JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/03/another-debate-invitation-refused.html (18 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1204949846-589202  USCitizen at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 04:17:26 +0000

Once again, your thorough coverage of this debate, backed by statistics and sources are a valuable resource to counter the articles that seem to rely upon hyperbole and emotion -- but not necessarily on facts.

This post is sure to be cited as a counterpoint to many articles to come.

Thank you for your continued diligence supporting truth over propaganda.

-- USCitizen

jsid-1204950614-589204  Kevin Baker at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 04:30:14 +0000

Thanks. I try!

jsid-1204974522-589208  Guest (anonymous) at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 11:08:42 +0000

Every time I periodically stop by your blog, I'm always reminded why I love it. Bang-up job as usual.

jsid-1204980503-589210  FabioC. at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 12:48:23 +0000

"As simple observation will show other advanced countries, that don't permit the same freedom of gun ownership and use, are not overrun by people in black helicopters, nor by crazed gangs or druggies, nor by criminals threatening home and family."

Let's see, in London in particular there are surveillance cameras everywhere, but criminals, chavs and gangbangers roam the streets more or less undisturbed.

So yes, it seems that certain nightmare scenarios are coming true.

jsid-1204982678-589211  6Kings at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 13:24:38 +0000

"Without getting too deep into the American psyche there just seems to be a vocal core of gun supporters who are motivated by something deeper than rational arguments."

That is priceless! Us gun owners as the irrational ones?? Kevin, among others, has time and again shown rational arguments why gun control is worthless and counterproductive. Pro Gun activists have the founding fathers, statistics, and common sense backing us up yet all we get from the other side is "It's for the children" and "Guns are the cause of crime" and "I shiver when I see a gun". Talk about a complete disconnect!

The article "Ethics from a barrel of a Gun" would be a good one to tattoo to this person's arm. It just galls me when I see anti gun arguments, especially when they claim pro gun is all about fear. Why are these people living with such a disconnect from reality?!

There is no argument for gun control that addresses causes of misuse. Background checks?...only sees if the person has history that may cause misuse. Waiting period?...MAY address hotheads but doesn't address why people aren't controlling their rage. Restrictions on types of weapons or capacity?...Doesn't have any impact on criminal activity as they can steal or get black market guns in any flavor. City Bans?...Stupidity at its finest that only affect law abiding and disarm them. I could go on but most of you know this stuff by heart.

I am sure the living in the Israeli library are thanking their lucky stars that there was an armed student who stopped the terrorist before more were killed.

jsid-1204983942-589212  6Kings at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 13:45:42 +0000

Major oversight by me: Good job Kevin!

jsid-1204988147-589213  Brass at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 14:55:47 +0000

Always an excellent read.

FabioC., let's not forget the roaming bands of thugs torching cars in France. That seems to be exactly what that tool says is not happening.

jsid-1204990021-589215  FabioC. at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 15:27:01 +0000

I think that in France there are other factors involved besides strict gun laws.

But in Britain a population of compliant victims generated bold predators.

jsid-1204990278-589216  Elle at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 15:31:18 +0000

Bravo! Well written indeed! Maliciousness always dwells in the heart of the individual,never in an inanimate object.

jsid-1205016902-589228  Guav at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 22:55:02 +0000

Odd that you'd say that about Australia: following the the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, the government instituted sweeping gun control legislation in 1997 and spent half a billion dollars buying citizens’ newly-illegal guns from them (of course, it has occurred to me that you could have been being sarcastic about it :)

But yeah, if we go to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we see what you were talking about. In their summary of the report Suicides: Recent Trends, Australia, 1993 to 2003, they state:

In 2003 the most common method of suicide was hanging, which was used in almost half (45%) of all suicide deaths. The next most used methods were poisoning by ‘other’ (including motor vehicle exhaust) (19%), Other (15%), poisoning by drugs (13%), and methods using firearms (9%). This distribution was consistent with that of the previous few years. However, over the decade strong trends were apparent such as the increase in the use of hanging, and a decrease in methods using firearms. See Table 4 for data on broad groupings of method of suicide. [emphasis added]

Look at Table 4 where they directed us (Page 13 of the PDF). You will see that in 1993, 435 of the suicides in Australia were with firearms. In 1997, only 330 Australians killed themselves with firearms. By 2003, that number had dropped to 194! That’s an amazing decrease in firearm suicides.

