Gun Control

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Brace
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Brace » Wed May 08, 2013 7:21 pm UTC

stevey_frac wrote:I see little in that study that's all that interesting.

Apparently, overall violent crime has continued it's slow inexorable decent, regardless of any policy decisions. Also, black males between between 18-24 are the most likely perpetrators of gun homicide... Or at least, the most likely to be convicted of such... Hardly ground breaking.


Victims, not perpetrators.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 08, 2013 7:52 pm UTC

Brace wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:I see little in that study that's all that interesting.

Apparently, overall violent crime has continued it's slow inexorable decent, regardless of any policy decisions. Also, black males between between 18-24 are the most likely perpetrators of gun homicide... Or at least, the most likely to be convicted of such... Hardly ground breaking.


Victims, not perpetrators.


Both, actually. Not surprising, homicide and violent crime in general is overwelmingly an urban problem...demographics are such that urbanization, poverty, proximity to gang and drug activity...all the usual markers for violent crime, correlate with black communities. IE, they live in crappy areas. So, they're both more likely to be the perpetrator AND more likely to be the victim.

Hell, sometimes the same people can be both. There's a strong correlation between violence and drug dealing, due to the illicit nature of the latter, and it's not uncommon for someone in drug/gang culture to target others within in that culture for violence. So, a person could be a perp one day and a victim the next.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby stevey_frac » Wed May 08, 2013 8:00 pm UTC

Brace wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:I see little in that study that's all that interesting.

Apparently, overall violent crime has continued it's slow inexorable decent, regardless of any policy decisions. Also, black males between between 18-24 are the most likely perpetrators of gun homicide... Or at least, the most likely to be convicted of such... Hardly ground breaking.


Victims, not perpetrators.



You are correct, but the study does a horrible job of communicating such.

"From 1993 to 2010, males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24
had the highest rates of firearm homicide."

really reads like those groups were the ones committing said homicide, as opposed to those who are victims of such. The only giveaway that was immediately obvious was that they gathered their data from death certificates.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 08, 2013 8:08 pm UTC

stevey_frac wrote:
Brace wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:I see little in that study that's all that interesting.

Apparently, overall violent crime has continued it's slow inexorable decent, regardless of any policy decisions. Also, black males between between 18-24 are the most likely perpetrators of gun homicide... Or at least, the most likely to be convicted of such... Hardly ground breaking.


Victims, not perpetrators.



You are correct, but the study does a horrible job of communicating such.

"From 1993 to 2010, males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24
had the highest rates of firearm homicide."

really reads like those groups were the ones committing said homicide, as opposed to those who are victims of such. The only giveaway that was immediately obvious was that they gathered their data from death certificates.


To be more pedantic, it's those three distinct groups. "male", "black", "aged 18-24" that had the highest rates in their respective categories. This does not guarantee that this was caused by "male, black, aged 18-24" people. Now, it's highly likely that this group IS at risk, but it's not exactly what's being communicated.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby stevey_frac » Wed May 08, 2013 8:12 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:
Brace wrote:
stevey_frac wrote:I see little in that study that's all that interesting.

Apparently, overall violent crime has continued it's slow inexorable decent, regardless of any policy decisions. Also, black males between between 18-24 are the most likely perpetrators of gun homicide... Or at least, the most likely to be convicted of such... Hardly ground breaking.


Victims, not perpetrators.



You are correct, but the study does a horrible job of communicating such.

"From 1993 to 2010, males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24
had the highest rates of firearm homicide."

really reads like those groups were the ones committing said homicide, as opposed to those who are victims of such. The only giveaway that was immediately obvious was that they gathered their data from death certificates.


To be more pedantic, it's those three distinct groups. "male", "black", "aged 18-24" that had the highest rates in their respective categories. This does not guarantee that this was caused by "male, black, aged 18-24" people. Now, it's highly likely that this group IS at risk, but it's not exactly what's being communicated.


I wasn't really attempting to communicate such either... It was just a loose, glib paraphrase of a highlight in the article.

--Steve

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 08, 2013 8:18 pm UTC

Yeah, the corrections did get a bit pedantic. However, your overall statement was correct. Not a lot notable in terms of the distribution of the violence...most of that is fairly well known. The decrease is steady, though, and pretty widely spread.

However, the cynical part of me notes that while improvements in crime are generally attributed, at least in part, to advancements in enforcement and other such praises of law enforcement, a deteriorating situation is basically never attributed to the same. It also seems unlikely that law enforcement is always improving everywhere.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Thu May 09, 2013 2:52 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, the corrections did get a bit pedantic. However, your overall statement was correct. Not a lot notable in terms of the distribution of the violence...most of that is fairly well known. The decrease is steady, though, and pretty widely spread.

However, the cynical part of me notes that while improvements in crime are generally attributed, at least in part, to advancements in enforcement and other such praises of law enforcement, a deteriorating situation is basically never attributed to the same. It also seems unlikely that law enforcement is always improving everywhere.

Is the article attributing that? Or are cops and politicians making that connection? I only know of a couple things that truly reduce crime.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 09, 2013 7:46 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, the corrections did get a bit pedantic. However, your overall statement was correct. Not a lot notable in terms of the distribution of the violence...most of that is fairly well known. The decrease is steady, though, and pretty widely spread.

However, the cynical part of me notes that while improvements in crime are generally attributed, at least in part, to advancements in enforcement and other such praises of law enforcement, a deteriorating situation is basically never attributed to the same. It also seems unlikely that law enforcement is always improving everywhere.

Is the article attributing that? Or are cops and politicians making that connection? I only know of a couple things that truly reduce crime.


Cops and politicians frequently do. Recently, DC had a yearly drop in murder rate, and an increase in overall crime. Baltimore had exactly the opposite effect. Both police chiefs claimed a success, and credited law enforcement. This particular study seems to avoid giving any credit or blame to anyone at all, and is reasonably unbiased, but I've heard politicians tripping over themselves to credit police work with decreased crime. Sometimes, for very sketchy definitions of police work, like the "stop and frisk" policy in NYC.

Random thoughts about the survey:
Non-lethal shooting rates make up a higher proportion in urban areas. I suspect this might because of proximity to quality trauma centers. Once you get in the door alive with a gunshot wound, your odds of survival go way up, but long delays before treatment do you no favors.

Firearm violence is a bigger percentage of strange violence than when people have any kind of relationship. Quite significantly so. So, even though MOST violence is definitely still committed by people who know each other, your odds of a firearm being involved rise quite a lot if that's not the case. Interesting. Not sure what to make of it yet, but it feels important.

School associated homicides are basically a rounding error. This'll include most mass shootings, but honestly, school looks far safer than say, being at home. Something to think about for people who keep their kids home from school following an unfortunate event.

The vast majority of victims are those who offered no defense.

The background check stuff would appear to be almost irrelevant to gun crime. Gun show looks constant at .8% of the gun supply used in violent crime. Given that the vast majority of guns sold at a gun show come with a background check, this would further lower that already small amount. Add in the .6% from the flea markets, and we're looking at maaaybe 1% of guns used in crime. Also, this number is dropping. Street/Illegal Sources, however, are rising, and now make up 40%. In particular, "drug dealer/off street" is an issue. Ie, illegal weapons dealers, including those who also deal drugs, are on the rise, and are kind of a problem.

