Some facts about guns in the US

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by James R, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No, I don't.

    I'm just pointing out that the fact the 1% of American deaths are by gunshot does not mean that every American, or even the average American, has a 1% chance of dying by gunshot. And formulating one's laws, social opinions, and recommended applications of force based on the notion that every American is put at such a risk by the presence of guns in society is remarkably bad, shoot yourself in the foot politics.
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    How is the fact that 20,000 Americans are killed by gunfire every year invalidated by the fact that half of gun deaths are suicides?

    Half of suicides are by gun. As I noted, this allows people to kill themselves without putting a lot of thought into it. Surely some portion of that 50% would commit suicide anyway, but as I also noted, having to put quite a bit more time and effort into it would surely dissuade quite a lot of them, if only by giving them longer than a few minutes to think about it and get over their mood of hopelessness.
    Then I assume that you also advocate the decriminalization of heroin. Even I, an unrepentant Flower Child who is convinced, by decades of evidence, that the second-order effects of drug prohibition cause more harm than the drugs themselves (a lesson the country learned from its disastrous experiment with alcohol prohibition, but subsequently managed to forget), don't put any of my effort into decriminalizing heroin, which kills a much higher percentage of its users than any other commonly available recreational or self-medicating drug.

    Where do you draw the line? At what juncture should society slap itself in the face and tell its government that the harm caused by a particular activity (e.g., American football), substance (e.g., tobacco), decision (e.g., texting while driving) or object (e.g., a gun) vastly outweighs its benefits?
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It is your reasoning that is invalidated, not any facts. Your reasoning is poor, and the consequent opinions, politics, etc, are both ludicrous and - because they have become common - damaging to the cause of gun control in the US.

    Sure you do. Then you disparage the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

    Somewhere in the middle of confusing activities (playing football, texting) with physical objects (tobacco, guns) another face slap is in order.

    Afterwards, we can consider the prospect of one part of society getting hold of the government and using it to slap the rest of society in the face for bogus reasons. There are certain dangers inherent in advocating that, certain harms attendant, and adults might want to consider them carefully - weigh the benefits in the balance.
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    vegetarian is a native american word which roughly translates as "bad hunter".
    Dr_Toad likes this.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    It is certainly acceptable, and perhaps even recommended, that you should laugh:

    The National Rifle Association wants guns at schools, but not its own annual convention.

    The NRA has banned working guns from its annual convention this year in Nashville, Tenn., according to a report in The Tennessean. Instead the group will require the thousands of firearms displayed at the event to be nonoperational, with their firing pins removed to ensure safety.

    The group will use the event, with an expected attendance of 70,000, to boast of its opposition to gun regulation of all kinds, including background checks, as well as to host GOP presidential hopefuls who agree with their stance.

    However when it comes to its own security, the virulently pro-gun group is pro-background check.

    Attendees who want to buy a gun at the event won't be able to get one there either. They will have to pick it up from a Federal Firearms License dealer near where they live, and present legal identification.



    Look, irony is not without value, but neither is it sustenance.

    Take the note, chortle, and move on.

    Nothin' to see here.


    Friedman, Dan. "National Rifle Association bans working guns from annual convention". New York Daily News. 7 April 2015. 8 April 2015.
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  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Damn It


    A 3-year-old boy picked up a firearm inside an East Side home Sunday afternoon and the gun went off, hitting a 1-year-old boy in the head, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said.

    The boy was taken to a nearby hospital and was later pronounced dead, according to police.

    Investigators are trying to determine where the gun came from, Williams told reporters gathered outside the East 63rd Street home Sunday afternoon.

    The gun was left inside the house unattended, and the person responsible for bringing the weapon into the home and leaving it where a small child could get to it will likely face charges, he said.

    The full details behind the shooting aren't clear, Williams said, but at least one adult was home when it happened.

    The boy's mother could be heard screaming on the back porch after she was told her son had died.


    No, really. I mean, what is there left to be said? This is going to keep happening, and ... what the hell, you know?


    Cooley, Patrick. "Fatal shooting of 1-year-old child on Cleveland's East Side accidental, police chief says". Northeast Ohio Media Group. 12 April 2015. 13 April 2015.
  10. Bells Staff Member

    I was reading about this earlier today.

