Revenge of the Nerds or The Scientific Case for Outlawing Guns

Pro-gun model (courtesy billyqueen.com)

“Two researchers, an evolutionary biologist [Dominik Wodarz] and a mathematician at University of California, Irvine [Natalia L. Komarova] have now stepped back from the emotional debate and taken a dispassionate look at which kind of gun policies would save more lives, both in a one-on-one attack (as in a homicide) and in a shooting in a crowd (as in a movie theater or mall).” Yeah, well, that’s how MIT’s Jessica Lebor at technologyreview.com sees it. I reckon the study’s assumptions are laughable (e.g., “if the gun law is enforced at a level similar to that in the United Kingdom”). “Their findings suggest that President Obama, who has said he supports the right for private individuals to own a gun, is not going far enough if he wants to prevent the greatest number of gun-related deaths . . .

The study starts by showing that the optimal survival strategies could be either of the extreme approaches: a total ban on private gun ownership, or a policy allowing anyone in the general population to get a gun.”

Choices, choices . . .

Using existing statistical data to put numbers to these factors, their model comes out squarely in favor of gun control.

And I know a model who comes out squarely in favor of the Second Amendment. Well, I’ve got a picture of her, anyway.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

123 Responses to Revenge of the Nerds or The Scientific Case for Outlawing Guns

  1. avatarRalph says:

    Applying science to social issues is as utterly stupid as applying social policy to mathmatics. Comes the revolution, comrades, kill the scientists first. Please. I’m begging you.

    • avatarDon says:

      Nothing wrong with us scientists. These ones are just bad. They’ll get corrected, fear not. It’s the lawyers that make the world suck. :P

      • avatarJerryboy says:

        Don, if i were you come the SHTF, i would take my diploma down from the wall and act dumb :p

        • avatarDon says:

          Nah, Ill take one of my m14s down from the wall and act smart. Keep in mind that scientists and engineers created all of these weapons, all of the communication and intel tools, all of the effective tools of war. When the anti-scientists are out of fish, we will still be fishing.

      • avatarWilliam says:

        Hard to disagree. They protect the ones that REALLY make our lives miserable.

        DEMAND A BODYGUARD!!!

    • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

      wrong, when the revolution comes we’ll only kill the bad (conservative) scientists :)

      • avatarDon says:

        Um, science by its very nature is conservative. It wouldnt work otherwise.

        • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

          LOL!

          this kind of delusional thinking is why great leaders have the universities purged of reactionary parasites. Any scientist who doesn’t understand the veracity of marxist scientist is looking at the guillotine :)

        • avatarAPBTFan says:

          @Lenin Lover,

          I think you’re misinterpreting Don’s use of the term conservative. I believe he’s talking scientific leaning and you’re talking political leaning.

        • avatartdiinva says:

          Communist science: T. D. Lysenko. Do you know who he was?

        • avataranonymous says:

          > Um, science by its very nature is conservative.
          > It wouldnt work otherwise.

          I haven’t seen any studies, but it seems to me that scientists tend to be politically liberal and engineers tend to be politically conservative.

        • avatarDon says:

          The terms conservative and liberal have long had actual definitions which have nothing to do with today’s small minded political squabbling. There is great virtue in both conservatism and liberalism. If everyone would take their heads out of there asses and acknowlege that most of the world exists outside of the last 30 years of politics we would be a lot better off. If you don’t realize this mr Lenin, it is you who is massively delusional. Knowlege remains the source of power, and you are therfore powerless, so have fun trolling! You affect nothing.

        • avatar16V says:

          Exactly Don. The FFs were definitive liberals.

          The current NeoCon statists (that’s “New Con Job” from the Latin), have precisely zero to do with what Republicans were less than 50 years ago.

          ‘Conservatives’ who are concerned with who you sleep with, what your sand-cult affiliation is, and helping corporations to not only rape their employees but also the planet in the process, are miles from conservative.

          Yes, I know one could allege a ‘no true Irishman’ logical fallacy. I just offer that at some point as Voltaire said. “If you wish to debate, first we must define our terms”.

      • avatarHerb says:

        GLG, if you’re the revolutionary you claim to be, tell us what you know about Antonio Gramsci & his strategy to undermine bourgeois society from within.

        GLG’s answer: ……….(crickets)

        • avatarWilliam says:

          Can we agree that “conservatives” have little of conservation of anything on their agendas; that “liberals” are uncomfortable with liberty, and “libertarians” believe in liberty… for the landed gentry?

      • avatarpat says:

        Few commie f ups have guns and organization in America. Only libtards with guns are disorganized gangbangers. Conservatives will slaughter and rule, dummy.

      • avatariuvenal says:

        There once was a child, alone on a couch
        Hair dirty and wild, his back all a-slouch
        His mind was replete, with communist preening
        His life not complete, without internet scheming
        He went on a website, covering serious matters
        To spread his blight, a seedy Marxist splatter
        His want is to live, on government doles
        Nothing more to give, than the white-power buttholes
        His agitations destroyed, by intellects far greater
        As no reason deployed, by this chronic masturbator
        His only goal, to make us feel lowly,
        But we feed trolls, for entertainment purposes only
        You may say I’m no poet, a poor excuse for a bard,
        And yes I know it, at least I’m not Stalinist r-tard.

