Friday, October 13, 2006

Clayton Cramer disputes the Lancet Iraqi casualty numbers

Via Instapundit:

Either the news media have been ignoring hundreds of days with 1000 or more deaths--or tens of days with 10,000 or more deaths--or the Lancet article is utterly wrong.

He's worth listening twice to. Cramer is the one who, several years ago, busted Emory professor Michael Bellesiles' bogus gun research.

I am often asked, "Did [Michael] Bellesiles really think he was going to get away with [fabricating research about colonial firearm ownership]?" I don't know. My suspicion is that Bellesiles assumed
that people that disagreed with him about gun control wouldn't know where to find The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut or where American State Papers: Military Affairs would be in the library.

One of the hazards with the political homogenity of the professoriate at the first rank schools is that they don't get a chance to find out what people outside their narrow circle think, and they tend to underestimate their political opponents.

I suspect that Bellesiles and his fellow professors think of the NRA as a small number of educated conmen in Fairfax, Virginia, leading an organization of four million guys in flannel named Billy Bob. A recurring theme of gun control advocates is that we are a bunch of toothless rednecks who marry our sisters. The reality is that the average NRA member is a registered Democrat, is better educated than the general population, and tends to work in a technical or engineering position.

It must have been a real shocker to Bellesiles to discover:

1. LOTS of NRA members have graduate degrees in history.

2. A surprising number read 18th and 19th century primary sources. (You wouldn't believe how many tips I received from "gun nuts" who pointed me to very useful documents.)

3. Some of us know the early Republic primary sources well enough to recognize when Bellesiles was altering quotes.

4. Some of us can even write.

1 comment:

  1. Inspector:

    See Iraq the Model, Roger L. Simon and Harry's Place blogsites for lots of good commentary on the Lancet's latest piece of propaganda.

    Thank you know who we didn't have these @-holes around when the Allies were battling Hitler et al.


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