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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:33 pm 
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Excellent article about how these folks distort data and outright lie to get attention.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,113094,00.html

kevin


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:12 am 
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Great article. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 6:00 am 
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This just goes to show the value in checking up on all the stats one hears from--well, almost anyone. People in the public eye these days will do almost anything to make their case. Couple limitations to the article however:

It is common practice to state the scope of the problem and this doesn't mean the speaker was implying that gun control could save all of these children. Here's what she said:

"Since our last march, 120,000 Americans -- almost 14,000 of them children -- have died from gun violence. We are deeply disappointed that Congress hasn't made progress - and instead is trying to turn back the clock on the progress we've made," said Mary Leigh Blek, president emeritus of the Million Mom March. "We are resolute, and we won't rest until our children are safer."

What's disingenuous is the definition of children--apparently, she got her numbers from somewhere else or she's using up till age 21, which is deceitful, or perhaps she was just ignorant. But public health people do this all the time (although they shouldn't cook the demographic categories). They may say that lung cancer kills X people--which is true, even if not all were caused by cigarette smoking and not all of those that were could be stopped by anti-smoking measures. Hey, that many people still died from guns last year, and she didn't say that her measures would have saved them all.

The Fox opinion writer claims, "MMM’s use of death statistics coupled with calls for legislative control as a "solution" unmistakably implies that the cited deaths could have been prevented by gun control. It is misleading, therefore, to include deaths that would probably have occurred whether gun laws and, in some cases, whether guns themselves — were present."

Not really. The site ACTUALLY calls for a broad range of measures: "gun violence solutions," "rational steps to reduce gun violence through legislation, public education, lobbying and other activities." They're NOT suggesting that bans or waiting periods are going to prevent gang bangers from killing each other or suicidal kids from killing themselves. The site actually is vague about all their specific plans, but from discriptions they could well include improving mental health services for depressed teens and interventions to keep kids out of gangs and drug addiction services.

And while our national suicide rate may be on par with other countries (sounds like a literacy rate or some other accomplishment when you put it that way), that means squat and the Fox writer ought to know that. What we need is data showing that a GIVEN CULTURE does or does not have different suicide rates with different gun availability rates. I believe Van or Panther and others have mentioned studies that DO show this (suicides shifted to other modalities), but the Fox writer doesn't mention them--she relies on a false comparison to make her point. I also strongly believe that while there may not be a national difference in death rates, there are certainly individual teens whose lives may be saved by having them away from guns at moments when they are intoxicated or otherwise impulsive. Suicide gestures or transient suicidality becomes permanent when a bullet traverses your brain. You MAY kill yourself with tylenol, but it gives you a chance to 1) change your mind or 2) get found, and either way shipped to a hospital, treated, and exposed to psychiatric services which may prove lifesaving. This is not a blanket prohibition against teens having access to guns, mind you--Rich, I'm sure your kids for one are very well trained and have great respect for the families weapons, but they're probably exceptional. Am I wrong?

What we actually have here is a MMM press release that has a number of flaws--plans are not laid out in detail, the statistic includes a bunch of adults in the children tally (but hey, dead people are still dead, they're just not kids), and there isn't any emphasis on a rational effort to link their proposed gun restrictions with reduced gun deaths. They need to be honest about how they think law X is going to prevent another Malvo 'n Co from having a shooting spree if they really want one.

But the Fox writer's not-so-fair-and-balanced response is to accuse the press release of saying things it does not say and to rely on some dubious logic (can't include gang or suicide deaths; can compare cross cultural suicide data) of its own. This shows to me that SHE went into the gun debate with the SAME kind of ideological ax to grind, she was just sharpening hers for the other side. She SHOULD have complained about the lack of proof that the proposed laws would help, about the vagueness of MMM's other plans--these are the important issues. Instead she chose to write the entire piece about how some children in one stat were actually adults.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:18 am 
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Quote:
The site ACTUALLY calls for a broad range of measures: "gun violence solutions," "rational steps to reduce gun violence through legislation, public education, lobbying and other activities."


No mention of punishing criminals. The legislation is usually of the "take away the rights of law abiding gun owners." type.

Quote:
But the Fox writer's not-so-fair-and-balanced response is to accuse the press release of saying things it does not say and to rely on some dubious logic (can't include gang or suicide deaths; can compare cross cultural suicide data) of its own.


The point of the Fox writer is that more gun laws won't save any of these people. Gang bangers put themselves in harm's way and I doubt very few are murdered by guns with serial numbers still intact. Those who choose to kill themselves will find Mommy's pills if Daddy's gun isn't left out carelessly.

The news I read about a child's death by gun usually involves a drive-by gone bad, a gun left carelessly out, or a murder by a relative. We have enough laws already covering the illegal actions that cause those deaths. More laws regulating gun ownership won't help.

