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Author Topic:   Two wrongs don't make a right (the (ir)rationality of revenge) - also gun control
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2090 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 421 of 452 (522953)
09-06-2009 10:10 PM
Reply to: Message 377 by Legend
09-04-2009 6:51 AM


Re: The usage of statistics.
Legend writes:

Yet, you refuse or are unable to answer it! How can you limit guns without criminalising their possession/ownership?

What? Are you telling me that you can’t think of [b][italics]any[/italics][/b] way to limit guns without criminalizing their possession? You seriously can’t be honest with yourself and answer your own question?

The sad thing is that I laid out a clue for how you could do so and you couldn’t even take the time to comprehend what I wrote. You’re obviously being deliberately obtuse.
But, ok. Here is my quote regarding how a State might limit guns without criminalizing their possession that you couldn’t understand:

It’s akin to asking me how I am going to set speed limits without making it illegal for any speed.

Taking guns off the street, with buy-back programs such as Australia’s program; regulation of gun possession (which can run the gamut of criminalizing possession of automatic weapons or seriously restricting their possession to collectors who would submit to extensive background checks, to waiting periods and instructional requirements for those who desire to buy a gun), strong enforcement of laws regarding gun use and possession, etc.

There are laws and regulations on who can drive as well as how fast you can drive. Is it such a leap of the imagination to imagine a similar scenario for gun control? Give me a break!

Legend writes:

I'm claiming that gun laws, at least in the UK, haven't achieved their objective, which was to reduce gun crime. Even accounting for an increasing population, gun crime's still going up. Gun control laws have demonstrably failed.

Gun control laws only purpose isn’t to decrease gun crime. It is also designed to keep such crimes to a lower level, because it is harder for those types of crimes to be enacted. There is a reason that murders involving firearms in the United Kingdom is significantly lower than those States who don’t have such laws.

You also claimed that Gun control laws would increase the number of burglaries and by extension all crime:

Legend writes:

Most crime is opportunistic and the probability of resistance, especially armed, will deter most burglars or muggers.

If that was true, then why have burglaries decreased? If your argument was true then such crimes would keep rising over time and that plainly hasn’t happened. And yet I and possibly others have shown you statistics that crime has declined in States who have strong gun control laws. At least be honest about it.

Legend writes:

I'm attributing this to a number of other factors that affect burglary, like the drop in unemployment (last year excepted) and the rise in house alarms sales. The thing is you can't really make much of looking at any one's country's burglary rates, unless you take those other factors into consideration.

Factors such as employment are included. It makes sense that an increase in employment would decrease the crime rate and vice versa. Low employment is definitely factored into why crime increases. Do you actually READ the reports?

You are the one that is making the argument that burglaries would increase with strengthened gun control laws. So it seems you agree that there are other factors besides gun control laws that might effect burglary rates?

Legend writes:

I'm looking at two countries (Uk/Us) that have similar cultural values and socio-political structure and I see that in the US -where many people carry guns and have the right to use them in defense- there are proportionatelly much fewer burglaries than in the UK.

Why don’t you include Scotland? Australia? Canada?

BCS Survey writes:

The number of domestic burglaries in England and Wales as measured by the BCS showed no statistically significant change between 2005/06 and 2006/07. Since 1995 the number of domestic burglaries estimated by the BCS has fallen by 59 per cent from 1,770,000 to 726,000 in the 2006/07.

Why do you exclude Scotland? I would consider Scotland a much closer ‘fit’ to the United States as concerns your ‘Socio-political’ argument. And yet, even though they strengthened their gun control laws we see that gun crime decreased. Hmmm.

This was the first year since 1998 that a steep four-year increase in ‘gun crime’ in England and Wales came to an end (by contrast, in the same four-year period, Scotland saw a marked decline in ‘gun crime’).

Contrasting with trends in England and Wales, Scotland (Figure 2) saw a marked decline (of almost 80 per cent) in crime involving handguns in the five years after the Dunblane shootings and the Firearms (Amendment) No. 1 and No. 2 Acts of 1997. Crime involving shotguns fell sharply after 1994. Overall, there was a sustained fall in ‘gun crime’ in the ten years to 2001.

When you present your argument, do you ask yourself how the statistics were compiled? What effect does including ‘imitation handguns’ have on the statistics? Hmm.

The number of police recorded offences involving firearms fell by 17%
between 2007/08 and 2008/09. Firearm offences resulting in injury also fell
(down by 46% in 2008/09) due to a large reduction in the use of imitation
weapons (down 41%) and a corresponding fall in slight injuries. There was a
small rise in the use of shotguns and handguns (both up 2%).

BCS survey 2008/9

In 1988 handgun offences climbed steeply for five years, a trend coinciding with the appearance on the UK market of a number of realistic (often plastic) imitation handguns (Taylor and Hornsby, 2000; Squires, 2000). Handgun offences peaked in 1993 at around 4,200, falling back by almost a third over the next three years. In the immediate aftermath of the Dunblane shooting tragedy (13 March 1996), and while the British gun control debate raged, crime involving handguns fell further to 1998 (when the post-Dunblane handgun ban became law) before rising sharply in England and Wales (but not Scotland) for the next four years (see Figure 1).

