Unscientific American

The fastest way to destroy a brand is to do the opposite of the brand’s claim. Scientific American’s brand is now hopelessly corrupted by publishing the most unscientific of screeds. A recent piece in Scientific American titled “More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows” is a case study in the anti-science of cherry-picked data. Were I in a more charitable mood, I might assume the author, Melinda Moyer, of merely suffering from acute confirmation bias syndrome. However, the oversights were so vast and so egregious that I cannot bring myself to believe such. Hers was likely not a sloppily written article, but rather adroit agitprop. My initial clue that Scientific American had devolved into a propaganda rag came in the first paragraph that wasn’t literary fluff (the same tired, suicide saturated misstatement about “guns took more than 36,000 U.S. lives …”). The next was when she cited … … Continue reading

Booze, Bullets and Bunk

everytown panic guns in bars

When propagandists panic, they show their own paranoia. I was forwarded an email from Michael Bloomberg’s agitprop organization, Everytown. In this email, they stated with authentic dismay and dread that in some states you can order a beer in a bar while having a holstered sidearm (providing you have a concealed carry license, a.k.a. CCW). Sane people – which evidently excludes folks working for Bloomberg – would ask “Is this a problem?” Phrased more fully, “Do CCW holders enjoying an adult beverage in their corner watering hole cause problems?” The answer is no. In fact, stats show it might actually abate violence. Shots and Glasses In our Non-Brady Scorecard project (buy a copy for just 99¢ at Amazon), we reviewed both pro- and anti-gun control laws, including allowing CCW holders to pack heat in pubs. Not many states allow this, but enough have had the law in place to at … Continue reading

Gangs and Guns

Street gang pentration and population in major cities around the world

America doesn’t have a gun problem, but it sure as heck has a gang problem. Quick Take-Aways America has an insanely high concentration of people in gangs – about 953% higher than other countries (see analysis warnings below). Thankfully these are confined mainly to a few really rank cities. American gang culture is not replicated elsewhere Nearly every study associated gang membership with violent crime (including gun homicides). The Silly Propaganda When the gun control industry starts complaining about American gun violence, they never mention gangs. When someone (like me) mentions gangs to gun control advocates, they dismiss gangs as a non-issue. As someone who has lived next door to Oakland, California I can attest that it is very much an issue (as it is in Barack Obama’s own Chicago). Yet it is very different in America. “European cities lack the strong gang traditions that exist in some large U.S. … Continue reading

Brady Scorecard Scam

I love it when ideologues prove the oppositions’ point. Every year the Brady Campaign – the aging gun control group with fading influence – publishes their scorecard of state gun control laws, listing which states have “strong” gun control and those with “weak” ones. Every year it makes me chuckle. The source of the humor is that a simple diagram shows the meaninglessness of their analysis. Every year I plot states by the Brady Campaign ratings against various forms of crime, and every year there is no covarience. None. It is a simple yet savory summary that gun control laws make no difference in crimes of violence. But this year I noticed something I had never noticed before. On the far left of the chart is California, state that the Brady Campaign believes has the strongest gun control laws. It ranks #1 according to Brady. On the right is #50, Arizona, the state with almost … Continue reading

Reason gets it wrong

Reason magazine got it wrong on Chicago violence

In a recent blog piece, the otherwise reasonable Reason magazine got the Chicago violence story wrong. In short, Reason was saying that things in Chicago are not bad … compared to other horrible places … and that violence is a lot less than at it’s peak. The problem with this … errrr … reasoning is that by any measure, Chicago violence is off the charts and not doing as well as the nation. This first chart shows the trends. You notice that the rest of America is much safer than Chicago, and had I the time I could run the same series for other major metro areas and get similar results. More to the point, most of Chicago’s “progress” echoes national trends (the second chart put the U.S. on a different axis so we can see trend tracked together). This means whatever minor good if happening in Chicago is likely unrelated … Continue reading