Thursday, March 30, 2017

When doctors lie.

When doctors lie, they do it really carefully. They use lots of charts, big words in Latin, and complicated statistics.

Compared with nonimmigrants, immigrant children and youth had a lower risk of unintentional firearm injury, although the risk of assault-related firearm injury was higher among refugees and immigrants from Central America and Africa. The results suggest that prevention strategies for firearm safety should target nonimmigrant youth as well as these newly identified high-risk immigrant populations.

The money quote:

 We counted almost 1800 firearm injuries among children and youth in Ontario over a 5-year period, which represents almost 1 injury per day.

What this study purports to show is that Canada needs more gun control, because kids are getting shot in this country. This leads to sensational headlines.

From the Blob and Snail:

New Canadian research shows one young person is shot almost every day in Ontario, with the vast majority of injuries being unintentional.

The Toronto (Red) Star:

 Every day a child or youth is shot in Ontario and three out of four of incidents are accidental, says a groundbreaking study on firearm injuries in Canada.

The problem is, "one young person is shot almost every day in Ontario" is a lie. One young person is not shot with a gun every day in Ontario. The point of the study is to make you think that, but it just ain't so.

The 1800 firearm related injuries turns out to not be 1800 gunshot wounds from actual bullets fired out of actual guns, hitting actual children/youths.

Lie One, 1800 "children" or "youths" did not get hurt. The age admitted to the study goes up to 25 years old. "Youth" implies an age under the voting, or at the most the drinking age. Voting is 18, owning a firearm is 18, drinking is 19. The study falsely labels those over the age of majority and legally adults as "youths." Why? To get the numbers up, because children never really get shot in this country.

Lie Two, "1800 firearm related injuries" turns out not to be actual gunshot wounds. The study considers air pistols and air rifles, BB guns and paintball guns to be "firearms." So if you twist your ankle playing paintball or pinch your hand in the hinge of a pump air rifle, those are "firearm related injuries." Of note is the omission of their interesting interpretation of the word "firearm" from the study. A reporter had to phone them up to get this rather important information.

How many ACTUAL children had an ACTUAL gunshot wound in Ontario from 2008–2012? We do not know from this study. I suspect the real number is under 100, but since the authors conflated paintball welts and BB gun bruises with gunshots, I can't really say.

They also use a bunch of other studies with equally dodgy evidence to lie about a bunch of other stuff. I'd go into it, but then this would be a book, not a blog post.

Bottom line, they lied. Like a pile of Persian carpets. Then the Canadian Medical Association Journal editors and the journal's reviewers allowed the lie to stand. Then the Canadian media en-mass transmitted and amplified the lie.

That is how things are, here in Canada in 2017. Nice, eh?

The Phantom

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