Firearms

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broken_escalator
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Re: Firearms

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:50 pm UTC

Sero wrote:And yes, I was aware even a pistol will penetrate most walls, though admittedly I'd been dismissing that somewhat as, it'll penetrate one wall, but how about two? Three? How much farther will it go after penetrating a wall? Perhaps I'm in error in my risk assessment, and will accept correction gladly.

Wouldn't that also depend on the ammo and gun a person chose for self defense? For instance, say you use jacketed hollow point rounds if you're afraid of collateral damage instead of full metal jackets. I know some people recommend .45ACP JHP +P cartridges for self defense, but for a .45 a FMJ might not even penetrate a soft target. For worrying about collateral damage though, JHP are much quicker to disperse energy on contact. Obviously not what you want for hunting or target practice, but the nifty thing about ammo is you can change it!

I mean, you should probably use JHP anyway if you've designated the gun for self defense. I'm not a gun expert but I'm pretty sure they will have more effect on stopping a fight.

Although if the walls are simply dry wall you're probably going to penetrate them with either round.

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Re: Firearms

Postby Sero » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:19 pm UTC

...Why wouldn't a FMJ .45 not penetrate a soft target?
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Re: Firearms

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:31 pm UTC

There are cases where a .45 ACP using fmj wont go through an assailant. I don't think I can access footage for you at work (or even post it on this board?) but I know there is a surveillance video in a police precinct where a suspect pulled out a .45 and shot himself in the head, point blank. There was no exit wound, and I doubt that guy had JHP loaded in it.

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Re: Firearms

Postby Sero » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:11 pm UTC

The skull isn't what I'd call a soft target, and even then, it penetrated. Or do you meant it wouldn't go all the way through? Anyways, either way, it sounds decidedly odd to me, hollow points are the ones with worse penetration qualities, was my understanding, not full metal jacket, but I'll reserve judgement, I'm no expert on the topic.
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Re: Firearms

Postby flippant » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:11 pm UTC

I think he met penetrate and go through.

As for the skills necessary for competency in gun use. You don't need to work as hard as law enforcement does, I would say every three months at a range firing off a box (50 rounds) is sufficient enough to keep someone who has attained proficiency in decent shape with their preferred weapon. And I think most beginners would need several hundred (3? 4?) rounds on their weapon before they should consider themselves proficient. And this is of course with some sort of instruction hopefully.

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Re: Firearms

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:16 pm UTC

Usually when I mean penetrate, I mean go through. Sorry for the confusion.

And soft target usually refers to unarmored target afaik. For example, a human is a soft target but a tank is not. The fact that a skull is not soft doesn't make it not a soft target. Cars can be considered soft targets if they aren't fortified against small arms fire.

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Re: Firearms

Postby DSenette » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:50 pm UTC

flippant wrote:I think he met penetrate and go through.

As for the skills necessary for competency in gun use. You don't need to work as hard as law enforcement does, I would say every three months at a range firing off a box (50 rounds) is sufficient enough to keep someone who has attained proficiency in decent shape with their preferred weapon. And I think most beginners would need several hundred (3? 4?) rounds on their weapon before they should consider themselves proficient. And this is of course with some sort of instruction hopefully.

technically the competency skills for gun safety don't require you to fire a single shot to remain proficient. most gun safety rules/practices are about how you hold the gun, how you think about the gun, and how you store the gun, not so much whether you can shoot it accurately or not.

generally, with most handguns at the range that most self defense shooting occurs, your chances of missing the target (as in, missing the person you're shooting at completely) are pretty slim.
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Re: Firearms

Postby osiris32 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:23 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:generally, with most handguns at the range that most self defense shooting occurs, your chances of missing the target (as in, missing the person you're shooting at completely) are pretty slim.


Ehhhhhh *wince*

I would be remiss, even though it goes against my argument, if I did not say that this is not true. There are hundreds of examples of people shooting in self defense or even in offense at extremely short ranges, and missing completely. A good example is this video HERE, where a man, extremely enraged at a lawyer in Van Nuys, unloads several rounds at him from less than 10 feet away, and misses every time.
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Re: Firearms

Postby DSenette » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:28 pm UTC

osiris32 wrote:
DSenette wrote:generally, with most handguns at the range that most self defense shooting occurs, your chances of missing the target (as in, missing the person you're shooting at completely) are pretty slim.


Ehhhhhh *wince*

I would be remiss, even though it goes against my argument, if I did not say that this is not true. There are hundreds of examples of people shooting in self defense or even in offense at extremely short ranges, and missing completely. A good example is this video HERE, where a man, extremely enraged at a lawyer in Van Nuys, unloads several rounds at him from less than 10 feet away, and misses every time.

i didn't say impossible, i said slim.

people who can miss a human sized target from 10 feet are the ones that shouldn't be using a gun to begin with (for any reason) or should be going to classes.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:29 pm UTC

According to the video description, the lawyer was shot several times. The video shows him being taken away in an ambulance.

That said, I still agree. The police statistics I posted before, if I remember correctly, state that trained police officers missed 2/3 shots on average at ranges under 21 feet.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Greyarcher » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:41 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:According to the video description, the lawyer was shot several times. The video shows him being taken away in an ambulance.

That said, I still agree. The police statistics I posted before, if I remember correctly, state that trained police officers missed 2/3 shots on average at ranges under 21 feet.
You did post some stats, though that could be a slightly misleading summary. There was a lot of variation based on distance, light levels, number of police officers involved, etc.; and the stats don't even cover how often the officers practiced, what type of practice they engaged in, whether their target was moving (and how they were moving), whether the target had cover, whether the target also had a firearm or weapon, etc.