Now, the "other" category isn't very helpful, but it does make up 11%. Making your own guns probably isn't a huge chunk of that, but it'd be in there. Illegally imported weapons probably would be as well(common problem near southern border). I'm curious as to how big those issues are. Still, it's clear that the big areas are the street dealers and family/friends providing weapons to crooks.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Fri May 10, 2013 12:30 am UTC

What part of the source talks about background checks?

I was wondering about the lack of resistance form victims too. What happened to pulling a gun on them after they turn around? Probably out of the scope of the survey.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 10, 2013 1:46 am UTC

Not background checks per se, but the listing of where the guns used in crimes come from. Towards the end, good info.

Well, there's usually an asymmetry of power in crime. The young, strong guy robs the elderly woman of her purse is a classic image. It isn't always quite so one sided, but since the criminal generally is doing the selection of target, they have something of an inherent imbalance. Also, crime is generally focused in areas where guns are not(ie, urban ones), so, purely by the odds, the defender is less likely to be able to partake in armed defense. Hell, in some areas, like CT, there's only a 1 in 30 chance that someone even owns a gun, let alone is carrying one at the moment. So, if the assailant has the advantage, there may not be anything the victim can reasonably do it fight back in many circumstances...to say nothing of factors like shock and surprise.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Fri May 10, 2013 3:54 am UTC

Uh, make sure you're noting the difference between the rate, and the standard error. The resistance of victims table is on page 12, halfway through it. It's been a while since my last statistics class but I believe standard error has to do with the margin of error, man I really should know this. =\ The last couple pages deals with the standard error and how they calculated for it.

As for resistance by victims, the table notes 22% resisted without a weapon(firearm or not) and another 25% resisted with non-confrontational tactics. .08% or .008 out off 100 people resisted with a firearm. Surprisingly, 1.3% of people fought back with a nonfirearm weapon.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby juststrange » Fri May 10, 2013 1:36 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Uh, make sure you're noting the difference between the rate, and the standard error. The resistance of victims table is on page 12, halfway through it. It's been a while since my last statistics class but I believe standard error has to do with the margin of error, man I really should know this. =\ The last couple pages deals with the standard error and how they calculated for it.

As for resistance by victims, the table notes 22% resisted without a weapon(firearm or not) and another 25% resisted with non-confrontational tactics. .08% or .008 out off 100 people resisted with a firearm. Surprisingly, 1.3% of people fought back with a nonfirearm weapon.


I'd be interested to see that broken down further (having trouble digging through the report so if its in there I'm sorry). What percentage of people who had quick access to guns at the time resisted with guns? 50%? 100%? I think if you had one, in that situation you'd use it every time.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Fri May 10, 2013 2:05 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:
I'd be interested to see that broken down further (having trouble digging through the report so if its in there I'm sorry). What percentage of people who had quick access to guns at the time resisted with guns? 50%? 100%? I think if you had one, in that situation you'd use it every time.

They took a sample of the population, and the part of the sample your looking for has a .08% response rate. It's hard to break down really small samples, you run into statistical problems where you can't extrapolate from it. Unless...you have a really large sample, then a sample of that sample is still valid. Also, I think I made a mistake, .08% isn't .008, its .0008, or 8 out of 10,000 people resisted/threatened with a firearm.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Alexius » Fri May 10, 2013 6:13 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Uh, make sure you're noting the difference between the rate, and the standard error. The resistance of victims table is on page 12, halfway through it. It's been a while since my last statistics class but I believe standard error has to do with the margin of error, man I really should know this. =\ The last couple pages deals with the standard error and how they calculated for it.

As for resistance by victims, the table notes 22% resisted without a weapon(firearm or not) and another 25% resisted with non-confrontational tactics. .08% or .008 out off 100 people resisted with a firearm. Surprisingly, 1.3% of people fought back with a nonfirearm weapon.

No, it's 0.8% for violent crime. The table says that there were 29.6 million incidents of violent crime, and in 236,000 of those the victim resisted with a firearm. I don't know where you're getting 0.08% from. I don't think they took any data on access to guns.

I'm not that surprised by the figure for non-firearm weapons, given that that includes pepper spray etc. (and also grabbing anything that comes to hand).

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 10, 2013 8:09 pm UTC

Yeah, end of the actual data bit, not the methodology info which looked pretty normal and boring for the most part.

I'm not surprised that it's sub 1%. There's a few factors...first, you might not be willing to use a gun for a given crime. This is especially true when you consider how much crime happens between people who know each other. Most people really don't want to shoot someone...especially if it's someone they know. Second, a lot of people just don't have guns period. The majority, even. Households with guns are in the high 40%s...but that still leaves more than half who just won't have a gun in basically any situation. Third, even among those who have guns, they might well not have them on hand. I own a few guns, but I don't carry, since my state essentially does not provide carry licenses, and even when at home, it's not like I have a gun strapped to me at all times.

And of course, you have the other psych effects of crime. Shock, surprise, etc. Most people aren't trained to deal with violent crime in any way, and are not expecting it when it happens. And of course, there's the demographic reasons. I don't know that the data allows us to reliably extrapolate how much any of these factors is responsible, but I do agree with the findings that most incidents currently don't have a firearm usage in defense. It would be interesting to see a further breakdown of those times when a firearm was used in defense, but I suspect that getting too far into the weeds isn't desirable for their presentation goals. Detract from clarity and all that.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby addams » Fri May 10, 2013 8:30 pm UTC

Well; Honey when Every One is Armed!
Well; Honey a lot of Things get 'shot up'.

My Mom shot a Car!
My Mom was, really, nice.

I think it is a funny story.
You Do carry a Gun?
because, you think you are always the Most Reasonable Person?

I Don't carry a Gun, because a gun is heavy.
Everyone is Armed and Many are Proud of Not Going to School!

You are never frightened? Really? Never?

I can't hug walls. You?
Are You hugging walls?

How do you run from Gunfire?
Come on! Tell us.
Those are some Funny Stories.

Who was shooting at you? Your Mom?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby EMTP » Mon May 13, 2013 1:48 am UTC

Just another gun owner at play:

NOLA Mayor: " We have mothers, sisters, little children who were shot"; 18 shot @ Mother's Day parade http://bit.ly/13RTigF

I wonder how much non-fetishists are really going to tolerate from a fanatical minority using and supplying the guns that kill 31,000 Americans per year?

For the moment, the NRA and allied right-wingers have successfully obstructive constructive changes favored by large majorities of Americans. One must wonder, however, if in the long run standing firmly behind the killers of innocent children will exact a long-term political toll.
"Reasonable – that is, human – men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life."
-- Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen"

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Trasvi » Mon May 13, 2013 8:40 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Just another gun owner at play:

NOLA Mayor: " We have mothers, sisters, little children who were shot"; 18 shot @ Mother's Day parade http://bit.ly/13RTigF

I wonder how much non-fetishists are really going to tolerate from a fanatical minority using and supplying the guns that kill 31,000 Americans per year?

For the moment, the NRA and allied right-wingers have successfully obstructive constructive changes favored by large majorities of Americans. One must wonder, however, if in the long run standing firmly behind the killers of innocent children will exact a long-term political toll.