    • avatarLeo338 says:

      If or when the revolution comes I vote for the MSM first. If it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in. Heck, I bet Obama would never have been elected in the first place.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        I’ll agree, Leo, to justify my, uh, butting in line: I clicked on the photo and it took me to several BDSM sites. What? Is this an attempt to identify reading proposed 2nd Amendment legislation with spending time tied up in a kink dungeon? Well, how appropriate.

    • avatarFred says:

      Assuming we could even take their advice (which we know isn’t possible); if the world operated on homogenous variables that applied to everyone and everything equally working independently of each other this might have a point, but the world is too complex. On top of that every single individual would have to conform to the same outcome and benefit equally well, but as we all know not everyone has the same needs. The statistics would also have to be perfectly accurate as well, however, no statistic can capture deterrence because there is no metric. On top of that statistics can easily be manipulated to show basically whatever you want based on which stats you choose to correlate, which is stats 101, but correlation is not causation and even causation is not definitive. For example, some former Soviet Bloc nations have no gun ownership and high crime and murder. The common assumption would be that more guns would mean less crime and murder, but those gun control measures were enacted as a reaction to high crime, so in reality gun ownership levels has nothing to do with crime or murders. Two-variable worlds have no room for human nature. That’s really the truth about “gun crime”, guns have nothing to do with it, there is no inherent evil about a gun.

      I agree with the scientists’ findings, if the world only operated based on the statistics they used in a single or two variable model in a vacuum we would have the perfect plan. I disagree with the assertion more gun control is the best thing for the real world we live in.

      The disconnect between academics and the real world is well known and is at a mythical level. The joke among statisticians is, “you gather the data and I’ll make it say whatever you want it to say”.

    • avatarJoshinGA says:

      Please dont kill the scientists first. Not all of us are against liberty. But, what I will say is that any scientist that is being honest with you will tell you they can work the numbers to mean whatever they want them to mean. Kinda like a lawyer does with words ;)

      • avatar16V says:

        They can only ‘work the numbers’ if the audience doesn’t understand the variables involved in the equation and/or didn’t learn the scientific method in HS.

        In other words, if they’re speaking to the press looking for an “expert” to validate a pre-held belief. I could kill that paper 10 ways from Sunday in an open debate forum. It’s a joke.

        • avatarJoshinGA says:

          Well but of course. But puff “research” like this is done exactly for that reason: to deceive people who dont understand the subject material, but will be influenced by simplified “conclusions”.

    • avatarme says:

      Real scientists hold pseudoscientists (by which I mean, sociologists, psychologists, astrologers, homeopaths, etc.) in the deepest contempt.

      • avatarDon says:

        Yeah, I read the paper. Their oversimplified social model is so extreme it can only be considered hilarious at best. Like a child with a plastic fireman hat explaining to you that they are going to fix the west coast wildfires.

      • avatarConway Redding says:

        Well, me, there are currently 74 psychologists who are held in such deep contempt by “real scientists” (whatever that term means), as to have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. I haven’t researched the sociologist members of that prestigious body, but suspect that scholars belonging to the discipline of sociology are also well represented. For you to lump psychologists and sociologists with astrologers and homoeopaths reveals you to be unforgivably ignorant of psychology and sociology. Educate yourself.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          Are you sure that wasn’t “elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences” as opposed The National Academy of Science? The first is a policy organization and really no endorsement of scientific validation. The second is absolutely the premier organization recognizing scientific achievement in the US. I’m working from memory, here, but curious.

    • avatarMark says:

      Actually, their conclusion seems valid. Arm everyone or no one. The Bill of Rights protects the right of everyone to be armed. Problem solved.

  2. avatarBlake says:

    Damn, I’m slipping. I noticed the girl before I noticed the gun she is holding is a Thompson. Of course, once I realized the firearm is a Thompson, the girl becomes a distant second.

  3. avatarJozan says:

    I wonder if they’ve done any studies on deaths as a result from falling down stairs in 2 storey homes vs. single level dwellings. I wonder how that would turn out.

  4. avatarSammy says:

    Where’s her extra ammo?

  5. avatarCameron S. says:

    These fools think they can calculate for the cruelty, creativity and desperation of those with nothing left to lose? They haven’t even touched on the good that civilian arms do.

    “University of California”

    And there goes the true scientific process with immediate bias.

    • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

      it must be hard living in a world where reality has a leftist bias :)

      • avatargloomhound says:

        I wouldn’t know seeing as I’m not from some strange “Mirror Universe” where communism actuality works instead of being in the dust bin of history where it currently resides with all the other failed political systems.

        Get with the program Francis. Capitalism is the wave of the future and path to the stars!

        The Soviets are all gone and they are renting out Lenin’s tomb for birthday parties for the kids of all the Russia billionaires. The Chicoms are all about making the yen and even the Cuban’s moving toward a free market and letting it’s people travel freely.

        But don’t be sad little comrade you still have North Korea, at least until the people up there learn how good life is in the south that is.

        • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

          LOL!

          The end of feudalism took centuries and had many false starts, failures and retreats. Even then you had an intermediate period between feudalism and capitalism with elements of both.

