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NYT Tries to Take Down Georgetown Prof Who Revealed Extent of Defensive Gun Uses

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It’s strange that the media never have a problem with gun control industry hacks like Ryan Busse being paid expert witnesses, but when academics do it, providing aid and comfort to people who support the Second Amendment, they must be destroyed.

In the battle to dismantle gun restrictions, raging in America’s courts even as mass shootings become commonplace, one name keeps turning up in the legal briefs and judges’ rulings: William English, Ph.D.

A little-known political economist at Georgetown University, Dr. English conducted a largest-of-its-kind national survey that found gun owners frequently used their weapons for self-defense. That finding has been deployed by gun rights activists to notch legal victories with far-reaching consequences.

He has been cited in a landmark Supreme Court case that invalidated many restrictions on guns, and in scores of lawsuits around the country to overturn limits on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and the carrying of firearms. His findings were also offered in another Supreme Court case this term, with a decision expected this month.

Dr. English seems at first glance to be an impartial researcher interested in data-driven insights. He has said his “scholarly arc” focuses on good public policy, and his lack of apparent ties to the gun lobby has lent credibility to his work.

But Dr. English’s interest in firearms is more than academic: He has received tens of thousands of dollars as a paid expert for gun rights advocates, and his survey work, which he says was part of a book project, originated as research for a National Rifle Association-backed lawsuit, The New York Times has found.

— Mike McIntire and Jodi Kantor in The Gun Lobby’s Hidden Hand in the 2nd Amendment Battle

20 Responses

  1. What? “Experts” are biased and paid for? Naaaahhhh. Only the ones on the “right”, right? All the lefty ones are pure, honest and true. No doubt.

  2. If English’s work was research for an expert report / testimony in a federal lawsuit (which I believe it was), then under the Federal Rules of Evidence before it is admissible the Court has to do a Daubert analysis of whether that research was properly conducted and analyzed. For statistical evidence, there’s literally a book federal judges are issued that essentially is a crash course / cheat sheet on assessing whether survey evidence is properly collected / analyzed and the results statistically significant according to neutral scientific principles.

    Like John Lott’s work, English’s research easily satisfies Daubert analysis, which is why courts cite it.

    But notice that the crap “studies” like the CDC one SNW reported on yesterday, or that the NYT routinely parrots (e.g., that firearms are the largest cause of death for “children”) rarely get used in federal lawsuits. The reason they aren’t is that they would get bounced under Daubert for being “junk science” lacking sufficient scholarly rigor, if not actually fraudulent.

    1. IIRC, the Obama administration made up out of thin air the concept that ‘children’ up to age , 26 or so, they considered children covered under the ‘affordable’ (gag) care act..

      Suddenly, gang-bang fatalities were being counted as actual underage kids. No real surprise, as a lie makes it around the world 3 times before the truth gets out of bed…

    2. His research was introduced via an amicus brief not as expert testimony so no, Daubert would not have applied.

    3. If Dr. English’s gun owner surveys are considered to be reliable and accurate then they should be published and peer reviewed by statisticians.

      Unfortunately, he has chosen not to do either. In fact, he has made it difficult for researchers to access and analyze the data.

      This, and the fact that he received over $100,000 from unnamed sources (as far as anyone can tell), makes reporters question the validity and legitimacy of his work.

    1. Yup. And unlike NYT reporters’ work, expert testimony has to satisfy Daubert before it’s admissible.

      These clowns’ work wouldn’t even get to first base in court.

      1. His research was introduced via an amicus brief not as expert testimony so no, Daubert would not have applied.

  3. Big deal. I am an expert witness and I receive “tens of thousands of dollars (annually) as a paid expert” for my work on court cases.

    That’s what experts do. I am retained by attorneys for plaintiffs and for defendants. Makes no difference to me, my job is utilize my knowledge, experience and training to assist the court understand the facts that fall within my areas of expertise. The court’s job is to make sure my expertise is relevant and that my opinions adhere to commonly accepted standards within my industry.

    My testimony is challenged by opposing counsel in almost every case. I have to tell the truth and be consistent, regardless of who hires me. Otherwise I will lose my reputation and my compensation.

