Gun Control

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Syphon the Sun
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:35 pm

There's just a few additional things I wanted to note.

Members of the armed forces were among the victims prohibited from carrying firearms into the theater's "gun free" zone. Presumably they have the "the police or military training to act effectively in a chaotic situation" necessary to have stopped the killings sooner.

Since the Columbine massacre, Colorado has enacted multiple laws which make it harder for the wrong people to get their hands on firearms. They banned all straw purchases, imposed special restrictions on gun show sales by private parties (more restrictive than federal requirements), and banned transfers of firearms to minors without express parental consent.

Only 13.9 percent of prison inmates who possessed firearms purchased them legally. That's not really surprising, given the fact that 84 percent of the prison inmates who possessed firearms were ineligible to legally purchase them.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby neo-dragon » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:57 pm

Only 13.9 percent of prison inmates who possessed firearms purchased them legally. That's not really surprising, given the fact that 84 percent of the prison inmates who possessed firearms were ineligible to legally purchase them.
About 1 in 7... That's actually a higher percentage than I would have guessed.


I know no one actually asked, but I happened to come across this article which discusses current gun laws in Canada if anyone was wondering: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/201 ... ml?cmp=rss" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Eaquae Legit » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:08 am

I can't believe no one has posted about this incredibly apropos story yet:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/arti ... edia-storm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
In a letter to the editor published in the Calgary Herald, Walt Wawra, a 20-year veteran of the Kalamazoo police service, laments the fact that he was not allowed to carry his off-duty handgun while walking through a Calgary park.

Wawra describes how he and his wife were recently taking a leisurely stroll through Nose Hill Park when they were approached by two young men “in broad daylight on a paved trail” who asked the couple if they had been to the Stampede yet.

“We ignored them,” Wawra writes in his letter. “The two moved closer, repeating: ‘Hey, you been to the Stampede yet?’ I quickly moved between these two and my wife, replying, ‘Gentlemen, I have no need to talk with you, goodbye.’ They looked bewildered, and we then walked past them.”

Wawra writes that he suspects the two men “did not have good intentions” when they approached the couple “in such an aggressive, disrespectful and menacing manner.”

“I thank the Lord Jesus Christ they did not pull a weapon of some sort, but rather concluded it was in their best interest to leave us alone.”

The shaken tourist then goes on to ask the newspaper — which insists the letter is not a hoax — why citizens are not allowed to protect themselves in “life-or-death” situations.

“Would we not expect a uniformed officer to pull his or her weapon to intercede in a life-or-death encounter to protect self, or another? Why then should the expectation be lower for a citizen of Canada or a visitor? Wait, I know — it’s because in Canada, only the criminals and the police carry handguns.”
I know you pro-gun Americans are generally sane people, but this is how you all sound to us. Sorry.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Boothby » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:23 pm

The other day, I was walking in the park, and a young man came up to me and asked me what time it was. He had slight speech impediment, and a "lazy eye," so I shot him.

I'm so grateful for the lax gun laws that allowed me to protect myself in this life and death situation.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Boothby » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:26 pm

Syphon,

The recent attack on the Sikh Church was carried out by a former member of the US military. So, unfortunately, he went and ruined it for other "well trained police or military" to be carrying guns into movie theaters (that theater, BTW, is owned in part by Romney or one of his affiliate companies. The rules against firearms, are therefore--in part--his fault.)
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:40 pm

You're right, Steve. After all, disarming victims will protect them from armed criminals, especially given the fact that the police have no legal duty to protect them. It's worked wonders in Chicago.

Oh, and thanks for the seemingly irrelevant information about Mitt Romney.

ETA: If you want to have a serious, intelligent discussion about crime, firearms, and defensive gun use, I'd be more than happy to do that. But I suspect you don't.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby neo-dragon » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:18 pm

especially given the fact that the police have no legal duty to protect them.
This is sarcasm, right?

I ask because I don't see how it can be sincere but nor do I see how police having a duty to protect people supports your argument for civilians having guns. So I'm just confused about what you're saying here.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:44 pm

The law has been clear for quite some time, here: the police are under no legal duty to protect a person from harm.

The only exceptions being for people presently in police custody and for people who were willfully put into a previously non-existing danger by the police. And even these exceptions are quite narrow in application.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Boothby » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:07 pm

In all seriousness, regular civilians placed in that situation (dark theater, tear gas, confusion, live fire, armored assailant) would very likely NOT have been successful against the shooter. I think it's a reasonable assumption that there would have been MORE people shot--either those attempted heroes getting shot by the shooter, or more theatergoers accidentally shot by wild fire from those "heroes."

