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nk-1911
06-19-2010, 10:50 PM
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/are-you-more-likely-to-be-shot-because-you-own-a-gun/?singlepage=true

Are You More Likely to Be Shot Because You Own a Gun?
Yet another flawed study attempts to make the case for keeping citizens defenseless.
October 13, 2009 - by Clayton E. Cramer Share | You probably learned somewhere that correlation does not equal causality. That is to say, just because two variables rise and fall together doesn’t mean that one causes the other. One of the examples is that ice cream cone sales rise and fall with rape rates. It isn’t that ice cream cones cause rape; it is that high temperatures increase demand for ice cream and cause many people to leave windows open to get a cool breeze to enter; instead, a rapist takes advantage of the unlocked window.

In that case, there is a common factor driving both variables: high temperatures. Sometimes the correlation is just a coincidence. Statisticians have ways to figure out whether correlations are coincidental or not — but even then, the best that you can say for any particular correlation is that it is unlikely that the correlation is coincidence.

The bigger problem is when you have a correlation that is not a coincidence, but the question becomes, “Which is the cause? Which is the result?” There’s a strong correlation between smoking and lung cancer, but longitudinal studies have pretty well established that smoking comes before the lung cancer. That’s a pretty strong clue that smoking causes lung cancer — not that people who get lung cancer take up smoking because they are so upset about being sick.

Similarly, if you surveyed American homes, you would find a strong correlation between the presence of legally prescribed syringes and at least one diabetic in the home. If you didn’t know that diabetics use syringes to inject insulin, you might wonder: Do syringes cause diabetes? Or does diabetes cause syringes to appear? This problem is known as determining the direction of causality.

Unlike “chicken or the egg,” longitudinal studies give you a realistic chance of figuring out, when you have two correlated variables, which is the cause and which is the symptom. All this discussion is to introduce one of those reminders that correlation is not enough. There’s a new study coming out, just in time to try and influence the Supreme Court in the upcoming challenge to Chicago’s handgun freeze law.

This new study, to be published in the November issue of American Journal of Public Health, claims that Philadelphians in possession of guns were 4.5 times more likely to be shot than Philadelphians who didn’t have a gun. Correlation: check. Therefore, “suggestions to the contrary, especially for urban residents who may see gun possession as a defense against a dangerous environment, should be discussed and thoughtfully reconsidered.”

What’s the direction of causality here? Are you more likely to be shot because you own a gun? Does anyone seriously believe that buying a gun attracts criminal attackers? Or do people buy guns because they perceive that they are in danger of being attacked? If it is the latter, they guessed correctly. Someone shot them.

Now, it is possible that some of these Philadelphians bought guns and a criminal shot them because they resisted a criminal attack using that gun. But if so, this would be a powerful piece of evidence that guns are dangerous to victims. It does not appear that the study checked to see if the victims had tried to defend themselves. This study was based on 677 individual victims; how hard would it have been to find out if the victims had tried to use their guns in self-defense?

If you know much about Philadelphia, you already have seen the other problem with this study: a lot of the victims of violent crime in big cities are gang members shooting other gang members. It may well be that gang members buy guns with the expectation that members of a rival gang are going to try and shoot them — and they would be completely correct about that. Wouldn’t it have been so much more interesting and useful if this study had checked the criminal histories of the 677 victims and compared them to the criminal histories of the control group? In Milwaukee, for example, not only did 86% of those arrested for homicide have previous arrests, but so had 75% of the victims (see p. 4 of the report). Of course, that might have exposed the real risk factor: being a gang member dramatically increases your risk of being shot.

Many years ago, I was quite amused by one of the few really clever and thoughtful bumper stickers that I have ever seen. It managed to teach this problem of the direction of causality in a simple phrase: “Guns cause crime the way flies cause garbage.” The presence of garbage attracts flies; high crime rates cause decent people to buy guns. Prohibiting guns will no more prevent crime than spraying for flies will make your garbage disappear.

Clayton E. Cramer is a software engineer and historian. His sixth book, Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie (Nelson Current, 2006), is available in bookstores. His web site is www.claytoncramer.com

xxsleepyxx
06-19-2010, 11:35 PM
Pretty pointless and unsupported article. Cool concept though. Those who perceive danger will purchase a gun and since they were correct in their danger assumption they predicted correctly and ended up shot. Doesn't really prove anything.

gunsmith
06-19-2010, 11:40 PM
you know, everyone who does not own a gun will die!!!

