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Forum Post: Gun Control - A Look at Both Sides - My Take

Posted 7 years ago on Feb. 27, 2013, 9:12 a.m. EST by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

So everyone keeps arguing back and forth on this and I didn't have a great knowledge of the stats on this topic so I decided to pick up two books on it. One book that the pro gun people believe to be very highly rated, and one book that the anti gun people believe to be pretty highly rated. I read them both to see if either side could convince me more than the other. The two books were

-Private Guns Public Health by David Hemenway (anti gun)

-More Guns Less Crime by John Lott (pro gun)

Anyone interested in this subject would find both of these books pretty good at summarizing each sides argument. After getting through them both, in my opinion, Lott blew Hemenway out of the water.

The major difference in the logic of each book is this. Lott (pro gun) says if you're going to measure the affect of guns and if you're hurting more people with them around, you must measure the TOTAL murder rate....not just gun related murder rates. Why? Because when people know the population could potentially be armed, they are more scared to commit terrible acts such as murder because they know they might get shot. So with guns around there is a deterrant effect that must be considered. How do you measure this accurately? You measure total murder rates before and after gun control laws are in place - IN THE SAME AREA.

Why in the same area? Lott shows how violence even within adjacent counties in the same state can be drastically different...so it's erroneous to take say, Great Britain, and try to compare it to the US. There are different population densities, cultural beliefs and a million other factors that makes this an invalid way to look at the stats. So what do you do? You compare the same geographical location to itself before and after gun control laws are enacted. this gets rid of all these uncontrolled variables like population densities and cultural beliefs.

So now we look at TOTAL murder rates because we have to see how many lives the deterrant effect of having guns i talked about above is saving. Because what we're trying to do is see how we can save the most amount of lives. It doesn't matter how a murder is committed....if a gun is used or a baseball bat....the person is dead. So what does Lott find? These stats compare the SAME area to each other before and after gun control laws. And he doesn't cherry pick the areas, he has found EVERY area that has stats to compare before and after gun control laws. When gun control laws are lifted and people are allowed to carry firearms....murder goes down, rape goes down, and aggravated assault goes down. Lott then takes it to the extreme and factors in a bunch of different variables that are known to cause shifts in murder rates, such as arrest rates. What does he find? The same conclusion.

So if we're really trying to save the most amount of lives, we should want guns around. Yes, more people die by GUN RELATED deaths when they're around....but when guns are around you SAVE THE MOST AMOUNT of lives because of the deterrant effect that guns have and the subsequent drop in TOTAL murder rates......meaning we save the most amount of lives.

Now Hemenway makes a lot of the arguments i hear against guns. Like gun related deaths in Britain are incredibly low compared to the US. Where there are guns there are more gun related deaths. Where there are guns it is more likely you'd be killed from a gun. But after reading Lotts book I kind of end up thinking that these arguments don't really matter.

I think it's pretty obvious when guns are around you'd have more gun related deaths, that just makes sense. You could do that with anything....when you have cars around there are more car related deaths...when you have kitchen knives around there are more knife related deaths. It's not looking at the broad picture though....because it's forgetting about the deterrant effect of having guns and if that deterrant effect saves more lives than the increased deaths by the guns...and it definitely does....you save more lives by having them around when you look at the overall picture.

I read Hemenways book first and I was surprised reading about the comparison of different countries that had banned guns to our own. But then when i read Lotts book it just completely blew Hemenways argument out of the water. You can't compare different geographical locations to each other without adding in 100's of unaccounted variables which end up making the comparisons junk stats. It's like comparing Mexico to Great Britain.....both have a ban on guns...one has just slightly more crime than the other (sarcasm). Lott shows, like i said above, that even counties right next to each other can have vastly different murder and crime rates.

Another important point is that ever since Lott has done this research....when you look at the TOTAL murder rates and see if there are drops in it...his work is uncontested....noone has been able to show that total murder rates increase when guns are around...not one single peer reviewed study.

So that's my take on it.

My personal opinion also factors in a historical argument for the population to be armed....but most people aren't concerned or worried about this and care more about their present safety...that's why i didn't jump into that side of it on the post.



