Guns cause violence – normative sociology proves it!

We’ve all heard the old joke: “guns cause violence like forks cause Rosie O’Donnell to be fat”. Well, normative sociology can prove that that’s actually true!  Never heard of normative sociology?  Here’s an explanation, with the most relevant excerpt below.

The whole “normative sociology” concept has its origins in a joke that Robert Nozick made, in Anarchy, State and Utopia, where he claimed, in an offhand way, that “Normative sociology, the study of what the causes of problems ought to be, greatly fascinates us all”. Despite the casual manner in which he made the remark, the observation is an astute one. Often when we study social problems, there is an almost irresistible temptation to study what we would like the cause of those problems to be (for whatever reason), to the neglect of the actual causes. When this goes uncorrected, you can get the phenomenon of “politically correct” explanations for various social problems – where there’s no hard evidence that A actually causes B, but where people, for one reason or another, think that A ought to be the explanation for B. This can lead to a situation in which denying that A is the cause of B becomes morally stigmatized, and so people affirm the connection primarily because they feel obliged to, not because they’ve been persuaded by any evidence.

I should also note that the author provides several examples of where the right, as well as the left, fall for this kind of faulty thinking.

Finally: I’ll hit this point often and hard: if you carry a gun for self-defense, you have to know the law. Invest the money you’d spend on shaving a tenth of a second off your splits with Andrew Branca’s book or seminars — it’ll pay far greater dividends. Visit this link to learn more, and use the discount code “streetstandards” for a 10% discount.


One thought on “Guns cause violence – normative sociology proves it!

  1. I appreciate the post that inspired you to write yours. I am rarely eloquent when defending against arguments that run counter to what I believe to be true. Joseph Heath gave me ammunition to defend against the weird-to-me backlash against self-defense instructors from a segment of the female population who believes any attempts at conflict avoidance education is merely victim-blaming and condoning bad/evil behaviors. I can now calmly state that “correlations between certain behaviors by victims/survivors and criminal predators is not the same as causation for the crimes” to back up why I attempt to derive lessons learned from news stories to assist other women in avoiding similar fates. I know many of these women truly only want to be outraged; they will never be persuaded by logic. However, I am happy to have a logically persuasive argument other than something along the lines of “It’s just common sense.”


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