links for 2006-12-14

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14 Responses to links for 2006-12-14

  1. Russ says:

    It said gun deaths as a whole dropped from 521 to 289. It also said that firearm suicides dropped from 492 to 247.

    Subtract out the suicides. The figures went from 29, to 42. Makes perfect sense to me. Law abiding citizens turn in their guns, and find a different way to commit suicide. Criminals keep their guns, and use them without fear of an individual defending themselves.

  2. Russ says:

    Sorry, really quick, some data showing that suicide rates have remained pretty constant over the past 10 years in AU. So yes, taking a gun away from someone who is suicidal will stop them from shooting themselves, but no, it won’t stop them from hanging themselves.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/a61b65ae88ebf976ca256def00724cde?OpenDocument

  3. Ryan Morehart says:

    That article doesn’t actually show that fewer guns = fewer dead people, the stats are for “dying by gunshot.” Obviously gun related deaths are down…there are fewer guns. Fewer deaths from guns does not unnecessarily mean that there are fewer deaths total: deaths from other areas could have increased or stayed the same.

  4. Brett says:

    What flawed logic.

    Gun Death rate != Overall death rate.

    Who cares if the rates of dying by firearm is reduced if the rates of dying by stabbing, bludgeoning, and strangling are proportionately increased?

    In every country that attempts to ban firearms ownership, every one of them see proportionate increases in the rates of burglery, rape, and murder by alternate instrument.

    The simple fact is, banning firearms is only a ban against legitimate, law-abiding users who would otherwise be using a firearm for self-defense. Criminals don’t care about the laws because, by definition, a criminal has already broken the law.

    If you can get past your fear of inanimate objects, try reading Gary Kleck’s work.

  5. Rudd-O says:

    Jeff, you should know better than to infer cause-and-effect. Saying “fewer guns equals fewer dead people” is an affront on mathematicians.

    Studies done in Great Britain prove otherwise.

    It is not the availability of guns but the empire of law and education (especially good parenting) that ultimately motivates or demotivates a society to shoot each other in the faces.

    Shooting another person is almost always bad, except when you’re defending yourself. I’d very much like to have the chance to ward off a robber or assailant than trust them not to shoot me.

  6. Quinn says:

    Maths is easy, yes. But maths are not invincible

  7. drag says:

    Generally speaking in the United States the areas with the highest levels of gun ownership also are the same areas that have the lowest gun deaths and violent crime.

    Conversly in the majority of circumstances were local authorities institute strong gun restrictions violent crime goes up in response.

    There are exceptions both ways, but generally speaking both statements are true.

    But nobody is going to make a crappy graph trying to explain that one. Human lives and sociaty are not governed by simple arithmetic.

    In Australia between the time they instituted serious anti-gun laws in 1996 and 2000 homicides went up 3.2% country wide. Assults were up 8.6% country wide. Armed robberies went up 45%. In Victoria gun homicides went up 300%.

    That’s the math that most people see.

    Before 1996 all of those statistics were gradually dropping. Quite a nasty turn around.

    If you want a correlation that is actually valid you want to look at rates of drug use. Areas of illicit drug use and sales have the highest levels of violent crime. (at least in the U.S. statistics I’ve seen).

    Now I am not saying gun regulation is bad so much, but you have to be very carefull that when you pass laws that they don’t hurt gun owners that are law-abiding. What happens then is that criminals ignore the laws, while law-abiding people do.. which makes them even more vunerable to criminals.

    And Gun buy-backs are pretty decent way of going about doing things as long as everything is voluntary. If a druggie wants money for drugs it’s a bit easier choice between selling his gun for 40 bucks vs holding up a convience store for 20 bucks.

  8. Alan says:

    Back when Michael Moore was making a lot of noise I remember reading a comment “guns dont kill people, Americans do” which claimed Americans were more likely than other nations to resort to violence even without guns, such as running down their neighbour using their SUV.

    Still funny how Dick Cheney accidentally shot that guy.

  9. The point of second amendment isn’t that people should have guns “just because”. The point is that the populace is armed for the purpose of forming a militia against their own government — in the mean time, that means own a gun just because, or more so, just in case. “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Banning firearms of a higher grade than mere handguns and hunting rifles certainly helps the bottom line at the moment; it also means that if your government turns tyrannical, compared to their automatic weapons and combat shotguns, your population will be helpless to stop it. The easiest method of controlling citizens is to take away their firearms. See the following for reference:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_States#Security_against_tyranny_and_invasion_arguments

  10. Brad Johnson says:

    I think Buy-back programs are wonderful and the programs should be made permanently available in the U.S.

    Such programs, whether intended or not, target “illegal firearms” which are responsible for the overwhelming majority of crime.

    That said, I think responsible and legal gun ownership in the U.S. is a great thing. Protecting our right to arms while making it easy to turn in an illegal firearm is definitely the way to go.

  11. jpl says:

    Math(s) may be easy, but the raw data used in this study does not necessarily mean there has been a appreciable change in the decreasing firearm death rate due to the law in 1996.

    Seriously, look at the data, if you take out the two “trend” lines, I challenge anyone to find the *faster* declining rate. It looks like it has been constantly dropping (good job Australia!)

    Ah, yes, even the author of the study agrees. Notice the “not statistically significant” portion of what he had to say:

    Dr Simon Chapman, another author of the latest study, agreed that the rate of gun homicide was falling before the buyback. He said that while the rate had risen since then, the numbers involved were so small they were not statistically significant.

    The most important impact of the buyback was that there had been no mass shootings.

  12. Nomen Nescio says:

    The most important impact of the buyback was that there had been no mass shootings.

    i’m afraid i would argue even with this conclusion, since i really don’t see how any study of crime statistics could ever reasonably support any such thing. after all, there haven’t been any terrorist attacks in my home town since i’ve lived there, so did my moving in have an impact on terroristic crime in backwoods upstate Michigan? how would i ever prove or disprove such?

    as well, i notice that both the SMH article and yourself use the careful wording of “gun deaths”. that doesn’t necessarily mean anything at all. the old chestnut goes, “would it make you any happier if they was pushed out windows?” — what’s the trend in total criminal homicides (or even overall violent crime) is the question we ought to answer.

  13. seg says:

    It bothers me a bit when people assume that a policy which is effective in one place is applicable and appropriate for another. I can guarantee you that gun bans in the United States are only going to lead to more gun violence.

    Just look at Washington D.C., the only place in the United States where guns are banned. It still has what is probably the highest firearm death rate in the country.

  14. Godwin says:

    And after the Nazis forbade Jews from owning guns, they had zero guns, and zero gun deaths! Right?

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