At 1/18/13 02:24 AM, chiefindomer wrote:
Neither would necessarily mean that they don't get used for self defense or that their intended purpose isn't for self defense, but guns can and do get misused.
That's what I find disingenuous about it. Gun advocates claim that guns make us safer, but if safety were actually their primary concern, then any rational gun owner would at least put some serious thought into their position when presented with studies like these that strongly suggest the opposite, that higher ownership and availability of guns makes us less safe. But by and large that's not the response we've seen in this thread, that's not the response we've seen out in the world, and it's certainly not the response we get from organizations like the NRA. So I can't help but end up thinking that for a lot of pro-gun people, it's less of a rational argument and more of an ideology.
By the way, I don't mean to make sweeping generalizations about all gun owners (my first comment was mostly tongue-in-cheek); there are things like the recent gun buybacks or some gun owners calling for tighter regulations and more accountability, etc. I'm just speaking to what seems to be the general trend.
Also, these two points don't actually address the statistics of firearms being used for self defense purposes.
The latter study includes self-defense killings under its broader category of gun-related deaths (along with homicides, suicides, accidents, etc.). I'm not sure of the exact numbers either, but I can't possibly imagine that they're very high, or that they come anywhere remotely close to the number of gun-related homicides, if that's what you're trying to get at here.
by "more guns equals more homicide", does that mean a higher percentage of guns in comparison to population size or that a specific area with more total guns has more total homicides, without taking into account the actual homicide rate of the area?
I believe it refers to homicide rates, given the language of their concl.
Anyway, I think the information is too vague to just blame the guns. I'm not dismissing them as a factor, but I'm sure there are many more aspects that need to be examined such as things like population density or poverty rates.
"After controlling for poverty and urbanization..."
Also, the second link goes into more detail about those exact issues. As you might expect, poverty was found to be significantly correlated to greater numbers of gun-related deaths. Perhaps surprisingly, population was not.
But when it comes down to it, I think it's more than a little bit silly to be questioning the significance of examining the influence the presence and availability of guns might have on the amount of gun-related deaths. I'm not saying that guns are the only factor effecting homicide rates, or that more gun control would completely eradicate homicide. But it is becoming painfully obvious that they are a major factor.
For point B, I would expect gun-related deaths to be lower in states with stricter gun control laws, but that's because gun-related deaths can also include things other than homicides, like suicide and accidental deaths.
I don't have the exact stats, but the number of gun-related homicides far outweighs the number of gun-related suicides and accidents. Why are you even discounting homicides to begin with?
I would think accidental deaths could be attributed more to poor firearm education as a causal factor than how easily accessible a gun is.
Accessibility seems to pretty obviously be the bigger issue here. If there were tighter regulations on how gun owners have to store and maintain their weapons (and on what they have to learn/get certified for to become licensed gun owners at all), far fewer unlicensed and uneducated people (like children, or everyone's favorite scapegoat, the mentally ill, who can't be expected to have proper firearm safety training and shouldn't have access to firearms in the first place) would get their hands on guns, and there would be far fewer accidents. And stricter education requirements for people who want to handle firearms are a form of gun control. It seems like at this point your concern is less pro- or anti-gun control, but rather where to draw the line on increased regulation. Fair enough, but because of that I don't really see this as much of a question or criticism of my points or the links.
As for suicide, it makes sense that there would be more gun related suicides in areas with easier access to guns, but much like the case with homicide, that doesn't necessarily mean the easier access to guns is causing the amount of suicides and there would be many factors to take into account for what causes a specific areas rate of suicide.
Again, I'm not saying it's the only factor, I'm saying it's a major factor, and you seem to be agreeing with me on that.
I'm not actually convinced of either side on the whole gun control debate, so this post isn't meant to be taken as pro gun. Rather it's just a bit of questions/criticisms that come to mind when seeing these examples of research which supports the pro gun control or anti gun viewpoints.
Dude, given the content of your post I think you might be more pro-gun control than you think you are. If you're at all interested, look up the Brady Campaign or other gun control groups to see some of the specific regulations and reforms people are talking about. Extreme pro-gun groups like the NRA present the issue as a ridiculous all-or-nothing dichotomy where gun control advocates want to repeal the Second Amendment and the only viable alternative is to have as little regulation as possible. But the truth is that there are several very specific legislative steps we can take to ensure that citizens can exercise their right to bear arms as safely and responsibly as possible.
Where exactly you draw the line is up to you, but clearly you recognize that our loose gun regulations are a contributing factor to our increased levels of gun violence, and that there are places where they can be tightened up for everyone's benefit.