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Monday, November 13, 2017

Links - Guns: the Myth of the Good Guy with a Gun

The Science of Guns Proves Arming Untrained Citizens Is a Bad Idea - "Pistol owners' fantasy of blowing away home-invading bad guys or street toughs holding up liquor stores is a myth debunked by the data showing that a gun is 22 times more likely to be used in a criminal assault, an accidental death or injury, a suicide attempt or a homicide than it is for self-defense... data show that in states that prohibit gun ownership by men who have received a domestic violence restraining order, gun-caused homicides of intimate female partners have been reduced by 25 percent. Another myth to fall to the facts is that gun-control laws disarm good people and leave the crooks with weapons. Not so, say the Johns Hopkins authors: “Strong regulation and oversight of licensed gun dealers—defined as having a state law that required state or local licensing of retail firearm sellers, mandatory record keeping by those sellers, law enforcement access to records for inspection, regular inspections of gun dealers, and mandated reporting of theft of loss of firearms—was associated with 64 percent less diversion of guns to criminals by in-state gun dealers.”
Reducing the number of good guys with a gun reduces the number of bad guys with a gun too

Nevada gun shows tied to firearm violence in California: study - "Firearms-related deaths and injuries increased 70 percent in parts of California in the weeks after gun shows in neighboring Nevada, which has fewer regulations on such events... rates of firearm injuries were steady after California gun shows but increased significantly, from 0.67 to 1.14 per 100,000 people, in California regions near the Nevada shows"
Another hit to the "more guns, less crime" theory of gun control

Fact Check: Is Chicago Proof That Gun Laws Don't Work? - "Chicago is very close to two states that have relatively weak gun laws: Wisconsin and Indiana. So while it's easy to pick on Chicago (or any other high-crime city) for its ugly statistics, says one expert, taking bordering states into account weakens this gun-advocacy talking point. "It's not a scientific study. It's an anecdote"... A 2015 study of guns in Chicago, co-authored by Cook, found that more than 60 percent of new guns used in Chicago gang-related crimes and 31.6 percent used in non-gang-related crimes between 2009 and 2013 were bought in other states"

The Good Guy with a Gun Theory, Debunked - "states that made it easier for their citizens to go armed in public had higher levels of non-fatal violent crime than those states that restricted the right to carry. The exception was the narrower category of murder; there, the researchers determined that any effect on homicide rates by expanded gun-carry policies is statistically insignificant... As more law-abiding residents arm themselves, so might the criminals in the same communities—rather than the other way around. Lawful gun-permit holders, the researchers theorize, could contribute to a street-level arms race by bringing more weapons into public, where they are more likely to be lost or stolen, making their way to the black market. The more that people become aware that their environs are filling with guns, their perceptions of society could become colored by fear and anger, thus leading them to more readily become violent... the decline in violent crime has been most pronounced in states that maintained strict control over the right to carry guns... Sociological and anthropological research suggests that Americans' feelings about firearms and whether to carry them for self defense are driven by elemental notions like identity and masculinity, rather than empirical measures of safety gained or lost."

The “Good Guy With a Gun” Myth - "The NRA treats it as a foregone conclusion that bad guys will always have guns; even were the government to ban them, the black market would fill the void. Yet this assumption ignores the rising costs of illegal weapons—a gun that would cost no more than a few thousand dollars in America costs upwards of $15,000 on Australia’s black market, which would hinder even the most criminal element of American gun owners."

The 'Good Guy With a Gun' Is a Useless Myth - "if anecdotal evidence is more your style—as tends to be the case when discussing the efficacy of owning and using guns in this country—bystanders with guns didn’t help in the last shooting you may have heard about, when a 47-year-old walked into a Denver-area Walmart and allegedly started shooting. In that case, which left three people dead, it took police a full five hours to identify and track down the gunman because of the number of customers who pulled out their own guns during the shooting, needlessly complicating the police investigation when time was most critical."

The Texas shooting shows why “a good guy with a gun” isn’t enough - "Regularly updated reviews of the evidence compiled by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Center have consistently found that when controlling for variables such as socioeconomic factors and other crime, places with more guns have more gun deaths... a breakthrough analysis in 1999 by UC Berkeley’s Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins found that the US does not, contrary to the old conventional wisdom, have more crime in general than other Western industrial nations. Instead, the US appears to have more lethal violence — and that’s driven in large part by the prevalence of guns... For every justifiable gun homicide, there were 34 criminal gun homicides, 78 gun suicides, and two accidental gun deaths... Multiple simulations have also demonstrated that most people, if placed in an active shooter situation while armed, will not be able to stop the situation, and may in fact do little more than get themselves killed in the process... calls to increase gun ownership for self-defense after mass shootings overlook the real statistics: Concealed carry owners carried out at least 29 mass shootings from 2007 to 2012—twice the number of permit holders who prevented attacks"

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer - - "Adjusted for population, only Yemen has a higher rate of mass shootings among countries with more than 10 million people — a distinction Mr. Lankford urged to avoid outliers. Yemen has the world’s second-highest rate of gun ownership after the United States. Worldwide, Mr. Lankford found, a country’s rate of gun ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United States, indicating that it could not be explained by some other factor particular to his home country... it held when he controlled for homicide rates, suggesting that mass shootings were better explained by a society’s access to guns than by its baseline level of violence. If mental health made the difference, then data would show that Americans have more mental health problems than do people in other countries with fewer mass shootings. But the mental health care spending rate in the United States, the number of mental health professionals per capita and the rate of severe mental disorders are all in line with those of other wealthy countries. A 2015 study estimated that only 4 percent of American gun deaths could be attributed to mental health issues. And Mr. Lankford, in an email, said countries with high suicide rates tended to have low rates of mass shootings — the opposite of what you would expect if mental health problems correlated with mass shootings. Whether a population plays more or fewer video games also appears to have no impact... Racial diversity or other factors associated with social cohesion also show little correlation with gun deaths."

Ted Cruz says jurisdictions with strictest gun laws have highest rates of crime and murder - "Rushton singled out research by Lott, an economist and author of "More Guns, Less Crime," which concluded that crime rates dropped in U.S. states and counties after "right to carry" laws were passed. PolitiFact mentioned Lott’s work in its LaPierre fact-check, but also noted it had been contradicted by other research, such as a 2004 review in which the National Research Council of the National Academies of science, engineering and medicine concluded data available at the time did not show any "link between right-to-carry laws and changes in crime"... Cruz said that "almost without exception," locales with the tightest gun laws have the highest crime and murder rates. This point might hold for some places. However, we found multiple exceptions -- among cities, states and nations -- making this claim False."
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