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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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Old 02-01-2013, 3:05 PM
Hanse Davion's Avatar
Hanse Davion Hanse Davion is offline
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Default Comment up on this article, and check out my facebook convo

Saw this article posted on a friend's timeline the other day. Struck up a conversation on the article with him. He gave me the impression he was on the fence, and as of now has yet to respond to my last post shown below. Wall of text incoming....

First the article- http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...ths-fact-check

Now our conversation. (Names edited)

Me (Initially responding to the article with counterpoints)
#1- Coming for your guns. There is nothing given as "fact" to support this claim that the government wants to take guns away. However, the author does not address the legislation that has slowing been eroding the right to bear arms over the last 75 or so years.

#2- Guns don't kill people- people kill people. Yes. People kill other people. However, simply analyzing the tools used to kill people is factually bias toward the authors point of view. Though the number of firearms owned by private citizens has been increasing steadily since 1970, the overall rate of homicides and suicides has not risen. -Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, Gary Kleck, Aldine de Gruyter, 1997. (With supporting data from the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1972 to 1995.

#3- An Armed society is a polite society. There are 3 points the author raises here. First, along the drivers point, this 'survey' was conducted via telephone. There is no correlation to the 'road rage' as described and criminal conduct, nor is there any governmental data to suggest this point. Furthermore, the author does not suggest that the gun had any impact on the alleged encounters.

In regards to the Texas point- this is completely factually incorrect. Compared to the entire population of Texas, CCW holders are 7.6 times LESS likely to be arrested of a VIOLENT crime. Texas Department of Corrections data, 1996-2000, compiled by the Texas State Rifle Association, www.tsra.com/arrests.htm

In regards to the Stand your ground point, this is a complete misunderstanding of the law. Stand your ground statutes, as we have here in California, simply shift the burden of proof from the defendant to the prosecutor to prove that they did not act in self defense, as opposed to the defendant having to prove they did act in self defense. To suggest that the law correlates to an increase in crime is absurd. I wrote a law review article on the subject for my Advanced Criminal Procedure class while in law school and would be happy to provide my research for consideration.

#4 More good guys with guns can stop rampaging bad guys. Consider, the author suggests Mass shootings have not been stopped in the past 30 years by civilians. How can the author come to this conclusion if a mass shooting did not take place? The average number of people killed in a Mass shooting when the shooter was stopped by police is around 14.29, whereas the average number killed when the shooter was stopped by an armed civilian is around 2.33 Furthermore, consider this story- http://rogersparkbench.blogspot.com/...l#.UQrtaGec6Gg

#5 Keeping a gun at home makes you safer. On the first point, it is silly to suggest that owning a gun is linked to higher homicide and suicide rates, which are INTENTIONAL acts. The author suggest that every time a gun is used in self defense in the home there are a number of other crimes committed. Consider that on average, it is estimated that firearms are used for defensive purposes approximately 1.5-2.5 million times per year. If the authors point included defensive use outside the home, his figures are obviously greatly exxagerated. You are five times more likely to burn to death, drown, 17 more times likely to be poisoned, 17 more times likely to suffer death as a result of a fall, and 68 more times likely to die in an auto accident than be accidently killed by your own gun. WISQARS Injury Mortality Report, Center for Disease Control, 2007 Finally, 12 times as many children died in 2007 from drowning then from accidental gun deaths, and the number of accident gun deaths have been decreasing while gun ownership has been increasing as the first myth the author points out.
2 hours ago • Like
#6 Carrying a gun for self defense makes you safer. The author is leaping to a conclusion. There are no facts supporting this argument in favor of the authors point. The study cited does nothing to address if the use of force was justified. Four states require no permit to carry a concealed firearm, 37 are “shall-issue” states where non-felons receive permits on demand, eight states may or may not issue permits, and one state allows no form of concealed carry. Statistics for each CCW state show that crime rate fell (or did not rise) after the right-to-carry law became active. States that disallow concealed carry have violent crime rates 11% higher than national averages. FBI, Uniform Crime Reports, 2004 - excludes Hawaii and Rhode Island - small populations and geographic isolation create other determinants to violent crime. Consider- The average citizen doesn’t need a Sport Utility Vehicle, but driving one is arguably safer than driving other vehicles. Similarly, carrying a concealable gun makes the owner – and his or her community – safer by providing protection not otherwise available.