Bobula
06-19-2010, 11:45 PM
I do believe if people know you're carrying a gun your more likely to get shot.
One of your best defenses in a violent attack if your attacked underestimating you.

Flopper
06-19-2010, 11:55 PM
Pretty pointless and unsupported article. Cool concept though.

Better than that anti study that defined children as 26 and under.

And the one that defined bullet-sponge criminals as "victims."

And the one that included guns carried by criminals as a "gun in the home."

Roadrunner
06-20-2010, 9:09 AM
Pretty pointless and unsupported article. Cool concept though. Those who perceive danger will purchase a gun and since they were correct in their danger assumption they predicted correctly and ended up shot. Doesn't really prove anything.

Pointless and unsupported ? When you consider how the Bradys and VPC cook the books to support their claims, I think Cramer makes a very compelling argument against their propaganda and disinformation. We know for a fact that our firearms are no more likely to injure anyone in our homes than our kitchen knives, lawn mowers, electric drills, or for that matter anything else. The fact that Cramer correlates those who have been shot, with criminal activity, is a factor that the general public doesn't get. I might also add that those who are victims of violent crime in their homes are potential victims, and could be shot by a criminal with their own gun, but to suggest that merely having a gun in the home makes a person more likely to be shot is simply dishonest and lacks real research methodology. The bottom line is, Clayton Cramers article is far more honest and logical than anything the Bradys and VPC put out, and makes far more sense.

xxsleepyxx
06-20-2010, 9:48 AM
It's interesting but like many studies correlation does not mean causation. It would be ill-intended if an experiment actually was conducted where a person was put to the test in this claim and ended up dying in the name of science.

762cavalier
06-20-2010, 9:56 AM
It's interesting but like many studies correlation does not mean causation. It would be ill-intended if an experiment actually was conducted where a person was put to the test in this claim and ended up dying in the name of science.

I can think of quite a few people I would like to see volunteer for this experiment. At least if they get shot the scientific result would be more useful than their continued use of air the rest of us breathe.:43:

nick
06-20-2010, 10:10 AM
Pretty pointless and unsupported article. Cool concept though. Those who perceive danger will purchase a gun and since they were correct in their danger assumption they predicted correctly and ended up shot. Doesn't really prove anything.

It rehashes some of the basics of statistics, which is something the anti studies I've read to date fail to properly employ.

So, what makes you consider it pointless and unsupported? Is it the fact that no new data is introduced? The article is not a new study, it's simply an analysis of the existing, improperly made study, which study embodies junk science.

yellowfin
06-20-2010, 10:52 AM
They really do work hard at lying, that's for sure. It illustrates the strength of their motivations and incentives; they really do have a lot to lose and I can't wait to see them lose it all. It must really suck for them to have to live a lie like that--and my sympathy for them is something like that for fire ants.

user_name
06-20-2010, 11:30 AM
did you read the article or just the headline?

the article isn't an "anti" piece. It discusses causation and correlation.

Meplat
06-20-2010, 11:57 AM
Are you more likely to go to war if you have an army? Yes, but the alternative is to roll over and be enslaved. Does radiation make your hair fall out? Yes, but the alternative is death by cancer. Even if the study were correct (it is not) one needs to consider the alternatives. Would you rather catch a bullet in a gunfight or watch your wife and children be raped?

Mssr. Eleganté
06-20-2010, 12:11 PM
Pretty pointless and unsupported article.

It's interesting but like many studies correlation does not mean causation.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Where have I heard the "correlation does not mean causation" idea before? Oh yeah, it was in that "pointless and unsupported" pro-gun article at the beginning of this thread.

yellowfin
06-20-2010, 12:36 PM
Even if the study were correct (it is not) one needs to consider the alternatives. Would you rather catch a bullet in a gunfight or watch your wife and children be raped?The problem is those who prefer denial as a defense mechanism, a very sickening problem with horrendous human costs. As an insurance agent I deal with it every day, people who think they'd rather just keep being lucky rather than be responsible. They somehow believe that if they don't think about it, it won't happen to them. Or at very least it won't happen today or tomorrow, so that's good enough. Reality is an unwelcome intrusion and they don't want to hear that their denial is wrong because nobody wants to be wrong.

