Comments

  1. Menyambal says

    The Second Amendment has nothing to do with gun ownership. The NRA is the tool of the gun manufacturers. Congress takes bribes from gun advocates, and courts votes from gun supporters.

    I lead with the Second Amendment not being about gun owners because a lot of people lead with their belief that it is. It’s about a well-trained militia for national defense, and the people’s right to have and be such a militia. It’s obsolete, in the sense that we now have the standing army the writers opposed. It’s also irrelevant, in the sense it never had to do with citizens owning guns (the body of the Constitution says the states armed the militias).

  2. Sean2007 says

    “Angry shooter planned to kill and injure people not like himself.”

    Shouldn’t that be, “Angry shooter planned to kill and injure white people.”?

    Remarkable but not surprising that they can’t say the intended victims were white.In any situation where the shooter is white and the victim is lack, they have no trouble mentioning the race of the victim or stating that the motive for the shooting was racism even if that isn’t clear.

    The question I’d like to ask gun control advocates is this: “if you were faced with a situation with an attacker armed with an illegal firearm attempting to kill you or your family, and you could not flee, how would you defend yourself? Please don’t answer the question with a question. I ask you this question because this is the question a lot of gun owners ask themselves.

  3. Mano Singham says

    Sean2007,

    I think you are missing the point that this was meant to be generic and cover all shootings.

  4. Silentbob says

    @ 4 Sean2007

    The question I’d like to ask gun control advocates is this: if you were faced with a situation with an attacker armed with an illegal firearm attempting to kill you or your family, and you could not flee, how would you defend yourself? Please don’t answer the question with a question.

    Since you insist on a straight answer; I would be defenceless. But…

    1. I have never been in a situation with an armed attacker attempting to kill me or my family. I doubt I ever will be. Why would I? I’m not James Bond.

    2. If we’re talking about an armed burglar breaking into my home, presumably what they want is my property, not my life. If I’m defenceless, why would they want to add murder to their list of crimes? If I go for a weapon, then they have a motive to kill me in self defence.

    3. If we’re in a culture where people are typically armed to “defend themselves”, then presumably the burglar knows this. If they have no qualms about committing murder why wouldn’t they just burst in, or sneak in, and blow me to smithereens before I can even react? Your gun isn’t a magic force field. It’s only going to save you if you’re forewarned; if you can kill the attacker before they kill you. Why would an attacker give you that opportunity? If they’re determined to take your life, they can just shoot you in the back without warning. (In the recent Dallas incident, the shooter fired at a police officer, who took cover behind a concrete pillar. The shooter quickly ran to the other side of the pillar and shot the officer to death from behind.)

    Now that I’ve given you the straight answer you asked for, here’s the sensible answer. You’re asking the wrong question. It’s one of those Sam Harris type hypotheticals: If you’re opposed to torture, what if there’s a nuclear device set to detonate in a secret location, and someone in custody knows the secret location and they refuse to talk…?

    You can do the same thing with compulsory seat belts: What if I’m in a collision, and the force of the collision buckles the release mechanism, and the car bursts into flames, and I’m trapped in the car by the stupid seat belt, and I burn to death…? Okay, maybe that’s hypothetically possible. But the fact is you are much more likely to die from not wearing a seat belt than by wearing one. And likewise, in a culture with lax gun laws, you are much more likely to be shot than you are to save your life by shooting. It’s just a fact. The evidence is overwhelming. Just take a look at this infographic from the BBC comparing the United States to similar cultures with stricter gun control. The difference is striking.

  5. Silentbob says

    … so, in short, when I say you are asking the wrong question, I mean the question should be, “Are you and your family less likely to be murdered under stricter gun control?”. And the answer is, yes. If you want to protect your family, you should support stricter gun control.

  6. Sean2007 says

    1. I have never been in a situation with an armed attacker attempting to kill me or my family. I doubt I ever will be. Why would I? I’m not James Bond.

    You would make sense if James Bond was the only person ever attacked during a burglary. But since you can’t seem to wrap your head around the idea of people being attacked during a bruglary, here are some stats:

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/ascii/vdhb.txt

    *A household member was present in roughly 1 million burglaries and became victims of violent crimes in 266,560 burglaries.

    *Overall, 61% of offenders were unarmed when violence occurred during a burglary while a resident was present. About 12% of all households violently burglarized while someone was home faced an offender armed with a firearm.