… the contribution of a wide range of ‘unorthodox’ firearms types (imitation handguns, converted imitation handguns, reactivated firearms, converted air pistols, BB gun/airsoft weapons, deactivated firearms, blank firers, converted and unconverted blank-firing starting pistols, CS gas and pepper sprays) to the ‘gun crime’ statistics has become increasingly apparent. For example, in 2006–2007, handguns, shotguns and rifles comprised 26 per cent of the firearms offences recorded by the police, suggesting that the remaining 74 per cent was comprised of the complex array of types mentioned above (Kaiza, 2008: 48). In one sense, this suggests a form of ‘weapon displacement’ occurring. None of the ‘alternative weapons’ mentioned were affected by the Firearms (Amendment) Acts of 1997, some remaining largely unregulated until the 2006 VCRA.
'Gun crime' A review of evidence and policy, Professor Peter Squires with Dr Roger Grimshaw and Enver Solomon (June 2008), Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, King's College London

Holy imitation weapons batman! All our opponent has is hyperbole!

We also see that because of changes in reporting procedures and standards, this can impact the number of crimes recorded and create statistical ‘increases’.

More specifically, the implementation of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) by police forces on 1 April 2002 increased the number of crimes recorded in 2002–2003, and further ‘improvements’ in recording practices resulted in statistical increases in the following two years also. The Home Office states that it has not been possible to assess accurately the effect of this change on recorded firearms crimes but notes: (a) the change inflated the overall number of violence against the person and criminal damage offences (while having less effect on the number of robberies); and (b) many firearm offences are amongst the categories, such as criminal damage involving an airgun, that are most likely to have been affected by the NCRS (Coleman et al., 2007: 32).

If we dig deeper we see another ‘subtle’ reason for having strong gun control laws.

… only 3 per cent of recorded gun crimes result in serious (or fatal) injuries.

However, the overall downward trend [of serious injuries from the use of firearms] may suggest a number of things, including, given that the majority of these injuries represent only slight injuries, the diminishing relative lethality of the illegal firearm stock in England and Wales or, for whatever reason, a growing reluctance of those using them to risk causing serious injuries or death.

It is worth noting at this point that firearm homicides only represent around half of all deaths caused by firearms. Home Office statistics show that there were 1872 deaths from firearms injuries in the UK in 2003 compared to only 81 firearms homicides in England and Wales in 2002–2003. In England and Wales in 2001, there were 111 suicides by firearms compared with 97 homicides in 2001–2002. Cukier and Sidel (2006) provide some international comparative data on firearms and suicide revealing that, in all
countries with reasonably reliable data, firearm suicides exceed firearm homicides
(Figure 6). They show that this strengthens the gun controllers’ argument that countries where firearms are more readily available to civilian populations have significantly higher rates of overall firearm-involved homicide (a pattern which is perhaps less obvious when suicides are excluded).

Figure 6: International firearm homicides and suicides Source: Cukier and Sidel, 2006
Deaths per 100,000 Homicide Suicide Accident
USA (2001) 3.98 5.92 0.36
Italy (1997) 0.81 1.1 0.07
Switzerland (1998) 0.50 5.8 0.10
Canada (2002) 0.4 2.0 0.04
Finland (2003) 0.35 4.45 0.10
Australia (2001) 0.24 1.34 0.10
France (2001) 0.21 3.4 0.49
England/Wales (2002)0.15 0.2 0.03

Gun control laws might be able to decrease the number of crimes committed with guns but there are other influences to those statistics. Unemployment and other social ills impact the crime rate. If people feel they have no other avenue to financial stability, one approach might be a criminal one.

The Jill Dando Institute review of research found that ‘gun crime appears highest in areas with far higher than average levels of deprivation and unemployment’ (Marshall, Webb and Tilley, 2005: 13).

In this context, the evidence of the Trident unit noted: ‘Much of Trident gun crime is,
unsurprisingly, linked to the poorer London Boroughs, areas of deprivation, high ethnic
minority population and high unemployment’ (HAC, 2007).

The researchers comment that the underlying explanation for this relationship is that
participants in illegal drug markets have no recourse to conventional risk management
strategies such as legally enforceable contracts, calling the police or purchasing insurance (ibid: 65)

'Gun crime' A review of evidence and policy, Professor Peter Squires with Dr Roger Grimshaw and Enver Solomon (June 2008), Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, King's College London

Legend writes:

without seeing the full report is difficult to judge this comment. Are they talking about burglaries committed under the influence? If yes, it's natural that the perpetrators wouldn't consider risk to themselves, as they wouldn't in any other aspect of their life if they're drunk or drugged up.

I fixed the links and provided references. Perhaps you could take the time to read them?

Legend writes:

However, these kind of burglaries only account for some of the figures. Rationally thinking burglars would be deterred by the possibility of armed resistance and Wright and Decker (1994) support this view.

Without being able to read their report your statement is plainly suspect, though I did provide YOU with an overview of the book by Amazon here:

DBlevins writes:

The authors, two criminologists and a social ecologist, contextualize the behavior within the street culture and conclude that most burglars burgle in order to support drugs or alcohol and rarely consider the risk or threat of sanctions.

