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To those of you who seriously think gun control is an ideal to strive for...

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    Oh yeah. I'm so envious of the US homicide rate. The fact that it is so insanely high must have nothing to do with guns.

    US Source: Uniform Crime Reports, FBI | UK Source: Homicide Index, Home Office

    Also, given that that my data source is the same, that massive spike in that graph of yours looks very suspect. But then I suppose it would, when the authors stuck the floor at 11.00 and gave no context (e.g. comparable US homicide rate.).
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    Studies, which have controlled for numerous socioeconomic factors and robbery rates, meaning that cultures of violence, particularly in the US South, were controlled for too, have found that US states “with higher rates of household firearm ownership had significantly higher homicide victimization rates of men, women and children.”

    In addition, they have not only found a positive correlation between gun ownership and overall homicide rates, but found such a correlation for gun homicides, but not for non-gun homicides, meaning that it was gun-homicides that were driving the overall homicide rate up.

    A 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis came to similar conclusions.

    Will more guns lead to more self-defence? The evidence suggests not. There is no correlation between overall crime rates and gun ownership rates: if guns were regularly used to deter criminals, we should see such a correlation. The Harvard School of Public Health have conducted extensive research into this issue and have found that guns are used far more often to intimidate than they are used for self-defence.

    Similarly, a 1998 study by other researchers concluded that “guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.”

    And, far from being a deterrent, possession of a gun may actually be more dangerous for a victim – a 2009 study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that gun owners were over four times more likely to be shot in an assault than those who were not in possession of a gun.



    Yeah, see above.
    I hoped this thread wouldn't devolve into a futile exercise in throwing studies at each other. This kind of politically charged sociological research can quite easily be tailored to fit any conclusion, and we know there are almost no impartial researchers when it comes to an issue like gun control.

    In any case, let me hit back with some studies that suggest the exact opposite of the claims you made:

    GUNS AND CRIME
    A 2015 systematic review of 41 studies which suggests that methodologically rigorous research does not support the conclusion that higher gun ownership leads to more crime:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...4723521400107X

    One of the original studies linking higher gun ownership to reduced crime:
    http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/fi...tt_.final_.pdf

    Some studies whos conclusions support that of the above:
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/1229604?...n_tab_contents
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/...n_tab_contents
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc...0.1.1.180.2929
    https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publicatio...aspx?ID=203601
    http://www.bapress.ca/ref/v4-1/1923-...4-04-33-11.pdf

    Studies that conclude there is no relationship between gun ownership and crime:
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...002.x/abstract
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/20062076...n_tab_contents
    http://link.springer.com/article/10....940-012-9185-7


    GUN CONTROL LAWS
    Studies that suggest various gun control legislations have had no beneficial effect on crime rates (Includes some studies from Australia, Canada):
    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/204431.pdf
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fuo.pdf
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...ract_id=998893
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/340507
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...ract_id=162978
    http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/3/455.abstract
    https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publicatio...aspx?id=246605

    DEFENSIVE GUN USES
    Studies looking at the number of defensive gun uses (important to remember these are always underestimates, as the indirect benefit of citizens being armed on deterrence cannot be measured, but we know it exists), which conclude they occur at a significantly higher rate than the number of criminal gun uses, and that the keeping of a firearm is beneficial to victims of a crime .
    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18319&page=15
    https://www.saf.org/wp-content/uploa...als/JFPP11.pdf
    http://ccj.sagepub.com/content/25/1/6.abstract
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...47235200000519



    There have been frequent refutations of certain studies you posted aswell, particularly Kellermans claims that guns kept in the home are more likely to result in death (no one seriously cites this one anymore). Example:
    http://guncite.com/gun-control-kellermann-3times.html


    So I hope it's apparent that the research on this issue is strongly conflicting; there are studies that suggest more guns = more crime, some that suggest more guns = less crime, and others that suggest there is no correlation at all. There has certainly been nothing remotely close to showing a definitive causal relationship between gun ownership and crime, in either direction.

    As it stands, crime and homicide are plummeting across the US, and gun ownership is ever increasing. There is no good evidence on which to suggest that a fundamental Constitutional right should be repealed or infringed further, or any evidence to suggest that the proposed gun control laws would actually have any effect.
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    (Original post by JoPearson89)
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    Oh yeah. I'm so envious of the US homicide rate. The fact that it is so insanely high must have nothing to do with guns.

