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Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:18 PM

The Simple Truth About Gun Control (The New Yorker) - GREAT links to read too

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/the-simple-truth-about-gun-control.html

As I wrote last January, the central insight of the modern study of criminal violence is that all crime—even the horrific violent crimes of assault and rape—is at some level opportunistic. Building a low annoying wall against them is almost as effective as building a high impenetrable one. This is the key concept of Franklin Zimring’s amazing work on crime in New York; everyone said that, given the social pressures, the slum pathologies, the profits to be made in drug dealing, the ascending levels of despair, that there was no hope of changing the ever-growing cycle of violence. The right wing insisted that this generation of predators would give way to a new generation of super-predators.

What the New York Police Department found out, through empirical experience and better organization, was that making crime even a little bit harder made it much, much rarer. This is undeniably true of property crime, and common sense and evidence tells you that this is also true even of crimes committed by crazy people (to use the plain English the subject deserves). Those who hold themselves together enough to be capable of killing anyone are subject to the same rules of opportunity as sane people. Even madmen need opportunities to display their madness, and behave in different ways depending on the possibilities at hand. Demand an extraordinary degree of determination and organization from someone intent on committing a violent act, and the odds that the violent act will take place are radically reduced, in many cases to zero.

Look at the Harvard social scientist David Hemenway’s work on gun violence to see how simple it is; the phrase “more guns = more homicide” tolls through it like a grim bell. The more guns there are in a country, the more gun murders and massacres of children there will be. Even within this gun-crazy country, states with strong gun laws have fewer gun murders (and suicides and accidental killings) than states without them. (Hemenway is also the scientist who has shown that the inflated figure of guns used in self-defense every year, running even to a million or two million, is a pure fantasy, even though it’s still cited by pro-gun enthusiasts. Those hundreds of thousands intruders shot by gun owners left no records in emergency wards or morgues; indeed, left no evidentiary trace behind. This is because they did not exist.) Hemenway has discovered, as he explained in this interview with Harvard Magazine, that what is usually presented as a case of self-defense with guns is, in the real world, almost invariably a story about an escalating quarrel. “How often might you appropriately use a gun in self-defense?” Hemenway asks rhetorically. “Answer: zero to once in a lifetime. How about inappropriately—because you were tired, afraid, or drunk in a confrontational situation? There are lots and lots of chances.”


On gun violence and how to end it, the facts are all in, the evidence is clear, the truth there for all who care to know it—indeed, a global consensus is in place, which, in disbelief and now in disgust, the planet waits for us to us to join. Those who fight against gun control, actively or passively, with a shrug of helplessness, are dooming more kids to horrible deaths and more parents to unspeakable grief just as surely as are those who fight against pediatric medicine or childhood vaccination. It’s really, and inarguably, just as simple as that.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/the-simple-truth-about-gun-control.html#ixzz2Fjej8ELd

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Reply The Simple Truth About Gun Control (The New Yorker) - GREAT links to read too (Original post)
underpants Dec 2012 OP
underpants Dec 2012 #1
caraher Dec 2012 #5
Mojorabbit Dec 2012 #6
caraher Dec 2012 #7
Mojorabbit Dec 2012 #8
wellst0nev0ter Dec 2012 #2
underpants Dec 2012 #4
Squinch Dec 2012 #3

Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:35 PM

1. Harvard Injury Control Research Center -- Gun Threats and Self-Defense Gun Use

From the "they did not exist" link


1-3 Guns are not used millions of times each year in self-defense
4. Most purported self-defense gun uses are gun uses in escalating arguments and are both socially undesirable and illegal
5. Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense.
6. Guns in the home are used more often to intimidate intimates than to thwart crime.

Using data from a national random-digit-dial telephone survey conducted under the direction of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, we investigated how and when guns are used in the home. We found that guns in the home are used more often to frighten intimates than to thwart crime; other weapons are far more commonly used against intruders than are guns.

7. Adolescents are far more likely to be threatened with a gun than to use one in self-defense.

8. Criminals who are shot are typically the victims of crime

Using data from a survey of detainees in a Washington D.C. jail, we worked with a prison physician to investigate the circumstances of gunshot wounds to these criminals.
We found that one in four of these detainees had been wounded, in events that appear unrelated to their incarceration. Most were shot when they were victims of robberies, assaults and crossfires. Virtually none report being wounded by a "law-abiding citizen."

9-10. Few criminals are shot by decent law abiding citizens

Using data from surveys of detainees in six jails from around the nation, we worked with a prison physician to determine whether criminals seek hospital medical care when they are shot. Criminals almost always go to the hospital when they are shot. To believe fully the claims of millions of self-defense gun uses each year would mean believing that decent law-abiding citizens shot hundreds of thousands of criminals. But the data from emergency departments belie this claim, unless hundreds of thousands of wounded criminals are afraid to seek medical care. But virtually all criminals who have been shot went to the hospital, and can describe in detail what happened there.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hicrc/firearms-research/gun-threats-and-self-defense-gun-use/index.html

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Response to underpants (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:53 PM

5. I've thought about the unscientific version of this...

How about people I know personally who have been involved in shootings, or the use of a gun in any kind of self-defense? The only case that comes to mind is the father of a boy in my son's preschool who shot his wife and then himself. He was an avid outdoorsman, very charming, and I'm sure the gun was legal.

"Data" is not the plural form of "anecdote," but I do wonder what the balance would be for most people if they really sat down and thought about the people they know and their gun experiences in life-endangering situations. (I'm pretty sure it would be a tale mainly of tragedies and not tragedies averted.)

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Response to caraher (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:42 PM

6. I know a woman who shot her abuser husband

This was years ago. She had had enough. Afraid to leave, afraid to live with him. It was a sad situation. He also had abused both the children.

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:48 PM

7. Sounds awful

I hope they've all healed as well as possible under the circumstances

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Response to caraher (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:50 PM

8. The courts let her off. They will all be in therapy probably lifelong. nt

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:35 PM

2. Do You Know What Other Places Have Gun Control?

Mexico! (You thought I was gonna say Nazi Germany, didn't you? Even though they did.)

/gunhugger flaming

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Response to wellst0nev0ter (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:51 PM

4. Right - that is why they buy their guns in the USA!! USA!!

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:37 PM

3. Great article! nt

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