While I can surely agree that without providing a link to the report you can’t provide it as evidence, I think you’re conclusion is suspect based on this overview. It says, “..most burglars burgle to support drugs or alcohol and RARELY CONSIDER THE RISK…”

DBlevins writes:

Our findings suggest that the use of violence against offenders could reduce crime, but the extent of such reduction remains opaque. Increasing crime's harm, and the knowledge of it, may have limited effects on offenders who believe they are immune to harmful consequences; these people may have "stickier" perceptions that require considerable contradiction before they change. Moreover, if these offenders believe that most crime victims will use violence, they may be more likely to use preemptive violence, thereby increasing victim costs.

Legend writes:

Again, without knowing the context of this quote it's difficult to comment. I presume that they're talking about crime in general not burglary specifically. If they're talking about burglary specifically then I seriously dispute the last sentence.

How can you dispute something you haven’t even taken the time to read! You’re being seriously disingenuous. You don’t know the context? I provided you with the reference and the tool I used to find it and you still can’t figure it out? My opinion of your reading comprehension is rapidly declining.
Let me help you out… Danger and the Decision to Offend, Bill McCarthy, John Hagan, Social Forces. Chapel Hill: Mar 2005. Vol. 83, Iss. 3; pg. 1065, 32 pgs
Found using ProQuest.

Legend writes:

Police activity is already discouraged in Britain, so this is a moot point.

You’re projecting. Where is the reference to back that up besides your say-so?

Legend writes:

Gun crime in the UK has increased from approx 5.2 (thousands) in 1998 to approx 9.4 in 2006. That's a nearly 80% rise! Population in the same interval has risen from 58.5 milion to 60.5, a rise of 3.4%. So it's fair to say that the rise in gun crime is statistically significant. And that's despite continuous tightening of gun legislation to the point where ordinary citizens are prohibited from owning any type of firearm.

Did you just pick out what you thought would support your argument and disregard all else? The sad thing is that even doing that you failed to actually look into why gun crime statistics might have increased.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 377 by Legend, posted 09-04-2009 6:51 AM Legend has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 424 by LudoRephaim, posted 09-07-2009 11:50 AM DBlevins has responded
 Message 441 by Legend, posted 09-09-2009 6:19 PM DBlevins has responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2090 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 422 of 452 (522954)
09-06-2009 10:17 PM
Reply to: Message 380 by Hyroglyphx
09-04-2009 9:48 AM


Re: Aluminium Helmets
If it were to happen it would happen through by way of the military acting on behalf of the government, or against, depending on the circumstances (i.e. coup).

Exactly. Which is the point that has been put out there for you. The military acting for or against you is what would decide the matter.

No modern coup that I can recall has been fomented without the aid of the military.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 380 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-04-2009 9:48 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2090 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 423 of 452 (522957)
09-06-2009 10:44 PM
Reply to: Message 405 by Hyroglyphx
09-05-2009 1:47 AM


Re: A summation
... or why Australia's gun rate versus homicide increased when they disarmed their citizens?

Don't want to pile on, but I had to question where you get those statistics? According to Snopes the crime rate in Australia has declined since the gun buy-back law went into place. Secondly and slightly off topic but Australians do not have a constitutional right to bear arms anyways.

Lastly, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology they have tracked a declining homicide rate since 1996, from 354 homicides in 1996 to 282 in 2007.

If the argument is that strong gun control laws make crime more likely, then why the decline in crime rates in Australia as well as Scotland, as well as the United Kingdom?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 405 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-05-2009 1:47 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
LudoRephaim
Member (Idle past 3398 days)
Posts: 651
From: Jareth's labyrinth
Joined: 03-12-2006


Message 424 of 452 (522991)
09-07-2009 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 421 by DBlevins
09-06-2009 10:10 PM


Re: The usage of statistics.
Hello DBlevins.

I don't have much time to respond to these posts, but there was one thing i wanted o clear up. I would do more but there is so much here. I might respond more later.

Legend wrote;

I'm looking at two countries (Us/UK)that have similar cultural values...

DBlevins responded;

Why don't you include Scotland, Canada, Australia?

Scotland is a part of the UK/United Kingdom


"The Nephilim where in the Earth in those days..." Genesis 6:4

This message is a reply to:
 Message 421 by DBlevins, posted 09-06-2009 10:10 PM DBlevins has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 425 by DBlevins, posted 09-07-2009 3:49 PM LudoRephaim has responded

  
DBlevins
Member (Idle past 2090 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003


Message 425 of 452 (523007)
09-07-2009 3:49 PM
Reply to: Message 424 by LudoRephaim
09-07-2009 11:50 AM


Re: The usage of statistics.
Scotland is a part of the UK/United Kingdom.

Yes, I am aware of the connection . Statistics for crime in the two is seperated though, because of differences in the legal system among other reasons. I made the post to show the difference between the two, because of the report of crime statistics between the two and because they share some important policies that shouldn't be seperated afaic. That was partly the point of my post. How could you make the argument about crime statistics in the United Kingdom without pointing out Scotland's crime statistics?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 424 by LudoRephaim, posted 09-07-2009 11:50 AM LudoRephaim has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 427 by LudoRephaim, posted 09-07-2009 5:40 PM DBlevins has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20250
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 426 of 452 (523011)
09-07-2009 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 401 by Legend
09-04-2009 7:32 PM


notes
Hi Legend, just a couple of additional notes.