    US Source: Uniform Crime Reports, FBI | UK Source: Homicide Index, Home Office

    Also, given that that my data source is the same, that massive spike in that graph of yours looks very suspect. But then I suppose it would, when the authors stuck the floor at 11.00 and gave no context (e.g. comparable US homicide rate.).
    If the high US homicide rate is a product of its high gun ownership, why is Switzerlands low homicide rate not a product of its high gun ownership?

    Do guns only result in higher crime when you cherry pick data to support your premises?
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    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    I hoped this thread wouldn't devolve into a futile exercise in throwing studies at each other. This kind of politically charged sociological research can quite easily be tailored to fit any conclusion, and we know there are almost no impartial researchers when it comes to an issue like gun control.
    Firstly, none of those studies claim the opposite of what I did, because I didn't claim that more gun ownership leads to more crime; indeed, I specifically cited a study demonstrating that it didn't. More gun ownership leads to a greater homicide rate, and a greater gun homicide rate in particular, according to the best studies which have controlled for confounding variables.

    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    DEFENSIVE GUN USES
    Studies looking at the number of defensive gun uses (important to remember these are always underestimates, as the indirect benefit of citizens being armed on deterrence cannot be measured, but we know it exists), which conclude they occur at a significantly higher rate than the number of criminal gun uses, and that the keeping of a firearm is beneficial to victims of a crime .
    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18319&page=15
    https://www.saf.org/wp-content/uploa...als/JFPP11.pdf
    http://ccj.sagepub.com/content/25/1/6.abstract
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...47235200000519



    There have been frequent refutations of certain studies you posted aswell, particularly Kellermans claims that guns kept in the home are more likely to result in death (no one seriously cites this one anymore). Example:
    [url]http://guncite.com/gun-control-kellermann-3times.html[/url
    Thank you, I'll have a look at all of this and report back to you.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    Firstly, none of those studies claim the opposite of what I did, because I didn't claim that more gun ownership leads to more crime; indeed, I specifically cited a study demonstrating that it didn't. More gun ownership leads to a greater homicide rate, and a greater gun homicide rate in particular.



    Thank you, I'll have a look at all of this and report back to you.
    The studies I posted examine individual types of crime, including homicide. The conclusion is that a reduction in all types of crime, including overall homicide, are linked to increased gun ownership, or that there is no correlation at all. We really have no interest in gun homicide in particular; the method of homicide should be of no concern. We are concerned with overall homicide and crime, which is trending downwards in the US at a considerable rate, coupled with increasing firearm ownership, and these studies would suggest a link between the two.

    Again, I am not making the claim that higher gun ownership necessarily leads to lower anything (though there is enough data to support that argument, there is also data that counters it). I am simply dispelling the claims that high gun ownership leads to increased crime or homicide. Burden of proof rests entirely on those who want to repeal the 2A.
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    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    The studies I posted examine individual types of crime, including homicide. The conclusion is that a reduction in all types of crime, including overall homicide, are linked to increased gun ownership, or that there is no correlation at all. We really have no interest in gun homicide in particular; the method of homicide should be of no concern. We are concerned with overall homicide and crime, which is trending downwards in the US at a considerable rate, coupled with increasing firearm ownership, and these studies would suggest a link between the two.

    Again, I am not making the claim that higher gun ownership necessarily leads to lower anything (though there is enough data to support that argument, there is also data that counters it). I am simply dispelling the claims that high gun ownership leads to increased crime or homicide. Burden of proof rests entirely on those who want to repeal the 2A.
    Not many studies at all actually meet Kleck's quality standards in his 2015 systematic review - he says there are three which do, and they're all his. I'd take that with a pinch of salt, and the study I cited does meet two of his three standards, and controls for robbery rate; ie it was looking at whether guns predicted homicides above and beyond those that could be expected given the level of non-homicide crime. Thus, I'd find his reverse causation objection to be mostly dealt with too.

    Essentially, we have a few well-conducted studies,a couple of which suggest that homicide rates increase as gun ownership increases, and a couple of which do not. And, the research I cited earlier by the Harvard School of Public Health seems to conclusively dispel the myth that guns are used "millions of times" in self-defence.

