not.  The NRA's goals (or at
> least what they used to be) is to convince the American public that gun
> control is bad and that the right to bear arms is a Constitutional
> right that cannot be taken away under any circumstances.  This is a
> bias.  I'm not saying they are right or wrong, just that it's a bias.
> I don't like President Clinton nor Democratic goals and values in
> general.  That is a bias.
> And I am STILL looking for a non-partisan, objective organization that
> can produce stats of this nature if anyone has any clues as to where I
> can find them....
If I can stick my $.02 in here you are asking for the impossible. Any
organization that does a study and does not support the anti-gun postion
is automatically labeled biased by the anti's and vice-versa. The proper way
to reach a 'non-partisian' conclusion is either to do the research yourself
in which case you will be labeled biased as well depending on which postion
your conclusions support. Or, and this is the way I prefer, examine the methods
of the study in question and either refute the methods or the data. However,
if you accept the data and the methods then you logically must accept the
The NRA generally does not do its own studies but rather hires
experts to do them under contract (I beleive that was the case here, although
it does do some of its own small studies). Perfect example is the Waco hearings,
where the NRA hired an agency that is frequently used by the Federal Government
to investigate the evidence. The data that the NRA wanted introduced as result
of this study was immediately attacked by the anti's (Schumer in particular)
as being biased and the NRA was accused of trying to influence the hearings
to further their agenda (which was true). HCI was doing the same thing except
they did not hire any experts but simply fed the anti's on the committee false
and misleading data to further their agenda but yet they were not accused of
interfering with a congressional investigation. The point is, that regardless
of where the truth comes from the truth is still the truth and a lie is still
a lie. No one refuted the truth of the conclusions but simply attacked the
source as biased.
The point some one else was making on this list is that the
NRA is so carefully scrutinized by the antis that it cannot afford to bias
studies and draw false conclusions (only the antis have that luxury). The data
was the raw FBI Uniform Crime reports, we have to accept that since that is all
there is (admittedly based on recent revelations we cannot say the FBI could
not possibly have doctored the data, but if they did it would be toward the
anti side). Then the only other alternative is to refute the methods and since
few of us are expert in both crime and statistics we must rely on the
voracity of those conducting the study. I don't know who did this particular
study for the NRA but they generally higher well respected and recognized
organizations. If you are really interested I can try to find out who did the
study and you can decide for yourself if you trust it, but I doubt you will
be able to come up with anything that will question the voracity of these
organizations. As an aside, every study conducted by HCI can other antis
have been totally refuted (although the press will not print it) by either
proving they used false data or unacceptable scientific methods.
Dennis Putnam, Manager
Technical Planning and Services
Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc.
Opinions expressed are mine and should not be viewed as an official positon of
Hayes or its management.

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