Via the hated Instapundit, we came across John Lott's response to the National Academy of Sciences study on gun laws and crime rates on the Volokh Conspiracy.
To many in the gun rights community, John Lott needs no further introduction, but to the casual observer, he seems a rather polarizing figure.
The Posse takes no position on the bitter debate swirling about him and the often nit-picking details used to try to pick apart his work.
Certain people (among them Tim Lambert) have an obsession with Lott that is unhealthy to say the least. It is convenient for Lambert to helpfully point out that his entire motivation for blogging was to destroy Lott and his research.
Again, much of the debate boils down to thinly-disguised character assassination couched in arcane debates about data sets, dummy variables and such.
Bellesiles, of course, simply made stuff up. One didn't have to have a strong background in statistics and math to notice his glaring omissions, misquotations and outright fabrications.
But we digress.
The point of this post is to emphasize the fundamental truth in Lott's response to the NAH study:
Based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, and some of its own empirical work, the panel couldn't identify a single gun control regulation that reduced violent crime, suicide or accidents.
Whether or not Lott forgot to carry the one in his data sets, this finding is really all that matters in the real world.
For decades academics have looked down their noses at gun owners and held forth on how guns are simply too dangerous for the common folks to own.
Why just owning a gun was an invitation to be robbed, killed, or have a family member shot. The methodologies behind these "studies" were so pathetic that even laymen could see through them.
The other avenue of attack was to argue that the Framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights didn't know how to speak English.
When they wrote "people" in the Second Amendment, they were referring to "states."
Everywhere else, however, the word "people" actually meant "people."
No one ever accused gun controllers of being honest or reasonable.
If nothing else, the NAS study blasts a gaping hole in the articles of gun control faith: that gun control does anything to reduce crime.
Therefore, one of the key arguments in favor of gun control - that gun rights must be denied or eliminated in order to assure public safety - has now been completely discredited.
It was always lame, but now it's worthless.
We view this development with great pleasure. Whether Lott is eventually vindicated in full or retires to begin a second career in network television news (we hear CBS has some vacancies), gun control has just been dealt a crippling blow.