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(Boing Boing)   Why is gun violence research so bad? Here comes the science (and conclusive info that whatever opinion you currently hold is not supported by science). Guns   (boingboing.net) divider line 16
    More: Interesting, gun violence, justifiable homicide, Stanford Law School, domestic violence, Lists of people by belief  
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2615 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Feb 2013 at 8:19 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-02-28 09:08:36 AM  
3 votes:
The idea that more guns would cause more shootings is just logical.   More bear traps would cause more bear trap accidents.  This is the default position/assumption.  In my mind, it is up to the gun nuts to show that it makes society safer, which obviously they can't do.

The only logical argument for gun rights is an ideological one that people should be entitled to defend themselves however they see fit regardless of the obvious net reduction to societal safety.

I don't agree with that argument but at least it isn't fallacious or dishonest.
2013-02-28 07:19:36 AM  
2 votes:

hinten: Watch this thread where Farkers will show their own research and opinions proving the above statement wrong.


Well, yeah. Kind of like Evolution, Climate Change, and Abortion, FARK has a proud tradition of vetting bloggers, political hacks, and TV Talking Heads as experts in the field of scientific research and above reproach.

HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THAT, SIR!

dr_blasto: Key prohibition on studies is that if it might be used for gun control.


The problem is that prohibition pretty much states that any  legitimate research on the topic can't be performed, because it might come out contrary to the will of their constituents. Otherwise, I generally agree with your statement.

dr_blasto: We'll never know, as we'll never really get to look into it.


You hit the nail on the head. We'll never look into it in a hard, scientific manner. Instead, our guiding cues will be given to us by the likes of the NRA and the Brady Foundation, and the myriad of political heads on national Television ready to ridicule anyone who dares to question what they say to the American Public.
2013-02-28 06:55:29 AM  
2 votes:
So, the fact of the matter, from RTFA, is that the actual research and standardized classifications for gun violence and crime vary as much as from person to person and study to study used, and are of poor quality. There is no consensus on what justifies such actions as "Defensive Gun Use", the definition of a justified homicide varies wildly from the national and individual state standards,

And...the ability to study that by relevant scientific bodies, like the NIH and the CDC, have been quashed by legislation aimed at keeping these institutions from putting out any studies which might be used to support gun control in any form.

www.troll.me

You know, this sounds a lot like the same avenue that the National Institute for Drug Abuse/Drug Policy and the Justice Department takes towards research on illegal drugs.
2013-02-28 04:09:57 PM  
1 votes:

Fubini: The problem is when people don't read the whole story and "had intent to use weapon against a real or perceived threat" turns into "used a gun to stop a bad guy".


Once again. take a look at the Trayvon Martin case. Zimmerman technically had a legal right to carry a gun around as a private citizen. He also had some sort of sanction from the HOA to act as a "lookout" for trouble.

However, he had no right to confront a private citizen (compounded by the fact the private citizen had done nothing wrong), and it is unlikely he would have done so in the first place had he not been carrying a gun.

He viewed someone as a threat who turned out to not be a threat, but that instituted a chain of events which lead to Martin's death, and technically speaking, under the law, Zimmerman's actions may not constitute a criminal offense.

That is the problem with *many* (I didn't say most) gun owners - they are actually willing to "look for trouble" because they have a gun and are willing to use it, knowing the law backs them up. Is this a healthy society, or a society in which needless deaths happen?
2013-02-28 01:05:21 PM  
1 votes:

Witty_Retort: dittybopper: dr_blasto: How many women are shot dead by escalating domestic violence?

Not as many as you would think.  The homicide rate among women in 2010 was 2.2 per 100,000, and the firearms homicide rate among women that year was 1.11 per 100,000, suggesting that just about 50% of female homicide victims are killed with a firearm.

For males, that same year, the total homicide rate was 8.42 per 100,000, and the firearms homicide rate was 6.15 per 100,000, making the percentage of male homicide victims killed with a firearm about 73%.

Men are at much higher risk of homicide (4 times higher), and at an even higher risk of firearms homicide (nearly 6 times higher).

