Thursday, December 20, 2012

Be it never so umble

Notes from the Yale Professor of Humility:
gun control laws have never been that effective in controlling crime or killing. Everybody can pick out their favorite study to prove this or that point, but the C.D.C.  did a comprehensive review of the literature overall and they didn’t find sufficient evidence to show that gun restrictions work. That doesn’t mean the laws don’t work. It just means that the effect isn’t big enough so that the 51 studies under review could pick it up.
Afraid I can't give you any marks on that one, Professor Brooks. It means the CDC (in 2003) found the studies in its brief generally weren't well done enough to demonstrate anything:
In conclusion, the application of imperfect methods to imperfect data has commonly resulted in inconsistent and otherwise insufficient evidence with which to determine the effectiveness of firearms laws in modifying violent outcomes.
And if you want to know why, you might look at your own newspaper:
The reality is that even these and other basic questions cannot be fully answered, because not enough research has been done. And there is a reason for that. Scientists in the field and former officials with the government agency that used to finance the great bulk of this research say the influence of the National Rife Association has all but choked off money for such work. (Michael Luo, New York Times, 1/25/2011)
Note that in this gig, where he poses as Gail Collins's slightly conservative next-door neighbor, having some coffee with her in the breakfast nook and proving that folks can get along even if they differ in political views as long as they respect each other, he is not lying to prove a point, since he's already devoted several paragraphs to explaining how he's in favor of all sorts of gun control laws, even though he apparently doesn't believe they work. He's either lying out of reflex, or simply unable to read a social science research document, or (of course) both.
From Bob Enyart Live.
More on this especially vile column from Driftglass.

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