Gun Control
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20-09-2013, 09:55 AM
RE: Gun Control
You're barking up the wrong tree squirrel. Ol' Phaedrus has been absent for more than 3 months. Grab a number and begin the wait for no answer. Drinking Beverage And expect anecdotal evidence if he chooses to reply.

(20-09-2013 07:21 AM)black_squirrel Wrote:  
(11-06-2013 12:36 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  I look at guns in terms of the social cost versus benefit.
Most gun control proponents in the USA do not favor a complete gun ban. So we should discuss the cost/benefit of having sensible gun regulations.
Quote:As an example of what I mean, consider alcohol. Alcohol has many social costs, including drunk driving accidents, alcohol poisoning, alcoholism, numerous diseases of the liver and other body parts, and it overall costs the US billions of dollars a year. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are killed by alcohol, either directly or indirectly.

However, alcohol is fun and people want to use it. Additionally it provides a lucrative industry which benefits the economy. So alcohol is legal and tolerated.
Alcohol is a separate discussion. Alcohol has not impacted me personally in a negative way, but overall I would not be sure if the benefits outweigh the costs.
Certainly, I do not see any economic benefit. Most likely, alcohol reduces productivity.
Quote:Guns have social costs as well. Accidental deaths, murders and robberies and other crimes, mass shootings, and (arguably) suicides (I don't count them since I think everyone has a right to end their life if they choose).

But guns also have benefits. Self defense, hunting, pest elimination, and just the joy of shooting. If you haven't fired a gun before you may not understand the last one, but there is a real atavistic thrill to throwing lead at a target, the kick of the recoil, the smell of burnt gunpowder. On top of all this, guns are also a major, multi-billion dollar industry, and common civilian access to guns means that many people who join the military already have experience with firearms and are more effective marksmen and soldiers than those with no firearms experience.
The cost is >30,000 lives per year. That is about 10 times the number of deaths in the 9/11 attacks. So what are you going to put on the other end of the scale
to make balance tip to the other side?
Quote:The problem with guns, however, is the disparity in the distribution of the costs and benefits. Allow me to elaborate:

In rural areas, the benefits of owning a firearm are readily apparent. There is likely easy and cheap access to a shooting range or even informal shooting areas, and hunting provides a useful sport and method of pest control (deer are pests). Practically everyone owns a gun. Self-defense is also important, because while you're less likely to be robbed in the sticks, the police are generally farther away and take longer to respond, so having protection on-hand is more important. The social costs are low in rural areas; violent crime is less common, both per square mile and per capita. Theft of firearms is less common as well.

In large cities, the situation is totally different. There are fewer benefits. Relatively few people own guns, because places to shoot them are far between and expensive, usually with tight restrictions. Police can respond faster, so having a gun in your house is perhaps less important. Self-defense is the only major reason for owning a gun in the city, as the odds of being a victim of violent crime are higher, so concealed carry handguns make more sense. But the costs of guns are far higher in the city than in rural areas. Violent crime is more common, and guns are more commonly used for homicide than for self-defense. Gangs and organized crime are a real concern. And with higher population density, there's also a higher density of people with mental issues, who might, under the right circumstances, snap and start shooting up a school.


