OSD 45: Sight Picture for 2020

Happy New Year, gang. Here’s to an upcoming year of spreading gun rights and gun culture further than they’ve ever gone before. Make it a great one.

This week's links

Can We Use Public Health Models to Cure the Disease of Gun Violence?
Notwithstanding the gun-control-sounding headline, this piece is a great look at Cure Violence, an initiative that aims to reduce violence by addressing root social and cultural causes, not by criminalizing gun ownership. They train “violence interrupters” who are known and trusted in the most dangerous parts of a city, and who can intervene to coach people into solving disagreements peacefully.

And it works:

“The number of shootings in Chicago neighborhoods that use Cure Violence and similar programs dropped 36 percent from the first quarter of 2017 to the same period in 2018 (from 80 to 44), after Cure Violence was reintroduced, according to Chicago Police Department records. Shootings and homicides dropped citywide that year, but the steepest declines were in the most violent slivers of neighborhoods, the ones using the program.”

“New York City dedicated $22.5 million in 2017 to dramatically expand its program to prevent gun violence, establishing a crisis management system informed by Cure Violence methods in the city’s 18 most violent neighborhoods. New York had seen a 63 percent reduction in shootings with injuries or fatalities in one South Bronx neighborhood that used the the Cure Violence method between 2014 and 2016, according to an assessment by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research and Evaluation Center. The study compared the South Bronx neighborhood with a demographically similar neighborhood that did not have violence interrupters.”

A fresh look at the claim that YouTube’s recommendation engine has a radicalizing effect
The new study has its limits — especially the fact that it only considers recommendations for non-logged-in users — but is nonetheless a thought-provoking read. We talk a lot about the power of social media to spread information about guns — which in turn naturally spreads gun rights — so it’s important to understand how these systems work.

A summary of California gun bills in 2020
An illustration of the self-reinforcing dynamic on both sides of the gun rights issue. The incentives are such that no matter what your position is, a rational actor would double down on it. Here we see what that looks like in the gun control case. (The center of mass of the proposals is around deepening and broadening the things that happen to people who get red flagged, as well as making it easier to red flag people.)

New Zealand’s Gun Buyback Might Not Have Gone So Well
Low compliance, as expected, modulo some mystery about exactly how low. For comparison, ban compliance in the US has empirically been even lower — around 4 percent in New York.

Five People Stabbed During Hanukkah Party at Rabbi’s Home in New York, Suspect Arrested
Following a spate of other anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area, this has prompted a lot of Twitter discussion around armed self-defense in the Jewish community. Cam Edwards’s feed is a good summary.

Breakdown of the church shooting in Texas yesterday morning
John Correia with a difficult-to-watch, but important, breakdown of the events yesterday. Two congregants died heroically in moving to stop the attacker. Their actions drew his fire, and by the time he turned his attention to the rest of the church, a third armed congregant killed him with a single, well-placed shot.

Note also that within seconds, at least seven people in the crowd had their guns out. There are lots of lessons to learn from this, and heroes to honor. One lesson that one cannot draw is “I wish all those defenders didn’t have guns.”

Two people were murdered. But this event won’t show up in mass shooting statistics because it never became a mass shooting. And we have all the armed congregants and the heroes involved to thank for that. Imagine what the video above would have looked like without them.

Stuff like this is why we’re working hard to do what we do. This is why it’s so important to spread gun rights, and introduce people to positive gun culture. Like Mr. Rogers says, “Look for the helpers.”

From the gun rights perspective, the best way to be a helper is to spread the word, by taking newbies shooting and being a good ambassador. We’re about to start a new year. Get out there and make it a great one.