RAZD writes:

Most of Israel's neigbours (and some of its own citizens) are opposed to the state's existence and have vowed to destroy it. They have waged wars against it and attacked it in many ways throughout the years. Yet, 60 years on, Israel's still standing. This IS the evidence.

First off, that's your comment, with my reply quoted below it.

Second, care to identify those neighbors that existed when Israel was created, rather than governments or other organizations that have come into existence since.

Note this part about the beginning of Hezbollah:

http://en.wikipedia.ohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hezbollah#Foundation

quote:
Scholars differ as to when Hezbollah came to be a distinct entity. Some organizations list the official formation of the group as early as 1982,[22] in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.[4] Diaz and Newman maintain however, that Hezbollah remained an amalgamation of various violent Shi’a activists until as late as 1985.[23] Another source states that it was formed by supporters of Sheikh Ragheb Harb, a leader of the southern Shiite resistance, who was killed by Israelis in 1984.[24]

Note how this really makes Hezbollah an argument for MY position rather than yours: it is a response to the policies of Israel.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 401 by Legend, posted 09-04-2009 7:32 PM Legend has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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LudoRephaim
Member (Idle past 3398 days)
Posts: 651
From: Jareth's labyrinth
Joined: 03-12-2006


Message 427 of 452 (523016)
09-07-2009 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 425 by DBlevins
09-07-2009 3:49 PM


Iseeee
Ah okay. Now i get your point.


"The Nephilim where in the Earth in those days..." Genesis 6:4

This message is a reply to:
 Message 425 by DBlevins, posted 09-07-2009 3:49 PM DBlevins has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5858
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 428 of 452 (523018)
09-07-2009 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 426 by RAZD
09-07-2009 4:29 PM


Re: notes
Second, care to identify those neighbors that existed when Israel was created, rather than governments or other organizations that have come into existence since.

Eh???? You've never heard of the Six-Day War?


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams

This message is a reply to:
 Message 426 by RAZD, posted 09-07-2009 4:29 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 429 by RAZD, posted 09-07-2009 7:37 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20250
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 429 of 452 (523031)
09-07-2009 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 428 by Hyroglyphx
09-07-2009 5:53 PM


Israel, Palestine, and reality.
Hi Hyroglyphx, lets try to keep the facts straight eh?

Eh???? You've never heard of the Six-Day War?

Of course. Another example of Israeli aggression. From your link:

quote:
The Six-Day War of June 5-10, 1967 was a war between the Israel army and the armies of the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The Arab states of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria also contributed troops and arms.[6] At the war's end, Israel had gained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. The results of the war affect the geopolitics of the region to this day.

Following numerous border clashes between Israel and its Arab neighbours, particularly Syria, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) from the Sinai Peninsula in May 1967.[7] The peacekeeping force had been stationed there since 1957, following a British-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt which was launched during the Suez Crisis.[8] Egypt amassed 1,000 tanks and nearly 100,000 soldiers on the Israeli border[9] and closed the Straits of Tiran to all ships flying Israeli flags or carrying strategic materials, receiving strong support from other Arab countries.[10]

The Israeli cabinet decided to launch a general offensive on May 23, immediately upon receiving the news that the straits would be closed.


Started by Israel, yes? In 1967, yes? MANY years after Israel was formed, yes? In response to what? Egypt's response to an invasion of Egypt, an invasion that Israel willingly participated in, yes?

Israeli armed aggression keeps taking chunks of arab lands by force, and you think arabs are the only ones at fault, that Israel is only defending their rights?

Please, take off the blinders.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel

quote:
Israel ... is a developed state in Western Asia located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan in the east, and Egypt on the southwest, and contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area.[5]

There's the four existing neighbors, now identified for you folk. Now if anyone can provide documents that 3 or 4 vowed to destroy Israel ... then this would apply to the statement by Legend that I am contesting:

Message 331

Legend writes:

Most of Israel's neigbours (and some of its own citizens) are opposed to the state's existence and have vowed to destroy it.

Bold for emphasis.

So far, all I have seen is that armed aggression begets armed aggression, and that Israels policy of two eyes for every eye has led to increased aggression.

I've also suggested that people provide evidence from when Israel was first formed. Many think it was formed by the UN following the second world war, but this is not quite correct:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_of_Palestine

quote:
The Palestine Mandate,[1] or Mandate for Palestine,[2] or British Mandate of Palestine was a legal instrument for the administration of Palestine formally approved by the League of Nations in June 1922, based on a draft by the principal Allied and associated powers after the First World War. The mandate formalized British rule in Palestine from 1917-1948.