One wonders if the political system in the USA was 'better', what the gun laws would be like.
By 'better', I mean my view of better which would involve instant-runoff voting (or some other system apart from FPTP which encourages more than two parties), and compulsory voting (which tends to produce more centrist parties).

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon May 13, 2013 1:53 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:Just another gun owner at play:

NOLA Mayor: " We have mothers, sisters, little children who were shot"; 18 shot @ Mother's Day parade http://bit.ly/13RTigF

I wonder how much non-fetishists are really going to tolerate from a fanatical minority using and supplying the guns that kill 31,000 Americans per year?

For the moment, the NRA and allied right-wingers have successfully obstructive constructive changes favored by large majorities of Americans. One must wonder, however, if in the long run standing firmly behind the killers of innocent children will exact a long-term political toll.


This is not an argument, merely more propaganda. You mention an incident, blame the NRA, throw the 31,000 number around, and insult us as fetishists. Discussion forums are for discussions.

And again, nobody is standing behind the killers of innocent children. That is obvious hyperbole. Both sides dislike that. They have different views as to how to solve it.

Trasvi wrote:
EMTP wrote:Just another gun owner at play:

NOLA Mayor: " We have mothers, sisters, little children who were shot"; 18 shot @ Mother's Day parade http://bit.ly/13RTigF

I wonder how much non-fetishists are really going to tolerate from a fanatical minority using and supplying the guns that kill 31,000 Americans per year?

For the moment, the NRA and allied right-wingers have successfully obstructive constructive changes favored by large majorities of Americans. One must wonder, however, if in the long run standing firmly behind the killers of innocent children will exact a long-term political toll.


One wonders if the political system in the USA was 'better', what the gun laws would be like.
By 'better', I mean my view of better which would involve instant-runoff voting (or some other system apart from FPTP which encourages more than two parties), and compulsory voting (which tends to produce more centrist parties).


This is a much better question. I think gun rights would still be strong, possibly stronger, since it is considered a cornerstone issue by those who support it, worthy of changing votes over. Among those who oppose it, it mostly isn't...and the sort of people who would never vote for pro-gun rights people already tend to be not voting for those same candidates over other issues, so there's little change in that direction. Also, 46% of households have guns...and that can be considered a decent lower bar for at least some level of gun support. For many years(college, afterward), I had no money, and thus, did not own a gun(though I rented one at a shooting range), but still supported guns. In addition, those who own guns can be assumed to support them on at least some level. So, we can assume that guns enjoy pretty wide support, at least here in the US.

However, the big thing would be greater granularity. Me, if gun rights are at issue, I'll vote for the pro-2nd amendement candidate. This trumps any other non-constitutional issue for me. Now, I take no joy in voting for people that make stupid anti-science noises or babble about "traditional marriage", but choices are limited. I've generally got to weigh two packages of options that are both rather poor reflections of my true preferences. Sure, I can and do vote 3rd party tactically when I can, but the voting system does minimize the effect of that. I believe that while gun support wouldn't see a drastic change(rural jurisdictions would still overwelmingly favor guns, urban ones would probably dislike them), you'd see less incidental support of other garbage as a result of gun politics.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Tue May 14, 2013 2:04 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, end of the actual data bit, not the methodology info which looked pretty normal and boring for the most part.

I'm not surprised that it's sub 1%. There's a few factors...first, you might not be willing to use a gun for a given crime. This is especially true when you consider how much crime happens between people who know each other. Most people really don't want to shoot someone...especially if it's someone they know. Second, a lot of people just don't have guns period. The majority, even. Households with guns are in the high 40%s...but that still leaves more than half who just won't have a gun in basically any situation. Third, even among those who have guns, they might well not have them on hand. I own a few guns, but I don't carry, since my state essentially does not provide carry licenses, and even when at home, it's not like I have a gun strapped to me at all times.

And of course, you have the other psych effects of crime. Shock, surprise, etc. Most people aren't trained to deal with violent crime in any way, and are not expecting it when it happens. And of course, there's the demographic reasons. I don't know that the data allows us to reliably extrapolate how much any of these factors is responsible, but I do agree with the findings that most incidents currently don't have a firearm usage in defense. It would be interesting to see a further breakdown of those times when a firearm was used in defense, but I suspect that getting too far into the weeds isn't desirable for their presentation goals. Detract from clarity and all that.

It certainly detracts from the "guns reducing crime rate" argument or self defense. If you aren't stopping a crime happening to you with a gun, what's the point in having it with you? Obviously, from a societal level, as randomness can vary one's own experience. Alternatively, this could mean there are a lot of untrained people with guns, and current training/practice regimens are insufficient. Of course, you'll never hear the NRA say "you don't need more guns, just better training with the guns you have".

As for EMPT post, his is just as much propaganda as the assertion that registering guns will lead to gun seizures. You're mentioning an incident, blame the left, and throw around correlations. Caveat, I prefer text over video, is there a transcript or summary of his link? As far as I can tell, it's just an attempt at a rally.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue May 14, 2013 12:15 pm UTC

sardia wrote:It certainly detracts from the "guns reducing crime rate" argument or self defense. If you aren't stopping a crime happening to you with a gun, what's the point in having it with you? Obviously, from a societal level, as randomness can vary one's own experience. Alternatively, this could mean there are a lot of untrained people with guns, and current training/practice regimens are insufficient. Of course, you'll never hear the NRA say "you don't need more guns, just better training with the guns you have".


Not at all, it's measuring a different thing. So, like the "only a small percentage of deaths are a result of self defense" claims made earlier in the thread, you can't really measure the number of lives saved by the number of crimes committed despite a shooting. The most successful defensive gun use is when nobody has to die, and essentially everyone, regardless of the precise metric used to catalog defensive gun uses, agrees that this is the most common case.

As for EMPT post, his is just as much propaganda as the assertion that registering guns will lead to gun seizures. You're mentioning an incident, blame the left, and throw around correlations. Caveat, I prefer text over video, is there a transcript or summary of his link? As far as I can tell, it's just an attempt at a rally.


It's propaganda not because of the belief itself, but because he relies on repetition rather than discussion. Your posts, while also generally opposed to mine, discuss the topic at hand, and thus, are infinitely more useful than someone merely repeating the same lines.

As for the link, it looks like it's to live video. I didn't see anything about a rally when I saw it. *shrug*

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Tue May 14, 2013 4:05 pm UTC

[quote="Tyndmyr"]
Not at all, it's measuring a different thing. So, like the "only a small percentage of deaths are a result of self defense" claims made earlier in the thread, you can't really measure the number of lives saved by the number of crimes committed despite a shooting. The most successful defensive gun use is when nobody has to die, and essentially everyone, regardless of the precise metric used to catalog defensive gun uses, agrees that this is the most common case.

[quote]
It's measuring the percentage of intervention during a crime. Since the percentage is so low, it implies that the almost nobody in america carries a gun with them, those who carry guns are never victims of crime, or the ones that do never use them.

