Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Guns Vs. Murder Rate

Chart of the day: More guns, less gun violence between 1993 and 2013
These two graphs are defended at the site, along with honest graphing techniques; the site is interesting, including the comments.

The issue with all graphs of this type is that the data is presumed completely valid and homogeneous across the population, when we know that it is actually lumpy across certain demographics. However, data in that detail becomes exponentially more questionable. Even this level of data cannot be known to be complete.

We can know with certainty that the gun scare statistics quoted by Obama and Pelosi (for example) are false to their core, as in complete lies.


Hugo Pelland said...

Hi Stan,

I definitely don't have as much time as you have to write on these topics, so I will have to be short and reply here since this is pretty much the follow-up to the other post I commented on... so, sorry if I ignore many points!

Regarding being biased, of course Vox writes are, just like anybody is. But at least they are a news site... so I don't see why they would lie on purpose just to push an agenda. Is there any evidence of such lies?

For instance, you mentioned that graphs 2 and 3 are absurd/debunk, but the reasons you gave are not contradicting what the graphs say, not at all. If we dismiss any kind of estimates for the # of guns, then what's the point of saying that more guns is better, as you did in this more recent post? If we dismiss most mass shooting because they are among people who know each other, then of course guns are never to blame... but that distracts from the point the Vox article is trying to evaluate: do more guns cause more, or less, problems?

So, if I take a step back for a second, the theory of those in favor of gun control is pretty simple: looser regulations and/or more guns lead to more gun-related deaths, violence, accidents and/or mass shooting. It's what seems obvious, but the idea could be wrong. So the question becomes: what statistics can we look at to determine whether that theory holds? What we see is imperfect, of course, since it's really hard to correlate these numbers, but it does seem to fit more often than not with that theory. Moreover, the problem is that you would need really strong numbers showing a reverse correlation to support the idea that 'more guns' or 'less regulation' is better, since it goes against the simple principle that more guns equals more gun-related xyz. I think for instance that the 4th graph is the most telling: regardless of our position on guns, isn't it horrible how many shootings there are? There is no magic solution, but I don't see how arming more people would help that...?

Hugo Pelland said...

Regarding Australia, I mentioned this to a good friend yesterday actually, about how there was apparently an increase of violence after they seized the gun. I thought that would be a surprising fact and I was curious to know if he knew about it already. Well, it turns out that he did (the guy knows "everything"...) and he heard that violence went up. Apparently the story is that they had 1 mass shooting, freaked out about it, seized all the guns, but pissed out pro-guns people in the process, of course. So people got more guns, a lot more, the days/week before the ban of enforced. Subsequently, they saw a spike of violence shortly after the ban. However, this has been completely reversed since then! So I was curious because you had posted some resources... an, well, the graphs you linked to stop in 2006 at the latest. I don't know whether that person did it on purpose, but it seems that this blog you linked to is very misleading...

Which brings me to another misleading page: the AEI site you linked to. As you posted recently, there was a decrease in the number of murders per 100k since 1960. But what's even more obvious, is that the sharp decline was from the 90s to today, as the graph shows. Then let's go back to the AEI site; their charts start in 1994! So they purposely picked that 1 year where it was the worst to show how much of a decline there was since then...

And I would like to ask something else: have you ever heard of anyone, any story at all, where someone actually was able to fight back because they were armed? I honestly don't know whether that ever happens... The argument seems to be more about how guns are deterrent, because people know that they have a gun they won't attack them, but the problem is that this only escalates things. I live in Oakland where it's way more dangerous than Montreal and so I do consider sometimes getting a gun, or some taser or something, in case we get an intruder, but that's in response to the climate here, something I would rather avoid. I had never heard of anyone getting mug at gun point in Montreal for instance, but it happened twice to people I am relatively close to this year... just anecdotes of course, but scary ones.

Brian Vermeer said...

"And I would like to ask something else: have you ever heard of anyone, any story at all, where someone actually was able to fight back because they were armed?"

Read Guns and Ammo magazine, they have stories like that in every issue.

Hugo Pelland said...

Interesting, I guess I should not have said that I don't know whether it happens because it must, as least sometimes, but I was also wondering more about 'how' it happens? Because I am thinking of mugging on the street, for instance, and I really don't see how it would help to be armed. If you suddenly get surrounded by 3 dudes on the street, would you seriously try to reach for your gun and start shooting them!?