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2003 CDC Study on the Effectiveness of Gun Control (Spoiler: No Evidence They Work.)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Justin, Dec 30, 2012.

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  1. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    I know this has been posted before, however, I figured that it's been awhile and it would be instructive to post it again for those who may be new or who haven't seen it.



    In 2003, shortly before the expiration of the then-enforced ban on so-called "assault weapons" the radical right-wing gun nuts at the Centers for Disease Control conducted a meta study examining numerous other studies on the effectiveness of various gun control laws at reducing violent crime.

    The study was titled "First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws."

    For the findings of the study, go here:
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5214a2.htm

    For pertinent quotes from the website, keep reading.


    Note that some of what they report does contradict what you may hear from certain gun-related policy groups, or contradict traditional wisdom, but it's important to share not just the information that backs us up, but also those findings which may require us to re-examine how we advocate and/or think about gun rights.

    That said, the results frankly speak for themselves, and either gun control is generally ineffective, or the ways of studying and quantifying its effects are woefully inadequate. In either case, if the CDC says that there isn't enough evidence in favor of these laws, I don't think that anyone can, in good conscience advocate for them. At most, the best they could do would be to advocate for further studies of the subject**.


    *True, as far as it goes. However, if such laws truly were effective, you'd think that there would be no question about their effectiveness as the data would be self-evident.

    **Yes, I know, the entire point of the argument that I make here is one based in utilitarianism rather than outright philosophical belief. While I certainly hold to a philosophical belief that freedom is the best option, I think it's important for us to be able to present arguments from the utilitarian perspective as well, especially since those are the arguments most likely to sway those who aren't already in our camp.
     
  2. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Dude - you rock. Thanks for reposting all of this.
     
  3. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    Good read, but this thread title is somewhat misleading. It wasn't a study on the effectiveness of gun control. It was a study on the methodology and accuracy of other studies. And what they're saying is that they found the other studies inconclusive and improperly administered. That's a far cry from it stating that gun control doesn't work. Before one brings this up with anti friends, be aware of that. This study doesn't really seem to address gun control itself in any meaningful way. Just that the other studies were flawed. And of course absence of proof is not proof of absence. The conclusion of this CDC study is a lot closer to "we still don't know either way" than it is to "gun control doesn't work".

    Maybe. In a real world sense, of course gun control doesn't work. But this CDC report isn't addressing that. The plural of anecdote is not data, so whether we know gun control works or not isn't the issue. The issue tackled by the CDC in this sense is the validity of other studies, not what their conclusions should have been. One cannot base a statistical conclusion on anything other than a properly administered and controlled study. This CDC report tells us that so far, such a study of gun control has not been done. So that still just leaves the official stance at "we don't know".

    It's like being asked to do a math problem with pencil and paper only, but cheating and using a calculator. Whether you got the right answer is irrelevant to the question at hand. The issue is whether you went through the right process. This CDC report is simply saying "the gun control studies did not go through the right process." The report doesn't state that gun control conclusively doesn't work. It states there is no valid conclusion either way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  4. bk42261

    bk42261 Member

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    So basically, "WEe can't find a way to fudge the numbers enough to support
     
  5. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    No problem. Sometimes it pays to seek out the dim memories of something I read years ago.

    Thank you for bringing this up and clarifying. I was shooting for a somewhat pithy title, and one that would fit in the space allotted. It wasn't my intention to mislead, as you are correct.

    I did try to address that in the body of my post, but your stronger re-statement here is also helpful.

    Insofar as using this in debates, the strongest argument that you could make would be that the subject of gun control has not been studied well enough for anyone to be able to make an informed policy decision. As such, if using this info in a debate, the strongest argument would be to point out that it would be a bad idea to institute further gun control laws without first having hard data to back up the real world efficacy of such laws.
     
  6. wacki

    wacki Member

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    True, but the anti's take gun control effectiveness as a given. And they do so in an often demeaning way. If it was so obvious then why is it so hard to prove?

    this still works in our favor big time.
     
  7. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    thanks for posting this!
     
  8. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Justin- I'm "borrowing" your post.... more of a wholesale piracy, truth be told.

    Imitation is truly flattery, and I'm sincerely playing Xerox.

    Well said.
     
  9. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    Dude. Knock yourself out. I don't post this stuff here just to tout how awesome I am. I post this stuff here to hopefully give all THR members (and pro-gun folks beyond the walls of THR) the ammunition they need to win the fight that's just getting underway.

    As far as I'm concerned, as long as you're using it in service of advancing the RKBA, it's all good.
     
  10. NaturalDefensiveRights

    NaturalDefensiveRights member

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    And if you can denigrate other RKBA supporters and bask in the limelight while doing it, why not, right? :rolleyes:
     
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