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US STATES WITH MORE GUN OWNERS HAVE MORE MURDERS
Reuters ^ | 12/04/02 | Reuters - Charnicia E Huggins

Posted on 12/04/2002 10:58:29 AM PST by ServesURight

US States with More Gun Owners Have More Murders

By Charnicia E. Huggins

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Homicides in the United States are more common in states where more households own guns, according to researchers.

The study findings imply "that guns, on balance, lethally imperil rather than protect Americans," lead study author Dr. Matthew Miller of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health.

"This inference is consistent with previous...studies that have found that the presence of a gun in the home is a risk factor for homicide, and starkly at odds with the unsubstantiated, yet often adduced, notion that guns are a public good," he added.

Miller and his team investigated the association between homicide and rates of household firearm ownership using 1988-1997 data collected from the nine US census regions and the 50 states.

They found that household gun ownership was linked to homicide rates throughout the nine census regions. At the state level, the link between rates of gun ownership and murder existed for all homicide victims older than age 5, according to the report in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

In fact, the six states with the highest rates of gun ownership--Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, West Virginia and Arkansas--had more than 21,000 homicides, nearly three times as many as the four states with the lowest rates of gun ownership--Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Further, people who lived in one of the six "high gun states" were nearly three times as likely to die from any homicide and more than four times as likely to die from gun-related homicide than those who lived in "low gun states," the report indicates. Their risk of dying in a non-gun-related homicide was also nearly double that of those who lived in states with the lowest rates of gun ownership.

On average, about half of households in high gun states had firearms, according to data reported by three of the six states, in comparison to 13% of households in low-gun states.

Although homicide rates were higher in poor areas and in states with higher rates of non-lethal violent crime and urbanization, the association between household firearm ownership and homicide remained true when the researchers took these and other factors into consideration.

Still, Miller's team notes that it is not clear whether the higher rates of household gun ownership caused or resulted from the increased number of homicides.

"It is possible, for example, that locally elevated homicide rates may have led to increased local gun acquisition," they write.

SOURCE: American Journal of Public Health 2002;92:1988-1993.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; propaganda
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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To: ServesURight
The study findings imply "that guns, on balance, lethally imperil rather than protect Americans," lead study author Dr. Matthew Miller of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health.

Dr. Miller, a noted expert on cause and effect, went on to point out that wind is caused by all the trees getting together and wiggling their limbs.

51 posted on 12/04/2002 11:37:30 AM PST by Blue Screen of Death
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To: ServesURight
...lead study author Dr. Matthew Miller of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts...

Ummmm... Yeah. Got to this point, and knew this article was crap.

Typical dimocRAT BS.

52 posted on 12/04/2002 11:39:40 AM PST by Capitalist Eric
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To: ServesURight
marked for a second coming
53 posted on 12/04/2002 11:42:11 AM PST by CyberCowboy777
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To: gcruse
I don't see any BS in the article at all.

Well, there is this:

In fact, the six states with the highest rates of gun ownership--Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, West Virginia and Arkansas--had more than 21,000 homicides, nearly three times as many as the four states with the lowest rates of gun ownership--Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Correct me if I'm wrong but did the author of this article compare raw numbers of homicides in six states to raw numbers of homicides in four other states? That's a pure BS comparison.

Of course, this may be the fault of the author of the news story and not the researchers, who may not have put forth such a comparison in their actual paper. But it certainly is "BS in the article". Comparing the number of homicides in a group of six states to the number of homicides in some other group of four states is a pure nonsense comparison. States have different populations and such. Especially take note of the fact that group 2 includes Rhode Island and Hawaii. I betcha group 1 also has "nearly three times as many" TiVos as group 2....

54 posted on 12/04/2002 11:42:13 AM PST by Dr. Frank fan
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Comment #55 Removed by Moderator

To: hgro
Poverty rates can be another factor. First number, percent in poverty, second number, murder rate per 100,000:

MA - 9.3 percent, 2.3
NJ - 8.5 percent, 4
RI - 11.9 percent, 3.7
HI - 10.7 percent, 2.6

AL - 16.1 percent, 8.5
Ark - 15.8 percent, 5.5
LA - 19.6 percent, 11.2
MI - 19.9 percent, 9.9
WV - 17.9 percent, 2.2
WY - 11.4 percent, 1.8

So, with the exception of West Virginia, the poverty rate has a fair correlation to the relative murder rate.

