"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Links - Guns (December 21st 2018)

Thailand′s fervent gun culture - "Thailand has the highest reported rate of gun-related deaths in Southeast Asia - almost 50 percent more gun homicides than the Philippines... "Thailand has a fervent gun culture on par with the United States and has become a world leader in firearms-related homicides." But that's not all. Just like in the US, the Southeast Asian nation also has a high gun-ownership ratio... business disputes, robberies, fits of passion, personal vendettas and loss of face are often named as the main reasons for gun-related deaths. And then there is the issue of contract killings"
So much for more guns, less crime

Is most gun crime committed by those who illegally possess guns? - "About 48 percent of state prison inmates surveyed said they got the gun they used from a family member, friend, gun store, pawn shop, flea market, or gun show. Most states only require a background check if the purchase happens at a gun store, according to the Giffords Center to Prevent Gun Violence."
This actually suggests that closing the gun show loophole, having stricter checks etc would reduce gun crime, i.e. claiming gun control doesn't work because criminals don't obey laws is false

Guns and suicide: A fatal link - "A study by the Harvard School of Public Health of all 50 U.S. states reveals a powerful link between rates of firearm ownership and suicides... “Studies show that most attempters act on impulse, in moments of panic or despair. Once the acute feelings ease, 90 percent do not go on to die by suicide.”"

Means Reduction Saves Lives - "A number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline. This has been demonstrated in a number of areas: bridge barriers, detoxification of domestic gas, pesticides, medication packaging, and others.
So much for people who'd commit suicide would find a way to kill themselves anyway, so there's no point regulating guns to reduce suicide rates

Armed Walmart shoppers slowed police in shooting investigation - "When a gunman opened fire inside a Walmart in Thornton Wednesday night, shoppers screamed and ran for cover — and others pulled out their own handguns. But those who drew weapons during the shootings ultimately delayed the investigation as authorities pored over surveillance videotape trying to identify the assailant who killed three people
The "good guy with a gun" just interferes with the police

More guns, less crime? Not according to the data. - "It’s not that Americans are more violent than people in other countries: in 2011, both Brits and Australians were statistically more likely to be injured in a violent crime. But the American is forty times more likely to encounter a gun. According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, gun victims are six times more likely die than victims of assault with a knife or blunt object. But America has many, many more guns in circulation than any other country. In 2011, 270 million firearms were circulated in the U.S., almost 90 guns for every 100 people. No other country comes close: Yemen, in the midst of of civil war, only has 55 guns for every 100 people. Even so, the data show that Americans are not more prone to violence than Canadians or Australians. In spite of this, compared to the average American, Canadians are ten times less likely to be victims of gun violence. (Brits are fourteen times and Australians forty times less likely.) The U.S. is also one of the few developed countries in the world without a comprehensive firearms registry. The aggregate data almost certainly understates the global impact of American guns. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the vast majority of guns seized and traced in Mexico are of American origin. About a quarter of these weapons are high-caliber weapons, such as AK and AR-15 type semiautomatic rifles... when Americans loosen their gun laws, the global market is flooded with cheap weapons. Political scientists estimate that the U.S. assault weapons ban expiring in 2004 directly caused an additional 158 gun deaths per year in Mexican border municipos... States with stricter regulations may have higher murder rates, but the laws were instituted in response to crime, not the other way around. Easy domestic firearm transport and trade of firearms further obfuscates their argument. Republicans often talk about Chicago, which has one of the highest murder rates and strictest gun laws in the U.S. What they don’t say is that 60 per cent of all firearms seized in Chicago come from outside state lines. (Neighboring Wisconsin and Indiana both have some of the weakest gun laws in the U.S.)"
So much for people killing each other with knives if guns are banned, or the real problem being a culture of violence
So much for banning guns being useless because they'll just be smuggled from Mexico


Guns and suicide: A fatal link - "A study by the Harvard School of Public Health of all 50 U.S. states reveals a powerful link between rates of firearm ownership and suicides. Based on a survey of American households conducted in 2002, HSPH Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management Matthew Miller, Research Associate Deborah Azrael, and colleagues at the School’s Injury Control Research Center (ICRC), found that in states where guns were prevalent—as in Wyoming, where 63 percent of households reported owning guns—rates of suicide were higher. The inverse was also true: where gun ownership was less common, suicide rates were also lower."
So much for fewer guns just meaning people kill themselves a different way