    See also here. And here. Kleck and others' estimates of self-defence prevalence seem to astonishingly overestimate it.

    You have caused me to update quite significantly against gun control here. Guns do not seem to be used as enormously as is claimed for self-defence, and may in fact be detrimental to any self-defence attempt, whilst other methods of self-defence seem to be just as effective according to some studies. But, the evidence is not as clear-cut as I had suggested on gun ownership and homicide rates either. Overall, I'd very tentatively favour more gun control and indeed banning guns in the United States, but wouldn't recommend it as a policy that politicians should be focusing on given the uncertainty and the political capital that would have to be spent. In countries in which people aren't obsessed with guns, I'd favour keeping them banned.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    Not many studies at all actually meet Kleck's quality standards in his 2015 systematic review - he says there are three which do, and they're all his. I'd take that with a pinch of salt, and the study I cited does meet two of his three standards, and controls for robbery rate; ie it was looking at whether guns predicted homicides above and beyond those that could be expected given the level of non-homicide crime. Thus, I'd find his reverse causation objection to be mostly dealt with too.

    Essentially, we have a few well-conducted studies,a couple of which suggest that homicide rates increase as gun ownership increases, and a couple of which do not. And, the research I cited earlier by the Harvard School of Public Health seems to conclusively dispel the myth that guns are used "millions of times" in self-defence.

    See also here. And here. Kleck and others' estimates of self-defence prevalence seem to astonishingly overestimate it.
    The sources you cite use the absolute bottom end figures for defensive gun use based on just one particular survey (the 1997 NCVS survey). I see no reason to use those particular figures unless we are trying to push a certain narrative. Here is the conclusion from a 2013 report by the CDC, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, which was carried out under executive order by none other than President Obama in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting:

    Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed (Cook and Ludwig, 1996; Kleck, 2001a). Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million (Kleck, 2001a), in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008 (BJS, 2010).
    Essentially, if we agree that both the bottom end and top end of DGU estimations are both likely to be inaccurate, and stick to the mid-range estimates (500,000-1 mill), DGUs are either equally as common or significantly outnumber criminal uses. The site you linked is an anti-gun think tank, it tailors data to fit their conclusions.

    Applying a bit of common sense here; if we now introduce gun laws which restrict gun ownership of regular citizens, the only figure which is going to decrease significantly is the number of defensive uses by law abiding citizens.


    You have caused me to update quite significantly against gun control here. Guns do not seem to be used as enormously as is claimed for self-defence, and may in fact be detrimental to any self-defence attempt, whilst other methods of self-defence seem to be just as effective according to some studies.
    But, the evidence is not as clear-cut as I had suggested on gun ownership and homicide rates either. Overall, I'd very tentatively favour more gun control and indeed banning guns in the United States, but wouldn't recommend it as a policy that politicians should be focusing on given the uncertainty and the political capital that would have to be spent. In countries in which people aren't obsessed with guns, I'd favour keeping them banned.
    That's cool that you're open minded about this and willing to alter your opinion. But if we agree that there is no reliable, conclusive evidence that gun ownership does increase crime or homicide (and possible evidence to the contrary), then I'm not sure what further reason there is to suggest gun control, let alone anything as radical as banning guns outright - no one on even the Democrat side is proposing such a thing.

    I even linked numerous studies which specifically show the ineffectiveness of gun control legislation. There are over 50 gun control measures already in place in the US, and never has there been any evidence to suggest that a single one of them has decreased crime. Every time a massacre occurs, there are a stream of proposals from the left about further gun control measures (arbitrary ******** like magazine size restrictions, longer waiting periods, etc). And when probed about whether any of these proposals would have actually stopped the perpetrator of the recent incident, they are forced to admit that none would. The only thing that might have stopped such an incident, or at least reduced the casualties, is an armed citizen having the ability to act in the 15 or so minutes it takes for the police to arrive.

