Suicide

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xouper
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Re: Suicide

Post by xouper » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:33 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:In fact, western countries where there are very few guns, like Japan, have very, very low death rates from assaults. It appears that, contrary to your statement, fewer guns mean fewer people suffering death or injury, not more.
By your own logic, it is not valid to compare two very different cultures (like Japan and the US) and say that what works for one will work for the other.

If you wish to claim that reducing the number of guns in the US will lead to fewer murders and suicides, then that is a claim that remains to be "proven".

We have already had this conversation, Lance.

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Re: Suicide

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:15 am

One Harvard study showed armed defenders had twice the death toll of unarmed. Not quite what you said.

Even If you claim defensive uses rather than lives saved, the implication is that those without guns suffered. And there is no evidence to that. There is, however, ample evidence showing that in nations without all those guns, people are better off. Even those assaulted are likely to suffer less harm when guns are not involved. Because if guns are available for self defense, they are even more available for armed assault. After all, the criminals are more likely to have guns than innocents.

Do not forget that, in the USA, even excluding suicides, there are roughly 100,000 people every year who receive a bullet through some part of their anatomy. That is 1 person in 50 over the average lifetime. In no other western nation does the toll of victims from guns get so bad.

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Re: Suicide

Post by TJrandom » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:21 am

xouper wrote:
TJrandom wrote:
xouper wrote:... Taking all those permits away would create a huge social problem. ...
That social problem would only be angst.
Not so. Self defense with a handgun is a very real thing and has saved many lives and prevented many assaults.

Not to mention, people with a concealed carry permit are convicted of gun crimes at a rate far less than law enforcement officers. In other words, concealed carriers are not the problem. Not even close.
I am guessing that you used this article as your source for that `fact` - and I generally accept it as being true.

But not mentioned in the article or in the comments – is that police officers are generally being observed by other police officers – so for a large part of their waking hours are not likely to commit, much less eventually be convicted of a crime.

But – permit holders are not so constrained and thus we know not how many crimes they have committed – only their conviction rate. Not being similarly observed offers plenty of opportunity to commit unobserved, and thus un-convicted crimes. I`d say this is an apples to oranges comparison – both being fruit, with one being measurably sweeter. That is, it doesn`t mean what it implies – that permit holders are more law abiding. But then you didn`t actually make that claim.

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Re: Suicide

Post by xouper » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:34 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:One Harvard study showed armed defenders had twice the death toll of unarmed. Not quite what you said.
That's what they claimed, but other experts have exposed the flaws in their study, which I posted previously, so you cannot say you didn't see that evidence.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Even If you claim defensive uses rather than lives saved, the implication is that those without guns suffered. And there is no evidence to that.
That is factually incorrect.

I already posted the US government data that shows armed victims of assault experience better outcomes than unarmed victims.

Lance Kennedy wrote: There is, however, ample evidence showing that in nations without all those guns, people are better off.
That is factually incorrect.

Mexico for example, has fewer guns per capita and a much higher rate of homicides and violence. You claimed that was because of cultural differences, and I tend to agree with that. But then that undermines your argument that the guns are to blame.

Lance Kennedy wrote: Because if guns are available for self defense, they are even more available for armed assault. After all, the criminals are more likely to have guns than innocents.
That is factually incorrect.

You already conceded that 1 in 3 Americans have a gun. Clearly gun owners far outnumber criminals.


Edited to fix some typos.
Last edited by xouper on Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Suicide

Post by xouper » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:07 am

TJrandom wrote:. . . But not mentioned in the article or in the comments – is that police officers are generally being observed by other police officers – so for a large part of their waking hours are not likely to commit, much less eventually be convicted of a crime.

But – permit holders are not so constrained . . .
That's an interesting point.

However, I am tempted to wonder if that's actually true. It seems to me — and I confess I just pulled this out of my ass — that permit holders are likely to be under similar scrutiny by the people around them during "a large part of their waking hours". I could be wrong. I don't have that data.

Anecdote: Once Upon A Time, I worked in an office with a guy who carried concealed, and I never saw him commit a crime during office hours (or any other time either). He was hardly ever out of the sight of people around him. And he had another handgun concealed in his office, and I suspect everyone in the office knew it. He trusted me not to abuse that knowledge and I did not ever have occasion to even see it again. Not once in the eight years I worked there was there problem.

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Re: Suicide

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:21 am

I much prefer conclusions from the good researchers at Harvard than from those paid by gun manufacturers to oppose them. If you do not believe gun makers do this, you are naive. Any business worth billions each year has a budget for 'manipulating ' data. Just think of how much Big Pharma spends to make its products look good, including falsifying data. The gun industry is every bit as bad.

Re Mexico.
Not so much cultural as criminal.
Mexico has an enormous illegal drug problem and the people making and selling illegal drugs tend to be armed and to use those arms. By the way, most of the hand guns used by those criminals come from the USA where they are easy to obtain. Though they buy most of their assault rifles from middle and South American nations.

Culture is another factor which operates as well as gun availability. I already pointed out to you a very big difference in murder rate within the USA between North East areas (New England) and South East (ex confederate states) with the former having low murder rates, and the latter very high.

But having a cultural influence as well does not stop gun availability being a big factor in both murder and suicide rates.

