CPRC in the American Journal of Epidemiology: “What do we know about the Association between Firearm Legislation and Firearm-related Injuries”

30 Jun , 2016  

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CPRC President John Lott, CPRC Academic Board Member Carl Moody and CPRC Research Direction John Whitley had a letter in the June 16th issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology to point out errors in a recent paper in the journal by J. Santaella-Tenorio, A. Cerdá M, Villaveces, and Sandro Galea. A copy of their letter is available here.  The original authors’ reply is here.

In their response letter, the authors claim that Lott, Moody, and Whitley were incorrect in their central claim that Santaella-Tenorio, Villaveces, and Galea did not cherry pick the results to report.

At a broader level, Lott et al. implied that we chose to exclude findings from papers because they did not fit our perspective on firearms. This is wrong. Many of the studies included a vast number of estimates. However, given the guidelines of Epidemiologic Reviews, we were constrained by space and had to make a choice as to which estimates to re- port. To avoid bias, we made a clear and systematic decision to focus on the primary results from each paper we reviewed, as stated by the authors of each paper. Hence, secondary findings from papers were not included because of the space limitations and not because of a particular worldview. Further, we believe that the decision to not report secondary findings does not dramatically impact the overall findings that emerged from our literature review.

Note that this does not explain the point by Lott et al. that the authors of the papers that they discussed themselves pointed to other results as their main results.

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