Of guns, shootings, and facts

Of guns, shootings, and facts August 12, 2019


several handguns
Celebrate diversity!       (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)
Just for the record: I’m neither a hunter nor a member of the National Rifle Association, and guns and gun control are very far down my list of major interests.


“Facts,” said Aldous Huxley, “do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”


“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,” said the late great Harvard sociologist and Democratic senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “but not to his own facts.”


“Get your facts first,” advised Mark Twain, “then you can distort them as you please.”


Well, you get the idea.


So here are a few items regarding crime that are worth keeping in mind:


“Mass Shootings Aren’t Growing More Common”

It often seems that they are, but the evidence to support the perception is evidently actually somewhere between ambiguous and absent.  Incidentally, please note that the claim that mass shootings are caused by exposure to violent video games also lacks supporting evidence.


“Joe Biden Is Wrong. There Is No Compelling Evidence That Assault-Weapon Bans Work.”

There is a lot of obviously true common sense about guns and gun control — to say nothing of a vast amount of posturing and virtue-signalling by politicians — for which there is no actual supporting evidence.

A very courageous figure in disputes about gun-control policy in the United States is Dr. John Lott, who is now an independent scholar but who previously taught at such institutions as the University of Chicago, Yale University, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Maryland, College Park, and who was previously affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute:

“John Lott’s Website”

Crime Prevention Research Center


“Frightened by shootings, appalled at Trump, Americans are voting with their feet — to leave”

I get it.  I am — in case anybody has failed to notice — not an uncritically enthusiastic fan of President Donald J. Trump.  But I’m also somebody who has traveled a bit, and I have to say that, for all of the flaws that indisputably still exist in my country, anyone who leaves the United States of America in search of utopia is bound to be disappointed.  Even places that I love such as Norway and Switzerland have their negatives and present their challenges.  Are you leaving America for Israel because you feel insecure?  Really?  Hmmm.  I personally know people who have fled the United States and Mr. Trump for places such as Lima, Peru, and . . . well, I think that I’ll leave it at that.


“Elizabeth Warren’s Ferguson Lie”

“On Ferguson, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris Told a Terrible Lie: Their falsehoods were immoral, divisive, and quite possibly unlawful.”


“It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble,” observed Will Rogers, “it’s what we know that ain’t so.”



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