    They need a responsible child with a gun in the house to counter the effects of the irresponsible child with the gun. He might have thought the baby was an intruder. That's what these guns are for, aren't they?
  11. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

    Guns are for fun/competition, for protection, for providing food.
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Handguns are primarily for killing people - that is the purpose for which they are designed. That's why terms like "stopping power" are used.
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Which do you think applies to the 3 year old then?

    Fun? Competition? Protection?
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The only thing guns are for is to make pathetic little men like George Zimmerman, Adam Lanza and Donald West Wilder II feel like big men.
  15. Bells Staff Member

    That's okay folks. He's a trained professional.. Well not really, but he's still allowed to work as an LEO!

    A white volunteer cop who shot dead a black suspect during an arrest claims he thought he was firing a stun gun, not a handgun.

    Horrific video shows the moment Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Bates shot dead Eric Harris, 44, who was accused of trying to sell an illegal gun to an undercover officer in Oklahoma.

    “Taser! Taser!” Bates, 73, is heard shouting, before firing his gun, hitting Harris who was pinned to the ground.

    Bates quickly realised his mistake: “I shot him! I’m sorry!”

    Well, talk about an oopsie moment!

    I discovered something new today.

    I never realised that people with guns could simply volunteer as police officers outside of their normal jobs. I had always assumed that to be a police officer, you had to undergo training, tests, psychological training, skills training and tests.

    I was wrong.

    Robert Bates is "an insurance company executive". And as the real officers noted (well, I hope they are real), Bates was kind of thrust in the situation when he had his big oopsie moment and accidently shot his own gun instead of a taser at Harris. I mean, it could happen to anyone, right? He's out there, volunteering as a volunteer police officer in every capacity that one would expect from a real and trained police officer, with his gun, without training or skills to handle such situations and getting thrust into these situations... And the result? Well, he killed someone because he thought his gun was his taser.

    Harris squirmed and yelled repeatedly, “He shot me. Oh my God!”, adding that he couldn’t breathe.

    An officer replied: “You f***ing ran. Shut the f*** up.”

    When Harris says he can’t breathe (“Oh my God. I’m losing my breath”) a deputy replies, “F*** your breath.”

    Harris, who was unarmed, was rushed to hospital where he died an hour later.

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    That's a photo of the (I am going to go out on a limb and say real police officers) kneeling on Harris' head after he was shot, shortly before he died within an hour later.

    Fuck your breath indeed.

    It also needs to be noted that Harris was already on the ground, held down by police when he was shot. He was unarmed.

    Apparently these volunteer police officers ride around in police cars, they can carry their own guns, are given tasers and they can act like real cops, even to the point of shooting unarmed black men who are already on the ground. And apparently, it is not a crime to do what Bates did.

    They advised that Harris had all the characteristics of someone carrying a gun. Yet the video (which is in the link in the title of this post) clearly shows no guns in his hands as he runs, and his shorts and t-shirts show no indication of there being a gun anywhere on him. Certainly, nowhere that he could reach while the police held him down.

    Reserve deputies are generally volunteers, often with other full-time jobs. Bates is an insurance company executive assigned to the Violent Crimes Task Force.

    The sheriff’s office told the Tulsa World that it has more than 100 reserve deputies, who “have full powers and authority” of a deputy while on duty, and that it’s not unusual for them to be on an assignment with units such as the Violent Crimes Task Force.

    I am sure the residents of Tusla are really comforted by the thought that armed yahoos parading as police officers are roaming the streets and who are not trained to do so as one would expect police officers to be trained.
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Of course. ISS astronauts have a lower chance while they are on the ISS. Cops have a higher change. Career thieves - higher still. ON AVERAGE, across all those groups, they have a 1% chance of dying via gunshot.
    Well, if we want to avoid metaphorically shooting ourselves in the foot, we should start by not literally shooting ourselves in the foot so often. (And in the head, and other people etc.)
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Starting with Trayvon Martin, it's not difficult to draw the conclusion that it is, indeed, not a crime to shoot Afro-Americans.
    "All the characteristics of someone carrying a gun?" Uh... shouldn't that include actually carrying a gun?
    No problem folks, we only shoot black men.

