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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 05-08-2013, 7:57 AM
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Default The Science of Guns Proves Arming Untrained Citizens Is a Bad Idea

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31,672 people died by guns in 2010 (the most recent year for which U.S. figures are available), a staggering number that is orders of magnitude higher than that of comparable Western democracies. What can we do about it? National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre believes he knows: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” If LaPierre means professionally trained police and military who routinely practice shooting at ranges, this observation would at least be partially true. If he means armed private citizens with little to no training, he could not be more wrong.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...izens-bad-idea

I guess that "proves" it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:10 AM
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I used to pick up and peruse the Scientific American while waiting in my dental office.
Not after this.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:20 AM
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Gee ... the "science" emanating from the politicized CDC and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says guns are bad and only "professionals" should have them. Who would have thunk it? Probably the study was funded by the Joyce Foundation - another big supporter of these "studies" - as long as they promise the correct outcome.

Last edited by ScottB; 05-08-2013 at 8:35 AM..
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:34 AM
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This article is a depressing turn for "libertarian" Michael Shermer.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:36 AM
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SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN:





BIRDCAGE LINER:

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Old 05-08-2013, 8:36 AM
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The good news is that the comment section is packed full of intelligent rebuttals to Shermer's shameful pack of logical fallacies. Too bad, I love skepticblog and I'm a fan of Shermer. What a terrible shame this is.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:36 AM
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Regardless of what really caused Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius to shoot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp (whether he mistook her for an intruder or he snapped in a lover's quarrel), her death is only the latest such headline.

A shooting on another continent proves what? Stats written by people who see it as their cause to disarm the public should always be suspect.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:39 AM
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Have to agree with parts- If you dont know how to use it and its dangerous, you shouldn't use it... Cars, machinery, firearms..
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ipser View Post
Real "scientific." Gross.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:45 AM
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Huh, neither "scientific" nor "American."
FAIL.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:45 AM
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As an engineer I always wonder if the military folks feel the same way, about the usage of the word "tactical", as I feel when people use the word "scientific". It’s just wrong when people use it for marketing purposes or to bolster the legitimacy of their own opinions.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:45 AM
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Any article that starts off by conflating suicides with murders and accidents is fallacious.
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Last edited by M. D. Van Norman; 05-08-2013 at 9:01 AM.. Reason: Grammar.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:52 AM
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Ok I will stand up here and say there is a certain amount of merit in the point that is being made... i.e. that putting a gun in the hand of someone who has no concept of gun safety, no idea of the legal rules or implication for storing, handling, transporting or using the gun, has zero time at the range and wonders "what are these funny little things on top of the gun that just snag on stuff?" (the sights) - and his sole and only exposure to "firearms training" is twenty years of watching people shoot each other on TV... is not in anyone's best interest.

Sure, I believe in an uninfringeable second amendment right to keep and bear arms. However, believing in the existence of that right, does not negate the belief that with the right comes the obligation to exercise it responsibly. Any responsible gun owner will take the time to educate themselves on proper use, marksmanship, and legal obligations surrounding firearms use. In my opinion you can't neglect these fundamental obligations and call yourself "responsible".

We would not endorse turning individuals loose on our streets behind the wheel of thousand-plus-pound projectiles with their only "training" having been a decade of watching car chases on TV. Putting a gun in the hand/pocket of someone who has only ever seen them on TV, slapping him on the back and saying "carry on, sport" is just as bad an idea IMHO.

The gun culture needs to step up (there has been progress, but more is needed) and encourage more public awareness for gun training and safety... in much the way that there is a culture now that frowns on driving drunk... whereas decades ago it was something that was accepted as a fact of life and even frequently laughed at.

This isn't to say that someone needs to attend weeks of training at a police academy, or train to competition levels like many sport shooting pros do. There is a difference between getting a college degree and completing grammar school. Getting enough training to become more of a help than a harm should be at the top of every new gun owner's agenda.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:54 AM
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Another "correlation therefore causality" type of scientific "study."

It's one thing for regular folks not to understand the inherent fallacy of such yellow science, but it's outrageous for a (supposedly) scientific journal to publish it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 8:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipser View Post
I'd like to know how many of those were gang on gang violence. My guess is 90% or so.

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Old 05-08-2013, 8:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bruss01 View Post
The gun culture needs to step up (there has been progress, but more is needed) and encourage more public awareness for gun training and safety...
Yes, but for completely different reasons.

