Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fun with Gun Death Stats

Here was an interesting comment in response to MP Gun Deaths
"Mixing rates and raw numbers 
Kristof commits at least 2 of my least favorite data analysis sins, mixing rates with raw numbers and applying arbitrary thresholds. He even admits it, but doesn't let it derail his conclusion. 
Raw numbers that should probably be corrected for population and definitely for criteria:
Over the last two decades, Canada has had eight mass shootings. Just so far this month, the United States has already had 20. 
Arbitrary 7 month threshold:
Canada has admitted more than 27,000 Syrian refugees since November, some 10 times the number the United States has. 
And the 3 bullet points are comparisons of things that are not comparable.
This is a list of surprising facts, not evidence that increased gun ownership causes more violence. 
If all the analysis out there is incomprehensible, we won't get intelligent reform, we'll get stupid reform supported by gullible stupid people."


Laurie said...

I thought the comment was stupid as the USA clearly has a very high level of gun violence compared to every other advanced country in the world. The question is will citizens and leaders take any actions to reduce the death toll.

A much more interesting topic would be commenting on the Kristoff column without being distracted by quibbling over statistics. Some Extremists Fire Guns and Other Extremists Promote Guns

I think the senate actually will pass a bill making it more difficult for someone on the terrorism watch list to buy a weapon.

John said...

Here was my comment to his...

"Comparison Challenges

Both the far right and far left are guilty of the number games. It is important to read these reports / opinions carefully.

What I also find fascinating is the attempt to compare America to other countries in general. Our society of self focused, strong willed, out spoken "cowboys" who are willing to get involved around the world is SO DIFFERENT from many countries. I think "gun ownership" is one factor among dozens that make us unique and unfortunately somewhat violent.

I mean just look at the movies we flock to in droves... They made the career of Bruce Willis, Arnold, Stallone, etc..." G2A

Laurie said...

The NRA is wrong: This is exactly the right time to talk about guns

Laurie said...

Home Should Not Be a War Zone

John said...

Now Jerry is very busy telling us what will not work to stop the death of hundreds/thousands of innocents each year. However I have been unable to get him to make a proposal regarding how to stop all these senseless deaths.

"I was going to post this elsewhere, since apparently our two worthless MN Senators have joined the cries for new gun control measures. It is this: I demand a guarantee that if these two gun control measures are passed-- an "assault weapons" ban and not permitting those on the the terror or no-fly lists to pass background checks, that we will never have another mass shooting. The minute we do, these laws become null and void. Were I to lay a bet, I would give it six months, at best. And that's giving them the first 3 months "free."

Can you really give credit for caring and concern to someone who wants a quick-fix government solution that will have ZERO effect on the actual problem? Killers wantonly disobey the laws against murder. Is a law against carrying a firearm into a nightclub really going to stop them?"

Laurie said...

Democrats Finally Agree—On Worst Gun Bill Ever

maybe banning purchases of any type of gun by anyone who has been invstigated by the FBI for ties to terrorism goes to far.

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, the problem with the "no guns for terrorist watch list" idea isn't that it wouldn't work or even work well, it is that the raw data simply isn't there. Nobody really KNOWS who the dangerous terrorists are to put them on the list (if we did we would presumably find a way to keep them from getting bomb-making materials, or surveil them seriously). And it is almost impossible to get OFF the list. Numerous examples of having one's name on the no-fly list because someone of the same name was suspicious, and no procedure exists for fixing this error, apparently. That violates the due process clause of the Constitution and any such bill would likely die in court.

Laurie said...

Spurred by Orlando Shooting, Senator Offers a Gun Control Compromise

If I was a senator I would vote for a compromise like this which bans guns sales to a smaller list of terrorism suspects.

John said...

What is your solution to prevent these tragedies?

Deadliest Shootings

Or are you okay with the chance that you or your family may be in the wrong place at the wrong time when someone starts bump firing an AK47 into the crowd?

John said...

Here was a thought posted by Dennis.

"The 2nd Amendment is a political right"
Here's a very interesting video that will answer the question about Americans and guns. It's Newt Gingrich giving a speech to the NRA convention and discussing the historical significance of guns and why they play such an important role to most Americans.

It's one of the best political speeches by a historian I've ever seen.

Here's a taste:

"The right to bear arms is not about hunting. It's not about target practice ... The right to bear arms is a political right designed to safeguard freedom so that no government can take away from you the rights that God has given you, and it was written by people who had spent their lifetime fighting the greatest empire in the world and they knew that if they had not had the right to bear arms, they would have been enslaved. And they did not want us to be enslaved. And that is why they guaranteed us the right to protect ourselves. It is a political right of the deepest importance to the survival of freedom in America."


My response was:
"The question is what arms? Is it okay if I want to buy a heat seeking missile?"