Which leaves ...what? Laws that allow police and military (including former military) to carry firearms wherever they like? First off, that's an awfully specific law. Secondly, it's so specific that it really doesn't address the NRA's attempts to relax gun control laws for the general citizenry.



Why it might not be a good idea to let former military carry wherever they want: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/06/us/wiscon ... index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


What I'm not getting is this: Let's say (for the sake of discussion) that I'm a safe, reliable driver. One time when I'm out on the highway, a crazed, drunk driver slams his car into mine, and I get injured.

The state's governor goes on the news and demands tighter drunk driving laws.

So, the National Driver's Association counters by saying drunk driving is already illegal, and we should relax the drunk driving laws...
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Re: Gun Control

Postby neo-dragon » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:18 pm

The law has been clear for quite some time, here: the police are under no legal duty to protect a person from harm.
You're the legal expert here, but that sounds to me like a "cover your ass" law to cover cops from having to throw themselves in front of buses to save people. Do you personally think it's unreasonable to expect an on duty police officer to intervene in your defense if he witnesses you being threatened with a weapon? Putting aside "legal responsibilities" do you think that said cop is fulfilling hie duty to society if he doesn't intervene?
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:57 pm

Steve, making broad public policy decisions as an emotional reaction to a rare tragedy is never a good idea. As far as your prediction about armed victims goes, I'm really not sure what you expect it to really show. It's a conjectural prediction based on your gut reaction. I can just as easily posit the opposite, and ultimately that line of discussion has helped no one, because it's not really based on anything of substance.

Of course, criminals frequently say they fear armed victims more than the police. The data shows armed victims are much less likely to be injured in attacks or have the violent crime actually completed. There are millions of successful defensive gun uses every year. There's been no uptick in crime following laws that make it easier for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. There's a lot of data that shows quite the opposite. Etc., etc.

And, for what it's worth, I think that's a pretty poor analogy. You're not trying to make drunk driving laws more strict. You're trying to ban law-abiding citizens from the roadway because an unlicensed driver drove drunk. He'll still drive unlicensed and drunk. Banning law-abiding citizens from your roads doesn't address the actual problem. It's not even rationally related to a legitimate government interest. Only it's worse than that, because in that situation, the would-be victims aren't left defenseless against attackers.

Jason, sadly, I've seen too many cases to chalk it up to "covering their butts" in those rare situations like you described. Some of the most heartwrenching examples include personally delivering victims back into the custody of their attackers. But the main point is very simple: you simply cannot rely on the police or the justice system to protect you from everything. The police have neither the duty, nor the capacity to do so. And there's no evidence that disarming victims offers greater protection than the Constitutional right to bear arms in self-defense.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby neo-dragon » Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:01 am

You didn't answer my question though. Regardless of legal responsibility or lack thereof, would you expect a police officer to assist you if he witnessed you being threatened?
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:01 am

You didn't answer my question though. Regardless of legal responsibility or lack thereof, would you expect a police officer to assist you if he witnessed you being threatened?
I would certainly hope so. But I've seen enough to know I can't count on it. And there's certainly no reason to think they have the capacity to actually be on or near the scene but for a very, very small fraction of crimes.

Expecting victims to rely on something unreliable isn't, in my mind, a good reason for leaving them defenseless.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby buckshot » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:24 am

I'm happy we live in a place where we don't have to depend on the police and have the right ( no responsibility) to defend ourselves! And whats wrong with "heroes"?

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Gravity Defier » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:41 am

I'm just wondering where you all live that you need so much defense against others and why you seem so convinced it has to be lethal weapons.

I have no numbers -*gasp* no citations!- but it seems to me Steve wasn't wrong to assume that in an urban/enclosed environment, when something like the Colorado shooting happens, there'd be enough chaos to likely result in armed folks killing more innocent people, and not just the big baddies, in their attempts to defend themselves and get at the baddies.

I mean, when Gifford was shot in Tucson, they took Loughner out with a well timed tackle. Had anyone tried to shoot him, I'm pretty sure other folks would have been hit in the crossfire.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Luet » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:29 am

Heck, I must think I live in Canada. I still don't lock my doors (yes, even after our break in) except when we are going away and I leave the keys in my car when in the driveway. I refuse to live in a state of fear. Yes, I know there is a middle ground but oh well.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby neo-dragon » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:54 am

You didn't answer my question though. Regardless of legal responsibility or lack thereof, would you expect a police officer to assist you if he witnessed you being threatened?
I would certainly hope so. But I've seen enough to know I can't count on it. And there's certainly no reason to think they have the capacity to actually be on or near the scene but for a very, very small fraction of crimes.

