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-   -   A USA gun thread. That won't be controversial, will it? (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/549775-usa-gun-thread-wont-controversial-will.html)

BenThere 28th Oct 2014 13:29

PTT,

Something didn't look right on the graph you posted, and I also noted the 'Mother Jones' (left wing and anti-gun by definition, which doesn't necessarily refute the data, but arouses suspicion) attribution, so I decided to look into it a bit further and found some more data.

Gun violence in the United States by state - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This data (admittedly from wiki, suspicious as well) allows you manipulate the criteria you wish to compare.

Surprise! District of Columbia has the lowest percentage of gun ownership while sporting the highest rate of gun murder in the US. Wyoming fares a lot better, too.

I'm a lot more concerned about gun murder and, to a lesser degree, accident rates than I am about suicides, which will occur at cultural rates (see suicide rates in Japan and Sweden) regardless of the availability of guns.

It seems to me, after playing with the wiki data, that a more striking correlation occurs with states with high African-American populations than with high percentages of gun ownership (compare Vermont to Maryland, for example). Make of that what you will, I'm not engaging on that aspect.

Checkboard 28th Oct 2014 13:50


And since it is a uniform, they all have the same equipment.
Seriously? Some guy wears the same colour shirt, and so has to have a gun as well? :}

Lord Spandex Masher 28th Oct 2014 14:01

It's almost like an affectation isn't it?!

Lonewolf_50 28th Oct 2014 14:04


Originally Posted by mixture (Post 8716856)
I guess gun violence is down when you turn a blind eye to all those school shootings that seem to run on a calendar basis ...

Like, when school is in session.
Your couting the hits and ignoring the misses is noted.
The point made about the relative decrease in gun violence wasn't made up. That doesn't change how sad a given event is, nor how tragic. How about you stop with the bait and switch nonsense, mixture?
EDIT:
Peace offering to Mr Gallacher:
Your scenario on the airliner poses an interesting question, providing the rules allow 40 CCW to board with weapons armed and in holster. Topic for another thread, and an interesting puzzle.
As I point out to PTT now and again, it is the Indian not the arrow. You and I in part agree on the problem of a social pathology, and a cultural difference between our nations. Embedded in our cultural baseline seems to be a belief that the use of force solves problems. (That it creates other problems many folks tend to forget). The last fifty years of movies in hollywood include a myriad of stories of how using force solved/solves a given problem. You want to understand someone's culture? Learn the stories they tell, learn the songs they sing.

It isn't just guns that are different in the cultural mix, it is attitudes that are different. Attitudes inform a lot of behavior. Our basic premise is that government is not to be trusted (see the Constitution, Amendments IX and X, and the limitations of powers method of the constitution's drafting) with too much power. It thus follows that the citizens need to be empowered more, not less, in a lot of ways.
People being people, that may raise some risks.
We manage to live with that, and thrive, and have since about 1776. The guns aren't going to be the end of our social weave any time soon, as they've been in it since the very beginning. So, we have a greater tolerance for risk in our society, which goes with greater freedom. If you aren't free to fcuk up, are you really free? That is a philosophical question, with no easy answer, but it is related to raising children: you need to give them a lot of rope if they are to grow, not over control them. Where's the balance point? Well that's got no easy answer either.
Keef:

I've come to realise that in the USA it's seen as an absolute and inalienable right to be able to kill other people
You are correct. If the shoot is in self defense, it is a valid shoot.
If not, then it's off to the jailhouse one goes.
The citizen is empowered via his rights to defend himself, or to choose NOT to. (Some people prefer not to, and they are free to do that.).
Keef, freedom can be a messy thing, but it is better than not being free.
Maybe that attitude makes us different from you, culturally and legally.
Please, for yourself and Mr Gallacher, accept that differences between nations and cultures exist. This is one such.
Despite all of this noise about guns, crimes, and violence, our nation's population keeps on growing. Maybe your are missing the forest for the trees.

Keef 28th Oct 2014 14:28

Oh, I accept totally that there are differences, culturally and legally. I hoped I'd made that clear.

I know the US passport checker has a gun: that's the way it is in the USA. I don't feel unduly threatened because I'm not likely to give him/her any reason to shoot me. It still feels very odd to me, having lived almost all my life in a country where normal citizens don't carry firearms as a matter of course.

