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Author Topic:   Two wrongs don't make a right (the (ir)rationality of revenge) - also gun control
Member (Idle past 2399 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003

Message 451 of 452 (523658)
09-11-2009 6:36 PM
Reply to: Message 441 by Legend
09-09-2009 6:19 PM

Re: The usage of statistics.
Before I begin this post I wanted to be sure I cleared up a misconception that you, Legend, seem to have about the debate process.

It is up to you, Legend, to provide the evidence to support your assertions, not ours.

As in this statement here:

Legend writes:

There are actually many reasons why that may be.

If you can’t provide the “many reasons” then your not debating, you’re just obfuscating.

It is not my job to make up for your apparent intellectual lapses. Your continued strategy to obfuscate, deny, distort, dissemble, and evade is transparent and frankly tiresome.

I thought I would be speaking with an adult, not having to hold your hand like a child through this whole process. Why you lack the intestinal fortitude to admit that the evidence does not support your claims is beyond me. To wit:

Legend writes:

My evidence is the well-founded principle of armed deterrence.


Legend writes:

My evidence is the lower percentage of burglary and property crime in the US.

Both assertions have been shown to be false, most recently by RAZD, who presented you with evidence that armed deterrence is not a fundamental truth.

Your conclusion is further shown to be false, when you look at the statistics. If armed deterrence, as a fundamental principle, is responsible for the lower U.S. burglary rate then that rate should have been lower for the U.S. at the very least from 1946 [when self-defense was not considered an acceptable reason in the U.K. to have a gun] and on. Since the statistics show that for a period of time, even when the U.K. had much stricter gun laws than the U.S., the burglary rate for the U.S. was HIGHER (by double the amount), your argument has been shown to be false.

From here

the U.S. burglary rate as measured in the victim survey was more than double England's in 1981, but in 1995 the English burglary rate was nearly double America's

Now, if you want to delve into the reasons for this shift, you’re welcome to it. It isn’t because of gun control laws. (hint: it might be due to a shift in incarceration rates and prosecution rates within both the U.S. and U.K.)

Again with the debunking of this assertion of yours.

Legend writes:

I just said that it's been rising despite stringent gun control laws.

You conveniently overlook the fact that in the BCS report on gun crime they state that:

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.

This [2003] 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’).

From your later reply:

Legend writes:

LOL! You do realise that the Firearms Acts of 1997 is a UK parliament Act and not a Scottish one, don't you? You do realise that it applies equally to Scotland, England and Wales, don't you? I don't think you did now, didn't you? YOU thought that it was just stricter gun controls for Scotland that caused gun crime to temporarily decrease there, while in reality it was the same laws throughout the UK (except NI). Ooops, there goes your argument!!

[Bolded to better show where your point fell apart].

I’d laugh if it wasn’t so sad that you failed to grasp the contrast I was making. The best I could manage at this point would be a weak chuckle, and a sad shake of my head. The fact that you just happily (might I even say with Gusto!) tore a wide, gaping, cornhole through your own argument, goes to show how little thought you put into your replies.

Look. You continue to make the argument that gun laws do NOT decrease gun crime, and yet when presented with facts that show a decrease in gun crime even AFTER more strict gun laws are enacted, you come up with some lame reply like that? You’re wrong. It’s ok. We can move past that. We could posit some ideas and explore why Scotland and England/Wales would have such differing rates of gun crime? Or not.

And perhaps, finally, we have this bit of information regarding gun crime reporting in the U.K.

From the BCS Survey you will note, that a large percentage of gun crimes involve the use of IMITATION weapons. Because criminals can not get ‘real’ firearms, due to the gun laws, they have to resort to fake ones or imitation ones. That is one reason deaths and injuries due to firearms are lower in the U.K. versus the U.S. by a significant degree.

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%).

And finally, from '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

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.

So, one reason why gun crime rates have shown a statistical increase is that imitation guns are being used preferentially, because criminals are unable to get a hold of ‘real’ guns. Which, unremarkably, has kept deaths due to firearms to the low level that U.K. citizens seem to prefer. Seems like a pretty substantial reason to have gun control laws to me.

Anyways, we move on…

Legend writes:

My evidence is the significant percentage of criminals admitting that they are deterred by armed victims.

The only ‘evidence’ you have shown, is a book that afaik, you haven’t even read. You give no relevant passages and pages numbers, just your assertion that that is what the book states. When I find a quote from a book selling website that gives an overview of the book, you ignore it and conveniently continue with your assertion. Until you can back up this statement with evidence, its baseless.

By the way, this is what the overview states is the conclusion of the authors of the book:

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.

They conclude that burglars RARELY consider the risk or threat of sanctions.

And we continue…

Legend writes:

Even if the rise in gun crime corresponded with a rise in population (which I doubt), the fact would still remain that gun laws haven't reduced, let alone stopped, proliferation of gun violence like you, RAZD and other seem to think.

If you don’t think the difference between 14 and 9,369 murders by firearms is due to the difference in gun laws between the U.K and U.S, then I would have to respond with a reply that one of our Congressman gave recently to a ‘nutter’ comparing Obama to Hitler:

“What planet are you from?”