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[-] 2 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 7 years ago

Down through history, governments have disarmed their citizens only to tyrannize those citizens once they were disarmed.

The following chart documents just a few examples from recent history where "gun control" laws were enacted and then tyranny by the government proceeded.

Click on a country in the chart in order to learn about what occurred in that country.


[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

Great link...i agree with you there is a historical argument for the case too...but it seems like most people aren't concerned with that these days...they call you a conspiracy nut or just can't wrap their heads around the idea that this could happen. That's why i tried to keep the post more about just straight statistics on having guns or not having them.

[-] 3 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 7 years ago

It is an excellent post, straight statistics. I just wanted to add these historical facts.

Are questions of accuracy of the Lame Street Media and its reports "conspiracy theory?"

[-] 2 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 7 years ago

I think your approach is wrong because the desire of self defense, while certainly relevant, is outweighed by the desire for freedom that only guns can ensure.

[-] 0 points by shadows (-39) 7 years ago

You're right. George mason ( co -author of the 2A) said "I ask Sir,what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them". Spoken at the Virginia Convention to ratify the Constitution, 1788.

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 7 years ago

Yea, I know. And there was a lot more that was said by the Founders, too.

[-] 0 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

yes you could make that argument as well. I feel like most people who want to get rid of guns though want to do it because of the dangers....so I was trying to form the argument around if they're really more dangerous or not....if we're not actually saving more lives by having them than not.

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 7 years ago

Everybody living in the real world knows we need guns. Anything else is just opportunity for political division.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 7 years ago

sometimes I would not be surprised if this is all just an NRA marketing ploy.

Gun sales are through the roof! Even the "ban guns" people in Congress are sending billions of dollars to foreign regimes so they can buy weapons from US gun manufacturers.

As with most things in the government, it just seems like a big scam and an utter distraction from real issues, like too big to fail banks extracting trillions of dollars and destroying wealth in our nation.

The cheers for banning assault weapons were louder than anything else at the state of the union.

If they're going to ban any gun, hand guns makes the most sense to ban. Another reason I consider this entire gun debate a fucking distraction. It doesn't even have any provisions that will curb gun violence by more than a percent.

Like poverty, violence is environmental.

[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

At least your idea makes sense...banning hand guns. You've actually looked at the stats and know that's where the greatest amount of gun related deaths occur.

I do think there are more important issues to discuss as well...but with the emotional tornado this country has been in over this I think it's important for people to sit down and really understand things. I feel like every time something happens in this country people just want something to be done...but they dont' stop to think if it actually makes sense...knee jerk reactions without an understanding of the consequences.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

We have 50% of the world's guns, 5% of it's population and we're at the top with gun crime and death. More guns IS NOT the answer!

The wild west is long gone, we let this little myth go for far too long!

We have a military and police, you Gun Nuts have to realize: American Lives trump your obsolete and dangerous hobby!! Not ONE LIFE is worth your continued madness!!

[-] 0 points by conservatroll (187) 7 years ago

Actually, that is not true. The US does not lead the world.


[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

We are at the top of the gun crime heap.

[-] -2 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

"American Lives trump"

That's what we're arguing here though smith....that when the population has guns it saves lives.

"We have 50% of the world's guns, 5% of it's population and we're at the top with gun crime and death. More guns IS NOT the answer!"

Like the post says...you can't take two different geographical locations and compare them like that. I could do the same thing right back at you....mexico has a gun ban...and last time i checked the crime rate wasn't exactly a pillar to shoot for. You can't take two different places and compare them like that...the cultures are different...the population densities are different...and there are millions of other variables that go unaccounted for.

Whats wrong with looking at the stats from the same area? Doesn't that make the most amount of sense?

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Jethrow!! The Revolution is over!! We got ourselves a military and a police force!! Your guns are not to fight our government, we just forgot/neglected to tell you. Sorry. It's 2013, not 1774!!

[-] -2 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

Who cares if it's 2013 or 4013....if you save more lives by doing something in society...why wouldn't you do it?


[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

FLAKESnews alert!!!!

