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Gun Culture and Responses to Mass Shootings

Discussion in 'Debate Forum' started by Psychic, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Erron Black

    Erron Black The Outlaw

    i never really talk much about these kinds of issues but here's what i have to say here:

    banning/prohibiting guns won't do anything but worsen the issue. without being able to carry a weapon on us at all times, we're more susceptible to attacks of terrorism ending horribly, because we can't arm ourselves to defend ourselves. banning guns won't do anything, just like how banning drugs hasn't done anything, people will always find a way to get them, especially the bad ones, and without us citizens having a way to defend ourselves from attackers with guns, what are we to do? what are we supposed to do besides hope and pray we somehow get out of that situation alive? if some terrorist ever dared to step foot somewhere in Texas, they'd be sent straight to where they belong before they can even fire a bullet.

    also in response to whomever said that people buy guns just to kill: by saying this, you're saying my family has bought our nifty guns just to go out one day and shoot people up. guess what? we've had them for years and all we do is go to a gun range and have some fun shooting paper targets. hell, we even have some sitting in our home as decoration AND some have sentimental value. my grandfather fought in the vietnam war and has had one of his trusty rifles ever since(afterwards he used it for elk hunting until the day he died). this is a symbol to our family of his bravery and service to our country.

    wonder how we'd feel if we had to give them up one day because people don't understand that guns don't kill people, people kill people? i'm sorry, but you ban guns, people will still find a way to kill if they really want to. whether it be with illegally bought guns or a machete or a butter knife.

    (i'll probably never check back here, just felt the need to say my piece)
  2. The problem with the "It's people, not guns" argument is that you can substitute "guns" with any other deadly weapon and the argument still functions the same way.

    "It's really unfortunate that Bob was struggling with depression and decided to take out half the neighborhood with him in his stealth bomber, but it's not fair to place restrictions on responsible stealth bomber owners."
  3. Grey Wind

    Grey Wind Only rescues maidens

    Also, guns are far more deadly than your average weapon. "They'll find away to kill without guns" is a dumb argument because you can't kill 50 people in a mass machete-ing (or... butter knifing).
  4. Why don't they stop gun selling in america? Problem solved.
  5. Navin

    Navin MALDREAD

    Do you know why the Orlando shooter didn't have a machine gun or other military-grade weaponry? Because there are already gun regulations (contrary to what the NRI would have you believe) in place. With your logic, you might as well unban machine guns and allow access to other military-grade weaponry to the public and say, "People will always find a way to get them anyway." You ban these type of weapons (or at least make them much harder to obtain) so that the next shooter doesn't simply have to walk to gun store or convention, buy one, and then easily mow down dozens of people.

    Just how are you going to defend yourself? Are you properly trained to handle active-shooter events? You want to multiple people pretending to be heroes engaging in a firefight, not possibly knowing who the attacker is, and possibly killing civilians in the crossfire? This is not Call of Duty.
  6. Zora

    Zora Who dies first?

    I'm beginning to think this narrative is increasingly more flawed, for reasons I'll discuss in a moment.

    Yes, having a gun control ban or even stricter background checks won't stop guns because people can get them illegal, but it can deter gun ownership. In general, it's harder to get an illegal product than a legal product. If the central maxim of "no gun control increases safety" is that people who obtain weapons legally will defend themselves; moreover, the number of times a homicide is prevented by using a gun in self-defense needs to be ostensibly higher than the number of successful homicides used in a gun. For example, if the average firearm-enabled homicide is 2 people per incident, then for no gun control to be at the very least benign, 2 incidents must be prevented with a gun for every successful incident. The problem is being "benign" isn't enough, since suicide rates and accidental deaths are significantly increased due to access to guns. The idea that suicide rates would be committed by other methods if guns are outlawed is effectively falsified by the Australian data to be presented. International analysis suggests that more firearms lend towards more homicides, such as presented in this article here.

