View Full Version : Frum's rebuttal from last weeks CNN article
07-31-2012, 9:29 AM
Has anyone seen this? Any response?
07-31-2012, 10:13 AM
Being a statistician myself, I don't doubt that what he's saying is true. It may very well be that the number of murders and attempted murders exceeds the number of self-defense shootings and brandishings.
I would respond, though, by asking this: If a law statistically makes us "safer," does that automatically mean we should pass it?
For instance, one could argue that requiring police to get warrants for searches increases crime, since it allows criminals to hide or destroy evidence before it is found. Does that mean we should do away with the Fourth Amendment?
Moreover, the statistical effects of certain behavior can be positive in cases even where the overall average effect is negative. For example, when calculating car insurance prices, generally speaking, having an expensive car makes your rate go up (since repairing any damage would be more expensive). But for old people, it can make your rate go down, because old people who drive expensive cars tend to be very careful with them and drive them less. The effects of these things can be ambiguous depending on how you drill down into the data.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like we're going to get solid data on self-defense uses anytime soon, and even if we did, it might not be to our liking.
This is an article with an agenda. To make a point, the author should pick apart the anti-gun argument about the number of gun-related deaths and open the discussion on the main contributor to the US gun statistics - the armed organized crime.
Besides, the self defense is not even mentioned in 2A. There are many other reasons to own guns, most of which are not related to personal protection.
07-31-2012, 10:43 AM
I find it interesting that he tip-toed right around the obvious. He said that the number of criminal attempts have declined between 30 to 40% since the early 1990's. Gee, I wonder if the expiration of the Federal AWB, the steep rise in gun ownership, and the passing of LTC laws had anything to do with the decline in crime rates?
07-31-2012, 12:32 PM
He's choosing a straw man and using a "must certainly be right number" that assumes his conclusion. The number of DGUs is somewhere between 250,000 and 1,400,000 with most serious criminalists arguing that it's around 1,1000,000 per year.
Of course, the consensus number doesn't make Frum's statist point so he ignores it.
07-31-2012, 12:36 PM
Statistics IMHO are things that should be used by our side not as a prime argument, but as a supplemental argument. Let me explain why.
For the longest time I was like many people here on this board, I would jump on to stats to argue for gun rights, after all, facts are the truth.
Problem is fact based arguments appeal to people's heads.
Overall humans are wired for emotional based arguments, appeals to people's hearts.
What our side needs to start doing is making emotional based arguments and use facts to back up our emotional points.
It is not hard to argue that prohibitions don't work and that they have a tract record of creating more problems than they solved.
As far as the issue about guns not being effective, it is pretty self evident that gun sales are up and crime is down and it is pretty self evident that crime is significantly lower in what we call the "free states" versus what I called the "VD zones".
Armed self defense to me is a choice issue and the truth is many gun owners don't go to the level that many of us do to attain and maintain our proficiency with our guns.
Perhaps we need a campaign among gun owners to improve our marksman skills. Of course this could lead to more deaths of children (16 to 24 y/o gangbangers).
07-31-2012, 12:46 PM
And again, the number of DGU does not matter. Rights are not subject to 'balancing tests'.
From AG's recent filing in Woollard (61-2 of the internal numbering): B. Barring Law-Abiding, Responsible Americans from Bearing Arms Serves No Government Interest.
Regardless of the standard utilized, a “good and substantial reason” prerequisite to the exercise of fundamental rights fails for the simple reason that no legitimate government interest is at stake. To be sure, Defendants have a compelling government interest in public safety. And many people sincerely believe that the carrying of handguns, even by responsible, law-abiding individuals, is a social evil. Yet individuals enjoy a right to carry handguns “for the purpose . . . of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.” Heller, 554 U.S. at 584 (citations omitted). The state cannot have an interest in suppressing a fundamental right—even if some people deeply oppose the right’s existence.
07-31-2012, 1:06 PM
It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.
Even if Criminal uses of guns outnumbered Defensive Gun Uses, that is not an argument for gun control or disarmament since it would only decrease the number of defensive gun uses by law abiding citizens. Criminals are disinclined to obey gun control laws.
That said, most people misuse or misunderstand statistics. Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. DGU's and criminal uses of guns are not necessarily intertwined.
08-01-2012, 1:04 AM
Frum's a douche-bag. Always has been.
the "VD zones".
Heh. Must remember to use that phrase in conversation with certain friends of mine.
08-01-2012, 8:49 AM
Interesting how he characterizes critical responses to his original article as "angry" - thus assigning the "angry unhinged violent" label to gunnies.
Of course, if gunnies were as violent as all the Antis insist, there wouldn't really be very many Antis, would there?
It's a crappy article that tries to paint the entire membership of a subculture as paranoid, angry and unstable.
08-01-2012, 11:09 AM
Statistics must be used properly or they can be used to support pretty much ANY argument.
If you torture the data, they will confess.
08-01-2012, 11:34 AM
This is the same kind of argument that the antis have been making for years. "Don't put faith into yourself or your gun. You are not trained/skilled/level-headed/spiritually pure/(whatever else) enough to handle self-defense". Instead, they want you to put your faith in anything but yourself. A goverment employee, a "gun free zone" sign, a security guard, or a camera.
When evil walks into the room, they actually want the evil to prevail. They try to convicnce you that there is nothing you can do to stop the evil. Except support their gun control laws.
They want you to believe that you do not have a fighting chance, and should not be allowed to have a fighting chance. Ever. No matter what.
They have become more open about it lately.
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