Marvelous as always. I was delighted to see your article as the headliner in my daily Medium digest.
Sadly, it appears that Mr. Taves suffers from belief disconfirmation disorder (BDD), a form of cognitive dissonance. BDD is common among gun control advocates confronted by data that contradicts their opinions. Rather than confronting the challenge with supporting data of their own, they seek confirmation from others who share their views.
The widespread occurrence of BDD can be observed in the gun advocate’s passion for citing statistics and research that have been discredited for years.
In one case, a study author publicly stated that the sample used as the basis for a popular myth wasn’t a valid sample. In another incident, a former top executive for one of the nation’s largest gun control advocacy groups stated that none of the measures the group was promoting would have stopped a mass shooting. A third researcher’s finding were disputed because he had used only a limited data set upon which he drew a conclusion.
BDD becomes a national concern because it leads to popular perceptions that are contrary to fact and can, and do, incite hysteria. The best example of this is the widespread belief that gun violences is increasing in America when in fact the opposite is true. In 2014, the U.S. homicide rate fell to its lowest point in more nearly 60 years.
The effect of BDD on policy decisions and legislation can be catastrophic.
Unfortunately, since those afflicted with BDD chose not to confront reality and instead bury themselves in a reassuring echo chamber, there is no known treatment for this disorder.
But thank you for trying.