    I'm not sure of the actual ratio of homicide crimes to victims, based on what's presented here, at least 1/3rd of firearm-assisted crimes are multi-victim. Given that mass shootings are included, that will likely create important outliers as well.

    Unfortunately, the evidence is scant because Congress has effectively banned research from taking place via the Dickey Amendment, which is almost surely the result of NRA's political involvement per Dickey's own testimony (yes, it's an op-ed, but the coauthor is the very Dickey whom the bill is named after in the first place).

    In terms of actual data available, Australia has recently done an analysis on the impacts of their own gun control law. Jerry Coyne did an good analysis of this data here, but I'll link the figure.

    The data isn't easy to interpret because firearm homicides were on the decline prior to the ban in 1996. What is most bewildering, however, is that non-firearm related deaths decreased after the ban on firearms. The most likely suggestion is that there is some common factor--such as increased prevalence of cell phones--that explained both. There is no statistically significant (95% confidence level) difference between net firearm homicides before and after the ban (there is a significantly significant difference between number of deaths, however, because suicide). The best argument you can make is that gun control has a benign effect on homicides, which again, means we have to consider other issues like suicides--which are meritable enough to suggest tighter gun control. All results except non-mass homicides are significant at the 90% level, with the largest p-value being 6%.

    Given that the there was already a decline, however, the authors of the study also look at the change of rates. The statistically significant quantities are mostly the same.

    Now, Australia isn't America. The most significant difference is that an informal gun economy ("black market") may be easier to facilitate in America because there's an obtense amount of guns owned per capita. We want to move away from Australia and look at America. Thankfully, there's this gem of a book here (website is a blog maintained by one of the author's insitution, so I do not believe this an illegal link). The book is a collection of academic articles that analyze (lack of) effectiveness of gun control. I bring this up because I can see both the author of the foreward as well as the title and intent of the book will easily lend itself to be dismissed as biased; and while it may be biased, I'd only consider such a claim with gravity if there's academic article that counter the claims of the articles contained within. In other words, shouting "bias" would be insufficient; you'd need evidence to the contrary. I will focus exclusively on the first article, "Firearms and Death in the United States" on PDF page 32.

    One consistent finding, for example, is how women in particular are affected from gun abuse. Refer to last page on PDF 39 (copying and pasting is difficult, so I'm not going to re-format quotes). The one putative aspect of domestic abuse is that its seldom pre-meditated, and the rate of homicide is highly contingent on available weapons. here, the whole "if people want a gun they'll get a gun" meets a serious hurdle, as evidenced by the stark difference between firearm and non-firearm related deaths. The article itself does not mention how many total firearm deaths are due to domestic abuse, but one of its citations might (probably Kellermann 1993).

    However, I will refer to bale 1.3 (PDF page 43) for the rest of this discussion. In low gun states, the number of violence non-firearm crimes decreased (which, while consistent with the Australian data, is inconsistent with the narrative that externalities, like cell phones, decreased non-firearm death). P-values and confidence intervals aren't reported, because lol, sociologists can't do statistics.

    But the significant findings are:
    • Suicide among women are 7 times higher in high-gun states, but non-firearm suicide is pretty much the same. Likewise, for men, except 3.7 times as likely.
    • Homicide rate decreases in low-gun states compared to high-guns states; about a factor of 1.8 for men and 3.2 for women (the discrepancy likely going back to domestic abuse described above).
    • One unusual finding is that unintended firearm deaths go up in low-gun states, by a factor of 6.7. Not sure how to interpret this.