But yeah, if shit suddenly hits the fan and a police officer is given cause to fire, I can imagine many reasons for misses under 21 feet. And then, if the other party has a firearm, I suppose some amount of suppressing fire may also skew the statistics.
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Re: Firearms

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:49 pm UTC

Yeah, if suppressive fire is taken into count for the statistics then the numbers will be horribly skewed.

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Re: Firearms

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:50 pm UTC

Yeah, the point is that while it may sound easy, even if you can shoot accurately at the range (which usually requires practice), it's completely different psychologically when you are shooting at an actual person. Most people won't shoot accurately at the range the first time they go, and will miss with a lot of their rounds at 21 feet. With most shooting stances, your body is slightly turned, reducing the cross section and making you more difficult to hit. So if someone is shooting at you, there is a good chance that he is a smaller target than the silhouettes you would practice on at the range.

EDIT: Looking in a mirror, it's actually not that much for a weaver stance that most people are taught.
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Re: Firearms

Postby pizzazz » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:59 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Yeah, the point is that while it may sound easy, even if you can shoot accurately at the range (which usually requires practice), it's completely different psychologically when you are shooting at an actual person. Most people won't shoot accurately at the range the first time they go, and will miss with a lot of their rounds at 21 feet. With most shooting stances, your body is slightly turned, reducing the cross section and making you more difficult to hit. So if someone is shooting at you, there is a good chance that he is a smaller target than the silhouettes you would practice on at the range.

EDIT: Looking in a mirror, it's actually not that much for a weaver stance that most people are taught.


Also, the more you are turned, even though looking to your side down your arm at your target makes you look cool, the less accurate you become, especially since even handguns are much more accurate with two hands.

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Re: Firearms

Postby osiris32 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:10 am UTC

broken_escalator wrote:Yeah, if suppressive fire is taken into count for the statistics then the numbers will be horribly skewed.


We are taught to never, EVER engage in suppressive fire. That works all fine and well for the military in a combat setting, but for a law enforcement setting it's dangerous and impractical. About the only time you can do this is during a SWAT scenario when you are facing multiple armed subjects who are firing at civilians.
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Re: Firearms

Postby SadinaSaphrite » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:40 am UTC

I must apologize ahead of time if all I do is repeat what's already been said, but I didn't read all twelve pages and I feel compelled to put my opinion here, as this is one of the very few political subjects I feel strongly about.

I am a very small, physically weak woman. My height tops out at a glorious 5'0". Although I live in a predominantly middle-class and safe neighborhood, I frequently have to travel to much more shady and "bad" neighborhoods for extended periods of time. I have seen minor things, like car break ins, to scarier things, like when we dropped off our friend to her car late at night, and there was a strange man sitting in the passenger seat waiting for her. I am not going to lie when I say I feel safer when I have my Glock 31 on my hip.

And as to all the issues I've skimmed through concerning accuracy and panic in a high-stress setting? I train. I train and train and train because luck favors the prepared, and when your brain goes numb in a crisis situation, muscle memory might save your life. My father was a marksmanship instructor in the U.S. Marine Corps, and I go to Front Sight every year. You may say this is overkill, but I've had too many close calls in the past.

Personally, I wish there were more readily avaliable self defense classes for everyone, not just for firearms, but for any situation.
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Re: Firearms

Postby osiris32 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:21 am UTC

SadinaSaphrite wrote:Personally, I wish there were more readily avaliable self defense classes for everyone, not just for firearms, but for any situation.


A-fucking-men, sister. And bravo, for not being afraid, but still walking tall, no matter what your height is.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Isaac » Thu May 19, 2011 9:47 pm UTC

bisurge wrote:Honestly, there are two approaches to gun control laws, in my perspective:
1. Let everyone have guns. Just like nuclear bombs, if everyone has an equal advantage, then no one will abuse the advantage.
2. Control gun availability tightly. If no one has a weapon, no one can use a weapon.

The problem with solution #1 is that if everyone has a gun, and there happens to be a homicidal maniac who doesn't fear death, then people will still end up dead.
The problem with solution #2 is that even if you control guns tightly, it shouldn't be that hard to get a gun. The M3 Grease Gun, a sub-machine gun that replaced certain models of the Thompson during the later half of World War II, is $20 to buy. An AK47 (Or the more modern AKM) is a mere $600 if it was made by a "cheaper" company. Even with no gun control, you won't find people wielding $15,000 M16A4s, but most likely people can get their hands on a $80 9mm pistol if they want.
I honestly don't know which solution is better.


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I am assuming that you are only supporting the disarmament of mere "civilians" and not the police and military? If so the police and military will just become thieves, murderers and rapist (even more so then they are already), and gun control will serve no purpose other than to make sure the people they are robbing, killing and raping can't mount any sort of meaningful resistance. If you do propose disarming the police and military too, how do you propose stopping people from owning guns? But even if you did manage to get rid of all firearms and people where so utterly retarded that they couldn't figure out how to make new ones, all you'd see is the rise of crossbows and mounted knights (not necessarily horse mounted, but still mounted) and our relatively liberal (from the Latin "liber") society would revert to the 15th century. Remove crossbows to and you've returned to mid-evil Europe with knights in shinning armor raping and pillaging without any fear of repercussion.

liberty stems ultimately from the ability to defend oneself, ones loved ones and ones belongings. When tools do not sufficiently ease the task of defending ones self, loves and belongings, defense becomes the prerogative of a professional class that is just as likely to oppress the people it is supposed to defend as it is to actually defend them.

