The end result is that the government has some ability to assess changes in crime rates from year to year in the United States because these flaws tend to be equally present from year to year (roughly). But they have little ability to compare crime rates between nations, because the statistics of other nations are even less accurate than ours.
But even if we were able to say with precision that the United States had two times, or five times, or ten times as much crime as Saudi Arabia, how could we conclude that the system of punishment is the ?cause? of the lower crime rate? Could it instead have something to do with climate? Or could it have something to do with culture? Or could it be something else we haven?t considered?
And speaking of causality, I know that the murder rate goes up in the summer. I also know that ice cream sales go up in the summer. But only a simpleton would assert that ice cream ?causes? murder.
But, of course, Michael Moore is just such a simpleton. And, not to be disrespectful, but simplemindedness is to be occasionally expected of a college dropout. When we choose people to teach our students, through lectures or films or books, we should give some consideration to their educational qualifications.
So my request to the Women?s Center is also very simple. In the name of intellectual honesty (and diversity), let us critique the reasoning of gun control advocates with the same diligence that we use when critiquing those we consider to advocate extreme methods of punishment.
And let me be a Lott Moore (pun intended) specific. In the name of intellectual diversity, I am asking the Women?s Center to invite John Lott to speak at UNC-Wilmington.
John Lott has taught at the University of Chicago and Yale University and has authored what is perhaps the best critique of gun control ever written, ?More Guns, Less Crime.? Some of my colleagues disagree with his recommendations for public policy but are completely unable to specify any flaws in his research or in his logic. In fact, one of them once told me that he was very disturbed by data indicating that right-to-carry permits seemed to be reducing the amount of crime in jurisdictions that had made them available.
And that is where we find ourselves too often in academia. We support policies that feel good and reject policies that contradict our feelings, even when they actually save lives. Clearly, the time has come for the academy to promote the public interest, not a given political agenda that is in line with certain feelings.
Recently, the second murder of a UNC-Wilmington student occurred in the span of a single month. There has been plenty of talk about the fact that the killer had a gun. There has been little talk about the fact that the victim did not.
Before the next unarmed student loses her life, let?s have a real debate on gun control. Let?s do it in the name of diversity.
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