You want a result, not research

With the recent (forced) resignation of the Surgeon General of the United States, many have alluded to his gun control stance as one of the reasons the President pushed for his resignation ahead of the end of his term. So with Vice Admiral Murthy out, Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams is the acting Surgeon General.

The Office of the Surgeon General has not been without controversy. When I was growing up, one such controversy arose during the short term of Jocelyn Elders, who publicly called for drug legalization and distributing contraceptives in schools. She also talked quite frankly about subjects such as masturbation, abortion, sexuality, and comprehensive sex education.

And even C. Everett Koop wasn’t able to escape controversy. Koop was personally anti-abortion. As such he was pressured by Reagan and other conservative politicians to position the Office of the Surgeon General as decisively anti-abortion. He openly resisted, even refusing to prepare a report declaring abortion to be psychologically harmful to women, citing a lack of evidence supporting the assertion.

Vivek Murthy’s controversy, however, was gun control. And his confirmation was opposed by gun rights groups due to his stance that the CDC needs to research gun violence. This stance is well-reflected in anti-gun circles with the continued calls for more research.

It’s also a flat-out lie. Gun control groups don’t want research. They want a pre-conceived result.

They want the research to reflect their views. Yet research has been ongoing by independent groups. So I guess they want the CDC doing the research because of the perceptive authority of the CDC. I guess that if their views are reflected in CDC research, it sounds more official.

Two problems with this, though: the facts don’t support gun control, and the entire United States Public Health Service, which includes the CDC, has a clear anti-gun bias.

And again the facts are not on the side of gun control. Never have been.

Even post-Heller DC has not seen an increase in homicides, contrary to all the predictions. This is reflected in articles published over the last several years. Sources include an article from the Washington Times in 2009, from Reason in 2012, the NRA-ILA in 2014, and most recently on from the Daily Caller on April 17, 2017.

For those not immediately recalling, Heller refers to the District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008), decision that upheld the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right in striking down the District of Columbia’s handgun ban. Heller didn’t change the homicide rate trend since it was already going down before Heller. But the fact the homicide rate continued to go down after Heller shows that DC’s handgun ban wasn’t helping things either when they did have it.

Something else was leading DC’s homicide rate decline despite the strict gun laws and the forced change by the Supreme Court.

The trend also contradicts the repeated assertions of anti-gun advocates who claimed with Heller the same thing they claimed with expanded concealed carry: “OK Corral”, “blood in the streets”, “road rage settled with guns”. That whole spiel.

And the single largest fallacy of gun control proponents is improper representation of the data.

Let’s start with this: the United States is federated republic of 50 sovereign, independent States, plus several Territories and the disparate Native American tribes and reservations. The fallacy with data representation comes in aggregating the data together.

I’ve said before, and the data demonstrate, that gun control laws largely don’t do much for homicide and crime rates. Neither do gun friendly laws. Because I’m largely convinced that regardless of the state of gun laws, those who seek to victimize others will take their chances. They will adapt. If gun laws loosen and more people are armed, then they’ll become more careful, but they won’t stop.

What concealed carry laws do, however, is change the odds. They make it so that fewer people need not take chances as well. It doesn’t mean they can be cavalier about their safety, and situational awareness will always be your friend. But it doesn’t mean they’re sitting ducks either. Instead those seeking to target the innocent have to be more calculating.

We have gun friendly States with high homicide and crime rates. Missouri comes to mind, but that is largely skewed by St Louis and Kansas City. And there are gun friendly States with low homicide rates. Vermont comes to mind.

And there are gun control States with high homicide rates, such as Illinois and California. But again the same must be pointed out: the rates are skewed by the bigger cities where crime is more rampant. And gun control States with lower homicide rates. Hawai’i comes to mind. But even if Hawai’i were to go constitutional carry tomorrow, I doubt it’d have much effect on their homicide rates due to their isolation from the mainland. It’s difficult to get guns to Hawai’i, especially with Federal laws regarding interstate transport of firearms for commerce, let alone get a gun in Hawai’i.

So stronger gun laws don’t really do jack for crime, and looser gun laws don’t do much either. Because crime exists independently of gun laws, and won’t change because of stronger or looser gun laws. That is the overarching reality many don’t want to accept.

Same with this reality: most crime and violence occurs where Democrats reign. The majority of homicide offenders, where race is known, are black. And the majority of homicide victims knew their killer. And there is little that legislation can do to address that since it can’t really address the desire to commit crime.

But again, gun control advocates don’t want research. They want a particular result. Make no mistake about it.