[edited to add the word "that" between "class" and "is" in the last paragraph]

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Re: Firearms

Postby Glass Fractal » Fri May 20, 2011 12:05 am UTC

Isaac wrote:I am assuming that you are only supporting the disarmament of mere "civilians" and not the police and military? If so the police and military will just become thieves, murderers and rapist (even more so then they are already), and gun control will serve no purpose other than to make sure the people they are robbing, killing and raping can't mount any sort of meaningful resistance. If you do propose disarming the police and military too, how do you propose stopping people from owning guns? But even if you did manage to get rid of all firearms and people where so utterly retarded that they couldn't figure out how to make new ones, all you'd see is the rise of crossbows and mounted knights (not necessarily horse mounted, but still mounted) and our relatively liberal (from the Latin "liber") society would revert to the 15th century. Remove crossbows to and you've returned to mid-evil Europe with knights in shinning armor raping and pillaging without any fear of repercussion.


The UK has done this (almost totally disarmed the population and mostly disarmed the population). The only effect seems to have been that criminals now pick weapons other than guns, certainly the streets are not controlled by roving rape gangs of soldiers. I'd speculate that this is at least partly because the police and military are usually part of, and still identify with, the sort of people they're supposed to be raping and murdering for kicks rather than part of a much higher social class. It might also be because working with "The Government" doesn't instantly make people into soulless monsters.

Also as far as I know swords were not illegal in 15th Century Europe, nor were any number of things that could help level the playing field. It was just a matter of people being so poor that they couldn't spend money on weapons and horses.

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Re: Firearms

Postby Isaac » Fri May 20, 2011 4:11 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
Isaac wrote:I am assuming that you are only supporting the disarmament of mere "civilians" and not the police and military? If so the police and military will just become thieves, murderers and rapist (even more so then they are already), and gun control will serve no purpose other than to make sure the people they are robbing, killing and raping can't mount any sort of meaningful resistance. If you do propose disarming the police and military too, how do you propose stopping people from owning guns? But even if you did manage to get rid of all firearms and people where so utterly retarded that they couldn't figure out how to make new ones, all you'd see is the rise of crossbows and mounted knights (not necessarily horse mounted, but still mounted) and our relatively liberal (from the Latin "liber") society would revert to the 15th century. Remove crossbows to and you've returned to mid-evil Europe with knights in shinning armor raping and pillaging without any fear of repercussion.


The UK has done this (almost totally disarmed the population and mostly disarmed the population). The only effect seems to have been that criminals now pick weapons other than guns, certainly the streets are not controlled by roving rape gangs of soldiers. I'd speculate that this is at least partly because the police and military are usually part of, and still identify with, the sort of people they're supposed to be raping and murdering for kicks rather than part of a much higher social class. It might also be because working with "The Government" doesn't instantly make people into soulless monsters.

Also as far as I know swords were not illegal in 15th Century Europe, nor were any number of things that could help level the playing field. It was just a matter of people being so poor that they couldn't spend money on weapons and horses.


yea, wow.... things don't go to total shit in less than the span of a single generation....... but the cops there have already increased the instances of police brutality, and as time goes on it is likely to only increase further. As far as swords go, they require greater mastery than crossbows.... bows are actually a superior weapon to crossbows and pre-1860s gunpowder firearms in most respects.... the notable exception being the degree of training required.

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Re: Firearms

Postby Thirty-one » Fri May 20, 2011 6:43 am UTC

Isaac wrote:yea, wow.... things don't go to total shit in less than the span of a single generation.......


Norway has probably got even tighter control than England, and have had for quite a while. Still no soldier rape trolley buses passing through my town with any regularity. How long does it take though?
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Re: Firearms

Postby stevey_frac » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:38 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
The UK has done this (almost totally disarmed the population and mostly disarmed the population). The only effect seems to have been that criminals now pick weapons other than guns



Actually, it really hasn't had any positive impact at all.Gun homicide is quite low, roughly the same as Canada, but then, it was before the government decided that it didn't trust it's own citizens.

Furthermore, there is evidence, thatgun crime had doubled in the last 10 years, both in firearms offences and deaths since further restrictions on handguns became law in 1997.

The problem with gun control, just like the prohibition of alcohol or weed, is that it doesn't work. It doesn't achieve it's desired result, and it ends up making ordinary citizens criminals for no good reason. And the people who actually want to do real harm will ignore the laws anyway.

Furthermore, none of this achieved it's real aim of lowering violent crime. Britain has the singular honour of having a higher violent crime rate than the U.S. among G8 nations. The truth is that the way to solve violent crime isn't to start criminalizing ubiquitous tools, and sporting goods. Violent crime tracks almost perfectly with socio-economic conditions. Feed and cloth your poor, get them jobs, make them contributing citizens, and your crime rate will drop.

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Re: Firearms

Postby Cleverbeans » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:38 am UTC

osiris32 wrote:extremely enraged at a lawyer in Van Nuys, unloads several rounds at him from less than 10 feet away, and misses every time.


He was shot multiple times in the upper body, it's right in the video's description.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Trasvi » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:42 am UTC

stevey_frac wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:The UK has done this (almost totally disarmed the population and mostly disarmed the population). The only effect seems to have been that criminals now pick weapons other than guns

Actually, it really hasn't had any positive impact at all.Gun homicide is quite low, roughly the same as Canada, but then, it was before the government decided that it didn't trust it's own citizens.Furthermore, there is evidence, thatgun crime had doubled in the last 10 years, both in firearms offences and deaths since further restrictions on handguns became law in 1997.