You're saying an unknown amount of crime is deterred by the presence of guns. I don't like that sort of vaguness, and you shouldn't accept it either. Guns are an expensive investment, with a high downside if you mess up. You should be able to point to specific studies or experiments to back this stuff up. Basic assumptions that we take for common sense are often wrong. You catch more flies with vinegar, not honey. A watched pot still boils over, etc etc.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Tue May 14, 2013 4:19 pm UTC

A CDC study was linked earlier with a specific minimum number of crimes deterred with a gun in the US.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue May 14, 2013 4:36 pm UTC

Correct. It's not unknown, it's just a very different thing. Now, there IS substantial disagreement over which definition to use, but realistically, you can use the most strict definitions and still come to the conclusion that they are overwelmingly common, and generally do not involve shots fired. I tend to prefer the strict definitions myself. Easier to defend, by far.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Tue May 14, 2013 4:43 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Correct. It's not unknown, it's just a very different thing. Now, there IS substantial disagreement over which definition to use, but realistically, you can use the most strict definitions and still come to the conclusion that they are overwelmingly common, and generally do not involve shots fired. I tend to prefer the strict definitions myself. Easier to defend, by far.

The study brace posted includes using or merely threatening with a firearm. So that's included. We still have a sub 1 percentage. What it doesn't cover are incidents that the victim isn't a victim. If we subtract one from the other, what do we have left? The amount of crimes prevented by having a gun, without firing or threatening someone with it.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Ralith The Third » Tue May 14, 2013 9:32 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Correct. It's not unknown, it's just a very different thing. Now, there IS substantial disagreement over which definition to use, but realistically, you can use the most strict definitions and still come to the conclusion that they are overwelmingly common, and generally do not involve shots fired. I tend to prefer the strict definitions myself. Easier to defend, by far.

The study brace posted includes using or merely threatening with a firearm. So that's included. We still have a sub 1 percentage. What it doesn't cover are incidents that the victim isn't a victim. If we subtract one from the other, what do we have left? The amount of crimes prevented by having a gun, without firing or threatening someone with it.


And CCW holders are a miniscule part of the population at this point in time, because many states don't even allow it. At all. And of those that do, many are "May-issue", which means that you can be turned down, even if you meet all the requirements, for no more reason than the issuing agency doesn't like your face (or doesn't like an armed populace.)

A small percentage of crimes prevented by guns out of all crimes is not indicative of anything negative.

In fact, it wouldn't be negative even if it was out of gun carriers (though .1% would be poor.) When I get a CCW license, it won't be to stop me from being mugged - it's not worth it. I'll toss him my wallet, suck the $20-$40 cash, and get a new license/credit card/errata. It's not unless someone is threatening physical harm that I'll pull my gun, because at that point, the situation warrants it.

./spiel.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue May 14, 2013 10:27 pm UTC

Well, the #1 reason it's suspect is because it doesn't match any other statistics on the subject, or even get in the same ballpark. That's usually a good indicator that something is being measured very differently.

For instance, the Kleck study relied on direct surveys on the topic. A direct study on a topic is usually better than something inferred from elsewhere. It means you avoid issues like people simply not reporting. In the justice department report, if a gun isn't listed in the official report, it isn't gonna be mentioned there. This could come from an oversight in reporting, or it could come from the prevented crime simply never being reported to the police. Reporting is a HUGE issue in crime.

Ralith is also correct in that not all states allow people to carry. MD ostensibly does, but it's "good and sufficient reason" clause, in practice, does not mean "to protect yourself from crime". This is true even if you have documented evidence of your life being threatened. Good and sufficient reason consists of having a family member who is a legislator or of being in a profitable business. So, I don't carry at all. Not legal for me to. In fact, the police will, in practice, refuse to even accept your application unless they think you can meet their standards, so I couldn't even apply. Obviously, this makes the percentage of law abiding people carrying lower than it would otherwise be.


Anyway, on to updated news. A bit ago, I mentioned that some chap had decided that the way to go was to march on DC for a demonstration with loaded rifles. Yes, this already sounds problematic...but it gets better. They have 4050 people RSVPed yes now, and the march isn't until July 4th. The police chief has indicated that she will meet them on the bridge into DC with a roadblock of armed policemen. Now, in the midst of this already lovely situation, another activist group called Code Pink has announced their intention to also be present on the bridge, to dispense the adequate amount of hugs to anyone carrying a weapon.

Damn. I need more popcorn.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Ralith The Third » Wed May 15, 2013 1:04 am UTC

And a video camera. With a live feed to somewhere sufficiently far that when some idiot shoots, the chaos doesn't directly affect you.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Wed May 15, 2013 5:54 am UTC

Ok, you've defended, I disagree but it's plausible, why resistance with guns is rare outside. Apply that to in home resistance. It has the same sub 1% usage of guns being used to threaten or attack a criminal.

Ugh, this reminds me of the protests behind G-8 summits, lots of noise and violence but no real point.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Wed May 15, 2013 8:05 am UTC

Idiots, don't carry firearms into DC. That's asking for trouble and doesn't help any cause.

On a side note. Apparently gauss, coil, and rail guns don't in the US legally qualify as firearms because the laws on the books specify guns under the definition of using explosive propellants. These babies can get faster projectile velocities are far quieter and once constructed only require a electricity and magnetic ball bearings.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 15, 2013 11:14 am UTC

That's correct. Also, neither are air powered guns or blackpowder guns(though blackpowder guns are restricted separately...though less so).

I know that as a kid I dialed a paintball gun up to the point where it was shooting steel ball bearings at 500 fps. Rate of fire was fantastic too. Was not especially hard. Almost entirely unrestricted.

As for defensive gun uses, DoJ, in a study focused on guns, not crime, called "guns in america" found 1.5mil defensive gun uses per year. I believe this is the most recent study directly on the topic. So, either something has really, drastically changed in the way people use guns, or they're not measuring the same stuff. This is marginally more recent than Kleck's study, though it has a somewhat smaller sample size...but it's from the same source as Brace's link.

So, I did some digging. Turns out, the primary source for Brace's link is the National Crime Victimization Survey. Turns out, it never actually asks victims if they used a firearm to defend themselves. The closest it has(at least in the earlier versions included in this study, I haven't gone through verbiage for every year) is an open ended question in which they are asked if they defended themselves. In addition, this question comes after the location questions, so people who have already admitted to being in an area where weapons are not permitted may be less enthused about claiming to have used a weapons.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby sardia » Wed May 15, 2013 2:19 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:Idiots, don't carry firearms into DC. That's asking for trouble and doesn't help any cause.

On a side note. Apparently gauss, coil, and rail guns don't in the US legally qualify as firearms because the laws on the books specify guns under the definition of using explosive propellants. These babies can get faster projectile velocities are far quieter and once constructed only require a electricity and magnetic ball bearings.

That's like saying 3d printers that have software to print a gun doesn't violate the munitions export act because the software is just code, not a gun. The regulations don't cover it because nobody has one. On that note, what's the feasibility of coilguns? Why make one?

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Re: Gun Control

Postby scienceroboticspunk » Wed May 15, 2013 2:43 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:That's correct. Also, neither are air powered guns or blackpowder guns(though blackpowder guns are restricted separately...though less so).