    Remember, this is a central right for American citizens under their government. Getting rid of it would need some seriously incontestable evidence showing some kind of crime surge related to possession. Crime and homicide is plummeting across the US, whilst CCW laws are expanding each year and more citizens are legally arming themselves. 100 million gun owners use their guns safely and responsibly every single year. Gun control is a rapidly losing battle.
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    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    The sources you cite use the absolute bottom end figures for defensive gun use based on just one particular survey (the 1997 NCVS survey). I see no reason to use those particular figures unless we are trying to push a certain narrative. Here is the conclusion from a 2013 report by the CDC, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, which was carried out under executive order by none other than President Obama in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting:



    Essentially, if we agree that both the bottom end and top end of DGU estimations are both likely to be inaccurate, and stick to the mid-range estimates (500,000-1 mill), DGUs are either equally as common or significantly outnumber criminal uses. The site you linked is an anti-gun think tank, it tailors data to fit their conclusions.

    Applying a bit of common sense here; if we now introduce gun laws which restrict gun ownership of regular citizens, the only figure which is going to decrease significantly is the number of defensive uses by law abiding citizens.


    [b]

    That's cool that you're open minded about this and willing to alter your opinion. But if we agree that there is no reliable, conclusive evidence that gun ownership does increase crime or homicide (and possible evidence to the contrary), then I'm not sure what further reason there is to suggest gun control, let alone anything as radical as banning guns outright - no one on even the Democrat side is proposing such a thing.

    I even linked numerous studies which specifically show the ineffectiveness of gun control legislation. There are over 50 gun control measures already in place in the US, and never has there been any evidence to suggest that a single one of them has decreased crime. Every time a massacre occurs, there are a stream of proposals from the left about further gun control measures (arbitrary ******** like magazine size restrictions, longer waiting periods, etc). And when probed about whether any of these proposals would have actually stopped the perpetrator of the recent incident, they are forced to admit that none would. The only thing that might have stopped such an incident, or at least reduced the casualties, is an armed citizen having the ability to act in the 15 or so minutes it takes for the police to arrive.

    Remember, this is a central right for American citizens under their government. Getting rid of it would need some seriously incontestable evidence showing some kind of crime surge related to possession. Crime and homicide is plummeting across the US, whilst CCW laws are expanding each year and more citizens are legally arming themselves. 100 million gun owners use their guns safely and responsibly every single year. Gun control is a rapidly losing battle.
    As the pages I linked to demonstrate, going on survey evidence alone is flawed for a number of reasons, not least because it relies on people's interpretation of what "defensive" gun use entails. Often, for instance, people think they're justified in pulling out a gun for "self-defence", but this can often be a post hoc rationalization.

    Meanwhile, given the conflicting studies, my credence in guns resulting in increased homicide levels would be 50%, but my intuition is that the reverse causation objection doesn't hold much significance, and that not every single homicide with a gun is carried out by another weapon, and as I said above, I don't believe that defensive gun use is that high (and remember successfully defending oneself from homicide only accounts for a fraction of total defensive gun uses, and may, counterfactually, be just as effective if not less effective than not having a gun). That's why I very tentatively believe that guns do result in higher overall homicide rates.

    Thus, in a personal fashion I'd be fine with guns being banned, but politically I wouldn't do it. I pay little attention to "rights", and rights are not absolute. Appealing to the Second Amendment, as many Americans do, isn't an argument. Nevertheless, taking away people's guns may cause them to suffer psychologically, and given the strength of people's preferences to keep guns, a utilitarian analysis would, given the uncertainty, suggest that we shouldn't try it.

    I agree that many gun control measures are inadequate, incidentally. Conditional on guns causing more harm than benefit, one would have to significantly reduce gun ownership rates, and that's why I talk about banning guns.
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    (Original post by viddy9)
    As the pages I linked to demonstrate, going on survey evidence alone is flawed for a number of reasons, not least because it relies on people's interpretation of what "defensive" gun use entails. Often, for instance, people think they're justified in pulling out a gun for "self-defence", but this can often be a post hoc rationalization.

    Meanwhile, given the conflicting studies, my credence in guns resulting in increased homicide levels would be 50%, but my intuition is that the reverse causation objection doesn't hold much significance, and that not every single homicide with a gun is carried out by another weapon, and as I said above, I don't believe that defensive gun use is that high (and remember successfully defending oneself from homicide only accounts for a fraction of total defensive gun uses, and may, counterfactually, be just as effective if not less effective than not having a gun). That's why I very tentatively believe that guns do result in higher overall homicide rates.

