Comment of the Day: Why focus on guns?

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Do you agree with the old saying, guns don't kill people, people kill people?

Well, guns certainly help people kill people, but in response to our post about the latest mass shooting in Minneapolis, commenter Brian Defferding made a case that the problem actually goes deeper than firearms.

Here's what he said:

commentgunviolencesoundbar.jpg

There are studies that lend some credence to what Defferding is saying, but here's one counterpoint -- if the person who pulled the trigger during the Soundbar shooting (nobody has been arrested) was toting a knife instead of a gun, would nine people have ended up injured?

Then again, since the gun involved may well have been purchased illegally, it's hard to say how tighter gun laws would do much to prevent incidents of that sort.

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.






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53 comments
greenthinks
greenthinks

Cowardly and afraid you think your acquiescence will somehow appease a psycho's bloodlust ? As you effort to blame an inanimate object for somehow causing all this evil  you attempt to disarm those that persuade these criminals to feed upon innocents elsewhere. Where is this gun free utopia you so envision Rwanda Congo Dauchau Tienanmen square Bosnia or any other locale where genocide has ruled the day? The only reason crime has gone down in America is because people have armed themselves through concealed carry laws.  You have to stand  cowering only encourages this evil . As we continue our march from democracy into a full blown fascist police state the only impediment  is the civilian possession of firearms. This is where the Big Brother propaganda kicks in with the Orwellian catch terms of "common sense gun laws" and "expanded background checks" .  As if the 250,000 firearm laws already upon the books somehow contain no common sense. Or the expanded background check which in actuality is total government involvement in any and all private gun sales and transfers That and only  that  will create the list from where confiscation will then commence. And will signal a complete loss of the American people running the country  the country will then instead be running the people as servants to whomsoever does possess the firearms.

Alex Browne
Alex Browne

Maybe it's time to look at the reason these crimes happen, and not the tool they use to facilitate them. How many of those statistics you threw out were committed using guns purchased legally? I am guessing that you will respond with something about how the gun industry keeps any data gathering like that from being gathered. I would respond that I would like to know those numbers, but also take them a step further and see what race commits a majority of those crimes. If the numbers were to say that a certain population made up the majority of those crimes how would you suggest we deal with that? Would just stick with the others on the far left that would continue to believe that we should just ban all guns rather than make adjustments to existing ones. With that data know. Would we post warnings that if you fall into this certain ethnic group and fall in this socioeconomic group that you are more likely to commit a gun crime? Big tobacco had to post warning of their labels.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

I don't dislike guns, I dislike having a gun violence death rate 40 times higher than that of Great Britain (US 9.4 per 100K, UK 0.25 per 100K). I brought up cigarettes because from the 1960's through the 1990's the tobacco industry waged a similar battle to the one the gun industry is waging right now, trying to deflect the blame for lung disease away from their lethal products. "There is no proof," they crowed repeatedly, "that tobacco use causes cancer! It's all correlation!" Now the gun industry does the same thing, but as I pointed out they have the Second Amendment to bolster their position. Meanwhile 30 Americans die every day to gun violence. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/31/president-obama-gun-control-push

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

After refection and research, ive determined that guns are only useful for committing crimes.


Moral crimes.

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

Violent crime rates are the lowest they've been in decades. So apparently people are learning to deal without resorting to violence.


And for the records, neither guns nor people kill people, bullets do.

Alex Browne
Alex Browne

Bob, way to go. You managed to write a nice long comment without really saying a damn thing. Why bring up cigarettes and not alcohol? What is your stance on legalizing Marijuana? You dislike guns so you oppose them.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

The usual rubbish arguments, most of which can be traced back to the global arms dealers whose domestic divisions sell in the US. Why focus on guns? Simple - look around the Western world, compare the US to other nations. Where there are guns, there is vastly increased death and violence. THAT'S why focus on guns. Yes correlation does not prove causality - and no, we're NEVER going to be able to regulate guns in this country. That genie is already out of the bottle. But until a muzzle is strapped onto the paid and unpaid shills for the weapons industry, we'll never be able to TALK about the problem of violence. Because the minute it touches upon guns the discussion is sandbagged by propaganda and rhetoric. Why focus on guns? Let me ask this, why focus on tobacco when the REAL problem is lung disease? Hey nobody likes lung disease! So let's talk about lung disease instead of cigarettes, right? Because anytime we talk about tobacco the Philip-Morris company sends half a dozen guys in suits to shout down anyone who voices a contrary opinion. We've been through an industry-funded obfuscation campaign before, and gun debate is different only because cigarettes didn't have a constitutional amendment to fall back on.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

Guns make violence easier, and increases the severity and extent of the violence. 

