Scott Adams’ “opinion” on guns is itself a “half-pinion.”

My recent post on Scott Adams and his “opinion” on guns…

My opinion: I am willing to accept up to 20,000 gun deaths per year in the United States in order to preserve the 2nd Amendment right to own firearms.

is itself a “half-pinion.”

A full opinion on any topic considers both the benefits and the costs. A half-pinion looks at only the costs or only the benefits in isolation.

It just occurred to me that at no time did Scott Adams discuss the benefits of gun ownership and the Second Amendment. He only actually discussed the costs. So-called “Gun Deaths™.”

So what are the benefits?

We could try to make the case that an armed citizenry makes a rogue government less likely, or that it’s good for the moral character of our citizens to be armed. But we can’t actually quantify those things.

What can we quantify? Defensive Gun Uses.

There are several estimates of total number of Defensive Gun Uses, from Kleck’s 2.1 million per year down to the unlikely low number from the National Crime Victimization Survey’s 55,000-80,000 per year.

That means that even the lowest possible number, which has been criticized for not being designed to count defensive gun uses, is still higher than the total number of people who are killed each year with a gun. And if you don’t consider the actual tangible benefits of fairly widespread gun ownership, your “opinion” is just a “half-pinion.”

3 responses to “Scott Adams’ “opinion” on guns is itself a “half-pinion.”

  1. Yes, I liked some of his opinions but he’s gone full retard on this topic, so skipping any of his episodes if he’s got the ‘gun’ word in it.
    I wonder if he’s as uninformed on other topics like he’s on guns.

  2. Your idea that Adams hasn’t considered the benefits of gun ownership just because he didn’t discuss them is flawed. He has clearly thought of both the benefits and costs. Then in his opinion he stated a trade-off between them that he would consider reasonable. Then he invites others to offer their own trade-offs.

    So the offer is on the table: what trade-offs are you willing to consider?

  3. Good analysis.
    On yesterday’s podcast I heard him read someone’s comment asking him about “Scott Adams’ worst gun control ideas blog”, so I was curious how many other people had blogged about his bad halfpinions. Glad to see I’m not the only one.
    Here’s a link to all of mine, but “Scott Adams is still wrong on guns” is probably the one to read (if you’re interested in reading any of them) if you only read one.