Just yesterday, I was waxing poetic about an academic study that concluded most gun crime is committed by individuals who didn’t legally own the guns they’d used during the crime. Big surprise. But now there’s something even bigger.
One of the most widely cited “academic studies” on gun ownership and mass shootings looks like it is little more than the wishful thinking of the professor who cobbled it together.
The study of 171 countries over almost 50 years claims to prove that more guns equals more mass shootings. Yet, in order to really reach that conclusion, you’d have to include all of the facts–and it looks like Adam Lankford, a criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, is a bit lacking in that regard.
This is bad news for the gun grabbers, who loved this study. All of the liberal rags have relied on it to support their agendas. The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Time magazine–and many others. It was published in a journal called Violence and Victims.
When it first appeared in January, many took it at face value and began quoting from it. Now, more than six months on, the study is coming up short.
“The Lankford ‘study’ is nothing more than junk science disguised as research, and never should have been published in a responsible scholarly journal,” Florida State University criminology professor Gary Kleck said in an interview with FoxNews.
What exactly is the problem? The study, which is titled “Public Mass Shooters and Firearms: A Cross-National Study of 171 Countries,” reaches this conclusion: “The United States and other nations with high firearm ownership rates may be particularly susceptible to future public mass shootings, even if they are relatively peaceful or mentally healthy according to other national indicators.”
Yet no one can confirm how Lankford arrives at this conclusion, because he isn’t sharing his data. Not only that, no one is sure where his data came from. Lankford’s academic peers and many in the media have asked him to share his data, and Lankford refuses.
Take the data for starters. 171 countries? That’s a lot. 171 countries over 46 years? Years in which there are no electronic record kept? How many library archives would you have to troll to collect all of that information. And then, how many languages would you have to speak to read it?
Lankford’s makes the claim in his study that “Complete data were available.” Yet he doesn’t detail how he put this data together.
“Lankford does not claim to be able to read all the languages used in those 171 nations, or to have made use of others with this ability,” Kleck pointed out. “This method would result in a near-total omission of relevant news stories outside of the English-speaking part of the world.”
“I am open-minded about sharing data with other scholars for collaborative purposes,” Lankford said in an email to Fox–an email explaining that he wasn’t going to share it with them.
Wait, though. It is about to get even more murky.
Violence and Victims Associate Editor Edna Erez is taking a defensive tone. “Journal editors generally trust the integrity of authors, and unless reviewers/referrers who are experts in the specific research area call attention to weaknesses in methodology or otherwise challenge findings, the results are not likely to be questioned.”
In other words, they published his half-assed “study” because, you know, Roll Tide!
“The manuscript was subject to blind review by two established researchers with expertise in the area of gun-related violence, critiqued, and revised according to the recommendations made in these reviews,” Maiuro said.
One wonders if those two yokels had access to the data.
“No qualified scholar would accept work by a researcher who could not, or would not, even explain exactly how he measured his most important variable [mass shootings],” Kleck said.