Across states, more guns = more female violent deaths
We analyzed the relationship between firearm availability and unintentional gun death, homicide and suicide for women across the 50 states over a ten year period.  Women in states with many guns have elevated rates of unintentional gun deaths, suicides and homicide, particularly firearm suicides and firearm homicides.
Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David. Firearm availability and unintentional firearm deaths, suicide, and homicide among women. Journal of Urban Health. 2002; 79:26-38

Across high income countries more guns = more female homicide deaths.
We analyzed the relationship between gun availability and homicides of women with data from 25 high income countries. Across developed nations, where gun are more available, there are more homicides of women.  The United States has the most firearms and U.S. women have far more likely to be homicide victims than women in other developed countries.
Hemenway, David; Shinoda-Tagawa, Tomoko; Miller, Matthew. Firearm availability and female homicide victimization rates across 25 populous high-income countries. Journal of the American Medical Women's Association. 2002; 57:100-04.
 Link


Hmmmm. Hemenway, where have I heard that name before?

Oh, yeah, that's right, he's director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.   The HICRC receives a lot of money in grants from the Joyce Foundation, specifically for firearms research.

The Joyce Foundation is the largest single source of funds for gun control advocacy in the United States.

I'm sure that the $1.525 million the HICRC has received in grant money from the Joyce Foundation in the last 5 years won't influence the outcome of his research at all.

/That last sentence was sarcasm, btw.
2013-02-28 11:59:35 AM  
1 votes:

neversubmit: dittybopper: neversubmit: Depression has lead me to suicidal thoughts more than once, should I buy a gun to defend myself?

So what stopped you?  I'm assuming you had access to a method nearly as fatal as firearms, hanging (75.9% fatal, vs. 80.7% for firearms in 2010.  See my post above for the math).  Surely you had a rope, or a bed sheet, or an electrical cord that you could have hung yourself with.  Wouldn't have taken a significantly greater effort than getting a gun from where it is stored, loading it, and shooting yourself.  Tying a couple of knots and stepping off a chair isn't that hard either.

Is that a yes or no? And don't call me shirley!


I didn't answer your question because it's a non-sequitur:  I was X, should I do Y because Z?  Self-defense and suicide are unrelated.  Conflating them results in the absurdity that you are arguing whether you should defend against your self with lethal force to prevent your own suicide.
2013-02-28 10:41:15 AM  
1 votes:

Fail in Human Form: neversubmit: clane: [dancingczars.files.wordpress.com image 209x210]

-Gun Nut

I don't own any guns but I want to be a gun nut, is that doable?

Just support the actual reason for the 2nd amendment.  Most of this board will fall over themselves to call you a lunatic gun nut.  No guns required.


A Well Regulated Militia includes the right to shoot anything anywhere if you feel threatened. Water that tree of liberty, gun nuts.
2013-02-28 10:13:13 AM  
1 votes:
Can anyone show me a study done by the CDC before the evil republicans cut their funding where you can break gun violence down by gun violence done by people with prior convictions and gun violence done by upstanding citizens with 0 priors? One group is prohibited from owning firearms....the only group any new laws will affect would be the group of upstanding citizens with 0 priors.


In yesterdays senate hearing testimony the chief of police from milwaukee claimed over 90% of gun homicides were committed by career criminals and that over 80% of their victims were also career criminals.

The AG(?) Walsh from CO testified that the rifles Feinstein wants to ban account for less than 2% of all gun crume....both the Chief and AG were witnesses for the gun control side.
2013-02-28 09:57:38 AM  
1 votes:

Fubini: About  30% of individuals, about 50% of households own a gun in America.


The numbers are hard to pin down accurately, though:  There is a downward bias to reporting it.

All of those numbers are based upon surveys of the general population, and there are two types of people who are unlikely to report their gun ownership to a stranger with a clipboard or one on the phone:  Hard-core gun rights activists, who might be wary that it's some sort of government trick or who believe it's NOYFB*, and criminals, who have a realistic fear that admitting to gun ownership would result in being arrested.

