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Gun control

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Hermes
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« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2012, 12:26:32 PM »

I would like to defend myself from harm. When push comes to shove - wouldn't you feel the same way? Besides if every criminal knew that there is a loaded gun in any house, would they still risk their life to rob you?

To the best of my knowledge nobody on this thread proposes a total ban on civilian possession of firearms.  There is a strong feeling that the type of firearm that is appropriate for self-defence should be assessed.  The domestic household would require significantly less firepower than the cash in transit company, etc.  Nuclear rocket launchers should not be available to the public at large.

The correlation seems a bit weak, especially when compared to counter examples I could find glaring at me on cursory inspection: If I could cherry pick some countries(as I said, cursory inspection) it would be Qatar with figures of 19.2% for ownership and 0.19 death rate (it's only a smidge above Japan on the list). And Chile (dead last on the list): 10.7% ownership vs 0.06 death rate. To me, that is striking compared to Japan.

The whole point of my exercise was to eliminate cherry picking.  I merely alluded to the US vs. Japan example, which I maintain is particularly striking, but concede that it may be construed as cherry picking, albeit within a predefined sample.  I can unfortunately not calculate a correlation coefficient for the G8 data points, because I don't have a figure for Russia.  Let's then look at the G7, which excludes Russia and is in a sense more comparable.  Please note that this choice is NOT made on any other basis than membership of a club of rich, developed nations.  Here we get a correlation coefficient of 0,953.  Such high correlations are rare to find.

This exercise does not say anything about the type of firearms owned and used, but it does help to dispel two myths: that the deterrent value of widespread gun ownership will cause a reduction in gun related deaths; and that gun ownership cannot be controlled.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 14:03:33 PM by Hermes » Logged
Tweefo
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« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2012, 12:49:19 PM »

To the best of my knowledge nobody on this thread proposes a total ban on civilian possession of firearms.  There is a strong feeling that the type of firearm that is appropriate for self-defence should be assessed.  The domestic household would require significantly less firepower than the cash in transit company, etc.  Nuclear rocket launchers should not be available to the public at large.
Exactly. You will never get rid of it all but at least try to keep it manageable.
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brianvds
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« Reply #47 on: December 22, 2012, 07:10:20 AM »

To the best of my knowledge nobody on this thread proposes a total ban on civilian possession of firearms.  There is a strong feeling that the type of firearm that is appropriate for self-defence should be assessed.  The domestic household would require significantly less firepower than the cash in transit company, etc.  Nuclear rocket launchers should not be available to the public at large....
This exercise does not say anything about the type of firearms owned and used, but it does help to dispel two myths: that the deterrent value of widespread gun ownership will cause a reduction in gun related deaths; and that gun ownership cannot be controlled.

Whether we can effectively control firearms in South Africa is another question. :-)

But yes, I don't think the evidence for the deterrent effect is really very good, and it would indeed be interesting to take a look at what type of firearms people own. Hunting rifles seem not to be used for murder quite as often as handguns, though I may be wrong. And it is far more difficult to pull off a large scale massacre if you are limited to one revolver than if you can own a pistol and fifty clips of ammunition, or a whole arsenal of revolvers.

I think weapons training may also be relevant. people often mention the example of Switzerland, where everyone is armed with a military rifle, yet there doesn't seem to be much in way of murder and mayhem. But of course, they all get proper training in the use of those weapons.

There are jurisdictions where they go overboard with the gun control thing and where it begins to eat away at civil liberties. Some years ago, for example, Germany banned paintball (I guess it may well have done our own tourist industry some good!) And in many jurisdictions they now ban similar things left and right: slingshots of the sort I and all my friends made when we were kids, crossbows (even though they are rather seldom used for violence against others), some types of knives... the list goes one. Here in South Africa there have been moves afoot to prohibit people from even carrying pocket knives. Or pepper spray for self defense.

I think such draconian measures are unnecessary, and indeed dangerous, even if they save a life or two. On the other hand I don't really get why Americans seem to think, quite literally, that everyone and his dog should have the right to keep everything from an arsenal of automatic military rifles to a ton of high explosives. Even as they institute absolutely draconian measures against marijuana! It just doesn't make any sense.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2012, 23:01:19 PM »

but concede that it may be construed as cherry picking, albeit within a predefined sample.


Indeed. As I said looking outside that sample I immediately saw an example of something completely different. If I have a moment I'll see if I can write a script of some sort to process all those numbers and maybe spit out a graph. I'm quite curious now.

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Here we get a correlation coefficient of 0,953.  Such high correlations are rare to find.


Especially to see if that holds true (or how true it holds) if we use the entire list.


[...] an arsenal of automatic military rifles to a ton of high explosives.


Actually as I understand explosives are an entirely different matter. I recall a while ago reading that chemistry sets cannot be sold in the USA anymore (well, interesting chemistry sets anyway...) because of them containing "dangerous" chemicals. My opinion: There are way more dangerous things under your sink numbnuts! And lots more of it!

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Even as they institute absolutely draconian measures against marijuana! It just doesn't make any sense.