          History is a dialectic, a continuous give and take, not a simple narrative :)

          Soviet Russia and communist china may be footnotes in history, but that does not mean capitalism isn’t unsustainable (it is) or that internal contradictions will ultimately destroy it (they will) or that something else entirely will exist 200 years from now.

          That something will look like communism. It will be statist and collectivist, like star trek. You are on the wrong side of history, mate, you and your guns :)

        • avatargloomhound says:

          Really and here I thought Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

          So let me get this straight you are saying that “Star Trek” is our communist future!?!

          Well I can’t argue against your sources (that would be like arguing about the download speed gained by Saruman’s Uruk-hai on Sunday afternoons) but I have heard of “Federation credits” and “gold-pressed latinum” have you?

          By the way just how much money has the Star Trek as a franchise made for Paramount Pictures?

          P.S. I’m not your “mate” I don’t swing that way.

        • avatarAPBTFan says:

          Lenin Lover,

          In the entire history of governmental systems communism is a small failed experiment . Marx and Engels were theorists and nowadays it’s mostly washed up hippies and Che Guevara t-shirt wearing college kids that actually believe communism will “triumph” let alone work.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          GLGhost: You are entertaining. You remind me of Freshman Poly Sci majors. If there were three old Ukrainians or Kulaks in the room, you’d be dead by now. Yep, they “left us in the dustbin of history.” The dust, though, turned out to be gold. The Workers’ Soviets? Turned out to be paving the way for a writers’ union uniquely (Solzhenitsyn) dedicated to praising the enterprise of slavery. I spent time there in the 70′s, and very recently. Save your posts, so that you may have something to make you laugh when you are forty.

        • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

          Ah the Ukrainian, the ignorant southern hillbilly of the slavic world. They are like the Alabama of the USSR :)

          Truthfully, punishing them for their resistance to collectivism was Stalin’s gig, but I have to respect it. Collective punishment and starvation of one of the worlds most intolerable societies was definitely one of Stalin’s great deeds :)

          I’d LOVE to see some Stalinism applied to the American South :)

        • avatarJarhead1982 says:

          Them southern rednecks do have a different sense of humour.

          How many of you all want to bet them boys would feed such socialist пидора́с to some of the gators and wild boars down, there, while the socialist пидора́с are still alive!

          After all we have seen how coordinated the police are when the 2002 beltway sniper attacks occurred, and now that cop in Kalifornika. Man thought you claimed government was all powerful and resistance was futile kinda smack from such a пизда́.

          So go right ahead and see what the difference is between a disarmed helpless victim and one who is armed eh су́ка!

        • avatar16V says:

          As the two Ukrainians I work with from time to time have US-issued Doctorate degrees, I’m ok with them being hillbillies.

          Besides, I do so wish you guys would realize that GLG is far more of an actual troll than mikeyb#s. Mikey is just misguided and poorly educated. GLG is just throwing it out there. And I shouldn’t have bothered to reply to him either…

        • avatarWLCE says:

          “Soviet Russia and communist china may be footnotes in history, but that does not mean capitalism isn’t unsustainable (it is) or that internal contradictions will ultimately destroy it (they will) or that something else entirely will exist 200 years from now.”

          NOTHING (any ISM) is sustainable. Not with 7 billion human beings and limited hydrocarbon energy.

          what you collectivists and communists fail to realize is that:

          1.) Communism/collectivism/centrally planned economies do not limit resource consumption to preserve limited resources. (on the contrary: read about the Aral Sea for one)
          2.) Communism, like state capitalism, is dependent on the idea of infinite resources. as soon as a -ism magically appears and solves the problem of finite resources, then that will be the most successful one.
          3.) Communism/collectivism failed because it destroys incentive mechanisms for populations. It is human nature that we are not truly 100% altruistic. Why pretend that we ever will be?

          “That something will look like communism. It will be statist and collectivist, like star trek. You are on the wrong side of history, mate, you and your guns ”

          Not remotely.

          and stop watching sci fi. I know you communists and statists get your sexual fantasies off some themes commonly demonstrated in sci fi (collectivism, statism, jingoism, etc etc ad naseum)

          and guns are on the wrong side of history? let me guess; you somehow think your beloved Rothschild-funded Bolshevik opportunist butchers overthrew the Czar with red posters and hammers and sickles.

          grow up.

      • avatarBill in Il says:

        Lenin the loser: You are completely delusional. You have no concept of economics, politics or human nature. Time to put down the crack pipe and join reality. You are on the wrong side of history and are among about .00001% of the population of the planet. In other words, you are in a minority so small it cannot even be quantified.

  6. avatarMr. Obvious says:

    I don’t waste my time with arguments of relative safety, perceived public good, etc. The 2nd Amendment is evidence that the American people made a value judgment that is conclusive until it’s repealed – firearms are an INDIVIDUAL right, so arguments about collective preference and safety can be disregarded out of hand.

    The same “we’d be safer if…” arguments were used to justify speech prosecutions until the SCOTUS stomped the argument into the dust, time to extend some case law if you ask me…

    • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

      you are incorrect, gun owning, slave owning legislators in the 18th century made the choice. The choice will stand until the proletariat rises and destroys the gun-owning hillbilly lumpenproles and washes away the conservative slime with a sea of red :)

      • avatargej88 says:

        Hillbillies are part of the working class, who among other white and blue collar workers, fund the NRA and their allies. Who funds the gun control movement? A foundation and a couple of billionares. So, who speaks for the masses again?

        • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

          read your marx again, the lumpen are those too stupid to ever achieve class consciousness and should be treated like the vermin they are :)

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          Ah, GLGhost, you fashion yourself a member of the Intelligencia! If you don’t step out of line, perhaps you will be raised to the Nomenclatura! Then they’ll dump you in some mill town and have you clean toilets for thirty years. This, comrade, is a future you should be thankful for! Laboring is heroic! Your bourgeois roots will eventually betray you. You should single-mindedly devote yourself to class struggle. I suggest history class.

      • avatarLeo338 says:

        @GLG: If you are so sure of yourself and your movement that will never amount to anything then why don’t you attempt to start it yourself? Put your money where you mouth is. Why don’t you tell everyone who you are, the name of your business and where you reside? You shouldn’t be afraid, since you seem to think you will run the world soon. Or are you really the coward all of us know you are?

      • avatarSammy says:

        Awfully ambitious goals you propose there lenny. I guess that would explain your disarmament stand. A lot more dangerous coercing an armed population into slavery to support you a$$. Do you envision yourself becoming a high ranking official? With all the conservatives dead who’s going to produce loot for you to redistribute? Or do you strive to become one of the expendable worker bees?

        • avatarLeo338 says:

          It must be pathetic to have a dream that will never come to fruition. GLG will die still holding on to a failed agenda while everyone else around lives in and enjoys capitalism. Don’t give us that 200 year crap either, it’s not going to happen and besides you will be dead long before anyway. So no matter how you look at it you will live out the rest of your life in a capitalist world. HAHAHA!!!

        • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

          LOL!

          “enjoy capitalism”? You mean an abusive system designed to give the rich and powerful more and more control? The “disarmament” and “MSM” you are fighting are byproducts of capitalism!

          So is medical bankruptcy, unemployment, long work weeks for bad pay and no medical care.

          And you think we’ve reached the end of history! ROFL

        • avatarWLCE says:

          somebody doesnt have a understanding of the differences between state capitalism and free market economics…(lenin, thats you).

          state capitalism has a lot in common, and parallels in someways, with fascism/corporatism. it is also the antithesis of free market capitalism.

          interestingly enough, fascists in power and in positions of government do their dirty deeds, and liberals, thinking the government is on their side (because they got their boy “B” in office you know!), somehow conclude that “capitalism” is the reason for our country’s problems.

          its classical divide and conquer. it only takes people stupid enough to be divided and conquered.

        • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

          LMAO is this the point where the libertarian tries to say that a truly free market (ie “anarcho capitalism”) is a good idea.

          I guess if you like being literal slaves of a corporation is a good idea. LMAO

        • avatarWLCE says:

          “LMAO is this the point where the libertarian tries to say that a truly free market (ie “anarcho capitalism”) is a good idea.”

          then what is your solution???

          i wont hold my breath.

          just a FYI einstein, “free market capitalism” has been applied since mankind crawled out of the swamp. quid pro quo. exchanging a product/service/currency for another product/service/currency.

          you act like Ayn Rand and Von Mises invented free market economics. they didnt. Try again.

          “I guess if you like being literal slaves of a corporation is a good idea. LMAO”

          you must of missed my reply in state capitalism/corporatism versus free market economics.

          the irony of your statement is deliciously sweet.

          1.) The bolshevik movement was funded by the Rothschilds. (Read “The Creature from Jekyll Island” )
          2.) After the Communists seized control over Russia, the only thing that changed was one group of elite replacing the previous ruling elite. In deductive reasoning, this is called a “zero sum game”.

          Ive seen far better arguments supporting Communism that what you have shit-smeared all over this wall.

          Ill give you a opportunity to try again though.

      • avatarAPBTFan says:

        Keep wishing. If you want a sea of red those hillbillies will give it to you but it won’t be theirs.

        It’s easy to talk tough and virtuous like Marx and Engels did in their books but you’re an ideological follower whose convictions probably start and end with a keyboard.

        Here’s a challenge – take your nonsense into Louisiana and chum it up with some of the most hardcore hillbillies ever – the Coon Ass. Go ahead. In the trades I’ve worked with plenty of Coon Ass and they flat out make me nervous. Everyone one of them were hardcore Fleas. I can guarantee that you and your proletariat buddies will end up as gator turds at the bottom of a swamp and the local cops won’t even go there to ask about it. Hillbillies come from all over the U.S. and Lenin be with you if you try to mess with them.

        • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

          this is exactly what marx and engels didn’t account for. Lenin did.

          The long term goal: disarm them, and then exterminate them. :)

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          Laugh. Sure, and Lenin lasted a long time, right? If you are lucky, you’ll make it to the grade of Barking Stalinist by the time you’re a Sophomore.

        • avatarRalph says:

          How can GLG devote himself to the class struggle when he has no class?

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          He has class. We used to call it the “Special Class.”

        • avatariuvenal says:

          Ah yes, the Coon-Ass. I knew they wore those rain boots everywhere for a reason: to not get there feet wet when feeding Socialist Agitators to Antisocial Alligators.

