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tankarian
07-23-2012, 8:33 AM
In regard to the LA Times anti-gun spin piece (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-crime-is-down-and-so-is-gun-ownership-20120722,0,5510655.story) claiming that crime rate is down because gun ownership is down, here is the email I sent to David Lauter, (david.lauter@latimes.com) the author of the fore mentioned article.
Feel free to educate this Brady mouthpiece yourself. Please be polite and respectful.

Dear Mr. David Lauter,

Not sure where or how you collected the information you used to write the "Crime is down -- and so is gun ownership" article. I did a simple Google query for "gun sales 2008-2012" and the results coming on top of the search are the complete opposite.

Please note: the sources I am quoting are reputable news outlets such as The Economist, CNN and MSNBC.

Nov 20th 2008 - The Economist writes:

According to the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (the FBI body that oversees applications for people who want to buy guns), the number of checks run between January and October this year rose by 9%, compared with the same period in 2007. Even more dramatically, the body reports that 15.4% more checks took place in October 2008 than in October 2007.-------------------------------------Meanwhile, gun sales are going like gangbusters. Chuck Wiggins, manager of the Patriot Arms gun shop in a suburb of Tampa, Florida, says that ever since Mr Obama became a contender “the sales of assault rifles here have at least tripled; I can't keep enough of them stocked. And ammunition is selling out so fast that I'm calling manufacturers to try to find some more to buy.”

6/20/2012 -MSN writes:
Gun industry delights in election year ammo sales

Ammunition sales are going gangbusters in 2012, with bullet manufacturer Olin Corp. reporting a 13 percent increase in civilian sales this year so far. Ditto the guns that fire those bullets -- background checks for immediate firearm transactions have increased 22 months in a row. Reports say the election year boom has led to gun industry "insiders" calling President Obama "salesman of the year" because gun sales also shot up after he was elected.

Source: http://now.msn.com/gun-industry-delights-in-election-year-ammo-sales?_p=54f81862-be67-4d91-a535-a32622342c37

November 11, 2008| CNN writes:

"According to FBI figures for the week of November 3 to 9, the bureau received more than 374,000 requests for background checks on gun purchasers -- a nearly 49 percent increase over the same period in 2007. Conatser said his store, Virginia Arms Company, has run out of some models -- such as the AR-15 rifle, the civilian version of the military's M-16 -- and is running low on others."

http://articles.cnn.com/2008-11-11/justice/obama.gun.sales_1_gun-shop-brady-campaign-gun-owner?_s=PM:CRIME

And finally:

"This was a banner year for guns -- 2011 is set to smash the record for gun sales.

The record for a single year was set just last year, when the FBI reported that 14,409,616 background checks were requested. In 2011 that figure will top 16 million. FBI spokesman Steve Fischer said just 1.3% of background checks result in denial of a weapon.

With a week left in December, the FBI said the monthly record has already been broken, and that was only set last month when 1,534,414 background checks were requested from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

CNN writes:

Two days before Christmas, NICS ran 102,222 background checks, which was the second-busiest day in history. The one-day record was set this year on Black Friday, the big shopping day following Thanksgiving, with 129,166 searches. By comparison, the previous one-day high was set November 28, 2008, when gun dealers made slightly less than 98,000 requests for background searches." Source: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/guns/2011-smashes-sales-record-guns

It's really sad to see a good and reputable newspaper like LA Times becoming a propaganda outlet for the anti-civil rights movement.

Regards,
XXXX YYYYYY
Los Angeles, CA

Dirk Tungsten
07-23-2012, 8:54 AM
If you get a response from the author of this piece, by all means post it. I'd love to see how he justified writing that. Anyone not living in a cave knows sales have been through the roof since at least 2008.

Farrier-1
07-23-2012, 9:01 AM
Those jackwagons will never admit the truth nor will they publish it.

gun toting monkeyboy
07-23-2012, 9:10 AM
Becoming a propaganda outlet? Where have you been for the last 20 years?

Carnivore
07-23-2012, 9:15 AM
Oh come on people....why muddy up a perfectly good pile of BS with any facts, proof or truth.

mblat
07-23-2012, 9:28 AM
Not to rain on the parade..... But all those quotes by tankarian (with whom I often agree btw) doesn't prove that gun ownership is increased or stayed at the same levels. It may as well be that less people owe more guns.
40% (or so ) households with guns doesn't strike me as low figure.

This however:

"the percentage of Americans who report owning a pistol or shotgun, the weapons most often used in crime, is now down to 1 in 5, about half what it was in the 1970s."

Really? With 40% firearms ownership rates only half of that owes handgun or shotgun? So, presumable handgun ownership rate is BELOW 20%? That definitely makes no sense to me.... How would that work? Half of firearm owners are hunters who owe owes bolt action rifles only? ( 'Cause if man owes AR15 chances are he also owes AT LEAST one handgun )


Of premise that less guns means less crimes is ridiculous... ( see Chicago crime rates )

AeroEngi
07-23-2012, 9:29 AM
Let them spread FUD. We'll just fight them with the truth. Good job OP.

PhalSe
07-23-2012, 9:30 AM
To be fair you are both using very different statistics to argue related but different points. His data shows that the number of households voluntarily admitting they own a gun is down. Your data shows that the number of guns and ammunition sold is rising. Both can be true if fewer households buy more guns and ammo. It's also true he doesn't look into the data very far. He ignores the voluntary nature of the poll and whether that may have an effect on it's accuracy and makes no mention about whether the number of households has changed significantly in that time period. For example %40 of households is a larger number than %50 if the number of households has increased significantly, which could then indicate that the number of households owning a gun is increasing. Higher rates of divorce and single parents would also cause the number of households to increase at a faster rate than the population, also potentially skewing the numbers.

