Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Gun Control Debate: Let's get focused

In a highly polarized political environment, hot button issues like gun control generate lots of heat, but little light.  If we assume that crime control is the rationale for new gun controls, then the 3 crucial issues for rational policy making and intelligent analysis and discussion (in addition to $) are:
1. What does the Second Amendmnet protect, andwhich controls are/are not consistent with the Second Amendment?
2.  is there any serious reason to believe that these controls can work?
3.  Which controls might significantly interfere with people's ability to defend themselves against crime?
Of course, research on these issues is always relevant.

The NRA is not the issue.  This is sort of like an organizational ad hominem issue.  The emotional propaganda put out by both sides is not the issue.  Emotion should be minimized for rational policy-making.  Although I have great admiration and sympathy for Ms. Giffords, trotting her out to become the emotional propaganda poster girl for gun control is the kind of thing that needs to be avoided.  What expertise do gun crime victims and Hollywood celbrities have?  Of course, many people like the soap opera approach to issues, and can't get enough of emotion and celebrities.  Le'ts get rational, let's get real!  Let's get focused. 

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