        • avatarAPBTFan says:

          Lenin Lover,

          Lenin never knew nor could ever account for red-blooded American hillbillies. Maybe you’ve never met any but I assure you if Leninists tried anything with hillbillies they’d easily get their asses handed to them.

          You and your compatriots are are bunch of soft idiots that read a few books and are naive enough to think you know how the world should run. I’ve read all your posts and hope for your sake you’re a young college kid.

      • avatarKeith says:

        You really are Lenin’s ghost, aren’t you? That’s awesome!

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Loathe as I am, GLG, to undermine your faith in such profound knowledge as has been imparted to you by Huffington Post, reflect on your assertion. Short of a civil war nobody could take guns or slaves from the Southern Agricultural Aristocracy. They WERE the power. They had no need of a 2nd Amendment to justify keeping a few cannon in the shed. The average small farmer and craftsman, however, north and south, did need the 2nd Am.

        • avatarSammy says:

          The more that “*” glg posts the more I think Joe McCarthy wasn’t aggressive enough. And you can save your evil little happy face for scaring the children. You guys can’t even do your own dirty work. You need a corrupt government’s muscle to “try” to disarm us. What a freaking coward.

  7. avatarJason says:

    Interesting, the basic premise of the research is to find the option which would minimize “gun-related deaths”. But this isn’t the goal we should pursue. We should pursue the minimization of deaths simpliciter. After all, the problem isn’t the MEANS of killing, it is the killing itself.

    The article would seem to have us trade 10k gun deaths for 15k knife deaths because the problem is the use of a gun, not the death itself.

    This marks the flaw in the very conception of the study.

    • avatarOddux says:

      Precisely, focusing solely on gun deaths and not taking into account substitution of weapons by those with the intent to use illegal force skews the results in favor of the “total ban”. Take other means of murder into account, their “second place” result – absolute firearms freedom becomes the more obvious solution, even before you acknowledge other violent crimes besides murder which are deterred by firearms.

  8. avatarBruce says:

    Robert, I like your model best.

  9. avatarJason Lynch says:

    Academic studies are popular with people who’ve made a decision and want support for it, which is not always a bad thing, but the studies are terrifyingly sensitive to the assumptions. (Being charitable and leaving the outright prejudices of those commissioning and executing the work aside…)

    And as a UK resident, when I see “If a gun ban can be enforced in the U.S. at least as effectively as in the U.K” as a central assumption, then it makes the study useless in practical terms. The UK started from a much lower base of firearms owned legally, which – other than shotguns – were individually registered and tracked. There is simply no practical way that the US could achieve anything approaching the 1988 or 1997 confiscations, because there simply isn’t the data even if someone was stupid enough to try.

    To put it in perspective, when I was invited to surrender my handgun, I was literally one in a thousand in the UK (57,000 handgun shooters in a population of about 57 million) while even the article admits that nearly one US citizen in three owns ‘a’ firearm, and there must be a few who own more – if nothing else, think of all those three-gun competitors.

    Until you can explain *how* to quickly, efficiently and effectively achieve UK-style levels of disarmament and disinterest – a key point that confuses some US debaters is how little interest and enthusiasm many UK citizens have for personal firearms – across every state of the US at once, then holding us up as a solution to US issues is just silly.

    It’s shades of the starving mouse in winter, who asked the Wise Old Owl for advice.

    “Turn into a bear and hibernate until spring, then you’ll be fine.” pronounced the Owl.

    “But… how do I do that?” asked the mouse.

    “Don’t bother me with details like implementation, that’s *your* problem. I’m more of a policy and studies owl…”

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      “There is simply no practical way that the US could achieve anything approaching the 1988 or 1997 confiscations, because there simply isn’t the data even if someone was stupid enough to try.”

      Exactamundo.

  10. avatarBiofire says:

    As a scientist, I’m fascinated by all these disparaging comments about academic scientists. Just one question, do people here also distrust Gary Kleck and John Lott? Because they are also… wait for it… academic scientists. You know, the guys who brought you all the fun gun facts we recite to everyone else. Kleck is a liberal. Lott is a conservative. Both making important contributions to our cause. Both living in interstatistical harmony as all good scientists should.

    • avatarJason Lynch says:

      The whole point of good science is when you present your conclusions… even if you don’t like them. Some of the best scientists reported research that completely torpedoed their existing beliefs – Rutherford’s work on atomic structure, for example – but it gets even harder when you go from pure, repeatable physics into social dynamics.

      Colleagues in my day job have been trying for years to model and assess insurgencies and counters to them, and all we’ve really learned is “it’s very difficult and complicated, and by the time you’ve got enough information for a spreadsheet to give you advice… it’s out of date because things have changed”. It’s well worth trying, you can hook some rules of thumbs and some valuable if counter-intuitive insights out in the process, but it’s also important to man up and say “can’t give you a good answer, sir” than to try to flannel or BS.

      • avatarBiofire says:

        I agree. In science, you do the study and let the chips fall where they may. Kleck got into gun research to show how bad they were for society. But when his research showed otherwise, he let his data change his beliefs. That’s why I hold him in high regard.