IVC
07-23-2012, 9:43 AM
The real problem is that the piece doesn't address that since Heller and McDonald the gun ownership and gun control are now the civil liberties issues, not just a matter of opinion. It's in the BOR, so treat it as such. The poll-based opinion on guns should be as relevant as the poll-based opinion on slavery.

MR2Chuck
07-23-2012, 9:45 AM
Can someone address the validity of the other side of the equation? What "crime rate" is "down?"

shy 7th
07-23-2012, 9:46 AM
You two (OP and Author) are looking at two sides of the same coin. This is just statistical smoke and mirrors; phrasing numbers in a way to support your/their argument.

Think of it this simple example:
Last year, 2 people owned guns, out of a population of 100. This means that 2% of the population owned guns.

This year 4 people own guns, but the population has now grown to 400. You could say: "The number of gun owners has doubled". Because it has. 4 is double 2. They could also say that "the number of gun owners has halved." as 2% is now 1%.

Both are correct. Just a different way of stating the same math.

Note: the graph provided by the LA times is of % of population. They are showing only the answer of an equation that they are keeping hidden. For the number to truly make sense (to convey the whole message) they would show a. the population growth and b. the gun sales growth. Showing that population growth at a higher rate than gun sales would lead the answer they have concluded.

Doing what they did is shady, no doubt. So I'm not standing up for what they did. But it is appropriate, in this situation, to attack their method for displaying the data, not the data itself.

Wherryj
07-23-2012, 10:02 AM
In regard to the LA Times anti-gun spin piece (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-crime-is-down-and-so-is-gun-ownership-20120722,0,5510655.story) claiming that crime rate is down because gun ownership is down, here is the email I sent to David Lauter, (david.lauter@latimes.com) the author of the fore mentioned article.
Feel free to educate this Brady mouthpiece yourself. Please be polite and respectful.

Dear Mr. David Lauter,

Not sure where or how you collected the information you used to write the "Crime is down -- and so is gun ownership" article. I did a simple Google query for "gun sales 2008-2012" and the results coming on top of the search are the complete opposite.

Please note: the sources I am quoting are reputable news outlets such as The Economist, CNN and MSNBC.


It's really sad to see a good and reputable newspaper like LA Times becoming a propaganda outlet for the anti-civil rights movement.

Regards,
XXXX YYYYYY
Los Angeles, CA

Not to mention that you are giving info on NEW gun purchases. I probably detracted from your figures-I purchased TWO long guns last year, yet NONE this year.

The funny thing is that I STILL own those two guns, even if I purchased fewer this year...in fact, my ownership is at an all time high.

nick
07-23-2012, 10:06 AM
To be fair you are both using very different statistics to argue related but different points. His data shows that the number of households voluntarily admitting they own a gun is down. Your data shows that the number of guns and ammunition sold is rising. Both can be true if fewer households buy more guns and ammo. It's also true he doesn't look into the data very far. He ignores the voluntary nature of the poll and whether that may have an effect on it's accuracy and makes no mention about whether the number of households has changed significantly in that time period. For example %40 of households is a larger number than %50 if the number of households has increased significantly, which could then indicate that the number of households owning a gun is increasing. Higher rates of divorce and single parents would also cause the number of households to increase at a faster rate than the population, also potentially skewing the numbers.

According to Gallup, it's the highest since 1993:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/self-reported-gun-ownership-highest-1993.aspx

Supposedly, he used Gallup data. Go figure :)

Then again, someone who can write something like this:

That shift to a more peaceful society has transformed whole sections of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other major urban centers, allowing a renaissance of urban life that has been a striking social change.

can hardly be taken seriously. Sadly, he's taken seriously enough by L.A. Times.

nick
07-23-2012, 10:12 AM
You two (OP and Author) are looking at two sides of the same coin. This is just statistical smoke and mirrors; phrasing numbers in a way to support your/their argument.

Think of it this simple example:
Last year, 2 people owned guns, out of a population of 100. This means that 2% of the population owned guns.

This year 4 people own guns, but the population has now grown to 400. You could say: "The number of gun owners has doubled". Because it has. 4 is double 2. They could also say that "the number of gun owners has halved." as 2% is now 1%.

Both are correct. Just a different way of stating the same math.

Note: the graph provided by the LA times is of % of population. They are showing only the answer of an equation that they are keeping hidden. For the number to truly make sense (to convey the whole message) they would show a. the population growth and b. the gun sales growth. Showing that population growth at a higher rate than gun sales would lead the answer they have concluded.

Doing what they did is shady, no doubt. So I'm not standing up for what they did. But it is appropriate, in this situation, to attack their method for displaying the data, not the data itself.

The only issue with that logic is that the percentage of households self-reporting that they own guns (and I'm surprised so many people are willing to say that to begin with, but this must just be my paranoid nature) is up, and that's reported by the same company that the author supposedly used. While it's a good thing to do to try and understand the opposing side's logic, quite often the discrepancies can be easily explained by the opposing side lying through its collective teeth, or cherry-picking bits of statistics out of the whole study, as the whole study doesn't fit its agenda.

There, you got more ammo to email L.A. Times, and all that with a 5-min Google search. Imagine what a 10-min Google search could do :)

m03
07-23-2012, 10:14 AM
Here's a previous thread on the VPC study that several commenters are quoting:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=425762

NoJoke
07-23-2012, 10:18 AM
His data shows that the number of households voluntarily admitting they own a gun is down. .


Another spin could be, "People refuse to report personal information" since gun manufactures report record sales years yet fewer are voluntaring this information.

