Friday, February 4, 2011

Newest Fox News piece: Another Mistake in The New York Times

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:

Since the tragedy in Tucson, the New York Times has started an all-out campaign for gun control, with a relentless number of pieces -- news, editorials, and op-eds. In its advocacy, even the news stories are heavily biased by selectively quoting only academics who support pro-gun control positions. These seemingly unbiased sources are then contrasted with opposing views from clearly biased people on the other side, such as an NRA spokesman or a right-wing politician. The implied conclusion: scientific evidence favors gun control, but self-interest stands in the way.

Take two recent news stories by Michael Luo (here and here). He quotes seven academics who agreed with the New York Times position, but no one on the other side was even interviewed. Talk about misrepresenting academic opinion. The overwhelming majority of studies actually supports the claim that more guns mean less crime. Among peer-reviewed studies in academic journals, criminologists and economists studying right-to-carry laws have produced 18 national studies showing that these laws reduce violent crime, 10 indicate no discernible effect and none finds a bad effect from the law. One would never guess that 294 academics from institutions as diverse as Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, and UCLA released an open letter to Congress during 1999 warning that new gun laws were “ill advised.”

A frequent claim in these recent New York Times articles has been that more guns mean more gun deaths (see also here). . . .

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