Gun injuries go down by 20% during NRA conventions

Originally published at:


Interesting article.

But wait! Don’t they talke their guns with them to the convention?
How do they maintain security?


Why am I completely unsurprised?


This would imply (by extension) that 20% of all gun injuries in crimes are committed by NRA members.


To be honest I was surprised by the statistic that only 17k out of 85k gun injuries were unintentional. I know it is perverse but I am glad they are that good at actually injuring the people they intend to. Another examples of how the lack of statistics confuses the debate.


Um, um, I know this one… it’s all those good guys with guns, right?

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gun shows don’t allow concealed carry or open carry.

because, ya know, safety concerns.


I am a bit skeptical. Although I am not a gun owner or supporter of NRA, I’m not going to believe this just because I feel their conclusions make the NRA look like buffoons.

For example, week 0 is the week of the convention, which has been held in april and may. This may create a natural gradient as people get their guns out of storage and sporting clubs open for the season, or other seasonal differences unrelated to the convention.

Here is the adjusted data from the paper:

Here are the ‘unadjusted’ data from the appendix:

Somehow by adjusting the data, their error bars get smaller but absolute values do not change much. A permutation test would indicate week 0 would come out lowest 1/7 times, which is not close to the 1/20 p=.05 criterion for chance results usually used, so they do get an advantage from the adjustment. Plus, had week 0 been highest, they would have also had a story (NRA conventions increase the number of gun accidents!), or had the week before or after been highest they would have had another story (NRA causes more accidents as convention-goers dust off their guns in preparation for the convention/in the aftermath of the convention).

There is really no way of telling, but I think if I had data like this that didn’t support a popular conclusion, it would probably not get past peer review at NEJM.


So I should push for more NRA conventions?



Looking forward to the day they believe their own lies and they do allow it.

One heated argument later, and you’d have the Mexican standoff that saved America.


Ok, so you have 80,000 people attending a convention, and approximately 80 million gun owners. That is .1% of the overall population walking around a convention hall for a weekend. It seems to me that number is way too small to account for a full 20% reduction. Especially since the location moves and it isn’t the same people going. And it is taking only 3 weeks before and after. Are there other peaks and valleys in the accident rate?

I will say if there is truly a direct correlation I’d say it is because people most likely to attend are people who are more likely to participate in some shooting activity more often. The same way a person who skies every weekend is more likely to break a leg than a person who skis once a year.

But it seems like a “fun” coincidence similar to something like this.Though hey, if the NEJM has some funding on their hands, why don’t they do some more practical studies.

You know what I am surprised about? Trump suggesting we just ignore due process and it not popping up on BB. That sounds like just the civil rights abuse that would be front page - yet crickets…


Okay … the injuries go down… gotcha…
What about crime?
IF it is suggested that the NRA is responsible for 20% of the shootings?
Who are they shooting?
IF the crime rate goes UP during the days of the convention, we can also
conclude that when they are home, the NRA members are shooting criminals, yes?

Not enough data to support their conclusion that fewer guns will support safer streets.
Fewer people get shot… but we have no indication they are law-abiding citizens…
not criminals…

Until that time. . .

The NRA (and their gunhugging apologists) need no help on that count. At this point they’re all getting pwned by teenagers who finally have the demographic clout and the voices to say “enough of this BS”:


It was a letter to the editor, not an article. So technically, it was not peer-reviewed but was reviewed by the editorial board.

I’m not sure you poked any real holes in their methods. The data covered multiple years. If I understand your criticism, you are saying that the decrease could be seasonal or random. However, the pattern repeats every year; week 0 sees a drop in every year studied. While that could conceivably happen randomly, the odds are diminishingly small. The exact week of the year changes as well, decreasing the likelihood that seasonality or hunting seasons explain the correlation independently from the convention itself. If you think it could be weather-related, I’d say the burden of that analysis is on you, not on the authors.

Finally, you imply that the authors had an axe to grind and performed the study in a biased manner. I’m not sure if you read the original; the conclusion of the authors merely states the suggestion that firearm injuries would appear to occur at a meaningful rate even among people trained in their use. It’s more the general media that have taken the findings and sensationalized them, as often happens with scientific publications.

Read the article. Some of your objections are actually listed as limitations of the study, or even integral to their conclusion. Edit: Plus the research wasn’t funded by the Journal. That would be unethical, to publish research that they had funded. The research appears to be funded directly by their departments at Harvard and Columbia.

I will be less kind, as your comment shows you haven’t bothered. RTFA!


As much as I despite their agenda, I don’t see any “smoking gun” here. Back when not everyone had a car, one might see the same kind of drop in automobile accidents during the annual AAA convention. It’s an amusing factoid that doesn’t really say anything about gun safety.

In a similar way, some bicycle safety advocates like to point to a drop in bicycle injuries after helmet laws are put in place. They ignore the drop in bicycle usage that follows such laws passing. Fewer people riding bikes, fewer accidents.

This is a fairly simple thing to control for. Its well accepted that while you can do serious damage to most parts of the body in an impact, the head is special. It is a vulnerable, single point of failure.

There is a problem with so-called “one punch” deaths. If you fall in a certain way, you die.

As a bike commuter I reckon my helmet has saved my life several times.


I disagree. One of the pro-gun tropes that NRA spokespeople trot out every once in a while is that “responsible” gun owners don’t hurt themselves or others, because they are trained and/or responsible. It’s a flavor of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy; the thousands of deaths and injuries caused by gun accidents and suicides every year are caused by “others,” not “responsible” gun owners. Never mind that it’s a firearms instructor, competitive marksman, etc. As soon as they goof up (often publicly), they are ejected by the amorphous group of “the responsible.”

The importance of this study is that it shows that, when 80,000 of “the responsible” go without their guns for 8 to 10 hours a day for most of a week, a significant drop in gun injuries occurs. Thus the conclusion of the study, “These findings are consistent with reductions in firearm injuries occurring as a result of lower rates of firearm use during the brief period when many firearm owners and owners of places where firearms are used may be attending an NRA convention. Our results suggest that firearm-safety concerns and risks of injury are relevant even among experienced gun owners.


There was huge applause at CPAC at the denouncement of “gun-free zones.” Guess what CPAC is?

Unless those “trained, responsible” gun owners represent a hugely disproportionate number of people responsible for gun accidents (even if it is by using them more).

Although to be fair, before BB could respond, the White House “clarified” that Trump didn’t mean any of it and didn’t actually support any sort of changes to gun laws at all - even his repeated support for raising the minimum age of gun buyers turned out to be “conceptual,” not actual. They were just words that came out of his mouth that meant nothing. (He also didn’t know that people could buy AR-15s in stores - he thought they were black market.)


No, it very specifically excludes crimes.


CNN’s coverage includes this tidbit:

The NRA is not impressed by the findings. “This study is another example of when data and numbers fly in the face of logic and common sense,” said Jennifer Baker, the NRA’s director of public affairs, in a statement.