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Fri Feb 21, 2014, 07:27 AM

 

Why Guns Per Person is the Wrong Way to Think About Gun Control

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First, let’s examine the apparent contradiction between two ostensibly incongruent facts: the number of guns in the United States has been increasing, while the gun ownership rate is decreasing. This is easily explained by the fact that many if not most gun owners buy more than one gun. Not only do hunters need several types of hunting rifles to match their prey, but also a large segment of the gun-rights advocate population has been stockpiling arsenals for a while now in preparation for social unrest or government despotism (I find neither of these arguments particularly convincing myself, though I might be persuaded about the necessity of preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse).

A person owning one gun is just as dangerous and likely to commit a homicide as a person with a dozen guns, ignoring that owning multiple guns might be a proxy for other sorts of behavioral characteristics that might be related to criminality. What we see in the data is that the United States has reached a saturation point with guns. Most people who are going to buy a gun for whatever reason have already bought one, and buying a second does not increase the gun ownership rate.

Think of it this way, 100 people with one gun each is much scarier statistically speaking than 1 person with 100 guns.This is why the gun ownership rate is the statistic to worry about much more than the overall number of guns. And to further demonstrate that it is highly unlikely that the increase in the number of guns caused the decrease in the homicide rate, consider this: If the deterrence theory is correct (which I will demonstrate is not the case), a person with one gun is just as likely to stop a crime as a person with 100 guns. The extra 99 guns don’t help.

It is merely the fact that a person owns a gun, not how many, that matters with regard to the crime debate. As gun ownership has not increased in tandem with the number of guns, it is not possible for the increase in guns to have contributed to the decrease in violent crime. The only effects that can stem from this surge in guns are deleterious. With hundreds of thousands of guns stolen every year, the stockpiling of weapons only increases the likelihood that they end up in the wrong hands.

http://www.armedwithreason.com/less-guns-less-crime-debunking-the-self-defense-myth/

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Guns Per Person is the Wrong Way to Think About Gun Control (Original post)
SecularMotion Feb 2014 OP
Eleanors38 Feb 2014 #1
Arkansas Granny Feb 2014 #2
Eleanors38 Feb 2014 #4
ileus Feb 2014 #3
Lizzie Poppet Feb 2014 #10
gejohnston Feb 2014 #5
DonP Feb 2014 #7
friendly_iconoclast Feb 2014 #8
SecularMotion Feb 2014 #14
DonP Feb 2014 #15
SecularMotion Feb 2014 #17
Lizzie Poppet Feb 2014 #9
NYC_SKP Feb 2014 #6
jimmy the one Feb 2014 #11
clffrdjk Feb 2014 #12
jimmy the one Feb 2014 #13
Surf Fishing Guru Feb 2014 #16
rrneck Feb 2014 #18

Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 07:37 AM

1. "stockpiling... only increases the likelihood... wrong hands:"

 

Speculation.

Old, worn-out sod being turned again.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 07:59 AM

2. Here's an interesting fact about the likelihood of firearms falling into the wrong hands.

WASHINGTON – About 1.4 million firearms were stolen during household burglaries and other property crimes over the six-year period from 2005 through 2010, according to a report released today by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). This number represents an estimated average of 232,400 firearms stolen each year— about 172,000 stolen during burglaries and 60,300 stolen during other property crimes.

These estimates are based on data from the annual National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) which has collected information from victims of crime since 1973. Of the guns stolen each year during burglaries and other property crimes, at least 80 percent, or an annual average of 186,800 firearms, had not been recovered up to six months after being stolen.

From 2005 through 2010, firearms were stolen in about four percent of the 2.4 million household burglaries and in less than one percent of the 13.6 million other property crimes involving a completed theft that occurred during the period. Longer trends from 1994 to 2010 show a 49 percent decline in the total number of victimizations involving the theft of at least one firearm, from about 283,600 victimizations in 1994 to about 145,300 in 2010.

Handguns were the most commonly stolen firearm from 2005 through 2010. At least one handgun was stolen in 63 percent of household burglaries and 68 percent of other property crimes involving firearm theft. More than one gun was stolen in 39 percent of burglaries and 15 percent of other property crimes involving gun theft.

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/fshbopc0510pr.cfm

My guess is that those firearms were not stolen by law abiding citizens and that at least some of them were used to commit crimes.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 09:04 AM

4. It seems the theft of firearms is on the decline...

 

according to this data, even as the "stockpile" increases over the same period. I wonder if this is due to the general long-term drop in crime, or the cultural shift to better weapon security in-the-home, or both.

