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What should we do about guns?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5086

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am certainly not suggesting that we ban guns; that is neither politically feasible nor Constitutional. I am just trying to start an adult conversation about whether we should try control measures, and whether they matter. Thank you to , and of course Isobars instantly assigned himself to the children’s table and starting screaming for more milk.
I found this interesting study by the Cato Industry, hardly a liberal source. http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj26n1/cj26n1-6.pdf The problem in a nutshell is that while there is certainly a direct correlation between the availability of guns and homicides, gun control does not directly result in substantially reduced availability of guns, particularly for criminals. There are about 200 million guns in America, 65 million of which are handguns, which in turn account for 80% of homicides. Ownership is clustered in about 10% of the population, but theft broadens that ownership by about 500,000 guns stolen each year. America also has and a culture that supports gun ownership, and various sub-cultures that support owning a gun for either protection or criminal enterprises. Given that most gun deaths are suicides, I found this conclusion interesting: “Gun ownership, rather than strictness of gun control, was found to be the strongest correlate of the rates of suicide and homicide by guns.” This falls in line with the well known fact that most murderers know their victims, and spouses are by far the most common victim.
Others have argued that the higher proportion of concealed weapons deter crime, and these authors cite Lott and Mustard for that conclusion, but point out that there is a lively debate about their conclusions.
A somewhat different approach can be found in this study: http://www.sanford.duke.edu/research/papers/SAN04-07.pdf An interesting fact I found in this study was a credible estimate that guns are used in self-defense approximately 100,000 times each year. They have a different statistical approach, and calculate that gun ownership correlates to an increase of about 1 additional homicide in a baseline homicide rate of 10 per 100,000 people. They also estimated an average societal cost of $1 million per gunshot wound, which as I noted earlier, has an annual count of 100,000. That’s not chump change, $100 billion a year.
The statistical challenges of providing any fair analysis are immense. Crime varies most significantly by demographic factors, most significantly the number of young aggressive men in the population. (We’ll ignore old aggressive men who increase their blood pressure watching Faux News.) I started digging around because I was curious to see if anyone had tried to tease out whether population density was a first order factor.
Going back to the Canadian example, it is easy to get statistics on what murder rates are, harder to figure out why. 43 per 100,000 in the United States, (24th highest) 15 per 100,000 in Canada, (44th highest), and 130 per 100,000 for Mexico, the, right behind Russia. Wikipedia, hardly the most rigorous of sources, attributes part of the difference between the United States and Canadian gun murder rates to the much lower presence of handguns, and laws against carrying a concealed handgun.
Going through this, I don’t reach any firm conclusions that would lead to a consensus on regulating all guns. Crime is going down in the United States, primarily due to a smaller number of young men in the violent ages. The aging of that population is a much more important factor in violent crime than the level of restrictions on buying a gun legally. I can’t dismiss out of hand accounts that guns provide a substantial level of protection from violent crimes. Most of the studies come in with a bias, and go out with the conclusion they were trying to reach. But we do know that murder rates are higher in urban areas throughout the world, that a culture that supports gun ownership also supports violent defense, not merely of person and property, but of perceived slights. Further, with 65 million handguns, and a significant trade in stolen guns, we know that even a complete ban on handguns wouldn’t reduce the availability of handguns for a generation.

Given these facts, and the immense cost of gun violence--$100 billion a year in direct costs, and a death rate about half of that for the entire Vietnam war, each year—I would focus on three things:
1) Restrictions on concealed weapons. We need to know that those who carry concealed weapons legally have been carefully vetted.
2) Banning high capacity repeating handguns except for those who are licensed to carry them in a highly restrictive manner.
3) Insuring the losses, with the burden of the costs primarily on either ammunition or handguns. The advantage of putting the restrictions on ammunition is that it taxes those who steal guns for the costs of their illegal activities.
The last point shouldn’t come as a surprise to any here. I am opposed to allowing people to transfer the real costs of their activities to other people or the public.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1922

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taxing ammunition seems like the most feasible method. Serious target shooters I know reload their own ammo, so it might not penalize a legitimate activity.

As a previously avid shooter (older body requires more time for up keep), I know that the biggest problem with realistic gun control laws is the perception that the ultimate goal is to take away my guns.

So, it is political suicide in a red or purple state, as a moderate Demo to support ANY gun control measures even the most practical.

Gun control measures must be initiated by the Republicans to have any chance of passing.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A well-researched historian said today that of virtually -- I think he said literally -- all the mass shootings on the planet by loonies/criminals in modern history, the only one to take place in a location where citizens are allowed to carry guns was in Tucson last week. Then he rattled off a long list of huge percentages by which crime drops (up to 100% reduction) when gun controls on the citizenry are loosened and by which crime soars (over 300% increases in some cases) when gun controls on the citizenry are tightened. Plainly and simply, the crooks know they're home free when their victims and bystanders can not legally carry guns.
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, can you believe that, Windoggie:

http://tinyurl.com/4r4om87

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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always heard Finlanders used knives.
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
A well-researched historian said today that of virtually -- I think he said literally -- all the mass shootings on the planet by loonies/criminals in modern history, the only one to take place in a location where citizens are allowed to carry guns was in Tucson last week. Then he rattled off a long list of huge percentages by which crime drops (up to 100% reduction) when gun controls on the citizenry are loosened and by which crime soars (over 300% increases in some cases) when gun controls on the citizenry are tightened. Plainly and simply, the crooks know they're home free when their victims and bystanders can not legally carry guns.


coboardhead - would you ask iso to post some links or at least reference the source. All we have is the premise 'well researched historian' and sweeping number estimates. All, of course, in conflict with simple observation of the chain of events in this tragedy:

There was no law and no mechanism in place that prevented Loughner from walking into a store, buying the gun, extended clips and ammo and shooting up people. Until the first bullet found its target, there was nothing law enforcement could have done to stop it.

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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isobars said

Quote:
A well-researched historian said today that of virtually -- I think he said literally -- all the mass shootings on the planet by loonies/criminals in modern history, the only one to take place in a location where citizens are allowed to carry guns was in Tucson last week. Then he rattled off a long list of huge percentages by which crime drops (up to 100% reduction) when gun controls on the citizenry are loosened and by which crime soars (over 300% increases in some cases) when gun controls on the citizenry are tightened. Plainly and simply, the crooks know they're home free when their victims and bystanders can not legally carry guns.


Isobars. Could you post the source for this?

Colorado has been considering similar laws to Arizona. Right now, it is pretty easy to get conceal carry but it does require some level of background check and application process.

I have been against making conceal carry easier. But, really don't have any factual basis for this conclusion.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
Isobars. Could you post the source for this?

Colorado has been considering similar laws to Arizona. Right now, it is pretty easy to get conceal carry but it does require some level of background check and application process.

I have been against making conceal carry easier. But, really don't have any factual basis for this conclusion.


I didn't get the name of the source, thus my vague reference; I'd have to try and Google it with appropriate key words. I also see no point in debating or trying to solve gun issues here, considering the tens of thousands of pages of debate -- by erudite people and bona fide experts based on logic and data, not even counting the emotional ranting and raving -- available at our fingertips. Thousands of statistics overwhelmingly support an armed citizenry, and you'd better believe concerned citizens and groups have posted them on the internet.

Arizona's law is too lenient, IMO: apparently, anyone there can carry a concealed weapon almost anywhere anytime. Certainly background checks should be required, again IMO.

Mike \m/
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5086

PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if we should plonk the plonker. In fairly short order on this and the othre recent threads, Isobars has demonstrated his lack of integrity and civility. I doubt that either bard or mrgybe will notice. First, in response to a fairly civilized question about whether or not gun control works, he says:

Quote:
What should we do about guns?

Take them from criminals and give several to each prisoner in all of our high security prisons. One solution to two problems.


A bit later he says:
Quote:
A well-researched historian said today that of virtually -- I think he said literally -- all the mass shootings on the planet by loonies/criminals in modern history, the only one to take place in a location where citizens are allowed to carry guns was in Tucson last week. Then he rattled off a long list of huge percentages by which crime drops (up to 100% reduction) when gun controls on the citizenry are loosened and by which crime soars (over 300% increases in some cases) when gun controls on the citizenry are tightened. Plainly and simply, the crooks know they're home free when their victims and bystanders can not legally carry guns.

When pressed for his source he responds:
Quote:
I didn't get the name of the source, thus my vague reference; I'd have to try and Google it with appropriate key words. I also see no point in debating or trying to solve gun issues here


He claims:
Quote:
I may be wrong once in a great while, but I never lie.


Attacking dperzinski with, yes, an ad hominem attack, he says:
Quote:
Civility is an adjunct to, not a substitute for, a relevant response. Besides, other than my well-placed "Get over it", where was I uncivil to you?

Sorry, David, but if your classes valued civility and PC and dodging issues over substance and solutions, they may have been part of the national problem, not part of the solution.


It reminds me of the first time I caught him in an outright fabrication, , on what Singer said in a PBS interview, and he attacked, and then plonked me. (But later googled me, posted as much information as he could give other righties about what I did and where I lived—kind of threatening?)

At best he misunderstands his sources, or misquotes them, or listens only selectively. The irony is that he may be right on gun control, there may be more benefits in self protection than murder reduction potential. But the benefits either way are slight, according to the sources that I’ve bothered to cite. The main benefit to gun control, that would first have to pass legal muster and second political muster, is that it would probably reduce suicides and marital murders. There is, of course, a point to civility and rational discourse. I really don’t know what we should do with gun control, and I’d like to know what the facts actually suggest, rather than simply repeat talking points. But even worse to ignore the internal course of each thread, and only drop in to drop points copied from Sarah Palin's web site, or attack someone who responded to his rudeness with rudeness.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3313

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"A well-researched historian said today that of virtually -- I think he said literally -- all the mass shootings on the planet by loonies/criminals in modern history, the only one to take place in a location where citizens are allowed to carry guns was in Tucson last week. Then he rattled off a long list of huge percentages by which crime drops (up to 100% reduction) when gun controls on the citizenry are loosened and by which crime soars (over 300% increases in some cases) when "

He provides no reference on this because it is so stupid it must be on the radio.
This quote drops right over the edge into complete ignorance so it clearly is a quote from talk Radio guys who never stray far from a couch. Nearly all of the mass shootings in this world are in places where citizens are allowed to carry guns.Afghanistan, Africa, Somalia. These places with no gun control have such high murder and crime rates that Iso is too terrified to even visit his personal paradises. Why does such an uniformed guy bother posting patent nonsense?
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