In other words, there are many, many factors that better model the murder rate than gun ownership.

56 posted on 12/04/2002 11:45:58 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: JohnMosesBrowning
See post #47. Also see post #56 for correlation of poverty rate to murder rate.
57 posted on 12/04/2002 11:47:03 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: ServesURight
It's a good thing they didn't throw Washington, DC into the mix. It might have skewed the numbers in the other direction.

Practically nobody owns a (legal) gun in DC.

58 posted on 12/04/2002 11:48:14 AM PST by Gritty
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To: ServesURight

Bulletin:

This just in: Recent study reveals link between autombiles and fatal traffic accidents.


59 posted on 12/04/2002 11:48:34 AM PST by semaj
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To: Dr. Frank
Don't forget that homicides include non-gun related homicides. Pure BS until you factor in the cause of death and break it into classes such as criminal, domestic violence etc...
60 posted on 12/04/2002 11:48:36 AM PST by Woodman
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To: ServesURight
My family has more guns than just about anyone outside of gun dealers, but we have never once reported having guns to any government agency, census worker, or other information gatherer. Where's this data REALLY coming from? The mind of a professor?
61 posted on 12/04/2002 11:50:24 AM PST by SoDak
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To: VRWCmember
Here's what it means: Over 10 years, the total number of murders in SIX "high gun ownership" states (21,000) was nearly three times the number of murders in four "low gun ownership" states. No per capita calculations, or other adjustments to make a valid comparison.

I added up the populations, and it turns out that the "top six" and "bottom four" states as groups have about the same total populations, roughly 17 million each.

So the per capita comparisons would be about the same.

However, since the tables I was using to find state populations also had population breakdowns by race, I did a few more calculations. What's interesting is that the "top six" states have 3.9 million blacks, while the "bottom four" states have only 1.6 million.

This is not an insignificant observation since on average blacks commit homicides at a rate roughly ten times that of whites.

If the authors haven't already factored out the *known* demographic contributors to homicide rate, then they're dishonestly attributing all the higher rates to gun ownership alone.

Apparently the authors of this "study" are following their PC prejudices instead of the data. They conclude that it "must" be gun ownership which drives the homicide rate differential, since it "can't" be due to differing mixes of cultures/races.

And no, my pointing out the racial breakdown of the states is not a "racist" observation. Quite the contrary. It's the PC authors of the "it's the guns" conclusion who are in fact being racist, since they are implicitly claiming that since guns are the "cause" of the murder rates, then the higher black homicide rate must necessarily be because black people are more apt to go wild when guns are available than white people are (since, the authors assert, socioeconomic factors aren't really a key factor after all).

62 posted on 12/04/2002 11:51:13 AM PST by Dan Day
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To: dirtboy
Well done.....they took a few Southern states with epidemic minority homicides and high gun ownership (largely due to that fact and hunting) and lumped them together with WY and WV to make a faulty political statement.

Incredible.
63 posted on 12/04/2002 11:55:53 AM PST by wardaddy
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Comment #64 Removed by Moderator

To: ServesURight
studies that have found that the presence of a gun in the home is a risk factor for homicide,

That's right....anyone coming into my home with bad intent risks getting their head blown off by a 12 gauge. ....And this risk factor is indeed very high.

65 posted on 12/04/2002 12:01:38 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: Phantom Lord
Rhode Island also has a higher murder rate than Vermont similar (sized populations). I further question how they determined the gunownership rates. This study directly contradicts John Lott's conclusions so I really do question the statistics and even the raw numbers. as to the quatity of murders.

Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown

66 posted on 12/04/2002 12:04:39 PM PST by harpseal
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To: gcruse
"I don't see any BS in the article at all."

You are not looking too closely at it then.

It is (or should be) known that any anti-gun article, poll etc is looking to fulfill their belief that guns kill people.