Just wanted to point out that you need a FOID in NJ to buy both black powder weapons and air guns and you need to get a background check. Just thought it might be some interesting info.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Роберт » Wed May 15, 2013 2:54 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I know that as a kid I dialed a paintball gun up to the point where it was shooting steel ball bearings at 500 fps. Rate of fire was fantastic too. Was not especially hard. Almost entirely unrestricted.

Ouch. That probably would do some damage.

How was the accuracy, though? Probably significantly better than a paintball gun normally is.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby EMTP » Wed May 15, 2013 5:32 pm UTC

For instance, the Kleck study relied on direct surveys on the topic. A direct study on a topic is usually better than something inferred from elsewhere.


Asking a person to report on what happened to them in the past is indirect, obviously, not direct. Self-reporting is notoriously inaccurate. Responsible studies of human behavior treat it as a last resort. Observation by a third party, not self reporting, is desirable.

The most accurate way to estimate supposed "defensive" uses of guns would be documentation of said use in a police report relating to whatever crime the gun supposedly discouraged. I haven't seen any collection of said reports, likely because the numbers are miniscule.

Of course the political interference to prevent gun research, which you endorsed above as necessary to avoid science damaging the gun fetishist position, might be another explanation.

If guns prevented a large amount of crime, we would expect the United States, with more guns than people, to have a very low crime rate compared to other wealthy countries with few guns. Since that is the exact opposite of what we do find, I would say the burden of proof remains with fetishists to find direct evidence of significant crime-preventing effects justifying the 31,000 Americans killed by guns each year.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Fire Brns » Wed May 15, 2013 5:54 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:Idiots, don't carry firearms into DC. That's asking for trouble and doesn't help any cause.

On a side note. Apparently gauss, coil, and rail guns don't in the US legally qualify as firearms because the laws on the books specify guns under the definition of using explosive propellants. These babies can get faster projectile velocities are far quieter and once constructed only require a electricity and magnetic ball bearings.

That's like saying 3d printers that have software to print a gun doesn't violate the munitions export act because the software is just code, not a gun. The regulations don't cover it because nobody has one. On that note, what's the feasibility of coilguns? Why make one?

Why make one? For fun! I've got the supplies next to me to make one as powerful as your average pellet gun for under 15 bucks. Capacitors are the only expensive component and you can get them from disposable cameras. It's as powerful as you can pack capacitors into it so I assume at around 200 bucks -still less expensive than most handguns- you could make one powerful enough kill someone. They are portable and easily look like toy guns.

Railguns are far more complicated and you need to be an experienced electrical engineer with a crapton of time and money to make and they take up a lot of space.

A Gauss rifle you could build out of wood with 50 dollars worth of magnets. I took 15 minutes to put together a schematic that would make it a magazine fed bolt action reloader. Downsides, velocity is proportional to barrel length so you want one over 4 feet long to be lethal. Making it collapsible isn't difficult though.

So far the only major downside of these over regular firearms seems to be accuracy since you are going back to metal spheres instead of aerodynamic rounds.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 15, 2013 6:05 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Fire Brns wrote:Idiots, don't carry firearms into DC. That's asking for trouble and doesn't help any cause.

On a side note. Apparently gauss, coil, and rail guns don't in the US legally qualify as firearms because the laws on the books specify guns under the definition of using explosive propellants. These babies can get faster projectile velocities are far quieter and once constructed only require a electricity and magnetic ball bearings.

That's like saying 3d printers that have software to print a gun doesn't violate the munitions export act because the software is just code, not a gun. The regulations don't cover it because nobody has one. On that note, what's the feasibility of coilguns? Why make one?


I've certainly made a gauss rifle before. It was more a toy than anything else, but the internet can definitely walk you through making any of those things, and the materials are not especially exotic.

As for feasability, well, mostly it's just the cool factor. Chemical power storage is still generally more efficient than electrical, but the novelty factor is high, and you can get a pretty unique piece with unusual properties(for instance, the ones that are quieter than a gun, I'd consider that an advantage, if not a huge one).

In the end, there's rather a lot of ways to make a small projectile fly rapidly in some direction.

Also, export regulations apparently now do cover the 3d file to print a gun. This will likely be somewhat similar to the cryptology legal wangling that happened over PGP and the like, but I expect we'll see limits nailed down on this eventually.

scienceroboticspunk wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:That's correct. Also, neither are air powered guns or blackpowder guns(though blackpowder guns are restricted separately...though less so).

Just wanted to point out that you need a FOID in NJ to buy both black powder weapons and air guns and you need to get a background check. Just thought it might be some interesting info.


Air guns too? Wow. At a federal level, air guns are pretty much ignored...black powder gets regulations here and there, but more of from a standpoint of trying to prevent bomb building than anyone actually worrying about muskets.

Роберт wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I know that as a kid I dialed a paintball gun up to the point where it was shooting steel ball bearings at 500 fps. Rate of fire was fantastic too. Was not especially hard. Almost entirely unrestricted.

Ouch. That probably would do some damage.

How was the accuracy, though? Probably significantly better than a paintball gun normally is.


Not fantastic...it was a smooth barrel and a smooth round projectile, so you're gonna have some variation. Now, at least it's not liquid filled, but my gas seal wasn't perfect(slightly lower diameter ball bearings than the bore on the barrel), so I probably lost some velocity and definitely some accuracy. Honestly, it'd probably make a very adequate self-defense weapon in a legal environment where guns are not an option, but for me, it was an exercise in screwing around and figuring out what I could do with it. Never shot it at anything 'cept some targets and a few plastic 5gal buckets. It shattered the hell out of those, tho.

EMTP wrote:
For instance, the Kleck study relied on direct surveys on the topic. A direct study on a topic is usually better than something inferred from elsewhere.


Asking a person to report on what happened to them in the past is indirect, obviously, not direct. Self-reporting is notoriously inaccurate. Responsible studies of human behavior treat it as a last resort. Observation by a third party, not self reporting, is desirable.


Both sources are self reported, it's just that one survey is actually on the question at hand. Self reporting does have weaknesses, though. A known weakness in the victimization reporting, for instance, is that the whole family is interviewed at once. This probably results in underreporting of domestic violence, since who's gonna speak up when the abuser is next to them?

Relying on third party reports are good, if the quality of third party data is strong. However, privacy laws, non-reporting, etc can limit this as well. There's really no omnipresent eye watching everything...and I'm not sure that most people want there to be.

EMTP wrote:If guns prevented a large amount of crime, we would expect the United States, with more guns than people, to have a very low crime rate compared to other wealthy countries with few guns. Since that is the exact opposite of what we do find, I would say the burden of proof remains with fetishists to find direct evidence of significant crime-preventing effects justifying the 31,000 Americans killed by guns each year.


That's not a reasonable expectation unless that is the ONLY major factor influencing crime. People from both sides agree that there are many significant factors affecting crime rates, so expecting a specific result based on one factor alone is not reasonable.

And again, your use of the term "fetishist" to describe the entire opposing side seems like wild hyperbole. If I called everyone who disliked guns, I dunno, "persecutors" or something, it'd be downright impolite.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby EMTP » Wed May 15, 2013 7:14 pm UTC

That's not a reasonable expectation unless that is the ONLY major factor influencing crime.


I don't agree. If you want to argue hundreds of millions of privately held guns are preventing crime, you should be able to show some benefit. If you can't pull that effect out of the data, you should refrain from asserting it exists.