    Now, this post isn't to advocate for gun control policy like that. My thesis is that the notion that strict gun control increases risk by firearm is a unsubstantiated dogma inconsistent with known data. Of course, I may be wrong. The available evidence is hard to come by and I'm trying to make the most sensible opinion based on the evidence I was able to find. If I have erred though, I would appreciate evidence to the contrary. And evidence for me means empirical and aggregate at the very least.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  7. Erron Black

    Erron Black The Outlaw

    oh wow, i was not aware of this, thank you so much for bringing this to my attention i feel so much better now that i know this isn't a game!

    or did you blatantly ignore the fact that i said my family and I always take trips to the shooting range? we do so because if such a situation is brought upon us, we're prepared to protect ourselves. i'm not going to let some psychopath come in and take dozens of innocent lives when i can at least try to do something about it.

    you guys seem to be ignoring the fact that the reason we have the rights to own guns is for self-protection in case we're threatened, physically attacked, harmed, etc... if you take that right away from us when we're put in a situation like the orlando shooting, there's absolutely nothing we can do except hope and pray we somehow make it out alive. because there's no way the police will make it in time, the average response time is about 6 minutes, and by then everyone will be dead, and if it's a hostage situation, you try to pull out a phone or something to contact authorities or the like, the person keeping you hostage won't hesitate to put a bullet in your brain.

    if you want to take away my guns, you're taking away my right to protect myself from evil people who just want to harm others. you're risking more lives than needed. my hometown sees next to no shootings or robberies because we're allowed to arm ourselves with the necessary protection. we have more incidents of attempted murders or robberies than we do actual successful ones. even then, nobody does so because they know this: we have guns to protect ourselves with. you guys can say i'm wrong all you want and you can say that i'm such an idiot for believing what i believe, but i've seen it first hand, my town is a goddamn good place because we have the necessary protection on us. our crime rate is 6% lower than the national average and is safer than 43% of the cities in the US.

    but seriously, you can blab and whine at me all you want, it isn't going to do anything except waste your time you should be doing something else.
  8. Grey Wind

    Grey Wind Only rescues maidens

    If guns are so essential to our survival, then why wasn't the Orlando shooter stopped? Or any mass murderer for that matter? You can't claim that we need guns to protect ourselves from those situations when historically, they've never helped.

  9. Mr. Reloaded

    Mr. Reloaded An enigma

    Because that solves absolutely nothing?

    That just gives the Black Market more traffic, and if we can't have guns but those with connections to the Black Market do, what are suppose to do?


    And that's only a reason why the banning of guns will never be a reality.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  10. Erron Black

    Erron Black The Outlaw

    Have you ever thought it's likely because nobody had a weapon on them to protect themselves? Seriously. It can't be that hard to put two and two together. I doubt anybody that night went into that nightclub with a concealed weapon for protection.

    You take guns away, you're making it harder for people to protect themselves from people who would illegally own a weapon for murderous use. What am I supposed to do in that situation? Try to fight them with my bare hands or a knife? If someone really wants to commit murder, they'll do it with whatever they have, or they'll do whatever is necessary to obtain what they want.

    EDIT: May I add that, I'm not saying we should be able to own whatever gun we'd like and that we should be allowed to give anyone weapons. There needs to be restrictions on people who can and cannot buy them, like mentally ill people who have a tendency to lash out, giving someone like that a weapon is in no way a safe/good idea.

    I'm saying the 'need' to ban all guns is ridiculous. We just need better background checks on people wanting to purchase a firearm.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  11. Zora

    Zora Who dies first?

    Just because your family arms themselves for protection does not mean everyone. One anecdote cannot be generalized to the entire population.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but was anyone--besides the perpetrator himself--armed at the Orlando shooting and untertook armed intervention? The idea that firearms help increase safety only makes sense if there's demonstrable evidence that more shootings are stopped by victim armed intervention then committed by higher access to guns. As pointed out in my previous post, The data presented in the Miller et. all article "Firearms and Violent Death in the United States" (relevant table on page 43 here) suggests otherwise. The data is constructed from a CDC report (BRFS), so is about as reliable as we can get. The table unambiguously suggests that lax gun control tends towards more, not less, homicides. And even if the homicides were somehow benign, the increase in suicide is well-documented that being "benign" (i.e. about as many homicides are prevented as committed due to lax gun control), suicides would suggest gun control is still a more effective policy. That is, of course, assuming that preventing suicides is a compelling interest.