The preamble of the mandate declared:

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.[3]

The formal objective of the League of Nations Mandate system was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, "until such time as they are able to stand alone."[4]

The borders of the British Mandate included what is now Israel and Jordan:


Click to enlarge

With Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Arabia as the original neighbors. The original UN 1947 proposed partition was

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_of_Palestine#United_Nations_Partition_Plan


Click to enlarge

http://www.ontheissues.org/Background_War_+_Peace.htm

quote:

Click to enlarge

1948: The UN partitioned British Palestine into a Jewish state (Israel) and an Arab state (Palestine). Six Arab countries declared war on Israel; Israel survived with borders different than those drawn by the UN; these are now known as the "pre-1967 borders." Palestine did not survive; the East Bank and West Bank of the Jordan River were taken over by Jordan, and the Gaza Strip was taken over by Egypt. Many Palestinians became refugees in the 1948 war; they have still not been resettled and are the subject of the current debate on "right of return."

Notice that modern Israel is larger than the original partition size, that most of what was Palestine has really been taken over by Jordan, and that Israel has increased it's borders since then, and they continue to make enemies rather than friends.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 428 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-07-2009 5:53 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 431 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-08-2009 8:21 AM RAZD has responded

  
Legend
Member (Idle past 3321 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 430 of 452 (523071)
09-08-2009 6:50 AM
Reply to: Message 417 by Modulous
09-05-2009 2:34 PM


Re: burglary and murder
First, I'd like to comment on a well thought-out and well-structured post. It's refreshing to see a cool, rational analysis of the implications of gun ownership instead of the usual hysterics about how "guns kill people". You raise some good points. Here are my thoughts on it:

Modulous writes:

So far we have deterred the least harmful thieves, the ones that are the most likely to run away at the sign of trouble who might commit a little violence to guarantee their escape but whose primary concern is ending the situation rather than making it worse.


Agreed.

Modulous writes:

We have pushed some crimes elsewhere...


Yes, we have. Just like car security systems have pushed some car thieves to resort to burglary for car keys instead. I don't think we can tell if the overall shift will be towards more or less serious crimes, but for the purpose of this discussion I'm happy to accept a neutral shift, i.e. that some of them will go to commit other crimes of similar impact, yes?.

Modulous writes:

...made some burglaries more dangerous to everybody..


Yes we have, though 'some' would be difficult to quantify.

Modulous writes:

...and made some burglaries more dangerous to substance addicts


Yes, although you seem to present it as a negative side-effect. I don't understand why we should worry about burglaries carrying more risks to the burglar any more than commiting murder carrying more risk to the murderer. Surely, if anything, that's a good thing isn't it?

Modulous writes:

But there are others:
Madmen, psychos, and the like. A more complicated lot - for the most part we can probably agree that deterrence isn't a significant factor here, though it probably some effect. Some of them might be simple kleptomaniac types, essentially harmless but requiring professional help. Naturally gun ownership makes the world more dangerous for them. Others will 'up the ante' and bring their own guns. Some would have brought guns anyway.


Generally agreed. The ones who are compulsed to do it (e.g.kleptomaniac) but are essentially harmless run a greater risk of getting shot. I file that under the 'unfortunate but so what' category. The others who are prepared to bring a gun -or are bringing a gun already- surely are beyond the 'harmless kleptomaniac' stage and onto the 'dangerous psychopath' stage. In this case, homeowner gun ownsership will increase their (homeowners) odds fo surviving such an encounter. Which is a good thing.

Modulous writes:

Now, the kind of person who breaks into a house with a gun in order to commit a violent attack or violent robbery in the UK is a rare one, though not non-existent. They generally use the shock and awe tactics and gain control of the occupants before the occupants have had the time to assess and comprehend the situation. Gun ownership for this type of crime is only sometimes of use for those exact reasons.


Only partially agree. The main reason why 'shock and awe' tactics work so well is because victims (a) are not mentally prepared for this kind of situation and (b) even if mentally prepared, they don't have the physical means at their disposal to defend themselves. Gun ownership will change both these factors: The very reason why one would want a gun means that they're considering (mentally preparing) for this kind of situation (a) and (b) victims would have a chance to take their gun out of the locker, load it and point it at the door in the few seconds it would take the invaders to break down the door.

Of course invaders could use other methods to gain entry in the house, other than brute force, such as ambush, deception, etc. in which case gun ownership wouldn't make a difference. But the current state of play is that anyone who's determined or unstable enough can invade your house and force you into submission based on superior physical strength, numbers or weapons. Gun ownership will give some victims a chance they wouldn't otherise have and that's surely a good thing.

So let's recap on where we are now:
- many burglars will be deterred from commiting burglary
- most of those who won't be deterred will be junkies and mentally unstable people.
- of the ones who are deterred, some will shift their focus onto other crimes of similar impact
- of the ones who aren't deterred, some will take greater risks to themselves and some will get hurt.
- of the ones who aren't deterred, some will pose greater risks to the homeowners and some homeowners will get hurt.
- some armed home invasions will be prevented or defended against.
- some armed home invasions will still occur, but the MO will be changed.

So far we've siginificantly cut the number of burglaries, we've reduced the risk to homeowners by armed home invasion but we've increased the risk to some of the perpetrators and to some of the homeowners. Next, we need to try and quantify these costs and benefits. More on this further down.

Modulous writes:

I mean, looking at just burglary or other home invasion type crimes, it seems that there are very few situations in which widespread gun ownership is a benefit. There are a large number of 'adrenaline junky' type thefts which will probably be cut - but they are not generally the kind of thefts that require lethal defensive capability to defend against.