Breitbart lies!!!!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago


Get rid of guns, save lives!!

[-] -1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

Read over the post.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Get rid of guns, save lives!

You nuts have proved your inability to control them!

See Bowling For Columbine: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/bowling-for-columbine/

[-] 0 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

"You nuts"

Yes, don't refute the argument....just call me a nut. I don't even own a gun.

Have you seen Michael Moore's new video's talking about SSRI's and how every school shooting the killers have been on them? I wouldn't be surprised to see Moore come out and modify his position.


[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago


Not at all unlike those that lie about global warming.

Same marketing/PR groups involved?

[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

Can't believe i'm going to say this...but I agree with you shooz....that's terrible and the NRA f'n sucks for trying to do something like that...shows a lot about the character of the organization.

Anyone trying to stop the flow of information for personal gain just f'n sucks.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

I make my mistakes, but I'm also correct on more things that I know.

To be honest, I'll even toss you a twinkle.............:)

[-] -1 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

Well Mr Lott - readem and weap: from February, 2000

Sharp Drop in Gun Crime Follows Tough Australian Firearm Laws

Latest official data from Australia shows a marked reduction in gun-related crime and injury following recent restrictions on the private ownership of firearms.
Twelve days after 35 people were shot dead by a single gunman in Tasmania, Australia's state and federal governments agreed to enact wide-ranging new gun control laws to curb firearm-related death and injury. Between July 1996 and August 1998, the new restrictions were brought into force. Since that time, key indicators for gun-related death and crime have shown encouraging results.
Firearm-Related Homicide:
"There was a decrease of almost 30% in the number of homicides by firearms from 1997 to 1998." -- Australian Crime - Facts and Figures 1999. Australian Institute of Criminology. Canberra, Oct 1999
This report shows that as gun ownership has been progressively restricted since 1915, Australia's firearm homicide rate per 100,000 population has declined to almost half its 85-year average.

Homicide by Any Method
The overall rate of homicide in Australia has also dropped to its lowest point since 1989 (National Homicide Monitoring Program, 1997-98 data).
It remains one-fourth the homicide rate in the USA.

The Institute of Criminology report Australian Crime - Facts and Figures 1999 includes 1998 homicide data showing "a 9% decrease from the rate in 1997."
This is the period in which most of the country's new gun laws came into force.

Gun-Related Death by Any Cause
The Australian Bureau of Statistics counts all injury deaths, whether or not they are crime-related. The most recently available ABS figures show a total of 437 firearm-related deaths (homicide, suicide and unintentional) for 1997. This is the lowest number for 18 years.

The Australian rate of gun death per 100,000 population remains one-fifth that of the United States.

"We have observed a decline in firearm-related death rates (essentially in firearm-related suicides) in most jurisdictions in Australia. We have also seen a declining trend in the percentage of robberies involving the use of firearms in Australia."

-- Mouzos, J. Firearm-related Violence: The Impact of the Nationwide Agreement on Firearms. Trends & Issues in Crime & Criminal Justice No. 116. Australian Institute of Criminology. Canberra, May 1999; 6

Assault and Robbery
Those who claim that Australia suffered a "crime wave" as a result of new gun laws often cite as evidence unrelated figures for common assault or sexual assault (no weapon) and armed robbery (any weapon).
In fact less than one in five Australian armed robberies involve a firearm.
"Although armed robberies increased by nearly 20%, the number of armed robberies involving a firearm decreased to a six-year low."

-- Recorded Crime, Australia, 1998. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Jun 1999

Firearm-Related Crime in Tasmania
"A declining firearm suicide rate, a declining firearm assault rate, a stable firearm robbery rate with a declining proportion of robberies committed with a firearm and a declining proportion of damage to property offences committed with a firearm suggest that firearm regulation has been successful in Tasmania." -- Warner, Prof K. Firearm Deaths and Firearm Crime After Gun Licensing in Tasmania. Australian Institute of Criminology, 3rd National Outlook Symposium on Crime in Australia. Canberra, 22-23 Mar 1999.