Couldn't agree more. BUT that also raises another potentially interesting avenue of discussion. If we should ban potentially harmful things, how high up the drug chain would you start banning? I mean mary-jane never killed anybody but in some it does cause schizophrenia, in others it turns heavy smokers into, well, pot-heads (aka. morons). However I don't think the dangers are SO severe and SO frequent that it should be banned. But that makes you wonder about a lot of drugs and whether they should be controlled or not....
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brianvds
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« Reply #49 on: December 23, 2012, 06:26:53 AM »

Actually as I understand explosives are an entirely different matter. I recall a while ago reading that chemistry sets cannot be sold in the USA anymore (well, interesting chemistry sets anyway...) because of them containing "dangerous" chemicals. My opinion: There are way more dangerous things under your sink numbnuts! And lots more of it!

Yup, if they really want chemistry sets banned they'd have to ban the supermarket and pharmacy too. :-)

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Couldn't agree more. BUT that also raises another potentially interesting avenue of discussion. If we should ban potentially harmful things, how high up the drug chain would you start banning? I mean mary-jane never killed anybody but in some it does cause schizophrenia, in others it turns heavy smokers into, well, pot-heads (aka. morons). However I don't think the dangers are SO severe and SO frequent that it should be banned. But that makes you wonder about a lot of drugs and whether they should be controlled or not....

The problem with the drug thing at the moment is that people assume that if you ban a substance and institute draconian measures against it, this constitutes better control than legalizing it and regulating its sale. It seems to me that the only way to have any control whatever is to legalize it.
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ingwe
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« Reply #50 on: December 26, 2012, 08:06:55 AM »



I think weapons training may also be relevant. people often mention the example of Switzerland, where everyone is armed with a military rifle, yet there doesn't seem to be much in way of murder and mayhem. But of course, they all get proper training in the use of those weapons.


The weapons training and the person being trained are important. With numbers of our young being subjected to national training we should have a relatively "gun safe" (older) population. All of the SAPS should also be undergoing rigourous training in the safe handling of their firearms yet we have numbers of them using the same firearms on family and themselves.
Control or no control in the USA does not have an effect on me or my life style it is only a matter of interest. The controls here will be of greater interest especially if I decide to apply for a licence.
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Jacques
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« Reply #51 on: December 26, 2012, 10:39:10 AM »

Tangential, but perhaps of interest to those in this thread: a paper describing the pro-gun lobby's suppression of research into gun control and safety: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1487470
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cyghost
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« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2012, 15:49:45 PM »

We need to split this for a second:
All of the SAPS should also be undergoing rigourous training in the safe handling of their firearms
I had both SANDF and SAPS training in firearms and at the time it was quite excellent with an overwhelming emphasis on safety and proper use. This may of course have changed. The problem is that there isn't much in the form of keeping up with it once you qualify and only a very few continue to train with their weapons. You had it to do it at your own cost and it does get quite expensive.
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yet we have numbers of them using the same firearms on family and themselves.
In America madmen go out and start shooting at random strangers. In South Africa we seem to keep it in the family. But people use hammers and pipes and whatever is available. It would be a little easier for a cop with a firearm but not required. I suspect like in America, we need to address the underlying stressors rather than focusing on one single issue.
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Brian
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« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2012, 15:57:25 PM »

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we need to address the underlying stressors rather than focusing on one single issue.
Yes! and as skeptics some of us fell foul of the trap of looking at the symptom and not the cause(s) 
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st0nes
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« Reply #54 on: December 27, 2012, 08:10:45 AM »

Here's(mp3, 13MB) a look at the statistics from the BBC.
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cyghost
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« Reply #55 on: December 27, 2012, 16:17:31 PM »

Demand A Plan to End Gun Violence - Welcome Home


I'm a sucker for the emotional appeal  Cheesy
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cr1t
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« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2013, 12:24:13 PM »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2255718/Hypocrisy-anti-gun-Hollywood-stars-Hilarious-YouTube-video-reveals-bloody-roles-filmed-celebrities-calling-gun-control.html

Ai they should have thought about that before making that video
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st0nes
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« Reply #57 on: January 02, 2013, 12:32:09 PM »


I know it's the Daily Mail--a newspaper from the lowest sewer--but even so I'd expect them to understand that actors are pretending to be somebody else when they play a role; there is no reason to expect their values to be identical to those of the characters they portray.
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cr1t
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« Reply #58 on: January 02, 2013, 15:49:48 PM »


I know it's the Daily Mail--a newspaper from the lowest sewer--but even so I'd expect them to understand that actors are pretending to be somebody else when they play a role; there is no reason to expect their values to be identical to those of the characters they portray.


No, but if you make your money from movies glorifying gun violence it's a little bit funny calling for gun control.
In any case funny video.
 
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st0nes
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« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2013, 08:51:33 AM »


I know it's the Daily Mail--a newspaper from the lowest sewer--but even so I'd expect them to understand that actors are pretending to be somebody else when they play a role; there is no reason to expect their values to be identical to those of the characters they portray.


No, but if you make your money from movies glorifying gun violence it's a little bit funny calling for gun control.
In any case funny video.
 

So if an actor lands a role as a rapist, he must be in favour of rape?  Or funny for him to take a stand against it?

Sam Harris has weighed in with his, as usual, sensible opinions.
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