    *Serious injury accounted for 9% and minor injury accounted for 36% of injuries sustained by household members who were home and experienced violence during a completed burglary.

    2. If we’re talking about an armed burglar breaking into my home, presumably what they want is my property, not my life. If I’m defenceless, why would they want to add murder to their list of crimes? If I go for a weapon, then they have a motive to kill me in self defence.

    The type of violence against household members present at the time of a burglary varied by burglary category. Simple assault was the most common form of violence experienced by household members present during completed (15%) and attempted (6%) burglaries. Robbery was more likely to occur when a burglary was completed rather than attempted. A robbery occurred in 7% of completed burglaries, compared to 1% of attempted forcible entries. An aggravated assault against a household member was equally likely to occur during a completed or an attempted burglary. A rape or sexual assault occurred in about 3% of households experiencing a completed burglary.

    People are assaulted, robbed murdered and raped even after the burglary is completed and the offender has the stuff he came for. Not to be offensive but you don’t seem to know much about crime if you think criminals stop at stealing your stuff and only rape and assault people when they fight back. I’m sure you’re not trying to blame the victim here but it does come across that way.

    3. If we’re in a culture where people are typically armed to “defend themselves”, then presumably the burglar knows this. If they have no qualms about committing murder why wouldn’t they just burst in, or sneak in, and blow me to smithereens before I can even react? Your gun isn’t a magic force field. It’s only going to save you if you’re forewarned; if you can kill the attacker before they kill you. Why would an attacker give you that opportunity? If they’re determined to take your life, they can just shoot you in the back without warning. (In the recent Dallas incident, the shooter fired at a police officer, who took cover behind a concrete pillar. The shooter quickly ran to the other side of the pillar and shot the officer to death from behind.)

    You act as if burglars are all professional assassins and you would have no chance against one if he intended to kill you. That might be true if John Rambo invades your home but in most cases you will likely have a warning, be able to get your gun and have home turf advantage against anyone entering your home as you know the layout of the propertty, the sound and location of every creaky floorboard, etc. Of course, if you can’t get to your gun then you are just as fucked as anyone else without a gun but that doesn’t negate the value of having a gun, quite the contrary.

    The CDC in a recent study states that “almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.”

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cdc-study-use-firearms-self-defense-important-crime-deterrent

    Now that we’ve established that violence occurs in over 1 in 4 burglaries where someone is present in the home and firearms can be used in self-defense, can we get back to my original question of how would you defend yourself in the scenario I presented?

  7. John Morales says

    Sean2007, about that CDC study — here’s a salient part of its summary:

    High-quality data that are usable, credible, and accessible are fundamental to both the advancement of research and the development of sound policies. Anonymous data are sufficient for these purposes, and in fact anonymized data should be used to protect civil liberties. Basic information about gun possession, distribution, ownership, acquisition, and storage is lacking. No single database captures the number, locations, and types of firearms and firearm owners in the United States. Because different forms of firearm violence respond to different strategies, without good data it is virtually impossible to answer fundamental questions about occurrence and risk factors or to effectively evaluate programs intended to reduce violence and harm. Data about the sources of guns used in crimes are important, given that studies suggest that the mechanism by which an individual acquires a gun may predict future violent use of that gun. The National Violent Death Reporting System is a beginning, but it covers only one-third of U.S. states (CDC, 2013a).

    Additionally, the lack of comprehensive datasets and the wide variety of sources and the fact that the data lead to contradictory conclusions call into question the reliability and validity of gun-violence data.

    Translation: GIGO.

    Interestingly, comparative studies between the USA and advanced societies are rather telling.

  8. sonofrojblake says

    I’d have thought after post 4 that Sean2007 would have been too embarrassed to pursue this, but hey:

    if you can’t get to your gun then you are just as fucked as anyone else without a gun but that doesn’t negate the value of having a gun

    The difference being that the person without a gun doesn’t experience the risks of owning one either. You might not think so, but those things are dangerous. You have to make a calculation as to whether the risks outweigh the benefits. You’ve obviously made that calculation yourself, but then again you thought the original post was about a specific incident, so…

  9. Sean2007 says

    Thanks to Captain Obvious for informing us that guns are dangerous. Who knew? So are a lot of other things, like hammers, which kill more people than rifles every year, and feet and hands, which also kill way more people than rifles. Other things that are dangerous are cars, power tools, kitchen appliances (kill 300 kids per year by falling on them) and of course cops, who are the preferred liberal alternative to self-defense. But perhaps the most dangerous thing of all is doctors, who kill over 450,000 Americans a year through medical error alone. That’s not even counting the people who die from non-error adverse effects of medical “care.”