Both of those cases (and there is probably a relatively small overlap between them) are likely to just say "No, I don't own any" when asked.

There is a potential third case also:  When a family member of the gun owner is polled about whether there is a gun in the home, and they don't know there is one present so they answer negative.  That's probably more biased to the criminal side, though I suppose it's possible that someone who legally owns one might keep it locked away and out of sight of their spouse if the spouse is against guns.

I can't think of a reason for a corresponding upward bias to the numbers (ie., people falsely reporting that they do own guns when they actually don't).

That's why I think the surveys of who owns a gun consistently report a number lower than the actual, true number.

*None Of Your Farkin' Business
2013-02-28 09:38:39 AM  
1 votes:

imontheinternet: [www.realnewsreporter.com image 300x255]
You don't need science. The guy with the gun is always right. For instance, this gentleman thinks that you are about to donate your wallet to his favorite charity, Shaky's Meth Emporium. He'll be happy to make the donation for you.


His trigger finger is in the proper safe position, off the trigger and on the side of the frame.  He's not a real criminal, hence, no donation.
2013-02-28 09:28:13 AM  
1 votes:

hinten: [boingboing.net image 850x442]

Watch this thread where Farkers will show their own research and opinions proving the above statement wrong.


Actually, surprisingly enough, I agree.  There is a lack of *GOOD* basic science.

The article points out the political pitfalls of the science, and it obliquely touches upon why the CDC was forbidden from from working on gun violence, but it doesn't come out and say the actual reason:  Because the CDC's research on the matter was so bad that it had to be either due to blatant bias, or to serious incompetence.

Congress decided that *NO* science was better than *BAD* science, and I have to agree with that position.  Consider betting on dice.  If you are told the dice are fair, when they are actually loaded, you've got bad data, and if you make decisions upon that data, you're most likely going to lose.  If, on the other hand, you aren't told anything about the dice, you might assume that they are loaded, and bet accordingly.  Or, you may not.  On average, though, you'll come out better if you don't make any assumptions about the fairness of the dice than you would if you assumed the dice were fair when they actually weren't.

That's kind of what the situation was in 1996:  The CDC, because of some bias was viewing gun violence research as if it were a transmissible disease.  That's not to say that the bias was necessarily intentional.  I can think of numerous ways it could have been unintentional:

1. People with advanced degrees who live and work in major cities often have very limited or zero exposure to non-criminal gun ownership, so subconsciously they internalize guns as purely a problem without a counterbalance.

2. People who normally work with communicable diseases don't understand that violence is different than, say, HIV or Influenza.  This is the old "When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" problem.

3. The research was mostly done in large cities.   For instance, one of the major researchers funded by the CDC, Arthur Kellermann, focused all his research in urban areas.  That alone introduces a major bias into the data.

That's not to say there couldn't have been out-right intentional bias.  Almost certainly there was at least some, and given the background of the researchers in question, it was probably more in the direction of pro-control instead of pro-rights.

I would actually *LOVE* to see good (ie., non-biased) research into the issue.

I don't think we are actually going to get that, though.  We had this argument back in the 1990s, back when gun control was the fashion like it seems to be today.

To put it most succinctly:  While I would welcome unbiased research into the matter, you have to go a *LONG* way, farther than normal, to convince me the research won't be slanted politically.  Perhaps requiring researchers to publish their full datasets when they publish their papers, or very shortly thereafter, would help.

Also, in the end, it might largely be irrelevant because of the elephant in the room:  The Second Amendment.  The Supreme Court has ruled that owning a firearm is an individual right, and it has incorporated that right against the states.  That puts the brakes on a large number potential policies.  Arguably, it could also cause the repeal of some current laws, for example, in the 10 states that currently limit CCW licenses on subjective criteria, or on permits to purchase that require a person pay hundreds of dollars just for the ability to own a handgun.  Those are currently being litigated at the federal district court level, and we may be 100% "Shall Issue" in a couple of short years.

