Quote of the day—Elizabeth Simas

Gun control regulations are an interesting thing. Public opinion in support of them tends to spike any time there is a major incident or a mass shooting of some sort. And if schools aren’t in session, if people aren’t having large meetings in churches and in shopping malls and concerts and all these other places, then we’re not having mass shootings.

Elizabeth Simas
Political science professor at the University of Houston
April 13, 2020
Gun Safety Groups Face Uphill Battle In Face Of COVID-19
[Interesting observation!

This reminds me of something I said over seven years ago (The necessity of an accurate problem statement):

What’s an orthogonal solution? In the case of the school shootings a solution to “ban guns” versus “good guys with guns” an orthogonal solution would be to “ban schools”. For example if children were to be taught online supervised by their parents or in much small groups there wouldn’t be such large groups of tempting, nearly helpless, targets.


In the case of school shootings examine the following problem statements, somewhat exaggerated to make the point:

  • There are too many guns brought to schools.
  • Good guys are prohibited from protecting themselves and our children at schools.
  • An unacceptably high number of children at schools are being injured and killed by people with guns and other weapons.

Depending on the choice of problem statement the range of solutions are completely different. And there may be other problem statements beyond what I have enumerated above. Defining the problem correctly is frequently more difficult than finding solutions.

“Thanks” to the pandemic we may be approaching the orthogonal solution to school shootings I suggested years ago.—Joe]


1 thought on “Quote of the day—Elizabeth Simas

  1. The only time public opinion spikes in favor of gun control is when the liberal media needs it to spike. It’s not public opinion it’s propaganda.

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