    So it is always amusing to see medical societies get up on their high horse to scream for gun control, when they kill more Americans every year than the Germans did in the whole of WWII.

    @ John Morales: You link a petition by doctors to allow the CDC to do research on guns, which proves, what? Who knows. Then when they do the research you dismiss it out of hand as “garbage” because it doesn’t support your agenda. Facts clearly won’t persuade you.

    The reason Obama and the medical societies chose the CDC to do this research is because it is notorious for producing biased research on guns, completely ignoring the issue of whether guns had any positive value in self-defense and focusing only on the negatives. This is why they were banned from doing such research…that and the fact that it is outside their legislative remit which is disease control not gun control.

    Unfortunately, this time they failed to deliver the goods, particularly on the issue of defensive use of guns as that would fly in the face of multiple studies that consistently show a very high rate of defensive gun use by civilians. The study went way beyond that issue however and there are a lot of unanswered questions with poor data to answer them, such as whether background checks reduce gun crime when the majority of criminals use illegal guns. On the issue of defensive use of guns they seem pretty secure in stating that guns are a valuable deterrent to crime, as I quoted above.

    As for gun control reducing crime that is nonsense. In almost every country that has introduced gun bans murder rates went up, including the gun murder rate in many cases. In the UK, which is often cited as an example of “successful” gun control, the murder rate increased over 50 percent and the gun murder rate nearly doubled after gun control. It only came down after a huge increase of over 20,000 new police after 2002.

    http://crimeresearch.org/2013/12/murder-and-homicide-rates-before-and-after-gun-bans/

    The homicide rate in the US was always higher than Canada, UK and Australia even when they had more liberal gun laws. The rate of all violent crimes other than murder and rape are higher in the UK than the US. In the US, cities with the toughest gun control laws like Chicago and Washington DC often have the highest murder rates.

  10. John Morales says

    @ John Morales: You link a petition by doctors to allow the CDC to do research on guns, which proves, what? Who knows. Then when they do the research you dismiss it out of hand as “garbage” because it doesn’t support your agenda. Facts clearly won’t persuade you.

    You’re funny. The study is from 2013, the petition is current.

    (And what part of “the lack of comprehensive datasets and the wide variety of sources and the fact that the data lead to contradictory conclusions call into question the reliability and validity of gun-violence data.” confuses you?)

    The reason Obama and the medical societies chose the CDC to do this research is because it is notorious for producing biased research on guns, completely ignoring the issue of whether guns had any positive value in self-defense and focusing only on the negatives.

    You mean the research that was specifically focused on firearm-related violence? Because if one were to study, say, car ownership, one would focus on car-related violence, rather than pesky confounders such as accidents.
    I think the study does not say what you think it says; for example:
    “Certain aspects of suicide, homicide, and unintentional injury may be amenable to public health research. Some studies have concluded that persons who keep a firearm in the home may have a greater risk of suicide and homicide (Kellermann et al., 1993).
    […]
    Research demonstrates that the proportion of suicide by firearm is greater in areas with higher household gun ownership (NRC, 2005).”

    (Mind you, they did sneak this in: “Unintentional firearm injury to children deserves special attention due to the uniquely vulnerable nature of this population, although these incidents are relatively infrequent compared with other types of firearm violence and thus do not constitute a large burden of disease. Young children cannot decide for themselves whether to live in a home with a firearm or whether to store weapons and ammunition safely.”)

    Unfortunately, this time they failed to deliver the goods, particularly on the issue of defensive use of guns as that would fly in the face of multiple studies that consistently show a very high rate of defensive gun use by civilians.

    “Estimates of gun use for self-defense vary widely, in part due to definitional differences for self-defensive gun use; different data sources; and questions about accuracy of data, particularly when self-reported.”

    But, yes, there is this paragraph: “Some studies on the association between self-defensive gun use and injury or loss to the victim have found less loss and injury when a firearm is used (Kleck, 2001b).”

    As for gun control reducing crime that is nonsense.

    The issue at hand is not crime, it’s firearm-related incidents (and those include accidents!)