        • avatarRalph says:

          There’s a big difference between statistical analysis and bullsh!t. If you’re a scientist, then you don’t understand the difference.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Biofire: It isn’t anti-science. It is the deprecation of scientists writing pseudo-scientific articles with a poorly-conceived mathematical gloss about a topic completely beyond their academic and research backgrounds. Dr. Komorova grew up in the Soviet Union and began her graduate studies at Moscow State University, at a time which marked her as from a nomenclatura family. Dr. Wodarz’s background is in mathematical models of cancer processes, cell death, and similar. He’s Change.org, and they both studied or worked in the UK for a time. Neither is working at the UC campus most renown for their specialties. In other words, fake science to sell foreign ideas does not appeal to us. You? Scientific research by experts in the field about which they are writing? That’s different.

      • avatar16V says:

        +10.

        One can infer a lot about conclusions, when they agree completely with indoctrination.

      • avatariuvenal says:

        Page 13…
        “For smaller crowds, a firearms ban is likely to minimize deaths.
        In many situations, and certainly in the last string of mass shootings in the
        USA, automatic weapons were used to assault crowds, where hundreds of rounds
        per minute can be fired”

        WRONG.

        If your going to do a serious study on a subject such as this, you better have your terminology straight. If I get annihilated by reviewers on a metal complex being “dissociated” rather than “decomposed”, you’d damn well better learn the difference between auto and semi-auto. Granted, “automatic” is a term used to describe many early semi-autos, but I still find to be sneaky pandering.

        This study is a gross oversimplification, not to mention the absolute wrong time to publish, due to to political climate it is impossible to impartiality. I could go on, but I think most of the points have been made in the comments.

  11. avatarLance says:

    Yeah look at the nation who adopted these nerds policy Soviet Union PRC North Korea Vietnam and Cambodia yeah that worked to make utopia very well!!!

    Figures they come from kaliforina.

    • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

      the USSR never passed gun control, but they did limit all rights of non-bolsheviks. It doesn’t pay to buck history, comrade :)

    • avatargloomhound says:

      Except when they did.

      The Soviet Union prohibited civilian gun ownership in 1929.

      Resolutions, 1918
      Decree, July 12, 1920
      Art. 59 & 182, Pen. code, 1926

      Josef Stalin is reportedly to have said: “We don’t let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?”

      • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

        [citation needed] :)

        Gun restrictions were limited in Bolshevik controlled areas during the russian civil war to members of the communist party only. Check your facts, mate :)

        • avatarAM says:

          Check your facts mate.

          I demand sources.

        • avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

          As do I, all I see from your sources are conservatard chain emails sourced from the highly paranoid nazi-baiters/baters “jews for the preservation of firearm ownership.” :)

          Isn’t it funny how the holocaust has turned every jew into a raving murderer (see: israel) or a raving paranoid who sees jackbooted collectivists around every corner (see: this site) :)

        • avatarpat says:

          Money is good. Your either a young stupid kid or a failure typing in the basement. Either way, I am glad. No way you got dough unless your some kind of trust fund baby into self loathing who took a few libtard college courses. Or your just screwing around on this forum, in which case: Grow up or get lost.

      • avatargloomhound says:

        You said “the USSR never passed gun control, but they did limit all rights of non-bolsheviks. ”

        But the Soviet Union did prohibited civilian gun ownership in 1929.

        Resolutions, 1918
        Decree, July 12, 1920
        Art. 59 & 182, Pen. code, 1926

        So you dirty little red you are proven wrong yet again.

  12. avatarJames1000 says:

    Man I gotta get me one of those…

  13. avatarDrVino says:

    Way to milk a topic to maintain grant flow…

    Wodarz will be happy back in Poland. You must show a clear reason for purchasing a gun there.

    The fact that we welcome immigrants from all parts of the world might very well be the undoing of what makes this country desirable to them in the first place. (I say this as an immigrant myself).

    If you come to this country, then assimilate, don’t try to change it to an economically stronger version of where you left…..

  14. avatarDaniel Silverman says:

    Actually they got it right….
    Before you start bashing, hang in and let me tell you why.

    This study concentrated on gun deaths, not violent crime. Let’s put violent crime aside for a moment and fixate, like Piers Morgan on gun deaths.

    Now we start the study by looking at extremes.
    “The study starts by showing that the optimal survival strategies could be either of the extreme approaches: a total ban on private gun ownership, or a policy allowing anyone in the general population to get a gun.” Choices in deed!!!

    Now we know stupid people do stupid things. Forget we are at a 45 year low roughly for violent crime, and that more and more people are buying firearms for self protection… Let’s just ignore all those facts for a moment. I know it is hard, have a glass of wine and relax..

    If you want to reduce gun deaths take away all the guns, it is that simple, or not….
    So we go door to door, and confiscate, or in some delusional outpouring of wanting to dance in a field with unicorns and fuzzy bunny’s we all turn in our guns. This should reduce the gun deaths right? Sorta…

    I no doubt think that assuming they go door to door, across the nation and search every home, yard, car, dog house, and outhouse, etc we would in fact reduce the gun deaths. At least for a short while. Sure people will die, and for some untold reason lots of gang members will be reduced to room temperature in the process, but if only to save one life right?

