Guns are a topical issue, and the thread in the Sanctum - while full of good discussions - also tends to get derailed with some frequency (most recently by yours truly!) So here's a thread for the polite forum. Pop in your monocle, pour a snifter of brandy and get ready to talk about guns! Just to stake out my position: I kind of like shooting guns (albeit infrequently), and I've got no idea what the appropriate policy is with regards to firearms should be. One thing I do feel very strongly about is that we should have more research on the subject. It was only recently that I learned there's not a lot of good data regarding firearms in the United States, mostly because the NRA got Congress to smack the CDC on the nose when it (the CDC) started publishing stuff the NRA didn't like, which had a chilling effect on public research into firearms. One of the President's recent executive orders seeks to change the situation. This post by Brad Plumer presents a pretty good starting point on the subject. Especially striking is a list of basic questions he cribs from Emily Badger, which seem like we really ought to be able to answer only it turns out we can't because of the aforementioned CDC-smacking. Anyway, here's the list: I'm an aspiring social scientist and a math geek so it's no surprise that I fall on the side of more data. I also think that, in general, if your approach to a social problem is to advocate against scholarly inquiry into a subject, then you're probably not playing on the side of the angels.