In an emotional speech today about the need for greater gun control by President Obama, there was one argument that stood out from the rest:
With more research we could further improve gun safety just as with more research we’ve reduced traffic fatalities enormously over the last 30 years. We do research when cars, food, medicine, even toys harm people so that we make them safer. And you know what, research, science, those are good things. They work.
They do. But think about this. When it comes to an inherently deadly weapon, nobody argues that guns are potentially deadly. Weapons that kill tens of thousands of Americans every year, Congress actually voted to make it harder for public health experts to conduct research into gun violence, Made it harder to collect data and facts and develop strategies to reduce gun violence. Even after San Bernardino, they refused to make it harder for terror suspects, who can’t get on a plane, to buy semiautomatic weapons. That’s not right.
That can’t be right. So the gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now but they can’t hold America hostage.
Yes. Research, science, data. We need more. We need to foster scientific thinking. As Adam Savage said at the 2012 Reason Rally, facts and beliefs are not be confused.