Other people here have pointed out the flaws of the article; it does not distingush suicide, self-defense, domestic violence etc from homicide..it combines them, makes uneducated guesses on non-existant information (how many gun owners and guns there are).
67 posted on 12/04/2002 12:05:14 PM PST by Pintobean
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To: dirtboy
Nice job.
68 posted on 12/04/2002 12:07:25 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: ServesURight
Main Entry: ho·mi·cide
Pronunciation: 'hä-m&-"sId, 'hO-
Function: noun
Etymology: in sense 1, from Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin homicida, from homo human being + -cida -cide; in sense 2, from Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin homicidium, from homo + -cidium -cide Date: 14th century
1 : a person who kills another
2 : a killing of one human being by another

Homicide does not necessarily equate to murder. Reuters can't even get their definitions correct. I'm not a statistician by any means, but this is the most skewed study I've ever seen.

69 posted on 12/04/2002 12:10:11 PM PST by A Navy Vet
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To: ServesURight
Still, Miller's team notes that it is not clear whether the higher rates of household gun ownership caused or resulted from the increased number of homicides. "It is possible, for example, that locally elevated homicide rates may have led to increased local gun acquisition," they write.

Translation: we don't have any clue how to interpret our own statistics, but it makes for great axe-grinding material for anti-rights axis house organs like Reuters.

70 posted on 12/04/2002 12:10:30 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: dirtboy
So, with the exception of West Virginia, the poverty rate has a fair correlation to the relative murder rate.

The reason West Virginia is an exception is that it looks like only one person a year is murdered. Everything in the state is named "Robert C. Byrd."

71 posted on 12/04/2002 12:10:37 PM PST by Gumlegs
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To: dirtboy
The article didn't say that they used census data, just that they used census regions. (Perhaps in order to get reliable population data.)
72 posted on 12/04/2002 12:14:09 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic
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To: ServesURight
Miller and his team investigated the association between homicide and rates of household firearm ownership using 1988-1997 data collected from the nine US census regions and the 50 states.

Gun ownership data from the Census? I didn't answer any gun questions.

73 posted on 12/04/2002 12:16:24 PM PST by hattend
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To: JohnMosesBrowning
Exactly! Do they actually think that illegally-owned guns are being reported?
74 posted on 12/04/2002 12:19:15 PM PST by SoDak
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To: Dan Day
The study might also be a commentary on law enforcement effectiveness in the given states.
75 posted on 12/04/2002 12:21:52 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic
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To: ServesURight
The study findings imply "that guns, on balance, lethally imperil rather than protect Americans," lead study author Dr. Matthew Miller of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health. "This inference is consistent with previous...studies that have found that the presence of a gun in the home is a risk factor for homicide, and starkly at odds with the unsubstantiated, yet often adduced, notion that guns are a public good," he added.

Complete twaddle. These "researchers" make the exact same mistake the "previous studies" (all by anti-gun nut Arthur Kellermann) made -- and yes, I've read them.

Their error is to presume that if guns "on balance" produce a net protective effect, then states (or in the prior studies, homes) which have more guns would see fewer homicides than states/homes with fewer guns.

But this presumption is *only* true if there are *no* other correlations between guns and homicide.

If homicides themselves can drive up gun ownership rates (or if some other factor ties the two together), then it's easily possible for the presence of a gun to *always* increase safety and yet for guns *still* to be correlated with homicide rates (i.e., more guns, more homicide).

For example, a 100% increase in homicide rate may cause citizens to arm themselves for safety, and even if this actually reduces the homicide rate down to a mere 50% increase (over the original base), that would *still* show a 50% higher homicide rate correlated with increased gun ownership.

And yet, the authors of this study would have us believe that this "proved" that a) guns cause homicide, *and* b) guns don't protect anyone.

These people are idiots. Their very premise is flawed, even *before* they start looking at the data.

76 posted on 12/04/2002 12:22:00 PM PST by Dan Day
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To: Capitalist Eric
"...lead study author Dr. Matthew Miller of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts..."