What's that saying? There's lies, damn lies and then there's stat's. :cool:

PhalSe
07-23-2012, 10:57 AM
Op, I do want to point out that my criticism is intended to be constructive. I applaud you taking the time to respond to the erroneous article. I just wanted to point out some ways to make your arguments more productive, not to discourage you from making any arguments.

You are right that the author of the article is cherry picking statistics and those he picks show his bias. You are correct to point that out but your argument is weakened if you resort to the same tactic in the process. More thorough analysis of his picked statistics to show that they are not the evidence he presents them as is a much better way to debunk his claims. There is a lot of information in this thread to do that.

IVC
07-23-2012, 11:31 AM
They could also say that "the number of gun owners has halved." as 2% is now 1%.

Both are correct. Just a different way of stating the same math.

No, they are not both correct. The fraction and the number are not interchangeable. A journalist has a duty to get it correctly. There are many experts available for proof-reading.

nick
07-23-2012, 11:34 AM
Another spin could be, "People refuse to report personal information" since gun manufactures report record sales years yet fewer are voluntaring this information.

What's that saying? There's lies, damn lies and then there's stat's. :cool:

I think, the above article and VPC "study" can be easily explained by lies and damn lies :)

Paul S
07-23-2012, 11:48 AM
The real problem is that the piece doesn't address that since Heller and McDonald the gun ownership and gun control are now the civil liberties issues, not just a matter of opinion. It's in the BOR, so treat it as such. The poll-based opinion on guns should be as relevant as the poll-based opinion on slavery.

And 'BOR' means ?????? :confused:

nick
07-23-2012, 11:57 AM
And 'BOR' means ?????? :confused:

At a guess, Bill of Rights.

shy 7th
07-23-2012, 12:09 PM
No, they are not both correct. The fraction and the number are not interchangeable. A journalist has a duty to get it correctly. There are many experts available for proof-reading.

Grammatical technicality. You're right of course. I was just trying to type my response fast (not fast enough judging by the 4 posts right before mine saying the same thing) and picked the first word that came to mind, if not the most apt for the example.

Aegis
07-23-2012, 12:15 PM
The LA Times is still in business?

The way things are going in the Obama economy, the LA Times will probably soon be out of business. The Times has about as much credibility as Mad magazine.

IVC
07-23-2012, 12:25 PM
And 'BOR' means ?????? :confused:

Common shortcut for "Bill of Rights" (like SCOTUS, POTUS, etc.).

Just for clarification, since some of these documents get confused, per Wikipedia:
"The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution."

tankarian
07-23-2012, 12:27 PM
(Surprisingly) I got an answer from Mr. Lautner:

Lauter, David David.Lauter@latimes.com
9:28 AM (3 hours ago)

Gun sales have ticked upward since 2008 – slightly. You can see that reflected in the chart in my post. But that small uptick has not been big enough to affect the long-term downward trend.

Any Calgunners good with (gun) statistics? I need to write a bulletproof rebuke.

Drivedabizness
07-23-2012, 12:31 PM
Nice job, OP. But the letter should have also gone to the Ombudsman (assuming the LAT has one). Most authors are too invested in their story to be realistically expected to give a good response. But in matters of accuracy, Ombudsmen are supposed to be the fact check.

IVC
07-23-2012, 1:13 PM
Any Calgunners good with (gun) statistics? I need to write a bulletproof rebuke.

Gun sales have ticked upward since 2008 – slightly. You can see that reflected in the chart in my post. But that small uptick has not been big enough to affect the long-term downward trend.



Gun sales address the total number of guns sold. The chart shows percentages. Chart doesn't say anything about the number of guns sold and the two cannot be meaningfully presented on the same chart. The author's statement is simply comparing apples to oranges.

Anyway, the main premise that "less guns = less gun violence" is not even addressed by the chart since it shows neither the number of guns nor the number of violent crimes. Since the anti-gun premise is that the guns *cause* gun violence, the author must use another chart that shows the actual number of guns and the actual number of incidents. If there is no positive correlation, the causality cannot stand. The fractions presented in the chart are irrelevant for the conclusion that the author seeks to make.

Since we know that there is much larger number of guns in the society today, while there is smaller number of incidents, the guns cannot be the cause of gun violence.

QQQ
07-23-2012, 1:20 PM
Not to rain on the parade..... But all those quotes by tankarian (with whom I often agree btw) doesn't prove that gun ownership is increased or stayed at the same levels. It may as well be that less people owe more guns.

This.

Sorry, OP, but your "rebuttal" to the article makes you look stupid.

m03
07-23-2012, 1:34 PM
Who gives a damn if the number of people owning guns has declined? It's akin to saying that since free speech is down, crime is down too...in other words, I don't think it really plays that much of a part in affecting overall crime statistics. Economic and quality of life conditions play a much larger, measurable role.

The important things to look at are details like how forms of public carry are up drastically.

tankarian
07-23-2012, 1:37 PM
This.

Sorry, OP, but your "rebuttal" to the article makes you look stupid.

Considering your towering intellect I would have expected for you to take five minutes and write a rebuttal worth publishing in academic papers. Yet you didn't.
I wonder why.

nick
07-23-2012, 2:26 PM
(Surprisingly) I got an answer from Mr. Lautner:



Any Calgunners good with (gun) statistics? I need to write a bulletproof rebuke.

You need someone with the access to NSSF data, which includes manufacturing data, NICS data, etc.:

http://www.nssf.org/research/IRG/

However, you can still get the NICS data directly from the FBI. While this doesn't reflect the actual number of firearms sold, it does reflect the general trend:

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/070512_1998_2012_state_monthly_totals.pdf

It shows the steady growth, and the "slight uptick" from 2008 to 2011 he's talking about is actually double digits per year:

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/2010-operations-report/2010-operations-report-pdf

Once again, the guy's a liar, and not a very good one, at that. Sadly, he's in a good position to distribute his lies.

