Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Gunshot victims

Two additional observations about the contretemps between the ACP and NRA:

i) No doubt ER physicians see lots of gunshot victims. But to extrapolate from that to an epidemic of gun violence suffers from selection bias. For instance, suppose an oncologist discovers an ominous pattern: all his patients have cancer! Does that mean there's an epidemic of cancer? Obviously not. He's in a profession that selects for patients with cancer. The fact that a disproportionate number of ER patients are gunshot victims doesn't make that a representative sample of the general public. 

Gun violence in the USA is concentrated among certain demographic groups in certain cities in certain states. 

ii) Some people are gunshot victims because they were unarmed. They couldn't defend themselves thanks to cities with gun bans. Some people are gunshot victims because bans on guns eliminated the deterrent to armed robbery, armed burglary, and armed mugging. 

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