Now, my speculation: We will see convincing evidence that both the number & percentage of gun-bearing households has increased. I couldn't read the dates given in the survey (hand-held), but they appear to be from 4-5 yrs. ago.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 08:03 AM

3. Technically a person only needs 4 firearms for self defense.

A nice compact Conceal Carry personal safety device like the M&P Shield or G26

A nice full sized home defense PSD like a G17 or Sig 226


A nice counter assault rifle like the AR15 or AK47

And lastly but not least a good quality shotgun just like Joe Biden recommends.


After that you can round out your collection in many different ways.

Some folks only collect sidearms.
Some love competition
Some hunt
Some collect C&R's

A fine firearm collection is one of the most personally satisfying possessions one can have. They can provide hundreds of hours of shooting enjoyment and generations of happiness.

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Response to ileus (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 05:40 PM

10. I could easily get by with four, too.

 

The first two mirror your selections (S%W 908 and 1911). I prefer a battle rifle to an assault rifle because I don't really like intermediate rifle cartridges (and have a G3). And because I'm a shrimp, and shotguns really hurt for me to shoot, I have a long range rig (Surgeon).

I also have a couple .22 plinkers for fun (and the long-range rig is actually for recreation, too...I shoot in paper matches), but for defensive purposes, three or four is plenty.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 10:14 AM

5. you are assuming that gun ownership is in fact decreasing

that contradicts other related polls. A more likely scenario is that gun owners, like diamond owners, are more likely to lie to pollsters. In fact, lying to pollsters has become quite fashionable across the board.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 03:19 PM

7. 200,000+ new FOID cards in Illinois alone and none are new gun owners?

 



That meme, "lots fewer gun owners with more guns", has become sacred text to the grabbers.

it seems to have replaced their earlier sacred text of, "more guns means more crime".

If just Illinois had nearly a quarter million NEW gun owners in the last 2 years, I wonder what's happening in the rest of the country?

Our boom started 2 years before the whole CCW thing ever went to court, so it's not that driving it.

Funny, that the control minded folks seem more cranky and desperate than ever ... instead of celebrating fewer gun owners and lower crime rates, unless of course you are a host in another group and don't believe the lying DoJ numbers from that "NRA shill", Holder and insist that violent crime with guns is higher than ever.

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Response to DonP (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 04:54 PM

8. 200K new gun owners in IL? Our resident controllers studiously avoid discussing *that*...

 

...inconvenient truth. Whenever you've pointed that increase out, their response has
been:

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Response to DonP (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 11:33 AM

14. Another anomaly

 

Out of ~200,000 FOID applications in the state of Illinois there are sure to be some new gun owners, but many of these may simply be existing owners obtaining cards to comply with new gun sale regulations. Even if all ~200,000 applications were new owners, which is very unlikely, it doesn't reverse the nationwide trend of declining gun ownership.

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Response to SecularMotion (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 12:29 PM

15. WTF "new law" are you blathering about? 200,000+ = new gun owners

 

That number does not include renewals or replacement cards, just new applicants.

The FOID law has been in place for over 3 decades now. You can't touch, let alone buy a gun or ammunition at a shop or at a gun show, use a range or even buy reloading components without showing your current FOID card first and they look at it every time.

If you are talking about the "new" private sale rule, the one proposed by Kwame Raoul, that passed last August? The one that the heads of the Illinois State Police said is "virtually unenforceable". That came long after the 200,000 new FOID owners signed up and has nothing to do with this issue.

Yeah. I'm sure only Illinois has had a sharp increase in new gun owners that by sheer coincidence, matches the number of NICS checks for the same period. I guess we're just a fuckin' blue state anomaly.

But you believe what you need to believe and don't let those mean old facts get in the way of your faith based belief system. You keep desperately scraping the bottom of your imaginary barrel so you can still think you're on the winning side.

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Response to DonP (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 02:08 PM

17. You're right. It probably had more to do with the law passed in 2010

 

which increased the penalties for possession of a firearm without a valid FOID card and the increase in applications was from existing gun owners who wanted to avoid the more severe penalties. It's still an anomaly and not an indication of a reverse in declining gun ownership nationwide.

Provides that a first offense of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon committed with a firearm by a person 18 years of age or older where both: (1) the firearm possessed was uncased, loaded and immediately accessible at the time of the offense; and (2) the person possessing the firearm has not been issued a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card is a Class 4 felony, for which the person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than 3 years.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=5832&GAID=10&GA=96&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=51426&SessionID=76


Gun ownership growing in Illinois, fading nationally

Gun ownership appears to be growing in Illinois at the same time it is declining in the rest of the country.