The discussion I can find seems to indicate that a lot of their rise in crime is attributed to a difference in reporting methods. I see that there were 42 gun deaths in GB in 2008 - that seems pretty good to me.

The problem with gun control, just like the prohibition of alcohol or weed, is that it doesn't work. It doesn't achieve it's desired result, and it ends up making ordinary citizens criminals for no good reason. And the people who actually want to do real harm will ignore the laws anyway.


The problem with gun control, just like the prohibition of alcohol or weed, is that it is rarely implemented correctly. Australia I think has done pretty well: when gun controls came into being, the government confiscated (and reimbursed people for) nearly all the guns in the country. There are certain ways for people to get guns (farmers, sports shooters), but by and large guns do not exist outside of organised crime here. Australia has not had a mass shooting event since gun laws were introduced (2 dead in October 2002, quite possibly that low due to the shooter only being able to obtain pistols). In Australia, more than 80% of handguns confiscated by police are illegally brought into the country. About 80% of gun deaths are suicides. Gun deaths have declined significantly (>50%) in the last few years.

I'm sure that you'll try to show how this is all hogwash, but it really has worked here. I could go anywhere in the country and so long as I didn't walk into a bikie compound I would have no fear of ever being threatened with a gun.

Furthermore, none of this achieved it's real aim of lowering violent crime. Britain has the singular honour of having a higher violent crime rate than the U.S. among G8 nations. The truth is that the way to solve violent crime isn't to start criminalizing ubiquitous tools, and sporting goods. Violent crime tracks almost perfectly with socio-economic conditions. Feed and cloth your poor, get them jobs, make them contributing citizens, and your crime rate will drop.
--Steve


Perhaps the US is also doing particularly bad in these areas as well? But I digress. A gun is designed to kill people, quickly and easily. That is its purpose. You might re-purpose it to shoot at animals or clay or what have you, but they are designed to kill. More dangerously, they are designed to kill easily - a crossbow is also designed to kill, but it would be a very rare person who could put more than a handful of shots out. A gun can be taken in the hands of the inexperienced and inept and still threaten multiple lives. If violent crime is however restricted to less lethal weapons, it immediately reduces the number of possible victims and the likelihood that someone will be injured - and it also allows law enforcement to control situations much more easily when they can be assured that they are better equipped than their opposition.

Overall, it works for us. Maybe the US just has a completely different mindset about violence and guns, but I can show you that there hasn't been a single child killed in a school shooting here. How about you?

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Re: Firearms

Postby flippant » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

Trasvi,

Take a good look at the rest of your violent crime statistics. Assault on the elderly in Australia since the gun ban, higher, armed robberies, higher, violent assaults, higher, sexual assaults, higher, overall violent crime rate risen by something like 42% since the gun ban while the violent crime rate in the U.S. has been pretty static.

Police officers are too few and far between to protect citizens from violence and those who perpetrate it. All you've done with the gun ban is assure your predators that they will have no armed resistance to their attacks on your citizenry.

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Re: Firearms

Postby aoeu » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:57 pm UTC

flippant wrote:Trasvi,

Take a good look at the rest of your violent crime statistics. Assault on the elderly in Australia since the gun ban, higher, armed robberies, higher, violent assaults, higher, sexual assaults, higher, overall violent crime rate risen by something like 42% since the gun ban while the violent crime rate in the U.S. has been pretty static.

Police officers are too few and far between to protect citizens from violence and those who perpetrate it. All you've done with the gun ban is assure your predators that they will have no armed resistance to their attacks on your citizenry.

Are the rates rising faster than before the ban?

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Re: Firearms

Postby Spambot5546 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:04 pm UTC

This article is hardly unbiased, but paints a picture of the firearm ban having "no impact" on the violent crime rate, including crime involving firearms.
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Re: Firearms

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:17 pm UTC

Trasvi wrote:stuff that was already discussed not three pages ago in this very thread


I was gonna write up a nice post about the Australia gun ban and etc. but I realized that it was basically a rehash of two pages ago when Orinjuse brought up exactly the same thing.

I will add that your oh-so-comprehensive list of post-ban mass shootings is missing the 2007 Melbourne shooting and the Hectorville shooting from April of this year, also a few non-firearm massacres have occurred in the post-ban period. So the ban doesn't seem to have prevented mass killings any more than it has reduced the violent crime rate.

The idea that 'firearms are designed to kill' has also been dissected at length in this thread, and indirectly in the 'is it wrong to design weapons?' thread which you and I participated in. I could re-argue the point that intent in design is meaningless here, but I don't want to re-hash the 'were firearms designed to kill and does that even mean anything' argument starting on page 3 of this very thread.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Lucrece » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:55 am UTC

Why does ease of killing overtake the manner of death in an argument? Even if guns were slightly ahead, would you not want deaths by gunfire before being stabbed/beaten to death? Or is the victim's experience not important here rather than being cross at the perp's transgression? What are the priorities?

My highest likelihood of being a victim of a violent crime lies in gay bashing. That's often done in packs. I have no fighting chance of survival, and victims are often beat beyond recognition. Having a gun is my only possible deterrent against said pursuit. If my assailants also have guns, they do have a good possibility of killing me, but I'd rather die by gunshot than spend an agonizing 20 minutes of being stomped to death.

