What Happens When An Anti-Gunner Gets Honest With The Data

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Because you are reading this post, it’s very likely that you are familiar with our thinking about gun control activists. In essence, we believe that gun control activists work from assumptions based on emotional reactions to situations instead of thinking the issue of gun violence through in a rational manner.

But, you may be interested to know, that we are not the only people who think this is the case. A statistician and former gun control advocate (in the usual sense of the phrase) took the time to look through the numbers in an honest and rational manner. What she found changed her thinking about gun control.

This researcher, Leah Libresco, still identifies herself as anti-gun in that she doesn’t want one in her home, and she believes that they are dangerous. She writes,

Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

She continues,

By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. […] I was still anti-gun, […] But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

Now, Libresco and I still may not agree on the solutions to gun violence, but I appreciate the fact that she is willing to change her viewpoint on the proposed “solutions” to gun violence that anti-gunners currently put on the table. And she and I would most definitely agree that the current anti-gun proposals don’t work.

So, remember, when you’re talking with someone who is anti-gun, if you can get them to analyze the data rationally instead of through a knee-jerk emotional reaction, then you may be able to sway them closer to the truth and away from their current gun control position.

67 COMMENTS

  1. GUN CONTROL IS TO INSLAVE THE CITIZENS OF THIS NATION!! THAT’S IT’S. ONLY PERPOSE AND DON’T. BE FOOL’S!!

    • I agree that was one of the founders thinking.
      However, there is a hell of lot higher chance of people being shot by home intruders, gang members, mugging, suicide and accidents then our government turning tyrannical. Our founders knew what they were doing.

  2. She will be the first to come crying when her life or property is at stake, amazing they find it but too late! There is one idiot born every minute, never had to take care of the problem but blame everyone else

    • Did you not read the article? She changed her mind about Anti-guns laws, just because she doesn’t want a gun, doesn’t make her an idiot. She is definitely coming around to a better way of thinking. Who knows, maybe one day she will be invited to a gun range and go shoot one. Until you or someone else invites her and takes the time to actually acclimate her to guns, she still shouldn’t be called an idiot, just someone who doesn’t like guns.

      • A reasonable response, a response as it should be, she does not like guns, her answer is she doesn’t want one and NO ONE is telling her she has to have one. The problem arises from all the anti-gun zealots that not only do not like guns, do not want guns, but insist NO ONE ELSE should have them either.

      • it would help if she, and others that listen to cnn, get the numbers right. the FBI annual report on national crime statistics released today. There were an estimated 17,250 murders in the U.S. last year, an 8.6 percent increase from 2015. in addition those were murders in TOTAL, not all gun deaths with this woman suggesting that 33,000 folks died from gun violence…that is part of the problem we face…facts from fantasy land…that is more like the automobile fatality rate, not guns…the 17250 include ALL murder methods…

    • While an officer on a large police department there was a serial rapist that we had no leads on, and his attack violence was escalating. At that rate it was only time until he killed a victim. The police chief was rabid anti gun, and almost had a stroke when a Lieutenant publicly announced that any woman that lived alone or who had a spouse that had to be gone should buy a gun and learn how to use it. Only a couple of weeks later a lady that had followed his advice was awakened by a man forcing her bedroom door that had a security chain on it. As he forced his way into the bedroom, she put six rounds center mass in his chest from a revolver she had only practiced with a few times. From the items on the body it was obvious this was the rapist. The police department was so far behind this guy he might have killed more than one woman before he was caught. We, on the PD called this a conviction without appeal. By the way, the rapes stopped. To fill out the uniform crime statistics form for the FBI the classification was listed as death by murder. The reporting system is slanted to show what the government wants it to show, and is not gun friendly.

  3. Hitler first took all the guns away from citizens , then he could take their freedom. They had nothing to fight him. The founding fathers gave us the second amendment so it can’t happen to us. Unless we let the Government mess with it.

    • Wasn’t it , he took control of the newspapers and radio, then he took the guns? No Information sifting out from one provence to the next ,etc.

      • The liberals, progressives, socialist democrats, or whatever they want to call themselves nowadays have control of the media already. One side is represented and the other either repressed or ridiculed.

      • You made a point there. Look at our main stream media right now and tell me we aren’t on the same slippery slope Germany was on. Only difference is that instead of one strongman we have a whole swamp full of them.