#7 Guns make women safer. Completely inaccurate and factually wrong. OF COURSE A WOMANS CHANCE OF BEING KILLED BY HER ATTACKER ARE HIGHER IF THE ATTACKER HAS A GUN BECAUSE HE PROBABLY INTENDS TO USE IT! Even so, Consider the following- Of the 2,500,000 annual self-defense cases using guns, more than 7.7% (192,500) are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse. When a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of rape attacks are completed, compared to 32% when the woman was unarmed. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Rape Victimization in 26 American Cities, U.S. Department of Justice, 1979 The probability of serious injury from an attack is 2.5 times greater for women offering no resistance than for women resisting with guns. Men also benefit from using guns but the benefits are smaller, 1.4 times more likely to receive a serious injury. National Crime Victimization Survey, Department of Justice In 1966, the city of Orlando responded to a wave of sexual assaults by offering firearms training classes to women. Rapes dropped by nearly 90% the following year. More Americans believe having a gun in the home makes them safer. This belief grows every year the survey is taken. Americans by Slight Margin Say Gun in the Home Makes It Safer, Gallup Poll, October 20, 2006

#8 Vicious Violent Video games deserve more blame. Im not going to get into semantics, but the point Wayne LaPierre was attempting to make is that the focus is entirely on guns and guns alone. And he wasn't talking solely about video games, but the media industry in general. To the point however, what is the myth?

#9 Gun ownership is declining. Im not just reading the article in case you are wondering, I am looking toward the author's sources on the data he presents. I think this point is best refuted by a comment to the article the author cites-
Here’s a statistic for you, 100% of the people I know who own guns hung up on pollsters 45% of the time and say they don’t own guns the other 55%. In this day and age of scams and such you would have to be daft to tell some random person on the phones that you have something of value (i.e., something someone might want to steal) in your home.

Finally, #10 The need to enforce the laws on the books. You might be surprised that I feel somewhat differently regarding this point. The author however focuses solely on the availability of guns to people who shouldn't possess them. Approximately 74% of people who are members of the NRA support universal background checks, providing the system stays at the same level of efficiency it is now. Even so, gun possession by criminals has risen since the enactment of the current background check system. 18% of state prisoners (was 16% before Brady) and 15% for federal prisoners (was 12% before Brady) are caught with firearms. Firearm Use by Offenders, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2001 Also, just because the ATF has not had a director, DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE INCAPABLE OF FUNCTIONING, however the current turn of events such as Fast and Furious, the author may be on to something.

I strongly encourage you to respond to my counterpoints on the subject.
2 hours ago • Like

Him
1.) What you're saying sounds an awful lot like a slippery slope argument. It's unfair to judge any legislation by a perceived trajectory - this would be like saying drunk driving laws are going to lead to another prohibition.
3.) The study you criticize does have its weak points, mainly that it's not a controlled experiment. I won't argue too much on this point.
4.) I'm sure there are cases of responsible gun owners who have stopped rampages or other crimes from happening. The question at hand is whether or not we're safer with or without guns, and I would like to see some hard data on how often guns are actually used to stop crimes vs. accidental deaths, criminal usage, or negligence. I'm not even talking about mass killings here. Mass killings like the Newtown massacre account for less than 2% of all gun deaths.
9.) I'm not going to argue that polls have no disadvantages as a form of data collection. With that being said, I don't think we should disregard these data on the hearsay of one owner. Dishonesty through polls introduces a source of variability into the data, but that should be constant across all decades (unless there's some systematic shift in attitudes toward polling). The broader point that's being made is an increase in the number of guns sold does not imply that more people are owning guns, and I think this is an accurate point. I'd like to reiterate that as a response to your counterpoint to #2.
10.) I'm happy to hear you support background checks and I've talked to several gun owners who feel the same way. On this point, I'm not going to argue that solely regulation is what's necessary. Stricter enforcement and tightening down on black market gun sales can yield big reductions in the number of gun murders. I wish I could give some citations here, but I saw somebody speaking on CNN recently about how a number of cities have gone after black market gun sales and seen as much as a 40% reduction in the number of gun murders.
7.) I concede that the author's point on this issue is a little bit absurd considering that he never discusses cases in which women themselves are armed. With that being said, I would like to see some data comparing the statistics of women being armed with guns to other forms of self defense (carrying a knife, mace, pepper spray, taser, or even having taken a self defense class). My question isn't whether guns make women safe, but whether they make them safer than other forms of self defense.
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Old 02-01-2013, 3:05 PM
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Hanse Davion Hanse Davion is offline
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Continued...

