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==Poetic Chinese Statisticians==
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==Carrying a gun increases risk of getting shot and killed==
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The NewScientist 
October 06 2009
Ewen Callaway
  
The Wall Street Journal tends to reserve its first page’s middle of the bottom for less weighty and often bizarre news items.  The headline for the Saturday/Sunday edition, September 26-27, 2009 is, “As Communist China Turns Sixty, Her Statisticians Turn to Poetry.”  A featured poem by a Chinese statistician is entitled, “Love the Motherland, Love Statistics.”  The poem reads (in translation),
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In this article we read
 
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<blockquote>People who carry guns are far likelier to get shot – and killed – than those who are unarmed, a study of shooting victims in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has found. It would be impractical – not to say unethical – to randomly assign volunteers to carry a gun or not and see what happens. So Charles Branas's team at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed 677 shootings over two-and-a-half years to discover whether victims were carrying at the time, and compared them to other Philly residents of similar age, sex and ethnicity. The team also accounted for other potentially confounding differences, such as the socioeconomic status of their neighborhood.</blockquote>
<center>In Life</center>
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Their article will appear in the American Journal of Public Health. The current version of this article can be found here and the most resent abstract can be found here in this abstract we read:
<center>Some mock me for doing statistics</center>
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Objectives. We investigated the possible relationship between being shot in an assault and possession of a gun at the time.
<center>Some loathe me and statistics</center>
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Methods. We enrolled 677 case participants that had been shot in an assault and 684 population-based control participants within Philadelphia, PA, from 2003 to 2006. We adjusted odds ratios for confounding variables.
<center>Some don’t understand what statistics are</center>
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Results. After adjustment, individuals in possession of a gun were 4.46 (P<.05) times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession. Among gun assaults where the victim had at least some chance to resist, this adjusted odds ratio increased to 5.45 (P<.05).
<center>Why is it that statistics</center>
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Conclusions. On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.
<center>Put a calm smile on my face?</center>
 
<center>Because of statistics I can solve the deepest mysteries</center>
 
<center>Because of statistics I will not be lonely again, playing in the data</center>
 
<center>Because of statistics I can rearrange the stars in the skies above</center>
 
 
 
On the website of China’s National Bureau of Statistics can be found “I am Proud to be a Brick in the Statistics Building of the Republic.”  The following poem ends the WSJ article:
 
 
 
<center>The stormy times force me to pay more attention</center>
 
<center>To the national GDP and CPI announcements</center>
 
<center>As the motherland becomes richer and more powerful,</center>
 
<center>Statistics are emphasized.</center>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Discussion
 
 
 
On October 18, Japan will observe the 37th anniversary of “Statistics Day.”  Its purpose as described [http://www.stat.go.jp/English/index/seido/8-i166.htm here] was to strengthen “the national concern and understanding to the importance of statistics and promoting their cooperation in the surveys held by the central and local governments.”  According to Andrew Malcolm writing in the New York Times on October 26, 1977 (“Data-Loving Japanese Rejoice on Statistics Day”), “no nation ranks higher in its collective passion for statistics. In Japan, statistics are the subject of holidays, local and national conventions, award ceremonies and nationwide statistical collection and graph-drawing contests.
 
On the 30th anniversary in 2002, the “catchphrase” selected from “among 2,934” submissions was "Statistical Surveys Owe You and You Owe Statistical Data."  The poster used in publicity is shown below. Speculate on whether in the United States there ever will be statisticians writing patriotic poetry and/or a national statistics day.
 
 
 
<cemter>http://www.stat.go.jp/info/guide/img/17pos.jpg</cemter>
 
 
 
Submitted by Paul Alper
 

Revision as of 15:32, 8 October 2009

Carrying a gun increases risk of getting shot and killed

The NewScientist 
October 06 2009
Ewen Callaway

In this article we read

People who carry guns are far likelier to get shot – and killed – than those who are unarmed, a study of shooting victims in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has found. It would be impractical – not to say unethical – to randomly assign volunteers to carry a gun or not and see what happens. So Charles Branas's team at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed 677 shootings over two-and-a-half years to discover whether victims were carrying at the time, and compared them to other Philly residents of similar age, sex and ethnicity. The team also accounted for other potentially confounding differences, such as the socioeconomic status of their neighborhood.

Their article will appear in the American Journal of Public Health. The current version of this article can be found here and the most resent abstract can be found here in this abstract we read: Objectives. We investigated the possible relationship between being shot in an assault and possession of a gun at the time. Methods. We enrolled 677 case participants that had been shot in an assault and 684 population-based control participants within Philadelphia, PA, from 2003 to 2006. We adjusted odds ratios for confounding variables. Results. After adjustment, individuals in possession of a gun were 4.46 (P<.05) times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession. Among gun assaults where the victim had at least some chance to resist, this adjusted odds ratio increased to 5.45 (P<.05). Conclusions. On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.