If I shoot an intruder in my house, I will be arrested. I may be released if those charged with investigating such matters decide I was justified in so doing, but if the firearm were illegal it would take a while. I accept that. I have the necessary permits for the shotguns in my house, but it would take so long to get the key and unlock the gun safe that any intruder would have left by then - or would have disabled me and taken the guns (if they could find the safe, which is very well concealed).

I realised a long time ago that the USA is not going to change its gun culture. The attitude to gun ownership and the "organised militia of one" still amazes me, nevertheless. The expectation that a group of citizens could take their AK47s and overthrow the US government leaves me bemused. If they tried that in London, they would fail and would end up in court (or dead, if they tried hard enough). If we want to overthrow the Government (and, let's face it, most of the time close to half the population does) we do it via the ballot box.

mixture 28th Oct 2014 14:29


And since it is a uniform, they all have the same equipment.
So you're saying the Americans are not intelligent enough to think "hey, this guy is working airside in an Airport, checking people's passports .... he doesn't really need a gun, so let's have an amended uniform for the thousands of immigration officers".

Lonewolf_50 28th Oct 2014 14:34


Originally Posted by Keef (Post 8717570)
The expectation that a group of citizens could take their AK47s and overthrow the US government leaves me bemused.

That isn't the point. I find it interesting how people keep getting that part wrong.

OFSO 28th Oct 2014 14:35

I know the US passport checker has a gun: that's the way it is in the USA.

And that's the way it is in Spain also, since the 'passport checker' is a member of the Guardia Civil who is always armed - and look to one side: his colleague is standing within five metres distance armed with an automatic rifle. And if you look at the French policemen who checks your passport at the Gare de Nord you will find he also has a gun. And so do the guys staffing the scanners for the Eurostar at the GdN.

Lonewolf_50 28th Oct 2014 14:39


And that's the way it is in Spain also, since the 'passport checker' is a member of the Guardia Civil who is always armed - and look to one side: his colleague is standing within five metres distance armed with an automatic rifle. And if you look at the French policemen who checks your passport at the Gare de Nord you will find he also has a gun. And so do the guys staffing the scanners for the Eurostar at the GdN.
As did the Carabinieri in Italian airports when I was last over there ...

rgbrock1 28th Oct 2014 14:48

As do the German Grenzpolizei with their H&K 416 assault rifles in most, if not all, German airports.

PTT 28th Oct 2014 15:02

BenThere - thanks for the link. If you run a correlation between the gun ownership and gun murder rates then there is a moderate negative correlation (r = -0.3327). DC is quite obviously an anomaly (and I would love to know why) since it sits well apart from all the other data. If you remove DC then the correlation becomes weakly negative (r = -0.1102). What that means is that we can say there is little correlation between gun ownership rates and gun murder rates within the US: within the US gun ownership has little effect on murder rates.
This is a scatterplot of that data, gun ownership rates on the x-axis and gun murder rate on the y-axis. DC is the top left point. Note that it's an r-squared value shown by the trendline, equating to the r = -0.3327 given above, and that line flattens considerably when DC is removed from the data.
http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/...psa5fe98c5.png

a more striking correlation occurs with states with high African-American populations than with high percentages of gun ownership (compare Vermont to Maryland, for example). Make of that what you will, I'm not engaging on that aspect.
I took a look at that, getting my data on the population of African Americans from here. There is a strong correlation (r=0.8) between the percentage of African American population and gun murder rate, but that doesn't mean it is causal. There is also, for example, a strong correlation between population density and gun murder rate too (r=0.799) - people living close to each other seem to have a lot of gun murders. Interestingly the correlation between population density and African American population isn't as strong (r=0.53), but is still moderate to strong.
DC does skew things, though, so removing DC from the data leaves us with a weak correlation between population density and gun murder rate (r=0.154) and a strong correlation between African American population percentage and gun murder rate (r=0.767).
I also took a look at GDP per capita for each state to see if there was a correlation with gun murders, but the correlation was basically non-existent (r=-0.058).

It's worth noting these are just correlations. There is no indication of causation from these at all. There are lots of other correlations which could, and should, be run before any conclusions should be drawn from the data.

rgbrock1 28th Oct 2014 15:06

PTT wrote:


DC is quite obviously an anomaly (and I would love to know why) since it sits well apart from all the other data.
And just why do you think that is? If you really want to know might I suggest a gander at the demographics of the nation's capital?

