Dear Professor Hoplophobe (pseudonym):
First I would like to thank you for your willingness to discuss Second Amendment issues despite our deep disagreement about the scope and applicability of this important constitutional right. The first time we broached the issue, the tenor of our discussion was less than civil. Since then, you have agreed to continue our dialogue and I believe we would both agree that it has been constructive. I enjoy the opportunity to speak with professors from other departments, especially those with different educational and employment backgrounds. I also enjoy the opportunity to challenge political science professors because, in my view, the field focuses too much on the “political” and too little on the “science.”
I would like to start by sharing my concerns about a remark you made in our last conversation. You indicated that in one of your classes there was a vigorous discussion of concealed weapons permits. You summarized the discussion as follows: “We didn’t really get anywhere. I will never change my mind on the issue and I will never change theirs either.”
This statement of yours is problematic for at least three reasons. I dissect each one below:
1. You refuse to consider the evidence of the side you seek to influence. During our first discussion of this issue you asked what evidence I had to support my contention that concealed weapons permits reduce violent crime. I told you there were fifteen refereed scholarly publications supporting my position. I offered to share them with you but you declined. A couple of years later we discussed the issue again. By then, a sixteenth refereed scholarly publication came out supporting my position. I brought this to your attention but to no avail. You expressed no interest in examining the evidence. Today you continue to ignore it while clinging to the position that concealed weapons permits increase violence. This position of yours is not supported by a single refereed publication. I believe it is time for you to either a) review the evidence or b) stop referring to yourself as a “social scientist.” The terms “advocate” or “visionary” are more appropriate for those who deem all contrary evidence to be irrelevant.