Considering most anti-gun research is funded by from progressives like former New York City mayor billionaire Michael Bloomberg, supporters of the 2nd Amendment are skeptical when academics have anything to say about the subject.
However, a recent article in USA Today shows that there are at least two respected academics who are not afraid to contradict the progressive narrative concerning gun control.
Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northwestern University, James Alan Fox and Harvard Kennedy School of Government Research Fellow, Thomas Abt are still liberal but unlike Democratic Party presidential candidates, they are also honest about what Sanders, Harris, Biden, Gillibrand and Booker call the “gun epidemic” in the US.
Fox did a masterful job in the article by calling into question why the U.S. media had little to say about a mass murder at the Kyoto Animation studio in Japan.
On July 18th a man entered the Kyoto Animation studio, doused the building with an accelerant and screamed “drop dead” or “die!” before he lit the accelerant killing 34 people and injuring another 30. So why did this not make the headlines at the Washington Post or CNN?
Fox’s answer points out what most liberal Democrats don’t want to hear – killings that don’t “demonize” guns aren’t considered newsworthy. Comparing coverage of the Kyoto massacre to the March shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, Fox noted, “U.S. newspapers and wire services featured the Christchurch massacre five times as much as the Kyoto mass murder …It is the politics and controversy surrounding gun control that highlight mass shootings above the rest.”
This isn’t the first-time professors Fox and Abt have bucked the progressive narrative. In a 2018 research piece titled, “Schools are safer than they were in the 90s, and school shootings are not more common than they used to be,” Fox gave solid empirical data to back up his point “there is not an epidemic of school shootings.” Instead, Fox noted that school shootings are “extremely rare events.”
In a July 19 Boston Globe article titled, “Democrats are skipping out on the most important gunfight of all,” Abt argued the 2020 Democratic presidential field’s approach to [gun violence] is flawed at best and disastrous at worst.
Like Fox, Abt didn’t avoid going against the Democrat mainstream when he said, “Urban violence accounts for the overwhelming majority of homicides in the United States.”
He added, “Mass shootings account for less than 1 percent of all gun deaths annually, yet they dominate the debate on gun violence and distort the search for solutions.”
Yale Ph.D. candidate and current Assistant Professor at Rutgers University Michael Sierra-Arévalo agreed with Abt in his 2015 piece for the Hartford Courant. Sierra-Arévalo’s research showed that from the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, more than three-quarters of youth homicides in Boston were “perpetrated by 1 percent of youth between the ages of 15 and 24.”
In a similar study that focused on Chicago, the Rutgers professor found that 70 percent of all shootings in [that city] can be located in a social network composed of less than 6 percent of the city’s population.”
After citing some Democrat presidential hopefuls’ gun control proposals such as the confiscation of semi-automatic firearms and national gun licensing. Abt concluded, “The candidates are still failing to focus on what is simultaneously the most serious and most solvable form of such violence: shootings and killings on the streets of our cities.”
Honest liberal researchers like Fox and Abt are saying what President Trump and conservatives have been saying all along – Urban violence is responsible for an overwhelming majority of homicides in the United States.
Abt also has written, “mass shootings account for less than 1 percent of all gun deaths annually, yet they dominate the debate on gun violence and distort the search for solutions.”
This doesn’t mean that Fox and Abt aren’t wrong on some things about our Second Amendment rights. Both support “universal” background checks and a semi-automatic firearm ban that have both been shown to be ineffective. On top of that Fox made some clumsy and denigrating remarks about Trump in the Boston Globe piece.
While recognizing their political failings we should also find hope that at least a few recognized academics might bring the Democratic Party to its senses.
Now if only Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow could find a more reasoned approach to curbing violent crime.