The Futility of Shooting Down Strawmen: A Response to Kleck (2020)

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The Futility of Shooting Down Strawmen: A Response to Kleck (2020)

Category: Homicide, Mass Shootings|Journal: Justice Quarterly (full text)|Author: E Fridel|Year: 2020

In response to my recent article on guns, firearms homicide, and mass shootings, Kleck questions the reliability of my findings and cited concerns related to spuriousness, invalid measurement, and causal ordering. Most of the points raised by Kleck were addressed as sensitivity analyses in the original manuscript; the remaining issues reflect challenges that face the field of firearms research as a whole, including Kleck’s own work. Rebutting his critiques and defending the literature more broadly, this response elaborates on the modeling strategy utilized in the original article, provides additional sensitivity analyses validating these decisions, and discusses the futility of shooting down strawman arguments that fail to advance scholarship.

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