Here is another one of Dr. Miller's research interests: "the association of cigarette smoking to suicide."

No, I am NOT making this up!

77 posted on 12/04/2002 12:24:22 PM PST by Boss_Jim_Gettys
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To: ServesURight
Where's the FReeper who usually posts that "Man on the lifeboat" BS graphic??

There are several Freepers who post it
I'm one of them....
But
This article needs more than just the "BS Meter"

! !

78 posted on 12/04/2002 12:25:58 PM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: ServesURight
Of course, they're conveniently avoiding the real question: Does gun ownership in and of itself cause more homicides, or is it merely that people in pro-gun states are more likely to use a gun to kill somebody, instead of a baseball bat, a knife, poisoning, etc?

Not that we can even trust what little they claim in this article without seeing the entire study.

79 posted on 12/04/2002 12:26:51 PM PST by Timesink
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To: ServesURight
The study findings imply "that guns, on balance, lethally imperil rather than protect Americans," lead study author Dr. Matthew Miller of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts...

Stopped reading this article right there.

80 posted on 12/04/2002 12:27:28 PM PST by JPJones
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To: Beelzebubba
Re: your post #40 -- WELL DONE!


81 posted on 12/04/2002 12:28:36 PM PST by Joe Brower
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To: ServesURight
"US States with more gun owners have more murders."

What BS.

damn statistics.

I wonder if the US states with more gun owners also have MORE PEOPLE (Sam Kinison imitation).

82 posted on 12/04/2002 12:31:09 PM PST by HIDEK6
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To: VRWCmember
Your totally right about that...this guy is basically saying that it's safer in Massachusetts than Wyoming...what an idiot.
83 posted on 12/04/2002 12:31:42 PM PST by JPJones
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Comment #84 Removed by Moderator

To: ServesURight
Oh yeah, two more questions:

1) More than other states? That conveniently leaves out Washington, DC.

2) What about states that contain major cities that ban guns (and where gun violence is through the roof as a result) whereas the rest of the state is pro-gun and homicides are low? The authors of this study are choosing what are more or less random, arbitrary divisions of the population - state borders - as the basis for their studies. And that's useless. What if DC was part of Maryland? What if NYC was part of New Jersey? What if LA and the Southland were its own state? Any of those variables would wildly skew the results of this study, and thus proves that the results of any such study are too skewed to be of any use ... except as probaganda for the rapidly dying gun-grabber crowd.

85 posted on 12/04/2002 12:33:25 PM PST by Timesink
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To: dirtboy
Unsubstantiated? John Lott's studies are FAR more rigorous than this nonsense.

I'm glad you brought Lott up. I was going to point out that this notion has indeed been substantiated thanks to his monumental research effort.

86 posted on 12/04/2002 12:39:07 PM PST by Nov3
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To: Nov3
2 points:
I wonder why he did not include California and NY State in the study. They're both huge states with lots of minorities and extremely rigorous gun control laws. I think he did, but didn't like the results, so he took them out.

Also, since the study is really attempting to come to conclusions to "help" set public policy, no gun law research is complete without looking at what ACTUALLY happens when tough gun control laws get enacted. Last time I checked, violent crime using a gun skyrocketed. The latest comes to us from Great Britain (a society as close to us as can be). It appears that states with the greatest number of guns in CRIMINALS' hands have the greatest number of homicide. Disarming non-criminal citizens makes them a sitting duck. They would then be more likely to give up their freedoms for the government's socialist protection. Yuk.
87 posted on 12/04/2002 12:46:11 PM PST by winner3000
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To: All
There is additional commentary on this over at The Firing Line.


88 posted on 12/04/2002 12:50:18 PM PST by Joe Brower
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To: ServesURight
I agree: the presence of guns in a home is very dangerous for the life and health of criminal intruders.
89 posted on 12/04/2002 12:51:07 PM PST by Stefan Stackhouse
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To: gcruse
“"This inference is consistent with previous...studies that have found that the presence of a gun in the home is a risk factor for homicide, and starkly at odds with the unsubstantiated, yet often adduced, notion that guns are a public good,"”

A statement of OPINION because it certainly does not state any facts to the case.

