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Old 06-21-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,521,721 times
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Indeed one crazy person might be able to kill more people with a gun than a knife (this is debatable) but the presence of one same gun carrying individual could stop the atrocity with one shot. If you believe we have a responsibility to help each other defend themselves from criminal assault then a well armed population is a desirable situation. The unfortunate truth is no society can provide absolute police protection for all of the citizens. We have to take the alternative of having an armed citizenry so we can protect each other.

What weapons we desire to have available is up to the individual as is the responsibility of knowing how to maintain the weapon as well as knowing when and how to use it. In a free country the citizens have to take some responsibility for their collective as well as individual safety. Disarming the citizenry only helps the criminals and no one else
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:23 AM
 
1,701 posts, read 2,002,542 times
Reputation: 1027
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Indeed one crazy person might be able to kill more people with a gun than a knife (this is debatable) but the presence of one same gun carrying individual could stop the atrocity with one shot. If you believe we have a responsibility to help each other defend themselves from criminal assault then a well armed population is a desirable situation. The unfortunate truth is no society can provide absolute police protection for all of the citizens. We have to take the alternative of having an armed citizenry so we can protect each other.

What weapons we desire to have available is up to the individual as is the responsibility of knowing how to maintain the weapon as well as knowing when and how to use it. In a free country the citizens have to take some responsibility for their collective as well as individual safety. Disarming the citizenry only helps the criminals and no one else
Using the word "WE" multiple-times somehow insinuates that your kind of thinking is in the majority. Infact, WE do not want to live in the Wild Wild West anymore ... it is the year 2013 for God's sake!


NB: what is so debatable about: "one crazy person might be able to kill more people with a gun than a knife"? Could you explain? Are you talking about ninjas?
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,657,930 times
Reputation: 974
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
The point I am making is very simple. If there are 100 cars on the road and 1% are known to crash (statistically), we will have approximately 1 car crash. If there are 1000 cars, we will have approximately 10 car crashes. So how is increasing the number of guns not going to increase the number of deaths caused by guns?

For the purpose of this argument, I was defining gun-related death more like a gun-related accident. For example, a 2 year old shoots his mother. This is not possible with a knife or rope. Such a death is strictly gun-related. I am not even talking about suicide (rope vs gun) or gang-violence (shoot vs stab)

...
StatsCan and most journals of criminology use the term gun-related deaths to encompass all deaths involving a firearm rather than just accidents. It was also used previous to your post in this context. It's little wonder that misuse of the term led to confusion.

That said, I think accidents are worth discussing.

You're not incorrect in stating that more guns means more accidents - however, much as you claim my statement that knives kill more often than guns was invalid (though it's statistically correct), you've left out any context of your own.

The first thing that needs to be addressed, since acceptable risk has been brought up, is the actual rate at which these type of incidents occur. In 2008, there were 20 deaths associated with accidental discharge of firearms and 8 firearms deaths of undetermined intent (we'll include them as a worst case scenario). By comparison, there were 275 accidental drownings, and 3,098 falls resulting in death.

A conservative estimate puts the total number of guns in Canada at approximately 7,000,000. So, assuming that every accident involves a separate firearm, about 1 in 250,000 guns is involved in an accident.

The actual chance of dying in an accidental shooting is about 1 in 1.2 million. So, you're less likely to win the lottery, but about equally as likely to be struck by lightning (And about 10 times more likely to drown).

The second point that needs to be made is that the increase is not necessarily linear. Finland, for example, records an accidental shooting rate about half that of Canada despite a gun ownership rate about 1/3 higher. The rate in France is lower yet, though ownership rates are about equal to Canada's.

Canada too, has historically, bucked your trend. Accidental shootings have dropped by about 2/3 over the past 40 years, though the number of guns in the country has remained relatively stable.

Essentially, your statistical extrapolations are wrong, as accidental deaths and total guns do not necessarily correlate linearly. Clearly, the relationship is far more complicated.


Moving on - There's nothing statistically invalid about the statement that knives are involved in more homicides than guns. That's actually a statement from Statistics Canada, by the way. The primary use of a knife is entirely irrelevant to it.

Knowing that more people are stabbed to death than shot to death, simple math tells us that the odds of being stabbed are greater.

Your assertion that people instinctively fear those things that are most dangerous is also wrong. Though there are some common traits that are thought to be at least in part, genetic (heights, for example) people learn fear by experience. People do not instinctively fear guns - they're conditioned to fear them by exposure to frightening scenarios involving them. Despite drowning being among the more common methods of child mortality, children are generally not frightened of water - only after a frightening experience in the water does that sort of fear develop.

