Lack Of Up-To-Date Research Complicates Gun Debate – which is to say there’s not a lot of good, current public health research about violence and mortality as it relates to guns because congress has, over the years, basically prevented it using funding restrictions.
I hate this politicization of research funding. It goes beyond gross, beyond lying to win an argument, and somewhere into the realm of wicked. You can’t make good decisions without good facts, without knowing what the world actually looks like. And defunding research because it’s going to tell you facts you don’t like is an act of contemptible, willful ignorance. Science isn’t there to give you easy answers or make you feel good about yourself and your dearly held beliefs. (You listening, creationists? Of course not.) It’s there to tell you what we’re pretty sure is reality and then you get to figure out how to go from there, better armed with knowledge.
I’m glad this hasn’t happened broadly to climate research in the US yet, though obviously some people sure wish it would
. But at least something like climate change is a global issue, and there are many
institutions outside of this country with an interest in tackling it, so the science could still continue, if hobbled.
Defunding the research of uniquely American problems leaves us blind. And I guess leaves people free to make up whatever facts suit them.
But Rachael, asks my little gun-loving straw man, what if this research proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that guns don’t kill people, they actually just shoot out teddy bears and baby smiles and make you lose weight and spontaneously lower all carbon emissions?
Then I’d change my fucking mind about guns and buy a small armory. Because sometimes being wrong is painful, but I’m a grown-up and I can deal with it.
You know what would be great? If we could have some research and find out.