The Fog Of Gun Violence, Ctd

Koerth-Baker follows up on her inquiry and draws a comparison to climate change science:

The IPCC never says, “Because we burned fossil fuels and emitted carbon dioxide into the atmosphere then the Earth will warm by x degrees.” Instead, those reports present a range of possible outcomes … for everything. Depending on the different models used, different scenarios presented, and the different assumptions made, the temperature of the Earth might increase by anywhere between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius. …

The problem with this [reasoning] is that it flies in the face of what most of us expect science to do for public policy. Politics is inherently biased, right? The solutions that people come up with are driven by their ideologies. Science is supposed to cut that Gordian Knot. It’s supposed to lay the evidence down on the table and impartially determine who is right and who is wrong. But how do those expectations apply if the best answer we can actually get to the question of whether guns make us safer is something along the lines of, “The likely effects of right-to-carry laws range from saving 500 lives annually to costing 500 lives annually.”