    In almost every country that has introduced gun bans murder rates went up, including the gun murder rate in many cases. In the UK, which is often cited as an example of “successful” gun control, the murder rate increased over 50 percent and the gun murder rate nearly doubled after gun control. It only came down after a huge increase of over 20,000 new police after 2002.

    http: //crimeresearch.org/2013/12/murder-and-homicide-rates-before-and-after-gun-bans/

    I am rather amused that your one citation is to the “Crime Prevention Research Center” — created and run by “Mary Rosh” — which is rather like citing the Catholic League in relation to social issues.

    Look at the raw data, the picture is not like that painted by your source.

    (Care to try again, without citing to a partisan one-issue organisation which doesn’t selectively misuse data?)

    The homicide rate in the US was always higher than Canada, UK and Australia even when they had more liberal gun laws. The rate of all violent crimes other than murder and rape are higher in the UK than the US. In the US, cities with the toughest gun control laws like Chicago and Washington DC often have the highest murder rates.

    Yeah, I’m sure the UK is a hellhole of crime compared to good gun-toting USA.

    PS
    http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2353-i-was-cop-in-country-with-no-guns-6-startling-truths.html

  11. sonofrojblake says

    Sean2007: If I’m coming across as “Captain Obvious”, it’s only because in the light of post 4 – where you, unlike everyone else here, missed what is an obvious satire and took it to be an actual news report. You have demonstrated, right here, that you require the obvious to be explained to you.

    Have another: yes, all those things you list are dangeous and kill people. Read again the sentence I put in post 10:
    You have to make a calculation as to whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

    The contention you seem to missing is that for most rational people, the risks of owning a gun outweigh any possible benefits. As I say – you have made this calculation for yourself and come to a different conclusion, but as I also pointed out, you read the original post and came to a different conclusion from everyone else, too. Ask yourself if those two facts are related.

  12. Sean2007 says

    (And what part of “the lack of comprehensive datasets and the wide variety of sources and the fact that the data lead to contradictory conclusions call into question the reliability and validity of gun-violence data.” confuses you?)

    What part of “Self-defense can be an important crime deterrent,” and “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,” and “almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year” don’t you understand?

    As for the part you quoted, read it in the context your provided. They are not saying ALL gun research is unreliable. If that is the case, what basis do you have for promoting gun control? Mass media propaganda? What they are saying is that there are specific areas where research is lacking and it is “virtually impossible” to effectively evaluate harm reduction programs like background checks, gun bans, etc without that data.

    1. Basic information about gun possession, distribution, ownership, acquisition, and storage is lacking.

    2. No single database captures the number, locations, and types of firearms and firearm owners in the United States.

    3. Because different forms of firearm violence respond to different strategies, without good data it is virtually impossible to answer fundamental questions about occurrence and risk factors or to effectively evaluate programs intended to reduce violence and harm.

    These issues are only tangentially related at best to whether guns are an effective deterent to crime. You can answer that question without ANY of these data sets.

    You mean the research that was specifically focused on firearm-related violence? Because if one were to study, say, car ownership, one would focus on car-related violence, rather than pesky confounders such as accidents. I think the study does not say what you think it says; for example: “Certain aspects of suicide, homicide, and unintentional injury may be amenable to public health research. Some studies have concluded that persons who keep a firearm in the home may have a greater risk of suicide and homicide (Kellermann et al., 1993). […]
    Research demonstrates that the proportion of suicide by firearm is greater in areas with higher household gun ownership (NRC, 2005).”

    Kellerman was the author of the original CDC study on guns that was so politically-motivated and biased it caused Congress to ban the CDC from further research on guns. His studies have been widely debunked. Since most murderers and murder victims are criminals, and since criminals tend to keep their guns in the home, criminals killing each other would tend to increase the homicide rate of those who keep guns in the home. Studies that fail to distinguish criminal gun owners killing each other or getting killed by or killing law-abiding citizens are extremely disingenuous.

    Guns have positive and negative aspects. They can be used to commit crime and they can be used to prevent crime (which is why we arm the police). Any study designed to inform government policy that exaggerates or focuses exclusively on the negatives while minimizing or ignoring the positives is biased on its face. A study on cars that focused exclusively on the neagatives (accidents, polution, etc) while ignoring the positives (greater access to employment, recreation and medical care) would be ridiculously biased. Yet this kind of research passes for “science” in the gun control crowd.The fact the CDC is notorious for producing such biased research is precisely why gun control advocates want the CDC to study the issue.

