Saturday, March 16, 2019

My SPSP Talk in February 2019

I was quite surprised and honored to be included in a panel on the social psychology of gun ownership at the most recent SPSP conference in Portland, based on my work on the weapons effect. Although I often consider myself a flawed messenger these days, and often think of myself more as a reluctant expert on the matter of the weapons effect as a phenomenon, I was excited to attend and to see how an audience would receive my increasingly skeptical view on the topic of the weapons effect. As some who might read this blog know, my wife was injured in a freak accident just prior to Christmas, and up until the last week of February, I had been acting primarily as her caretaker (and taking care of my faculty responsibilities as well!). As a result, I had to cancel my trip.

When I broke that news to the symposium organizer, Nick Buttrick, he worked with me so that I could still in some way participate. We looked into a number of options, and settled on an audio PowerPoint slide presentation in order to at least allow me still be a part of the proceedings - even from a distance. I am grateful for that. If you are ever interested, you can find my slides archived at the Open Science Framework. Just click this link and you will have access to audio and non-audio versions.

There are probably better public speakers, but if nothing else, I do have a story to tell about the weapons effect based on the available evidence. This presentation is based in part on the meta-analysis I coauthored and published late last year, as well as on a narrative review I have in press (aimed at a much more general social science audience), and some new follow-up analyses I ran last fall. I will be giving another version of this talk to an audience of mostly community college and small university educators in the social sciences in April. I am realizing that I am probably not done with the weapons effect. There are truths in that meta-analysis database that still need to be examined, and I would not be surprised if a case could be made for an update in the next handful of years as new work becomes available.

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