Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Blast from the past: David Hemenway comes out from under his rock

Back in the day when I looked into the medical research on gun control, one name kept coming up over and over again: Dr. David Hemenway.

Paid gun control boffin of the Joyce Foundation, Dr. Hemenway's greatest hits include:
I am the NRA: an analysis of a national random sample of gun owners.  Violence Vict. 1993 Winter;8(4):353-65. 
Loaded guns in the home. Analysis of a national random survey of gun owners.   Weil DS, Hemenway D JAMA. 1992 Jun 10;267(22):3033-7.
Firearm training and storage.    Hemenway D, Solnick SJ, Azrael DR.JAMA. 1995 Jan 4;273(1):46-50.

I've read these studies, and a lot more by Dr. Hemenway and his little friends at Haaaaahvaaahd. His basic modus operandi is to conflate two things together, like guns and cars, and argue that these things should be treated in the same fashion. Because cars are licensed and inspected, guns should be licensed and inspected. He also likes to make sweeping policy statements based on telephone surveys with really small sample sizes.

Well, he's back at it after Sandy Hook, and his new paper is called "Curbing Gun Violence: Lessons From Public Health Successes"

Predictably published in Journal of the American Medical Association, he tries to pretend guns are the same as cars, cigarettes AND poisoning. Which is just friggin' GENIUS. He's got the whole gamut of gun-ban love in here. He's got magazine restrictions, he's got the "SmartGun" electronic control, he's got Assault Weapon (boooo hissss!) bans, he's got TAXES on guns and ammunition, and new for this year he's got Hollywood taking guns out of the movies.

Here's the table from the article:

Image not available.

Which sounds really great and everything, except for this: guns are not cars, they aren't smokes, and they aren't toxic household products.  Guns are -weapons-. Weapons have a specific purpose fundamentally different from vehicles, smoking and etc.

Criminal acts of violence committed with guns, specifically assault, murder and suicide are not accidents. They are the deliberate and purposeful acts of willful individuals. Which take place in very small geographic locations, not spread evenly across the country.

So to pretend that the type of public health policies that have been applied to accidents and habit forming drugs are applicable to murder and suicide, if I were feeling charitable I'd characterize it as stupid. Silly. Ridiculous.

But it isn't stupid, silly or ridiculous in this case. Its a deliberate lie. One that this man, Dr. David Hemenway, has been making a tidy living spreading since the early 1990's.

If you want to watch the man lie out of his own mouth to Sandra Cupp on video, here's some MSNBC for you.

I hate liars.

Dear Dr. Hemenway, please do us all a favor. Crawl back under your rock and take all this bullshit with you.

The Phantom

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