Wanted: fact based arguments for gun control.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by hafr, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68030

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    Sep 21, 2011
    #1
    It's impossible to miss the discussion following the latest shootings in the states, and there is a very loud group of people saying "banning guns means less guns and less gun violence" and another very loud group saying "don't you dare touch our guns, they're protected by the constitution".

    Now, as a person who's not the least bit interested in owning weapons (my time in the army was enough) and as an economist - I'm mostly interested in numbers, correlations and such.

    I just can't seem to find any kind of evidence that imposing tougher gun laws would in fact make society safer. When saying this I usually get to hear that I'm a scary man, that I'm stupid for not being able to understand the concept of "less guns = less crime" and other argumenta ad passiones.

    The only fact based argument I hear against gun ownership is that suicidal gun owners are more likely to use their guns when killing themselves than suicidal people who do not own guns, and that crimes of passion in the home more often include guns when there is a gun in the house than when there is not. These are both very good arguments against gun ownership, but it says absolutely nothing about the general security in the society or that it would stop these mass killings.

    Another argument is comparisons between Japan and the US. Which is a comparison that lacks any importance when looking at comparisons between the states in the US or comparisons between more countries. Using only two examples when comparing only two factors is just ridiculous.

    So, I'm not out to disprove anyone, I have no interest in protecting anything, I just want to know if there is anything fact based to support the claim that tougher gun control makes for a safer society - and if so, please show it to me.

    WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE? A REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL AND SOME DOMESTIC EVIDENCE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

    Just Facts: http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp#crime

    No Correlation Between Gun Control Laws and Violent Crime Rates: http://inmalafide.com/no-correlation-between-gun-control-laws-and-violent-crime-rates/

    Gun Laws and Crime: A Complex Relationship: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/weekinreview/29liptak.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
     
  2. macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #2
    Given there are no border points between US states it is trivial to transport guns across state lines. Comparing different US states like this is ridiculous.

    What you actually want to compare is different countries - it is obviously pretty hard to transport guns from the US to the UK.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Are you proposing it's common enough that guns are stolen or moved across state lines without it being reported to authorities that it would offset a positive correlation between gun ownership and violent crime into this mishmash? Do you have anything to support that claim?

    WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE? A REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL AND SOME DOMESTIC EVIDENCE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/...useronline.pdf

    What's your take on this one then?

    Did you have any fact based arguments to share by the way?
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Thanks. I looked through the "key findings", but couldn't find anything to support that the implementation of tougher gun laws would make society safer. Please direct me towards what I'm missing.

    But there was already a downward trend in homicides in play for years before the massacre and imposed gun laws. Also, Tasmania had the more relaxed gun laws in the country but the second lowest homicide rate until the massacre happened.

    To keep the discussion on track, let's look at some facts regarding Australia and the effects of gun laws introduced after said massacre:

    "Mass murders in Dunblane, United Kingdom, and Port Arthur, Australia, provoked rapid responses from the governments of both countries. Major changes to Australian laws resulted in a controversial buy-back of longarms and tighter legislation. The Australian situation enables evaluation of the effect of a national buy-back, accompanied by tightened legislation in a country with relatively secure borders. AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) was used to predict future values of the time series for homicide, suicide and accidental death before and after the 1996 National Firearms Agreement (NFA). When compared with observed values, firearm suicide was the only parameter the NFA may have influenced, although societal factors could also have influenced observed changes. The findings have profound implications for future firearm legislation policy direction."
    http://moveleft.org/dog_ban/br_j_criminology_2006_.pdf
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Neither of the graphs (number of murders and number of incidents) show any indication of spikes being levelled out after 1996 (and interestingly, fewer people were murdered in 1996 when a single incident was responsible for 10 % of the homicides, than in both 1995 and 1997). Am I missing something?
     
  6. macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #6

    According to this report from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, it happens often.

     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Okay. So the argument is that a single state's gun control laws are ineffective due to other state's more relaxed gun laws, and that gun laws should be federal?

    I buy that. Still not really an argument that states tougher gun laws makes for a safer society though...

    How about the comparison between Canada and the US?
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #8
    So the spikes (and dips, nota bene) of the percentage of homicides being committed with firearms have been levelled out since 1996, meaning the number of gun related homicides each year has regressed towards the mean. It's interesting, since it could be an argument that gun control plays a factor in preventing mass shootings and that massacres aren't the black swans they're made out to be (see the black swan theory).

    But it's also interesting because the levelling out means the dips have disappeared. How come? Why is it more likely for a homicide to involve firearms during years with no massacres when there are tougher gun laws then it was before (in Australia)? Now, that's a head scratcher...