No answer yet.

jerrye92002 said...

I suppose if the Wizards in Washington can't tell the difference between a semi-automatic rifle and a "machine gun," perhaps they cannot be trusted to distinguish, in law, between a simple self-defense weapon and a guided missile, either.

These Congresscritters, at least the liberal ones, imagine that they can simply pass a law and that this solves the problem. They really need to brush up on their King Canute. In this case, they can't even get cause and effect right.

John said...

Try 4... What is your solution to prevent these tragedies?

jerrye92002 said...

1. Stop focusing on solutions like gun control which have absolutely ZERO effect on the problem at hand. Laugh people off the stage who make such stupid statements.
2. Name the problem. It is terrorism inspired by Islam and Islamists-- radical or not doesn't matter, there is a theological basis for it in these people's minds.
3. We must drastically reduce the influence of these radical groups (e.g. destroy ISIS) and then target for enhanced surveillance (and yes, suspicion) of those most likely mentally "poisoned" already, and those they influence. Go ahead, infiltrate a few mosques. Target ISIS' web sites and electronic propaganda machines.
4. Stop bringing in people who carry that poison with them, at the border. Yes, it is difficult, perhaps not compassionate, but I don't see how importing terrorists, by government acts of omission or commission, is preferable to the safety and security of US citizens.

Laurie said...

What about the many mass shootings which have nothing to do with Islamic terrorism
( i,e, virginia tech, columbine, sandy hook, movie theater)?

The more I read about the Orlando shooter to me it seems to have more in common with the shootings I just mentioned than with Islamic terrorism.

Troubled. Quiet. Macho. Angry. The volatile life of the Orlando shooter.

John said...

That was the same thought I had... So few attacks that are IS or Al Qaeda related and 3 of the 4 bullets are focused there. Worse yet the first one does nothing to stop gun attacks.


jerrye92002 said...

I thought the conversation we were having was how to stop Orlando-style shootings, which have predominated lately? Those, contrary to Democrat talking points, have far more to do with Islamic extremists/terrorists than with guns, and ALL mass shootings have less to do with guns and gun laws than with the perpetrators. The way to stop random crazy people is either a) pay more attention to crazy people and/or b) stop worrying about law-abiding citizens with guns and allow them to be the first line of defense. It is their right. Now, to stop Islamic-fomented mass shootings, you proceed as I have suggested; it's more of a "war."

And I still don't understand, with regard to all other mass shootings: Since the Sandy Hook shooter violated at least 7 gun laws before he fired the first shot, and then violated the far more severe law against murder many times over, what gun law would have prevented that horrific crime? It's nice to think we COULD pass a law to stop these things, but reality proves otherwise.

And there seems to be no room in the media narrative for a mass shooting /stopped/ by an armed citizen, didya notice?

John said...

So your answer is:
1. pay more attention to crazy people
2. have more non-crazy people with guns
3. so they can have a shoot out with crazy person in public setting

So let's start with # 1:
- what criteria will be used to measure crazy?
- who gets to track the crazy people?
- who gets to ensure they get and stay on their treatment?
- how do we ensure they do not steal guns from the non-crazy people?
- where is the funding for this going to come from?

Sandyhook Guns

John said...

The reality is that the proliferation of semi automatic weapons in the USA means it is easier for crazy people to access these guns legally or illegally.

Atlantic USA vs Others

It will be interesting to see how long it takes before our society is willing to get the bump fire-able guns out of the general population.

John said...

I am fascinated that Machine Guns are controlled and the bump fire mods are not.

jerrye92002 said...

You asked for a solution, and now you want to talk about the practical difficulties of implementing it? Are you going to talk about how impractical an assault weapons ban will be against Islamic terrorism as well?

And let's talk about "proliferation" for a second. Do you know that Obama has been named "gun salesman of the year" for 5 years in a row?

John said...

Well as long as you understand and are okay that many people will continue being killed by these pseudo machine guns. The risk is known and far higher than that posed by allowing refugees to settle here. Hopefully it will continue to happen in the schools, theaters, work places, etc of strangers, and not those of our families or friends...

I always find it amusing when people state that "the people" having guns is important to keep the government from seizing control... when they have the really cool weapons and the infrastructure at their control...

John said...

By the way, yes I would like you to explain how you would implement the solution you proposed.

Banning the manufacture and sale of all weapons that can be modified to be bump fire machine guns would be easy. The government agrees, signs a law and the manufactures stop...

That is unless you think the hunters need bump fire machine guns to hunt Bambi.

John said...

Here is an interesting related story

Just the kind of guy I want "protecting our freedoms"...

jerrye92002 said...

Interesting that all of these massacres seem to happen in "schools, theaters, work places" that are gun-free zones. Makes you wonder if one more gun law would help. On the other hand, action against Islamic extremism WOULD help, and directly so.