AJD
07-23-2012, 3:02 PM
Can someone address the validity of the other side of the equation? What "crime rate" is "down?"

Either way is doesn't make a difference at all. Correlational data can't ever be used to make cause and effect conclusions. And that's assuming you have a statistically valid, and properly done correlational study to begin with.

QQQ
07-23-2012, 4:40 PM
Either way is doesn't make a difference at all. Correlational data can't ever be used to make cause and effect conclusions...Smoking causes lung cancer. We know this largely from studies of correlation, not by random controlled experiments.

IVC
07-23-2012, 4:57 PM
Smoking causes lung cancer. We know this largely from studies of correlation, not by random controlled experiments.

When there is causality, such as in your example, there is always correlation. Causality implies correlation. Correlation does NOT imply causality.

These concepts are extremely well understood, so you'd do yourself and others a favor if you did some basic studying before trying to make a completely incorrect assertion.

707electrician
07-23-2012, 5:17 PM
"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics"

The thing with statistics is, there is always a way to twist them to your favor

AJD
07-23-2012, 5:38 PM
When there is causality, such as in your example, there is always correlation. Causality implies correlation. Correlation does NOT imply causality.

These concepts are extremely well understood, so you'd do yourself and others a favor if you did some basic studying before trying to make a completely incorrect assertion.

+1 That pretty much took the words out of my mouth.

A correlation is a relationship either positive or negative. It shouldn't be a shocker that there would be a relationship between smoking and lung cancer, but that doesn't mean we can start using a correlation to determine causality.

tankarian
07-23-2012, 6:30 PM
Lauter, David David.Lauter@latimes.com

6:43 PM (45 minutes ago)

interesting that you'd take away that message from what I wrote. Nothing in the piece argued that less guns = less violence. Indeed, the piece explicitly said that any such link was "debatable." That wasn't even a minor premise of the piece, let alone it's major premise.

As for gun sale numbers, the critical number is the percentage of households owning a gun, which has gone down. If existing gun owners buy a second, third or fourth gun (when I was growing up, we had 4), that doesn't change the number of gun-owning households at all.

My reply:

I am sorry but if you trust a Gallup telephone poll on this issue you are either:

1.naive,
2.never been a gun owner, or
3 you have an agenda

I will give you a pass and assume you fall somewhere between assumptions 1 and 2.

Here is why you should have taken the Gallup poll numbers with a grain of salt...no, make that a wheelbarrow of salt: most if not all gun owners I know will never admit gun ownership to an unknown person who out of the blue calls them on the phone and asks them if they own guns. You must understand that the overwhelming majority of gun owners will simply refuse to answer because they have no guarantee whatsoever that the person who calls them is a Gallup pollster and not a burglar shopping for valuable and easy to sell guns. If someone from Gallup would call me asking if I own guns I know I wouldn't share that information. I'd rather leave my home front door unlocked than tell somebody I never met in my life who calls me on my phone that I have guns in my home.

nick
07-23-2012, 8:20 PM
My reply:

Umm, or you could've just pointed out that the Gallup poll specifically indicated that the gun ownership is the highest since 1993. Know your sources. Per the said poll, the number of households with a gun in them is at 47%, vs. 43% last year, and smaller percentage in the prior years (see my links in the posts above). So he's basically fibbing. :)

You're trying to argue with him within his framework, but his framework is based on false information, so you might as well point it out.

QQQ
07-23-2012, 8:47 PM
When there is causality, such as in your example, there is always correlation. Causality implies correlation. Correlation does NOT imply causality.

These concepts are extremely well understood, so you'd do yourself and others a favor if you did some basic studying before trying to make a completely incorrect assertion.

Let me try to put it in words that even you could understand:
The reason we "know" that smoking causes lung cancer is from studies of correlation. In that case, we (as in those who know anything about public health) inferred causality from correlation.

Try working on those reading comprehension skills, buddy. You may find them useful if you ever want to have a real job.

ScottB
07-23-2012, 9:07 PM
Another spin could be, "People refuse to report personal information" since gun manufactures report record sales years yet fewer are voluntaring this information.

What's that saying? There's lies, damn lies and then there's stat's. :cool:

This. Someone I don't know calls me out of the blue, says they are conducting a poll and wants to ask me a bunch of personal questions ... like "do you own a gun?"

Right. While I'm at it, let me give you a list of them - and my address, the combination to my safe and when I won't be home.

Maybe it Gallup or Zogby or some other legitimate poll, but how do I know? And is it really a random call or is it someone who knows more about me than they are letting on? Like my name, my address, where I work, details about my family, whatever.

I never answer questions by strangers, on the phone or otherwise, about myself, family or anything else personal . If anonymous phone calls are what polsters are still relying on, I'd say they are using a defective and obsolete methodology and its probably reflected in the (in)accuracy of their results

AJD
07-23-2012, 9:15 PM
Let me try to put it in words that even you could understand:
The reason we "know" that smoking causes lung cancer is from studies of correlation. In that case, we (as in those who know anything about public health) inferred causality from correlation.

Try working on those reading comprehension skills, buddy. You may find them useful if you ever want to have a real job.

We never know anything is caused by something from a correlational study. What we know from studies on lung cancer is that there is strong relationship between lung cancer and smoking. Most people believe that lung cancer can and does cause lung cancer and they make that inference,(and that's a reasonable assumption) but that still does not ever allow you to claim a correlational study can be used to determine causation. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone respected in the scientific community or elsewhere who will ever claim correlation equals causation. Anyone with any basic understanding of research methods knows this. This isn't a matter of opinion.