Your reasoning for denying me defense is that a bystander may call 911 and it might take them 10-30 minutes to arrive and take me to die at a hospital, or hope that police -- a group with an established history of marginalizing and ignoring my people -- come soon enough to try to get information on the assailants after I've already become a statistic? And that there be any actual witnesses paying attention so somebody calls 911 after I've been victimized?

The very reason guns are argued against, that they make anyone dangerous, is what turns guns into one of the better deterrents of attacks against you. Even a flimsy, skinny and prim college kid or an out of shape 5' mom can be lethal to an assailant, so it takes far more heightened opportunity to decide for pursuing a potential victim with a firearm.

Police don't protect. Laws don't protect. They punish after the fact, and that's hardly meaningful for the victim, especially if they die as a result.
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Re: Firearms

Postby Dmytry » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:15 pm UTC

Well, have you actually calculated your risk to be a victim of different types of violent assault and picked the top? Or is it just the kind of assault which for you is particularly more likely than for average person? People tend to dramatically overstate the risks that are higher for them than the average.

Nobody wants to think bad about people they know, but a lot of people are killed by people they know, in an argument, where presence of a gun could turn some otherwise not so violent event into murder. Most of conflicts fall somewhere between blind, determined, persistent, murderous rage, and no intent to harm whatsoever, and there's more conflicts of the lower severity. Humans are messy creatures, definitely not pure 'i think therefore i am' conscious beings; try breaking a brick with your bare hand - instead of either striking with full force, or not striking, you're likely to strike too weakly. Some part of brain comes in half way through motion and says - hey hey this is not cool - and sends the inhibition signal. There's this behaviour which I can see even in the cats and dogs where they start a strike then stop their paw, which all primates and humans do too - some part of brain does the strike, some part vetoes it with a delay. With a finger on the trigger that's a lethal business, with even an axe in the hand it is just intimidating.
Furthermore, constantly carrying the gun results in a considerable risk of suffering a handling accident - there may be few fatal handling incidents in a country but few people handle guns every day - if you want safety you should seriously consider the risk of shooting yourself or someone else while handling the gun - once again there is a problem that nobody wants to think of themselves as careless or clumsy. I've seen stats that within certain age groups the risk of fatal gun accident in US is as high as 1 per 100 000 - higher than murder rate of some countries - and that's with majority of people in US in fact NOT owning a gun, and majority of the gun owners not carrying the gun around every day - which you would need to do to protect yourself from that risk you mentioned. The deadly accident risk from the routine handling of a firearm for you (and anyone living together with you) could easily exceed the complete risk of murder. And for every deadly accident there is a lot of debilitating injuries.
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/ficap/resourc ... ograph.pdf

It is hard to protect oneself from very low risks, on the order of single digit number per hundred thousands per year. The intuitive strategies are only applicable to very high risk situations, starting from a percent. People are not very good at statistics, and especially bad at statistics when it involves very small and very large numbers.

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Re: Firearms

Postby lewisjb3 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:45 pm UTC

What are you advicating exactly? Sure, there are accidents but they envolve people who willingly choose to take on the risks of carrying.

Dmytry wrote:Well, have you actually calculated your risk to be a victim of different types of violent assault and picked the top? Or is it just the kind of assault which for you is particularly more likely than for average person? People tend to dramatically overstate the risks that are higher for them than the average.

Nobody wants to think bad about people they know, but a lot of people are killed by people they know, in an argument, where presence of a gun could turn some otherwise not so violent event into murder. Most of conflicts fall somewhere between blind, determined, persistent, murderous rage, and no intent to harm whatsoever, and there's more conflicts of the lower severity. Humans are messy creatures, definitely not pure 'i think therefore i am' conscious beings; try breaking a brick with your bare hand - instead of either striking with full force, or not striking, you're likely to strike too weakly. Some part of brain comes in half way through motion and says - hey hey this is not cool - and sends the inhibition signal. There's this behaviour which I can see even in the cats and dogs where they start a strike then stop their paw, which all primates and humans do too - some part of brain does the strike, some part vetoes it with a delay. With a finger on the trigger that's a lethal business, with even an axe in the hand it is just intimidating.
Furthermore, constantly carrying the gun results in a considerable risk of suffering a handling accident - there may be few fatal handling incidents in a country but few people handle guns every day - if you want safety you should seriously consider the risk of shooting yourself or someone else while handling the gun - once again there is a problem that nobody wants to think of themselves as careless or clumsy. I've seen stats that within certain age groups the risk of fatal gun accident in US is as high as 1 per 100 000 - higher than murder rate of some countries - and that's with majority of people in US in fact NOT owning a gun, and majority of the gun owners not carrying the gun around every day - which you would need to do to protect yourself from that risk you mentioned. The deadly accident risk from the routine handling of a firearm for you (and anyone living together with you) could easily exceed the complete risk of murder. And for every deadly accident there is a lot of debilitating injuries.
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/ficap/resourcebook/pdf/monograph.pdf

It is hard to protect oneself from very low risks, on the order of single digit number per hundred thousands per year. The intuitive strategies are only applicable to very high risk situations, starting from a percent. People are not very good at statistics, and especially bad at statistics when it involves very small and very large numbers.

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Re: Firearms

Postby pizzazz » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:15 pm UTC

I've never heard accident statistics that high. According to http://justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp#accidents, there are about 600 fatal firearm accidents per year in the US, which matches that I've heard elsewhere. I'm not sure what that 1 in 100,000 is measuring--accidents per person? Firearm? Firearm owner? It would have to be a group of about 60 million for 1/100,000 to make sense, which in any case is 1/5 the population of the US and so can't be meaningfully compared to any homicide rate. And according to Freakonomics, a child going to play at a friend's house where a gun is kept has about a 1 in 1 million chance of dying by accidental gunfire (for comparison, if they go swimming in the pool, the chance is 1 in 11,000).

