Light Over Heat #15: From Gun Research to Gun Policy

Last week I attended a workshop at the University of Connecticut in Hartford for authors contributing to a special issue of The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science on gun violence prevention. Of course, my specialty is in gun culture not gun violence, so I was asked to speak about the evolution of American gun culture.

But I also listened to 13 other presentations, 12 of which did center on gun violence, by some of the top researchers studying this topic. I learned quite a bit, some of which I will be sharing on this blog as I have the opportunity to process it.

This week’s “Light Over Heat” YouTube video provides an initial reflection after the first day of the workshop. I note in particular the difference between how researchers speak among themselves about their findings and how advocates take those findings into the policy realm.

Simply put: Research is nuanced, advocacy is blunt.

Next week I will post my post-day 2 workshop reflections, followed by one or perhaps two additional reflection videos, and then a video I made of my presentation. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, let me know what you think in the comments.

New “Light Over Heat” videos are released on YouTube every Wednesday, so please surf over to my YouTube channel and SUBSCRIBE to follow, RING THE BELL to receive notifications, and SHARE so others can learn about this work.


  1. “Research is nuanced, advocacy is blunt.”

    Exactly. Same with climate research. The common example of cherry picking a bit of reality out of a paper and turn it into misleading advocacy, for example. I go back to your blog post on case control studies.

    I am prticularly interested in the paper on ERPOs. These are so recent, it would be interesting if ANYTHING can be concluded yet. Who presented that? I might give the presenter a ring.

    Oh, and the Sesame Street song was a hoot!

    Liked by 2 people

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