Curbing Gun Proliferation in Australia
In the 1996-97 Australian gun buy-back, two-thirds of a million semi-automatic and pump-action rifles and shotguns were sold to the government at market value. Thousands more gun owners volunteered their firearms for free, and nearly 700,000 guns were destroyed.

By destroying one-seventh of its estimated stock of firearms (the equivalent figure in the USA would be 30 million), Australia has significantly altered the composition of its civilian arsenal.

In addition, all remaining guns must be individually registered to their licensed owners, private firearm sales are no longer permitted and each gun purchase through a licensed arms dealer is scrutinised by police to establish a "genuine reason" for ownership. All the nation's governments, police forces and police unions support the current gun laws.

Other Countries
Similar reductions in gun death and injury have been noted in several countries whose gun controls have been recently tightened.

In Canada, where new gun laws were introduced in 1991 and 1995, the number of gun deaths has reached a 30-year low.

Two years ago in the United Kingdom, civilian handguns were banned, bought back from their owners and destroyed. In the year following the law change, Scotland recorded a 17% drop in all firearm-related offences. The British Home Office reports that in the nine months following the handgun ban, firearm-related offences in England and Wales dropped by 13%.

A British citizen is still 50 times less likely to be a victim of gun homicide than an American.

[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

Most of your comment does exactly what my post says you shouldn't do

1.) Compare one country or geographical area to another

2.) Look at GUN RELATED deaths as opposed to overall murder rates...because there is a deterrant effect when people are armed that saves many lives....we want to see which way we can save the most amount of lives...so you must use murder rates...not gun related murder rates. That would be like me saying that when antibiotics are used there is more of a chance of someone dying from the antibiotics and they must be bad....but we know that the antibiotics save more lives than they kill and it is deemed as a logical decision to use them.

Your Austrlalia data needs to be provided in a peer reviewed journal. An example of why......it is very easy to cherry pick data. So what if i told you Australian homicide rates continued to increase for an additional 8 years post gun bans? The site also doesn't account for arrest rates, police force increases (which occurred around the time homicide rates dropped) and other factors which are all known to cause drops in homicides by academics outside of the gun control debate. Lott does this in his work....and shows the data with these types of things included.

Lott covers Australia in some detail online..but it isn't peer reviewed...although he provides a peer reviewed study to read if one wants to:


[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

Most of my post compares AU to AU

Tougher laws & gun buyback on target
January 15, 2013 Andrew Leigh

Since the 1997 gun buyback, your chance of being a victim of gun violence has more than halved.

To understand the policy success of the National Firearms Agreement, it's important to recognise precisely what happened. Alongside the gun buyback, what had been a patchwork of state and territory regulations was strengthened and harmonised. Self-loading rifles, self-loading shotguns and pump-action shotguns were banned. Firearm owners were required to obtain licences and register their weapons.

While the changes were backed by the then Labor opposition, political credit must go to then prime minister John Howard and National Party leader Tim Fischer for standing up to the hardliners in their own parties. They paid a short-term electoral price but history will judge them well.

In the 1990s some argued that the gun buyback would make no difference to the firearms homicide and suicide rates. Yet careful studies have shown otherwise. In the decade before Port Arthur, Australia had an average of one mass shooting (involving five or more deaths) every year. Since then, we have not had a single mass shooting. The odds of this being a coincidence are less than one in 100.

The gun buyback also had some unexpected payoffs. While at the Australian National University, in work with my former academic colleague Christine Neill, I looked at the effect of the Australian gun buyback on firearm suicide and homicide rates. Shocking as mass shootings are, they represent a tiny fraction of all gun deaths. If there's a gun in your home, the person most likely to kill you with it is yourself, followed by your spouse.

Neill and I found that the firearm suicide and homicide rates more than halved after the Australian gun buyback. Although the gun death rate was falling before 1997, it accelerated downwards after the buyback. Looking across states, we also found that jurisdictions where more guns were bought back experienced a greater reduction in firearms homicide and suicide.

We estimate that the Australian gun buyback continues to save about 200 lives per year. That means thousands of people are walking the streets today who would not be alive without the National Firearms Agreement. Other work, including that by public health researchers Simon Chapman, Philip Alpers, Kingsley Agho and Michael Jones, reaches a similar conclusion.

