OP-ED by Gary Mauser, Joanne D Eisen & Alan J Chwick.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Our country has been buried in hoaxes, one after another. Lies have become part of American culture.
They are intended to change our thoughts and actions, even if those changes are not to our benefit. A familiar hoax is that guns and gun owners are dangerous. This hoax is almost invisible; it has become an assumption that politicians use to claim we need more laws to deal with gun violence.
The gun violence hoax is bolstered by pseudo-scientific articles published in medical journals, even in a few criminological journals. A proper scientific article is easily identified because the researcher is honestly searching for truth; unscientific ones use complex scientific language to dress up their biases to prove what they already believe. That’s pseudo-science.
Unfortunately, too many editors and reviewers share this bias against guns, so pseudo-science easily slips through the review process.
Any time journalists need an emotional article about guns, a pseudo-science piece is easily found. It is false but looks convincing. The gun violence hoax gets another boost.
Journalists typically ignore complex scientific methodology, so they are easy to fool. Besides, most journalists share the same anti-gun biases.
Fortunately, there are honest, competent academics who can see through the pseudoscientific claptrap and are willing to point out the truth.
A recent dust-up between two researchers in Justice Quarterly is illustrative. For the sake of simplicity, we shall only cite 2 of those feisty articles. First, Emma Fridel, a Florida criminologist, wrote Comparing the Impact of Household Gun Ownership and Concealed Carry Legislation on the Frequency of Mass Shootings and Firearm Homicide. Attempting to clear up her errors, Professor Gary Kleck soon after published a stinging critique, The Continuing Vitality of Flawed Research on Guns and Violence: A Comment on Fridel.
The point to take away from this ‘battle of the boffins’ is that without any math at all, you will be able to understand Fridel’s flaws. It’s that obvious that Fridel fiddled with the books to find the answer she sought, not reality. That’s not science.
Fridel’s complex title question suggests she intended to mislead from the beginning. If you ask the wrong question, you get the wrong answer. And that’s what Fridel did.
Fridel asked about firearm homicide, not total homicide. She didn’t even aim at the right target.
Kleck pointed out her error in his article, “The most important goal of gun control is to save lives.” It’s not about the firearm homicide rates, as Fridel claims. It’s all about total homicide, and Fridel does not even try to answer that question. If gun control laws aren’t intended to save lives, what good are they? It is no stretch to believe that gun laws are about control, not safety. They are a political ploy to disarm American civilians.
Nor did Fridel know how to measure gun ownership when she attempted to predict mass shootings and gun homicides. In his critique, Kleck shows that Fridel failed to use the proper measure, or proxy, for estimating household gun ownership. Obviously, if she can’t accurately measure gun ownership, she guarantees that her attempts to predict anything by using an inaccurate measure will fail.
It gets worse. Kleck also points out that Fridel ignores the causal order of the variables. If guns and gun violence are related, that could mean that violence causes more people to arm themselves, or it could mean that increased violence follows from the greater number of armed citizens.
The causal order is important because if guns cause violence, advocates of gun bans just might be on the correct track. Fridel’s bias is typical. Many gun control advocates so firmly believe that more guns lead to more violence that they ignore common sense.
At the same time, it’s common sense that responsible civilians will arm themselves to protect their families from criminal violence.
So due to either ignorance or bias, Fridel merely assumes that civilian gun owners are to blame for criminal violence and blatantly disregards the question of causality!?
Kleck concludes that Fridel’s errors explain her false conclusion. By ignoring causal order and by confusing firearm homicide with total homicide, Fridel illogically concludes that more civilian guns mean more murders.
Professor Kleck writes, “no good quality, or even minimally good, studies that have found a significant positive association between gun ownership rates and total homicide rates.”
Kleck also concludes that most gun “research this flawed is typical of the work that continues to be published in scholarly journals on the links between guns, gun control, and violence.” In his book Targeting Guns, he says, “Therefore, it appears that no violence reduction benefit is to be derived from restricting gun ownership in the general population.”
It’s important to understand that it’s very easy for researchers to misuse statistics to find the politically correct answer that they prefer. The Fridel article is only one case of a politically attractive theory destroyed by contact with reality. Too many are not. A quote ascribed to many, including Mark Twain, Churchill, and Oscar Wilde, captures this problem, “A Lie Is Halfway Round the World Before the Truth Has Got Its Boots On.”
The bottom line? Arm yourselves against hoaxes with knowledge.
Don’t let yourself be trapped in the hoax that armed civilians are responsible for criminal violence. Learn to defend your rights. If we cave to pressure, we leave our children unprotected from criminals and criminal governments. We can no longer compromise with liars and their lies.
Society is being destroyed by freakish violence, but don’t blame guns. Civilian firearms owners are the solution, not the problem. As Chris Plante, radio show host, says, “It’s Not Our Guns, It’s Your Sons,” meaning that “saying if you look at the lunatic who committed the act, with tattoos on his face and neck, and his weird online history, maybe the problem isn’t the gun but the families involved.”
About The Authors
Gary Mauser is a professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Check out his blog at JusticeForGunowners.ca for more information.
Alan J Chwick has been involved with firearms much of his life and is the Retired Managing Coach of the Freeport NY Junior Marksmanship Club. He has escaped New York State to South Carolina and is an SC FFL Dealer & Gunsmith (Everything22andMore.com). [email protected] | Twitter/TruthSocial: @E22andMore
Joanne D Eisen, DDS (Ret.) practiced dentistry on Long Island, NY. She has collaborated and written on firearm politics for the past 40+ years. She, too, escaped New York State, but to Virginia. [email protected]