    “Estimates of gun use for self-defense vary widely, in part due to definitional differences for self-defensive gun use; different data sources; and questions about accuracy of data, particularly when self-reported.”

    The issue at hand is not crime, it’s firearm-related incidents (and those include accidents!)

    We are talking about the CDC study which clearly cites research done elsewhere on the defensive uses of guns. The focus is not as narrow or biased as gun control advocates would like, but there it is. Discrepancies in research based on different methodology, differences in definitions or the willingness pf participants to give answers do not negate such research. Depending on how you define “rape” the estimates of rape will vary wildly. This does not mean that all studies on rape are useless. Each study must be examined on its merits and not arbitrarily dismissed out of hand due to lack of consistency with other studies. Studies on rape that ask the general public if they have ever been raped will likely produce higher results than studies that ask the same respondents whether they have ever committed rape, for obvious reasons. There will likely be reticence to give accurate answers in both groups so estimates of rape tend to be underestimates. This is the same for defensive gun uses, where people who own illegal guns or those who shoot someone in self-defense are likely to be unwilling to admit it, leading most studies to underestimate defensive gun use. Despite this problem, estimates of defensive gun use are extremely high in almost all studies.

    I am rather amused that your one citation is to the “Crime Prevention Research Center” — created and run by “Mary Rosh” — which is rather like citing the Catholic League in relation to social issues.

    The sources “Mary Rosh” uses is the Home Office Statistical Bureau and he links to the sources, which say exactly what he says they do. By all means, come back when you have a rebuttal that addresses the facts and not an ad hominem diversion.

    Yeah, I’m sure the UK is a hellhole of crime compared to good gun-toting USA.

    PS
    http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2353-i-was-cop-in-country-with-no-guns-6-startling-truths.html

    It’s kind of hard for the cops to shoot people when most of them don’t carry guns.

    While there is difficulty comparing US to UK crime stats, according to this analysis the rate of violent crimes is higher than in the US, despite there being a huge scandal in the UK over the routine underreporting of crime.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/jun/24/blog-posting/social-media-post-says-uk-has-far-higher-violent-c/
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jan/21/public-trust-police-crime-figures
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-25648832

  13. John Morales says

    Sean2007, you’re entertaining. There’s a bunch of stuff to which to respond, so I’ll do it in bits. Here is a first part.

    First of all, it’s good that you concede that your claim that first was the petition and then came the study was incorrect.

    (Of course, you also misunderstood that I was paraphrasing what I quoted rather than offering an opinion about the study itself, and therefore imagined that I was claiming that the study was garbage)

    What part of [1] “Self-defense can be an important crime deterrent,” and [2] “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,” and [3] “almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year” don’t you understand?

    Let’s try a bit of context for your quotations:
    [1] “Another body of research estimated annual gun use for self-defense to be much higher, up to 2.5 million incidents, suggesting that self-defense can be an important crime deterrent (Kleck and Gertz, 1995).”
    Not quite as definitive and assertive as your quote-mine, is it?

    [2] “A different issue is whether defensive uses of guns, however numerous or rare they may be, are effective in preventing injury to the gun-wielding crime victim. Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was “used” by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies (Kleck, 1988; Kleck and DeLone, 1993; Southwick, 2000; Tark and Kleck, 2004). Effectiveness of defensive tactics, however, is likely to vary across types of victims, types of offenders, and circumstances of the crime, so further research is needed both to explore these contingencies and to confirm or discount earlier findings.

    Fair enough, subject to the confounders mentioned just before that section, when the crime victim is able to successfully wield a gun, their injuries tend to be lower.

    (Better have it conveniently to hand at all times, I guess)

    [3] “Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996; Kleck, 2001a). Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010). On the other hand, some scholars point to a radically lower estimate of only 108,000 annual defensive uses based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (Cook et al., 1997). The variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field. The estimate of 3 million defensive uses per year is based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys. The former estimate of 108,000 is difficult to interpret because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.

    Fair enough, subject to the confounders mentioned just before that section and the rubberiness of the figures, defensive gun use is a common occurrence.

    In summary, I understand those parts perfectly well. Thing is, they’re not the slam-dunk for gun ubiquity on the basis of safety that you imagine they are.