Inanimate objects don't obey laws, people do. (Or Don't)

Kevin


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 2:04 pm 
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One good thing about the anti gun movement is that gun manufacturers seem (no time to cite or research evidence here :roll: ) to be making efforts to make a "safer" gun. They have smart gun technology, though it has a long way to go, it is a smart move IMHO. I could sleep with my loaded pistol on my night stand and not worry about my kid being able to shoot it.. or a criminal for that matter.. though he could pistol whip me with it :?

I've gotten 4 guns in the past 4 years, and all have locks that come with them. I got a remington 12 gauge 870 :twisted: for my B day :D that actually has the lock built into the safety.

Hell, even the pellet gun I own came with a trigger lock!

Guns are becoming more and more child proof. It's up to the parents to teach responsability to their kids.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:38 pm 
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Hello everyone,

A very interesting thread, on which I don't have numbers/stats to prove anything I'm about to say. Here in Toronto, Canada we just had a few days ago 4 people shot and two killed by gun shot wounds. Police are investigating but what is being suggested at this point is gang shootings, youth with guns, etc. These shootings are part of a disturbing trend in this kind of violence in Toronto.

I'm curious to know if someone has data on the number of gun-related deaths relative to population size. Bowling for Columbine obviously stirred up emotions on both sides of the guns debate. There's a sequence in the film that shows some data on number of gun deaths by country. Obviously, the US had the highest rate and it looked astronomical when compared to other countries. And Michael Moore's position is blatantly obvious and he is not immune from falsely reporting or shaping stats to suit his agenda. However, Michael Moore did not provide any info on these #s adjusted for population size and this makes a huge difference.

My interest here is getting a truer picture of what we probably agree is a huge problem - gun related deaths.

I also realize that my being Canadian may bias some people on this forum against me but I emphasize here that I come with an open mind and wish to understand the problem from the perspectives of US citizens, something that we in Canada don't often get the opportunity to do.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:09 pm 
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Ian said: "This is not a blanket prohibition against teens having access to guns, mind you--Rich, I'm sure your kids for one are very well trained and have great respect for the families weapons, but they're probably exceptional. Am I wrong?"

Yes, my family is very well trained when it comes to firearms. Since they have always been around them, handguns, rifles etc are pretty much ho- hum to them. For a long while they actually believed that everyone had them in the home. Many of their friends have joined us at the range for safety and shooting lessons and all go away better for it. Even a certain young Glasheen has a certificate of training signed by yours truly.

The NRA's best feature is stressing safety instruction to children through its Eddie Eagle program, but many schools refuse to allow the mention of firearms to students even though it is the best way to prevent accidents.

A most interesting and informative program relating to firearms was done on ABC's 20/20 by John stossel earlier this year. It was titled
"Lies, Myths and Downright Stupidity
Stossel's List of Popularly Reported Misconception"

Here is a link to it:

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/2020/202 ... 123-7.html

John did a top ten list of media myths and firearms was #3. This program surprised me for its frankness as ABC News is the most left leaning of the evening news shows.

Among Stossel's findings:

"America is notorious for its culture of gun violence. Guns sometimes do cause terrible harm, and many kids are killed every year in gun accidents. But public service announcements and news stories make it seem as if the accidents kill thousands of kids every year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, fewer than 100 kids 15 and under are killed in gun accidents every year. Of course that's horrible, and I understand why demonstrators say we need more gun control.

But guess what? The Centers for Disease Control recently completed a review of studies of various types of gun control: background checks, waiting periods, bans on certain guns and ammunition. It could not document that these rules have reduced violent crime."

More:

"The government wants to say things like the Brady Gun Control Law are making a difference, but they aren't. Some maximum security felons I spoke to in New Jersey scoffed at measures like the Brady law. They said they'll have no trouble getting guns if they want them.

A Justice Department study confirmed what the prisoners said. But get this: the felons say that the thing they fear the most is not the police, not time in prison, but, you, another American who might be armed.

It's a reason many states are passing gun un-control. They're allowing citizens to carry guns with them; it's called concealed carry or right to carry. Some women say they're comforted by these laws.

Many people are horrified at the idea of concealed carry laws, and predict mayhem if all states adopt these laws.

But surprise, 36 states already have concealed carry laws, and not one reported an upsurge in gun crime."

In fact, 37 states now have CC laws.

Also, more small children (5 and under) lives would be saved by banning large mop buckets (accidental drownings) than firearms. Or bathtubs for that matter.

Regarding gun related deaths, yes, per capita, we are #1. However, in murders and total violent crimes we are not. In fact, the violent crime rates in England exceed ours. Since England enacted a complete prohibition on handguns in 1997 (and self defense for that matter), their violent crime rate has doubled, and the US rate has declined 25%.

I'll find some definitive info on the rates and post them later.

Rich

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:18 pm 
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Here is some info on suicides... click on the link.

