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More gun laws = fewer deaths, 50-state study says
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CTrees wrote:
Ignoring the cities with very high murder rates, and instead rolling them into the statewide averages, seems disingenuous. I mean, Chicago, LA, Oakland, Baltimore, DC, NYC, Cinncinati, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Newark... all have very high murder rates AND strong/numerous gun laws. The study explicitly does not look at the city level, but (misread - the study just took data from the Brady group) I have to wonder if this was a deliberate choice.

EDIT: Actually, I'll be more direct. When the data has already been collected (number of applicable firearms laws other than federal laws being the difficult portion), is there any reason *not* to look at the relationship between gun laws and violent crime at a city level besides that it doesn't support the desired conclusion? As "what about Chicago?" and its variants is an immediate and obvious question, it would seem to be a methodological failing of the study if there is not, at least, an explanation of why that aspect was omitted.

EDIT 2: CNN's article has more detail on the study. I went looking for it, but naturally you need a JAMA subscription to read the actual thing. However, from the CNN report it does appear the authors acknowledge the "correlation does not equal causation" problem. However, they *do* still combine suicide and homicide rates, and use tactics like pointing to the differences between states in suicides by firearm (obvious problem: those same states have a dramatic difference in firearm ownership, and if fewer individuals own firearms... it becomes more likely that suicidal individuals are going to use some other method).

I look at it this way: it's like climate scientist making up shit. If you're trying to manipulate statistics, even if you're right overall, you're still going to do more harm than good in the long run if your oppositions can paint you as having used dubious tactics.

In terms of metropolitan areas, I'm curious if it's some sort of symptom of living in cities. I mean, if too many people live too close together are they more likely to commit violence against each other? Is is because they are more likely to encounter strangers? I think figuring out why are the outliers outliers may answer a lot. Overall though, I think it raises a lot of questions.

Also, I wanna see some cross referenced data (not that I expect it from a single study like this) examining the number of law enforcement personnel per same 100,000 as well as access to mental health (number of beds in mental care facilities, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.) The article and study both acknowledge that they are inconclusive, but I definitely don't think they should be outright dismissed.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can read the original JAMA article, so i will take it on myself to reply:
first off, they use deaths/100,000 population, so they are adjusting rates to the population. low population (in my opinion) could still account for the lower-than expected rates in south dakota and new hampshire (at some point the population gets low enough that you simply can't encounter anyone to shoot), but they did also include state population density as a controlling factor, as well as % of population below federal poverty level, unemployment and education level (all of which could potentially be related to gun deaths). (by the way, the two outliers with unusually high gun deaths were louisiana and alabama - i suppose you could blame louisiana on new orleans, but what about alabama?)

CTrees wrote:
Ignoring the cities with very high murder rates, and instead rolling them into the statewide averages, seems disingenuous. I mean, Chicago, LA, Oakland, Baltimore, DC, NYC, Cinncinati, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Newark... all have very high murder rates AND strong/numerous gun laws. The study explicitly does not look at the city level, but (misread - the study just took data from the Brady group) I have to wonder if this was a deliberate choice.

EDIT: Actually, I'll be more direct. When the data has already been collected (number of applicable firearms laws other than federal laws being the difficult portion), is there any reason *not* to look at the relationship between gun laws and violent crime at a city level besides that it doesn't support the desired conclusion? As "what about Chicago?" and its variants is an immediate and obvious question, it would seem to be a methodological failing of the study if there is not, at least, an explanation of why that aspect was omitted.


they state that "there is no repository available for tallying" laws at all levels (national, state, county and city). i was surprised to see the Brady people only have the laws from 2007 - the lack of historical data, to me, is the worst flaw. the cnn article you link also says that they lacked city-level data on gun deaths. so - data limitations (always an issue in population studies).

so i agree that looking at it on a more local level would be great but....data, data, data.

CTrees wrote:
EDIT 2: CNN's article has more detail on the study. I went looking for it, but naturally you need a JAMA subscription to read the actual thing. However, from the CNN report it does appear the authors acknowledge the "correlation does not equal causation" problem. However, they *do* still combine suicide and homicide rates, and use tactics like pointing to the differences between states in suicides by firearm (obvious problem: those same states have a dramatic difference in firearm ownership, and if fewer individuals own firearms... it becomes more likely that suicidal individuals are going to use some other method).