    Since you're not American, you probably never heard of the Tulsa Race Riot in 1921. (I didn't until quite recently, see below.) At that moment in American history, the second-largest city in Oklahoma had the most prosperous Afro-American community in the nation--it was even called "The Negro Wall Street." A large group of white people converged on it and spent sixteen hours actually burning the entire place down. The police arrested 6,000 black people, grudgingly admitting the 800 injured into white hospitals since the two black hospitals had been destroyed. 10,000 black people were left homeless, 1,200 residences covering 35 city blocks were destroyed, and somewhere between 50 and 300 black people were killed. (Hey who cares about the numbers, they're just "niggers," right?)

    Reparations to victims were virtually non-existent. The event was omitted from history books for more than 30 years, allowing an entire generation to grow up with no knowledge of it. A memorial park was not created until 2010.

    When I read accounts of today's atrocities against Afro-Americans, all I can do is wipe my eyes and try to take a smidgen of comfort in the mantra, "At least things aren't as bad as they used to be."
    Billy T likes this.
  18. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member


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    Hold on...Me have good friend who depend on stopping power but never kill bad guy, maybe you know him.
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Averaging across relevantly distinct and disparate groups is invalid statistical reasoning. Drawing conclusions of personal risk and individual threat from such averaging compounds the error.

    One must use great care in assigning a physical interpretation to the arithmetic mean of a multimodal distribution.

    Since we're talking about gun culture - - -

    Try this: The average American citizen's penis is less than three inches long when fully erect. That's averaging in the groups whose penis length is 0 inches under all circumstances, children, etc, of course. Does that make sense? Would you support laws based on that statistic - say: birth control legislation that provided for the manufacture and provision of condoms sized for that average American penis?

    It's not quite that bad: the shooter was supposed to have undergone and successfully completed police level firearms training before being allowed to carry a gun in that situation, and according to more than one supervisor he had failed that training - his original trainers had refused to certify him. His subsequent certification, if any, is under investigation now - it appears to be mysterious, as he never successfully completed his training.

    Also, his reported weapon - a snub nosed 357 - is not viewed with favor by very many police departments. It combines inherent inaccuracy (heavy, massive kick, short barrel) with lethal power (a hand cannon like that will penetrate walls and such, hit things you can't see).

    So it is quite likely a crime to do what he did, even in that part of the US.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  20. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Thanks Fraggle for post 1334. I did not know of that event either, but you must consider the lack of tall trees in Tulsa. It was not feasible to hang "strange fruit" from trees, one at a time as normally done elsewhere in 1921. The "good people" of Tulsa had no choice but to burn the black community to the ground.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2015
  21. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Guns are not alive nor do they possess artificial intelligence. A gun is a deaf, dumb and blind object that needs a human to make it work. Liberals seem to think this deaf, dumb and blind object can run the human.

    I would trace this reverse cause and effect to the PC approach. In the PC approach to life, an object's name alone has control over people. The word gun appears to be able to control liberals so they think the gun is in charge of the human, like all the other PC words. If I can call someone X or Y and sooth them or anger them, them any object name can be conditioned to do the same thing to them. This is more true of liberals. The conservatives are not wired this way, since they believe in character and self reliance. If sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can't hurt me, then the word gun; boo!, loses it power and magic.

    If you are a conservative, liberals can't help being controlled by dumb objects, since they lack the character and rational skills needed to see cause and effect. How do you deal with those detached from cause and effect? You help them by maintaining cause and effect until they learn to think in terms of cause and effect.

    As a logical analysis so we can do the math; one can get anything you want in the black market. If guns were made illegal, you could still get guns in the black market. Since the black market is more frequented by criminals, than honest citizens, and black market criminals tend to vote Democrat, then making guns illegal favors the democrat party. The leaders only need to condition the liberal minions with word games, so the word gun is abler to control their minds in the image of the fear; guns become animated.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Humans are imperfect. Many of us occasionally become very angry. We also often misinterpret what we see, especially if we've been drinking alcohol or using (legal or illegal) drugs. Most of us are woefully unaware of the things that young children are capable of doing, such as climbing into a tall cabinet or quietly watching a grownup open a safe and memorizing the combination. We also suffer from bouts of depression, some due to external circumstances such as losing a job, others due to weird thoughts floating around in our heads.