Harvard's School of Public Health has put together a good explanation of how self-reporting is unreliable, and what the actual data says:

1-3 Guns are not used millions of times each year in self-defense

Spoiler:
We use epidemiological theory to explain why the “false positive” problem for rare events can lead to large overestimates of the incidence of rare diseases or rare phenomena such as self-defense gun use. We then try to validate the claims of many millions of annual self-defense uses against available evidence. We find that the claim of many millions of annual self-defense gun uses by American citizens is invalid.

Hemenway, David. Survey research and self-defense gun use: An explanation of extreme overestimates. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 1997; 87:1430-1445.

Hemenway, David. The myth of millions of annual self-defense gun uses: A case study of survey overestimates of rare events. Chance (American Statistical Association). 1997; 10:6-10.

Cook, Philip J; Ludwig, Jens; Hemenway, David. The gun debate’s new mythical number: How many defensive uses per year? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 1997; 16:463-469.


4. Most purported self-defense gun uses are gun uses in escalating arguments and are both socially undesirable and illegal
Spoiler:
We analyzed data from two national random-digit-dial surveys conducted under the auspices of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Criminal court judges who read the self-reported accounts of the purported self-defense gun use rated a majority as being illegal, even assuming that the respondent had a permit to own and to carry a gun, and that the respondent had described the event honestly from his own perspective.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah. Gun use in the United States: Results from two national surveys. Injury Prevention. 2000; 6:263-267.


5. Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense.

Spoiler:
Using data from a national random-digit-dial telephone survey conducted under the direction of the Harvard Injury Control Center, we examined the extent and nature of offensive gun use. We found that firearms are used far more often to frighten and intimidate than they are used in self-defense. All reported cases of criminal gun use, as well as many of the so-called self-defense gun uses, appear to be socially undesirable.

Hemenway, David; Azrael, Deborah. The relative frequency of offensive and defensive gun use: Results of a national survey. Violence and Victims. 2000; 15:257-272.


6. Guns in the home are used more often to intimidate intimates than to thwart crime.

Spoiler:
Using data from a national random-digit-dial telephone survey conducted under the direction of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, we investigated how and when guns are used in the home. We found that guns in the home are used more often to frighten intimates than to thwart crime; other weapons are far more commonly used against intruders than are guns.

Publication: Azrael, Deborah R; Hemenway, David. In the safety of your own home: Results from a national survey of gun use at home. Social Science and Medicine. 2000; 50:285-91.


7. Adolescents are far more likely to be threatened with a gun than to use one in self-defense.
Spoiler:
We analyzed data from a telephone survey of 5,800 California adolescents aged 12-17, which asked questions about gun threats against, and self-defense gun use by these young people. We found that these young people were far more likely to be threatened with a gun than to use a gun in self-defense, and most of the reported self-defense gun uses were hostile interactions between armed adolescents. Males, smokers, binge drinkers, those who threatened others and whose parents were less likely to know their whereabouts were more likely both to be threatened with a gun and to use a gun in self-defense.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Gun threats against and self-defense gun use by California adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2004; 158:395-400.


8. Criminals who are shot are typically the victims of crime

Spoiler:
Using data from a survey of detainees in a Washington D.C. jail, we worked with a prison physician to investigate the circumstances of gunshot wounds to these criminals.
We found that one in four of these detainees had been wounded, in events that appear unrelated to their incarceration. Most were shot when they were victims of robberies, assaults and crossfires. Virtually none report being wounded by a “law-abiding citizen.”

May, John P; Hemenway, David. Oen, Roger; Pitts, Khalid R. When criminals are shot: A survey of Washington DC jail detainees. Medscape General Medicine. 2000; June 28. www.medscape.com


9-10. Few criminals are shot by decent law abiding citizens

Spoiler:
Using data from surveys of detainees in six jails from around the nation, we worked with a prison physician to determine whether criminals seek hospital medical care when they are shot. Criminals almost always go to the hospital when they are shot. To believe fully the claims of millions of self-defense gun uses each year would mean believing that decent law-abiding citizens shot hundreds of thousands of criminals. But the data from emergency departments belie this claim, unless hundreds of thousands of wounded criminals are afraid to seek medical care. But virtually all criminals who have been shot went to the hospital, and can describe in detail what happened there.

May, John P; Hemenway, David. Oen, Roger; Pitts, Khalid R. Medical Care Solicitation by Criminals with Gunshot Wound Injuries: A Survey of Washington DC Jail Detainees. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 48:130-132.

May, John P; Hemenway, David. Do Criminals Go to the Hospital When They are Shot? Injury Prevention 2002: 8:236-238.


http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firea ... gun-use-2/
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 15, 2013 8:09 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:
That's not a reasonable expectation unless that is the ONLY major factor influencing crime.


I don't agree. If you want to argue hundreds of millions of privately held guns are preventing crime, you should be able to show some benefit. If you can't pull that effect out of the data, you should refrain from asserting it exists.


It's been discussed with regard to other datasets. However, you are changing the bar. We were talking about "number of defensive gun uses", which, while related to, is not exactly the same as "preventing crime".

And surely, you must agree that the simple case of trying to argue that the single variable of gun ownership MUST be shown to have a clear result in the single datapoint of nationwide average is a grotesque oversimplification. That's not how stats work.

Harvard's School of Public Health has put together a good explanation of how self-reporting is unreliable, and what the actual data says:

1-3 Guns are not used millions of times each year in self-defense

Spoiler:
We use epidemiological theory to explain why the “false positive” problem for rare events can lead to large overestimates of the incidence of rare diseases or rare phenomena such as self-defense gun use. We then try to validate the claims of many millions of annual self-defense uses against available evidence. We find that the claim of many millions of annual self-defense gun uses by American citizens is invalid.

Hemenway, David. Survey research and self-defense gun use: An explanation of extreme overestimates. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 1997; 87:1430-1445.

Hemenway, David. The myth of millions of annual self-defense gun uses: A case study of survey overestimates of rare events. Chance (American Statistical Association). 1997; 10:6-10.

Cook, Philip J; Ludwig, Jens; Hemenway, David. The gun debate’s new mythical number: How many defensive uses per year? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 1997; 16:463-469.


Sure, the exact number depends on the criteria and methodology you set. That is to be expected. I wouldn't take the high end estimates, personally, I think they set the bar too low. But, just about every combination of those results in pretty big numbers.

4. Most purported self-defense gun uses are gun uses in escalating arguments and are both socially undesirable and illegal
Spoiler:
We analyzed data from two national random-digit-dial surveys conducted under the auspices of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Criminal court judges who read the self-reported accounts of the purported self-defense gun use rated a majority as being illegal, even assuming that the respondent had a permit to own and to carry a gun, and that the respondent had described the event honestly from his own perspective.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah. Gun use in the United States: Results from two national surveys. Injury Prevention. 2000; 6:263-267.


This is going to vary wildly depending on locale. Legal use of a gun in self defense(even with carrying permissability aside) will vary immensely. The east coast tends to have "duty to retreat" laws. States like texas have castle laws. Even among a given set of laws, there's some variation. Harvard is, of course, in Mass, in which it is entirely legal and normal for you to be charged with murder for an act of self defense(which is an affirmative defense).