QQQ
07-23-2012, 9:21 PM
We never know anything is caused by something from a correlational study. What we know from studies on lung cancer is that there is strong relationship between lung cancer and smoking. Most people believe that lung cancer can and does cause lung cancer and they make that inference,(and that's a reasonable assumption) but that still does not ever allow you to claim a correlational study can be used to determine causation. You'll be hard pressed to find anyone respected in the scientific community or elsewhere who will ever claim correlation equals causation. Anyone with any basic understanding of research methods knows this. This isn't a matter of opinion.

Neither is it a matter of opinion that smoking causes lung cancer. But we only know that on a population level through studies of correlation.

IVC
07-23-2012, 9:22 PM
Let me try to put it in words that even you could understand:
The reason we "know" that smoking causes lung cancer is from studies of correlation. In that case, we (as in those who know anything about public health) inferred causality from correlation.

No, we don't. There is exactly the same correlation to the "flames from lighters" since they are used to light cigarettes. You wouldn't say that the "flames from lighters cause cancer" even though they are as correlated as the smoking and cancer.

No matter how much you "studdy correlation between lighter flames and cancer," you'll never get to causality. Again, correlation does NOT imply causality, so no matter how hard you try, it won't happen.

Now, if you don't believe me, you might want to try to work out the way to turn Pb into Au.

Try working on those reading comprehension skills, buddy. You may find them useful if you ever want to have a real job.

One: I am not your "buddy". Two: keep personal attacks to yourself since those are not acceptable in these forums.

tankarian
07-23-2012, 9:26 PM
One: I am not your "buddy". Two: keep personal attacks to yourself since those are not acceptable in these forums.

Well, at least he didn't called you "stupid". ;)

IVC
07-23-2012, 9:26 PM
But we only know that on a population level through studies of correlation.

Try to publish that in any machine learning or statistical journal and see what kind of responses you get from the referees. I would love to be the one doing it.

IVC
07-23-2012, 9:57 PM
Well, at least he didn't called you "stupid". ;)

He correlated me to those not having a real job, which further correlated me to being stupid, so he actually did call me stupid ;).

I don't mind since there is a correlation between myself and others who don't care - we are all anonymous ;).

QQQ
07-23-2012, 10:03 PM
Try to publish that in any machine learning or statistical journal and see what kind of responses you get from the referees. I would love to be the one doing it.

Try publishing your theory that smoking does not cause lung cancer in any statistical or health journal and see what kind of responses you get from the referees.

Well, at least he didn't called you "stupid". ;) Who said I'm a "he"?
And no, I didn't call you stupid. You're probably not. But everyone says stupid things from time to time; you and I are no exceptions.

tankarian
07-24-2012, 6:36 AM
Try publishing your theory that smoking does not cause lung cancer in any statistical or health journal and see what kind of responses you get from the referees.

Who said I'm a "he"?
And no, I didn't call you stupid. You're probably not. But everyone says stupid things from time to time; you and I are no exceptions.

Free advice for you: quit now before you get banned from this forum too.

Left Coast Conservative
07-24-2012, 7:33 AM
As I suspected their main sources included the General Social Survey (http://www3.norc.org/gss+website/) which contains a great amount of fascinating data about firearm ownership.

Now ownership rates are reported in the GSS as the percent of households reporting that guns are owned in the house. And the percentage of households has indeed been decreasing over the years. Funny thing about percentages is that they identify trends, but don't do a good job about absolute numbers. What has been happening to the overall numbers of households in the U.S.? That has been INCREASING over the same time period are the number of households in the U.S., as demonstrated by U.S. census data. If the number of households that own guns are calculated from the ownership rate, a different picture emerges:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bz9vRInszDFYT2tORVY1amRLY0k

In the year 2000 there is a clear inflection point that ownership decline leveled off and started increasing for defensive weapons: handguns and shotguns.

QQQ
07-24-2012, 7:37 AM
Free advice for you: quit now before you get banned from this forum too.

Free advice for you: Don't speak of things you know nothing about.

AJD
07-24-2012, 8:10 AM
Try publishing your theory that smoking does not cause lung cancer in any statistical or health journal and see what kind of responses you get from the referees.


Why would he say that? Not only could he not say smoking causes lung cancer from a correlational study, he also could never it doesn't cause it. He could however, state their is a strong correlation between lung cancer and smoking without ever stating it causes it and I guarantee you it would be accepted.

With that said, this thread has NOTHING to do with lung cancer. It does have to do with trying to make cause and effect conclusions from at best, correlational data if you could even call it that. Crime stats represent reported crime, and may or may not be a complete account of all crime. There are so many confounding variables involved in what causes crime that it would be very difficult to do any kind of correlational study regarding gun ownership and crime. What you have could be considered coincidences at best.

QQQ
07-24-2012, 8:13 AM
...Crime stats represent reported crime, and may or may not be a complete account of all crime. There are so many confounding variables involved in what causes crime that it would be very difficult to do any kind of correlational study regarding gun ownership and crime. What you have could be considered coincidences at best.No argument there.

What the OP failed to understand is that more guns being bought does not necessarily mean that there are more gun owners. It could very well be that more guns are being held by a smaller and smaller part of the population.

I know that I myself own more than one gun, as does almost everyone on this forum.

IVC
07-24-2012, 8:38 AM
Try publishing your theory that smoking does not cause lung cancer in any statistical or health journal and see what kind of responses you get from the referees.

Against my better judgement, I'll explain it one last time and this time step by step.