    Having a gun makes it far more likely that any one of these circumstances could escalate into a shooting, which at close range is very likely to result in serious injury or death.

    The gun doesn't ruin the human. It just gives him the opportunity to do something he or his loved ones will regret.

    Of the roughly 20,000 gunshot deaths of Americans every year, only about 3,000 are justifiable acts of self-defense. Half of the rest are suicides. As I've noted before, I believe that people should have the right to end their own lives. But if they have to do it by slashing their wrists in a tub full of warm water, or figuring out how to make a hangman's noose, or finding a roof tall enough to jump from, they'll have a reasonable amount of time to consider their plan and decide that they were having a bad day and it might be okay to see what happens tomorrow. But if a person has a fucking goddamned GUN in his desk drawer, it's all over in a minute or two, giving no chance for reflection.

    The other gunshot deaths which are neither suicide nor self-defense are the most lamentable. Discovering that a child knew the combination to the safe. Killing a beloved spouse in a heated argument and regretting it forever. Killing a stranger who walks into the wrong house (read the sad case of teenager Caleb Gordley, whose house looked exactly like his neighbor's). Shooting a bear or a cougar and discovering that it only made him feel angrier and move faster.

    As I said above, these categories of gunshot deaths outnumber genuine self-defense killings by FIVE TO ONE. So anyone who insists that guns make us safer is either an idiot, or a mouthpiece for the National Rifle Assholes. Oh wait: the latter category is just a subcategory of the first.
    Oh give it a rest! You argue like some Christian retard trying to convince us that the planet is only 6,000 years old.
    Guns are very expensive. And everything is more expensive on the black market. Even today, most criminals steal their guns rather than buying them, especially the hoodlums who make life so difficult in our inner cities--for the obvious reason that their penny-ante crimes don't yield enough income to buy food and guns. If honest people didn't have guns lying around (the NRA makes sure that no agency is allowed to count them, but at the very least 50 million Americans have guns and a large number of those have two or more), there wouldn't be as many available to steal.
    Most people who use guns in the commission of their crimes are repeat offenders who have already been convicted of at least one felony. This means that they are ineligible to vote. Duh?
    Caleb Gordley, Trayvon Martin, the dozens of children in that New England school, the Virginia Tech students, the victims of the Beltway Snipers... These were human beings, just like the other 17,000 innocent people who are killed by gunshots in this fucked-up country every year. They are not WORD GAMES and you should be ashamed of yourself for using such insensitive language.

    A member of my family--my favorite uncle--killed himself with a gun. The phenomenon is so common that you are sitting there conversing with someone who's actually had the experience! You should hope that it doesn't happen to someone you love.

    My parents didn't have the words to explain it to me. I wonder if you'll be able to explain it to your children. "Well kiddies, Poppa loves guns, and this is the price I make you pay for that freedom. If you don't like it, then move to Hungary."
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nope, since some of those groups cannot achieve "erect penises." Hence your original claim is nonsensical. However, saying that the average American has an ounce of penile tissue would indeed make sense.

    Or an even more apt comparison. Is it safe to say that Americans have an X% chance of getting breast cancer? An ignorant replier might claim "that's ridiculous! I'm a man and can't get breast cancer! Those stats do not apply to me; I am perfectly safe." Yet hundreds of men die from it every year.

    Likewise, upon hearing a statistic on the prevalence of gun deaths in the US, an ignorant gun supporter might claim "that's ridiculous! I am a responsible gun owner and my gun will only be used in self defense; therefore I am not at risk." And yet every year gun safety instructors accidentally shoot themselves, and gun owners who would never consider themselves at risk for suicide end up dead with their gun in their mouths.

    Upon hearing that, an ignorant gun supporter might claim "that's still ridiculous! Someone who doesn't even own a gun can't shoot themselves! So it doesn't apply to them." And yet every year ~30 kids in Los Angeles alone are killed by drive by shootings.

    Upon hearing that, an ignorant gun supporter might claim "that's still ridiculous! Those must be all gang members, or their parents must be gang members or something! An innocent family isn't going to get shot." And yet in LA every year, 5 kids with no connections to gangs whatsoever are shot and killed by drive by shootings.

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