“Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me…..”

Leah Libresco

Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me.

Those are words of the first line of an article written by Leah Libresco in the Washington Post entitled, “I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.

She writes:

Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

Wait, how can this be? A writer who had an opinion and then sought to verify that opinion? When the facts didn’t match her beliefs, she changed her thinking?

As my co-workers and I kept looking at the data, it seemed less and less clear that one broad gun-control restriction could make a big difference. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides. Almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them. I couldn’t even answer my most desperate question: If I had a friend who had guns in his home and a history of suicide attempts, was there anything I could do that would help?

However, the next-largest set of gun deaths — 1 in 5 — were young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides. These men were most likely to die at the hands of other young men, often related to gang loyalties or other street violence. And the last notable group of similar deaths was the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually as the result of domestic violence. Far more people were killed in these ways than in mass-shooting incidents, but few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.

Is this woman insane? How dare she use common sense!

Libresco goes on to discuss solutions to gun violence and not once does she mention that which she has proven to herself to be ineffective.

We applaud her honesty and her willingness to have a conversation – even if it is with herself – and was willing to be open to change.

We said the other day that when it comes to “racial justice” and “social inequities,” we wanted to have conversations based on actual data and facts, rather than hyperbole and emotion.

Libresco’s article and the FiveThirtyEight data she references should be looked at, in our opinion.

Contrast Libresco’s article with the appearance on Tucker Carlson of Mediaite managing editor Colby Hall who argued no facts, and simply argued emotion.

The contrast between Hall and Libresco is striking. One argues facts and proposes working solutions, the other puts forth emotional rhetoric without any basis in actual knowledge or facts.

Finally, we want to note this opinion piece also from the Washington Post:

Who’s playing politics now?

Imagine for a moment what would have happened if, in his Monday statement on the Las Vegas shooting, President Trump had praised the police who ran toward the gunfire and saved so many lives, and then said: “And for all those who have been taking a knee to protest the police, shame on you. On Sunday, you slander them, but then on Monday, you need them. The police deserve our respect every day.”

Heads would have exploded — and rightly so. His critics would have pointed out that workers still had not removed all the bodies from the crime scene, and yet he was already injecting politics into this tragedy. The president’s job is to unite the country, they would have said, not divide us.

Of course, Trump did not say anything of the sort. His statement Monday was moving and appropriate. The great irony is that it was Democrats — those constantly outraged by Trump responding inappropriately to crises and dividing the country — who responded to the Las Vegas shooting like partisan hacks.

At 10:03 a.m., while bodies were still lying where they fell and victims were in hospitals fighting for their lives, Hillary Clinton decided to go on the attack. “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get,” she tweeted. This was not only inappropriate, it was also inane. Her tweet had nothing to do with the events in Las Vegas. There is no such thing as a “silencer” like you see in a James Bond movie. There are “suppressors,” which reduce gunshot noise but do not eliminate it. Even if the shooter had used one in Las Vegas, The Post reported, the effect “probably would have been negligible.”

Undeterred by ignorance, Clinton tweeted again a minute later, at 10:04 a.m., urging Americans to “put politics aside [and] stand up to the NRA.” Of course, she was doing the opposite of putting politics aside. And she was not alone Monday morning. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) criticized “my colleagues in Congress [who] are so afraid of the gun industry” and declared that “the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference.” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) tweeted, “More blood on hands of heartless NRA and soulless gun industry.”

The speed with which some on the left rushed to politicize this incident was pathetic but not surprising.

More here.

Spot on. Just spot on.

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