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Hemenway Suffers SugarShock

The lamestream media told you:

Soda Causes Gun Carry

Researchers said on Tuesday they had found a "shocking" association -- if only a statistical one -- between violence by teenagers and the amount of soda they drank. High-school students in inner-city Boston who consumed more than five cans of non-diet, fizzy soft drinks every week were between nine- and 15-percent likelier to engage in an aggressive act compared with counterparts who drank less...

"What we found was that there was a strong relationship between how many soft drinks that these inner-city kids consumed and how violent they were," said David Hemenway, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. The new study was based in the inner Boston area, where Hemenway said crime rates were much higher than in the wealthier suburbs. [See Uninvited Ombudsman report and maps on the geographic, demographic and economic realities of violent crime,]. The overwhelming majority of respondents were Hispanic, African-American or mixed; few were Asian or white.

They were also asked whether they drank alcohol or smoked, carried a weapon or showed violence towards peers, family members and partner. What emerged, said Hemenway, was evidence of "dose response," in other words, the more soda was consumed, the likelier the tendency towards violence. Among those who drank one or no cans of soft drink a week, 23 percent carried a gun or a knife; 15 percent perpetrated violence towards a partner; and 35 percent had been violent towards peers. At the other end of the scale, among those who drank 14 cans a week, 43 percent carried a gun or a knife; 27 percent had been violent towards a partner; and more than 58 percent had been violent towards peers.

"This is one of the very first studies to examine" the question, said Hemenway. The study, published in a British journal, Injury Prevention, will revive memories of the "Twinkie Defence," a US legal landmark in which a killer successfully argued that his behaviour had been swayed by eating junk food.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

Gun Carry Causes Soda

In a laughable affront to good science, Harvard's David Hemenway, a widely reviled anti-civil-rights activist, has gathered data and drawn a conclusion that just happens to support his long-time anti-gun-rights political agenda, at the expense of turning research on its head.

Hemenway implies that drinking soda is connected to illegal gun possession by youth. Unfortunately for the man, he has found that young people likely to illegally carry weapons are prone to drinking soda. Drawing a conclusion the other way around, that soda turns kids bad, is unsupportable, but does advance his anti-rights agenda.

"'Coincidence is not causation,' is a bedrock of scientific inquiry," said one commentator familiar with Harvard. "To ignore this and conclude that soda causes bad behavior, instead of recognizing that kids with bad behavior drink soda, is preposterous." It is unknown whether the test group also drank milk as children, which Hemenway could use to draw other flawed conclusions. It is well known that virtually all U.S. felony prisoners drank milk (and ate bread!) when they were young, pointing out the absurdity of such conclusions.

So-called "science" on the subject of firearms is frequently distorted by "researchers" whose main goal is to "prove" guns are somehow bad. They have completely blocked out any realization that guns save lives, guns protect you, guns stop crime, guns are why America is still free, or that we as a society give guns to police and the military because guns have indispensable social utility.

Blind seething hatred, or mere untreated hoplophobia, is often the driver on such junk-science "studies." A case in point is ASU professor Fabricious (his real name), who, with his 12-year old son, concluded guns are used more often in crime than in self-defense, by counting newspaper stories in a now defunct tabloid called the Mesa Tribune. Though even a cursory check of morgue records showed that far more deaths occurred than any newspaper ever reports, their study, for a high school assignment, was published by a marginal "science" journal, which refused to reject the silly study when confronted with the facts.

"If gun use was accurately reported, and these agenda-driven so-called studies were scientifically valid, America's perspective on the subject would be totally pro rights," The Uninvited Ombudsman notes. "It shows how damaging the 'news' media is to righteous debate and our rights at this point," he said.

The best studies show that guns are used in legitimate self defense 2.5 million times per year (the 13 best studies are contained in this book, Armed, by Kleck and Kates). The total number of annual "gun" deaths is only in the thousands, with about half of those suicides related to lack of medical care for the impoverished elderly, and most of the rest actually war deaths in the war on some drugs.


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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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