they actually did analyze homicide and suicide deaths separately, as well as looking at the combined number of deaths. in their adjusted model, both homicide and suicide deaths were lowered by about the same amount; admittedly, when they brought in an adjustment for ownership rates, they lost significance in the suicide deaths (although they admit that they don't have a good measure for gun ownership, and used the % of total suicides that were done with guns as a proxy, which seems a bit circular...but they seem to have gotten it past the reviewers). they also did some analysis looking at rates of firearm deaths vs. non-firearm deaths and found no correlations (so people were not, in fact, committing just as many crimes, but with different weapons).

all in all, i think it is a pretty good paper, considering that they were scrambling for data. as i said, the lack of good history of the laws is a problem; that could help answer the questions about whether states lacking pro-gun norms tend to have the most laws (because they are easier to pass there), and whether changing the number/type of laws changes the gun death rate.

they also had a nice little table (here's a link which i hope will work, pdf file so i can't just copy it) on the effect of different types of laws (they divide the types of laws into 5 categories: firearm trafficking, Brady laws (background checks), child safety, assault weapons bans and allowing guns in public places). everything except firearm trafficking laws reduced gun suicides. strengthening brady laws was the only thing that significantly reduced firearm homicides. that, to me, is a hopeful take-home message, since it seems that background checks are one thing that might actually get passed - even the nra has (sorta, kinda, at least for crazy people) come out in favor of them.
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the problem I have with gun laws is that they target all the wrong kind of guns. Historically, the vast majority of gun deaths, along the lines of 82% have been caused by handguns. Normally cheap, concealable handguns you can buy with a street price of $200, less if they've already been used in a crime.

However, the majority of the firearms that are listed in weapons bans, both in my home country, and the gun control proposal in the US, are full size rifles and submachine guns... much too large for concealment or use on the street outside of a planned or targeted hit. Combine that with a $1000 pricetag, and increased traceability due to the much smaller circulation, and it isn't really worth it.

Overall, these two pictures are what peeve me about gun control:

Both are Mossberg 500's... shotguns that are immensely popular and have been popular since 1961.


The TEC-9. Got banned in California and the AWB in the US... so they removed the shroud and threaded barrel, and moved from the side to the rear. The one on the right is legal, the one on the left is not.


Banning guns because they look scary doesn't work, so why does everyone try to do it? If you want to make a difference, ban compact handguns. Or put in a licensing system for firearms and make people take a course in firearms safety, a criminal record check and a psych report before they can buy.

Not to mention the fact that Wyoming, Colorado, North and South Carolina, and Michigan all have gun laws in the 3rd or 4th quartile and still have relatively high gun violence, according to the chart.

Yinello wrote:
enforcing the idea that gun ownership leads to bad results.


Gun ownership doesn't lead to bad results. Letting criminals and the mentally ill own guns leads to bad results.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
CTrees wrote:
Ignoring the cities with very high murder rates, and instead rolling them into the statewide averages, seems disingenuous. I mean, Chicago, LA, Oakland, Baltimore, DC, NYC, Cinncinati, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Newark... all have very high murder rates AND strong/numerous gun laws. The study explicitly does not look at the city level, but (misread - the study just took data from the Brady group) I have to wonder if this was a deliberate choice.

EDIT: Actually, I'll be more direct. When the data has already been collected (number of applicable firearms laws other than federal laws being the difficult portion), is there any reason *not* to look at the relationship between gun laws and violent crime at a city level besides that it doesn't support the desired conclusion? As "what about Chicago?" and its variants is an immediate and obvious question, it would seem to be a methodological failing of the study if there is not, at least, an explanation of why that aspect was omitted.

EDIT 2: CNN's article has more detail on the study. I went looking for it, but naturally you need a JAMA subscription to read the actual thing. However, from the CNN report it does appear the authors acknowledge the "correlation does not equal causation" problem. However, they *do* still combine suicide and homicide rates, and use tactics like pointing to the differences between states in suicides by firearm (obvious problem: those same states have a dramatic difference in firearm ownership, and if fewer individuals own firearms... it becomes more likely that suicidal individuals are going to use some other method).

I look at it this way: it's like climate scientist making up shit. If you're trying to manipulate statistics, even if you're right overall, you're still going to do more harm than good in the long run if your oppositions can paint you as having used dubious tactics.

In terms of metropolitan areas, I'm curious if it's some sort of symptom of living in cities. I mean, if too many people live too close together are they more likely to commit violence against each other? Is is because they are more likely to encounter strangers? I think figuring out why are the outliers outliers may answer a lot. Overall though, I think it raises a lot of questions.