    If stronger gun control puts more lives at risk, where is your evidence?

    Several things:
    - There's nothing to convince me that your hometown is a representative sample. Yes, your hometown may be safer than the average place in America, but how can you attribute that to gun control? If I were to compare your hometown to any other city your state with comparable gun laws, would I consistently find lower the same result?
    - Is 6% supposed to be impressive? What's the error on that? What is your source? What time period is this being measured?
    - What does 43% safer than other city mean? Do you mean there's 43% less deaths than the average? And again, what is the source?

    Do you not realize how significant that is? If nobody at Pulse had a firearm on them (or at least one that they used) then why does permitting the perpetrator, who bought guns legally, to have a gun increase safety? If in general people rarely have a gun to defend themselves when a situation occurs because relatively few people actually carry guns on their person for safety, then lax gun control is ineffective by virtue of the fact nobody actually bothers to arm themselves when given the option. And arming themselves isn't sufficient, successful execution of self-defense must also be considered.

    I'm not claiming that the Orlando shooting is evidence against lax gun control--one incident does not make an aggregate. But, for your logic to be sound--that is the evidence you'd need to present--is to show that the net deaths prevented from lax gun control (i.e. by people arming themselves) are significantly greater than deaths incurred by that same lax gun control. The "significantly greater than" harbors back to the fact that suicide is most definitely increased by gun control, so having no net difference in homicides isn't enough.

    In other words, what aggregate and empirical data do you have to back up your claim that lax gun control does in fact increase overall security of our nation?
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  12. Navin

    Navin MALDREAD

    I'm glad you are willing to be a hero. Again I ask you - do you now how to handle active-shooter events? Can you trust the average gun-owning "good guy with a gun" to be prepared for a situation where an attacker could come from anywhere; where it's very likely a civilian may be accidentally shot; or where the good guy could be confused and be shot by law enforcement.

    1. So in the dark and noisy nightclub, you want law-abiding good guys with guns engaging in a close quarters firefight against an attacker. I'm sure you realize how disastrous that can turn out there and elsewhere.

    2. Or you ban weaponry (or make it very difficult to obtain) that allows a lunatic to mow down dozens of individuals. After 9/11, we basically made it extremely hard for terrorists to use planes as weapons. For the last several decades, there has been legislation against machine guns. Nobody is saying you can't own a pistol or shotgun or whatever, but either ban or make it hard as hell for lunatics to have access to guns that can kill dozens of people just like that.

    The fact that Congress doesn't even allow the CDC to research gun violence should tell you something about NRA influence. It's so painfully easy to obtain a gun in this country.
  13. Psychic

    Psychic Really and truly

    I'm pretty sure most people realize that banning guns entirely is not the solution - neither extreme is. There needs to be reasonable laws to control gun ownership and use. As you said, banning drugs entirely has gone horribly wrong, but somehow I doubt you'd say the solution is to make all drugs ridiculously accessible to just about anyone who wants them.

    That said, there is no proof to my knowledge that owning guns actually gives people a better chance of defending themselves. If you have some stats to back up that statement I'd love to see them, but from any logical standpoint, the more guns in any given situation, the harder it is to deescalate and the higher the chance of somebody getting hurt. See below.

    I am so tired of the argument that the Orlando shooting would not have occurred had there been a "good guy with a gun," because there was a good guy with a gun outside the night club, and he couldn't stop it.

    Stop claiming that there wasn't anybody there to stop it - not only is it 100% false, but it minimizes what Gruler did. This result came up from a quick Google search, by the way.