    • It is funny that most of the Jews in this country are left wing liberals, who want to eliminate our Second Amendment rights. I guess that they didn’t learn their lesson from World War II!

  4. I appreciate you and what you do. I would really like to see the statistics all put together on this issue so we could all be well informed. Such as how the USA ranks in the world for gun deaths, excluding suicides, etc.

    • Then you would need to check the figures from a source other than cnn that she uses…the FBI in 2017 released the Murder figures for 2015…17250…quite a difference from the ignorant figure of 33,000 gun deaths, especially since the figure was for all types of murder NOT just gun deaths..oh and comparing the countries around the world thing….well that is a good idea, but you should be wary of the type of government…for example when you want to demonstrate for democracy be very cautious of any tanks loitering around the square, especially if you are a Chinese citizen…

  5. Most anti-gun zealots propose illogical and stupid reasons to ban guns. The Florida school shooting was a tragic event. The shooter has been caught. So their solution is to take guns away from everyone who didn’t shoot anyone and never would. Here’s how to stop drunk drivers. Take cars away from people who never drove drunk and never will. Solve robberies by putting people who have never stolen a thing in jail. Leave wife beaters free and lock up their wives. All really stupid solutions that won’t solve the problem. They blame the tool, not the user. I saw this online but don’t know who first said it, so I will pass it along. If guns kill people, how does anybody get out of a gun show alive?

    • You forgot one. Lock up all politicians who could possibly write bad laws , and put them in jail. WAIT! They have already written bad laws. My bad.

    • Good point with the advanced lost art of unabashed logic. Something we all need to be slapped in the face with occasionally to keep from falling asleep in front of the Leftist news reports and choking to death on the last handful of corn chips we stuffed in our blow hole and didn’t chew and swallow yet. But remember the solemn truth that you can’t fix the type of ‘stupid’ the anti-gun crowd are…not even with duct tape.

  6. The vast majority of anti gun advocates know very little about guns, what it takes to purchase any gun & how guns operate, like believing that the Sig that killed Kate Steinlee went of on it’s own accidently

  7. William has a good point, but it’s obvious he flunked spelling, and grammar as well, in the fifth grade.

  8. I don’t understand why the gun grabbers don’t tell the truth, they’ll only be happy when they confiscate all our guns and rights !!! Only one major problem, it’ll be to late to realize they were wrong !!!

    • “Gun grabbers” can NEVER afford to change their argument, even if WE do know better. For them to change would mean that EVERYTHING gained from then to now would have been a lie, it would mean that THEY’VE BEEN WRONG and the 2A IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE 1st Amendment. That, in their eyes cannot stand…

  9. In 2013 there were….

    33,636 deaths due to “injury by firearms”
    Alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths
    Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths
    Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.
    So in 10 days there nearly as many auto deaths as firearm deaths in a year. Where’s the outrage?

    • well Garry T it would appear that you use the same fantasy figures that our honey in the story uses…the FBI expanded Homicide Table 8 calls out gun deaths at 12,253 for the year 2013…long way from 33,6 and your comparison to automobile deaths is a valid one. Yet the statistics were on the decline and now have gone up. The reason for a significant number of the deaths lie is “operator error”…and that includes “road rage”, “negligence”, “inadequate skill”, “alcohol”, “drugs”, and “sudden medical problems”….

  10. One truth that anti-gunners cannot deny:::There are already more than 2,000 gun LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES. Why do they insist that another one (identical to the ones the anti-gunners always push ) IS ALREADY IN EXISTENCE, OR HAS BEEN TRIED AND FOUND TO BE OF NO GOOD USE. ALSO – COMMUNITIES THAT ALLOW CONCEALED CARRY SEE THEIR VIOLENCE RATES GO WAY DOWN. These are facts, not made up to suit someone’s fanatical purpose of banning all guns. You can find them if you care to look at real sources of information.
    Also the idea of allowing minors under 21 to cause more problems a about “gun control” is a complete waste of time. The overwhelming majority of youth have never had anything to do with guns and know even less of how they work and the reasons we have them. Add to that the fact that the majority of colleges teach their liberal garbage to naive minds who believe anything they are told in college. Very few have an open mind nor will try to ensure that the professor is not pushing his own misguided beliefs off on to them. They raise the professors to little god status and are too lazy, not bright enough to do any real research about the situation at hand. And college is often just more liberal brainwashing of young people to try to gain more votes for their self-serving and money and status hungry politicians , which they see as being “in power”. The whole so-called “party” (more of just a big crooked gang) tries to control all in higher offices with payoffs. Too many of them go into for one specific reason, that they can and will become rich . If you don’t believe this just check it out – It is easy, all you have to do is search the available info on the internet…

    • SO true Robert, a lot of the problems BEGIN AND END with the liberal teachings & slants of public universities ‘that take Grant money and spend it on warped ideologies’.