PTT 28th Oct 2014 15:10

If you'd read further than that you might have seen that the race vs gun murder rate with and without DC showed a similar correlation. It's not causal, but it is a correlation.

obgraham 28th Oct 2014 16:41

PTT: Even though you claimed to stop commenting on this issue at post 270, your post 331 points out the reality, and the answer to Keef's anxiety.

Gun murders in the USA are heavily concentrated in certain areas of the country. Inner cities. I.e., places with just happen to be crowded, and heavily Black in population. Chicago. Detroit, Newark, D.C., Watts, E. St Louis.

All of these areas are longstanding Democratic strongholds, whose politicians have passed stringent gun control laws.

If you choose to ignore that connection, and the failure of those laws, feel free.

Those of us living in the ROU (Rest of USA) do not spend our days living in fear of stray bullets, etc. The shootings in schools and public places are infrequent in comparison, though widely publicized by a media leaning heavily toward regulation.

But as has been pointed out by many, graphing, charting, and pontificating is not going to change the situation, regardless of how Euros think it should.

rgbrock1 28th Oct 2014 16:46

obgraham wrote:


Gun murders in the USA are heavily concentrated in certain areas of the country. Inner cities. I.e., places with just happen to be crowded, and heavily Black in population
And Hispanic. Hispanics and blacks together account for 98% of all gun crimes in the United States.

Lonewolf_50 28th Oct 2014 16:52

rg, did you make up that stat, or were you pulling ob's leg?

That number doesn't match what I remember from the last FBI data I looked at, which was for 2012.

May have to go and look again.

rgbrock1 28th Oct 2014 16:57

LW50:

No, I did not make the statistic up, guy. (Nor did I pull it out of my ass.)

However, the statistic is for NYC only. My bad. (98% of all gun crimes IN NYC are performed by blacks and hispanics.)

  • Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder, and eight times more likely to commit robbery.
  • When Blacks commit crimes of violence, they are nearly three times more likely than non-Blacks to use a gun, and more than twice as likely to use a knife.
  • Hispanics commit violent crimes at roughly three times the white rate, and Asians commit violent crimes at about one quarter the White rate.
  • The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of the population that is Black and Hispanic.
  • Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving Blacks and Whites, Blacks commit 85 percent and Whites commit 15 percent.
  • Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks*. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are Black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When Whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are Black.
  • Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a White than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.
  • Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes against whites than vice versa.
  • Only 10 percent of youth gang members are white.
  • Hispanics are 19 times more likely than whites to be members of youth gangs. Blacks are 15 times more likely, and Asians are nine times more likely.
  • Between 1980 and 2003 the US incarceration rate more than tripled, from 139 to 482 per 100,000, and the number of prisoners increased from 320,000 to 1.39 million.
  • Blacks are seven times more likely to be in prison than Whites. Hispanics are three times more likely.
* odd though that no one ever hears that as being classified as a "hate crime."

Lonewolf_50 28th Oct 2014 17:01

Thank you for clarifying. There's a bit more to America than NYC, or even New York. ;)

rgbrock1 28th Oct 2014 17:03

LW50:


Thank you for clarifying. There's a bit more to America than NYC, or even New York.
There is? Not according to many NY'ers there isn't! :}:E

PTT 28th Oct 2014 17:05

obgraham

Even though you claimed to stop commenting on this issue at post 270
No I didn't. When I said it was my "last post on the subject" I meant that to mean it was my latest on the matter rather than fending off the desires of those wishing to stifle conversation. I can see where the confusion could have happened, though.

If you choose to ignore that connection
Where did I ignore it? I actually pointed out the strong correlation between gun murder rate and population density, and gun murder rate and African American population proportion in my post. Maybe you should try reading it without the "PTT is a god-awful lefty" sunglasses on :ok:
Correlation, however, is not causation regardless of how much we want it to be.

rgbrock1 - Interesting assertion. I used this data to correlate Hispanic population against the gun murder rate data BenThere linked to. The correlation was weak to the point of non-existence (r=0.083) and only slightly stronger if you removed the obvious outlier of DC from the sample (r=0.14 without DC). It seems the correlation does not hold for hispanic population proportion and gun murder rate.
Purely out of curiosity I ran a similar correlation for percentage of whites (source) with gun murder rate. The result was a moderate to strong negative correlation (r=-0.52 for all data and r=-0.46 without DC).

