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What are the odds that gun control advocates will drop their endlessly-professed faith in “common sense” and examine the issues surrounding civilian disarmament from a rational, scientific point-of-view? By the same token, how many gun rights advocates are seeing what they want to see in polling and crime data numbers without “proper” analysis? Let me put it this way: if TTAG writer, computer programmer and former DHS analyst Nick Leghorn says something’s scientifically accurate, chances are it is. If that squares with John “More Guns, Less Crime” Lott’s point-of-view, that’s another clue you’re cozying up to the truth about guns. If someone agrees with either braniac because of their own political predilections—rather than mad math skillz—they’re still right! How great is that? [h/t SS]

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  1. But “common sense” is emotional response. Numbers and math and facts don’t help the agenda…

    • “Common sense” hasn’t always been an emotion response. There was a time when common sense was the realm of logic and emotional flights of fancy were considered shortcomings in those that let those actions & feelings rule their lives. But the emotional non-thinkers appropriated the term and twisted it to their own use.

  2. RF we’re fighting a culture war. Math Numbers and Science cannot win a culture war anymore than heavy armor air power and regular infantry can win a guerilla war without things like Special Operations and other asymmetrical warfare options.

  3. Some of the best data that helps de-bunk gun control arguments comes from the government itself, such as the DOJ Special Report, Firearm Violence 1993-2011, released this past May. Interestingly, if you try to access that report today,, see what you get. Another curtailment of service we’re told is due to the shutdown that also happens to be mighty convenient for an administration intent on pushing a gun-control agenda.

    • That can’t be true, all they want is to have research done on “gun violence”. They said so themselves. Oh wait, their “research” only tries to prove guns cause violence. Where’s common sense when you need it?

    • I like how they have shut down several websites under the guise of funding. Websites that require basically zero administration, and only continued electricity to remain available. Since the server is still answering requests, it obviously has electricity. Instead, they paid someone to make the time and effort to temporarily redirect clients to this BS page.

    • I wonder if we shouldn’t as a matter of course archive the interesting stuff someplace safe as it appears. The Ministry of Truth – excuse me, MinTru – does a lot of retcon these days.

      Cryptome is my first choice. Do they take stuff like this – anybody know?

      That’s another thing to advertise, BTW. Much like the late Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg observed, we’re fine with the computer on The Enterprise holding every book ever written, but nobody asks how they got there. Well, “interesting” stuff ought to be archived as a matter of course. To date, cryptome is the closest thing I know of to this kind of ubiquitous archive.

  4. I have had this discussion with the guy that has the office next to mine. Both of us are scientists. He’s a lefty (as is usual in academia). Predictably, we are on opposite sides of the gun control debate. He assumes any analyses that do not support the gun control agenda are invalid (an attempt to deceive). So, I invited him to sit and do some analyses of raw data together. We agreed to assume the data were valid (all US Gov, UN, or WHO sourced). We agreed that the analyses were done correctly (if not with all the checks that we might do for publication, and with the understanding that neither one of us are card-carrying statisticians). And we still disagreed on interpretation. Part of the problem is that most of the relevant data do not support causal inference (i.e., correlation of observations doesn’t imply causation). I’m not saying it’s all a wash; there are too many findings that are inconsistent with the idea that gun control will make us safer. Regardless, the only thing I was able to partially turn my friend on was concealed carry. Now he thinks that all guns should be banned, but if we can’t ban guns, CC by licensed citizens should be allowed. I guess that’s some progress.

    I tried something similar but more limited with my sister and parents (who are also lefties, but not scientists) with a laptop on the kitchen table. They just looked at me like I asked them to observe a vodoun ritual. Is there particular loa associated with regression analysis?

    • There’s a remarkable even-handed take on gun control at BoingBoing here:

      I read this one at first with some concern that their independent “happy mutant” POV would succumb to outrage, peer pressure, or similar. It didn’t. Contrast with Mother Jones, which, while I disagree with nearly their every position and preference, more often than not is an honest (if strident) broker. They even did an article early in the current Gun Rights Spasm about how there actually are – surprise, surprise – common, legitimate hunting uses for those evil AR-pattern rifles. Then they totally beclowned themselves with gamed stats in a subsequent article on mass shootings.

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