Also, I wanna see some cross referenced data (not that I expect it from a single study like this) examining the number of law enforcement personnel per same 100,000 as well as access to mental health (number of beds in mental care facilities, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.) The article and study both acknowledge that they are inconclusive, but I definitely don't think they should be outright dismissed.


Well crime is related to violent crime, and cities tend to have more crime. I don't believe it's absolutely necessary to completely separate cities and the rest of the state but I do think it's useful to measure how urbanized the populace in each state is.

Honestly though, the larger problem with this study is that given the relative ease of smuggling guns over state lines it's really hard to claim laws are what influence the differences.

On the other hand, not looking at the city level is perhaps wise because "amount of gun-laws" obviously isn't the only factor determining gun-crime rates. The fact that Baltimore has high murder-rates is probably mostly due to the level of poverty, corruption and the drug-problem. It might be in fact useful to exclude most big cities altogether because they might swing findings one way or the other.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fritterdonut wrote:
Part of the problem I have with gun laws is that they target all the wrong kind of guns. Historically, the vast majority of gun deaths, along the lines of 82% have been caused by handguns. Normally cheap, concealable handguns you can buy with a street price of $200, less if they've already been used in a crime.


Yeah, that gets me, too. My favorite example is California's ban of weapons chambered in .50BMG - there are no records of them having ever been used in crime in the US, and the lightest Barret .50 has a dry weight (no accessories or ammunition) of 25lbs and an MSRP of $6500. Meanwhile, a High Point CF-380, with a 3.5in barrel? Has an MSRP of $140 and either eight or ten round magazines (AWB friendly). Exactly the sort of cheap weapon that's used in crime all the time, but no one is even suggesting legal restrictions.

(full disclosure: I was referencing my copy of The Shooter's Bible - I don't just know these figures off the top of my head. Also I've not seen a Barret for under $10k in an actual store in a few years)
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CTrees wrote:
fritterdonut wrote:
Part of the problem I have with gun laws is that they target all the wrong kind of guns. Historically, the vast majority of gun deaths, along the lines of 82% have been caused by handguns. Normally cheap, concealable handguns you can buy with a street price of $200, less if they've already been used in a crime.


Yeah, that gets me, too. My favorite example is California's ban of weapons chambered in .50BMG - there are no records of them having ever been used in crime in the US, and the lightest Barret .50 has a dry weight (no accessories or ammunition) of 25lbs and an MSRP of $6500. Meanwhile, a High Point CF-380, with a 3.5in barrel? Has an MSRP of $140 and either eight or ten round magazines (AWB friendly). Exactly the sort of cheap weapon that's used in crime all the time, but no one is even suggesting legal restrictions.

(full disclosure: I was referencing my copy of The Shooter's Bible - I don't just know these figures off the top of my head. Also I've not seen a Barret for under $10k in an actual store in a few years)


I blame the .50 ban in CA on the fact that every movie and video game ever has to put a Desert Eagle in there somewhere, quite often in the hands of the bad guy.

Even though it's actually a pretty crappy gun and the .50AE round is horrible because the excessive recoil prevents any kind of follow up shot or precise aiming while giving shit ballistics performance.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yee-up..50BMG =/= .50AE =/= .500 S&W Mag. =/= .50 Beowulf =/= .50 Alaskan =/= .500 NE etc. etc. etc. And yet... "Fiddy cal? Ban it!" and... you have something banned which makes not a lick of sense.

Another good example is the FN Five-seveN. Ther is an armor piercing form of the 5.7x28mm round it fires... but 1) it only penetrates the weakest forms of ballistic vests, not what's currently used, 2) it's never been used the US to kill police (the usual "cop-killer" worry), and 3) the armor piercing ammunition is law-enforcement and military only, not for civilian sale, which means it's effectively a faintly faster version of .22 WMR in the civilian version. And yet! It's scary, so there has been attempt after attempt to ban it (there's one currently before Congress, even).
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm hardly surprised... IIRC, the FN P-90 is banned up here for the same reason. Funnily enough, now that 5.7x28mm Non AP ammo is available up here, the Five SeveN is no longer prohibited, you can pick one up for about $1300 CAD. Once again, I find it hard to believe someone would blow $1300 on a pistol which, lacking AP ammo, has no benefit over a 9mm or .40 S&W.
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has it occured to either of you two that perhaps the .50 cal thing and not quite so armor piercing as to armor pierce the new stuff we have but probably still armor piercing enough to easily blast through several shitty apartment walls may be aimed at reducing collateral damage?
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's more about wasted effort and lip service that effects no real change i.e. you ban a gun that has effectively killed no one while other models are commonly used to commit crimes yet have little or no legislation limiting their sale and/or distribution.
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey McDermott wrote:
not quite so armor piercing as to armor pierce the new stuff


Note that as CTrees pointed out, You can't buy the AP ammo as a civilian in the US and all AP ammo is banned in Canada. The civilian non-AP ammo has the ballistic properties of a slightly faster .22 Magnum round. Any number of common handgun calibers would be more dangerous.