    Unfortunately they lack any form of critical thought in this matter. They stop at gun deaths. They are so fixated on the idea of ballistic destruction they forget how or why we deal with societies ills with a gun. Perhaps they also forget that you can die by any other method which could be deemed homicide. I can hit someone with a bat and it is considered assault with a deadly weapon. Just sayin..

    I agree gun deaths will be reduced, but not forever. The Iron river will form coming from Mexico, Canada and any number of other places. Once the criminals are sufficiently armed they will run roughshod over the citizens. Gun use in crimes and gun deaths will increase. Remember that 12,000 deaths a year include bad guys too. We can look at data from the UK, that they love to reference and see this happening right before their very eyes, but remember they lack critical thought, so they are fixated on that single number of gun deaths.

    They also talked about letting everyone have a gun. I will assume for a minute that we would say this means constitutional carry across the nation. It means if you are not nuts, or a criminal you get one.. It means we train our citizens at tax payer expense, it means all children learn gun safety and marksmanship in school. Not that sounds utopian to me doesn’t it!

    In this instance I think we would see a sharp spike up in gun deaths. However this would not last. Criminals would learn people are armed and it isn’t worth it. They would be reduced to begging on the street corner, rather than face justice at the hands of an armed citizen. Long term violent crime would decrease, and even gun deaths would decrease. Since we train and teach safety to all, AD deaths also drop. People stop on the side of the road to help others. We talk nicely even when we are in disagreements, and learn the value of civil discourse. Cats and Dogs living together oh my!!!!

    Sure you would have dumb people thinking they can get away with it, but they all would learn soon enough that it isn’t possible. So in their statement of choices, I go with choice number two..
    See how easy it is to understand their logic..

    • avatarAM says:

      I assume they mean literally everyone has a gun and carries it.

      • avatarFred says:

        Well, according to their model there would be no gun deaths because there would be no guns. With more guns in the general population you would have more gun deaths, which is a tactic Piers Morgan likes to do comparing gun deaths in the United States with countries that have one tenth of the population on a 1:1 ratio. It’s just simple math,
        (0)360,000,000 = 0
        (.0005)360,000,000 = 180,000

        Zero guns times the entire population equals zero gun deaths.
        Everyone with guns times a 0.05% death rate equals 180,000 gun deaths.
        Of course that ignores crime entirely, but who needs to pay attention to crime when creating measures to decrease crime? Common sense measures.

        Unfortunately, we know that’s not how the world operates. No matter how much and in how many different incarnations they push the idea of the wild west or the perfectly peaceful gun-less utopia it isn’t true or even possible.

        About the UK, let me say this; there are few gun deaths because criminals don’t have to shoot, they can just take whatever they want at gunpoint because citizens can’t defend themselves. In the UK their violent crime rate is astronomical compared to the US. Their policy is also to give a warning if they personally witness a mugging because the stations are so backed up with paperwork. They have a real nice system over there, for the criminals and rapists.

    • avatarBill in Il says:

      This “study” is ridiculous on its face. They didn’t even come within a light year of getting it right. This subject is so complex that all of the variables can never be known. One would have to assume, guess and just plain make stuff up. An equation that can mean anything means nothing at all.

    • avatarBruce says:

      Great logic Mr. Silverman. It’s good to see someone using his mind.

  15. avatarswampsniper says:

    Great Lenin’s Ghost, my people have been bucking history since long before your people crawled out of a stinking European ghetto.

  16. avatarJesse Nelson says:

    Well I’ll file these two under ‘people not connected to reality’.

    Maybe next these will come up with a study that says we can save the lives of rapist by keeping women from having access to a weapon for defense.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      These two are intensely connect to reality, California Reality. He’s not working in a department matched to his actual research “because they needed some quant gloss in an otherwise vague specialty. She’s, well, read the bio I posted.

  17. avatarCZJay says:

    So it’s guns for everyone or guns for no one?

    The guns for no one approach would have to include the government. As the history of mankind has shown governments to be the most murderous.

    An example for the guns for everyone approach would be the current LAPD situation. The police feel as they can do as the please, even murder, their leaders (police chief) agree.

    That should be enough for a logical person to want the guns for everyone approach. Otherwise…

    The majority are or will be like this…

  18. avatarWLCE says:

    “The results show that in principle, both arguments can be correct, depending on the parameters. ”

    “Based on parameters
    that could be estimated from previously published data, our model suggests
    that in the context of one-against-one shootings, a ban of private firearm possession minimizes gun-related deaths if the gun control law can be enforced at
    least as effectively as in England/Wales.”

    Which ill add England/Wales is a entirely different beast than the United States, so lets consider this before we attack this study. England/Wales has always had a lower rate of gun ownership than the United States, which can effectively conclude that such “total bans” would have no effect in the United States, especially with our souther Mexican border and the hundreds of millions of guns in circulation, which brings us to our second option…

    “Indeed, the UK has one of the lowest
    gun-related homicides in the world [19, 20].”

    Which are increasing (even with their small number) and thats not even getting into violent crime. Like I said before, the UK has always had a lower rate of gun violence, even before their draconian legislation.

    “In contrast, if the law cannot be
    upheld effectively, then legal possession of firearms by the general population
    minimizes gun-related deaths.”

