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Got this excellent question about our CCW thread from yesterday. A tough but thoughtful question, our favorite kind.

Let's answer it. Thread 👉
Our starting point is (to steal from our home page) this: “We’re all born with the right of self-defense, to control our own destiny. And for that to mean anything — especially for our weakest, poorest, or most disadvantaged — it means having great tools for self-defense.”
That's ultimately a philosophical position, not an epidemiological one, but it doesn't mean statistics go out the window. After all, it's our position *because* we believe (a) it produces the best results for individuals, and (b) respecting people's human rights is socially good.
Which means that we should expect to see those predicted good results borne out in reality, often in measurable ways. So to answer the proximate question head-on: yes, good evidence that CCW is on net seriously harmful would be one mark against it. But there's more to the story:
How to measure the good? Public health researchers often round it to 0 a priori, focusing on violence. Per @davidyamane: "The idea that guns are normal and normal people use guns [is] a dramatic departure from the standard social scientific approaches."

To use a widely accepted example, consider the 4th Amendment. Imagine a group of nonprofits and university labs (…,…) producing studies/advocacy on how requiring warrants makes crimes easier to commit and harder for cops to solve.
The studies would find a bunch of problems associated with warrants! If they start out with a pro-search-and-seizure bias, they'll find *a ton* of problems. But even if they're even-handed, research focused on all the harms of warrants will see — naturally — harms of warrants.
Crimes go unsolved because police can't (in theory) stop whoever they like for no reason, or search every apartment in a building they saw a criminal visit. That unquestionably causes measurable harms. And if you spend $x00MM studying the harms, you'll publish some nice papers.
But in the warrant context, we all intuit that to stop the analysis there is to miss the other side of the scale. And the other side holds the entire reason we require warrants in the first place: because we believe that your personhood has value. Even if it's hard to quantify.
We think it's great to study harmful gun uses. But to stop there is to close the book on the first page. There are 423MM guns in the US. Each year, ~14500 are used in a murder. Those are extensively studied, and that's good. So now PhDs should spend time on the other 99.9965721%.
Thanks to @ICabalistic for the great question. We'd like to see this kind of thing — engaging inconvenient questions head-on, positively and openly — become more common.

So we'd like to ask one of @Everytown, @GiffordsCourage, or @MomsDemand: what gun control law goes too far?
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