Smoking does cause lung cancer. Because smoking does cause lung cancer, it is necessarilly correlated with the lung cancer. Any two variables that are causally connected are also correlated.

There are other things that are correlated with lung cancer. Proximity of flames from a lighter is one. Putting cylindrical objects in your mouth is another. Neither of these actions causes lung cancer, yet they are highly correlated.

One cannot conclude from correlation that causality exists. One cannot conclude from correlation that causality doesn't exist.

Sapienti sat.

Who said I'm a "he"?

Nobody said it, nobody cares. If you wish to be addressed as "she," say so. In the meantime, grammar requires the use of "he".

IVC
07-24-2012, 8:47 AM
What the OP failed to understand is that more guns being bought does not necessarily mean that there are more gun owners. It could very well be that more guns are being held by a smaller and smaller part of the population.

The anti philosophy is "guns cause gun violence." If they did (causal connection), more guns would lead to more gun violence (correlation of the causally connected variables). Since they don't, the causality cannot exist.

It might seem like a minor difference, but once the gun itself cannot be blamed and the antis are forced to shift to the "gun owners cause gun violence" there is a subtle, but significant problem. If it's the "owners" and not the "guns," the government cannot ban any particular feature such as magazines over certain capacity, pistol grip, the thingy that goes up, semi-auto rifles, etc. Those are characteristics of a gun, not a gun owner.

Once we get to the "gun owner" being the problem, then antis also have to acknowledge that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" and "if guns are banned only the criminals will have them." I know that many of them would rather burn in hell than utter those words.

Kid Stanislaus
07-24-2012, 11:16 AM
Becoming a propaganda outlet? Where have you been for the last 20 years?

Actually, the LA Times used to be a conservative paper and was sold way back in the 1960's and from that time forward it has been a liberal paper.

Kid Stanislaus
07-24-2012, 11:20 AM
Can someone address the validity of the other side of the equation? What "crime rate" is "down?"

Violent crime rates in general have been on a long slow decine since the 1970's. Google is your friend. ;)

radioman
07-24-2012, 11:54 AM
The fact is that gun control is way up, I have been spending a lot of time in Arizona and carry a gun every day, as most do here. We all seem to control our guns, a gun in your pocket is as common as car keys here in CA, and not a drop of blood in the streets. I feel safe, as most here in AZ do, but when I have go to San Francisco where there is no gun control I do not feel safe at all. Yes it is hot out here, but, gas is 3.25 a gallon, smokes are a buck more then in CA, but my buck buys more in AZ. Yes I think we need more gun control, the kind of gun control we have in AZ.

guns4life
07-24-2012, 12:05 PM
Something something, lung cancer.


What was this thread about again?

Excelsior
07-24-2012, 12:10 PM
Another spin could be, "People refuse to report personal information" since gun manufactures report record sales years yet fewer are voluntaring this information.

What's that saying? There's lies, damn lies and then there's stat's. :cool:

Naw. They are required to and it's public knowledge.

Excelsior
07-24-2012, 12:11 PM
The fact is that gun control is way up, I have been spending a lot of time in Arizona and carry a gun every day, as most do here. We all seem to control our guns, a gun in your pocket is as common as car keys here in CA, and not a drop of blood in the streets. I feel safe, as most here in AZ do, but when I have go to San Francisco where there is no gun control I do not feel safe at all. Yes it is hot out here, but, gas is 3.25 a gallon, smokes are a buck more then in CA, but my buck buys more in AZ. Yes I think we need more gun control, the kind of gun control we have in AZ.
:rolleyes:

I wonder if this graphic is factually correct:

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7gzrzdmcl1qdkv8qo1_500.jpg

dfletcher
07-24-2012, 12:12 PM
You two (OP and Author) are looking at two sides of the same coin. This is just statistical smoke and mirrors; phrasing numbers in a way to support your/their argument.

Think of it this simple example:
Last year, 2 people owned guns, out of a population of 100. This means that 2% of the population owned guns.

This year 4 people own guns, but the population has now grown to 400. You could say: "The number of gun owners has doubled". Because it has. 4 is double 2. They could also say that "the number of gun owners has halved." as 2% is now 1%.

Both are correct. Just a different way of stating the same math.

Note: the graph provided by the LA times is of % of population. They are showing only the answer of an equation that they are keeping hidden. For the number to truly make sense (to convey the whole message) they would show a. the population growth and b. the gun sales growth. Showing that population growth at a higher rate than gun sales would lead the answer they have concluded.

Doing what they did is shady, no doubt. So I'm not standing up for what they did. But it is appropriate, in this situation, to attack their method for displaying the data, not the data itself.

Other articles discuss "households" without further explanation and that can result in a finesse of the facts. For example, of 5 housholds 3 are counted as being without guns and 2 are counted as owning guns. Unsaid is that the "gunless" households are single residents while those with guns have Dad & Mom and a few kids - all of whom own and use guns. It would be accurate to say most residents are gun owners, the statement "most households are without guns" is accurate but misleading.

I've found that when people speak in deliberately inexact terms they have something to hide, or prove.

bill_k_lopez
07-24-2012, 12:17 PM
If its printed in the LATimes it must be true. They are a responsible and trustworthy unbiased source of information.

---

I stopped reading the Times a few years ago because of all the BS they print, many of their "reporters" have spelling problems, grammar problems and (I suspect) don't have a lot of years of journalism experience - and then you have the outright liars and biased idiots like Steve Lopez.

IVC
07-24-2012, 12:52 PM
Something something, lung cancer.

What was this thread about again?