    I am sure there are highly-paid experts who testify against the gun industry on a regular basis. I am also sure the NYT has no problem with their testimony or compensation.

    1. Quite a stupid thing to say or you just don’t know what communist propaganda is, which are media using fictional sources or any at all, for achieving political goals. As a European it sounds like FOX news. NYT displays all sources and give all a chance to comment, just like they tried with William English, who seemed not interested in taking responsibility for his research.

  4. If his research was crap, they would openly attack him on those grounds.

    They opt instead for guilt by association, which is a dead giveaway.

    1. No they don’t. The reporter was motivated to pursue the trail of who had funded the research precisely because it contained questionable methodology, and because, in at least one case, the plaintiff removed English’s research from their evidence rather than have him testify under subpoena about his work. That smells rotten.

  5. Classic Ad Hominem attack against the Man, the messenger; not the message because the message is true and has been proven since the 90’s. They don’t attack the methodology, the facts, or the empirical date, they say: the messenger got paid to deliver the message, therefore, message is invalid. No need to look at the substance of the message. Dr. Kleck, Gary, I think, at Florida State I believe, in the 90’s did a broad survey of Defensive gun uses each year in America and came out with a report in like 1994-95 claiming 2.5 Million to 3 Million Defensive uses of guns in America each year. Clinton Cabal couldn’t stand it, they dispatched the CDC to do another study to disprove Gary Kleck’s work. So from ‘96 to ‘98 the U.S. Government funded the biggest gun research project to disprove Kleck’s 2.5 Million claim. Then, in 1998-99, nothing happened. They just dropped the research which remained hidden until 2018! 20 years they hid the results. Why? Of course because not only did their research support and reinforce Kleck’s research, the CDC actually came in with Higher numbers of defensive uses of a gun than Kleck did. So slick Willy, Hillary, Brady and the deep state hid that report. I’ve not read much by this guy in the article but as others have well spoken of federal rules of evidence, it can’t be used if it’s crap! They don’t cite liberal reports because they don’t cut the mustard as far as properly prepared. John Lott is treated similarly by the press. They can’t attack his research so they attack him. Classic ad Hominem attack. Johnlaw.

  6. They honestly made some good points about me but I got mouths to feed so I gotta do this stuff for $, lol. Thanks for the support all my shooters! Hit me email if ya wanna be in my next survey, got some new stuff coming up, no pay to participate but theyre fun to do! – Dr E

  7. They absolutely attacked the methodology. And the methodology was an absolute joke.

    This was a garbage study. Anybody with any insight into the use of surveys in academic studies recognizes that.

    Dr. English decided that a paycheck was worth his credibility. I hope the check was huge because his academic career is over.

  8. I am laughing….wtf is this page? It’s like a paragraph from the original article then an angry comment section, in which people demonstrate that they did not read the article. I guess it actually makes total sense.

    Enjoy the half baked outrage guys.

  9. I listened to the report on The Daily and honestly – they did not draw any conclusions – only that they could not find the details of surveys Dr. English allegedly made. There have been many surveys done – ALL of the other ones sponsored by gun companies or pro-gun lobbies, or anti gun law advocates.
    He was paid tens of thousands of dollars for the surveys. There were no details of how the surveys were conducted, who conducted them or who the surveys asked. Surveys had concluding remarks that always favored gun ownership their use for self defense. Specific questions and their answers were revealed. The author tried to contact Dr. English at his University, called him at home and on his cell phone and even visited the University office and his home, left messages on his home answering service, office answering service and mobile phone and got zero responses.
    Does Dr. English exist? How legitimate were his surveys – if at all? You can all read and draw your own conclusions. For me, Dr. English is bogus … and so are his surveys – they should be thrown out any court – as his surveys are unproven to be true or valid – IMO.

  10. Dan Z

    Had to stop reading this blog: light gray type/font is NOT easy on the eyes, and the current article text is discouraging. Can’t think of any age where my eyes would be attracted to light gray font. Please have someone reconsider the idea that light gray font is “easy on the eyes”, or “light gray font” reduces eye strain.

    Thanx

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