    • These kids know nothing about guns or why we have them is unamerican ideals from libtard teachers that don’t teach true American history. To me if your anti-2nd amendment your anti constitution and that makes you unamerican. Not worthy to call yourself a American or should be aloud to benefit from America. I believe in the pledge to the flag I made in and out of school growing up, I believe in the oath I took to defend this country and the constitution! If you do not you are the enemy I swore to defend against and if they continue their communist attack there will be coming a time for blood to nourish the tree of freedom from these unamerican communist! Soon! How far are you willing to to defend your country? I hope a true leader steps up soon or it’ll all be lost!

    • In all 50 states premateded murder is illegal with penalties from life in prison to the death penalty. That is a very strong law. And yet, crazy people ignor it and kill anyway. So if that law deter killers what new gun law will?

  11. It IS great that Ms. Libresco “saw the light”. It’s another case where SHE actually had to see for herself, sadly too that it wasn’t someone else who was able to convince her it was so. The fact still remains: typically it’s going to be a deep-hearted, conscious-driven search for THE TRUTH for one to be convinced.

  12. A statement creditied to Adolph Hitler. To enslave a nation, you must first dissarm it. That is the ultimate goal of the liberal gun grabbers.

    • One study reported a person is four times more likely to be killed by a knife than a gun. If you watch closely to the stats, an overwhelmingly number of shootings are in gun free zones. I have a PhD in psychology but a second degree in NAZI history. Yes, Hitler did remove guns at the onset after he promised he would repair the high cost of living (especially food). Sound familiar? There are numerous tyrannical dictators who, first and foremost, removed guns from the population.

    • Yeah Ed, hitler said another one relative to the pinhead punk tyrannists playing punko politics after the Florida school Valentine’s Day massacre. “if you control the minds of the children, you own the future”.
      Yup. Somewhere in my collections I have one of those Hitler Youth knives. Now the Stoneman school kids have transparent backpacks and must submit to random on the spot searches or get expelled. Did you know that pope Benedict Ratzinger (sp?) was in that hitler youth movement for a while before he became a Nazi soldier?

  13. While the article claims that this happened, where is the final result? What is her new conception? What did she find failed/ What did she find might work? This “Article” borders on being fake news with it’s lack of evidence and clear and concise conclusions and also statement of facts with reference.

    On another note… Folks, when you see little red squiggles under a word… right click and then left click on the correct spellig (done intentionally to prove a point). Let the other side have all of the misspellings and typos. We need to show that we are the more educated ones. You can also write your responses in say MS Word and then copy and paste to make sure of language, wording, spelling and syntax, and “Am I really sure that I want to post this”? But it does not correct for real word typos like hitting both the “O” and the “P” key when typing “to”. Proof read what you write. Ask yourself, “Does this sound correct and easy to read”? The people whom we are trying to educate and chage their opinions are not the sharpest tools in the shed. The brightest bulbs in the pack. The sharpest knives in the drawer. Good luck, and even though I feel that this was a poorly written article, it gives us something to research and blog on ourselves and improve upon it.

    • Amen to that! To me, nothing is more distracting and nerve-wracking than suffering through the illiterate writings of otherwise intelligent people. When a person has to read and re-read, and read again, a passage to get its meaning, it really conjurs distain for the lack of literacy of the writer rather than respect for his ideas.
      So, come on, folks; clean it up and try to be a little more intelligent in the way you present your ideas. Thanks, if you’ve read this far.

      • I think that last phrase should read: “if you’ve read thus far”. Just sayin… Your points are well taken.

  14. To bad that her liberating thinking is less wide spread that one would desire. She doesn’t want guns in her home, her choice. It is interesting to see that she would allow others to choose for themselves, unfortunately not a universal character trait.