The author didn't even touch upon that, though:  There is zero mention of "Second Amendment" in the article.  Granted, it's about science, and in this article she focuses on problems with the data itself and how it's collected, but as I pointed out that's a very large elephant sitting in the room, and it gets largely ignored.
2013-02-28 09:13:39 AM  
1 votes:
Also, the NRA got Congress to bar the CDC from studying gun violence. President Obama's recent EOs put an end to that. Shockingly, the ostrich approach didn't yield great results.
2013-02-28 09:12:55 AM  
1 votes:

Citrate1007: Lobbyists don't want it at all for obvious reasons and anti-gun folks are usually motivated by emotion.  It does speak volumes that the NRA is against any research because they feel that it would always make guns bad, but I honestly think that it would deflect the attention away from the actual guns and place the violence on the environmental/personal correlations.  A lot of places have as many guns as us but don't see the violence. That in itself should also speak volumes.


you sure bout that? The USA leads the world in gun ownership per capita, by a factor of at least 2 or 3 over most of the world you want to be comparing to (e.g., Western Europe, Japan, Australia/NZ, etc)
2013-02-28 07:40:07 AM  
1 votes:

hinten: [boingboing.net image 850x442]

Watch this thread where Farkers will show their own research and opinions proving the above statement wrong.


ke= 1/2mv2
2013-02-28 07:25:36 AM  
1 votes:

BronyMedic: hinten: Watch this thread where Farkers will show their own research and opinions proving the above statement wrong.

Well, yeah. Kind of like Evolution, Climate Change, and Abortion, FARK has a proud tradition of vetting bloggers, political hacks, and TV Talking Heads as experts in the field of scientific research and above reproach.

HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THAT, SIR!

dr_blasto: Key prohibition on studies is that if it might be used for gun control.

The problem is that prohibition pretty much states that any  legitimate research on the topic can't be performed, because it might come out contrary to the will of their constituents. Otherwise, I generally agree with your statement.

dr_blasto: We'll never know, as we'll never really get to look into it.

You hit the nail on the head. We'll never look into it in a hard, scientific manner. Instead, our guiding cues will be given to us by the likes of the NRA and the Brady Foundation, and the myriad of political heads on national Television ready to ridicule anyone who dares to question what they say to the American Public.


Legitimate research could shut that whole thing down. We'll just truck along listening to the shills on the pro- and anti-gun control think tanks, lobby organizations and paid hacks as the sole source of our policies. So long as that continues, we'll still have thousands of dead people every year who die unnecessarily and, simultaneously, weird gun laws that make no sense and only serve to confound gun hobbyists. We've clearly chosen the direction wherein everybody loses except the lobbyists themselves; they'll laugh all the way to the bank.
2013-02-28 07:07:16 AM  
1 votes:

BronyMedic: So, the fact of the matter, from RTFA, is that the actual research and standardized classifications for gun violence and crime vary as much as from person to person and study to study used, and are of poor quality. There is no consensus on what justifies such actions as "Defensive Gun Use", the definition of a justified homicide varies wildly from the national and individual state standards,

And...the ability to study that by relevant scientific bodies, like the NIH and the CDC, have been quashed by legislation aimed at keeping these institutions from putting out any studies which might be used to support gun control in any form.

[www.troll.me image 304x198]

You know, this sounds a lot like the same avenue that the National Institute for Drug Abuse/Drug Policy and the Justice Department takes towards research on illegal drugs.


Same thing, different lobby. Key prohibition on studies is that if it might be used for gun control. The problem is that maybe our current gun control laws are ineffective and do the wrong things. Maybe they should be thrown out and replaced by reasonable legislation that is designed to actually reduce gun-related violence and maybe that could be done without interfering with the RKBA and maybe, just maybe, it might even be better for gun owners.

We'll never know, as we'll never really get to look into it. I still think that since the majority of gun violence is related to street crime and drugs and the remaining is related to domestic violence, if we legalized drugs and turned that cash toward treatment while toughening laws on domestic abuse we might actually halve our numbers of dead people. Wouldn't that be a bonus? Maybe address poverty too and quit piling poor people into dense neighborhoods full of poor people creating little black holes of hopelessness where 12-year-olds get shot for their shoes.
 
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