    For example, directly after that last-mentioned quotation, the study goes on to say “Even when defensive use of guns is effective in averting death or injury for the gun user in cases of crime, it is still possible that keeping a gun in the home or carrying a gun in public—concealed or open carry—may have a different net effect on the rate of injury. For example, if gun ownership raises the risk of suicide, homicide, or the use of weapons by those who invade the homes of gun owners, this could cancel or outweigh the beneficial effects of defensive gun use (Kellermann et al., 1992, 1993, 1995).”

    [to be continued]

  14. John Morales says

    [continued]

    As for the part you quoted, read it in the context your provided. They are not saying ALL gun research is unreliable. If that is the case, what basis do you have for promoting gun control? Mass media propaganda? What they are saying is that there are specific areas where research is lacking and it is “virtually impossible” to effectively evaluate harm reduction programs like background checks, gun bans, etc without that data.

    This is what I quoted: “the lack of comprehensive datasets and the wide variety of sources and the fact that the data lead to contradictory conclusions call into question the reliability and validity of gun-violence data.”

    Clearly, what is being said is that they find the reliability and validity of gun-violence data questionable. So yeah, that is precisely the case. There is nothing there about specific areas.

    So, leaving aside I have not here promoted gun control (heh), why should one control guns, given that? Obviously, one looks at comparative data of results between places with different degrees of gun control.

    For example, Wikipedia’s table of Firearm-related death rate per 100,000 population per year shows the UK as 0.23 and the USA as 10.54.

    (Hey, it was you who initially compared the UK to the USA)

    1. Basic information about gun possession, distribution, ownership, acquisition, and storage is lacking.

    2. No single database captures the number, locations, and types of firearms and firearm owners in the United States.

    3. Because different forms of firearm violence respond to different strategies, without good data it is virtually impossible to answer fundamental questions about occurrence and risk factors or to effectively evaluate programs intended to reduce violence and harm.

    These issues are only tangentially related at best to whether guns are an effective deterent to crime. You can answer that question without ANY of these data sets.

    Apparently, the CDC disagrees with you there, since they made that a central point of their summary.

    BTW, if they were a deterrent to crime, then the more guns the less crime (which you claim is true), right? So, I guess you’re claiming that though the USA may have 45 times the per capita firearm-related death rate of the UK, at least is a proportionally less crime-ridden society — or, as you put it, “The rate of all violent crimes other than murder and rape are higher in the UK than the US.”.

    [to be continued]

  15. John Morales says

    [continued]

    Kellerman was the author of the original CDC study on guns that was so politically-motivated and biased it caused Congress to ban the CDC from further research on guns. His studies have been widely debunked. Since most murderers and murder victims are criminals, and since criminals tend to keep their guns in the home, criminals killing each other would tend to increase the homicide rate of those who keep guns in the home. Studies that fail to distinguish criminal gun owners killing each other or getting killed by or killing law-abiding citizens are extremely disingenuous.

    Yeah, about that. From my earlier link:
    “The amendment was introduced as a result of lobbying by the National Rifle Association in response to a 1993 study by Arthur Kellermann that found that guns in the home were associated with an increased risk of homicide in the home.[2][3] Mark L. Rosenberg, the former director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, has described this amendment as “a shot fired across the bow” at CDC researchers who wanted to research gun violence.[4] Many commentators have described this amendment as a “ban” on gun violence research by the CDC.[5] In a 2012 op-ed, Dickey and Rosenberg argued that the CDC should be able to research gun violence,[6] and Dickey has since said that he regrets his role in stopping the CDC from researching the subject.[7]”

    Arguendo, let’s grant one author made a biased study. Let’s grant that the study was “debunked”, as you put it. So — whence then the legislation specifically prohibiting further research (including data-gathering) on that topic by that organisation, rather than more and better research supporting the debunking?

    Also, let’s grant your claim that criminals keep guns in their homes and kill other criminals, thus increasing gun fatalities. That means you are conceding that more guns increase gun fatalities.

    (I know, I know… you’re suggesting internecine criminal deaths are a good thing, and should therefore not be counted in the mortality stats, no?)

    Guns have positive and negative aspects. They can be used to commit crime and they can be used to prevent crime (which is why we arm the police). Any study designed to inform government policy that exaggerates or focuses exclusively on the negatives while minimizing or ignoring the positives is biased on its face. A study on cars that focused exclusively on the neagatives (accidents, polution, etc) while ignoring the positives (greater access to employment, recreation and medical care) would be ridiculously biased. Yet this kind of research passes for “science” in the gun control crowd.The fact the CDC is notorious for producing such biased research is precisely why gun control advocates want the CDC to study the issue.