But the point isn't whether lethal defensive capability is required to *defend* against such thefts, the point is whether the presence of lethal defensive capability is adequate to *prevent* such thefts. You've already agreed with me that most sane and rational criminals would be indeed deterred.

Modulous writes:

From a game theory perspective it seems that if two opposing 'players' have a firearm, the chances of somebody getting injured or killed is vastly higher than if only one has or if both parties have knives or the like.


That's generally true although it's a very broad statement to be of any use in this debate. Yes, the presence of more firearms in our society will result in more deaths by firearms: some by accident, some by aggressive action, some by defensive action. That, in itself, shouldn't be a reason to totally reject gun ownership just as the number of car or alcohol-related deaths hasn't led us to reject either. There are two issues we need to consider:
1) The practical net benefit of gun ownership, i.e. a cost-benefit analysis wrt crime commited vs crime prevented. IMO the net benefit is positive, as I'll attempt to demonstrate below.
2) The sociological impact of gun ownership: the empowerment of Joe Bloggs, the removal of the 'victim' sub-culture, the acceptance of personal responsibility. I think those long-term effects will be even more beneficial for our society.

Modulous writes:

Now, statistically the most likely person to murder you is someone you know (about 2 in 3 chance that your murderer, if there is one, will be known to you. It is even more likely,if you are a woman, you will know your murderer). And the biggest single motive for murder is 'argument' as far as I am aware. So while we are deterring some property crime, making some property crime more dangerous and merely displacing the rest...we are making it easier for your most probable murderer to do the deed before their blood has cooled.


That would be true in a situation where guns were freely carried, fully loaded. However, we're talking about allowing citizens to have guns in secure places at home. We all have arguments and can lash out in anger but I don't think that anyone who kills someone by walking over to the locker, unlocking it, removing the gun, loading it and then pointing and shooting can be justified as having done it in 'the heat of the moment'. If someone wants to kill you -for whatever reason- they'll find a way, guns or no guns.

Modulous writes:

It seems to me, from a general look at things, that the only crimes you would deter are the ones which are the least harmful and the ones that remain become more likely to result in a death or serious injury.


By 'least harmful', you mean least likely to result in violence, which is true but doesn't necessarily mean that they have the least impact on the victim. I've heard the impact of burglary being described as 'second only to rape' wrt the sense of personal invasion and humiliation. As a victim myself I wholeheartedly concur with this assesment. Research in the 1980s indicated that over a quarter of victims of burglary suffer quite serious shock, and that the lives of some two-thirds of victims are affected for a period of weeks following the offence (source)

Also, bear in mind that burglary doesn't affect the individual, it affects the household. When a house is burgled everyone living in it suffers, regardless of whose personal belongings were taken. So what we are deterring is a high-impact crime which affects a disproportionately large number of people.

As for the increase in likelihood of death or serious injury for the remainder we have to remember that on a level-playing field (both parties armed) this will equally affect both parties. If anything, the advantage lies with the homeowner who have the defensive position.

Likely impact of gun ownership in the UK

Allow me to speculate:

Last year there were 729,000 domestic burglaries in the UK. In a previous post I mentioned a survey which found that 38% of convicted felons are deterred by armed victims. I'm going to use this number, purely for illustration purposes. A 38% reduction in burglaries would have cut burglaries last year by 277020. Now that's burglaries, not victims. To estimate victims we would have to take into account the average number of people per household which is 2.36. So a 38% reduction in burglaries would mean that 277020 * 2.36 = 653767.2 people would't have to go through the trauma of burglary. Also, as about 14% of all burglaries involve violence or the threat of violence we've also saved 277020 * 0.14 = 3878.28 victims from violence or the threat of violence. Curiously, neither BCS or HomeOffice provide figures for how many of those were badly injured or killed. I also suspect that 'home invasion' offences don't come under this category either.

Now let's look at the increased risk of gun ownership. I'm going to discount risk to perpetrators as I don't see this as a negative side-effect. I'm going to be more concerned with the risk to victims.

Last year there were 1575 aggravated burglaries in the UK (BCS source as previously). An aggravated burglary is one where the perpetrator is armed. Let's assume that the effect of gun ownership causes aggravated burglaries to triple, i.e. a lot more criminals now go armed. This would bring the number up to 4725 (I'm generously assuming that no aggravated burglars will be deterred). What are the chances of these incidents coming to a confrontation between homeowner and intruder? Let's say 10%: that's 472.5 armed confrontations. Assuming that the odds of either party getting hit is 50% that would mean that 236 victims would be injured or killed. I'm also going to allow for a 20% collateral factor (innocent people caught in the crossfire), that would bring the number up to 283 victims.

To summarize: we've saved 653767 victims from the trauma of burglary and 3878 from violence or the threat of violence. We've also saved some victims from being injured or killed during home invasions. On the other hand, we've caused 283 victims to be injured or killed. There will also be some number of accidental deaths which shouldn't be more than a few hundred, at worst. We've also slightly increased some other crime like theft or robbery. Overall, I see this as a net benefit to society.

Ofcourse these numbers are speculative but the assumed percentages have been very generous on the anti-gun side and I have erred on the side of caution. The only way to really find out the extent of the benefits would be to go ahead and adopt it. We already live in a violent and dangerous society, the only thing we have to lose are our chains.