More criminals having guns.
I did not mean in absolute numbers. After all, most people are not (as far as we know) actually criminals. I meant as percentages. A higher
percentage of criminals have guns than law abiding people. Making guns easily available ensures that almost every criminal will have them.

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Re: Suicide

Post by xouper » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:42 am

Lance, we have had this conversation before. I see nothing has changed in your argument. Same old fallacies.

Lance Kennedy wrote:I much prefer conclusions from the good researchers at Harvard than from those paid by gun manufacturers to oppose them.
I assume you know that is the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem.

It is not valid to dismiss evidence from someone merely because you feel they are biased. Otherwise, I will dismiss the Harvard study for exactly the same reason. Especially given all the fatal flaws in that study.

Lance Kennedy wrote: If you do not believe gun makers do this, you are naive. Any business worth billions each year has a budget for 'manipulating ' data. Just think of how much Big Pharma spends to make its products look good, including falsifying data. The gun industry is every bit as bad.
Except I did not cite any data from the gun industry. So your objection is irrelevant.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Re Mexico.
Not so much cultural as criminal.
Mexico has an enormous illegal drug problem and the people making and selling illegal drugs tend to be armed and to use those arms.
See, you admit there is some other factor that is primarily responsible for causing the violence, and not the number of guns.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Culture is another factor which operates as well as gun availability. I already pointed out to you a very big difference in murder rate within the USA between North East areas (New England) and South East (ex confederate states) with the former having low murder rates, and the latter very high.
See, here again, you admit there is some other factor that is primarily responsible for causing the violence, and not the number of guns.

That totally undermines any claim you might make that reducing guns in the US will reduce the violence.

Lance Kennedy wrote:But having a cultural influence as well does not stop gun availability being a big factor in both murder and suicide rates.
That is a claim that remains to be "proven".

And by "proven" I mean sufficiently supported by credible evidence, which by your standards would be a journal paper.

Lance Kennedy wrote:More criminals having guns.
I did not mean in absolute numbers. After all, most people are not (as far as we know) actually criminals. I meant as percentages. A higher
percentage of criminals have guns than law abiding people. Making guns easily available ensures that almost every criminal will have them.
That's yet another claim that remains to be "proven".

In any case, it doesn't matter if a higher percentage of criminals have guns, what matters is that the number of armed victims is still bigger. What matters is that you want to take away that advantage that the victims have over the criminals.

Studies have shown (and I cited the evidence in other threads), that most criminals prefer not to assault armed victims. As stupid as criminals can sometimes be, they are not so stupid as to knowingly attack an armed victim.

And yet you want to take away that advantage that victims have over criminals.

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Re: Suicide

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:35 pm

First. I have offered you results that are published in journal papers. You reject them for other criticisms that are sponsored by the gun industry. And yes, they are indeed sponsored by the gun industry. This is Big Tobacco all over again, with gun makers spending vast sums of "public relations " which includes sponsoring researchers to come up with data supportive of guns.

Criminals with guns. The paper several years ago in Skeptic mag showed FBI estimates. I am also aware that here in NZ, police find guns whenever they raid gang headquarters. The difference is that if any gang member was found with a gun in public, he would do prison time, so the guns remain in hiding and rarely get used.

At the end of the day, the USA still has five times the murder rate of NZ, per capita, and half those murders are with guns. Some of those murders are due to other factors, sure. Like all those murders in DC and the murders by ex confederate citizens. But, as I pointed out some time ago, states with less than 30% gun ownership have substantially lower murder rates than states with more. Here in New Zealand, our laws surrounding firearms are not as tight as they should be, and we still get about 8% of our murders committed with guns. Very few gun suicides, though, because hand guns are like hens teeth.

It is also true that, in the USA, homes with guns have substantially higher suicide rates that homes without. From double to ten times the rate, depending on how securely the gun is stored.

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Re: Suicide

Post by xouper » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:07 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:First. I have offered you results that are published in journal papers. You reject them for other criticisms that are sponsored by the gun industry.
Again you invoke the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem.

In any case, I do not reject them for the reason you say. I reject them because there are actual flaws in the studies.

Those flaws exist, regardless who you think is to blame for exposing them.

Argue the issues on the merits, not on the personalities.

This is a skeptic forum, Lance, not the fallacy forum.

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Re: Suicide

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:22 pm

Those studies are not flawed. That is the point. They are NOT flawed, just criticised. The Harvard researchers are very, very good at their jobs. What are flawed are the criticisms, and the Harvard team have pointed out the flaws in the criticisms..

It reminded me of the fiasco perpetrated by Scientific American some years back, when the editors got offended by Bjorn Lomborg's book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. That book was enormous (I have a copy and have read it), and had tens of thousands of points of data, and an enormous bibliography. The criticism published in SciAm was a joke. It consisted of a few writers who did not like the book, picking out perhaps half a dozen errors each (out of tens of thousands of bits of data) and saying that the whole book was nonsense because a tiny number of errors had been made (though they did not quite word it that way.). Shortly after that, I cancelled my subscription to Scientific American. They had seriously blotted their copy book.

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Re: Suicide

Post by xouper » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:31 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Those studies are not flawed. That is the point. They are NOT flawed, just criticised.
No, the criticisms are that the study contains fatal flaws that render the conclusions totally unreliable.

In previous threads, I posted the evidence of those flaws.

We have had this conversation before and nothing has changed.