Gun control that satisfies both experts and the public in the U.S

Today’s New York TImes has an article showing a graph of what gun control regulations are promoted by the public and what experts say do or do not actually work. The graph is not cut off; the points really are entirely in one half of the graph. Guess which half?


So let’s start with just the top right quadrant. Those are the measures that between 60-90% of the public wants, and fall into the category of experts agreeing they would be effective choices. That’s well over half of the choices, right there.


The most prominent gun measure currently before Congress is one that would allow people with concealed-weapon permits from one state to carry their weapons to other states.

And that falls…In the Upper Left hand quadrant.


It’s almost as if our Congresscritter’s paymasters want us to be shootin’ each other all over the place all the time.


Wait a minute – that chart says that the public wants both gun control and better mental healthcare. I’m pretty sure it’s an either/or thing.





Thanks for this. I feel like the weapons debate can benefit from more exploration of pragmatically useful analyses and less intransigent sloganeering.

Our expert survey asked dozens of social scientists, lawyers and public health officials how effective each of 29 policies would be in reducing firearm homicide deaths, regardless of their political feasibility or cost. Policies deemed both effective and popular appear in the upper-right corner of the matrix. Less popular, less effective measures fall lower down and to the left.

To be reliable, the analysis should be repeated with different groups of experts and different policy proposals, many many times, in order to isolate biases associated with selection of inputs. Once we know, for example, that certain disciplines or geographic areas skew the “expertise” we can control for, or at least document, these biases (or possibly even find out for sure who really is or isn’t an expert).

Hey, here’s something I noticed: the dots move around from chart to chart… check out how the dot for “honor out of state conceal and carry permits” moves up and down. I’m not sure if this is a scale issue, an error, or just my eyeballs…

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The problem is that it doesn’t matter if most Americans like these policies, the ACA or any other Democratic positions. It’s gun control and Obamacare that conservatives hate.


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