Yet in 1993, the total number of suicides in Australia was 2,081. In 2003, the total number of suicides was 2,213—it was actually higher. So although the number of firearm suicides steadily declined over that decade, the total number of suicides remained basically the same, fluctuating between a low of 2,081 and and a high of 2,720.

They basically banned firearms in 1997 and predictably, firearm suicides decreased. But more people started hanging themselves.

There’s no indication that people who are so miserable that they want to end their lives will not do so regardless of whether or not they have easy means to do so—they will do so, regardless of gun availability.

jsid-1205020489-589230  Daniel Newby at Sat, 08 Mar 2008 23:54:49 +0000

"Personally, I'm convinced that the recent (last decade or two) upswing in rampage killing / suicides is due to the use of anti-depressants that have a bad effect on a tiny percentage of the people who use them."

I pin it more on cultural changes and the policy of emptying the insane asylums.

At the top of the list of cultural changes is press coverage: massacre a bunch of people and you are guaranteed the equivalent of your own personal TV program, fawning over every detail of your life for dozens of broadcast hours, and maybe they even build you a roadside theme park (memorial). The Virginia Tech murderer even sent out his own press kit! And it worked: the Oklahoma City bomber had to take down his building by himself, but Virginia Tech was so cowed they are knocking down theirs on behalf of the murderer.

jsid-1205046172-589241  ben at Sun, 09 Mar 2008 07:02:52 +0000

It's also funny that in kinder gentler Canada, my student loans charge 8.25% interest, while in mean crappy America, they only charge 6.25%

jsid-1205103847-589266  Will at Sun, 09 Mar 2008 23:04:07 +0000

It appears that she took done the entire post. The link is broken, and a search of her site finds nothing of that gun post.

jsid-1205112816-589268  Kevin Baker at Mon, 10 Mar 2008 01:33:36 +0000

Yup. Everything's gone. See the update.

jsid-1205219678-589312  ACanadian at Tue, 11 Mar 2008 07:14:38 +0000

I was wondering what source you were using for the comparison of U.S. and Canadian crime rates?
All the comparisons I have seen have shown Canada as having higher rates of some types of property crime, but not violent crime.
Thanks in advance.

jsid-1205224029-589314  ACanadian at Tue, 11 Mar 2008 08:27:09 +0000

Oh NM I see now that the rates were taken off of Ebert's site, although I would still like to know where he got that from.

jsid-1205244482-589317  Kevin Baker at Tue, 11 Mar 2008 14:08:02 +0000

According to Ebert's site, the statistics came from http://www.statcan.ca/

jsid-1205266303-589335  ACanadian at Tue, 11 Mar 2008 20:11:43 +0000

For curiosity sake I did a little checking around with the Canadian and American stats.

It turns out that the statscan website the Mr. Ebert used actually states here
that the Canadian violent crime rate is lower, although some types of property crime are higher.
However, when I pulled the relevant stats from here http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/legal02.htm?sdi=violent%20crime
and here
the raw numbers appear to support Ebert’s conclusion.

This didn’t make a lot of sense until I checked the definitions for violent crime for both countries.
While the U.S. statistics only include aggravated assault and exclude simple assault. (http://bjsdata.ojp.usdoj.gov/dataonline/Search/Crime/definitions.cfm)
The Canadian table has assaults level 1 to 3 as the single most common type of violent offence. These offences can include many crimes that are nowhere near the severity of aggravated assault, such as brandishing a weapon, simple assault, etc.

Taking this into account it appears that although Ebert did look the numbers up the statscan assertion that Canada’s violent crime rate is lower is in fact correct. I strongly doubt that this has anything to do with having stricter gun control, but I did feel like setting the record straight.

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