- I had my ass handed to me on the Brady Bill. Note to self, do not link to advocacy site for "data."
- These guys are smart. They've read the research and have cogent things to say. When you are debating survey methodology, you are beyond a shouting match.
- It made me think. Here's what one commenter had to say:
CRIME is the problem, not crime with guns. And the causes of crime are social, cultural and (probably mostly) economic. Treating one of the symptoms—gun crime—as the main problem is clearly the wrong approach.
Second, there's evidence in both directions. Some surveys show that gun ownership is higher in states with higher suicide rates and that gun suicide rates are higher in these states. And yet, countries with much tougher gun laws have compelling evidence that restrictive gun laws don't necessarily stop people from committing crimes with guns.
Third, the Second Amendment thing complicates the issue. I still firmly hold to the existing Supreme Court interpretation of the amendment, which to my understanding does not support the kind of individualized gun rights often advocated by groups like the NRA. However, neither does the 2nd Amendment preclude "conceal and carry." In other words, even if we all read the amendment as I'd like to, it doesn't really change the ground game (a gun control advocate can't argue that it's a right to carry a gun, but I can't argue that it's constitutionally prohibited).
Maybe we're left in the middle (like most good American public policy). You can own a gun, but we have restrictions and background checks. You can carry it in public, but are held responsible for the damage caused by it. You can demand more freedom to carry a gun and I can demand more no-gun areas.
In some ways, given the evidence, we're at the level of perception. I perceive that I am safer when I feel that nobody's packing than when anyone is. Others clearly feel either indifferent or the reverse - that they are safer being able to, or that we're generally safer. Of course, some feel it's a right, so who gives a hoot how anyone feels about it (much as I feel about speech).
How's that for equivocation?