Me

1) Drunk driving laws do not prohibit possession in any way, instead it prohibits conduct. Murder, assault with a deadly weapon, etc, are akin to the drunk driving laws you use your analogy for. If drunk driving laws did prohibit possession, which is what gun control legislation does, then it would be fair to say it was a type of prohibition. Furthermore, there is no constitutional right to drinking or driving.

3) You agree. Nuff said.

4) There are numerous studies on the subject, but im not sure what point you are trying to convey regarding comparing accidental versus intentional deaths. This is because it is difficult to TRUELY show a life was saved as that would be a hindsight approach. But a few studies I think are relevant-

For every accidental death (802), suicide (16,869) or homicide (11,348)with a firearm (29,019), 13 lives (390,000) are preserved through defensive use. Unintentional Firearm Deaths, 2001, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control , Targeting Guns, Gary Kleck, Aldine de Gruyter, 1997
You are in fact more likely to survive a violent assault if you defend yourself with a firearm. The Value of Civilian Handgun Possession as a Deterrent to Crime or a Defense Against Crime, Don B. Kates, 1991 American Journal of Criminal Law
When using guns in self-defense, 91.1% of the time not a single shot is fired. National Crime Victimization Survey, 2000

9) Its not simply a matter of dishonesty in the poll, its a matter of not willing to participate in the poll to begin with. There are other polls however to suggest that this data is inaccurate. http://www.gallup.com/poll/150353/se...hest-1993.aspx
I agree that a higher number of guns sold doesn't correlate with an individual ownership basis, however also consider that this point- Few “surveys” conducted in this country on the subject of gun control are unbiased. Professional survey designers have criticized both Harris and Gallup gun surveys for their construction – that the surveys have been designed to reach a desired conclusion. Often these surveys use questions like "If it reduced crime, would you favor stronger gun control laws?" These questions are rephrased in headline to read "Americans demand gun control" while ignoring the leading goal of reducing crime. These surveys also fail to ask counter balancing questions to prove/disprove any bias in questions. A counter-balancing question might be: "If it were shown that gun control laws were ineffective in preventing crime, would you favor enacting more gun control laws?"

10) If regulation was effective, then the following would not be true. The U.S. government “found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes” First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws, CDC, Task Force on Community Preventive Services, Oct 3, 2003 – a systematic review of 51 studies that evaluated the effects of selected firearms laws on violence

As a specific example- In 1976, Washington, D.C. enacted one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation. The city's murder rate rose 134 percent through 1996 while the national murder rate has dropped 2 percent. Dr. Gary Kleck, University of Florida using FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1997

7) I am unaware of any study on the issue you raise. You didn't refute anything I posted however.

Him
1.) You're splitting hairs on this one. The point about drunk driving wasn't meant to be a perfect analogy for all the facets of gun control but merely a demonstration that of the absurdity of the slippery slope argument.
7.) What I'm saying is that the data you present don't seem to argue that guns specifically make people safer, but that using some form of self defense makes you safer. Given that this alternative explanation is possible and that there are no data that refute this, it can't be demonstrated that guns increase the safety of the user above and beyond that of a less lethal form of self defense.

Me
If you think im splitting hairs- http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-...t?q=h.r.%20226 “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”- NY Gov coumo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryUbJ...layer_embedded

H.R.226 - Support Assault Firearms Elimination and Reduction for our Streets Act - Bill Text | Congr
beta.congress.gov
Bill Text for H.R.226, legislation from the 113th Congress (2013-2014). To amend...See More


Him
Yes, of course there are people that support elimination of guns. I don't deny that. My point is that it's absurd to use this is as a justification for opposing any particular gun legislation. You probably know better than anybody that complete abolition of the right to own guns is severely unlikely to occur in our lifetimes.
10.) Correlational data are dicey and in no way guarantee causality. Is there any evidence that the gun control restrictions caused the increase in the murder rate?