For clarity, this is what the r numbers I am giving mean.

rgbrock1 28th Oct 2014 17:12

I also find this chart of interest:

http://www.gunfacts.info/wp-content/...-Trendline.jpg
http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j...14602493888004

con-pilot 28th Oct 2014 17:14


Border control (you call it passport control, it is a lot more than that) officers are uniformed officers. Not all are stationed at JFK. Some are stationed on a remote forest road crossing. Surely you don't suggest they should not be armed? And since it is a uniform, they all have the same equipment.
When we merged with the Border Patrol they, for some inexpiable reason, took over the US Marshal Air Operations. Prior to the takeover we wore airline style uniforms, after the merger we were forced to wear military style flight suits*. Also we were told that because we were now part of the Border Patrol we would that we wear military rank appropriate to our GS level. The reason was that the Border Patrol was a uniform branch of the government and wore rank.

To the man all of us US Marshal pilots refused wear the rank emblems and we won. The Border Patrol pilots kept wearing their rank for another year then stopped on orders from DC.

This was the third time we were issued sidearms and a year later those sidearms were taken back, for the third time. Washington never could make up their mind if the pilots should be armed or not.


* At first I was against wearing the flight suits, but then after a month or two I realized how much easier it was to just jump into a flight suit in the morning rather than putting on an airline style uniform with tie and all that other stuff. A hell of a lot easier packing for RONs as well.

PTT 28th Oct 2014 17:19

rgbrock1 - without context of well before and well after, as well as the context of how other nations crime rates have changed over the same period (i.e. a control) that chart is meaningless in saying whether or not there has been a positive, negative or no effect from the change to handgun laws.

mixture 28th Oct 2014 17:27


I also find this chart of interest:
What, in that it comes from a US operated pro-gun (i.e. probably NRA funded) website and is therefore likely to be heavily massaged to reflect the desired point the pro-gun website is trying to make ?

In that case I agree, it is interesting to see the lengths to which the pro-gun lobby will clutch at straws !

:cool:

rgbrock1 28th Oct 2014 17:38

mixture wrote:


What, in that it comes from a US operated pro-gun (i.e. probably NRA funded) website and is therefore likely to be heavily massaged to reflect the desired point the pro-gun website is trying to make ?
nice try. The statistics were provided by the British Home Office. Not exactly a US-operated pro-gun website, eh?

PTT 28th Oct 2014 17:52

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/image...nces_624gr.gif

http://www.therightscoop.com/wp-cont...land_wales.jpg

Anyone expecting a ban to have an immediate effect has a rather high expectation on how long it takes to enforce such bans. I also find myself wondering how many in that peak in the top graph between the ban and ~2008 were actually offences under the new laws, i.e. possession.

That's not to say the ban is the cause of the drop in firearms offences, of course, but there certainly has been one of late.

obgraham 28th Oct 2014 18:14


Maybe you should try reading it without the "PTT is a god-awful lefty" sunglasses on
Hmmm. "Ad hominem".

Isn't that what you're often on about?

Lonewolf_50 28th Oct 2014 18:28


Originally Posted by mixture (Post 8717789)
What, in that it comes from a US operated pro-gun (i.e. probably NRA funded) website and is therefore likely to be heavily massaged to reflect the desired point the pro-gun website is trying to make ? In that case I agree, it is interesting to see the lengths to which the pro-gun lobby will clutch at straws !

:cool:

Your quote comes off like this:
The data does not fit my preconceived notions, therefore I do not agree.

How does that make you any different from the site where that chart is posted?
You may not care for your opposite in an argument. Your disgreement with him does not make him wrong. You need to show your work.

Whether you or I are skeptical regarding the sources of their numbers is one thing.
Your rejection without providing a researched data set makes your disagreement empty. You are no more worth listening to than the site you impugn.

What actual research have you done?
Hand waving away that source looks like a combination of well poisoning, a collective ad hom, and a few other fallacious argument styles whose names I'd need to go and look up.

PTT 28th Oct 2014 18:47

obgraham - oh well if you take offence at the suggestion that you think I am a lefty then I apologise...