    Re doctors questioning patients about gun ownership, the posing of such questions is something I have not experienced.

    • I will bet that if someone tried to brake into her home to hurt her or her family, the first person she will call is someone with a gun.

    • I went to a podiatrist for foot pain. Turned out to be minor plantar fasciitis. I was asked about owning a gun, which I denied because I had read about those questions in the Obamacare mandate. Another question was what level of depression I had. I kept insisting that I had none, while the nurse kept asking if if it was low, medium, or high. Even after I told her multiple times that I didn’t have depression, in the end she said,” so you’re saying it’s low.”

  15. There are four meaningful ways to go. First, in this case the authorities at every level were notified about Cruz and his risky behavior but failed to do their job. This includes local Police, local Sheriffs, and the FBI. Every individual who received a “CRUZ notice” and did not hand it on should resign, although in this age of virtual responsibility personal honor is a vanished thing, or be demoted to the lowest rank in their organization and retrained from the ground up. Second, The NRA should be given much greater authority to help the police vet gun owners. There are many more NRA members than police, so the local NRA should be charged with paying a personal visit to every gun purchaser, and having a casual chat about his/her intended gun use. Third, How about installing a weaponized security camera in every classroom? There are already security cameras everywhere; it would not be difficult to outfit them with a 2-shot derringer-like pistol, or a taser, synchronized with the camera, that can be aimed and fired from the Security Office of the School. That would cut response time and avoid the problem of personal cowardice on the part of security officers as occurred in Parkland.

  16. WHY THE POWERS TO BE GET THEIR WORDS CORRECT? A AR-15 IS A SEMI AUTO RIFLE, NOT A AUTOMATIC OR MACHINE GUN. IT DOES NOT FIRE MORE ROUNDS THAN ONE FOR EACH TRIGGER PULL. A WEAPON OF WAR CAN BE ANYTHING USED IN THE TIME OF WAR, THE FLINT LOCK,MATCH LOCK ETC WERE ALL WEAPONS OF WAR. THEY DID A TEST WITH MAGAZINES A 10 ROUND MAG CAN BE EXCHANGED ABOUT 1.5 SEC. SLOWER THAN ONE 30 ROUND MAG. THERE ARE MANY MORE 223/5.56 RIFLES THAT FIRE AS FAST AS THE AR15 AND THE GI’S IN VET.USED AS MANY AK,S AS THEY COULD FIND. LETS NOT FORGER THE M1 M1 CARBINE THEY WERE WEAPONS OF WAR AND WITHOUT THEM WE MIGHT NOT WON THE WAR

  17. Good lady Dem.

    The 2nd Amendment isn’t your right, or my right, it is everybody’s right. And everybody has the right not to avail themselves of this right. They also do not have to avail themselves of any other right (freedom of speech, freedom of religion, 5th amendment rights, etc.). It is each person’s individual choice.

    What the gun control people need to learn is that the gun issue is not about self defense, school safety, or hunting. It is about safeguarding our rights against a rogue government which no longer respects the rights of the people. If they allow the government to take, or they surrender this right to the government, they have also surrendered the rest of their rights to the government whenever the government decides to take them away. Once a right is surrendered it is gone forever no matter what happens in the future.

  18. Try FBI data 11004 people were killed by firearms in 2016 not the 33000 they said were killed by guns. Lies can always be disproved.

  19. When I was young (am now 70) I had a bumper sticker on a 53 Mercury that said “ When guns are outlawed ONLY outlaws will have guns”! This still is a true statement! A gun will NEVER shoot a person, animal, target, etc. WITHOUT the help of a dumbass human!I own every varity of handgun, rifles, shotgun I that I wanted to own! The have been very good friends and have NEVER harmed ANYTHING that was not on my plate thar same evening!!
    The problem is ALWAYS the idiot holding it! THIMK before you blame gun owners! And yes I do have an AR and othersand they have been for NOTHING other than defense training….which,hopefully, will never have to be used!
    Donald…..not that one, but I like him!)

  20. Iam 63 years old and Ive had guns and still have guns and Ive serviced in the navy for 20 years so that I could keep my rights for my guns and freedom and the only way the will get my guns is out of cold dead hands Because when guns are outlawed they outlaws will have guns and the polices will not be able to stop them from coming and taking what they want from you or me But I will have my guns until Im dead

  21. All anti gun people are of the firm belief that guns are alive and jump up and hurt people. They need to look in the mirror!!!!

