In my last post, I gave Kevin Baker's disciples an important opportunity. Unlike me, they have repeatedly made the astonishing claim that the righteousness of their philosophy on gun control (or lack thereof) is not merely scientifically provable, but has already been scientifically proved so comprehensively that it is not delusional to pose the question "why isn't being right good enough for us?".
That being the case, it's high time they (as John Major might say) put up or shut up. With such incontrovertible evidence at their fingertips, they should have had no difficulty whatever resolving the series of ten perfectly reasonable and logical objections I raised in relation to statistical evidence purporting to prove a clear social benefit of the general population being widely armed. But were they able to step up to the plate? In fact, did they even go through the motions of engaging with the questions at all? Well...judge for yourself. One link from Kevin in relation to my query about suicide, but other than that, nada - just a million and one ways of changing the subject, descending to the all-too-familiar playground bully-boy tactics by the end of the thread.
Ed's "heck of a" strategy for ignoring the questions was to zone in on my point that the "extraordinary claim" of the gun lobby (namely that the stricter gun laws in the UK somehow put us at more risk than our American cousins, despite the fact that we have a vastly lower gun crime rate) requires extraordinary proof -
"I've seen the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" phrase before. In every case, it has come from someone who has already been shown evidence that far exceeds the evidence for everything else in its category, and yet, it's still never enough. I've reached the point that when I see that phrase used, I pretty much understand it to mean "My mind is made up. Stop trying to confuse me with the facts.""
But of course Ed is conveniently ignoring the observation I went on to make immediately afterwards, which was that while I feel extraordinary levels of proof are required, even something that hits the ordinary standard of proof would be nice to be getting on with. Sadly, in spite of Ed's delusional musings, there has been precious little of that on offer so far. So what would help? Well, how about someone providing serious answers to those ten serious questions? Remember Ed claims to have definitive "facts" on his side, even as he quibbles about the 'proof beyond all doubt' label - so it should be perfectly possible to supply answers demonstrating conclusively that the issues I've raised do not wholly negate the alleged benefits of widespread legal gun ownership (as I strongly suspect they do).
The challenge remains open - I'm naturally not holding my breath.