EDIT: Also, there are a lot of guns in the US (9 for every 10 people, well over 250 million) and very close to a majority of people own 1 or more guns (something like 45%).

EDIT2: If you look at the above link a little further down, you'll see this:
"According to the CDC, there were about 18,498 gun-related accidents that resulted in death or an emergency room visit during 2001[131] (the earliest year such data is available from the CDC[132]). This is roughly 27 times lower than the CDC's 1994 estimate for the number of times Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes.[133]"

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Re: Firearms

Postby Dmytry » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:56 pm UTC

It was kids 15 to 19 years of age. Though looking at it the second time maybe several years were counted. edit: actually, boys 15 to 19

Regarding the gun ownership in US, well, for example my GF, she's in US, she 'owns' a gun - given as gift by granddad, the gun is in a safe in a warehouse, where it was put because her idiot ex-house-mate loaded it and shoot 'to test it' . Her family owns a TON of guns inherited from granddad, all in a safe in a warehouse (edit: indeed, granddad himself kept them in a safe, he was just a collector). You need to look beyond fact of ownership. And it is reasonable to restrict the population to those who actually have guns around, if we are to get data relevant to whenever the gun can make our friend safer, or would put him in more danger.

Regarding the gun use to frighten away intruders, the poster I was referring to was speaking of fairly serious violence, which is just not this common. The justifiable homicides are very rare. Taking a gun and pointing it at someone to scare them off is a very dangerous thing to do, legally speaking, in case something suddenly freaks you out. Very few situations are qualified as justifiable homicide. In fact there are cases where attacker gets killed with his own gun and then it still goes as plain homicide, even though, naturally, killing some bad guy with their own gun is not something that jury would be likely to convict you of homicide for.
edit: here
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/200 ... able_N.htm
254 justifiable homicides in a year. Now, that doesn't tell a whole lot about gun utility, but it does raise a question if it is, as a personal choice, much safer to carry gun with blanks, or especially, rubber bullets. Utility of hollow point or offset centre of mass bullets seems especially dubious.

edit: regarding freakonomics, while its conceivable that one visit would carry one in many millions risk, same would go for one pool visit. Not sure what are they even comparing.
Last edited by Dmytry on Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:11 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Firearms

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:53 pm UTC

Dmytry wrote: in an argument, where presence of a gun could turn some otherwise not so violent event into murder.


It has been said many times before, but a firearm does not magically turn a nonviolent situation into a violent one. If a gun is drawn, that is legally and in any practical terms an act of violence. If there wasn't a gun to be drawn, it might have been a knife or fists, but there would have been violence anyway.

In my experience, people who carry firearms regularly consider having a firearm with them a moderating factor. It is a conscious decision made every day that comes with certain consequences and responsibilities and which must be considered before entering into a situation which may become heated or violent.
It is an attitude you will find throughout the concealed carry and self-defense world, many self-defense experts and express the idea that the commitment to self defense, whether through carrying a knife, firearm, other weapon or through martial arts training, is simultaneously a commitment to conflict avoidance, and deescalation. Many states go as far as to include non-violent conflict resolution in the curriculum for obtaining a concealed carry permit.

And from a legal perspective, drawing a knife or firearm during an argument is already illegal (assault, with the 'with a deadly weapon' aggravating factor) and in most states also counts as 'brandishing' which is illegal. In Texas, a conviction on either count alone means revocation of your concealed handgun license, in addition to the regular punishment for those crimes.


Dmytry wrote: Most of conflicts fall somewhere between blind, determined, persistent, murderous rage, and no intent to harm whatsoever, and there's more conflicts of the lower severity. Humans are messy creatures, definitely not pure 'i think therefore i am' conscious beings; try breaking a brick with your bare hand - instead of either striking with full force, or not striking, you're likely to strike too weakly. Some part of brain comes in half way through motion and says - hey hey this is not cool - and sends the inhibition signal. There's this behaviour which I can see even in the cats and dogs where they start a strike then stop their paw, which all primates and humans do too - some part of brain does the strike, some part vetoes it with a delay. With a finger on the trigger that's a lethal business, with even an axe in the hand it is just intimidating.


The difference is that with a fist, or a bat, or even an axe, you might start an otherwise peaceful confrontation with weapon in hand or with some degree of readiness. Picking up an axe or a bat in the midst of an argument and then swinging it is a deliberate act.
If someone draws a firearm, readies and aims it with a finger on the trigger, that is not an accident waiting to happen, a threat or even assault with a deadly weapon, the point at which the finger enters the trigger guard there has either been a deliberate decision to stop or continue, or there was never going to be one. At that point, it is an attempted murder, if not manslaughter or actual murder.
As per safe firearm handling practices, fingers should never enter the trigger guard unless there is intent to fire.

Dmytry wrote:Furthermore, constantly carrying the gun results in a considerable risk of suffering a handling accident - there may be few fatal handling incidents in a country but few people handle guns every day - if you want safety you should seriously consider the risk of shooting yourself or someone else while handling the gun - once again there is a problem that nobody wants to think of themselves as careless or clumsy.


