Wintemute/UCDavis DUI v. Later Crime Study: Methodology

You know the one; the anti-rights mainstream media is hyping it as demonstrating a strong link between prior DUI convictions and later serious violent crime offenses by law-abiding firearms owners.

I’ve already addressed the horrifically Orwellian privacy violations* by Wintemute and his junior police-statists. That distracted me from my original intent to look at his methodology. Looking at Wintemute’s methodologies is always an exercise in morbid fascination.

As usual, he abused the process to generate a foregone anti-rights conclusion. Continue reading

Another bogus gun viol.. Wait. WTF?

I saw this today.

Drunk drivers more likely to commit violent gun crimes in California, study finds
Gun buyers in California convicted of driving under the influence are at greater risk of committing a violent crime or a firearm-related offense, a group of researchers at UC Davis found in a broad study that tracks gun purchasers over the span of a decade.

Well, that sounds bad, right? Maybe we should make a DUI conviction a prohibited person qualifier.

Or maybe we should look at the study and see what they really found. Continue reading

A Reasonable Right?

I came across a rather remarkable column the other day. It much needs to be addressed. I’ll take it in two parts.

But first, treat yourself to a stiff dose of your preferred adult beverage. You’re going to need it, because the column is by Adam Winkler and Edwin S. Grosvenor. Winkler, I was familiar with. Grosvenor, not so much; this introduction was unpleasant.

The Reasonable Right to Bear Arms
While the Founders sought to protect the citizenry from being disarmed entirely, they did not wish to prevent government from adopting reasonable regulations of guns and gun owners either.

I found that an odd assertion (or it would be, from someone other than Winkler). Really? Continue reading

Remedial Practical Civics 100, Lesson 8: The Scientific Method and The Great Experiment – Conclusions

Lesson 1: Sausage-Making

Lesson 2: The Constitution. You may have heard that word.

Lesson 3: Let’s Party!

Lesson 4: “A Hunting We Will go”

Lesson 5: “Voting for Dummies Democrats”

Lesson 6: Supplementary Reading: Remedial Journalism 100

Lesson 7: Declaration of Independence 4 Dummies


“The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment for promoting human happiness.”
– George Washington, January 9, 1790

OK, class. Just shut up and listen today.

The scientific method…

(Shut up, Missy.)
(You can’t say that!)
(I just did. Get out of my classrooom.)

Ahem. The scientific method: observe, hypothesize, test, note result. Was it what you predicted? Others test your result; if they validate your finding, you may have found a truth. If someone falsifies your finding — that is, they ran the test and got a differing result — back to the drawing board.

Continue reading

Ah, “science”

I ran across two “science” press releases this morning. First up from Cambridge.

‘Mental rigidity’ at root of intense political partisanship on both left and right — study
“Relative to political moderates, participants who indicated extreme attachment to either the Democratic or Republican Party exhibited mental rigidity on multiple objective neuropsychological tests,” said Dr Leor Zmigrod, a Cambridge Gates Scholar and lead author of the study, now published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

“While political animosity often appears to be driven by emotion, we find that the way people unconsciously process neutral stimuli seems to play an important role in how they process ideological arguments.”

Those were psychologists, a class known for weird work. Their competitors, sociologists from Cornell, beg to differ.

Chance, not ideology, drives political polarization
Ever-widening divisions between Democrats and Republicans are believed to reflect deeply rooted ideological differences, but a new study points to a radically different interpretation: it may be mostly a matter of luck.

It’s a phenomenon that Michael Macy, Cornell University professor and director of the Social Dynamics Laboratory, calls an “opinion cascade” – in which partisans pile onto whatever emerging position they identify with their party.

Ideological rigidity vs. chance. I propose locking the two teams in a room equipped with knives to see who emerges victorious.

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