It is already illegal to convert a semi-auto weapon to automatic fire, but so far we haven't seen an automatic weapon used in these killings.

As for keeping better tabs on crazy people, several bills have been introduced to do that sort of thing, but people like the ACLU keep objecting to them.

jerrye92002 said...

"The risk is known and far higher than that posed by allowing refugees to settle here. "

My turn to ask for sources. When ISIS tells you they intend to send terrorists in disguised as immigrants and refugees, why would you believe they would not? There are risks, and then there are avoidable and unnecessary risks.

John said...

You are correct... We could collect all semi-automatic rifles and melt them down...

That would reduce the likelihood of them being used in a shooting spree.

USA Today Weapons

It seems we had a pretty good law on the books until Bush and crew let it lapse in 2004.

Under the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 the definition of "semiautomatic assault weapon" included specific semi-automatic firearm models by name, and other semi-automatic firearms that possessed two or more from a set certain features:[11]

Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:
- Folding or telescoping stock
= Pistol grip
= Bayonet mount
= Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
- Grenade launcher mount

Semi-automatic pistols with detachable magazines and two or more of the following:
- Magazine that attaches outside the pistol grip
= Threaded barrel to attach barrel extender, flash suppressor, handgrip, or suppressor
- Barrel shroud safety feature that prevents burns to the operator
- Unloaded weight of 50 oz (1.4 kg) or more
- A semi-automatic version of a fully automatic firearm.

Semi-automatic shotguns with two or more of the following:
- Folding or telescoping stock
- Pistol grip
- Detachable magazine.

The ban defined the following semi-automatic firearms, as well as any copies or duplicates of them in any caliber, as assault weapons:

John said...

Or maybe I need the grenade launcher mount and suppressor for hunting Bambi.

Laurie said...

They could ban assault weapons again but let owners of shooting ranges buy them and rent them to people who want to do target practice with them while visiting the gun range.

I am done with this topic and will leave it up to John to argue for common sense gun laws.

jerrye92002 said...

Isn't it obvious that an "assault weapon" by the Congressional definition is simply cosmetic-- an "ugly gun" ban? As I said before, these cosmetic features do not alter the accuracy or lethality of the gun, but they DO have value as a deterrent to home invasions, and some of them-- "preventing burns to the operator"-- are actually safety features. And again, one should note that the largely insignificant use of such weapons actually ROSE, from 0.2% to 0.3% of shootings, during the ban.

Now tell me one more time how this ban would make Orlando impossible? Go ahead and argue that something with ZERO (or perhaps negative) impact on the situation would be "common sense."

John said...

Large clips, high power and modifiable to be a bump machine gun certainly enables one to kill people faster... Faster bursts, less reloading, etc. And the less reloading certainly limits the ability for bystanders to stop the assailant.

Now if these were not in America, except with the military... How could they be used by crazy folks?

Unfortunately we released these into the general population and now the crazy folks have easy access.

Now why again do you think we need these in the general population?

jerrye92002 said...

It is not a question of need, it is a matter of people choosing the weapon that best serves their requirements. They are NOT military weapons, just look-alikes. Do you really think it necessary to confiscate millions of law-abiding citizens' legal weapons just to THEORETICALLY prevent one mass shooting? What is the old Vietnam-era saying? "A thousand enemy can be killed in one night by a running man with a knife." We already limit "access" by crazy people and could do more in that regard, but Islamic terrorism isn't that kind of crazy and requires a whole different set of preventive measures. Start with naming it what it is and stop calling it a "gun problem."

Anonymous said...

it is a matter of people choosing the weapon that best serves their requirements.

to bad the rest of us don't get to choose the weapons that are used to assault us.


John said...

"Do you really think it necessary to confiscate millions of law-abiding citizens' legal weapons just to THEORETICALLY prevent one mass shooting?" Jerry

If one of them killed is a family member or friend of mine... The answer is yes.

How many children / innocents need to be killed by these type of guns before you agree? 100, 1,000, 10,000, More?

And as I asked before. "Now why again do you think we need these in the general population?"

John said...

I would choose one of those cool nerf guns...

Laurie said...

Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge to Connecticut’s ban on ‘assault weapons’

So far lower courts are upholding assault weapons bans in states that have passed them.

jerrye92002 said...

“We need to look at all our vulnerabilities and we need to harden, because they’re coming and they’re going to try to kill us and we need to be prepared,” LaPierre added. “And this president, by diverting the attention to the gun control movement, that’s not going to solve the problem.”