The thread is about the incorrect use of mathematics to drive an anti gun agenda and push for more gun control. What you consider boring is the details of how antis operated and gained public support in the decades past. Ignore at your own peril.

Paul S
07-24-2012, 1:31 PM
At a guess, Bill of Rights.

Got it! Duh...it went right over my head...shame on me!

lhecker51
07-24-2012, 2:12 PM
:rolleyes:

I wonder if this graphic is factually correct:

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7gzrzdmcl1qdkv8qo1_500.jpg


It may be, but is inconclusive. The Gun Control liars love these vague charts.

The chart may support the theory that victims are fighting back, street gangs are killing each other, law enforcement related shootings are on the rise, criminals not making it to trial due to justified self defense, crazed gun owners love to kill, suicide by gun is higher, etc.

In other words, this chart on its own, comes up woefully short if the intent is to draw a conclusion.

lhecker51
07-24-2012, 2:23 PM
Neither is it a matter of opinion that smoking causes lung cancer. But we only know that on a population level through studies of correlation.
AJD is correct and you are incorrect. The correct statement would be that smoking has been identified with 69 known carcinogens and may lead to cancer.

Here is the logical fallacy of your statement:

Some heavy smokers never develop lung cancer. For your statement to be true, all smokers must develop lung cancer.

QQQ
07-24-2012, 2:47 PM
AJD is correct and you are incorrect. The correct statement would be that smoking has been identified with 69 known carcinogens and may lead to cancer.

Here is the logical fallacy of your statement:

Some heavy smokers never develop lung cancer. For your statement to be true, all smokers must develop lung cancer.

So are you saying that smoking does not cause long cancer?

Simple yes or no question.

tankarian
07-24-2012, 3:42 PM
So are you saying that smoking does not cause long cancer?

Simple yes or no question.

We are not discussing cancer and cigarettes here. Go troll somebody else thread or I will report you.

tankarian
07-24-2012, 3:44 PM
Lauter, David David.Lauter@latimes.com

10:37 AM (6 hours ago)

to me

There’s no reason to think anyone’s fibbing. The polls are pretty consistent. The percentage declined pretty steadily from the late 1970s through the late 1990s, then stayed pretty steady until 2009, then ticked back up a little. So it’s now around where it was in 1993, but still considerably below the levels of earlier decades. None of that should come as a surprise. The country is much more urbanized than it used to be.

My response:

Diesel Yoda

4:39 PM (0 minutes ago)

to David
David,

Again, you are using numbers that do not reflect the reality. The Gallup poll and the GSS data are fundamentally flawed because - I repeat, most gun owners are reticent to give this kind of personal information to people they don't know. If you would be a gun owner you'd probably already know the saying "if you get asked about your guns the best answer is I lost them all in a boating accident".
You'll probably believe I am exaggerating but do yourself a favor: go on any gun rights forum like Calguns.net, Firingline.com or Glocktalk.com and ask the members this question: what answer should I give if somebody working / polling for the government is asking me if I have guns and how many. You'll see the most common advice you'll get from the community is either to tell the people who ask to pound sand, or that you used to have guns and you lost them in a boating accident. I dare you to do this little experiment and get back to me to tell me if I'm right or wrong.

The fact of the matter is the best indicator of gun ownership you can find is FBI's NICS report. This shows a tremendous increase in gun sales since 2008 and your argument that the same gun owners are buying more and more guns is just grasping at straws. First, you DO NOT have any proof that this is the case, and second, the burden to prove this claim falls on YOU.

Regards,


I may take this guy shooting someday.

QQQ
07-24-2012, 3:49 PM
We are not discussing cancer and cigarettes here. Go troll somebody else thread or I will report you.https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRiPBIOpePk5i9PNRH0pxUmoI9yNHwei d7aHDKER9mU5j9Ta60E7A

You still haven't presented any actual evidence that the proportion of gun owners in this country is growing.

tankarian
07-24-2012, 4:26 PM
And the discussion ends...too many facts for a liberal journolist to deal with:

David Lautner:

I’d refer you to this note which is prominently placed on the FBI/NICS statistical reports: “These statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.”


Me:

Grasping at straws again. Of course not every NICS represent a sold firearm. Some people try to buy firearms but are prohibited so the purchase is denied. This is all that the phrase "They do not represent the number of firearms sold" is all about, nothing more nothing less. I used to work part time in a gun store and sent the data for the FBI background checks, we called the process DROS. Out of every hundred people applying for a firearm purchase an average of 8%-9% were denied for reasons of ineligibility. But this ALWAYS happened, so claiming that the tremendous NICS increase represents only denied applications is preposterous.

David Lautner:

I’ve often heard people make the argument that “Polling data on topic X, which I have an ideological aversion to, isn’t true because people are just lying to the pollsters.” But I’ve never yet found a case where that argument was actually proven to be correct. Maybe you’ve got the first case. Could be, but your assertion is inherently unprovable because the polling data is all we have. If you disbelieve the data, then we’re just guessing. Having gotten to that point, I think we’ve pretty well exhausted the subject.

Thanks,
David


Me:

I tried to and educate you and give you the information you need to write the truth, or at least both sides of the story. I see you have no interest in doing this and you are obviously biased and have an anti-gun agenda. It is your right, America is a free country. But I am saddened of what is passing for "journalism" at LA Times these days.

IVC
07-24-2012, 4:27 PM
You still haven't presented any actual evidence that the proportion of gun owners in this country is growing.

There has never been such a claim. It's the number of guns that's growing. The proportion is irrelevant both for our side of the argument and the author's.

durandal
07-24-2012, 6:49 PM
Dont email the author, email his editor!!

Excelsior
07-25-2012, 12:08 AM
It may be, but is inconclusive. The Gun Control liars love these vague charts.