    Which is the case for the United States when you compare our situation honestly with Great Britain’s.

    “While Mexico has strict gun laws [21, 22], illegal gun possession is relatively high (large h) [22–25], and gun-related deaths
    are among the highest [20, 26].” Or Jamaica…

    “In many situations, and certainly in the last string of mass shootings in the
    USA, automatic weapons were used to assault crowds, where hundreds of rounds
    per minute can be fired. The victims typically will not possess such powerful
    weapons. Therefore, their ability to shoot is significantly lower than that of
    the attacker. We can interpret the results of the model for a situation where
    the attacker fires a machine gun and the victims respond with non-automatic
    weapons.”

    Oh please tell enlightened ones. Where have “automatic weapons assaults” occurred in the US in which “hundreds of rounds” were fired in a minute??? This is the only paragraph that i have a problem with in the study.

    You either have a total ban on private firearms or let everyone be armed. I can understand that. I would rather have “dangerous freedom” than safe tyranny personally.

  19. avatarMick says:

    Trying to quantify the mystery of human nature hasn’t really worked out too well in the past, and I doubt it’ll work here. This study is simply ludicrous.

  20. avatarRopingdown says:

    Well, the article cited in the post doesn’t seem to have received much comment. Laugh. Looks like UC Irvine needed some staff in a hurry. Incidentally optimal strategies in positive-sum games isn’t an area of expertise for either of the “article” writers. Wodarz is a Change.Org fan. Komarova claims to have been a Member of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton at one point, but I can only identify her as a Staff Member, somewhat different position. Her posted Faculty Senate Bio tells you all you might never want to know about her. http://www.senate.uci.edu/distinguishedfacultyawards/06_7Awrds/KomarovaBio.htm Is California a great state or what? The article is a joke from several points of view.

  21. avatarCarlosT says:

    Can’t resist a little science humor:

    A farmer’s chickens suddenly become sick with a disease he doesn’t recognize. The vet doesn’t know what to make of it either, so the farmer calls the nearby state university.

    A biologist, a chemist, and a physicist come out to the farm. The biologist takes a look at the chickens, looks around at the environment of the farm, but is ultimately stumped. The chemist takes all kinds of samples, runs all sorts of tests, but comes up empty. The physicist sits down, opens his laptop, and starts typing furiously.

    After a long while, the physicist jumps up and yells out to the farmer “I got it! I got it! But it only works for spherical chickens in a vacuum.”

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Nailed it.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Epic. You win.

    • avatar16V says:

      Reminds me of another classic:

      Three scientists are each locked in a room with one can of food and no tools to open it. The next day, the door is opened…

      The engineer knew the can’s size and composition. He calculated optimum angles and force required to deform the can enough to open it.

      The physicist threw the can against the wall several times, recording the effects of each strike and ultimately, what the final throw needed to be to open the can.

      The mathematician was found in the corner screaming at the can, ” I define you to be open!”.

    • avatarJason Lynch says:

      +1

      You married a physicist, didn’t you?

  22. avatarJohn Rand says:

    I don’t think you’re giving it an impartial look. From a purely scientific standpoint in regards to saving lives, total civil disarmament is the best choice. You don’t need freedom to live. You need a semi climate controlled area, a modicum of nutrients and water, and some exercise and healthcare. I could greatly increase the number of safe children by getting rid of freedoms and personal choice. I’ll just lock you up in concrete buildings and let you out at fixed times. Think how many lives I could save by controlling diet and mandating work and exercise patterns? I mean, why stop at guns?

    That’s basically the whole foundation of this gun-control argument. Some people feel that living is more important than life, and vice versa. Quantity over Quality. To some extent, that’s the whole foundation of left’s socialist agenda.

  23. avatarWiregrass says:

    I wonder if their model took into account genocide by dictatorial regimes. No doubt, extreme gun control would have the greatest effect on citizen on citizen violence committed with firearms. Add in “living as free individuals” into the equation and see where it goes.

  24. avatarJon says:

    The “study” assumes that the GB ban was successful without looking at the murder or violent crime rate was enacted. It also selectively chooses countries with strict gun control laws and low rates, ignoring those with much higher rates, Mexico, Brazil, Columbia, and others. Nothing but advocacy disguised as science.

  25. avatarChuckN says:

    I’m “surprised” that the scientists (read book smart morons)
    in question never picked up on how having more firearms
    fits in better with evolutionary theory. Every other species
    ostracizes or kill members that threaten the group. This is
    done to protect the group and only allows more stable
    members to procreate. This is where many of these
    “scientists” stop because they allow personal bias into there
    research by terming those who approve of violence for self
    defense as defective members of the group. However, lets
    continue with the analogy a little further. If a populace is
    armed, when an unstable member threatens the group, there
    is a higher likely hood that he/she will be removed from the
    gene pool. It’s a cold way to look at it, but if scientists are
    going to examine problems from an evolutionary viewpoint
    then there is no room for feelings or political niceties.

  26. avatarDaveL says:

    “An evolutionary biologist and a mathematician walk into a criminology conference…”

    Sounds like a bad joke.

  27. avatarmountocean says:

    I have a 100% effective solution to stop birds from shitting on my head. I’ll never leave my couch. Yeah scientists.

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