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"More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
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13-04-2015, 03:10 PM
"More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
I know, I know, this horse has been beaten to death at times, but I found myself back in this clusterfuck of a topic in the last couple of days and I've reencountered this moronic argument. So, I decided to look a little closer at this specific claim that "more guns means less crime, including murders and violent crime."

If this is indeed true, then gun ownership should highly correlate with reduced crime rates and lower murder rates. We will stick to just the US for the time being because trying to compare the US to other countries is a bit hairy because I don't know who to compare us to. Do I compare us to other countries with comparable intentional homicide rates as per (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cou...tion=ufi)? That puts the US (rate of 4.7 per 100,000 people) on par with places like Yemen (4.8) and Latvia (4.7). There are not really any comparable countries with similar cultures and governments to the US, because places like Finland (1.6), Australia (1.1), the UK (1.0), Canada (1.8), Sweden (0.7), etc, all have intentional homicide rates that are less than half of the US rate. I mean, even if we try and take the best case scenario of somewhere like Sweden, we find that their firearm laws are much more restrictive than ours (http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/sweden), even though they have a lot of guns per person, as we do in the US.

So, we can just look at within the US to try and get a sense of whether or not this correlation holds true. I have posted the graphs from this on the post, and the data comes from these sources (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violenc...ation=ufi) and (https://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank...tion=ufi).

So, what do we see in the plot of murder rate vs gun ownership? No trend (r^2 of 0.01). So, more guns does not mean a lower murder rate.

Violent crime v. murder rate? No trend (r^2 of 0.02)

It would seem that more guns most definitely does not mean less crime or murders.

The last two graphs are me looking for a trend. The one is population density vs gun ownership, and we see something curious. The lower the population density, the higher the gun ownership percentage. Now, typically I would make the case that lower population density correlates with reduced crime rates and murder rates. Primarily because the less dense the population, the lower the rate of incidence. So, population density should correlate with murder rate, but it doesn't (r^2 of 0.01). Which is very curious. As it turns out, the 4 states you see with the high population densities are New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and they all have abnormally low murder rates for their population density. Otherwise, there is no clear trend or abnormality. As such, my prediction that lower population density means lower murder rate also appears untrue.

I'll hypothesize then that there should be a lower murder rate with lower population density, but lower population density correlates with higher gun ownership rate, which may influence the murder rate such that it is elevated above what it might be otherwise.

To summarize, more guns doesn't mean safer.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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13-04-2015, 03:14 PM
RE: "More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
There's three kinds of lies.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Mark Twain

.......................................

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13-04-2015, 03:15 PM
RE: "More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
(13-04-2015 03:14 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  There's three kinds of lies.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Mark Twain

Twain lived in an age where statistics were a black box that were largely inaccessible and samples sizes were too small to be of any use. And methods of collecting data were inefficient.

This is one of Twain's few quotes that doesn't hold true today.

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13-04-2015, 03:20 PM
RE: "More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
It's every bit as true as it was then.

Statistics are cooked every day - to achieve the desired result.

FBI statistics over the last decade or so show violent crime in the US going down, while firearm ownership and concealed carry have gone up.

It's just how you want to perceive it.

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13-04-2015, 03:21 PM
"More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
For instance, if you told a creationist that we share a 98% genetic similarity with chimpanzees and this is evidence of common ancestry, and they threw out this information based on that Twain quote. Would you think they were being intelligently skeptical, or idiotically dismissive based on a presupposed conclusion?

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13-04-2015, 03:21 PM
"More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
Globally violent crime (and crime in general) have gone down. So, the correlation of crime reduction is likely representative of another causal factor altogether.

Especially when you consider that these rates of crime are falling in countries where gun ownership has not increased or has even decreased.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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13-04-2015, 04:00 PM
RE: "More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
Let's just say you're ignoring some other statistics --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_g...by_country


sure the US ranks number one in per capita gun ownership ---

But #4 is Switzerland

and #66 is Somalia....

And hey -- Syria is 112 -- think you'd like to live there???

So - there doesn't really seem to be a correlation between gun ownership and how safe it is to live somewhere....

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13-04-2015, 04:08 PM
"More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
(13-04-2015 04:00 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Let's just say you're ignoring some other statistics --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_g...by_country


sure the US ranks number one in per capita gun ownership ---

But #4 is Switzerland

and #66 is Somalia....

And hey -- Syria is 112 -- think you'd like to live there???

So - there doesn't really seem to be a correlation between gun ownership and how safe it is to live somewhere....

Switzerland also has much more restrictive gun laws (I linked to that data and cite Switzerlands murder rate in my OP, you must have conveniently missed that).

And hey, Somalia and Syria are not comparable first world countries with similar government systems or levels of individual freedom.

Your argument is flaccid and unconvincing. It also fails to address the op or the lack of a trend I discuss.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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13-04-2015, 04:12 PM
RE: "More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
Wait, I may have typed Sweden instead of Switzerland. I got my Scandamavian countries mixed up

Switzerland also requires military service and still has more restrictive gun laws than the US

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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13-04-2015, 04:13 PM
RE: "More Guns means Safer" the nonsensical pro-NRA argument
(13-04-2015 04:08 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(13-04-2015 04:00 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Let's just say you're ignoring some other statistics --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_g...by_country


sure the US ranks number one in per capita gun ownership ---

But #4 is Switzerland

and #66 is Somalia....

And hey -- Syria is 112 -- think you'd like to live there???

So - there doesn't really seem to be a correlation between gun ownership and how safe it is to live somewhere....

Switzerland also has much more restrictive gun laws (I linked to that data and cite Switzerlands murder rate in my OP, you must have conveniently missed that).

And hey, Somalia and Syria are not comparable first world countries with similar government systems or levels of individual freedom.

Your argument is flaccid and unconvincing. It also fails to address the op or the lack of a trend I discuss.

Of course "My argument is flaccid and unconvincing" -- you've already made up your mind that you're right and you're willing to cook the books to get your result....


Take a look at the countries that have over 30 guns per 100 population..... For the most part - real nice places to live....

Check out the bottom of the chart --- Places like North Korea pop up.....

You don't see that correlation do you???

Of course you don't....

.......


You win.....

Try to take the guns away....


Good luck with that...

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