There are now about 1.5 million holders of Illinois firearms owner's identification cards — the greatest number in the 45-year history of the FOID card law — and a record backlog of applications for cards, according to the state police.

The apparent growth in gun ownership in Illinois, where a FOID card is required to possess or purchase a firearm, comes at the same time that the General Social Survey at the University of Chicago reports the number of households nationally with guns has dropped from about 50 percent in the 1970s to about 34 percent in 2012.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-03-13/tom-kacich-gun-ownership-growing-illinois-fading-nationally.html

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 05:35 PM

9. The only thing those polls measure...

 

Last edited Sat Feb 22, 2014, 12:08 PM - Edit history (1)

The only thing those polls measure is the number of people willing to tell the truth to a complete stranger about whether or not they have guns. You'd have to be jaw-droppingly naive to believe they reflect the true numbers.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 11:53 AM

6. The argument falls flat in the face of the most recent, and more valid, studies.

 

I'm not going to waste my time posting them, you know which they are.

Happy Friday!

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 10:21 AM

11. Pew corroborates GSS

(reposted): .... the reason violent crime rates have fallen the past 20 years since ~1993, is because the personal gun ownership rate has fallen from near 30% in 1993 to 22% in 2012 - a 25% decrease in personal gun ownership rates. New gun owners have not kept up with increase in population.

.. as well, & both reputable pollsters pew & gss concur: General Social Survey (GSS), conducted roughly every two years ... The GSS data show a substantial decline in the shares of both households and individuals with guns. When the GSS first asked about gun ownership in 1973, 49% reported having a gun or revolver in their home or garage. In 2012, 34% said they had a gun in their home or garage. When the survey first asked about personal gun ownership in 1980, 29% said a gun in their home personally belonged to them. This stands at 22% in the 2012 GSS survey. http://www.people-press.org/2013/03/12/section-3-gun-ownership-trends-and-demographics/
... The Pew Research Center has tracked gun ownership since 1993, and our surveys largely confirm the General Social Survey trend. In our Dec 1993 survey, 45% reported having a gun in their household; in early 1994, the GSS found 44% saying they had a gun in their home. A January 2013 Pew Research Center survey found 33% saying they had a gun, rifle or pistol in their home, as did 34% in the 2012 wave of the General Social Survey.


Ergo from GSS & Pew, from 1993 to 2012, 'household gun' rate declined from ~45% down to ~34%, a 25% decline in a household gun (not personal); Even gallup has 'household guns' decling from ~50% to 40% from early 90's to now; THAT IS THE UNDERLYING REASON VIOLENT CRIME HAS FALLEN - COROLLARY: LESS GUNS LESS CRIME.

Open your eyes people, your 2nd Amendment mythology is blinding you to the truth & wrongly making you attribute falling crime rates to gun manufacturers saturating the market & marketing new ploys & gunnuts eating them up, while gun ownership has been declining for 20 years & is the truer reason for falling crime.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 10:55 AM

12. If your claimed FACTS were actual facts

 

You wouldn't need several paragraphs of bullshit to prop them up.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 11:03 AM

13. proof needed

johnston: you are assuming that gun ownership is in fact decreasing that contradicts other related polls.

Post a few 'related polls' then, reputable ones only.

A more likely scenario is that gun owners, like diamond owners, are more likely to lie to pollsters. In fact, lying to pollsters has become quite fashionable across the board.

Hardly more likely, outside a few tenths of a percent, offset by some who falsely claim they own guns or have them in their households - remember that a sign saying 'gun in home' has been used by people who didn't own guns, as a deterrent.

DonP (4,049 posts) 200,000+ new FOID cards in Illinois alone and none are new gun owners?

Who said none were new gun owners? you, that's who. False premise, as typically expected.

If just Illinois had nearly a quarter million NEW gun owners in the last 2 years, I wonder what's happening in the rest of the country?

Duh, what happened to illinois in the past 2 years? went from firearm prohibitions to laxer gun laws allowing more guns, whereas rest of country didn't go thru this metamorphosis. DUH.

Our boom started 2 years before the whole CCW thing ever went to court, so it's not that driving it.

Yes it is.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 01:23 PM

16. Households . . .

Fewer and fewer "households" have penises in them . . . that doesn't mean there are fewer men or that the men that are around have multiples LOL.

"Households" is the putty used by disingenuous social "scientists" to mold results oriented studies.

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