Harvard Protest Against Professor Illustrates Why Research Mistrusted

AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

"Studies show that gun control works."

We've all heard that a few thousand times, at least.

Proponents of gun control generally dismiss what few pro-gun studies there are, claiming they've been debunked--they really haven't--or claiming the research was biased.


Which is hilarious because so much of their own preferred research falls into the same category.

A while back, I touched on the lack of pro-gun research. In that, I talk about research that found a lot of academics will self-censor if they have findings that go against the progressive narrative on controversial topics.


Well, because they figure that if they don't, stuff like this will happen.

A Harvard professor said that "all hell broke loose" and he was forced to go out in public with armed security after he published a study that found no evidence of racial bias in police shootings.  

During a sit-down conversation with Bari Weiss of The Free Press, Harvard Economics Professor Roland Fryer discussed the fallout from a 2016 study he published on racial bias in Houston policing.


When Fryer claimed the data showed "no racial differences in officer-involved shootings," he said, "all hell broke loose," and his life was upended.

Fryer received the first of many complaints and threats four minutes after publication.

"You're full of s—t," the sender said.

Fryer said people quickly "lost their minds" and some of his colleagues refused to believe the results after months of asking him not to print the data.


Now, this isn't a gun study. This is a different topic and one that was particularly controversial back in 2016.

It didn't negate anyone's experiences, only looked at the data and came to a conclusion that the narrative was wrong, and people lost their minds, as Fryer put it.

He was asked by colleagues not to publish his findings. He was attacked for what he found, not because his methodology was flawed but because what he found went against the prevailing politics of academia.

Can anyone really tell me there's no chance of this happening with gun research? No chance at all?

We've talked about how worthless the gun studies we have actually are and we've hit on just how there's a statistically improbable lack of studies with "pro-gun" findings. That's not an accident. It is, however, a problem.

What Fryer described is the kind of situation where a lot of researchers might just capitulate to the demands of their colleagues, especially if they lack tenure. They might even start nitpicking their own methodology so they can say, "Oh no, I didn't do it because of self-censorship. I found issues with my methods. That's all," but it's really just a cop-out.


We're often told we should trust the science, but the science isn't trustworthy. Academia has been infected with a mind virus that sees narrative über alles. They don't care about truth anymore. They care about preserving talking points for their anti-gun buddies.

It doesn't have to be this way. It shouldn't be this way. However, this is what it is and as it is, there's no reason for anyone to be moved by studies.

Gun research could be useful, but not until researchers becomes more interested in the truth than making sure they get invited to the right cocktail parties.

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