I suppose I’ll continue…

Legend writes:

This isn't the Crystal Maze, this is a debating board. If you have a point, make it. If you have an answer, state it. If you want to play Cluedo, go somewhere else.

If you want to go pick up your toys and complain to your momma that the big kids aren’t playing fair, then feel free to leave, just don’t let the door hit you in the arse. Obviously the intellectual gymnastics you would have to perform to figure this out is above and beyond your grade level. I was being generous in expecting that you could grasp a simple concept, but again I’m forced to reassess that assumption.

I’ll try to make it easier for you to understand.

DBlevins writes:

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

in response to:

Legend writes:

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

The U.K has speed limits, yes? Right.
Those same speed laws don’t penalize you if you stay within a reasonable approximation of the posted speed limit, yes? Right.
Because you have speed laws, it means people can not drive at any speed anywhere, yes? Right.

Speed laws = Gun laws. Or how about, Drivers license = gun license.

If you weren’t so ideologically wedded to your argument, you’d probably notice that gun control laws in England already limit guns WITHOUT criminalizing the possession of those guns allowed under the law. Which leads me to question, what kind of screwed up system of gun control laws would require firearms be licensed, yet criminalize their possession? Can you imagine the conversation that would take place in such a system?

Hmmmm…let’s imagine a hypothetical conversation held at a local police station:

“You need to license those shotguns you have in your possession. Give me a good reason why you should have them, and I’ll give you a license to possess it. When your through with that form, in triplicate mind you, I’ll need to then kindly dispossess you of your firearms, which then you’ll need to verify, in triplicate and have witnessed. The license I’ll let you keep as a memento of this fabulous deal.”

Legend writes:

Buy-backs: are like amnesties for profit. Amnesties are demonstrably not working…

It would be more accurate to state that buy-back programs have been shown to have mixed success. While amnesties are not the ‘be all and end all’ of gun control legislation, they likely have a positive impact on the proliferation of guns and resultant gun crime.

Australia’s buy-back program, instituted in 1997 had an inconclusive impact on homicides commited with firearms, though it is notable that such homicides are still declining even after the buy-back program. They have been declining since the early 1980’s.

From the AIC

Since 1992-93, firearm homicide as a proportion of all homicides has halved (Figure 1), continuing a general downward trend in firearm homicide that began in the early 1980s.

We could look at other States, which have instituted buy-back programs, such as Brazil

Results from a recently released study that measured population growth and homicides in Brazil between 1996 and 2006 revealed that homicides dropped by eight percent between 2003 and 2006, a time period that overlaps with a nationwide gun buy-back program during which nearly 500,000 firearms were removed from circulation.

continuing from the article writes:

Yet even in Rio, where violence is constant in limited sections of the city, the murder rate between 2003 and 2006 during the gun buy-back program fell by 12 percent. This drop is in part due to the fervent work of local NGOs that were instrumental in pushing through the disarmament statute in 2004 and the buy-back program.

So, it would be false for you to claim that gun amnesty laws do not work.

This took me longer to write up than I wished but with work I have a limited time to do the research necessary. Part two should be coming up soon, hopefully later today as it is almost complete. Thank you for your patience.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 441 by Legend, posted 09-09-2009 6:19 PM Legend has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 2399 days)
Posts: 652
From: Puyallup, WA.
Joined: 02-04-2003

Message 452 of 452 (524188)
09-14-2009 6:31 PM
Reply to: Message 441 by Legend
09-09-2009 6:19 PM

Re: The usage of statistics.
Legend writes:

- Regulation of gun possession: We had this to the extreme in the UK yet gun crime's going up.

Not to belabor this point, but this is due in a large part by the increase in the use of imitation weapons by criminals. Another issue is the fact that firearm related homicides are so significantly lower than in the U.S., I would think that in the interest of that alone, I wouldn’t want to increase the amount of ‘real’ guns. US DoJ

Firearms are more often involved in violent crimes in the United States than in England. According to 1996 police statistics, firearms were used in 68% of U.S. murders but 7% of English murders, and 41% of U.S. robberies but 5% of English robberies.

Another point is that while gun crime had increased it appears to have leveled off and while not statistically significant, 2008 saw a 4% decline in gun crime. Additionally, we see that gun crime has been decreasing in Scotland which has similar levels of gun regulation. If your premise is that gun regulation has no effect and even a detrimental effect (as per your posts) on gun crime then you need to explain why you don’t include Scotland in your evidence. That is where cherry-picking comes into play.

And finally, it has been documented that this disparity between the U.S. and the U.K. for crime rates was reversed not but 25 years ago, or so. US DoJ

the U.S. burglary rate as measured in the victim survey was more than double England's in 1981, but in 1995 the English burglary rate was nearly double America's.

Your argument that the rate of burglaries (among other crimes) is higher in England than the U.S. is because burglars fear gun wielding homeowners is false. If that premise was correct then you would need to explain why the U.S. burglary rate was double the U.K. rate in 1981. It isn’t just burglaries that were higher in the U.S., but robberies and assault among other crimes. US DoJ

the U.S. robbery rate as measured in the victim survey was nearly double England's in 1981, but in 1995 the English robbery rate was 1.4 times America's

the U.S. assault rate as measured in police statistics was 1.5 times England's in 1981, but in 1996 the English assault rate was slightly higher than America's.

