Wednesday, 29 December 2004
|1033 - The National Academy of Sciences on gun control|
THIS month the National Academy of Sciences issued a 328-page report on gun-control laws. The big news is that the academy's panel couldn't identify any benefits of decades-long effort to reduce crime and injury by restricting gun ownership. The only conclusion it could draw was: Let's study the question some more (presumably, until we find the results we want). (emphasis original)
Thus begins a commentary in today's New York Post by criminologist John Lott. The NAS, no friend of the right to keep and bear arms, spent years and millions of dollars in an attempt to show that gun control laws - from mandatory trigger locks to the ugly gun ban - work to reduce crime and accidental injuries.
They couldn't. Not one law was shown to help.
Not only that, they flatly ignored most of the studies that show that right-to-carry laws help. They did pay attention to some non-peer-reviewed papers - in science, as authoritative as the National Enquirer - and selectively quoted one study in an attempt to show that they don't reduce crime.
This result surprises me not at all. The panel was set up during the Clinton Administration and packed to the gills with gun haters. Only their scientific self-respect prevented them from whitewashing the results even more than they already have.
Meanwhile, those of us who understand that guns in the hands of the law-abiding are no threat to anyone but criminals will continue to debunk the gun-grabbing BS the Left continues to spout.
current mood: cynical
It probably won't find that they hurt, either. It is not the presence or absence of gun control laws that makes a safe society, but the society's values themselves: both Japan and Switzerland have very low rates of gun crime, but are on extreme opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of gun control laws. As a society, Americans have a poor relationship with guns, and this is more dangerous than any law or lack thereof.
It's not that Americans have a poor relationship with guns. It's that Americans have a poor relationship with violence in all forms. Blaming the tool for the use to which it's put is a simple, easy-to-understand wrong answer. If we were somehow able to wave a magic wand and disappear every firearm in private hands - which is exactly what the gun grabbers want - the criminals would simply find other ways to do violence.
Also, why the hell are you counting on the New York Post? It has about the journalistic integrity of the National Enquirer, only with more cheesecake.
The author, John Lott, is a respected criminologist who has made several studies on the effects of gun laws. In particular, his work shows fairly conclusively that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens lead to less crime.
I've also read the executive summary of the NAS report (it's available online
). It says just what Lott's commentary says it does. Given that, it wouldn't matter if the comment did appear in the National Enquirer, for it is merely pointint out what the report itself says - despite the committee's clear anti-gun bias.
Lott is not telling the truth
If you had linked to National Academy of Sciences report you might have discovered that Lott is not telling the truth about what the report. See here
Re: Lott is not telling the truth
From the article in your blog you linked to:
If you want to know what the panel found it is probably just best to completely ignore Lott’s misrepresentations of their report and read the report or the press release or the panel’s opening statement.
Sure. If someone says that a report is biased, one should ignore the accusation of bias and take the report itself as gospel. Riiiiiight.
It's obvious you've got a vendetta against Lott. I'm curious as to how you found my LJ: Google? You don't appear to be a regular reader.
I don't have time to read a 340-page report now, and I'm not going to sit down and download 340 separate pages (or, worse, give the left-leaning NAS $50) just to satisfy an obsessive gun grabber. (You, from reading your blog and your comments in it.) Lott's central thesis in his essay is that the NAS failed to show that gun control laws reduce crime or injury, and that's born out by the study's executive summary, which I did read. That's enough for me.
Re: Lott is not telling the truth
So if someone says that a report is biased their claim must automatically be true and they don't have to provide any evidence to support their claim. Got it.
In your post you claimed that they ignored most of the studies that show that right-to-carry laws help. They didn't. Look at the list of studies on carry laws that they examined here
. So what studies did they ignore?