Means Reduction Saves Lives - "A number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline. This has been demonstrated in a number of areas: bridge barriers, detoxification of domestic gas, pesticides, medication packaging, and others... Prior to the 1950s, domestic gas in the United Kingdom was derived from coal and contained about 10-20% carbon monoxide (CO). Poisoning by gas inhalation was the leading means of suicide in the UK. In 1958, natural gas, virtually free of carbon monoxide, was introduced into the UK. By 1971, 69% of gas used was natural gas. Over time, as the carbon monoxide in gas decreased, suicides also decreased (Kreitman 1976). Suicides by carbon monoxide decreased dramatically, while suicides by other methods increased a small amount, resulting in a net decrease in overall suicides, particularly among females. Over time, rates of suicide began to increase again although not to the pre-1965 levels. One author has estimated that over a ten-year period, an estimated six to seven thousand lives were saved by the change in domestic gas content (Hawton 2002) Reducing access to lethal means does not always reduce the overall suicide rate. For example, restricting a low-lethality method or a method infrequently used may not make a detectable difference in the suicide rate. Restricting a very low-lethality method-if it results in attempters substituting a higher-lethality method-could in fact increase the overall suicide rate. Means reduction doesn’t change the underlying suicidal impulse or necessarily reduce attempts: rather, it saves lives by reducing the lethality of attempts"
It's hard to think of a more lethal means of suicide than guns
Keywords: gas oven


In Suicide Prevention, It's Method, Not Madness - "The rate of suicide in America is 11 victims per 100,000 people. That's almost exactly the same as it was in 1965. In spite of the rise of anti-depressant drugs, crisis hotline centers, and better treatment of mental illness, we still haven't gotten much closer to understanding or preventing suicide. The reason for that might be that prevention focuses more on the study of illness than it does on the actual ways people attempt to kill themselves... suicide is an overwhelmingly impulsive act. He cites a study of survivors that said only 13 percent reported thinking about committing suicide for eight hours or longer; 70 percent said they thought about it for less than an hour; and a whopping 24 percent said the idea had occurred to them less than five minutes before their attempt... He cited one person who had picked out a place to jump off San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, but he never made it. His location meant that he would have had to cross six lanes of traffic, and he was afraid of getting hit by a car."

Strict state gun laws linked to fewer suicides and murders - "Counties in states with strong gun laws had lower rates of firearm homicides than counties in states with weak laws, the study found. In states with weak laws, counties had lower gun murder rates only if neighboring states had strict regulations in place. But states with strong gun laws had lower firearm and overall suicide rates regardless of the strength of laws in bordering states. “This means that strong laws in one state may have a protective effect across state lines”... California had the strongest firearm control laws, with a score of 10, but many counties in California are also adjacent to states with weak regulations. Compared with counties in states with tough laws that bordered states with strict regulations, counties in states with weak laws that were adjacent to states with weak laws had higher overall and firearm murder rates. But these counties didn’t have higher rates of non-firearm homicides.
So much for fewer guns just meaning people kill each other a different way
So much for Mexico being next to the US meaning gun laws will be ineffective throughout the whole country


The reality of the 'good guy with a gun' - "police also noted that armed citizens can complicate volatile situations. The first of 57 uniformed police officers arrived just a minute after the initial 911 calls and found a complex scene with multiple armed people and no clear sense of what had happened or who was responsible."We don't want people to be vigilantes," Bo Mathews, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Police Department, said in a recent interview. "That's why we have police officers."Both men did what they believed was right, but that meant they had killed a man they did not know. Whittle wondered whether he was going to jail. Nazario went over ways that the confrontation could have ended differently — perhaps with his own death. They both marveled that amid the chaos, the result was as intended: The attacker was stopped before he could hurt anyone else."

It’s the Guns - "Americans of high-school age are 82 times more likely to die from a gun homicide than 15- to 19-year-olds in the rest of the developed world.This stark discrepancy is often treated as a baffling fact, requiring some counterintuitive explanation. After today’s massacre in Texas, the state’s lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, suggested that the problem may be that high schools have too many doors... At other moments, we’re told that the problem is that we need to do a better job guessing which troubled teens may prove murderous at some point in the future, or dealing with the excesses of masculinity, or possibly the crisis of meaning and identity in the secularizing modern world. As always, though, there is a simpler and more powerful explanation of why there has been no similar school shooting in Germany since 2009; or in Canada since 2016; none in the United Kingdom since 1996—while conversely, more young Americans have died in school shootings in 2018 than in all the nation’s combat operations all over the world... Back in 2012, Nate Silver observed: “Whether someone owns a gun is a more powerful predictor of a person’s political party than her gender, whether she identifies as gay or lesbian, whether she is Hispanic, whether she lives in the South, or a number of other demographic characteristics.” More than 70 percent of Trump voters in 2016 described guns as “very important” to their vote, versus only 40 percent who described abortion as “very important” to their vote and only 25 percent who felt that way about gay rights. With the slow fading of battles over same-sex marriage and abortion, and the rapid collapse of other aspects of conservative ideology, guns may now rank as the single most important political dividing line in 21st century America... American gun culture in the 2010s is as blithely irresponsible as American alcohol culture in the 1960s.According to a Pew survey, only about one-quarter of gun owners think it essential to alert visitors with children that guns may be present in the home. (Twice as many non-gun-owners think so.) Only 66 percent of gun owners think it essential to keep guns locked up when not in use. (Ninety percent of non-gun-owners think so.) Only 45 percent of them actually do it."
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