Expecting victims to rely on something unreliable isn't, in my mind, a good reason for leaving them defenseless.
I didn't mean to suggest that one should expect police to always be present when they're needed.

I was just trying to get a better understanding of your mindset. So far I've gathered that you feel safer having access to guns because you don't trust your government or your police. I'm not trying to say that this is unreasonable. Again, I'm just trying to see where you're coming from.

Anyway, here's another question I'm going to toss out there: should teachers carry guns in school (after receiving proper training, of course) in order to defend against occurrences like the Columbine incident?
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Re: Gun Control

Postby buckshot » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:14 am

No I think the NO WEAPONS AT SCHOOL is the right way to go !

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Re: Gun Control

Postby neo-dragon » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:17 am

But in a way schools are a microcosm of society. Doesn't the same argument, that bad people will have guns regardless, so good people should be allowed to have them for protection, apply?
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Re: Gun Control

Postby elfprince13 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:57 am

But in a way schools are a microcosm of society. Doesn't the same argument, that bad people will have guns regardless, so good people should be allowed to have them for protection, apply?
I actually agree here, in principle. People definitely brought guns to my school during hunting season and left them in the parking lot, and the administration/security kinda turned a blind eye (especially if there was evidence of a dead animal in the bed of someone's truck). And pocket knives definitely came out during craft projects with some teachers if scissors were a little slow to go around.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:45 am

So far I've gathered that you feel safer having access to guns because you don't trust your government or your police.
My grandpa used to tell me, "Trust everyone, but always cut the cards." But this is mostly right. I'm a natural-rights liberal. I believe we have unalienable rights to life and to liberty, which necessarily includes the right to protect both life and liberty, against all threats foreign and domestic. That's why the "ancient right" to bear arms, as the English Bill of Rights called it, was codified in the U.S. Constitution. That's why all able-bodied men are still part of the unorganized militia.

I hope, and expect, to never need to defend these rights. But I'd be foolish to ignore the history of disarmament. I'd be foolish to ignore the Armenians, the Jews, the Gypsies, the Ugandan Christians, the Tutsi, the Mayans, the Darfuris, the Ndebele, the Bubi, or our own terrible history of disarmament and persecution. Do I think it's likely those things will happen in America (again), any time soon? Do I think it's likely that I'll have to take up arms to defend against a foreign enemy bringing war to the homefront? No. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't "cut the cards." Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

The same goes for defending myself and my family from criminal attacks. I hope and expect to never need to do so. But that doesn't mean I can rely on the police to protect me from all attacks, or that I should disarm myself because the odds of being attacked are relatively low. (Especially when there's at least some evidence that the likelihood of being attacked decrease in areas where victims are more likely to be armed.)

And, of course, this all just applies to me. Even if I trusted the government to protect me completely, that doesn't give me the right to disarm others. Which is sort of the undercurrent of my entire political philosophy: I barely know what's right for me, let alone for other people.
should teachers carry guns in school (after receiving proper training, of course) in order to defend against occurrences like the Columbine incident?
A few notes, and then my thoughts. First, we need to keep in mind that many criminals target gun-free zones, like schools. Which makes sense: it's easier to kill people when you know they can't defend themselves. That said, in the late 1990s, a Mississippi principal stopped a junior high killing spree by retrieving his handgun from his truck and holding it on the killer until the police arrived. Armed professors and students have stopped killing sprees on college campuses, as well. Israel pretty successfully combated its problem of terrorist massacres in schools by training and arming teachers and parents willing to volunteer to protect their children.

All that said, I have no deep philosophical problem with letting law-abiding teachers and administrators possess firearms in school zones. At the same time, I think it should be up the parents to decide whether to send their kids to a school where there are armed teachers and administrators, or to a school where there aren't. The solution to that, I think, is school choice.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:33 am

I'm just wondering where you all live that you need so much defense against others and why you seem so convinced it has to be lethal weapons.
I've had my windows shot out. I've been home when someone was murdered in a parking lot just two buildings down, in my apartment complex (which was a "gun free" zone). But does it matter whether you live in Paradise Valley or Chicago? Do victims in one area have less of a right to self-defense than victims in another?