    But even aside from this, there is zero proof that good guys with guns can solve or even deescalate the situation. Especially in a situation like a night club where people have been drinking, do you really want drunk people to start pulling out guns? As others have pointed out, most people are not trained in how to handle a crisis situation, or even how to deescalate one. That's literally what police are paid to do. Anyone who thinks they can easily do the same thing a cop does professionally is kidding themselves.

    More likely than not, other people getting involved are just going to escalate the situation, and by this logic more and more "good guys with guns" will try to enter the fray, and make it worse for when the police do arrive. As has been said, if police enter an active shootout, there is no way for them to know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.

    This logic is just inherently flawed.

  14. Aromatic Mist

    Aromatic Mist Sensuble

    I really hate to stick my nose in where it doesn't belong, but as someone who comes from the UK, I just find this whole debate fascinating.

    I'm extremely surprised by the lack of the straightforward guns = death arguement, which I find quite relieving as it's an inherently flawed arguement. Guns are a great tool for peace-in the right hands-and can actually bring enjoyment through occurrences such as hunting and shooting targets.

    That said, America's gun fixation-a fetish, even-is very disturbing to me. An instrument made for death is pretty much treated with extreme respect in some cases, and with very little in others. They're used in so many situations and are a common sight, whereas in the United Kingdom, they're a very rare sight and are associated with services such as specially trained police officers and servicemen/women. Some people compare their guns in America like children in a playground may compare Pokémon cards or some other collectible craze. Even a handful of children are left around these devices of death and are taught to love and cherish guns like another child may cherish a teddy bear.

    When I went on holiday to Florida (which admittedly isn't a good first experience for America) a few years back, I always felt threatened. Powerless. My family were tourists, and if some nut job decided to go on a rampage, we may as well of been lambs to the slaughter. You shouldn't need to have a gun just to feel secure, as if you won't die only because you in turn can maim and murder if you had to. It's honestly disgusting.

    Don't get me wrong. I appreciate guns are a large part of America's country and history, and despite my own preferences, an outright ban is a ludicrous suggestion. But God, does America need stronger gun control. America, this year alone, has had a mass shooting with 50 casualties, and there's tons more from just this year, which isn't even half way through. On the other hand, Britian's last mass shooting was in 2010, England, and only had 12(?) casualties. As a Scot, I can tell you that Scotland's last mass shooting occurred before I was born, which is something the overwhelming majority of Americans today couldn't even fathom saying.
  15. lemoncatpower

    lemoncatpower Cynical optimist

    I just don't get why people think we want to take away every single right to having a gun by saying they want to have some tougher laws. That is really messed up. It's like "oh you're not agreeing with me? Then you obviously want the FAR opposite of what I want"

    I'm not sure why vehicles, which can kill a lot people, you need a license and registration as well as insurance to own and use, but you don't need that with guns. Like I own a vehicle which I drive everyday, and I COMPLETELY understand the need for laws on vehicles.

    I believe you have to be suffering from paranoia to think you always need a gun on you to be protected.
  16. We need a LOT more gun control. Guns are getting into the wrong hands, and horrible things are happening. I'm not sure why people feel the need to step up and be the police. When has having a gun EVER saved someone during a terrorist attack? Chances are, their guns are bigger, and they're out of your league. Sure, guns can defend you on a small scale, but we need to be way way more careful about who gets them.
  17. Mordent99

    Mordent99 Banned

  18. lemoncatpower

    lemoncatpower Cynical optimist

    wow with all the recorded shootings of black men from police officers,
    and now the shootings of officers,
    seems like everyone is just shooting each other now!

    Hopefully something actually happens now with all this and it doesnt just get pushed aside.
  19. GhostAnime

    GhostAnime Searching for her...

    So, pro second amendment people, question:

    Many of you argue that the purpose of the second amendment is for people to have their own militia in case of government take over. Would you argue the shooter of the officers in Dallas is an example of that? Why or why not?
  20. lemoncatpower

    lemoncatpower Cynical optimist

    doesn't seem to be many pro second amendment people :p

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