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets ... spx?ID=117

Rich

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:30 pm 
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Thanks RACastanet for the info. I'll read over the suicide/guns data a little later when I can sit down and focus on it.

You mentioned that the US is, per capita, the leader in gun related deaths, though you mentioned that violent crimes are higher in England, which I found interesting. I'm wondering what you think could be the reason(s) for the US having the highest incidence of gun-related deaths. I'm curious because I think there's many knee-jerk answers given but often these aren't accurate.

Take care,

Mark


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:44 am 
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Please call me Rich!

Why so many gun deaths? No doubt about it, there are a lot of guns in the US:

Privately owned firearms in the U.S.: Over 200 million, including 65-70 million handguns. The number rose by 52 million during the 1990s. (BATFE)
Gun owners in the U.S.: 60-65 million; 30-35 million own handguns
American households that have firearms: Approx. 45%


If you read the info on suicides you will see that the vast majority of US deaths by firearms are suicides, 61% in fact: "The majority of firearm-related deaths that occur each year in the United States are suicides, not homicides." So of 30,000 deaths, over 18,000 are by suicide. If you take the suicides out of the totals the per capita firearms deaths drops us out of the top. Since the US lumps firearm suicides, homicides and accidents together, we look really bad per capita versus the rest of the world that reports just homicides.

Why so many suicides by firearms? They are handy. However, many other developed countries with strict gun control laws have higher suicide rates. Someone with a death wish will find another way. For example: "They fail to tell their readers that while suicide among American males aged 15 to 24 increased 7.4% during 1980-1990, the increase in England was more than 10 times greater (78%), with car exhaust poisoning being the leading method of suicide in a nation where gun ownership is severely restricted."

As for homicides, most murderers and victims know each other in some way. Much of it is inner city and drug or gang related. Many of the 'children' the MMM refers to are 18 year old hardened criminals and gang bangers. Richmond racked up close to 100 murders last year, and 90% is in that category. The rest were domestic situations and an occasional random robbery gone bad.

Violent crime (murders, rapes, assualts etc. combined) is another picture... The rate of violent crime in the US has been on the decline for over 10 years and is about 60 to 75% of what it was in the early 90s. However, violent crime is on the upswing in heavily gun-controlled developed countries like England and Austrlia where strict gun control is in effect. Canada has not seen the doubling that England has, but has been flat while the US has steadily declined. My theory? More guns (in the hands of the law abiding) = less crime.

Rich

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:24 am 
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More stats on firearm deaths among the young:

Anti-gunners produce their phony figures by adding the relatively small (and declining) number of firearm-related deaths among children to the much larger number of deaths among juveniles and young adults under the age of 20, and dishonestly calling the total "children." Sometimes, they have counted anyone under the age of 24 as a "child" to get an even higher number of deaths. The following table shows the correct figures for each age group.

(this section did not format well on the forum but give it a look)

Classification of firearm-related fatality Fatalities among children (ages 0-14)
Fatalities among juveniles & young adults (ages 15-19)
Fatalities among all persons ages 0-19

Assault
227
1,549
1,776

Suicide
110
897
1,007

Accident
86
107
193

Unexplained
10
26
36

Total
433
2,579
3,012

Average daily number
1.2
7.1
8.3

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000, the most recent year of complete data available.


Posted: 10/23/2003

Rich

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 8:27 am 
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IJ wrote:
I believe Van or Panther and others have mentioned studies that DO show this (suicides shifted to other modalities), but the Fox writer doesn't mention them--she relies on a false comparison to make her point. I also strongly believe that while there may not be a national difference in death rates, there are certainly individual teens whose lives may be saved by having them away from guns at moments when they are intoxicated or otherwise impulsive. Suicide gestures or transient suicidality becomes permanent when a bullet traverses your brain. You MAY kill yourself with tylenol, but it gives you a chance to 1) change your mind or 2) get found, and either way shipped to a hospital, treated, and exposed to psychiatric services which may prove lifesaving. This is not a blanket prohibition against teens having access to guns, mind you--Rich, I'm sure your kids for one are very well trained and have great respect for the families weapons, but they're probably exceptional. Am I wrong?


Actually, to some degree...

I apologize in advance, but I lost a lot of stuff in a computer crash last summer, so I don't have the studies right at hand. However, one such study (which was cited and sourced on these forums before) showed that the major change in modality was not to pills, but to jumping from high places. The fatality rate of that method was actually higher than from guns. Currently in England, the choice is death from CO, easily obtained with the car exhaust. Why? Because when there was a sharp increase in jumpers, measures were taken such as restricting access in tall buildings and putting fences on bridges that were being used. So, while there is a chance that the suicidal person may change to a less lethal method, there is just as much a chance that they will change to a more or equally lethal method. And studies have also shown that unfortunately, those who are truly determined to commit suicide generally find success at some point in their attempts.

