Anyone who relies on statistical data, had better take a skeptical look at their reliability. [By skeptical, I mean inquiring into FACTS, for example how information was collected; what is known about the integrity of the process, and the integrity of past results; what biasing pressures may be known, and what measures have been taken to protect against biased results. I don't mean FEELINGS such as "I don't trust source A, I trust source B."]
I believe that most people considering an emotionally charged controversial topic (such as laws and regulations affecting personal armament) take a faith-based approach: they have take positions they will probably keep for the rest of their lives, based on their FEELINGS about the topic. They will carefully select 'facts' and arguments that confirm their faith, and reject any conflicting information as biased, unreliable, etc. So it is a fool's errand to present information and logic to such people, in the hope that they will change their views.
You are unusual, rb, in that you show willingness to take a look at information on gun violence and regulation with an open mind. So data are useful to you, in ways they are not useful to most.
When you write, "the credibility of data is overrated," I understand the truth of what you are saying. But it is possible (much of the time, at least) to distinguish between reliable statistics and statistical garbage. And it's a hopeless policy, to throw up one's hands and suppose one can't trust any of it. Few people know how much of civilization's progress in the past 200 years has been based on the collection and analysis of statistical data, and then using those results to guide actions and policies.
Nobody has to like the modern world. But it could not exist without applied statistics.
The problem with judging the validity of data, is that it takes study, learning, and some hard brainwork. The mentally slow and lazy won't go down that road -- they'll stick to their faith, and see only what they already believe.
I trust your data more than you think. The conclusions you come up with because of the data is what is questionable to me. Your data says the US has a higher intentional homicide rate than Australia. Gun control is the topic. I don't believe you came to the conclusion that it is because of gun control. You at least implied it.
Whether or not it is because of gun control, why did it not work in Chicago or Washington DC? I can take a few scenarios. One is probably because the guns came from outside of the city? OK, let us ban the guns from outside of a particular state or city. The guns will come from outside of the state or country. There are many places to get the guns from. In Australia where will the guns from or hide if a gun is used?
Who knows? As I have stated, I don't really care about the results. The data you have is probably reliable, but it falls way short of coming to a conclusion.
Several years ago in the city of Milwaukee, a young man decided to do the responsible thing and walk home instead of drive home after a night of drinking. His home was once in a nice neighborhood, but it had become part of the “inner city” of Milwaukee. No longer a safe place to walk at night,, but he didn’t live very far away.
He became the unfortunate victim of a gang member initiation,, where the newbie’s task was just one thing,,,,,, kill a white person! From the testimony of the few witnesses,, it was not a drive by shooting,,, the young gang member had to walk up to him and shoot him. It was said, that the gang member was nervous and shaking,,,, perhaps the victim would still be alive if he was armed. And no, I’m not suggesting drunk people carry guns.
The family members of the victim, did not decide to turn over their guns after this tragedy so they would feel safer, they bought some guns! I know,, because they come up to our place to target practice!!
Mr. Sheeple (durak) Do YOU want to tell these people that they don’t have the right to protect themselves????
2 or 3 weeks back, someone posted on this thread, "we could institute a ban like the UK or Australia if we really wanted to take the fame of the highest violent crime rate of the industrialized world."
The logic of this statement seemed to be, that legal strictures on guns cause violent crime to increase. I could have misunderstood, but I took this to be the message.
As I pointed out at the time, violent crime rates in the United States ALREADY rank among the highest of the world's economically developed countries. So the statement quoted above is like saying, "if giraffes stopped smoking cigarettes, they would become the tallest animals!"
Secondly, the two example "gun ban" countries cited in that statement, both have murder rates FAR LOWER than that of the USA. What do you think -- is that consistent with the hypothesis that gun bans cause violent crime?
Tom actually pulled off a pretty neat trick -- he wrote a sentence that would seem fairly coherent to a reader ignorant of the underlying facts, but that actually vomits all over itself in two separate ways! Sir, I salute you.
So you see, rb, I have confined my postings here to questions of fact. On questions of POLICY, I remain silent. As I wrote above, arguing with True Believers (TM) about this sort of thing is a complete waste of time -- whatever one's own beliefs may be.
I read years ago that gangs were doing an initiation where they would drive around at night with their headlights off. The new guy had to shoot up the first car that flashed its headlamps to signal the other car that he'd forgotten the headlights. Ever since then, when I drive at night and see an oncoming car with its lights off, I assume it's a gang initiation, pull out my Glock 19, and try to pop as many caps through their windshield as I can manage (I usually miss completely, my aim is crap when I shoot left-handed). Better safe than sorry, I always say.
So thanks for the cautionary tale -- when I'm out for a stroll and I see a kid who looks like a gangbanger, I'll send some hollow points his way before he has a chance to make any trouble. At my age, I'm too slow to outdraw a young fellow; better to take preemptive action.
LR, just because you don't agree with his views does not make him a prick. I agree, he did some questionable posts earlier on this thread, but we should be able to overlook the past, especially if it isn't a trend. Otherwise, we would always be at each others throats by looking at past posts. We all had questionable posts, but everyone, including Danny should be able to start fresh.