And let's be clear: defensive gun use doesn't mean "shooting or killing your attacker." The vast majority of defensive gun uses simply include brandishing the gun and/or verbally referring to the gun.

But even so, why guns? They're widely considered to be the most effective means of self-defense, especially for women. There's a lot of data to back that up, too. Armed women who resist being physically assaulted, raped, etc. are much more likely to escape without injury (and without the crime being completed) than those who resist by any other means or those who don't resist at all.

And, of course, there's that whole deterrence effect that crime statistics and surveys of criminals seem to bear out.
I have no numbers -*gasp* no citations!- but it seems to me Steve wasn't wrong to assume that in an urban/enclosed environment, when something like the Colorado shooting happens, there'd be enough chaos to likely result in armed folks killing more innocent people, and not just the big baddies, in their attempts to defend themselves and get at the baddies.
Again: I'm not sure what exactly I'm supposed to do with this. "It seems to [you]" that Steve's unsubstantiated hypothesis "wasn't wrong." Okay? I don't know how that's helpful. I'm not saying his hypothesis is unreasonable. I'm saying it's unsubstantiated, and it's not the only reasonable hypothesis. And I'm saying that I don't know what value we get out a discussion if all we're doing is throwing out competing gut-reaction hypotheses. Forgive me if I think it's a bad idea to make new laws based only on gut reactions and assumptions.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Gravity Defier » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:40 am

Forgive me if I think it's a bad idea to make new laws based only on gut reactions and assumptions.
Puh-lease share that with all the people who support the banning of gay marriage.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby buckshot » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:23 pm

I know I would have liked Syphons Grandfather . My Grandad Ben would have liked him too!

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Re: Gun Control

Postby elfprince13 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:03 pm

Forgive me if I think it's a bad idea to make new laws based only on gut reactions and assumptions.
Puh-lease share that with all the people who support the banning of gay marriage.
I'm pretty sure Syphon and I both do just that. Or rather share that the government should stop issuing marriage licenses altogether but offer civil unions on a nondiscriminatory basis.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Rei » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:50 pm

And I'm saying that I don't know what value we get out a discussion if all we're doing is throwing out competing gut-reaction hypotheses. Forgive me if I think it's a bad idea to make new laws based only on gut reactions and assumptions.
Syphon, please recognise that this next statement is not a gut reaction or unreasonable assumption: an unsuspecting crowd of people, many of whom are in costume, who find themselves in a combat situation where they have been tear-gassed and are being shot at is more likely to shoot innocent members of the crowd than they are to shoot the just the attacker. This does not mean that having access to guns is intrinsically bad; it means that in some situations using a gun to defend oneself are more likely to injure or kill people other than or in addition to the attacker.

It is an assumption to say that brandishing a gun in all threatening situations (even if you are part of a blinded, choking, confused, and panicked crowd) is more likely to stop an attacker. Related to this is EL's post about the Calgary Stampede.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:32 pm

I'm pretty sure Syphon and I both do just that. Or rather share that the government should stop issuing marriage licenses altogether but offer civil unions on a nondiscriminatory basis.
Bingo.
Syphon, please recognise that this next statement is not a gut reaction
So it's based on similar occurrences? It's based on evidence, or data, or anything at all other than your own mind? How did you come up with the odds ratios?
or unreasonable assumption
It's a shame you snipped the quote where you did. It would save me the time of having to repeat it:

I'm not saying this hypothesis is unreasonable. I'm saying it's unsubstantiated, and it's not the only reasonable hypothesis.

It's pretty clever to put a modifier ("unreasonable") in front of my words where I not only avoided the modifier, but specifically noted that the modifier didn't belong there. Makes it easier to knock down those straw men, I suppose. Doesn't make for a good discussion, though.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:26 pm

I know I would have liked Syphons Grandfather.
He was a farmer, like you! (He also taught me how to drive a tractor and how hard you have to work to earn 5 cents per bale.)
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Boothby » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:03 am

Syphon,

I fully accept your description (re. reasonable or not, substantiated of not) on my claims of "not a good idea to have a bunch of armed civilians in a dark room full of tear gas and panic."

But unless you want to start doing some double-blind tests, what do you do? I did hear an ex-military guy say just what I said (it was, in part, why I felt justified in saying it, but also why I qualified it with "gut feel"), so if a well-trained person with equivalent experience says, "not a good idea," I'll give it some credence.

