"The Violence Policy Center regularly puts out these bogus charges in a report called ‘Concealed Carry Killers,'” economist, author and commentator John R. Lott, Jr. writes in a Tuesday article at National Review Online. “But how does it claim to arrive at these numbers?
“It seems the Violence Policy Center piles on any numbers that it can get hold of, anything that can be related to concealed-carry holders,” Lott observes in his detailed explanation of why the numbers are incompetently tallied to the point of producing fraudulent results. “For instance, it counts legitimate self-defense cases in which no charges were filed or the permit holder was charged and later exonerated.”
This column has criticized that effort before, posing a challenge the group has no intention of addressing -- by using their own methodology to compare if lawful gun carriers are more likely to kill than police (the “only ones” VPC thinks should be “allowed” to bear arms). Admittedly the evidence is incomplete and anecdotal, but if a national anti-gun group can present sloppy conclusions as settled science, it seems fair to beat them at their own game using “rules” they’ve established.
Lott, of course, does not need to resort to VPC tactics. The man is a legitimate research scientist and authority, and as the author of the groundbreaking “More Guns, Less Crime” and “The Bias Against Guns,” among other bestsellers, he’s eminently qualified to come up with real numbers that accurately reflect real world conditions.
Debunking agenda-driven baloney like the kind VPC is serving up is but one area out of many needed undertakings for a project proposed on the Indiegogo crowdfunding website, where an effort is being made to raise $300,000 to finance the Crime Prevention Research Center. Core activity plans for the CPRC include:
- Conduct and publish academic quality research on the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime and public safety.
- Support affiliated academics in conducting and publishing similar research by means such as providing direct financial support, sharing data, and providing technical assistance.
- Educate the public, journalists, and policy makers on the results of research on these issues by means such as books, public lectures, newspaper columns, academic seminars, and information briefings.
- Make research and data available to researchers, the public, policy makers, and journalists by maintaining a comprehensive website.
- Engage in other related activities consistent with the mission and goals of CPRC.
That’s needed not only to counter the wealth of disinformation on the gun issue promulgated by anti-gun activists, politicians and the media, but also to address a great funding discrepancy those interested in honest research cannot afford to leave unaddressed. As CPRC notes, the Obama Administration is working closely “with 23 large foundations to organize a push for national gun control.” Additionally, “Michael Bloomberg donated $250 million to Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health,” and “Obama has also been directing federal government funds towards gun control projects. Still other funds are being set up, such as the Fund for a Safer Future, which has $16 million to fund gun control research and is one of the many gun control projects being partially funded [by] George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. Recently, the MacArthur foundation has also been given a large million dollar grant.”
Add to this a constant crocodile tears lament from those who would impose “agenda science,” that is, a fraudulent “public health model” con game, on American gun owners at taxpayer expense.
“Congress blocked research on gun violence,” a politically-motivated Slate “Science” piece asserted, wherein Paul D. Thacker interviewed anti-gun researcher Garen Wintemute. Curiously, the article, which promised to explore “[t]he ugly campaign by the NRA to shut down studies at the CDC,” made no mention of a key reason why and how the agency destroyed its own credibility as an honest broker that could be trusted with public funds in pursuit of real science, as opposed to political objectives.
“Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Director of the CDC's National Center for Injury Control and Prevention (NCIPC) in 1994 told The Washington Post: We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. Now it [sic] is dirty, deadly, and banned.’” Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. wrote in “The Perversion of Science and Medicine (Part III): Public Health and Gun Control Research.”
Also curiously, that interview resulted in a false charge by Wintemute that a “Wanted poster” for him had been published on this correspondent’s The War on Guns blog (actually, it was a warning to notify gun show proprietors and security in case “The Hero of Medicine” was stalking their aisles snooping in on private conversations between their exhibitors and customers, a practice he’d publicly bragged about. And while the accusation that I had been the one who “outed” Wintemute resulted in an incomplete correction published in the science journal Nature, Harvard “ethicist” Thacker felt no moral obligation to correct his copy when the error was pointed out to him.
The point for that diversion being, if I can uncover glaring falsehoods and uncaring attitudes within the anti-gun “research” and “reporting” crowd just through my limited interactions with them, imagine how a professional like Lott must view the multitude of errors and deceptions he regularly encounters. Imagine what he could do if adequate funds were available for real research efforts, as opposed to the propaganda-masked-as-studies hype churned out by the antis.
CPRC has raised almost $14,000 at this writing toward a goal of $300,000, with 40 days left to meet it. And that’s a minimum.
“Meeting the goal of $300,000 will allow the center to hire additional research associates, acquire data, and do research on a variety of topics that are central to the debate over gun ownership,” the fundraising site advises. “If we could meet $500,000, it would cover our costs for a year.”
While it would be nice to think that some big contributor or foundation would step forward to cover the bill, the strength of those interested in the truth about the right to keep and bear arms has always been their grassroots nature, as opposed to the AstroTurf elitism of those whose interest is in more control. As with such crowdfunding ventures, there are various levels of incentives based on how much is donated, including signed books, backstage passes to a Ted Nugent concert, and more. And while the higher-level “perks,” going into the thousands of dollars, may be beyond the means of many, the minimum donation level of $1 is within the means of everyone reading this. And many can come up with $20 and more.
If you see a value and a benefit to you and yours in this, the project can be supported simply by going to this link and clicking on the “Contribute Now” button. And don’t forget to share the link and promote it on social media.
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Isn’t it a little early to be talking about the 2014 elections? Not if you want to win. My latest GUNS Magazine "Rights Watch" column is online, and you can read it well before the issue hits the stands. Click here to read "Get Out The Vote -- Especially Your Own!”