On the other hand, the risks of accidental discharge are not probabilistic and can be prevented by following a few common sense safe handling tips. This is eased in modern firearms which include internal safety mechanisms and design features that prevent a discharge unless the trigger is pulled, and which are tested to destruction for faults are flaws that may cause such an accidental discharge. As long as you keep your finger and other obstructions out of the trigger guard, and carry the firearm in a holster that completely covers the trigger guard, there is zero chance that a modern firearm will discharge unintentionally.

Dmytry wrote: Now, that doesn't tell a whole lot about gun utility, but it does raise a question if it is, as a personal choice, much safer to carry gun with blanks, or especially, rubber bullets. Utility of hollow point or offset centre of mass bullets seems especially dubious.


There is much to be said on the subject of 'less-lethal' weapons and ammunition.
On the one hand, they are unreliable in normal use and reduce the chances of a shot stopping an attacker.
On the other hand, at close ranges typical of self defense engagements, rubber bullets carry a significant risk of permanent injury or death, and even blanks can be deadly (there is no such thing as a truly non-lethal munition)
On the gripping hand, firearms are firmly entrenched in law, in self defense theory, and psychologically as deadly weapons. Using less lethal ammunition undermines this and serves to reduce or even removes barriers to their use in self defense situations. This increases the risk of inappropriate (dangerous) handling, misuse against lesser threats and reduction in the utility of firearms as deterrent.


I'm not familiar with the characteristics of ammunition that has an offset center of mass, but based on my understanding of ballistics, I can't recommend any such thing. It seems likely such bullets would be inaccurate, unreliable and have extremely inconsistent penetration performance.
Similarly, non-expanding bullets are likely to over-penetrate, not delivering their full energy to the target and endangering bystanders.

Hollow points and other expanding 'defensive' ammunition will more reliably stop an attacker with less risk of ineffective hits or over-penetration.

Dmytry wrote:edit: regarding freakonomics, while its conceivable that one visit would carry one in many millions risk, same would go for one pool visit. Not sure what are they even comparing.


IIRC, that part of Freakonomics was comparing the risk of a child visiting a house where firearms are kept vs. visiting a house with a pool. The chance of being killed by an accidental discharge in the former case was one in a million or more, while the chance of death by drowning in the latter was one in eleven thousand
Last edited by EdgarJPublius on Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Firearms

Postby flippant » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:54 pm UTC

if you've frightened/threatened me enough that I'm pointing a gun at you, I am not worried about "justifiable" and I am already "freaked out" or I wouldn't have the gun in my hand. and if the threat continues and I feel the need to fire it, it will either be a warning shot or I am going to make sure you ARE dead so that my story is the only story to be told.

If we're going to start judging comparative risks of different activities then everyone should have a gun and no one should have a car, and much like cars there are many safety devices on the market to lesson the risk involved with owning guns until the need arises to use them.

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Re: Firearms

Postby Dmytry » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:24 am UTC

Well, cleaning guns may likely be more dangerous than driving cars.

At any rate, judging by the number of justifiable homicides vs total homicides, it would seem that US is not a self-defence friendly country, merely a gun manufacturer-friendly country.

EdgarJPublius: There is a well known phenomenon of massive under-reporting of acts of intimidation. Regarding guns not turning entirely non-violent interactions into murderously violent ones, that is of course true but you are merely trying to fall into fallacy of excluded middle, and as well to make use of neurologically unsound model of mind as driven primarily by process of careful deliberation - the model of mind dating back to philosophers of 1600s, which might have been somewhat accurate as a description of highly intelligent individual such as Descartes but does not apply to potential murderer. Of course the common murderer - the one that gets easily caught - is not arriving at decision to shoot by process of careful, logical deliberation. Yes, it is true that presence of the firearm would very rarely change anything about the rate of arrival of process of careful deliberation at conclusion that someone needs to be killed, but it is also hundred percent irrelevant. If the murders were primarily a result of logically thinking people carefully deliberating to decide to kill or not to kill, the murder rate would have been extremely low - probably below that of Austria and Japan (0.56/100k/year , 0.83/100k/year). As it is, a murder is, usually, an irrational, non-gainful act. A failure, not a success. Something that would be prevented by the very same logic which would make the murder rate be independent of presence of a gun.

edit: That's it to say, humans are not logical single threaded inference engines that sometimes decide to kill someone. They are predominantly driven to murder by anger, excitement, fear, etc. and stopped by inhibition signals originating in different brain areas. We all know this. We all have also observed the basic animal intimidating behaviour consisting of sudden dis-inhibition followed by rapid re-inhibition (hand rushing forward then stopping in an instant), in response to some external stimulus. Dogs do it, cats do it, monkeys do it, apes do it, homo sapiens does it, except the homo sapiens got a habit to, for purpose of debate, pretend that it happens like "okay, that person has said something or moved, doesn't seem to be intimidated enough to me, it'd be good to make that person flinch, accelerate the hand for 0.5 seconds, decelerate afterwards". This behaviour when intimidating with a blunt object - not even a strike. This behaviour when intimidating with handgun - you are dead.

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Re: Firearms

Postby Axman » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:24 am UTC

Dmytry wrote:...It does raise a question if it is, as a personal choice, much safer to carry gun with blanks, or especially, rubber bullets. Utility of hollow point or offset centre of mass bullets seems especially dubious.

I've been lurking this thread for a while, I told myself I'd read and enjoy, and not participate because this is my field, but this idea needs to be nipped in the bud, because it's the sort of thing that can lead a person to prison.

Less-than-lethal munitions aren't; they all have mortality rates, even pepper spray, which kills about 1 person for each 600 it's used on. Blanks can easily kill someone at close range and have a long track record of doing just that. The idea of shooting to disable or shooting to dissuade is not legally justifiable.