To claim that a man said things he didn't, is LYING.
To flunk the "mental test" I offered, by insisting that he who disputes false statements and faulty logic has favored one policy over another, is STUPID.
To arrogantly refuse to learn facts, and reason from facts to logical conclusions, is LAZY and IRRESPONSIBLE. To do so in matters of public policy, when one has the power of the vote in a representative government, is DISLOYAL.
And I'll add one more thing (addressed only to those from the USA). Teddy Roosevelt -- a century ago! -- described a certain development of the American character: "self-centered, far more conscious of its rights than of its duties, and blind to its own shortcomings." I grieve that my country has descended into cowardice, whining, selfishness, aggressive ignorance, and victim-identification. Yes, Americans are guaranteed the LEGAL right to all of these weaknesses, even though they are destructive to the foundations of our republic. But just because something is legal, doesn't mean it isn't dead wrong. We owe many of our great blessings to ancestors who had far more courage, who didn't sweat themselves into a girlish lather about every imagined monster under the bed, and who understood that rights MUST be balanced by duties, responsibilities, and obligations. If you want to be real men, then live and die like men, instead of writhing like terrified worms. A "tough guy" act does not conceal the cowardice it is meant to shelter.
None of what I have just said, is directed toward any one individual. I do wrong, fall short, and make wrong turns. All of the defects I have described here, are correctable.
If calling a spade a spade makes one a prick, then that's what I am.
"2 or 3 weeks back, someone posted on this thread, "we could institute a ban like the UK or Australia if we really wanted to take the fame of the highest violent crime rate of the industrialized world.""
Is that what set you off, durak? This is not something that was done. It is more like a proposal. How could one see such a result? This cannot be fact. It is opinion interpreted of data.
"PS Where the fuck you do guys get your "data", Fox News?"
How is that different from this (your) statement? I don't have cable and therefore is not a Fox news regular listener. But, I have read Fox news and listened to news from YouTube as well as liberal news. The questionable news almost always point to one's interpretation of data.
"I grieve that my country has descended into cowardice, whining, selfishness, aggressive ignorance, and victim-identification. Yes, Americans are guaranteed the LEGAL right to all of these weaknesses, even though they are destructive to the foundations of our republic. But just because something is legal, doesn't mean it isn't dead wrong. We owe many of our great blessings to ancestors who had far more courage, who didn't sweat themselves into a girlish lather about every imagined monster under the bed, and who understood that rights MUST be balanced by duties, responsibilities, and obligations. If you want to be real men, then live and die like men, instead of writhing like terrified worms. A "tough guy" act does not conceal the cowardice it is meant to shelter."
Are we still talking about gun control? How does owning one make you a whiner, selfish, aggressive ignorant, and playing the victim?
Possibly, but I think it more likely that it is based on ignorance (non-data), fantasy projection (imagining the world to conform to one's preconceptions of how things are supposed to work), or the gullible acceptance of fraudulent statements. I'm happy to cite sources that other people can check -- I haven't noticed anyone else do so on this thread.
Suppose (by way of logical example) I were to assert, "if only giraffes would stop smoking cigarettes, they would become the tallest animals." This SUGGESTS, to say the least, that giraffes aren't already extraordinarily tall. Now, the relative height of giraffes is a matter of fact, NOT opinion.
Take the example a bit farther. Suppose I said, "if only giraffes would stop smoking cigarettes like pigs and donkeys did, they would become the tallest animals." One could be forgiven for reading this to mean, that pigs and donkeys became spectacularly tall once they ceased smoking. Again, the relative height of pigs and donkeys as compared to giraffes is a matter of fact, NOT opinion.
To be fair to Tom, "industrialized world" is a fuzzy term, and doesn't seem to be used as a classification any more. If instead one considers its modern counterpart, "developed countries" or "more developed countries," then the good old USA either has the highest murder rate of any of them, or (depending on whose list of developed countries you consult) comes second to little Estonia.
Basically, all of the countries with higher murder rates than the USA have some combination of (1) grinding poverty, (2) a generations-long history of communist despotism, (3) a generations-long history of dictatorships and/or coups d'etat (extreme political repression/instability), or (4) very small population (where one or two murders per year can make a big difference in murder rate).
Conversely, among all countries with high standards of living and/or elected governments since WWII, the USA has the highest murder rate. Am I the only one who sees a giraffe in the woodpile?
"How does owning one make you a whiner, selfish, aggressive ignorant, and playing the victim?"
It doesn't. Those are mental attitudes, and have no connection to instruments (such as guns). They're about a man's relationship to truth, to himself, and to his community. They're about character.
When you look at a difficult question, like gun policy, your character affects they way you understand the question, and think about possible answers. Character can't be inferred from the answers to such questions -- decent, responsible, and generous citizens quite properly come to very different answers.
“LR, just because you don't agree with his views does not make him a prick.”