While, there may certainly be other reasons for this reverse in the rates between these two countries, one argument that has been put forth is that their have been changes in crime reporting, catching of criminals, and incarceration rates. US DoJ

an offender's risk of being caught, convicted, and incarcerated has been rising in the United States but falling in England.

…for all offenses (murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft), the length of time in confinement before being released is longer for incarcerated offenders in the United States than in England.

In theory, raising the risk or severity of punishment might lead to crime decreases, and lowering the risk or severity of punishment might lead to crime increases. Negative correlations (for example, a falling conviction rate and a rising crime rate) were interpreted as possible support for the theory.

Major findings were: Negative correlations in England between trends in punishment risk and crime trends offer the strongest support for the theory that links falling risk of punishment to rising crime (table 2). Specifically, since 1981 the conviction rate fell in England, and English crime rates (both police-recorded crime rates and crime rates from victim surveys) rose (figures 1-10 and figures 25-30). Likewise, the incarceration rate fell, and English crime rates (both police-recorded rates and victim survey rates) rose (figures 1-10 and figures 43-48).

Notably consistent was the close association in England, across the different crime types, between falling risk of punishment (however measured) and rising crime rates (however measured). http://ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/cjusew96.htm

Now we get to the semantic games.

Legend writes:

I claimed that gun ownership for ordinary citizens will reduce the number of burglaries and liely some assaults and home invasions. But don't let that stop you.

Your claim was that gun laws would allow only criminals to have guns…

Legend writes:

Gun control laws just ensure that only the 'bad' guys can use them.

…and the higher burglary rate in the U.K., versus the U.S., was due to the strict gun control laws of the U.K. On a side note you claimed that:

Legend writes:

In Britain, only bad guys and the police have guns.

which is hyperbolic. It’s just plainly false!

So when I state

DBlevins writes:

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

I don’t think I am misstating your position.

DBLevins writes:

If that was true, then why have burglaries decreased?

Legend writes:

I don't know... low unemployment? social reform programs finally worked? more burglars getting shot?
Your point being...?

Your position is that the higher rate of burglaries in the U.K. versus the U.S. is due to the stricter gun laws, so when I point out that Scotland, which has the same or very similar gun laws, has been decreasing, that clearly falsifies your premise. It is not MY job to find out WHY there might be a decrease. If I find evidence that YOUR hypothesis is false, then it is up to YOU to update it, throw it out, or tell me WHY my evidence is irrelevant or wrong. Hand waving away the evidence is just you being lazy, to put it mildly. Finally, according to the 2008/2009 BCS survey gun violence has decreased (and as I recall the 2007 report showed a decrease from 2006)

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.

Legend writes:

Factors such as employment are included in the BCS / HomeOffice reports?!? Or are they factored in the crime figures presented in the
BCS / HomeOffice reports ? Please explain and show me.

Here is what the BCS says about ‘employment’ and it’s impact on crime. (The level of ‘deprivation’ of geographic areas impact the risk of victim-hood)

Crime tends to be geographically concentrated. The national picture may not therefore reflect people’s experiences in their own local area. This is particularly the case for robberies and knife-related offences.

The type of area that people live in can also be a factor.

The risk of being a victim of these household crimes was lower for households in the least deprived areas compared with the most deprived areas in England (16% compared with 22% for BCS household crime).

DBlevins writes:

So it seems you agree that there are other factors besides gun control laws that might effect burglary rates?

Legend writes:

Why yes I do! Your point being...?

Just to be clear here….
You agree that the level of deprivation of a geographic area can impact the crime rate?

Legend writes:

Because I don't have infinite time and resources. I initially compared US to the UK but you accused me of cherry picking the statistics. So I brought in Switzerland. You didn't like that. Now you want me to bring in other countries too? Sorry I'm not playing, thanks for asking.

If you’re choosing these two countries because YOU don’t have the time or resources to do the background research on other ones, then you are in effect, cherry-picking the data. Give me a break! You want to cry now that you don’t have time to look at data that might disagree with your premise because you don’t have the time?! What a crock of shit. Sounds to me like you’re just getting all wobbly and whiney.

Legend writes:

Really? ...is it the accent?
Or is it that when you thought you had some supportive evidence you suddently remembered how similar Scotland is to the US?
Pathetic really.

The rest of your post is too long, mostly pointless, irrelevant and in the same disingenuous spirit as the first part, so I'm not going to bother. If and when you have something original or persuasive, bring it to the table and we'll see.

To the first point. See my previous reply to you as well as the top of this post.

The second part is just drivel, twaddle, childish, silly. This isn’t a race. If you need more time to review any points or make your argument, feel free to take what time you need. In the case that you weren’t feeling rushed to answer, your dismissal of mine and other’s pertinent points makes you look childish and shows the weakness of your position.

I’ll stop by and see if you bring something substantial and supportive to your argument, but until then I won’t hold my breath.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 441 by Legend, posted 09-09-2009 6:19 PM Legend has not yet responded

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