Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Usual Suspects and More Anti-gun "Research"

Reader Steve Price out of Canada sent me a link to a press release about a new study performed by three researchers at Harvard's School of Public Health. Among the three was our old friend David Hemenway. Steve asked me to fisk the report, but I emailed him back that Jeff at Alphecca had already done a pretty good job of that.

Now I see that Instapundit has commented:
I'm pretty sure that these guys would call anyone who accepted grants from the NRA bought-and-paid-for. But the Joyce Foundation is every bit as biased as the NRA, and has a history of paying for scholarship that would be treated as a scandal if it were engaged in by pro-gun folks.

I find much of the public health literature on guns to be highly biased and deeply untrustworthy. It starts with an agenda, rather obviously, and then constructs "research" to confirm it. In this it resembles far too much of the politicized social science we see today, which explains in part why people are far less persuaded by social science claims than they used to be.
He also links to a Jacob Sullum October 2003 Reason piece for a quote. He could just as well have referenced my three-part exchange with Dr. John D Kelly, IV from last week. Among other things, I cited the same National Academies of Science report, and its conclusion. (Then again, I'm not an accredited journalist like Sullum, but...)

Of course, nothing will affect true-believers like Dr. Kelly, but given the fact that gun owners and gun-rights supporters appear to have found their political voice, I'm relatively secure in believing that the damage such "studies" can do any more has been sharply reduced. Bias is now exposed, and having a doctorate no longer equates to the wearing of a mantle of disinterested impartiality. We know better, now.

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