A crippling flaw in much epidemiology is that it takes survey results as truthful and then seeks to correlate that to some benefit or harm. It's why epidemiologists said butter was bad and trans fats were good, until butter was good and trans fats were bad. If you were gullible enough to buy quinoa, teff, or any other superfood, some influencer you believed had an epidemiology paper on their side.

Guns and abortions are a lot more polarizing than food so the chances of getting the truth are even less. If government wants to restrict it or ban it, people who worry about that are not going to respond accurately - they trust claims about epidemiology very little. A new analysis suggests that there are a lot more female and minority gun owners than are admitting it - and the fact that anti-gun activists feel like that is a call for more action shows that minorities and women are right in not trusting epidemiologists with an agenda - those are the statisticians who will be invoked by government agencies stocked with political allies of the administration in power.

'Target Practice' by Tom Lovell.

Activists couch their desire to demonize gun owners with claims that they want to do better messaging about gun safety, but urban women living alone - most likely to not want to tell anti-gun demographers if they own a gun - are also a group wary enough to keep a pair of male boots near the front door and wear a fake wedding ring if they have a new maintenance person in their home, so they don't need to be talked down to by anyone. They know where their guns are at all times.

The gun ban contingent tries to portray gun owners as angry white NRA members, but the NRA represents less than a handful of a percent of gun owners - while half of gun owners are women. 96 percent of gun owners have seen ~300 law enforcement agents in Uvalde stand around doing nothing while children were murdered, they are not going to rely on government union employees who think they don't get paid enough to rescue them. They will rescue themselves.

The authors can't be certain the people in their survey pool are lying but it makes sense, depending on why you ask. If you ask 3,500 people in Newark, Detroit or San Francisco, where crime is high and they know not to trust the government that caused the problem, you will get a much lower level of accuracy when an academic - which to most in America means overwhelmingly likely to be left-wing - asks versus a rural area where they are not worried about the police confiscating their hunting rifle.

Even the idea that gun activists want to 'target' them with messaging is hostile, though activists don't see it. They can't help but be critical while claiming they want to help.

There are cases where criticisms work. In California, it took us 10 years of noting that the most liberal parts of California had more unvaccinated children in public schools than the entire rest of the US combined, but eventually it worked and Berkeley, Marin County, and even Los Angeles became as vaccinated as right-wing states like Mississippi and Alabama. Yet when it comes to guns criticism has backfired badly; agenda-driven doctors asking questions like if a patient owned a gun did nothing but create distrust of doctors. Everyone in America knows that supposed health privacy regulations are a giant, leaky bucket and 2,000 organizations have access to their information and not only did patients not want to answer a question that had nothing to do with health, they got angry about what was clear political manipulation by someone practicing medicine.

Gun safety is important because many people who own them did not grow up in a culture where it is ingrained, the way I did. As the saying goes, my father practiced 'son control, not gun control.' That's happening less and less in urban areas, where most guns are now purchased, so messaging needs to be strictly information and awareness and to be egalitarian, not appear as if it is looking for a way to penalize women and minorities who want to defend themselves because they believe no one else will.