It is highly unlikely that those conducting the survey were intimately familiar with the law in every state and locality.

5. Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense.

Spoiler:
Using data from a national random-digit-dial telephone survey conducted under the direction of the Harvard Injury Control Center, we examined the extent and nature of offensive gun use. We found that firearms are used far more often to frighten and intimidate than they are used in self-defense. All reported cases of criminal gun use, as well as many of the so-called self-defense gun uses, appear to be socially undesirable.

Hemenway, David; Azrael, Deborah. The relative frequency of offensive and defensive gun use: Results of a national survey. Violence and Victims. 2000; 15:257-272.


Firearms are definitely used to frighten and intimidate in some cultures. Gang/drug culture particularly has an issue with this. However, this says little about the average legal gun owner's potential for use.

6. Guns in the home are used more often to intimidate intimates than to thwart crime.

Spoiler:
Using data from a national random-digit-dial telephone survey conducted under the direction of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, we investigated how and when guns are used in the home. We found that guns in the home are used more often to frighten intimates than to thwart crime; other weapons are far more commonly used against intruders than are guns.

Publication: Azrael, Deborah R; Hemenway, David. In the safety of your own home: Results from a national survey of gun use at home. Social Science and Medicine. 2000; 50:285-91.


See the previous point.

7. Adolescents are far more likely to be threatened with a gun than to use one in self-defense.
Spoiler:
We analyzed data from a telephone survey of 5,800 California adolescents aged 12-17, which asked questions about gun threats against, and self-defense gun use by these young people. We found that these young people were far more likely to be threatened with a gun than to use a gun in self-defense, and most of the reported self-defense gun uses were hostile interactions between armed adolescents. Males, smokers, binge drinkers, those who threatened others and whose parents were less likely to know their whereabouts were more likely both to be threatened with a gun and to use a gun in self-defense.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Gun threats against and self-defense gun use by California adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2004; 158:395-400.



Well, obviously, conflict avoidance is a good thing, yes. However, those risk factors appear mostly social. Yeah, of course people who grow up in a crap neighborhood and have a rough life are going to have a greater overall exposure to violence. That's how these things work. However, adolescents in particular may not have a great deal of control over where they grow up, and what their family is like.

8. Criminals who are shot are typically the victims of crime

Spoiler:
Using data from a survey of detainees in a Washington D.C. jail, we worked with a prison physician to investigate the circumstances of gunshot wounds to these criminals.
We found that one in four of these detainees had been wounded, in events that appear unrelated to their incarceration. Most were shot when they were victims of robberies, assaults and crossfires. Virtually none report being wounded by a “law-abiding citizen.”

May, John P; Hemenway, David. Oen, Roger; Pitts, Khalid R. When criminals are shot: A survey of Washington DC jail detainees. Medscape General Medicine. 2000; June 28. http://www.medscape.com


1 in 4 is not "typical".

It is also wildly unsurprising that criminals do not describe the people who shot them in glowing terms.

9-10. Few criminals are shot by decent law abiding citizens

Spoiler:
Using data from surveys of detainees in six jails from around the nation, we worked with a prison physician to determine whether criminals seek hospital medical care when they are shot. Criminals almost always go to the hospital when they are shot. To believe fully the claims of millions of self-defense gun uses each year would mean believing that decent law-abiding citizens shot hundreds of thousands of criminals. But the data from emergency departments belie this claim, unless hundreds of thousands of wounded criminals are afraid to seek medical care. But virtually all criminals who have been shot went to the hospital, and can describe in detail what happened there.

May, John P; Hemenway, David. Oen, Roger; Pitts, Khalid R. Medical Care Solicitation by Criminals with Gunshot Wound Injuries: A Survey of Washington DC Jail Detainees. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 48:130-132.

May, John P; Hemenway, David. Do Criminals Go to the Hospital When They are Shot? Injury Prevention 2002: 8:236-238.


http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firea ... gun-use-2/


Nah. Defensive gun use can consist of "displayed gun, criminal left". It could be one or more shots without injury, death, or even hit. One does not have to assume that there are piles and piles of shot up criminals.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Ralith The Third » Wed May 15, 2013 9:33 pm UTC

EMTP wrote:
For instance, the Kleck study relied on direct surveys on the topic. A direct study on a topic is usually better than something inferred from elsewhere.


Asking a person to report on what happened to them in the past is indirect, obviously, not direct. Self-reporting is notoriously inaccurate. Responsible studies of human behavior treat it as a last resort. Observation by a third party, not self reporting, is desirable.

The most accurate way to estimate supposed "defensive" uses of guns would be documentation of said use in a police report relating to whatever crime the gun supposedly discouraged. I haven't seen any collection of said reports, likely because the numbers are miniscule.

Of course the political interference to prevent gun research, which you endorsed above as necessary to avoid science damaging the gun fetishist position, might be another explanation.

If guns prevented a large amount of crime, we would expect the United States, with more guns than people, to have a very low crime rate compared to other wealthy countries with few guns. Since that is the exact opposite of what we do find, I would say the burden of proof remains with fetishists to find direct evidence of significant crime-preventing effects justifying the 31,000 Americans killed by guns each year.


You persist in using loaded words and disproven statistics... This isn't condusive to an actual debate. That said, it's pretty difficult to prevent crime using a firearm when you aren't allowed to concealed-carry, or aren't allowed to own one, or aren't allowed to use one to defend yourself and prevent crime (see - people prosecuted and convicted for self-defense killings in their home.)


EMTP wrote:Harvard's School of Public Health has put together a good explanation of how self-reporting is unreliable, and what the actual data says:

1-3 Guns are not used millions of times each year in self-defense

Spoiler:
We use epidemiological theory to explain why the “false positive” problem for rare events can lead to large overestimates of the incidence of rare diseases or rare phenomena such as self-defense gun use. We then try to validate the claims of many millions of annual self-defense uses against available evidence. We find that the claim of many millions of annual self-defense gun uses by American citizens is invalid.

Hemenway, David. Survey research and self-defense gun use: An explanation of extreme overestimates. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 1997; 87:1430-1445.

Hemenway, David. The myth of millions of annual self-defense gun uses: A case study of survey overestimates of rare events. Chance (American Statistical Association). 1997; 10:6-10.

Cook, Philip J; Ludwig, Jens; Hemenway, David. The gun debate’s new mythical number: How many defensive uses per year? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 1997; 16:463-469.