IEShooter
06-20-2010, 12:50 PM
Pretty pointless and unsupported article. Cool concept though. Those who perceive danger will purchase a gun and since they were correct in their danger assumption they predicted correctly and ended up shot. Doesn't really prove anything.

Did you read the article?

I'm at a loss to understand how you think the article is either anti-gun or pointless.

To the contrary, it does a pretty darn good job of demonstrating how the study published in the American Journal of Public Health lacks critical analysis and uses the flawed, correlation equals causation angle.

You might want to read it again and this time, pay attention. :rolleyes:

Rob454
06-20-2010, 1:04 PM
Sort of saying Im more likely to get in a accident cause I drive a car. Plenty of peopel who did not own guns and they got shot

lioneaglegriffin
06-20-2010, 10:06 PM
no you're more likely to return fire.

xxsleepyxx
06-21-2010, 8:47 AM
yea I didn't really pay attention hahah. but I believe for example an open-carry method will certainly create a much higher chance of being shot at. ex: open-carry idiots, security, police officer

YubaRiver
06-21-2010, 9:30 AM
Copied this from another site in a discussion about Knife rights in NYC.

Hands, feet and teeth murders jumped even more than knives.

----
http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/pio/annualreport/domhom08_9_29_09.pdf

2008 NY state and NYC domestic homicide stats (variety of cross-tabs regarding types of weapons used, victim and perp demographics, category of murder -- domestic, etc)

Domestic Homicides (17.7% of NY murders in 2008 were "domestic" homicide)

NY state -- 44.9% of domestic homicide murder weapons were "knives/cutting/blunt instruments"

NYC -- 53.3% of murder weapons were "knives/cutting/blunt instruments"

Statewide, gun use in intimate partner homicide dropped 33% while "knives/cutting/blunt instruments" jumped 131.8% and "hands, feet, teeth" murders jumped 133.3%:eek:

In 2007, statewide, guns were the most common weapon in intimate partner homicide. In 2008, it was knives/cutting/blunt instruments.

Glock22Fan
06-21-2010, 9:40 AM
To a minute extent, having a gun in the home might slightly increase deaths by shooting in the home. One obvious cause is suicide, where although there are other options, guns might be seen as the easiest way to do it. The other is household violence, where an abused or angry spouse might pick up a gun instead of a kitchen knife or hammer.

Having a firearm here doesn't alter the overal violence rate at all, but it might add a little to the "guns in homes increase violence" if you a) don't ignore the violence that would have happened anyway and b) ignore the number of lives that are saved by having a gun in the home.

RRangel
06-21-2010, 10:24 AM
The problem is those who prefer denial as a defense mechanism, a very sickening problem with horrendous human costs. As an insurance agent I deal with it every day, people who think they'd rather just keep being lucky rather than be responsible. They somehow believe that if they don't think about it, it won't happen to them. Or at very least it won't happen today or tomorrow, so that's good enough. Reality is an unwelcome intrusion and they don't want to hear that their denial is wrong because nobody wants to be wrong.

It's as if the specific firearm aspect has something more to do with an existential issue. To face being vulnerable is difficult to accept. Therefore reality is as wonderful as peace and unicorns until that moment when the bubble bursts.

jdberger
06-21-2010, 10:38 AM
They really do work hard at lying, that's for sure. It illustrates the strength of their motivations and incentives; they really do have a lot to lose and I can't wait to see them lose it all. It must really suck for them to have to live a lie like that--and my sympathy for them is something like that for fire ants.

For a quarter-million a year, folks like Paul Helmke and Dennis Hennigan have all the motivation in the world. ;)

Pont
06-21-2010, 11:47 AM
NEWS FLASH!

Study finds being shot dramatically reduces your probability of dying from heart disease.

Glock22Fan
06-21-2010, 12:07 PM
NEWS FLASH!

Study finds being shot dramatically reduces your probability of dying from heart disease.

A further study shows that most people die in bed. Furthermore, a disproportional number of these deaths happen in hospital. Beware, going to bed in a hospital is extremely dangerous!