Me

For Confiscation- It did in California. The 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to shifting definitions of “assault weapons,” many legal firearms are now being confiscated by the California government. It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In 1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city. It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 was the source used to identify and confiscate (without compensation) over half of the registered handguns in 2001.Civil Disobedience In Canada: It Just Happened To Be Guns, Dr. Paul Gallant, and Dr. Joanne Eisen, Idaho Observer, August 2000
Most violent crime is caused by a small minority of repeat offenders. One California study found that 3.8% of a group of males born in 1956 were responsible for 55.5% of all serious felonies. 75-80% of murder arrestees have prior arrests for a violent (including non-fatal) felony or burglary. On average they have about four felony arrests and one felony conviction.The Prevalence and Incidence of Arrest Among Adult Males in California, Robert Tillman, prepared for California Department of Justice, Bureau of Criminal Statistics and Special Services, Sacramento, California, 1987. Half of all murders are committed by people on “conditional release” (i.e., parole or probation). 81% of all homicide defendants had an arrest record; 67% had a felony arrest record; 70% had a conviction record; and 54% had a felony conviction. Probation and Parole Violators in State Prison, 1991: Survey of State Prison Inmates, Robyn Cohen, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1995. Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 1998, Brian Reaves, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2001. If you think Correlation data does not gaurantee causality, why should something be regulated when it has already been shown it has no effect on the problem?
Criminals are not motivated by guns. They are motivated by opportunity. Attempts to reduce public access to firearms provide criminals more points of opportunity. It is little wonder that high-crime cities also tend to be those with the most restrictive gun control laws – which criminals tend to ignore.

Him
I don't think that correlation doesn't guarantee causality - this is a fact. This isn't to say correlational data aren't useful, merely that the "more gun control causes more crime" should only be viewed as a hypothesis until additional data converge on this interpretation. Worldwide it's been found that more gun ownership correlates with less crime, but an obvious confound is that the wealthier a country is, the more guns people are able to buy and simultaneously there is less crime (more wealth causes more guns and less crime).
"If you think Correlation data does not gaurantee causality, why should something be regulated when it has already been shown it has no effect on the problem?" The data are correlational data, and therefore one can't reasonably conclude that the gun laws are ineffective.
"Criminals are not motivated by guns. They are motivated by opportunity. Attempts to reduce public access to firearms provide criminals more points of opportunity. It is little wonder that high-crime cities also tend to be those with the most restrictive gun control laws – which criminals tend to ignore." There's no data here, so we're down to an argument about plausibility. Given that most murders are committed by people with some connection to the victim (family, friends, etc.) I find it highly unlikely that gun laws are a motivating factor in the decision.

Moreover, cities that institute strict gun control laws often have those in place as a reaction to high crime rates. Causality isn't clear.

I agree that criminals will find illegal ways to obtain guns. As I said before, I certainly advocate stricter enforcement of the current laws in addition to newer regulations.
I just realized a statement I made was unclear: "I don't think that correlation doesn't guarantee causality - this is a fact." I would have italicized think if I could have. It was more of a "I don't just think this is the case, I know this is the case."


Me
The reverse is true then. Take away the data and what we have left is an enumerated right. Because what is left is merely a symbolic law, that unfortunately, is often a stepping stone to more laws in the future. If I cannot convince you that gun control doesn't work despite the evidence I have provided and change your mind to oppose gun control, you need to provide evidence to suggest that it does for me to support more gun control measures. I have yet to see that evidence, as this article that attempts to give such evidence I think has been sufficiently refuted. As a result, I stand with the concept of liberty, allowing individuals to make their own choices, just as I do with abortion, gay rights, freedom of speech, and any other civil liberty.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2013, 3:32 PM
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12voltguy 12voltguy is offline
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can't read that much
cliff notes please
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