In other words, guns have many benefits and few costs in the rural areas, but have few benefits and very high cost in cities.
I agree that guns are more of a problem in urban areas as compared to rural areas.
Quote:Since most rural areas are very conservative, lower income, and religious, gun ownership is stigmatized as something for right-wing nutjobs. Gun owners are easily stereotyped as bible thumping, Confederate-flag waving, violent meat heads. This stereotype is so common that it's a near ubiquitous characterization used in anti-gun circles. In fact it's often far from the truth.
Most gun owners are not like this stereotype, but the loudest opponents of gun control often are right-wing nutjobs, who believe in the conspiracy theory that the government is out to get them. Besides, it seems that you also have some stereotypes about "anti-gun" people.
Quote:The anti-gun movement is based largely in cities and suburbs, and is largely based on an emotional bias. They see only the cost of guns in their area, only the crime and murder, and don't see the benefits that drive the pro-gun movements. They combine this with the stereotype of the Republican meat head gun owner, and suddenly you have an extremely emotionally charged position that considers the opposition both morally and intellectually inferior. It's a toxic mindset.
30,000 deaths per year is kind of a "biggie". So, yes, some people are emotional about it. But the pro-gun control people also base their position on facts
(at least I do).
Quote:Statistics do show that many people are killed with guns. But if it's pointed out that cars or alcohol kill many more the only response is, "It's not the same!"
Were do you get your statistics from? Total number of gun deaths in 2011 is 32,163 (source: gunpolicy.org). Total motor vehicle accident deaths in 2011 is 32,367
(source: wikipedia). So it is about the same.
Quote:When you ask why, the most common answer is, "Guns are DESIGNED to kill people!" Bullshit.
Of course, guns ARE designed to kill. People buy guns for self-defense and for deterring criminals. Guns are deterring because the are DESIGNED to be LETHAL.
Quote:The vast majority of guns will never be fired at a person. Ever.
For every bullet fired at a person there are hundreds of thousands fired at paper, cans, soda bottles, dirt, deer, varmints, or other targets. The majority of people don't own guns primarily for self defense; they own them because they enjoy shooting.
According to a survey, 48% of gun owners in the USA have guns mainly for protection. Compared to hunting (32%) and target practicing (7%).
source:
http://www.people-press.org/2013/03/12/w...op-reason/

Quote:Self-defense is largely a secondary concern outside of major urban conurbations where you are actually likely to be robbed.

The anti-gun movements have a valid concern; that high crime and murder rates in their areas might be alleviated by there being fewer guns available. But a blanket ban on guns, or meaningless bans on arbitrary features like pistol grips or flash suppressors (of all things!) or specific patterns of gun, are worthless and reactionary efforts. And the emotionally-charged, self-righteous, self-aggrandizing, and disgustingly prejudiced stance they take against gun owners does nothing but polarize the debate and make a reasonable compromise less likely to be reached.
You are debating a bit of a strawman here because most pro-gun control people do not favor a complete ban. They just want background checks that apply to all sales, that sort of thing.

Having sensible and consistent gun laws in the USA will not have a large impact for the "law abiding citizens". It just means some greater inconvenience when buying or selling guns. In my opinion, the cost is small for having some gun legislation
such as universal back-ground checks, registrations of all guns, and recording all gun sales. The benefit, fewer gun deaths far outweighs the cost.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
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20-09-2013, 01:43 PM
RE: Gun Control
This is why gun control is a complicated issue.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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20-09-2013, 04:07 PM
Gun Control
(20-09-2013 01:43 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  This is why gun control is a complicated issue.

If there weren't any guns then there would not be any school shootings in the first place.
More lives have been taken by guns, than lives that have been saved by using guns in self defense.
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20-09-2013, 04:24 PM (This post was last modified: 20-09-2013 04:32 PM by Chas.)
RE: Gun Control
(20-09-2013 04:07 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  
(20-09-2013 01:43 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  This is why gun control is a complicated issue.

More lives have been taken by guns, than lives that have been saved by using guns in self defense.

You may believe that, but you have no evidence that that is true.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-09-2013, 05:36 PM
RE: Gun Control
(20-09-2013 04:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-09-2013 04:07 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  More lives have been taken by guns, than lives that have been saved by using guns in self defense.

You may believe that, but you have no evidence that that is true.

In 2010, there were 230 justifiable homicides of private citizens using a gun for protection. Compare this to 8275 intentional gun homicides in the same year.
Out of the 230 justifiable homicides, probably many involved another person who was also armed. In other words, if there weren't any guns around, many of these justifiable homicides would not have been necessary in the first place.
http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable.pdf
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20-09-2013, 05:50 PM
RE: Gun Control
(20-09-2013 05:36 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  
(20-09-2013 04:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  You may believe that, but you have no evidence that that is true.