Regardless, try reading it again and commenting on the subject matter rather than the poster please.

Lonewolf_50 - poisoning the well is the one you are after. Either way a chart which only bounds 5 years, with only 2 either side of the ban year, is hardly enough to draw any conclusions from.

bcgallacher 28th Oct 2014 19:31

Lone wolf 50 - I completely accept cultural differences between countries, in a career as a technical mercenary I have been in 62 countries for varying lengths of time - enough to come to that conclusion a long time ago. The differences between OECD countries are minimal except for the matter of US gun crime - in any European country the equivalent of 80 to 90 gunshot deaths a day - including about 8 children - would be found unacceptable and measures taken to reduce these numbers.If carrying a firearm gives protection why are so many US police officers shot dead each year? With regard to border guards,we do not have armed border guards and I cannot recall any occasion that a British border guard was in a position to require to be armed. As far as the ethnicity of gun crime is concerned the UK appears to have the same pattern as the US - the difference is that it is at a lower level due to the fact that guns are more expensive and less available in the UK.As I stated before you have backed yourself into a corner with lax gun control in the past and are now in the position that nothing can be done to improve the situation so at fairly frequent intervals some nut will enter a school or workplace, kill pupils or workers then shoot himself. There must be some parents who dread waving goodbye after their children board the school bus. We in Scotland had one school massacre,the measures taken were with the support of the general populace. Gun owners protested but the vast majority of the country have absolutely no interest in guns and as a result we do not shoot our children with monotonous regularity as in the US. Gun control - note I do not advocate gun bans - can protect our citizenry from the nutters who would do us harm if they had access to the means to do so.

John Hill 28th Oct 2014 19:35

I think it is time someone posted this again...


What Happens When
Citizens Guns
Are Taken Away
From Ed Chenel
Australian Police Officer
12-9-5

Hi Yanks and Canadians - I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.

The first year results are now in: Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent, Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent; Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)! In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.

Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not! (And criminals still possess their guns!)

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed. There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. You won't see this on the American /Canadian evening news or hear your government or members of the State Assembly and Ottawa parliament disseminating this information.

The Australian experience proves it.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding public.

Take note Americans and Canadians before it's too late!


rgbrock1 28th Oct 2014 19:44

John Hill? John Hill of New Zealand? Is that you?

WTF? I would never have entertained the thought of you posting anything similar to what you just posted. I believe the Brits have a word for my current state: gobsmacked.

con-pilot 28th Oct 2014 19:45


With regard to border guards,we do not have armed border guards and I cannot recall any occasion that a British border guard was in a position to require to be armed.
You do not have a nearly wide open border with Mexico. Let us compare apples to apples, not apples to whale poop.

rgbrock1 28th Oct 2014 19:48

What borders of England are we talking about? The border with Scotland? Of course British police don't need to be armed in that case. What're they going to do, shoot wayward sheep?

And as for the Welsh border? Speaks for itself no?

con-pilot 28th Oct 2014 19:54

A 1,969 mile long border I might add.

The Border Patrol has caught people from nearly every country in the world trying to illeglly cross into the US from Mexico, including people from the UK.

John Hill 28th Oct 2014 20:00


Originally Posted by rgbrock1
John Hill? John Hill of New Zealand? Is that you?

I thought you might enjoy reading it!

obgraham 28th Oct 2014 21:02


Regardless, try reading it again and commenting on the subject matter rather than the poster please.
No thank you PTT, I'll comment on whateverthehell I want to. You are free to read it or not read it at your pleasure.

Sort of like y'all on the USA Politics thread!

Dushan 28th Oct 2014 21:40


Originally Posted by con-pilot (Post 8717969)
You do not have a nearly wide open border with Mexico. Let us compare apples to apples, not apples to whale poop.

Would have been nice if border guards in the Channel Islands were armed in the 40s. Just sayin'.

PTT 28th Oct 2014 21:48

obgraham - your call. I'll read something you write when it is pertinent, then. Clearly you have nothing pertinent to say here thus far.

wings folded 28th Oct 2014 21:57


The Border Patrol has caught people from nearly every country in the world trying to illeglly cross into the US from Mexico, including people from the UK.
You have given me an idea, con. Enter from Mexico, hmmm...

Could be easier than entering through Logan with a valid visa.

Must try it one day.


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