You only have the right to shoot if you are in fear for your life, or for the life of someone you are directly related to by blood or by law.

If you shoot someone as a warning, you are not in fear for your life, you will go to prison for assault with a deadly weapon.

If you shoot someone to disable them, you are not in fear for your life, you will go to prison for assault with a deadly weapon.

If you shoot someone with ball ammunition because you believe it is less lethal, you are not in fear for your life, you will go to prison for assault with a deadly weapon. If it's what you got, it's what you got.

If you shoot someone with any non-factory-loaded ammunition, and the coroner or medical examiner can't replicate the evidence and corroborate your testimony, you will go to prison for murder.

You only have the right to shoot to kill if and only if it would prevent death. Outside of training/target shooting/hunting, use commercial ammunition in your firearms, use full-house loads, and use purposely-loaded defensive cartridges.

While I'm here, though, that CDC data indicates that a person is several orders of magnitude more likely to be a victim of violent crime or forcible rape than of a negligently discharged firearm.

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Re: Firearms

Postby flippant » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:06 am UTC

Axman wrote:If you shoot someone as a warning, you are not in fear for your life, you will go to prison for assault with a deadly weapon.


Everything Axman said is correct, but I would like to note that you can fire a warning shot, just don't hit anyone with it (unlawful discharge of a firearm, misdemeanor) and if by some weird circumstance your shot ricochets and hits them... finish the job. In for a penny, in for a pound.

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Re: Firearms

Postby pizzazz » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:54 am UTC

I wouldn't recommend warning shots, too much could go wrong. Just my opinion.

Dmytry wrote:It was kids 15 to 19 years of age. Though looking at it the second time maybe several years were counted.
Regarding the gun ownership in US, well, for example my GF, she's in US, she 'owns' a gun - given as gift by granddad, the gun is in a safe in a warehouse, where it was put because her idiot ex-house-mate loaded it and shoot 'to test it' . Her family owns a TON of guns inherited from granddad, all in a safe in a warehouse (edit: indeed, granddad himself kept them in a safe, he was just a collector). You need to look beyond fact of ownership. And it is reasonable to restrict the population to those who actually have guns around, if we are to get data relevant to whenever the gun can make our friend safer, or would put him in more danger.

That's certainly something you can look at, but if you're restricting the population you have to be careful what you compare it to. The gun-owning population and the general population have different demographics. And of course, it's possible for a non gun-owner to be the the victim of a gun accident.
Regarding the gun use to frighten away intruders, the poster I was referring to was speaking of fairly serious violence, which is just not this common. The justifiable homicides are very rare. Taking a gun and pointing it at someone to scare them off is a very dangerous thing to do, legally speaking, in case something suddenly freaks you out. Very few situations are qualified as justifiable homicide. In fact there are cases where attacker gets killed with his own gun and then it still goes as plain homicide, even though, naturally, killing some bad guy with their own gun is not something that jury would be likely to convict you of homicide for.
edit: here
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/200 ... able_N.htm
254 justifiable homicides in a year. Now, that doesn't tell a whole lot about gun utility, but it does raise a question if it is, as a personal choice, much safer to carry gun with blanks, or especially, rubber bullets. Utility of hollow point or offset centre of mass bullets seems especially dubious.


So in the US, private citizens use guns use upwards of several millions times per year to prevent crimes, and kill fewer than 400 people in the process? Sounds like an awesome fucking record to me.

The effectiveness of nonstandard ammunition was discussed earlier in the thread, by which I mean it was pointed out that most of it is either useless (for the "less lethal" ones) or just as lethal as normal ammunition (smaller caliber, hollow point, etc.)

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Re: Firearms

Postby EdgarJPublius » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:55 am UTC

Dmytry wrote:Well, cleaning guns may likely be more dangerous than driving cars.


This is not supported by the data... any data really.

Dmytry wrote:At any rate, judging by the number of justifiable homicides vs total homicides, it would seem that US is not a self-defence friendly country, merely a gun manufacturer-friendly country.


meaning?

Dmytry wrote:EdgarJPublius: There is a well known phenomenon of massive under-reporting of acts of intimidation. Regarding guns not turning entirely non-violent interactions into murderously violent ones, that is of course true but you are merely trying to fall into fallacy of excluded middle, and as well to make use of neurologically unsound model of mind as driven primarily by process of careful deliberation - the model of mind dating back to philosophers of 1600s, which might have been somewhat accurate as a description of highly intelligent individual such as Descartes but does not apply to potential murderer. Of course the common murderer - the one that gets easily caught - is not arriving at decision to shoot by process of careful, logical deliberation. Yes, it is true that presence of the firearm would very rarely change anything about the rate of arrival of process of careful deliberation at conclusion that someone needs to be killed, but it is also hundred percent irrelevant. If the murders were primarily a result of logically thinking people carefully deliberating to decide to kill or not to kill, the murder rate would have been extremely low - probably below that of Austria and Japan (0.56/100k/year , 0.83/100k/year). As it is, a murder is, usually, an irrational, non-gainful act. A failure, not a success. Something that would be prevented by the very same logic which would make the murder rate be independent of presence of a gun.


Care to re-word this into actual English sentences? This paragraph is like the singularity of philosophy 101 jargon and I'm having a hard time parsing it into anything that resembles a point.

Dmytry wrote: ...This behaviour when intimidating with a blunt object - not even a strike. This behaviour when intimidating with handgun - you are dead.


This is exactly the same point I responded to in my last post, it's barely even reworded.
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