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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:04 pm

What would I do? Not base my policies on the hypothesis. I'd carefully study the actual, important underlying issues, instead of trying to make reactionary policies without the appropriate information. I'd look at the data, I'd look at specific incidents, etc. And, like I said, that's a conversation I'm ready, willing and able to have.

But I don't see what value any participants get out of a discussion that consists solely of people making up their own odds ratios for a hypothetical situation.
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Boothby » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:32 pm

It's why I only pop back here once in a while.

But since we DON'T have enough information, how WOULD you decide? Default to an armed populace? Default to an population with restricted access to arms?

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvinco.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And here's an interesting discussion:

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html#intl" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Is Gun Ownership Correlated with Violent Deaths?

In 1993 a Swiss professor, Martin Killias, published a study of 18 countries concerning gun ownership, homicide and suicide. He in part concluded there was a weak correlation between total homicide and gun ownership. For a partial criticism of his study see Dunblane Misled where using the countries studied by Killias, these researchers found a much stronger correlation between firearm homicides and car ownership. More seriously, when the United States was included in the Killias study, a stronger correlation between total homicide and gun ownership was found. When two countries were excluded, the U.S. (high gun ownership, high murder rate) and Northern Ireland (low gun ownership, high murder rate) the correlation was marginally significant. Gary Kleck writes, "Contrary to his claim that 'the overall correlation is not contingent upon a few countries with extreme scores on the dependent and independent variable', reanalysis of the data reveals that if one excludes only the United States from the sample there is no significant association between gun ownership and the total homicide rate." (Kleck, Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, p 253. Walter de Gruyter, Inc. New York, 1997.) Kleck concludes that "the homicide-guns study was not international at all, but merely reflected the unique status of the United States as a high-gun ownership/high-violence nation...Since the positive association Killias observed was entirely dependent on the U.S. case, where self-defense is a common reason for gun ownership, this supports the conclusion that the association was attributable to the impact of the homicide rates on gun levels."

Using homicide and suicide data from a larger sample of countries, 35, (International Journal of Epidemiology 1998:27:216), Kleck found "no significant (at the 5% level) association between gun ownership levels and the total homicide rate in the largest sample of nations available to study this topic. (Associations with the total suicide rate were even weaker.)" (Targeting Guns, p 254.)

A more recent study, by Killias, concludes "no significant correlations with toal suicide or homicide rates were found, leaving open the question of possible substitution effects."

This article by Rutgers University professor Dr. Goertzel offers sound advice regarding statistical analysis: "When presented with an econometric model, consumers should insist on evidence that it can predict trends in data other than the data used to create it. Models that fail this test are junk science, no matter how complex the analysis."
--Boothby

"The biggest cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid people are so sure about things and the intelligent folks are so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

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Syphon the Sun
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:42 am

But since we DON'T have enough information, how WOULD you decide? Default to an armed populace? Default to an population with restricted access to arms?
I'm not really concerned about the outcome of whether the populace is armed or unarmed. If the entire population chooses to voluntarily, individually give up their arms (without forcing others to do the same), I have no problem with that. I don't think it's smart, but I have no problem with it. It's more about process than outcomes.

For me, as a natural-rights liberal, it comes down to the presumption of liberty.


Gary Kleck (mentioned in that snippet) has done a lot of research on crime, firearms, etc. He's one of the leading experts in defensive gun use. Another good primer on gun control and crime is John Lott's More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws (third edition).
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Dr. Mobius
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Dr. Mobius » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:51 pm

I'm not really concerned about the outcome of whether the populace is armed or unarmed.
So basically, you're just arguing for the sake of argument.

whats wrong with "heroes"?
The first season was pretty good, but it fell off quickly after that.
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elfprince13
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Re: Gun Control

Postby elfprince13 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:25 pm

I'm not really concerned about the outcome of whether the populace is armed or unarmed.
So basically, you're just arguing for the sake of argument.
Wrong!
It's more about process than outcomes. For me, as a natural-rights liberal, it comes down to the presumption of liberty.
"But the conversation of the mind was truer than any language, and they knew each other better than they ever could have by use of mere sight and touch."

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Syphon the Sun
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Re: Gun Control

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:29 pm

So basically, you're just arguing for the sake of argument.
I can't tell if you're serious or trolling...

In what world is saying that people should be free to voluntarily, individually give up their arms (without forcing others to do the same) indistinguishable from saying the state should require people to involuntarily give up their arms under threat of force?


I have no problem with the fact that many people voluntarily choose not the vote. That doesn't mean it's suddenly okay for the government to end suffrage.
Step softly; a dream lies buried here.


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