In 2010, there were 230 justifiable homicides of private citizens using a gun for protection. Compare this to 8275 intentional gun homicides in the same year.
Out of the 230 justifiable homicides, probably many involved another person who was also armed. In other words, if there weren't any guns around, many of these justifiable homicides would not have been necessary in the first place.
http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable.pdf

You can't quantify deterrence.

..and guns are an equalizer offering defense to the otherwise defenseless.

...and you can't have a prohibition of anything that is so simple to manufacture and in such demand.

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21-09-2013, 07:44 AM
RE: Gun Control
(20-09-2013 05:36 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  
(20-09-2013 04:24 PM)Chas Wrote:  You may believe that, but you have no evidence that that is true.

In 2010, there were 230 justifiable homicides of private citizens using a gun for protection. Compare this to 8275 intentional gun homicides in the same year.
Out of the 230 justifiable homicides, probably many involved another person who was also armed. In other words, if there weren't any guns around, many of these justifiable homicides would not have been necessary in the first place.
http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable.pdf

And what about all the cases where there wasn't a shooting?

There are many times a gun is used without being fired.

Or the knowledge or fear that a gun may be present prevents a crime.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-09-2013, 09:10 AM
RE: Gun Control
(21-09-2013 07:44 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-09-2013 05:36 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  In 2010, there were 230 justifiable homicides of private citizens using a gun for protection. Compare this to 8275 intentional gun homicides in the same year.
Out of the 230 justifiable homicides, probably many involved another person who was also armed. In other words, if there weren't any guns around, many of these justifiable homicides would not have been necessary in the first place.
http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable.pdf

And what about all the cases where there wasn't a shooting?

There are many times a gun is used without being fired.

Or the knowledge or fear that a gun may be present prevents a crime.

In 4 of those cases the gun was used to detain the perp without being fired.

MotherJone's response to that article
is that those weren't ordinary citizen gun owners but were either off-duty police or had military training.

Don't think I got a position either which way.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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21-09-2013, 08:00 PM
RE: Gun Control
(21-09-2013 07:44 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-09-2013 05:36 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  In 2010, there were 230 justifiable homicides of private citizens using a gun for protection. Compare this to 8275 intentional gun homicides in the same year.
Out of the 230 justifiable homicides, probably many involved another person who was also armed. In other words, if there weren't any guns around, many of these justifiable homicides would not have been necessary in the first place.
http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable.pdf

And what about all the cases where there wasn't a shooting?

There are many times a gun is used without being fired.
Like armed robbery, for example?
Quote:Or the knowledge or fear that a gun may be present prevents a crime.
Yes, that may happen. But on the flip side, a gun also emboldens criminals
to commit crimes.

But going back to the idea of the OP:
IMO, overall the cost of guns is higher than the benefits. As just mentioned,
>8000 good guys shot by bad guys, but only 230 bad guys shot by good guys.
More than 30,000 people die from gun shot wounds each year in the USA.
So at least I have given some evidence supporting my claim. I have not seen any evidence that would make me believe that the benefits outweigh the costs of gun.

I do see some benefits however, such as hunting, or just the fun of shooting. I do not favor a ban on all guns, just some regulations that allows law enforcement
to monitor who is buying which guns, and that keep the guns out of the wrong hands.
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24-09-2013, 06:52 AM
RE: Gun Control
I have never thought to consider that guns also embolden attackers. So while one side may say that potential presence of a gun may deter (because they would not know if one is or is not present), the attacker can certainly know of the presence of their own gun and become more likely to use it.

This may coincide with the increased number of deaths relating to the "Stand your ground laws" where arguments escalate into someone getting shot. Why back down in an argument, when you can just win it with a gun?

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