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Wed Aug 5, 2015, 07:23 AM

 

G.O.P. Candidates and Mass Shootings

Despite the repeated horror of mass shootings in churches, movie theaters and schoolrooms, the Republican candidates running for president are remarkably quiet about how they would deal with this most pressing public health challenge.

“We define gun control real simple — that’s hitting what you aim at,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas told a political gathering in New Hampshire earlier this year, typifying the level of pandering by the Republican field to the gun lobby.

In contrast, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, is taking up the gun control issue once more, 15 years after the defeat of Al Gore left her party leaders swearing off the subject as a losing cause. “We have to take on the gun lobby,” Mrs. Clinton told a New Hampshire crowd last month. “This is a controversial issue. I am well aware of that. But I think it is the height of irresponsibility not to talk about it.”

Tell that to the Republican candidates staunchly opposed to gun safety laws, like limits on ammunition used in the rapid-fire, battlefield-type weapons favored by mass shooters and a ban on unregistered weapon sales by dealers at gun shows. Mass shootings involving three or more murder victims have been on the rise in recent years, according to federal data, while gun production has more than doubled since 2008.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/03/opinion/gop-candidates-and-mass-shootings.html?_r=0

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Reply G.O.P. Candidates and Mass Shootings (Original post)
SecularMotion Aug 2015 OP
Nuclear Unicorn Aug 2015 #1
ileus Aug 2015 #2
Lizzie Poppet Aug 2015 #3
flamin lib Aug 2015 #4
Lizzie Poppet Aug 2015 #5
flamin lib Aug 2015 #6
Lizzie Poppet Aug 2015 #7
benEzra Aug 2015 #8

Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 09:11 AM

1. "Despite the repeated horror of mass shootings in churches, movie theaters and schoolrooms"

How come no mention of Garland, TX?

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 09:16 AM

2. We shouldn't crow about our regressive stance on the 2A.

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Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Wed Aug 5, 2015, 10:59 AM

3. Once again: mass shootings shouldn't drive gun policy.

 

Even with the convenient reclassification of any shooting with more than one victim as a "mass shooting," they are enormously outnumbered by single-victim shootings, a large percentage of which are drug-related and/or carried out by persons with significant criminal records. Our first priority should be a combination of ending the insane Drug War and taking steps to limit the flow of handguns to criminals.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 04:36 PM

4. I don't think you're correct.

Care to share research?

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Response to flamin lib (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 06:35 PM

5. I'll try and find the original research.

 

I'm not able to take the time for an extensive search for data on "two or more victims" homicides right now, but I'll definitely look when I can. It's a bit difficult, as mass shootings have previously been defined differently by the FBI and other record-keeping entities. I'll have to go through the data to find 2- and 3-victim homicides and then see if I can filter them by type of murder weapon to get a figure for those committed with guns.

Under the former standard definition of "mass shooting" (four or more victims), the total number of incidents since 1970 is quite small, although the rate of incidents has increased over the last 15 years. There's a comprehensive study of the more recent mass shootings by the Congressional Research Service that makes this clear: org/sgp/crs/misc/R44126.pdf

A recent USA Today article noted that there have been c. 900 fatal mass shooting victims in the past seven years. That's c. 900 against approximately total 70,000-80,000 firearms homicides over the same time period. I suppose it's possible that gun murders with 2 or 3 victims would constitute a significant portion of that total...but it strikes me as unlikely in the extreme.

Moreover, I don't think the re-classification of those crimes as "mass shootings" is particularly valid, as it lumps together crimes with very, very different motivations, different perpetrator characteristics, choices of murder weapon, etc. It makes for a good soundbite, but is less useful for analysis and for informing future policy.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #5)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 06:41 PM

6. Not asking about mass shootings, but the idea that drugs and gangs cause the most deaths. nt

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Response to flamin lib (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 07:00 PM

7. Ah, I see. Here is a good source.

 

This is easier to find...no data sifting required. I did find some data on multiple victim homicides while looking. Figures 36 and 37 of this report show that multiple victim homicides constitute less than one percent (3 or more victims) and between 3 and 4 percent (2 victims) in any given year from 1980 to 2008.

This same research (from the Bureau of Justice Statistics - www.bjs.gov) shows that 65.5% of all homicides are committed by people in the 18-34 age range and that drug and gang association is present in 76.4% and 70.2% of these crimes, respectively (obviously there is overlap). FWIW, male offenders outnumber female offenders by about 10-to-1.

The drug and gang association drops off considerably for any other age bracket. It's still there in fairly significant numbers for the 35-49 bracket, but constitute a minority. Drug and gang involvement for other brackets, lower and higher alike, is minimal.

Given that about 2/3 of homicides are perpetrated by the bracket with a fairly significant majority gang and drug involvement in those crimes, I think I'm correct in stating that those factors are present in most such deaths. But not, I should point out, by a huge margin...

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Response to flamin lib (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 6, 2015, 11:04 PM

8. Here. See Table 15 and Figure 29.

http://home.chicagopolice.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2011-Murder-Report.pdf

The overwhelming majority were gang related, and nearly 90% of murderers and 75% of victims had prior arrest records.

Also note that out of 436 murders, only one was committed with any type of rifle. Five were killed using shotguns, sixteen with bare hands and shoes, four with cars. Baseball bats and crowbars tied rifles at one murder each.

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