I emphatically refuse to dismiss a broad body of information because it "could be biased."
You and I can agree to disagree about how we weight the conclusions, but I will not pretend that knowing nothing and having possibly slanted information is a push. That's not on the table.
I'm not sure where I suggested that we throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you got that impression, then you have my apology as that was not what I was saying. As an engineer, I would agree that imperfect data is better than no data; however, I must insist that no data is better than bad data. There's a world of difference between imperfect (slightly biased) data and bad data (propaganda).
What I was trying to say was that we don't have a definite causation relationship. At best we have correlation but that doesn't mean much. After all, you can correlate the increase in global temperatures with the decrease in the number of pirates in the Caribbean. And, I don't think we can cool the globe by adding pirates to the Bahamas.
As for Cain and Able, that's a myth. [EDIT]Removed other religious references and ... rant?[/EDIT]
Our opinions and beliefs about the modern bible (collection of myths and folk stories from various bronze age people vs. the inspired word of Almighty God) actually isn't relevant to my point. I referenced Cain and Able because everyone knows the story. It's part of the western world's ... for lack of a better word, cultural DNA. I can compare a CEO with a radical new vision for his company to Moses leading the Children of Israel to the Promised Land (increased profits for investors) and folks will know what I'm talking about. It's the cultural shorthand that I was going for when I mentioned Cain and Able.
We've all gone round and round on many topics and angles, and yet nobody has asserted the supremacy of an improvised weapon over an engineered one. I'm sure "how to kill somebody with a rock" is an existing body of knowledge, but it's a non-factor in actual modern violence.
Blunt instruments, including rocks, are still used to commit murder. However, I'll accept the concept of your statement as is (assuming I got it right): folks will opt for engineered weapons if they are available. However, does that automatically mean we should ban engineered weapons? I don't think so.
That said, I do concur: the state of the society matters more than the proliferation of it's weaponry.
Which, to my mind, raises the question or why we aren't talking about society. If arms don't make the fundamental difference, then let's talk about what does.
You'll notice too that we came to this agreement when we produced matching information from reliable sources. As yet the impact of arms control laws in other countries has yet to be demonstrated as even remotely consequential.
I'm not following you here. The impact of arms control laws in other countries would seem to be extremely consequential to the debate. Please elaborate.