As for the .50 calibre thing, as far as pistol goes a .454 Casull would go through more of well, anything, than a .50 Action Express. The .454 has ~2600 J of energy, whereas the .50 AE has ~1700 J of energy. As for .50 BMG and all the other .50 calibre rifle rounds... well. If you have the $10,000 to drop on a rifle to shoot them, and the cash to fire $10 a round, I'd really hope you a) knew gun safety b) didn't live in an apartment complex and c) invested in trigger locks and a gun safe. Not to mention the fact that there hasn't been nearly as much controversy over rifles like the .600 and .700 Nitro Express.

To reiterate my position, I think we should take a hard look at what guns are used in crime - because it won't be the .50 BMGs or the AK-47s or the AR-15s. It will be small, cheap handguns like the Hi-Point and the Glock that are plentiful, hard to trace, concealable and easy to sell. If you want gun legislation to actually change crime rates, then make the legislation affect the guns used in 74% of firearms-related crimes, handguns, versus 4% and 5% for rifles and shotguns, respectively. Doing anything else is simply showboating by politicians who want to look like they are being tough on gun crime, while not having the negative backlash of alienating a large number of gun owners (seeing as most of the weapons proposed in bans are relatively rare).
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fritterdonut wrote:

To reiterate my position, I think we should take a hard look at what guns are used in crime - because it won't be the .50 BMGs or the AK-47s or the AR-15s. It will be small, cheap handguns like the Hi-Point and the Glock that are plentiful, hard to trace, concealable and easy to sell. If you want gun legislation to actually change crime rates, then make the legislation affect the guns used in 74% of firearms-related crimes, handguns, versus 4% and 5% for rifles and shotguns, respectively. Doing anything else is simply showboating by politicians who want to look like they are being tough on gun crime, while not having the negative backlash of alienating a large number of gun owners (seeing as most of the weapons proposed in bans are relatively rare).


Right, people know this. But you and I know that actually doing anything about that is impossible. You know that the backlash is so huge that any politician being honest about it is going to fucking lose. To say that they should focus on that is actually to say they should give up or go down. It's like saying anyone with a socialist lean should start a fucking socialist party. You know they're going to lose. The climate isn't ready for that shit.


Call it showboating, what it actually is is subtly changing discourse so that the real problem gets into focus.
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
Right, people know this. But you and I know that actually doing anything about that is impossible. You know that the backlash is so huge that any politician being honest about it is going to fucking lose. To say that they should focus on that is actually to say they should give up or go down. It's like saying anyone with a socialist lean should start a fucking socialist party. You know they're going to lose. The climate isn't ready for that shit.


Call it showboating, what it actually is is subtly changing discourse so that the real problem gets into focus.


Subtly changing the discourse... but at what cost?

Besides, considering that over 50% of Americans have said they support some form of gun control, I find it hard to believe that they would have that much of an issue with a licensing program. I mean, what valid excuse is there for keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, the unsafe/untrained and criminals? It's still better than all-out bans.
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fritterdonut wrote:


Yinello wrote:
enforcing the idea that gun ownership leads to bad results.


Gun ownership doesn't lead to bad results. Letting criminals and the mentally ill own guns leads to bad results.



In a population so vast where it's really difficult for people to discern whether they are doing something right or wrong (gray areas), it makes sense to tackle all of them instead of individuals.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yinello wrote:
fritterdonut wrote:


Yinello wrote:
enforcing the idea that gun ownership leads to bad results.


Gun ownership doesn't lead to bad results. Letting criminals and the mentally ill own guns leads to bad results.



In a population so vast where it's really difficult for people to discern whether they are doing something right or wrong (gray areas), it makes sense to tackle all of them instead of individuals.


So you suggest that no one should be allowed to own them because they might be used in a crime? Just screw everyone with actual legitimate uses, like hunting, sport shooting, varmint reduction or bear protection, because someone might commit a crime.

That seems like a pretty horrible, dystopian reason to me.

I'm sorry if I sound like an asshole, but I really do find the idea that all guns should be banned, because a relatively small number of them are used in crime, to be a appalling.
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