Counterargument -
Instead, pro-control critics have focussed their efforts on their claim that, despite the enormous body of evidence indicating otherwise, DGU is actually rare. Thus, they argue, it is of little consequence for gun control policy that DGU is effective, since it is so infrequent. The critics’ discussion of the topic of the frequency of DGU is strident, polemical, and extreme. For example, Philip Cook and his colleagues baldly describe large estimates of DGU frequency as a “mythical number” (1997, p. 463). Likewise, an article by David Hemenway (1997a) was brazenly titled “The Myth of Millions of Annual Self-Defense Gun Uses.” In another article by Hemenway (1997b), his title implicitly took it as given that DGUs are rare, and that surveys indicating the opposite grossly overstate DGU frequency. For Hemenway, the only scholarly task that remained was to explain why surveys did this: “Survey Research and Self-Defense Gun Use: An Explanation of Extreme Overestimation.” Finally, McDowall and Wiersema (1994), although well aware of the large number of surveys yielding large DGU estimates, nevertheless flatly concluded, in extremely strong terms, that “armed self-defense is extremely rare” (p. 1884). This conclusion was based entirely on a single survey, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which did not even directly ask respondents about defensive gun use.
These critics do not support the low-DGU thesis primarily by affirmatively presenting relevant empirical evidence indicating few DGUs. The only empirical evidence affirmatively cited in support of the low-DGU thesis is the uniquely low estimates derived from the NCVS. The critics appear in no way embarrassed by the fact that the only national estimate they can cite in support of their theory is a survey that does not even ask respondents the key question––whether they have used a gun for self-protection. Instead, the critics get around the large volume of contrary survey evidence by pronouncing all of it invalid and insisting that all surveys (excepting the NCVS?) grossly overstate the frequency of DGU.

Citation


I don't have actual access to the files, but if they *are* only citing the NCVS (as stated on that page that I have no reason to distrust) then there's a problem. The NCVS has terrible methodology for number of DGUs, as clearly demonstrated - repeatedly - in this thread.



4. Most purported self-defense gun uses are gun uses in escalating arguments and are both socially undesirable and illegal
Spoiler:
We analyzed data from two national random-digit-dial surveys conducted under the auspices of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Criminal court judges who read the self-reported accounts of the purported self-defense gun use rated a majority as being illegal, even assuming that the respondent had a permit to own and to carry a gun, and that the respondent had described the event honestly from his own perspective.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah. Gun use in the United States: Results from two national surveys. Injury Prevention. 2000; 6:263-267.


...socially undesirable? Anyways. Reading the article cited...
Self defense gun use incidents were summarized and sent to five criminal court judges
(from California, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts)


Emphasis mine.

California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Of those three states, California and Massachusetts are both notoriously anti-gun. California technically has Castle Doctrine laws, but they're very weak and, being castle doctrine (not stand-your-ground) inherently do not apply if you are not inside your home. I'm unsure on Massachusetts, but I would imagine it's quite similiar. Pennsylvania has Castle Doctrine laws, as well as Shall-Issue CCW licenses, indicating a reasonable amount of liberalness with gun law, *however*, it's stated that "A majority" of judges felt they were largely illegal. If Pennsylvania only provided one judge, that's quite easy. Even if they provided two (the modal number, presumably) they could both rule in favor of the legality of a DGU and it still fall under "illegal" by the specifications provided by the survey.

I deem that pretty poor methodology.


5. Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense.

Spoiler:
Using data from a national random-digit-dial telephone survey conducted under the direction of the Harvard Injury Control Center, we examined the extent and nature of offensive gun use. We found that firearms are used far more often to frighten and intimidate than they are used in self-defense. All reported cases of criminal gun use, as well as many of the so-called self-defense gun uses, appear to be socially undesirable.

Hemenway, David; Azrael, Deborah. The relative frequency of offensive and defensive gun use: Results of a national survey. Violence and Victims. 2000; 15:257-272.


See above. I mean, "Socially undesirable?" Seriously? Also, persisting with random-digit-dial surveys.

6. Guns in the home are used more often to intimidate intimates than to thwart crime.

Spoiler:
Using data from a national random-digit-dial telephone survey conducted under the direction of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, we investigated how and when guns are used in the home. We found that guns in the home are used more often to frighten intimates than to thwart crime; other weapons are far more commonly used against intruders than are guns.

Publication: Azrael, Deborah R; Hemenway, David. In the safety of your own home: Results from a national survey of gun use at home. Social Science and Medicine. 2000; 50:285-91.



See my previous comments about random-digit dialing. Also, it was of 1906 adults - 13 reported a weapon used against them. 26 reported using a weapon against an intruder. 2 of those were explicitly firearms. Without access to the full data, I can't poke more holes in it, but I'm leery of these.

7. Adolescents are far more likely to be threatened with a gun than to use one in self-defense.
Spoiler:
We analyzed data from a telephone survey of 5,800 California adolescents aged 12-17, which asked questions about gun threats against, and self-defense gun use by these young people. We found that these young people were far more likely to be threatened with a gun than to use a gun in self-defense, and most of the reported self-defense gun uses were hostile interactions between armed adolescents. Males, smokers, binge drinkers, those who threatened others and whose parents were less likely to know their whereabouts were more likely both to be threatened with a gun and to use a gun in self-defense.

Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Gun threats against and self-defense gun use by California adolescents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2004; 158:395-400.


Okay. If four people are at home, consisting of a mom, a dad, and two children, guess who's going to consider themselves having had a gun used threateningly against them? All of them. Guess who's going to consider themselves having used a gun defensively? The one person holding one - probably an adult.

Also, refer to California's general legal stance on self-defense and gun ownership. It's very hard to have a firearm in California, particularly an effective home-defense weapon.

8. Criminals who are shot are typically the victims of crime

Spoiler:
Using data from a survey of detainees in a Washington D.C. jail, we worked with a prison physician to investigate the circumstances of gunshot wounds to these criminals.
We found that one in four of these detainees had been wounded, in events that appear unrelated to their incarceration. Most were shot when they were victims of robberies, assaults and crossfires. Virtually none report being wounded by a “law-abiding citizen.”

May, John P; Hemenway, David. Oen, Roger; Pitts, Khalid R. When criminals are shot: A survey of Washington DC jail detainees. Medscape General Medicine. 2000; June 28. http://www.medscape.com


Ah, yes, primary deviance criminals are so prone to view the person who shot them positively, and will truthfully say they were shot by a person who they were trying to harm... instead of characterising the person who shot them as a criminal or simply lying outright.

9-10. Few criminals are shot by decent law abiding citizens

Spoiler:
Using data from surveys of detainees in six jails from around the nation, we worked with a prison physician to determine whether criminals seek hospital medical care when they are shot. Criminals almost always go to the hospital when they are shot. To believe fully the claims of millions of self-defense gun uses each year would mean believing that decent law-abiding citizens shot hundreds of thousands of criminals. But the data from emergency departments belie this claim, unless hundreds of thousands of wounded criminals are afraid to seek medical care. But virtually all criminals who have been shot went to the hospital, and can describe in detail what happened there.

May, John P; Hemenway, David. Oen, Roger; Pitts, Khalid R. Medical Care Solicitation by Criminals with Gunshot Wound Injuries: A Survey of Washington DC Jail Detainees. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 48:130-132.

May, John P; Hemenway, David. Do Criminals Go to the Hospital When They are Shot? Injury Prevention 2002: 8:236-238.


Defensive gun uses do not inherently end in the criminal being shot at, much less successfully hit.

Additionally, though not a particularly strong argument - criminals who go to the hospital when shot are probably more likely to get caught than a criminal who hides the fact that they were shot entirely - which would mean that those who went to the hospital would be over-represented in prison. That's purely conjecture on my part, though, and shouldn't be taken as fact.

I realize a lot of these points were addressed by others, but I feel my view was significantly enough different (and in some cases stronger arguments) to be worth posting.
Omni.


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