"We must respect the law, not let it blind us away from the basic principles of fairness, justice and freedom"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 417 by Modulous, posted 09-05-2009 2:34 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 435 by Modulous, posted 09-08-2009 1:01 PM Legend has responded
 Message 436 by xongsmith, posted 09-08-2009 4:27 PM Legend has responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5858
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 431 of 452 (523084)
09-08-2009 8:21 AM
Reply to: Message 429 by RAZD
09-07-2009 7:37 PM


Re: Israel, Palestine, and reality.
Hi Hyroglyphx, lets try to keep the facts straight eh?

This is grossly off-topic. I just wanted to clear the matter up as you posed it.

I was just answering your question the way you posed it. The way your question was framed was that no one until modern-day terror groups have opposed Israel, which, of course, is an absurdity.

Almost the entire Middle East tried to oust the Jews before, during and after the State of Israel was formed.

Another example of Israeli aggression.

The UN lawfully gave Israel the state of Israel through the Balfour Declaration. If you'll recall, the British empire seized what is now Israel/Palestine from the now defunct Ottoman empire.

After the Holocaust there were several propositions made for where to place the displaced Jews. No one wanted them there. Giving them back the land from which they came from seemed the most reasonable thing.

They were then attacked by a multitude of nations who resisted their presence in the Middle East. What exactly should the young Israeli's have done? Let them kill them?

I don't think that any one in that entire debacle, either Jews or Muslims are completely guiltless in any thing. Each have their share of "aggression."


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams

This message is a reply to:
 Message 429 by RAZD, posted 09-07-2009 7:37 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 432 by dronestar, posted 09-08-2009 11:01 AM Hyroglyphx has responded
 Message 437 by RAZD, posted 09-08-2009 8:59 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

  
dronestar
Member (Idle past 655 days)
Posts: 1379
From: usa
Joined: 11-19-2008


Message 432 of 452 (523092)
09-08-2009 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 431 by Hyroglyphx
09-08-2009 8:21 AM


Nein, Nein, Nein . . .
Hey Herr Hyroglyphx

(Such dissonance! A participant with both a Hitler avatar and a pro-Israel stance.)

This is waaay off topic, so i'll only post this SINGLE message...

Israel or Palestinian people: who is oppressing who? Which people FULLY CONTROL health, water, travel, employment, land, etc. usage of the other to the point of life or death?

If you need help, please read up on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights


This message is a reply to:
 Message 431 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-08-2009 8:21 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 433 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-08-2009 11:59 AM dronestar has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5858
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 433 of 452 (523096)
09-08-2009 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 432 by dronestar
09-08-2009 11:01 AM


Re: Nein, Nein, Nein . . .
Israel or Palestinian people: who is oppressing who? Which people FULLY CONTROL health, water, travel, employment, land, etc. usage of the other to the point of life or death?

I'm not sure how an enterprising culture is by default "oppressive." In fact, Israel has kicked out its own people to give it to a Palestinian partition in accordance with the Oslo Accords.


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams

This message is a reply to:
 Message 432 by dronestar, posted 09-08-2009 11:01 AM dronestar has not yet responded

  
Legend
Member (Idle past 3321 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 434 of 452 (523097)
09-08-2009 12:08 PM


OT !!
Guys you're getting seriously off-topic. Israel was mentioned as an example of a state among hostile states, surviving by virtue of it's armed deterrent, *NOT* in order to debate who's wrong or right in this conflict.


"We must respect the law, not let it blind us away from the basic principles of fairness, justice and freedom"

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 419 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 435 of 452 (523101)
09-08-2009 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 430 by Legend
09-08-2009 6:50 AM


the price of crime prevention
First, I'd like to comment on a well thought-out and well-structured post. It's refreshing to see a cool, rational analysis of the implications of gun ownership instead of the usual hysterics about how "guns kill people". You raise some good points

Thanks.

...and made some burglaries more dangerous to substance addicts

Yes, although you seem to present it as a negative side-effect. I don't understand why we should worry about burglaries carrying more risks to the burglar any more than commiting murder carrying more risk to the murderer. Surely, if anything, that's a good thing isn't it?

Drug addiction that leads its sufferers to criminal acts to fund it is dangerous enough as it is. Personally I don't relish in the thought of making it more likely a young person will die or be seriously hurt as a result of becoming addicted to drugs.

I very much would not regard an increased mortality in young deprived people as a good thing.

The ones who are compulsed to do it (e.g.kleptomaniac) but are essentially harmless run a greater risk of getting shot. I file that under the 'unfortunate but so what' category.

Fair enough. Once again, I'd personally prefer for mental illnesses to be less lethal rather than more.

From a game theory perspective it seems that if two opposing 'players' have a firearm, the chances of somebody getting injured or killed is vastly higher than if only one has or if both parties have knives or the like.

That's generally true although it's a very broad statement to be of any use in this debate. Yes, the presence of more firearms in our society will result in more deaths by firearms: some by accident, some by aggressive action, some by defensive action. That, in itself, shouldn't be a reason to totally reject gun ownership just as the number of car or alcohol-related deaths hasn't led us to reject either. There are two issues we need to consider:

My apologies, there has been a misunderstanding. I was referring specifically to two people, not a society at large concept.

