I have now learned that a great way to increase the amount of public participation on your blog is to talk about guns. The feedback on my last post set a record.
I have also learned that having a reasonable debate on this subject is pretty much impossible. There is so much disinformation out there that people involved in the discussion seem to be speaking different languages.
Part of the problem is that there really is, as I noted in the last post, not a lot of good data on the effects of gun ownership and gun regulation. I know that sounds crazy and I have to tell you, as one who believes in making informed data driven judgments it is very frustrating. But it is true mostly because the government, which funds much of the academic research in the United States, has for years forbidden the organizations responsible for public health and safety to fund studies into the causes of death by gunfire. That leaves us arguing, for example, on the effectiveness of the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004.