I didn’t actually call him one,,, I said: he’s becoming one,,,, but for reasons opposite of what you wrote Rb! If you go back and read some of his long posts,,,, especially the 2nd half of each, you might notice the disrespect he has for anyone who disagrees with “his” opinion and “his facts?”. In a roundabout way, he is saying: If you disagree with me and don’t believe my facts,,,, then you are too stupid to have a worthwhile opinion,,, and someone should make these decisions for you!!
That’s Socialism and Communism!!
Rb,, haven’t you noticed that durak is being condescending and is talking down to you, me, Tom, and anyone else who disagrees with him?!
Durak is entitled to his opinion,,,, but he’s implying that the rest of us are not. I used to value and even respect durak’s opinion,,,, times change!
“The problem with judging the validity of data, is that it takes study, learning, and some hard brainwork. The mentally slow and lazy won't go down that road -- they'll stick to their faith, and see only what they already believe. “
I told a true story of a tragedy in Milwaukee,,, durak’s answer to that was a sarcastic absurdity!
“”So thanks for the cautionary tale -- when I'm out for a stroll and I see a kid who looks like a gangbanger, I'll send some hollow points his way before he has a chance to make any trouble. At my age, I'm too slow to outdraw a young fellow; better to take preemptive action.””
Too many people are “do-gooders”! They see a problem and feel the need to do something,,,, anything,,, it doesn’t matter to them if it helps or not,,, just as long as it’s something!! Gun registration is the first step to gun confiscation,,, and that is the first step to socialism. Find a REAL solution to gun crime and I’ll support it.
“I grieve that my country has descended into cowardice, whining, selfishness, aggressive ignorance, and victim-identification. Yes, Americans are guaranteed the LEGAL right to all of these weaknesses, even though they are destructive to the foundations of our republic.”
Durak,, do you believe yourself to be a patriot?? If yes,,, then you truly sicken me!!
You are the Jane Fonda of the forum!!
How many people have died protecting our freedoms?? Our Constitution and our rights, are what makes this country great! We have a problem with crime in general,,, but punishing the many because of a bad few,, serves NO PURPOSE!
On fb,,, I have several sites as “Likes” and I get a lot of little posters of info. No, I don’t check every one of them,,, but one reminded me of something I had viewed back a while.
The poster said: Switzerland and Israel have some of the highest gun ownership rates in the world,,,,, and the lowest gun crime!
On a PBS program, they were touring Switzerland ,,, scenic sites, restaurants, and other cultural locations. One was an armory,,, something they have located in all or most of their cities and towns. Young men must join their military and serve for a number of years, starting at a young age, perhaps younger than 18? It is their duty to protect their home and homeland. They are taught duty and responsibility!
Another poster on fb makes me laugh,,, it says: If guns kill people,,,, how does anyone get out of a gun show alive?? It’s meant to be an absurdity,,, but it’s true! The liberals/socialists/communists probably believe that the craziest of the crazies attend gun shows? A huge building or arena filled with guns, ammo and “gun nuts”! If guns kill people,,, how does anyone get out alive????
Here’s some of the words that durak is labeling anyone who doesn’t agree with him.
“”STUPID. LAZY and IRRESPONSIBLE - DISLOYAL- cowardice -aggressive ignorance,
Destructive -ignorance- fantasy projection- gullible- sweat themselves into a girlish lather about every imagined monster under the bed, “”
“None of what I have just said, is directed toward any one individual”??
Perhaps not,, it’s directed at a group that opposes socialism and protects liberty!
Durak,, for years now, I have wondered why you haven’t found anyone yet,, and all I came up with, is that you might be ugly?! Lol No bull! But now,,, we might have a reason,,, and it’s due in part to your good buddy danny!
Danny has said this many times in the past,,,, that Russian women want men,,, real men. He says this,,, to claim that he is a man… (I have a Russian wife,, and they only want men,, so I am a man?)
I’ve had a woman ask me point blank in person, if I could fight,,, and a few asked about their security in letters,, so it is an issue with them! Your pacifist-“sheeple” philosophy may come across as being weak?!
We’ve all heard the saying:,,,, Good guys finish last! This may be more true in the FSU, than anywhere else in the world?
con•de•scend•ing [kòndə sénding]
snobby: behaving toward other people in a way that shows you consider yourself socially or intellectually superior to them
Durak,,, perhaps you haven’t noticed,, but the only support you have for “your” views, are from three people outside of the USA.
Since you love your data and numbers so much,,, try going over some of RT’s!!
Send: 27.03.2013 0:07:30
Hitler: over 50,000,000 people dead
Stalin: between 34,000,000 and 49,000,000 people dead
Pol Pot: over 2,000,000 people dead
Hiro Hito: over 30,000,000 Chinese civilians murdered
Some of your posts -- I mean this from the bottom of my heart -- do cheer me up! They're like little rays of sunshine.
dog·ma [dawg-muh, dog-muh]
An authoritative principle, belief or statement of opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true regardless of evidence, or without evidence to support it.
I also enjoy stats -- what fun!
Tobacco Industry: over 65,000,000 people dead since Jan 1 2000
Mosquitos: about 50,000,000,000 people dead
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.