“Miller and his team investigated the association between homicide and rates of household firearm ownership using 1988-1997 data collected from the nine US census regions and the 50 states.”

Impossible. There are no known census statistics accurate enough to discover firearms ownership in any state. In places where guns have been outlawed, such as New York City, name one person who will admit to firearms ownership.

“In fact, the six states with the highest rates of gun ownership”

Six? Does the seventh make a difference? Why the sixth? I’d like to see the report to discover if they stopped at six. Again, how can they compare firearms ownership when that isn’t a known quantity?

“Further, people who lived in one of the six "high gun states" were nearly three times as likely to die from any homicide and more than four times as likely to die from gun-related homicide than those who lived in "low gun states," the report indicates”

Again, junk “science” as no known “high gun state” exists.

No, please prove the report correct.
90 posted on 12/04/2002 12:53:06 PM PST by PatrioticAmerican
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To: gcruse
Take it county by county from the Red/Blue zones of the last election. The blue zone[dem] has a six times higher murder rate than the red Zone[Republican].
91 posted on 12/04/2002 12:54:13 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: ServesURight
Hmmm ... don't think he's ever heard of "correlation is not causation." Principle number one in social science investigations.

Perhaps states have more guns because there are more murders, so more people feel a need for lethal defense.

How do "gun-frei-ammunition-verboten" cities like Chicago, DC, LA, and NYC fit into this equation? I guess all those murdered people in those places were killed with pointed sticks or pomegranates?

92 posted on 12/04/2002 12:57:15 PM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Joe Brower
#88 - Good link.

Two serious points: They gustimate gun ownership based on the homicide rate. More killings, more guns. So any state that has more killings has more guns, and, therefore, according to these commie MEDICAL doctors, there are more killings when there are more guns. The CI index. Pure CRAP!

Second, they included all killings, including stabbings.
93 posted on 12/04/2002 12:58:03 PM PST by PatrioticAmerican
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To: dirtboy
Poverty rates have nothing to do with it. That would mean that folks were not moral agents at all. Look at WV and WY. Both have the same low murder rates, guns and poverty rates that vary by a factor of ~2.

WV - 17.9 percent, 2.2
WY - 11.4 percent, 1.8

" there are many, many factors that better model the murder rate than gun ownership"

That's right. It's quite simple fundamentally, and has been known for a long time. It's the idea that men are moral agents. The idea that men are random variables is an authoritarian idea.

These 2 States have essentially the same murder rate and ~2X diff in the poverty rate. NJ is an authoritarian State with no guns.

Ark - 15.8 percent, 5.5
NJ - 8.5 percent, 4

94 posted on 12/04/2002 1:01:44 PM PST by spunkets
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To: ServesURight
legal or illegal gun ownership? If guns are so bad, should cops have them? Sheesh.

I have a job to do, and it is to own a gun. They can bite me. I don't stop them, so let them not stop me.

And while they are on the issue, crimes and coercive societal oppression from criminals do increase without gun owners around.

I do not fight for my privileges but for rights. So if they are willing to fight and kill people out of the privilege of being a gunfree equalitarian sheeple society, these people are clearly on the side of crime and murder. Crimes and liberals threatening people around exist, we have a job to do and it is to own guns. Sorry, they are the ones making an issue of it and they are the very reason owning guns is so important. Glad they made that point clear.
95 posted on 12/04/2002 1:04:14 PM PST by lavaroise
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To: ServesURight
Still unwilling to debate John Lott on the facts, the gun grabbers instead put out another phony "study."

Pathetic.

96 posted on 12/04/2002 1:14:35 PM PST by Bonaparte
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To: Beelzebubba
(Revised for distribution)

US Facilities with More Doctors Have More Deaths

By Pressrelease Regurgitator

NEW YORK (Frauders Health) - Deaths in the United States are more common in facilities (such as hospitals) where more occupants are doctors, according to researchers.

The study findings imply "that doctors, on balance, lethally imperil rather than protect Americans," lead study author Dr. Math Misuser of Haphavard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, told Frauders Health.