    Do you have any theories as to why the homicide rate started falling in the 70's, and what might have caused it to continue it's course downwards?
     
  9. macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #9
  10. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #10
    So there are scientific studies to support the claim that implementing stricter gun control doesn't help make a society safer, but not the opposite, because the NRA are blocking those studies from being made? And this would be an explanation to why there is such a lack of fact based arguments for implementing stricter gun control?

    Am I interpreting you correctly?
     
  11. macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I think instead of banning firearms (assault or otherwise) you should rather adopt stricter rules on storing guns and ammunition. Here in Switzerland we are forced by law to store one or the other in a safe, separated in two rooms. Does that effectively stop people from grabbing a gun and (accidentally) shooting themselves or others? No, but it makes it harder (for roommates or intruders) to get just grab a gun and shoot.

    The country needs an attitude adjustment regarding guns. Don't look at them as a prize or proof of freedom; they are weapons used for offense and defense, not toys to prove you're tough and powerful.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    What about the report cited earlier that claims there is no effect that surpasses the expected values?

    Also the dips are less significant, it's like instead of having 350 homicides one year and 250 the next there is now 300 each year. Better, worse or the same?

    I'm against allowing people to keep guns at home the way it's allowed in the states, because I believe the argument that a gun under the pillow makes you safer is bollocks and that you actually increase the risk of being burglarised with all that it entails, so I'm with you when it comes to certain aspects of gun control being a positive thing - for the gun owners themselves. But since the discussion is about making society safer for those not carrying guns, kids and so on, those are the factors I'm interested in, and can't seem to find solid evidence for.
     
  13. macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #13

    Nothing to interpret. I simply made the point that the NRA tries to squash gun research wherever possible. It's one reason for the lack of recent studies, probably the biggest reason. If, as the NRA would like us to believe, that gun control doesn't reduce gun violence, then why block studies?
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #14
    I don't know, and I'm not very interested in fallacies of distraction. Please keep to the subject: fact based arguments for gun control.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    CalWizrd

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    #15
    As I have been called out for numerous times... I'll play devil's advocate.

    Where is your documented proof, your citation of factual sources, that the NRA blocks these types of studies?

    Don't get me wrong... I am no supporter of the NRA. Not by a long shot (pun intended).
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #16
    So a yearly homicidal rate that's stable is better than a yearly homicidal rate that fluctuates, even if it averages out to be the same?
     
  17. macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #17

    Give me a break. It's common knowledge and the article I linked to is all the research I'm doing on this.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #18
    So in short, you have nothing to do in this discussion? Thank you.
     
  19. citizenzen, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    citizenzen

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    #19
    While this study doesn't speak specifically to gun control laws, it does point to increased risks associated with firearms. It isn't a great leap to assume that if the presence of firearms increases these risks that laws that reduced the number of guns present would then lower the number of people exposed to these increased risks.

     
  20. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Sep 21, 2011
    #20
    Okay, then I understand your point of view.

    Yes, but that trend started earlier and was not affected by the implementation of the gun laws. See previously quoted article about it. It contains more raw data and has better conclusions than you or I can draw from looking at these four graphs.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    CalWizrd

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    #21
    I'm not trying to bust you... I just find it somewhat amusing how I have been beaten on unmercifully in the past for posting something that is also common knowledge, while still hearing absurd demands for proof and documentation from several unnamed (but you know who they are :)) members of this forum.

    "Give me a break" never worked for me!

    I guess the requirement for (ridiculous) documentation is directly linked to which side of the argument you happen to be on. Just an observation...
     
  22. macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #22
    I'm really not interested in the debate given that homicide is at one of the lowest points in the history of both the United States and the developed world, however your selection of "facts" is poor. The Harvard Law article is using Communist controlled Soviet Russia, previously USSR-controlled Eastern European nations, cites Gary Kleck (whose telephone survey should be dismissed out of hand on it's absurdity) and claims that France's gun ownership of 5.5% of households with handguns is comparable to the level of US ownership.

    I'm not trying to make a case for gun control, just pointing out that your case against it could use some better sources.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #23
    (Damn those forearms ;))

    As I said in my original post: "The only fact based argument I hear against gun ownership is that suicidal gun owners are more likely to use their guns when killing themselves than suicidal people who do not own guns, and that crimes of passion in the home more often include guns when there is a gun in the house than when there is not. These are both very good arguments against gun ownership, but it says absolutely nothing about the general security in the society or that it would stop these mass killings."
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    citizenzen

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    #24
    I believe you overlook where the study finds ...

    • Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home

    • They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death

    This isn't just about suicide.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    citizenzen

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    #25
    But let's take a moment to look at suicide.

    Excerpts from the Harvard School of Public Health ...

     

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