For the United States, where Alpers will present research on the Australian experience at the Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America this week, reform is tougher. According to the General Social Survey, 32 per cent of US households own a gun, and a patchwork of city and state laws means that restrictions in one jurisdiction are often undercut by people travelling interstate to buy a weapon.

Historically, the US National Rifle Association was a moderate body, akin to some Australian shooting groups. It supported the first federal gun laws in the 1930s, and backed a ban on cheap ''Saturday night specials'' in the 1960s. Since the 1977 ''Cincinnati Revolt'', when hardliners took over, the NRA has opposed all restrictions on firearms ownership, including bans on assault rifles and armour-piercing bullets (''cop killers'').
Members of Congress rate the NRA the most powerful lobbying organisation in the nation.

The challenge for American legislators today is to stand up to these powerful extremists, and follow the example of Australia's leaders in 1996. With 86 Americans dying each day because of gun accidents, suicides or homicides, perhaps our experience can persuade sensible US legislators that there is a better way. As in Australia, the onus is on the conservative side of politics.

For Australia, the challenges in firearms policy are more modest, but still real. All states and territories should heed the call from the Minister for Justice, Jason Clare, to implement a national firearms register. This will help to keep track of weapons when they are sold or their owners move interstate. And it will help to ensure that Australian firearms do not fall into the wrong hands.

Andrew Leigh is the federal member for Fraser, and a former professor of economics at the Australian National University.

[-] -1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

Again it's not really getting to what i'm talknig about in my post. I will acknowledge and agree that when you ban guns...GUN related deaths go down. I'm not arguing this. What i'm arguing is that total MURDER related deaths will go up....because criminals are more willing to hunt their pray when the pray is unarmed. That is what Lott is saying...and the stats are showing.

What I'm arguing is that the deterrent effect of having guns makes up for the extra gun related deaths. So you end up saving more lives because murderers are deterred from their crimes because people are armed. That's what the post is about...that total MURDER rates...and not gun related murder rates drop when guns are legalized. So you're saving the most amount of people by having guns.

[-] 0 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 7 years ago

He doesn't want to agree with you. So he's going to focus on something entirely different and pretend that makes you wrong.

[-] -1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

John Lott's research was called into question and it was magically destroyed. Fabrication.

[-] 0 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

That's not true...and he touches on this in his book..this is long but i think it is important so i'm typing it out word for word

"Fundamentally, any academic debate boils down to two issues: how good the data are adn whether the tests were done correctly. In capsule form, these issues have been succinctly stated by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner in their best-selling Freakanomics:

-Then there was the troubling allegation that Lott actually invented some of the survey data that support his more-guns/less-crime theory. Regardless of whether the data were faked, Lott's admittedly intriguing hyopthesis doesn't seem to be true. When other scholars have tried to replicate (Lott's) results, they found that the right-to-carry laws simply don't bring down crime. (Pg133-34)

As noted above, Levitt's suggestion that my work has not been replicated is totally wrong. Survey data were not even used in my regressions and thus could not have affected the results. In any case, the fact that results have been replicated by those who have put the data together themselves indicates that data could not have been faked. Unfortunately the debate has not stayed on the merits.

Steven Levitt has been one of the most fervent critics for some time, and the above quote from his book was just one of his many attacks on my work. As a result of these allegations, I filed a defamation lawsuit against Levitt and his publishers. The evidence in the lawsuit included a series of e-mail messages exchanged between Levitt and economist John McCall, during which Levitt incorrectly stated that I had "stocked" with only my supporters a conference examinging the more-guns-less-crime thesis, that I then had to "buy an issue" of the highly prestigious Journal of Law and Economics to publish the results of the conference, and that there was no peer review.

As a result of this litigation, however, Levitt was required to release a letter retracting and clarifying the allegations he made. In what the Chronicle of Higher Education called "a doozy of a concession," Levitt conceded that he "knew that scholars with varying opinions had been invited to participate" in the conference because "I received an email from Dr. Lott inviting my own participation." In addition, Levitt acknowledged that I did not engage in "bribery or otherwise exercised improper influence on the editorial process" in the special issue and that "the articles that were published in the Conference Issue were reviewed by referees engaged by the editors of the JLE (Journal of Law and Economics). In fact, I was one of the peer referees."