The gun deaths citied in statistics are NOT due to the lack of training. If 60% are suicides (no training really needed) and most of the rest is gang and drug related, then the sheer number of gun deaths cannot be the *cause* for requiring training. Training should be, as you point out, encouraged, even required by the gun culture, but only because we want to prevent *accidents*, not because 20K people decided to kill themselves and another 10K criminals shot each other.
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Old 05-08-2013, 9:00 AM
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i don't have any studies or statistics to show this, but i can tell you i have a few friends who are LE, and myself and non LE friends see more range time and practice than my LE friends.. i don't think armed citizens are lacking in practice and training. experience in situations where a firearm would be needed i may agree LE has more.
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  #18  
Old 05-08-2013, 9:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruss01 View Post
The gun culture needs to step up … and encourage more public awareness for gun training and safety.…
It has. Why do you think that fatal firearms accidents are statistically almost non-existent?
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Old 05-08-2013, 9:07 AM
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Originally Posted by M. D. Van Norman View Post
Any article that starts off by conflating suicides with murders and accidents is fallacious.
Did they leave in criminals with guns 'in the home' that were shot (in or out of their home)? Thats a fav of biased reports.
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Old 05-08-2013, 9:11 AM
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Doesn't sound very scientific at all
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Old 05-08-2013, 9:15 AM
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Tell that to the blue truck ladies in LA...
Tell that to the nine bystanders in NY...
Tell that to...
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Old 05-08-2013, 9:18 AM
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Indeed.A great many police officers should be disarmed based on this treatise.
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Old 05-08-2013, 9:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVC View Post
Another "correlation therefore causality" type of scientific "study."

It's one thing for regular folks not to understand the inherent fallacy of such yellow science, but it's outrageous for a (supposedly) scientific journal to publish it.
That's just it. Scientific American isn't a scientific journal, it's a pseudoscientific magazine. It has gone down the advocacy track for a number of years. Once you are involved in advocacy, I feel you can no longer be rightly considered scientific.
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Old 05-08-2013, 9:53 AM
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Where's the double blinded, placebo controlled study? Take "trained" NYPD vs. untrained Calgunners. Give each Versed to induce amnesia and see which group hits the targets most consistently.

Hint, I already know the outcome, but in the name of "science" we need to actually run the trial.


Ooops, almost forgot to mention blinding the researchers. There can be several options, my preferred option is actually blindfolding them and placing them next to the targets for the best observation postion. Alternatively you could give them Versed...or just not let them know who is NYPD and who is Calguns...
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:00 AM
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I think it's unwise to give car keys to untrained drivers. Dangerous.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:49 AM
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I think it's unwise to give car keys to untrained drivers. Dangerous.
If they just keep the keys in the pocket and don't deploy (drive the car), what's the damage?
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:10 AM
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That number includes suicide by gunshot too, correct? How can anyone be intellectually honest and propose that suicide by gunshot ought to be addressed in the same manner as one person killing another with a gun? Lapierre's comments about "a good guy with a gun" may apply to stopping a bad guy with a gun intent on hurting others, it obviously doesn't apply, and wasn't meant to apply, to a person using the gun against themself.

The objection to "untrained" citizens supposes that training them will produce positive results, or at the least avoid negative results. How does that apply to suicides? The answer is, it has no application to suicide so why even discuss being "untrained" and using that 31K number.

The last 6 months have been very instructive with respect to separating our true friends and supporters from the fair weather hanger on types.

Last edited by dfletcher; 05-08-2013 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:22 AM
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seems to work in africa i think they are ignoring evidence
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jpx0123 View Post
i don't have any studies or statistics to show this, but i can tell you i have a few friends who are LE, and myself and non LE friends see more range time and practice than my LE friends.. i don't think armed citizens are lacking in practice and training. experience in situations where a firearm would be needed i may agree LE has more.
This. I have worked closely with a lot of LE during the last ten years or so, and VERY few of them spend any time on the range except when they have to qualify three or four times a year. I have talked to several department range masters who state that many of the officers have to be given three or four chances and even then have to be coached in order to qualify because they can't shoot straight. I have talked to several officers who have told me "I don't like guns and I wouldn't carry one if I didn't have to", or something to that effect.

I sometimes shoot on a range that is used by border patrol and other fed agencies, from the amount damage to the walls, ceiling, and floors of that range I wonder if any of them ever hit their intended target.

If I had a choice between being saved by a civilian shooter or a LEO I would take the civilian every time.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:52 AM
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My favorite part of the article.

Quote:
but when I learned about these statistics, I got rid of the gun.
I mean talk about a guy who freaking guided his brain to make a decision based upon a preexisting conclusion he already had with statistics that really have no basis to make said conclusion. If I could only find a elegant way to describe what he is doing... hmmm oh whats this!?

Quote:
We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional, and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture, and society at large; after forming our beliefs we then defend, justify, and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments, and rational explanations. Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow.
Oh wow, thats perfect! Thanks um, Dr. Michael Shermer (guy who wrote the article OP linked).
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwkincal View Post
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN:





BIRDCAGE LINER:


jwkincal ftw
/thread
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:47 PM
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Using their logic, NOONE should have guns, since things like this apparently are what happen when "trained professionals" start throwing rounds downrange:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nypd-g...073155961.html




Yeah, the whole "trained professionals" argument really holds water.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:56 PM
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I don't believe in science.



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Old 05-08-2013, 1:10 PM
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Interestingly enough, these same people would keep former law enforcement and military veterans from carrying as if not being in law enforcement and the military means that you lose the training and experience you acquired while actively working in those positions.

It's a paradox to say that the logic they display is clearly illogical.
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Old 05-08-2013, 1:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviioiive View Post
Have to agree with parts- If you dont know how to use it and its dangerous, you shouldn't use it... Cars, machinery, firearms..
Words?
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