Monday, December 24, 2012

The Cultural Bias Behind Gun Control

From Frontpage Magazine:
But media-stoked irrational hysteria about gun violence isn’t the only reason we are hearing calls for more gun control. Politics is a factor as well. According to the New York Times, while 60% of Republicans have a gun in the house, only 25% of Democrats do. “Whether someone owns a gun,” Nate Silver writes, “is a more powerful predictor of a person’s political party than her gender, whether she identifies as gay or lesbian, whether she is Hispanic, whether she lives in the South or a number of other demographic characteristics.” That’s why Obama used the Newtown killings to bully the Republicans into caving on his demands for higher taxes. Like class warfare, gun control is a reliable issue for Democrats to exploit for political gain no matter how ineffective the resulting policies. Just as the soak-the-rich policies dominating the Democrats’ solutions to the “fiscal cliff” will do nothing to reduce the deficit and control spending, so too more gun control will not stop tragedies like the Newtown massacre.

Gun control laws, then, represent yet another instance of the progressive ideology that distrusts the average person to control his own life, and so demands ever greater regulatory intrusion into private life that necessarily expands the scope and power of the government. Restrictions on guns assume that most people, especially those conservative “bitter clingers to guns and religion,” as Obama called them, are too untrustworthy or incapable or stupid to own and carry a weapon. Such laws are written by elite snobs who think they know how to run your life better than you do, just as progressive economic policy is predicated on the belief that the federal government has a right to confiscate your money because it knows how to spend it more efficiently or justly.

In the end, the progressive point is not to solve problems that history shows big government is usually incapable of doing without extracting prohibitive costs. The point is to expand the leviathan state at the expense of individual freedom and autonomy, based on a contempt for ordinary people whom progressives at heart believe are not as worthy of freedom as they are. The emotional excesses that surround a tragedy like the Newtown massacre are merely the camouflage for advancing this assault on freedom.
Gun, control, in other words is merely a symbolic issue. Liberals want to put people whom they define as “the other” in their place, and symbolicly vindicate their own claimed lifestyle superiority. It fundamentally, deep down, has nothing to do with decreasing gun violence.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Liberals Try to Exploit Connecticut School Shooting

It was entirely predictable: liberals are trying to exploit the Connecticut school shooting to demand stricter gun control laws.

This horrible shooting, like all the similar ones in memory, was the result of a deranged individual who had apparently planned, schemed and prepared for the deed. These were not spur of the moments shootings with guns that happened to be lying around.

In fact there is good social science evidence about what will deter these kinds of shootings, and reduce the casualties when they happen. But the policy is something liberals don’t like: concealed carry laws.

Years before the current spate of shootings, a scholarly study by John Lott and William M. Landes showed that concealed carry has a substantial effect. From the abstract of their paper.
Few events obtain the same instant worldwide news coverage as multiple victim public shootings. These crimes allow us to study the alternative methods used to kill a large number of people (e.g., shootings versus bombings), marginal deterrence and the severity of the crime, substitutability of penalties, private versus public methods of deterrence and incapacitation, and whether attacks produce “copycats.” The criminals who commit these crimes are also fairly unusual, recent evidence suggests that about half of these criminals have received a “formal diagnosis of mental illness, often schizophrenia.” Yet, economists have not studied multiple victim shootings. Using data that extends until 1999 and includes the recent public school shootings, our results are surprising and dramatic. While arrest or conviction rates and the death penalty reduce “normal” murder rates and these attacks lead to new calls from more gun control, our results find that the only policy factor to have a consistently significant influence on multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws. We explain why public shootings are more sensitive than other violent crimes to concealed handguns, why the laws reduce the number of shootings and have an even greater effect on their severity.
Anybody with a taste for the stupefying array of numbers that adorn social science papers should download and read the study.

The bottom line: Lott and Landes used a wide range of controls for possible confounding factors, and found results that were highly statistically significant.

Ultimately, the demand for gun control by liberals is not based on sound policy reasoning, but rather on cultural bias. Liberals don’t like guns, especially guns carried by white guys who live in rural areas, drive pickup trucks, listen to country music and shop at Wal-Mart. These are the guns they particularly want to take. The guns of Republican-voting suburbanites would be nice to take too.

But hassling inner-city youth who carry guns is not something they would feel happy about.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Feminist Fascism — Warren Farrell at the University of Toronto

Warren Farrell is a rather mild-mannered fellow who was once a member of the feminist lobby group the National Organization of Women. But then he began to dissent from feminist orthodoxy, and has become a person much hated among feminists and the politically correct.

The video below shows a bunch of feminists and some male supporters stopping people from entering a venue where Farrell is to speak.

Warning: Extremely Vulgar Language

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