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1 researchok  Mon, Dec 10, 2012 3:49:30pm

Gun control is a controversial enough topic.

BS statistics only make sensible gun laws all that much harder to be implemented.

2 freetoken  Mon, Dec 10, 2012 4:18:30pm

Math iz hard.

3 Skip Intro  Mon, Dec 10, 2012 5:01:41pm
In fact, Hemenway found that the defensive gun use number is so high that it is a mathematical impossibility.

Once again, we're dealing with the problem of faith-based math versus math-based math. Why is it one side always uses the former?

4 Political Atheist  Mon, Dec 10, 2012 6:03:29pm

re: #3 Skip Intro

Don't think for a minute that advocacy sites don't mislead one way or another. I don't want to get into a argument who is worse, just point out that advocacy sites bend the rules or mislead. Including HCI. That's the nature of advocacy. It is deliberately and (often enough) intelligently not objective.

If you want straight data you have to get it from the Dept of Justice, FBI or ATF and compile the data yourself. This topic is so highly politicized that there is no neutral party peer reviewed study in depth on defensive use of guns. There are reams and reams of raw data.

All those guns have not made us safe. Why? Too many of them are being used in criminal attacks. All these numerous gun control laws have not made us safe. Why? Too many criminals thwart these laws and use guns anyway.

What is the common element here? Criminal use. We have an excess of criminals that use violence. I don't need study to tell me what an innocent person needs if attacked in the moments before help arrives. Nor do I need a study to tell me what a criminal must be denied to protect us from his powerful weapons.

No matter what the real defensive numbers I offer two incontrovertible if controversial facts. One-The government can regulate guns. Two- The Second Amendment is an individual civil right, unburdened of any attachment to a militia.

5 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 10, 2012 6:06:20pm

re: #4 Political Atheist

All these numerous gun control laws have not made us safe. Why? Too many criminals thwart these laws and use guns anyway.

There are also crimes committed with legally owned guns.

6 Political Atheist  Mon, Dec 10, 2012 6:10:53pm

re: #5 Obdicut

Yes of course there are. When a person becomes a criminal by whatever motive-Anger, mental illness, to steal money, to rape-Everything they have legally or not is a resource for them. Some criminals are stupid enough to commit crimes and use their own cars to get away.

Road rage comes to mind-An ordinary person loses his or her temper gets road rage and assaults with a deadly weapon-The car.

7 Obdicut  Mon, Dec 10, 2012 6:27:41pm

re: #6 Political Atheist

That's fine. I'm pointing out that what you said isn't correct. Gun control laws obviously have made us safer than we would have been otherwise. But because we have very permissive gun laws, we also have a lot of people using their own legal weapon to commit a crime.

8 Political Atheist  Mon, Dec 10, 2012 6:51:58pm

re: #7 Obdicut

That's fine. I'm pointing out that what you said isn't correct. Gun control laws obviously have made us safer than we would have been otherwise. But because we have very permissive gun laws, we also have a lot of people using their own legal weapon to commit a crime.

I did not say safer. I said safe.

I'm making a distinction that is both legal and moral. The very instant a person uses a gun to commit a crime, even a crime of passion, it's no longer a legally possessed gun or a legal act. At that instant and on it's no longer a legal gun. Or an innocent person.

What you call permissive or not I do not know. California is a very populous state. It does not have (IMO) very permissive gun laws. Arizona does.

What I do know is we have a civil right to respect and regulate.

9 lostlakehiker  Tue, Dec 11, 2012 12:35:08am

People who think guns in the hands of civilians is a bad idea tend to brush aside the constitutional question. Maybe it is a bad idea. That, of itself, would not suffice to justify reinterpreting the plain language of the constitution to allow the government to ban privately held firearms.

The problem is one of precedent. If there are no limits to reinterpretation, and anything in the constitution means nothing except what we now find it convenient that it should mean, we don't really have a constitution.

But now, what of the merits? The case for guns in the hands of civilians is infinitely weak if defensive usage is the primary building block of the case. What needs to be looked at is what happens in otherwise comparable nations where guns are not legal. Take Britain. Far fewer gun murders, of course. Fewer murders of any sort, though, which makes it difficult to unravel what part of the difference can be attributed to the presence or absence of guns.

But there is another interesting statistic. While Brits generally do not murder each other, home invasion burglary is much more common than you'd guess going by the murder rates. And there is a prima-facie explanation for this: the burglar has no worries going into a gun-free home. He (it's a he, almost always) is young, fit, and fast. The victim is not. Any fight will resolve in his favor. But guns are equalizers. He may still have an edge, but an edge is no good. A burglar must hit targets in a regular rhythm to make a good living at it. Sooner or later, if the homes he's hitting are salted with a portion of gun owners, his luck will run out.

The point of civilian gun ownership is deterrence. In aggregate, having guns around makes being a burglar so dangerous that most of those who might otherwise take it up instead find some other occupation.

10 peguyjaures  Tue, Dec 11, 2012 1:19:00am

re: #9 lostlakehiker

And not only having guns around makes being a burglar more dangerous, it also makes burglars more dangerous: in England or in France, where burglars don't expect to encounter firearms, they tend to avoid carrying firearms themselves and would rather try to flee when caught in the act, as harming their victims would result in much harsher sentences, and it's better for them to try their luck in the next house. Overall, very few burglaries end with a fatality on any side.
By contrast, in the US, where a burglar might expect deadly fire at any time, he will be much more likely to carry a firearm, and to shoot first; and many burglaries have a fatal issue. So "defensive" firearms, in the long run, have made burglaries more deadly. Thing is, there isn't really a way out of this situation.

11 lostlakehiker  Tue, Dec 11, 2012 2:01:34am

re: #10 peguyjaures

And not only having guns around makes being a burglar more dangerous, it also makes burglars more dangerous: in England or in France, where burglars don't expect to encounter firearms, they tend to avoid carrying firearms themselves and would rather try to flee when caught in the act, as harming their victims would result in much harsher sentences, and it's better for them to try their luck in the next house. Overall, very few burglaries end with a fatality on any side.
By contrast, in the US, where a burglar might expect deadly fire at any time, he will be much more likely to carry a firearm, and to shoot first; and many burglaries have a fatal issue. So "defensive" firearms, in the long run, have made burglaries more deadly. Thing is, there isn't really a way out of this situation.

There are all sorts of things to think about, true. Though if I were to go into the burglary business, I would go unarmed. Case the joint carefully, select targets that figure to be unoccupied, and tamely submit if my luck runs low and I encounter an armed homeowner. That would be the smart way to ply a dumb trade.


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