You've claimed your fears as "rational" though, statistically speaking, you've chosen some of the least likely occurrences to be afraid of. You've also claimed that guns are "extremely dangerous", yet are quite willing to give a pass to objects that are involved in a far greater number of deaths. That hardly seems like rational thinking.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:19 PM
 
1,701 posts, read 2,002,542 times
Reputation: 1027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubblejumper View Post
StatsCan and most journals of criminology use the term gun-related deaths to encompass all deaths involving a firearm rather than just accidents. It was also used previous to your post in this context. It's little wonder that misuse of the term led to confusion.

That said, I think accidents are worth discussing.
Well, I defined gun-related accidents to narrow the scope of this debate. I have noticed that gun advocates have a tendency to muddy the issue with a multitude of unrelated topics, often quoting number and stats out of context.

It is important to note here that gun-related accidents cannot be substituted with any other item (e.g. rope or knife). Also, there are other categories of deaths that also cannot be substituted by any other weapon: namely mass shootings. One cannot go into a movie theater and kill people with a knife or rope. Essentially I am trying to define a "type of death" that is only possible with a gun (and no other weapon). I hope you find this issue non-negotiable.

Quote:
You're not incorrect in stating that more guns means more accidents - however, much as you claim my statement that knives kill more often than guns was invalid (though it's statistically correct), you've left out any context of your own.
We cannot have a meaningful debate if you keep going back to statements that I have decisively negated. Firstly your numbers are wrong:
FBI numbers for the year 2011 state:
Total homicides with firearms: 8,583
Total homicides with knives: 1,694

FBI — Expanded Homicide Data Table 8

So, I am not sure why you keep saying that knives kill more people. And in all this, you are completely ignoring the fact that homicide with a gun is much easier than homicide with a knife. In fact, many gun homicides would have failed if they were carried out with a knife or baseball bat. This is just common sense! But let's not delve into that .......

Quote:
The first thing that needs to be addressed, since acceptable risk has been brought up, is the actual rate at which these type of incidents occur. In 2008, there were 20 deaths associated with accidental discharge of firearms and 8 firearms deaths of undetermined intent (we'll include them as a worst case scenario). By comparison, there were 275 accidental drownings, and 3,098 falls resulting in death.
What about acceptable risk don't you understand? I have spent a considerable amount of time explaining that to you. Deaths in a car, plane, swimming pool are acceptable risks. Deaths due to accidental discharge of a gun are not.
I choose to sit in a car or fly in a plane. I choose to swim in a pool. The risks of crashing or drowning are known to me and are acceptable. I do not choose to be shot by person X at a movie theater. I do not choose to be hit by a bullet coming through my window. Like I said, even one death is one too many in this case! Using statistics here is stupid! Going from knife to baseball-bat to rope to swimming pool is nothing but a technique to avoid the main issue.

Quote:
A conservative estimate puts the total number of guns in Canada at approximately 7,000,000. So, assuming that every accident involves a separate firearm, about 1 in 250,000 guns is involved in an accident.
The actual chance of dying in an accidental shooting is about 1 in 1.2 million. So, you're less likely to win the lottery, but about equally as likely to be struck by lightning (And about 10 times more likely to drown).
So now we are talking about winning the lottery?
I have a 1-in-10 chance of dying of a stroke or heart attack. What does that have to do with being shot with a gun?!?!

Quote:
The second point that needs to be made is that the increase is not necessarily linear. Finland, for example, records an accidental shooting rate about half that of Canada despite a gun ownership rate about 1/3 higher. The rate in France is lower yet, though ownership rates are about equal to Canada's.
Canada too, has historically, bucked your trend. Accidental shootings have dropped by about 2/3 over the past 40 years, though the number of guns in the country has remained relatively stable.
Essentially, your statistical extrapolations are wrong, as accidental deaths and total guns do not necessarily correlate linearly. Clearly, the relationship is far more complicated.
You have clearly no understanding of statistical concepts like standard error, trends, predictors, estimates etc. I will not going into Statistics 101 here .... all I have to say, (and I repeat) that even one-accidental death is one too many. Even one Newtown shooting is one too many!

Quote:
Moving on - There's nothing statistically invalid about the statement that knives are involved in more homicides than guns. That's actually a statement from Statistics Canada, by the way. The primary use of a knife is entirely irrelevant to it.
Knowing that more people are stabbed to death than shot to death, simple math tells us that the odds of being stabbed are greater.
I was not even talking about homicides. I was talking about accidental deaths in my previous post. I am sure Stats Canada is right. In a country where guns are hard to find, most murders take place using a knife. But what's your point?

