Monday, November 21, 2016


Gun control advocates conveniently ignore the fact that there advocacy is not supported by good, consistent research results. An article in the Atlantic is a good summary.
The lack of evidence to support their position suggests that the real motivation involves either ignorance, lack of critical thinking ability or culture wars or authoritarian blindness.
"Another right-wing screed" gun control  advocates will argue.  However, this magazine, according to Wikipedia: "Created as a literary and cultural commentary magazine, it has grown to achieve a national reputation as a high-quality review organ with a liberal worldview."
"The recurrent, violent phenomenon of mass shootings, including recent attacks in California and Oregon, has fueled Americans’ anxieties and reinvigorated a tense national debate over gun control. The presidential race has certainly put a spotlight on gun laws. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has loudly promised to take on the National Rifle Association and has accused her rival, Bernie Sanders, of cozying up to the gun lobby. This has led Sanders to retort proudly that he has a “D-” rating from the NRA. On the other side of the ideological spectrum, Republican candidates have denounced President Obama’s executive actions to expand background checks for gun purchasers and have taken pains to highlight their own stellar NRA ratings.
As the debate intensifies, candidates on both sides are staking out strong policy stands—and yet, gun violence is far more of a mystery than most people realize. Evidence and research that could be used to develop effective laws that might decrease deaths and injuries from firearms is severely lacking." . . .
Many basic questions remain largely unanswered as a result. It’s difficult, for example, to pin down the precise impact of specific gun laws—like laws that allow people to openly carry firearms. Do open-carry laws make gun violence worse, or do they cut down on firearm injuries and deaths? Researchers can’t say with certainty. They also don’t know much about the path that guns take in order to fall into the hands of criminals, or how gun laws impact firearm sales on the black market. For that matter, the psychology of gun violence is not well understood. What motivates people to use guns to commit a crime or suicide, and what are the most effective ways to stop mass shootings, gun-related homicide, and suicide? Limited research makes it challenging to reach well-supported conclusions.
“I think people assume that we have a lot more information than we really do when it comes to guns, and that’s definitely not the case,” said Daniel Webster, the director of Johns Hopkins’s Center for Gun Policy and Research. “We have precious little data.”

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