If two people who are in a position of antagonism face off from each other and both have loaded guns the chances of injury or death occurring has increased as compared to only one party having a gun or both parties with hand held weapons.

That would be true in a situation where guns were freely carried, fully loaded. However, we're talking about allowing citizens to have guns in secure places at home. We all have arguments and can lash out in anger but I don't think that anyone who kills someone by walking over to the locker, unlocking it, removing the gun, loading it and then pointing and shooting can be justified as having done it in 'the heat of the moment'.

If we could guarantee that people would keep their weapons unloaded and locked in a locker you might have a point. In this reality, though, they often don't and instead keep them in a drawer or other unsecure location.

If someone wants to kill you -for whatever reason- they'll find a way, guns or no guns.

This strikes me as a fallacy - it might be true, but it isn't necessarily so. I'd suggest that there exists some people that are capable of the brutality of beating somebody to death. There are some people who might want you dead, but can't get that brutal but could stab you. Maybe all people are capable of beating someone to death - but only if they really really want you to die. If someone wants to hurt you, maybe kill you for a split second and they have a knife and are close - it is much easier for them to do it. I suggest that the presense of blades results in more people being killed in arguments, robberies, brawls etc.

I suggest that a gun, which requires minimal effort to use and can be done at a distance (a psychological benefit - there are concerns that modern warfare is 'too distant' making it much easier to condemn innocents to death) - is such an effective tool at hurting and killing that more people who want you dead will follow through with the act.

I would have thought that pulling a trigger is easy compared with stomping on someone's face repeatedly.

By 'least harmful', you mean least likely to result in violence, which is true but doesn't necessarily mean that they have the least impact on the victim. I've heard the impact of burglary being described as 'second only to rape' wrt the sense of personal invasion and humiliation. As a victim myself I wholeheartedly concur with this assesment

You've been raped and burgled? I agree that being burgled is deeply unpleasant having been burgled on a number of occasions and I speak to people who have been burgled on a regular basis as part of my job.

As for the increase in likelihood of death or serious injury for the remainder we have to remember that on a level-playing field (both parties armed) this will equally affect both parties. If anything, the advantage lies with the homeowner who have the defensive position.

But, if the burglar is aware that the homeowner likely has a weapon and still commits the crime the burglar is forced into two positions:

1) Wait for the house to be empty (A more common tactic in the US than in the UK).
2) Take the homeowner by surprise, with a weapon already drawn and take steps to ensure the homeowner can not get to their weapon and load it at any point (by either tying the homeowner and other occupants up, or injuring them).

With the first tactic the feeling of humiliation remains, with the latter, the physical danger to the homeowner is increased. Granted - there are occasions where the homeowner will beat the thief and succesfully defend their home.

To summarize: we've saved 653767 victims from the trauma of burglary and 3878 from violence or the threat of violence. We've also saved some victims from being injured or killed during home invasions. On the other hand, we've caused 283 victims to be injured or killed. There will also be some number of accidental deaths which shouldn't be more than a few hundred, at worst. We've also slightly increased some other crime like theft or robbery. Overall, I see this as a net benefit to society.

An interesting analysis, and I thought I'd complement you back for well thought out and structured post. I would like to take issue with the 38% figure, or more specifically your handling of it. First of all, it assumes that the burglar knows that you are armed and that you are at home. It also assumes that being deterred is the same as being so deterred so as to not commit the crime.

But rather than quibbling over figures, let us assume they are at least in the right order of magnitude and say, for ease, that 300,000 people are saved having a burglary and 300 extra people are killed or injured during a burglary per year.

It seems in that case that you are making the judgement that it is worth killing/injuring 1 innocent person to prevent 1,000 burglaries. Even if only 10% of those are actual deaths then it is still 1:10,000. And that, as you say, discounts the people that are killed who are guilty only of being desperate.

It is a moral value judgement - and if you are prepared to accept those numbers then so be it. Personally, I don't think such a policy is something to be pleased with and it certainly isn't as crystal clear a benefit as some have trumpeted in this thread.

And of course, it assumes that the only thing to be affected are the burglary statistics. With more guns around - there will likely be an increase in other armed robberies (personal and commercial) as well as the heat of passion type murders.

I don't have the figures to hand, but I think it hardly controversial to claim that something like 40% of all murders are during an argument and, in a country with ready access to guns, a large percentage of those murders are committed with guns.

I'd wager that the price of reducing burglary rates using your analysis is higher than 1 death and 9 injuries per 10,000 burglaries prevented.

While your opinion may be that it is still worth it - I'm sure you'd agree that many others might not like paying that price. And since it then becomes a subjective judgement as to the value of human life and the quality of that life, no statistics or empirical figures are going to save us.

Which is why I don't actually attempt to debate the issue. I just try and encourage people to open up discourse so they can arrive in a place like this. Thanks for responding well to my post.

Edited by Modulous, : clearing up my figures


This message is a reply to:
 Message 430 by Legend, posted 09-08-2009 6:50 AM Legend has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 444 by Legend, posted 09-10-2009 1:18 PM Modulous has responded

  
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