"This inference is consistent with previous...studies that have found that the presence of a doctor in the building is a risk factor for death, and starkly at odds with the unsubstantiated, yet often adduced, notion that doctors are a public good," he added.

Miisuser and his team investigated the association between death and rates of medical professional presence, using 1988-1997 data collected from the nine US census regions and the 50 states.

They found that physician prevalence was linked to death rates throughout the nine census regions. At the state level, the link between rates of physician prevalence in a given facility and death existed for all fatalities older than age 5, according to the report in the December issue of the American Journal of Political Whores.

In fact, the six types of facilities with the highest rates of physician presence--hospitals, medical office buildings, senior care facilities, trauma centers, cancer treatment centers, and golf clubhouses --had more than 2,000,000 deaths, nearly three times as many as the four types of facilities with the lowest physician presence--homes, non-medical offices, schools, and retail stores.

Further, people who visited one of the six "high doctor facilities" were nearly three times as likely to die from any disease and more than four times as likely to die from doctor-related surgery than those who visited only "low doctor facilities," the report indicates. Their risk of dying of a non-surgery-related disease was also nearly double that of those who remained in facilities with the lowest rates of physician presence.

On average, about half of people in high-doctor facilities were physicians, according to data reported by three of the six states, in comparison to 1.3% of occupants of low-doctor facilities being doctors.

Although death rates were higher in poor-health areas and in facilities with higher rates of non-lethal diseases and injuries, the association between physician prevalence and death remained true when the researchers took these and other factors into consideration.

Still, Misuser's team notes that it is not clear whether the higher rates of physician prevalence caused or resulted from the increased number of deaths.

"It is possible, for example, that locally elevated death rates may have led to increased numbers of physicians going to where people were dying," they write.

SOURCE: American Journal of Political Whores 2002;92:1988-1993.
97 posted on 12/04/2002 1:35:29 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed
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To: uncbob
Eliminate the big cities and the murders go WAY down

Indeed, the rural areas are generaly OK, while the cities that forbid gun ownership have huge homicide rates.

Note however that as someone pointed out, homicide means not murder. Justifiable homicides were rated in that account. This is ridiculous and yet another attempt at privileging criminals' privileges to comit crimes safely over victims's rights to defend themselves. The whole thing is not so much hoguewash, but vicious stripping of victims' rights for the privileges of criminals to stay alive. They call that healh!? These people are sick!

But in the end, this issue will hinge in people's hearts, and while they make a good vicious attempt at changing people's hearts, it wont work this time around.

These liberal thesis have one objective and one objective only: privileges over rights, war starting over privileges instead of war ending for sake of protecting rights.

1. They want to initiate war and to allow the initiation of conflict, while to disallow the resolution and end of the war at the hands of victims fighting back. What are they initiating war on? They are initiating it on biggoted views of the average American and lies about the humaneness of even hardened criminals. They are attacking the wrong people for a societal ill. So they attack the good and defend the bad.

2. Secondly their original intent is immoral at the base, because they attack a right (virtualy starting a war) to favor a statiscal privilege, a privileged criminal class, a privileged bigoted redefinition of our jobs as Americans and a privileged class of neighbors who want psychological, social, power and asset protection privileges over other neighbors, making other neighbors easier targets for crimes and ruling over other neighbors very private jurisdictions and self-defense realm. They want to privilege a class of people who want the power to legislate over people's defenseless lives, a class that wants to be privileged by the lack of power/vulnerability of a neighbor.

98 posted on 12/04/2002 1:37:06 PM PST by lavaroise
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To: Phantom Lord
Question? What percentage minorities used the gun...Bet know will tell. RI is probably 60% black
99 posted on 12/04/2002 1:39:07 PM PST by captnorb
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To: Beelzebubba
That sums it up. Rights over distorted statistical privileges. It's like in Holland, where there is so called less crime, but drugs are legal and rapists visit prostitutes to gratify themselves. A society that allows privileges to go above rights will see a right as a crime and a self-privileging criminal act as an act of freedom.
100 posted on 12/04/2002 1:42:44 PM PST by lavaroise
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