Quote:
You've claimed your fears as "rational" though, statistically speaking, you've chosen some of the least likely occurrences to be afraid of. You've also claimed that guns are "extremely dangerous", yet are quite willing to give a pass to objects that are involved in a far greater number of deaths. That hardly seems like rational thinking.
I pleaded with you to not use the word statistically in vain .....
What is so irrational about being afraid of a gun? And when did I say that I am ignoring objects involved in 'far greater deaths'?
When I climb a mountain, I am well aware that I am taking a risk and I might die. When I smoke a cigar, I know that it might cause cancer and kill me. When I am driving down an ice/snow covered highway I know that I might slip and crash the car. I am not ignoring anything ....
I am simply choosing NOT to accept the risk associated with a GUN.
I do not want to be shot in a movie theater. I do not want to be paralyzed cause a bullet came through the wall and hit me. No matter how small the risk, I refuse to accept it ... I deem it unnecessary.

If you still don't understand my reasoning, I am not sure what else to do!
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:39 PM
 
1,746 posts, read 4,643,126 times
Reputation: 1166
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Using the word "WE" multiple-times somehow insinuates that your kind of thinking is in the majority. Infact, WE do not want to live in the Wild Wild West anymore ... it is the year 2013 for God's sake!
Well said! Would rep you again if I could.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,657,930 times
Reputation: 974
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Well, I defined gun-related accidents to narrow the scope of this debate. I have noticed that gun advocates have a tendency to muddy the issue with a multitude of unrelated topics, often quoting number and stats out of context.

It is important to note here that gun-related accidents cannot be substituted with any other item (e.g. rope or knife). Also, there are other categories of deaths that also cannot be substituted by any other weapon: namely mass shootings. One cannot go into a movie theater and kill people with a knife or rope. Essentially I am trying to define a "type of death" that is only possible with a gun (and no other weapon). I hope you find this issue non-negotiable.
Mass murders using a weapon other than a gun are quite common. Knives, blunt weapons and vehicles are the most common alternatives. In fact, the deadliest mass murder in Canadian history was an arson - a man blocked the fire exits and locked the door of a nightclub and lit it on fire.

Accidental shootings can, of course, only be completed with a gun. In that you're correct.

Quote:
We cannot have a meaningful debate if you keep going back to statements that I have decisively negated. Firstly your numbers are wrong:
FBI numbers for the year 2011 state:
Total homicides with firearms: 8,583
Total homicides with knives: 1,694

So, I am not sure why you keep saying that knives kill more people. And in all this, you are completely ignoring the fact that homicide with a gun is much easier than homicide with a knife. In fact, many gun homicides would have failed if they were carried out with a knife or baseball bat. This is just common sense! But let's not delve into that .......
As we're discussing Canadian firearms laws, I assumed that quoting Canadian statistics wherever possible would make far more sense, as most people in this debate have some vested interest in Canada (generally we live here).

Given that you were involved in a debate regarding Canadian gun laws in a forum dedicated to the discussion of Canadian issues, I assumed you also had some vested interested in Canada.

If we're quoting American statistics, we might as well quote Spanish ones - they're about as relevant to Canada (guns are used in only 16% of Spanish homicides, by the way).

Quote:
What about acceptable risk don't you understand? ...

So now we are talking about winning the lottery?
I have a 1-in-10 chance of dying of a stroke or heart attack. What does that have to do with being shot with a gun?!?!

You have clearly no understanding of statistical concepts like standard error, trends, predictors, estimates etc. I will not going into Statistics 101 here .... all I have to say, (and I repeat) that even one-accidental death is one too many. Even one Newtown shooting is one too many!
The entire quoting of statistics was to provide evidence for how rare the type of events that you fear actually are - especially as compared to other events that you apparently do not fear at all.

If you have a 1 in 10 chance of dying of a stroke and a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of dying by a gun, which is it more appropriate to take precautions against?


Quote:
I was not even talking about homicides. I was talking about accidental deaths in my previous post. I am sure Stats Canada is right. In a country where guns are hard to find, most murders take place using a knife. But what's your point?
Simply that, if stabbings are more likely to occur, why be more afraid of shootings? It's the same as the previous argument regarding strokes.


I pleaded with you to not use the word statistically in vain .....
What is so irrational about being afraid of a gun? And when did I say that I am ignoring objects involved in 'far greater deaths'?
[/quote]

My point is simple: Your fear of guns is disproportionate to their actual ability to hurt you.

You've accepted risks in other non-essential activities that are far greater than that posed by guns. Why would you consider it rational to fear things that are less likely to hurt you rather than those that pose a greater risk?
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