Republicans are also introducing gun measures. Texas Sen. John Cornyn introduced legislation that would require law enforcement to be alerted whenever someone who has been investigated over terrorism in the past five years attempts to buy a weapon from a licensed dealer. Lynch could block the sale for up to three days while a court reviews the sale of the weapon. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s measure would give people suspected of serious mental illness the ability to challenge that determination, making it more difficult for mentally ill people to be instituted in background check databases.
Source: UPI

jerrye92002 said...

"How many children / innocents need to be killed by these type of guns before you agree? 100, 1,000, 10,000, More?"

OK, fine. But let us also ban airplanes, knifes, rope, automobiles, bathtubs, stairs, and illicit drugs. And I would point out that none of these guns or other things have ever killed anybody, acting by themselves. If you are NOT going to blame the human being (and their motivations) for the killing, you are not going to solve the problem. Period.

John said...

Belts and suspenders...

If one truly values the life of innocent humans... One would eliminate rapid fire big magazine rifles from the general population AND one would hold responsible the humans who use weapons of any kind illegally.

The difference of course is that these "airplanes, knifes, rope, automobiles, bathtubs, stairs" provide value in our society and therefore we have a reason for accepting the risk.

And as I asked before. "Now why again do you think we need these in the general population?"

From my view they offer the gun enthusiast a "high" kind of like those illicit drugs... Which by the way also offer little value to society, kill many people and should be eliminated.

Next are you going to say we should legalize all those nasty dangerous drugs for freedoms sake? Kind of like those rapid fire big magazine rifles.

John said...

CNN Poll Results

Anonymous said...

"But let us also ban airplanes, knifes, rope, automobiles, bathtubs, stairs, and illicit drugs."

None of those things were invented for the express purpose of killing. Terrible analogy, really.


Laurie said...

from my other favorite blogger/ columnist Paul Waldman:

The Question Gun Advocates Should Have to Answer

"How about acknowledging that their version of freedom has a cost?

What I want to hear gun advocates say is, "This is the price America has to pay for the right some of us cherish."

John said...

That was a good piece except for the silly 30,000 number.

If one wants to eliminate rapid fire high power rifles... Then those are the only number of deaths one gets to claim.

If the anti-gun folks could get aligned and stop fighting hand guns / conceal and carry... They would have a better chance of getting somewhere. However it seems the anti-guns folks are as extremist as the pro-gun folks.

John said...

BBC Gun Violence Stats

"Mass shootings: There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870, according to the Mass Shooting Tracker, which catalogues such incidents. A mass shooting is defined as a single shooting incident which kills or injures four or more people, including the assailant."

"School shootings: There were 64 school shootings in 2015, according to a dedicated campaign group set up in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut in 2012. Those figures include occasions when a gun was fired but no-one was hurt."

"All shootings: Some 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured [those figures exclude suicide]. Those figures are likely to rise by several hundred, once incidents in the final week of the year are counted."

jerrye92002 said...

Now we are getting somewhere. Of those 475 people killed in "mass shootings," how many were killed by an "assault weapon"? Of those, how many were "innocent bystanders" and how many were targeted for some particular reason, say a drug dealer's competition, or a nut killing his family? How many of the innocents were shot, with an assault weapon, in a "gun free zone"? You are talking about a tiny, tiny sliver of the problem and to [theoretically] alter that you want to take away the millions of hours of enjoyment and countless, satisfying feelings of security, the prevention of millions of crimes each year, and the very right to self-defense? Is the objective here to prevent gun deaths, or just to satisfy some gun-grabber's fantasy, regardless of the cost?

jerrye92002 said...

And about that "question".... The right we have is to "keep and bear arms," not to shoot somebody. More fundamental is the right to protect one's life, even if it means shooting somebody. (note: rarely is it necessary, "brandishing" is many times more common. You can't do that if you don't have one.)

Anonymous said...

'The right we have is to "keep and bear arms,"'

Belongs to the People. Collectively. As far as I can tell, the Constitution does not say that the right belongs to Persons.


John said...

Since you fought for the right to marry, I figured you would be the first in line defending a persons right to own guns.

I agree that people should be able to own hand guns, basic rifles, basic shotguns, etc for security, hunting, fun, etc. And I think they should be free to carry them where they wish.

However I don't think citizens need a "20+ round clip near machine gun" to accomplish the above. That is unless you think a very well armed gang is going to try and break into your home.

John said...

2nd Amendment Discussed

jerrye92002 said...

"... I don't think citizens need a 20-round clip..." I happen to believe that 30 rounds is the exact right number for what I want to do-- target shooting, varmint plinking, and attacks by roving gangs. So which of us is the best judge of what /I/ need? And why does it matter to you if it has a grenade launcher, since I don't have, don't want and can't buy grenades for it?

I see that common sense has once again prevailed in the US Senate, by the way. It's a pretty good rule of thumb that when Congress says "we have to do something" the best thing they can do is nothing.