The chart may support the theory that victims are fighting back, street gangs are killing each other, law enforcement related shootings are on the rise, criminals not making it to trial due to justified self defense, crazed gun owners love to kill, suicide by gun is higher, etc.

In other words, this chart on its own, comes up woefully short if the intent is to draw a conclusion.

The chart is not a product of a "gun control liars."

bernieb90
07-25-2012, 12:26 AM
Sounds good to me less people own guns, crime is down (as I stand in line for 2 hours at Turners). It's great that means that there should be no need for any more gun laws ( Mr. Yee). Sometimes it is good to let the enemy think they are winning then slowly erode their position in the courts like they have done to us in the legislature.

viet4lifeOC
07-25-2012, 12:30 AM
When there is causality, such as in your example, there is always correlation. Causality implies correlation. Correlation does NOT imply causality.

+1
+1 Phalse
+1. Shy 7th
+100 "lies, damn lies, and stats"

Texas Boy
07-25-2012, 2:48 AM
Let me start by commending the OP for calling this "journalist" out. While he may not have changed his mind, at least the guy knows he is going to have to defend his statements. If every one of us took the time to call the media out on errors we might see more accurate reporting.


There has never been such a claim. It's the number of guns that's growing. The proportion is irrelevant both for our side of the argument and the author's.

Good point. The claim was "guns cause crime" and the "journalist" attempted to prove this by stating gun ownership (as a percentage of the population) was down and so was crime.

While the OP's arguments are good, a more effective debate strategy is to prove the number of guns has dramatically increased (regardless of what percentage or absolute number of households own guns), and the real story is there are more guns out there, not less, and yes, crime has gone down.

Of course any good science person knows correlation does not prove causation, so there may be any number of reasons crime is down, and it is still possible that guns cause crime, but that there are stronger factors that are driving crime down faster than guns can drive it up...but I wouldn't mention that in a debate.

Oh, and for those who don't get the correlation/causation thing, here is a good place to start - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation (or a simple google search). Some of my favorite examples:

http://pubs.acs.org/appl/literatum/publisher/achs/journals/content/jcisd8/2008/jcisd8.2008.48.issue-1/ci700332k/production/images/medium/ci700332kn00001.gif

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d1/PiratesVsTemp_English.jpg/800px-PiratesVsTemp_English.jpg


And again, thank you OP for speaking up. Well done.

wildhawker
07-25-2012, 2:56 AM
If every one of us took the time to call the media out on errors we might see more accurate reporting.

Funny you mention that. I have this plan that tracks just such a train of thought...

-Brandon

Texas Boy
07-25-2012, 3:01 AM
Funny you mention that. I have this plan that tracks just such a train of thought...

-Brandon

Oh? Do tell. This could get fun!

wildhawker
07-25-2012, 3:48 AM
Oh? Do tell. This could get fun!

It certainly will be fun.

When you see the "new Calguns Foundation website" news, it's "that time".

-Brandon

Excelsior
07-25-2012, 3:32 PM
There has never been such a claim. It's the number of guns that's growing. The proportion is irrelevant both for our side of the argument and the author's.

The "proportion" is critical. It's a prime indicator of how many pro-RKBA citizens there are.

IVC
07-25-2012, 4:10 PM
The "proportion" is critical. It's a prime indicator of how many pro-RKBA citizens there are.

True, but the article is not about how many people are pro RKBA. If it were, a more appropriate question would be directly to ask about RKBA support, not about the gun ownership (which is subject to systematic underreporting).

It's like trying to put a triangular peg into a square hole. Every individual corner can fit if you wriggle it around a bit, but you can't make them all fit at the same time. That's why so many antis try to fudge the details and switch between concepts such as "number" and "proportion" at their convenience, hoping nobody would notice.

usmcchet9296
07-25-2012, 5:37 PM
It's really sad to see a good and reputable newspaper like LA Times becoming a propaganda outlet for the anti-civil rights movement.



there is nothing reputable about the LA times
they have been a leftist rag for decades

Excelsior
07-26-2012, 12:25 AM
there is nothing reputable about the LA times
they have been a leftist rag for decades

The LA Times is actually a decent paper. Yes, I would say its political commentary is skewed but their news reporting and fluff pieces are just fine.

Excelsior
07-26-2012, 12:26 AM
True, but the article is not about how many people are pro RKBA. If it were, a more appropriate question would be directly to ask about RKBA support, not about the gun ownership (which is subject to systematic underreporting).

It's like trying to put a triangular peg into a square hole. Every individual corner can fit if you wriggle it around a bit, but you can't make them all fit at the same time. That's why so many antis try to fudge the details and switch between concepts such as "number" and "proportion" at their convenience, hoping nobody would notice.

Still, the measure is critical.

tankarian
07-26-2012, 6:27 AM
there is nothing reputable about the LA times

I lied when I said that.

they have been a leftist rag for decades

I know.

AeroEngi
07-27-2012, 10:04 AM
Maybe we should email the author this article by the SFGate.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/California-gun-purchases-nearing-record-3739037.php

RuskieShooter
07-30-2012, 10:49 AM
Some people try to buy firearms but are prohibited so the purchase is denied. This is all that the phrase "They do not represent the number of firearms sold" is all about, nothing more nothing less. I used to work part time in a gun store and sent the data for the FBI background checks, we called the process DROS. Out of every hundred people applying for a firearm purchase an average of 8%-9% were denied for reasons of ineligibility.

Actually, I think that disclaimer is there because I believe you can put multiple firearms on a single NICS check. There are probably more multi-gun NICS then there are disapproved NICS.

-Ruskie