    Thus, in a personal fashion I'd be fine with guns being banned, but politically I wouldn't do it. I pay little attention to "rights", and rights are not absolute. Appealing to the Second Amendment, as many Americans do, isn't an argument. Nevertheless, taking away people's guns may cause them to suffer psychologically, and given the strength of people's preferences to keep guns, a utilitarian analysis would, given the uncertainty, suggest that we shouldn't try it.

    I agree that many gun control measures are inadequate, incidentally. Conditional on guns causing more harm than benefit, one would have to significantly reduce gun ownership rates, and that's why I talk about banning guns.
    But the pages you linked obtain their figures from a survey - it just happens to be the only one survey whose figures for DGUs are very low, while well over a dozen surveys put the figures at at least as common as offensive uses, if not significantly higher. That NCVS survey only polled individuals who first reported being "victims of a crime"; the whole point of DGUs is that they prevent an individual from being a victim of a crime, thus many people who had successfully used a gun to deter a threat would not have reported being a victim of a crime and thus not included in the survey data. Hence the gross underestimation compared to all other available data.

    We also have to remember the indirect deterrence potential which is not reflected in these figures. Extensive surveys of criminals indicate their reluctance to commit any kind of crime when the victim might be armed (duh). The statistics on property crime confirm this; in the UK, over 40% occur while the individual is at home, while in the US only around 9% do.
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    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    I ask a serious question; in the wake of these numerous mass killing incidents in France over the past year and a half, has your opinion evolved in any way?

    What we have seen is that despite strict gun laws, terrorists or criminals who are seriously motivated to commit atrocities, will find a way to acquire firearms and other weapons and do so. Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan attack proved that beyond question.

    Yesterdays incidient showed us that even if an individual did not possess a firearm, they are still more than capable of committing mass murder. Over 80 individuals dead - more than any lone wolf mass shooting in history.

    How can any rational person still believe that laws which will solely apply to the law abiding and not to anyone of criminal intent, are a good idea?

    I would like to hear the justification behind this.
    You're clearly not too aware of the gun problems in the US are you? Thirty homicides by firearms every single day


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    (Original post by VV Cephei A)
    The majority of major US mass shootings; Orlando, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine etc. occurred in areas where the keeping of a firearm is explicitly prohibited. That is, even if the State allowed Concealed Carry, those particular venues had laws against carrying a gun. Law abiding citizens follow laws, and thus did not bring their gun onto the property.

    That wasn't difficult.
    What was to stop something from outside entering with a gun upon hearing gunfire when there clearly shouldn't have been any?

    Sorry to disappoint you, but civilians are, by and large, untrained. They will instinctively react like any creature in a position of danger: They will run until running isn't an option, then they will fight. Even if they are put in a position where they need to defend themselves and draw their own gun, I wouldn't put money on it being any use. There is no requirement of gun ownership where you have to do target practise, let alone in a stressful situation. Hell, I suspect some gun owners would have a read a manual on how to load the damn thing.
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    Here in the UK, guns are a hot-topic. We do not like them, but it hasn’t always been that way. Our own bill of rights, written in 1689, gave Protestants the right to “bear arms for their defence”. Many people do not know this, and it wasn’t until the passing of the Firearms Act of 1920, that we really restricted guns to the public. It is especially important to note that mass-shootings here, although rare, have occurred only after the restriction given on firearms (Hungerford massacre, Dunblane school massacre, the Cumbria shootings, and most recently the Spalding shooting).Mass-shootings in America went up during the 60s. Before that, there were only 4 recorded massacres. Now, why did they suddenly rise during the 60’s? Well, it’s no secret that drug use was particularly prevalent during this time. For example, Charles Whitman, the man responsible for the University of Texas massacre in ’66, was found to be on Dexedrine at the time of his death. You will find this in almost every case post-60’s.If we are to get an increased amount of violence during a specific time, then logic only suggests that guns are not at fault, but something else. The second-amendment is absolutely precious to the American people, as it was founded on the fear of government tyranny which, in my view, is something to always fear, no matter where in the world you are and how safe you feel. History does indeed repeat itself. It has always maintained the frightening theme of governments turning against their own people.Thus, when we criticize the US for being “gun-crazy”, it is important to recognise that we are attacking one of the very last great freedoms in the world, which is slowly diminishing. This basic freedom was taken away from the Venezuelan people, and its homicide rate subsequently rose at a frightening pace. It is now considered one of the most dangerous places in the world.
 
 
 
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