Nonetheless, charges of faulty data have continued to be made. For example, in his recent book, a coauthor of Levitt's, Ian Ayres, writes that "we found that Lott had made a computer mistake in creating some of his underlying data. For example, in many of his regressions, Lott tried to control for whether the crime took place in a particular region (say the Northeast) in a particular year (say 1998). But when we looked at his data, many of these variables were mistakenly set to zero. When we estimated his formula on the corrected data, we again found that these laws were more likely to increase the rate of crime."

One might think from Ayres's comment that there is a mistake in my work with David Mustard or in earlier editions of this book. However, the research that Ayres is really discussing was not a paper of mine, but a paper published by Florenz Plassmann and John Whitley in the Standfor Law Review. Plassmann and Whitley thank me for helping them with their study ("We thank John Lott for his support, comments and discussion"), but this is their own paper, published under their own names.

As to the data mistake, Plassmann and Whitley used the data presented in the second edition of this book, covering the years from 1977 to 1966. There was nothing wrong with those data. The data entry mistakes for their paper arose in the years that were added when they extended the data from 1997-2000. Out of over 7 million data entries, about 180 had accidentally been left blank. The signficance of some results in one of their tables (table 10.3A) was decreased. Despite the tenor of the critics, this data error was not even crucial for their findings. Further, Plassmann and Whitley had explicitly noted the results in the particular table were biased against finding a decrease in crime, and they had argued that those results should not be given much weight.

Correcting the small data entry errors did not alter the results that Plassmann and Whitley said were the focus of their paper, and their conclusion was still the same: more concealed-handgun permits reduce crime. And Plassmann and Whitley had excellent reasons for the estimates that they thought should be used: "Including all countries with zero crime rates (with the statistical test that Ayres and Donohue use) will bias the estimated benefit of the concealed handgun law towards finding an increase in crime, because no matter how good the law is, it cannot lower the crime rate below zero." Unfortunately, Ian Ayres and John Donohue's responses to Plassmann and Whitely completely ignore these arguments on the proper test as well as the estimates they provide.

This is not the only incorrect claim that Ayres and Donohue make. They have-repeatedly-falsely asserted that I withdrew from coauthorship with Plassmann and Whitley once I saw their criticism. Ayres and Donohue claimed that “we hope that this indicates that the arguments in our Reply have caused the primary proponent of the more guns, less crime hypothesis to at least partially amend his views." It is quite an amazing slur against Plassmann and Whitley to claim that they insisted on publishing research despite a coauthor's withdrawing from the paper over errors.

The inaccuracy of Ayres and Donohue's claim was such that the Stanford Law Review felt it necessary to run a very unusual "Clarification," where the editors said that they might not have originally made things sufficiently clear to Ayres and Donohue and noted that "the Editors feel that the impression that some have gotten from Ayres and Donohue's Reply piece is incorrect, unfortunate, and unwarranted."

Being a target of inaccurate accusations has been an unfortunate and unpleasant experience. It certainly would have been preferable if the debate had stuck to the data and their analysis. The hypothesis that more guns connects to less crime has stood up against massive efforts to criticize it.

[-] 3 points by Narley (272) 7 years ago

The fallacy of the gun debate is it’s rational and logical. In reality it’s completely emotional. Any facts, figures or statistics are dismissed and rejected. Anti-gun folks won’t acknowledge ANY benefits of gun ownership. Pro-gun folks won’t acknowledge any problems with guns. So, the argument goes on.

There is no compromise, no middle of the road, no fence sitting. Gun owners think any additional gun restrictions are just another step toward gun confiscation. They will not give an inch; and may even ignore any new rules. The anti-gun folks idea of implementing reasonable gun restrictions is to legislate guns out of existence.

I don’t know how this will turn out in the long run, but it’s not going away anytime soon. It pushes almost all other political topics to the side. Even the States are very divided. With some States already implementing tougher gun laws, and others passing laws to circumvent any new laws.

