Leah Libresco is a statistician, former newswriter for the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight, and Yale alumna. Despite holding anti-gun opinions, she decided to let data drive her study results rather than emotions. Here is what she learned.
“By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. 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.”
“I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions. Potential suicide victims, women menaced by their abusive partners, and kids swept up in street vendettas are all in danger from guns, but they each require different protections. We save lives by focusing on a range of tactics to protect the different kinds of potential victims and reforming potential killers, not from sweeping bans focused on the guns themselves.”
Read more in the March 2022 issue.
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Statistics don’t matter, results don’t matter, failure of the laws don’t matter. All that matters is power and control. You gain power by getting elected. You gain more power by passing laws that disenfranchise your opposition. You do that through fear and control. Our mistake is trying to reason with people to whom reason is irrelevant and truth is what they say it is.