Also, read the literature and mission statement of the miniscule mom march and one sees that they clearly call for the complete ban of all firearms with the exception of the government. Rosie O'hypocrite spoke for them and admitted it openly. (The same Rosie who got upset because her paid, armed bodyguards didn't carry guns to pick up her kids at school... they knew that it was illegal for them, but Rosie went into a tizzy because she was "paying them to carry guns and couldn't understand why they couldn't carry them on school property! It's one of those 20,000+ gun laws that Rosie said weren't enough!)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:51 pm 
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"The point of the Fox writer is that more gun laws won't save any of these people."

The point of my writing was that MMM was asking for more than just laws.

My primary point here is that while I don't support the MMM, it's important to recognize that this is not "Fox news." This is "Fox editorials which are deliberately chosen so as not to be fair and balanced."

A newswriter would have asked the MMM group where they got their number or at least said "calls were not returned before press," or something. A newswriter would have presented more data refuting a link between gun control and reduced crime rates. A newswriter would have explored whether MMM is serious about educational etc methods to reduce gun deaths whether they be by improved psychiatric services for depressed people or by any realistic or bold initiatives--say, legalizing drugs to take all the wind out of the sails of gang violence. Do these moms want fewer gun deaths or not and can they admit that while they're certainly moms against drugs, our governments quixotic, hugely expensive and famously unsuccessful campaign against addiction sufferers needs to be reconsidered?

As for the suicide stats, I'd be interested to see the source. There are also well known marked variations in suicide preferences. For example, in the USA, men tend to choose firearms and women tend to choose pills. What became or is popular elsewhere may or may not prove illuminating in our culture. I agreed that determined suicidal people can usually find a way (if not one intervenes--there are plenty of effective treatments for the conditions that lead to suicide) and that there haven't been, to my knowledge, data that show that interventions against forms of suicide reduce national death rates--all I said was

"there are certainly individual teens whose lives may be saved by having them away from guns at moments when they are intoxicated or otherwise impulsive. Suicide gestures or transient suicidality becomes permanent when a bullet traverses your brain. You MAY kill yourself with tylenol, but it gives you a chance to 1) change your mind or 2) get found, and either way shipped to a hospital, treated, and exposed to psychiatric services which may prove lifesaving."

As someone who's worked on a counseling line and received suicide prevention counseling and someone who's worked in several locked psychiatric units, I have seen enough to convince me that there are "certain individuals," whom we can help by keeping them away from rapidly lethal methods of suicide as best we can while taking other measures to help them.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:27 am 
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Ian: Click on the link in my post a few days back and scroll down to the references behind the post.

Unfortunately a teen suicide struck in the neighborhood on March 3rd. An 18 year old in his first year at college (VCU I think) borrowed his dad's car and handgun, drove to UVA to visit a friend and while there shot himself. Very bad scene as he grew up right across the street from us. Quiet kid, kept to himself but had a somewhat unstable family life.

His dad must be crushed.

Rich

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 12:08 am 
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IJ wrote:
A newswriter would have asked the MMM group where they got their number or at least said "calls were not returned before press," or something. A newswriter would have presented more data refuting a link between gun control and reduced crime rates. A newswriter would have explored whether MMM is serious about educational etc methods to reduce gun deaths...


Actually, that's the problem. "Newswriters" simply don't ask those questions of any organization that is following the mainstream media holy grail agenda! Mainstream "newswriters" simply take what they are told by these organizations and regurgitate it as fact. That's part of the reason why the mainstream "newswriters" are often easily proven to be completely wrong IF someone cares to question what they're being told and check the facts themself.

As far as whether the couple of hundred moron march is serious about "educational methods", simply look at their position on the issue. They (along with all of the anti-gun groups) have spoken out against the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program (r) !!! That program is proven effective, but is slammed simply because it was created, paid for, and is taught by the "evil" NRA. Disgusting...

Quote:
"there are certainly individual teens whose lives may be saved by having them away from guns at moments when they are intoxicated or otherwise impulsive. Suicide gestures or transient suicidality becomes permanent when a bullet traverses your brain. You MAY kill yourself with tylenol, but it gives you a chance to 1) change your mind or 2) get found, and either way shipped to a hospital, treated, and exposed to psychiatric services which may prove lifesaving."

As someone who's worked on a counseling line and received suicide prevention counseling and someone who's worked in several locked psychiatric units, I have seen enough to convince me that there are "certain individuals," whom we can help by keeping them away from rapidly lethal methods of suicide as best we can while taking other measures to help them.


And my point in reply was that there are plenty of methods just as lethal as firearms. I completely concur that individuals (of ANY age) who are suicidal should get intervention. I just don't want it to be used as an excuse to remove firearms from lawful gunowners. Which is exactly where the anti-gunners are heading.


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