This is a long way from being over.

[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

Very good points and i do agree with you. It turns into an emotional battle. Young children were killed...and noone ever wants to see something like that happen again.

But i do wish people would sit down and think through it logically...because in the end that's how you're going to save the most amount of lives. When i say this i don't mean that i'm right in my post and everyone should listen to my arguments...but i wish everyone would sit down and look at the numbers for themselves from both sides and then determine what they think...and try to leave an emotional reaction out of the decisions you do make.

[-] 2 points by Narley (272) 7 years ago

Respectfully, I don’t think there will be a meeting of the minds. Both sides think they are being rational. Both sides think they’re right. Both sides think the other side is being unreasonable. For every number you come up with it will picked apart and denied.

Think about it. It’s not much different than most divisive issues. People have already made up their minds. At this point no one is going to change their views; no matter how many studies or research is presented. No matter what the politicians do they will be vilified.

I’m a gun owner. But I don’t count myself a gun nut; and I don’t own any AR15’s or AK’s. Plus I live in a State that is trying to pass legislation making it illegal to enforce any new gun regulation. My State is on the verge of passing an open carry law, where people will be able to carry a pistol on their hip like in the old west. My point is this is somewhat a culture problem. Telling a farmer who has to deal with feral hogs and coyotes that he can’t have a gun is much different than telling a urban resident she can’t have a gun for protection.

My thought is it’s just another issue that sharply divides the people.

[-] 1 points by conservatroll (187) 7 years ago

Really. it is a big city/country issue. It's best handled at the state and local level, tho Chicago has proven it's strict laws don't help. A federal law is not the answer. There already IS a federal law...the 2nd ammendment. I am not comfortable with law enforcement having more rights than the rest of us, however. If 'weapons of war' do not belong on our streets, well, that goes for everybody.

[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

"At this point no one is going to change their views; no matter how many studies or research is presented. No matter what the politicians do they will be vilified."

Sadly i think you're right about this.

[-] -1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

Read my last comment....he discusses this survey you're referring to in the first website you listed.....that survey was also not used to compute any of the data that went into the peer reviewed journal....it does not negate any of those findings...at all.

The second article again makes the mistake of using GUN RELATED deaths and not total murder rates...they also try to make it seem Lott is dishonest that no other study has been produced in a peer reviewed journal....that indeed Cummings had done one and his findings were published in peer review..I quote directly from the studies findings:

"Laws that make gun owners responsible for storing firearms in a manner that makes them inaccessible to children were in effect for at least 1 year in 12 states from 1990 through 1994. Among children younger than 15 years, unintentional shooting deaths were reduced by 23% (95% confidence interval, 6%-37%) during the years covered by these laws. This estimate was based on within-state comparisons adjusted for national trends in unintentional firearm-related mortality. Gun-related homicide and suicide showed modest declines, but these were not statistically significant"

Notice this isn't the same study as Lotts...and isn't what i'm arguing in my post....Yes, like my post states, when guns are around there are more gun related deaths...that's not what we're talking about here and that's not what Lotts study was about...it was about overall murder rates...not gun related.

....I believe that when his initial work was published he was the first to do this....study overall murder rates..there have been others that have since replicated his work and not one peer reviewed paper has foudn that more guns causes increase overall murder rates....with the majority supporting his findings of reduced murders.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Oh, John. Of course he is going to attempt to defend his work in his book. It's his book. Look, I don't know how to break this to you. The man was discredited years ago and has been known to modify his research when it is called into question. At the time, I thought all Profs were gods. It was tragic.

[-] 0 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

I hear ya...but the details of it are what is important. He won the defamation suit.....the survey that people are referring to and say he faked (which isn't true but regardless doesn't matter) was not included in any of the peer reviewed data used for his studies. There isn't another peer reviewed study that discredits his work...and it has been replicated many times.

from what i see...the only people that have been discredited are the ones trying to slander his work.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Well, we agree 100% that the details are what is important.

Keep searching you will find that he discredited his work all by himself. He did that on his own.