    I presume you don’t dispute that the primary purpose of a gun is to shoot a projectile that will easily kill macrofauna, and the primary purpose of a car is to transport people. In short, guns are weapons, cars are transport*.

    (You might ask yourself which of those is more heavily regulated)

    I totally agree that any consideration that focuses exclusively either on the negatives or the positives and ignores the other is (as you put it) ridiculously biased — which is why I am amused that you focus exclusively on the positives of gun ownership, and ignore the other.

    I am also amused that you claim that “the CDC is notorious for producing such biased research” (well, the one study that Obama commissioned in 2013 after it was banned from such studies in 1996), whilst not acknowledging that the “Crime Prevention Research Center” is explicitly an organisation dedicated to gun advocacy.

    [to be continued]

    * As an aside, in the USA the ratio of car fatalities to gun fatalities is fairly close; elsewhere in the civilised world, the ratio is far larger — though cars per capita are higher in the USA.

    (Suggestive, to those of us who consider consilience informative)

  16. John Morales says

    [continued]

    We are talking about the CDC study which clearly cites research done elsewhere on the defensive uses of guns. The focus is not as narrow or biased as gun control advocates would like, but there it is.

    You’ve got it backwards; the CDC’s remit is the protection of public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease, injury, and disability. Specifically, its specialty is epidemiology — and this particular study was about gun violence, not gun-related injuries in general.

    Discrepancies in research based on different methodology, differences in definitions or the willingness pf participants to give answers do not negate such research. Depending on how you define “rape” the estimates of rape will vary wildly. This does not mean that all studies on rape are useless. Each study must be examined on its merits and not arbitrarily dismissed out of hand due to lack of consistency with other studies. Studies on rape that ask the general public if they have ever been raped will likely produce higher results than studies that ask the same respondents whether they have ever committed rape, for obvious reasons. There will likely be reticence to give accurate answers in both groups so estimates of rape tend to be underestimates. This is the same for defensive gun uses, where people who own illegal guns or those who shoot someone in self-defense are likely to be unwilling to admit it, leading most studies to underestimate defensive gun use. Despite this problem, estimates of defensive gun use are extremely high in almost all studies.

    Well, there you go. By your own claim, gun use is extensive, and by published mortality figures, gun deaths are also (not coincidentally) extensive.

    The sources “Mary Rosh” uses is the Home Office Statistical Bureau and he links to the sources, which say exactly what he says they do. By all means, come back when you have a rebuttal that addresses the facts and not an ad hominem diversion.

    That’s actually one source, and the figures are actually cherry-picked (your citation mentions page 11, but I personally think page 9 is much more informative; also, those figures of gun use actually include airguns!) and poorly-interpreted.

    (Here it is: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN01940/SN01940.pdf )

    What the source data actually show is a steady decline in gun violence over time — and a lot of it is property crimes.

    It’s kind of hard for the cops to shoot people when most of them don’t carry guns.

    While there is difficulty comparing US to UK crime stats, according to this analysis the rate of violent crimes is higher than in the US, despite there being a huge scandal in the UK over the routine underreporting of crime.

    Not only is it kind of hard for the cops to shoot people when most of them don’t carry guns, it’s kind of hard for the anyone to shoot people when they don’t carry guns. Apparently, the UK realises this, thus has implemented firearm control (which is even stronger in Scotland!).

    From your very own source: http://crimeresearch.org/2014/03/comparing-murder-rates-across-countries/

    Country/Gun ownership Rate/Homicide Rate:

    Australia/15/0.8
    United Kingdom/5.8/0.3
    United States/88.8/5.2

    But let’s not worry overmuch about the huge difference in murder rates; let’s consider your claim that the rate of violent crimes is higher in the UK than in the US, what you have adduced does not support it.

    From http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/jun/24/blog-posting/social-media-post-says-uk-has-far-higher-violent-c/

    Our ruling
    The meme said “there are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the U.K.,” compared to “466 violent crimes per 100,000″ in the United States. Our preliminary attempt to make an apples-to-apples comparison shows a much smaller difference in violent crime rates between the two countries, but criminologists say differences in how the statistics are collected make it impossible to produce a truly valid comparison. We rate the claim False.”

    Or: it’s a factoid, not a fact. But I guess when all you have is a straw, that’s to what you have to cling, no?

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