Monday, October 02, 2006

Valid Violence Reseach (For a Change)

I’ve used Ten Ring at times to complain about anti-gun research. Most of it amounts to “Guns are bad. Get rid of guns you get rid of crime.” They create spurious statistics and facts to “prove” their point. You’ve all seen this with claims like:
● You’re 43 times more likely to get killed with your own gun than shoot a bad guy;
● .50 caliber rifles are destructive and can shoot down airplanes;
● Assault weapons are gang bangers favored weapons;
● And so on ad infinitum.

We know these “facts” aren’t true and we can prove it. Unfortunately, we know that a few of their arguments have a grain of truth to them although blown all out of proportion—for example, .50 caliber rounds can shoot down an airplane when dozens if not hundreds are fired from a machine gun in usually aerial combat.

I just read about a researcher, Dr. John Rich, who’s actually doing valid research into gun and other violence. I'm assuming Dr. Rich might be anti-gun simply because he’s a physician interested in violence prevention. Too many doctors become anti-gun possibly for the valid reason that too many of them see too many gunshot wounds.

I might feel differently about guns (perish the thought) if I spent my days pulling bullets out of flesh or interviewing the wounded. But, I know that banning guns won’t work; criminals will simply get black-marketed guns or use knives, bats, bare hands to get what they want. I also know that 99.something percent of gun owners don’t use their guns criminally. That 99 percent should not be punished for misdeeds of a few.

Dr. Rich hasn’t made what I’ll call the physician’s mistake. He interviewed 100 gun shot victims and found that they used violence (gun or otherwise for that matter) to become a player in their neighborhoods and also to get a reputation of “don’t mess with me.”

His research could lead to something a lot more productive than the “guns are bad” foolishness of his colleagues. So even if Dr. Rich is or is not a gun banner, I want to thank him for doing honest and valid research.

No comments: