Edgar Suter’s bogus claims

Dan Day writes:

See Suter, Edgar, M.D., “Guns in the Medical Literature–A Failure of
Peer Review”, Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, March, 1994.

And note those 81 references at the end. This, Buddy,
is what actual support for ones claims looks like.

No, it’s what a pack of lies looks like.

There are dozens of falsehoods, and dozens of claims that are
extremely dubious.

Chris BeHanna writes:

Please do take the time to point each and every one of them out,
and why you think they are false. Go ahead—we’ll wait.

There are so many that I am going to have to put them out a few at a
time. For starters (and to stay on the topic of homicide rates) you
can check Suter’s Graph 16 “International Homicide Rates Comparisons”
against the source he claims for this data (Wold Health Statistics
1989). You will discover that the homicide rates for many countries
have been grossly overstated (for example, East Germany is given as
36.7 (over three times the US rate) instead of 0.7 (less than a tenth
of the US rate). Other countries where Suter h greatly exaggerated
the homicide rate include El Salvador, Mexico, Egypt, Sweden, Finland,
Denmark and Scotland. He has also given very high homicide rates for
Zimbabwe and South Africa. These do not appear in his reference at

I think the next installment will be on the section entitled
“Foretelling the future” I conservatively count five outright
falsehoods and three extremely dubious claims. Not bad for eight
paragraphs :-)

It would be possible to put these down as honest
errors, caused by Suter’s pro-gun bias, except for the following
example which can only have resulted from blatant dishonesty on
Suter’s part:

Crime and homicide rates are highest in jurisdictions,
such as Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, and
California, where the most restrictive gun licensing,
registration, and prohibition schemes exist. Why are homicide
rates lowest in states with loose gun control (North Dakota
1.1, Maine 1.2, South Dakota 1.7, Idaho 1.8, Iowa 2.0,
Montana 2.6) and highest in states and the district with
draconian gun controls and bans (District of Columbia 80.6,
New York 14.2, California 12.7, Illinois 11.3, Maryland
11.7)?(49) (See Graph 18: “Representative State Homicide

Precisely where victims are unarmed and defenseless is
where predators are most bold.

Got that, folks? Suter claims that gun control caused the homicide
rate to be ten times higher in the restrictive places.

No, he did not. He said, as you quoted above, “Precisely where victims
are unarmed and defenseless is where predators are most bold.”

Are you seriously claiming that Suter is not implying that unarmed
victims cause predators to be most bold???

Here’s another quote where he says it again:

the data suggest that, providing they are in the hands of good
citizens, more guns “on the street” offer a considerable net benefit
to society – saving lives, a deterrent to crime, and an adjunct to the
concept of community policing.

What’s wrong here? Well, for one thing Suter has dishonestly chosen
to represent “states with loose gun control” by the six such states
with the lowest homicide rates, and to represent states with
restrictive gun control by a city and the four such states with the
highest homicide rates. Why didn’t he choose Alaska 9.0, Tennessee
10.2, Georgia 11.4, Alabama 11.6, or Mississippi 13.5 to represent
states with loose gun control and Rhode Island 3.9, Hawaii 3.8,
Minnesota 3.4, Utah 3.1, or Iowa 2.3 to represent restrictive gun
control states? His graph 18
should be entitled “Misrepresentative State Homicide Rates”.

IF Suter was trying to show that gun control causes increased
homicide rates, then your criticism would be very valid. However, that is
not was Suter set out to do. Rather, he set out to demonstrate the falsehood
of the claim that gun control reduces homicide rates, and that lack of gun
control causes increased homicide rates. In that, he was quite successful.

It makes no difference whether he is trying to show that gun control
increases homicide or that it fails to reduce homicide. What he did
is a dishonest misrepresentation of the data. If he had been some
anti-gun person and selected his data so that the homicide rate
appeared to be much lower in gun control states, I’m sure you would
have had no difficulty accusing him of mendacity. Do you have a
double standard, Chris?