  22. Imagine that your 90 yrs old, always have money on you, and known to have no gun. You are easy pickens for some thug to kick in your door, and take what they want.

  23. I admire Leah for her common sense approach to gun control! I believe if anti gunners would cool down and do the same thing the thought of having our guns confiscated would not be on our minds!

    • Why would you NOT want the thought of somebody taking away your natural born liberties constantly in your minds so that you might remember to get proactive about it ASAP? They are already confiscating guns in State like Kalifornia, Virginnia and recently Illinois, and others full speed ahead. Looks like everybody cooled down in these states like you’re saying and didn’t have it in their minds either, now, if they don’t volunteeringly forfeit them they turn into instant criminals subject to arrest. Maybe that wouldn’t have happened had they got ‘hot and heavy’ with their Marxist state officials instead of cool and mindless of the tyranny? It’s not the sheeple like Leah and obviously you too, Bob. Most don’t have a clue.
      It’s the Dark State tyrannists at work. I could take Leah out for lunch and have one serious important conversation with her and she’d be begging me to help her buy a carry pistol for self and home protection but more importantly to prove she values her liberty and self-efficacy in the last true Egalitarian country in the world (but going, going, almost gone fast!) It’s mass collective mind control. People are just dumbed down too much. Even the 9th Dist Fed Court of Appeals just upheld a lower courts decision that a state could just go ahead and infringe on your right to have an AR or AK even though the last SCOTUS ruling on a similar case said ‘Ar’s shall not be infringed upon because they are a popular very common sporting and self defense firearm’ as opposed to being some select military advanced warfare only tool as the opposing argument insisted? As everybody knows by now we are already at war among ourselves in America. Those that want to control everybody for their own benefit and agenda, against those that don’t want to be controlled. Keeping important issues out of your mind will only cause you to snooze…
      …and then, of course, you lose. Far too many otherwise good people are snoozing too much these days. And in the long run you’ll give up much more than just your guns.

  24. Enough the 2nd Amendment is exactly what was meant. You don’t want a firearm, don’t get one fine.But to still justify anything on not letting others getting them like historians, Living History Reanactors is disgusting and against our Constitution period!

  25. On Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 0603 hours I responded to “How To Prank An Anti-Gunner”
    The response is still awaiting moderation. My post was not incendiary or out of line with this site. I don’t think it is to much to ask for the moderator to review it. Thank you.

  26. It is amazing what you can find if you take the time to look for the studies and reports on gun issues instead of making up what you think is the problem and spending millions on what you think the issues are instead of what really is the problem. It is hard to get people to really get the truth and print it but easy to get what you think should be done printed.

  27. A professor emeritus of political science named Rudolph Rummel (1932-2014) at the U. of Hawaii researched mass murder for many years and concluded that at least 212 Million unarmed subjects were slaughtered by their own governments in the 20th century. We who are armed citizens owe a debt of gratitude to the men who wrote our constitution, yet we fail to recognize their intelligence and foresight. Rummel’s total includes mass murder of subjects by genocide, by depraved disregard for life resulting in mass starvation, people killed for political and racial reasons and just our plain old human lust for power. No one denies the need to protect students but gun control is crooked speech and doesn’t work. (See Chicago etc.) It is designed to ban guns entirely while ignoring our moral decay, pharmaceutical psychotropic drugs Causing violent behavior and suicide, abandonment of God and lack of respect for anything that is not about us. We have no lack of useful idiots loudly condemning guns who are, by design, totally ignorant of mankind’s wicked past and future plans for world domination. Wise up, America.

  28. Hey there. This isnt political or constitutional. The fact is these murders are committed by unbalanced people.
    The problem cops say all the time is is that they have nowhere to take these people to get the help they need. They’re only recourse is jail. This usually exaserbates not diffused the illness.

    The pressures of modern society requires the proper mental health place and Personel to protect us from these types of issues.

    Problem is the money. Well we are going to make available nationwide healthcare to help the police do their jobs and not risk themselves or children to this epidemic.

    Im not even a national health care backer but I do see it as a real deterrent and constitutional.

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