Studies show guns contribute to impulse violence where the absence of guns reduces that impulse.  That is termed the 'weapons effect'.

Gun control laws DO make it harder for criminals to get their hands on guns.  In particular, background checks being required FOR EVERY SALE would significantly reduce guns getting into the hands of criminals.


It is NOT true that in other countries with stricter gun control that more criminals have guns; rather, FEWER criminals have guns, and FEWER LEO's get killed or injured by guns as well.

Those states with stricter gun control have less violence as well.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/6/1014.full

http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lane/case_studies/guns/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapons_Effect

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/9/4/308.abstract


http://science.howstuffworks.com/does-owning-a-gun-change-your-behavior-.htm

"The ways that gun ownership impacts behavior are complicated to say the least. But research seems to indicate that owning a gun or even just seeing one does change how people behave.

There's something called the "weapons effect," a phenomenon first studied in 1967. Researchers Leonard Berkowitz and Anthony LePage found that just the presence of firearms in a room made people take more aggressive actions, administering stronger electric shocks to other study participants. A 1975 study showed that a person drove more aggressively when behind a truck with a gun in a rack than one with no gun – even though logic might caution you about honking your horn at a truck displaying a weapon. People have an evolutionary propensity to identify dangerous items very quickly – and studies show people can identify guns as quickly as snakes. It seems as if weapons trigger the same part of our brain as danger and aggression [source: Bushman]. Another 2006 study showed that gun interaction increased testosterone levels and aggressive behavior in men [source: Klinesmith]."

So ---  HELL YES, there is a real benefit and a real, valid, sound basis in science to FOCUS ON THE GUNS, not just on the issue of general violence.

"

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

still need weapon... 500$ ...please message me

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

There are no real studies that back up what gun nuts are saying.   The NRA blocks research into gun violence.    That is a fact.   The NRA obviously does that because if the government studied gun violence they would find less guns means less violence.   They would find reasonable gun control would prevent lots of deaths.  They would find where all the illegal guns come from.   The NRA and their membership is blocking all of this because they don't want people to know the truth. 


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/us/26guns.html?_r=0



Gun owners are stupid frauds.   They don't want a debate.  They don't use science or studies to back up what they say.   They only use discredited nonsense.   Any journalist who writes about gun violence needs to point out how the NRA blocks research into gun violence.   The fascists of the NRA won't let gun control be debated in this country.  

MicheIeBachmann
MicheIeBachmann

@MicheleBachmann Go cry about how I stole your name. You should probably swear a lot while doing so... and tell me to kill myself. But how would I do so without a gun? Ready, GO.

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann Bachmans prolly a paid Troll, a paid troll raped by Dad. Bachman you exemplify the Left, you always have to lie and deny. 

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran

Not dumb.  Straightforward, well-documented science.

Rejecting science, whether climate change or gun psychology, is dumb.

No  "below" to see, because you have NOTHING to back up your comment but wishing and fantasy.

barbertj23
barbertj23 topcommenter

@mingtran @MicheleBachmann

I don't know, the conclusions are fairly suspect. It's really comparing the US nation as a whole (which is odd as gun laws really vary from state to state) to countries with a completely different set of laws and infrastructure and it clearly isn't taking into account the level of enforcement or the prevalence of ease to attain firearms outside of the law. My point only being that it's taking a vary narrow view of the issue at hand which doesn't truly answer the questions posed.

Example: Can you open a beer with a baseball bat? This study says yes (hits beer with baseball bat shattering it)  the beer is no longer contained, therefore it's open.

It's also the sole study that comes to this conclusion which feels suspect as well. Are there other studies you can site to back up the conclusions in this one? 


mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Dog Gone Dummy: you provide NO evidence to back up your statement that less guns equal less crime, whereas I provide well respected, peer reviewed studies to back up my position. Your studies reveal a link with aggressive thoughts when around guns, not increase in violent crime. Get it? You didn't even review my sources and you look really dumb. 

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@barbertj23 @mingtran There are two studies there, both revealing the same end result. The British Home Office has a study out there as well, which states US has less violent crfime, but more murders than UK.

SteveMcB
SteveMcB

aren't you some 7 dollar dishwasher at a restaurant in north minneapolis? why do you think you have the mental capacity to make comments about anything? you should stick to what you know - wiping off of dirty plates.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran 

Continuing to make my point, with science support:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-04/states-with-fewer-gun-laws-rank-among-most-violent-study-finds.html

U.S. states with the least restrictive gun laws are among those with the highest rates of firearm-related violence such as homicides, suicides and assaults, according to a study of national crime data.

Eight of the 10 states with the weakest gun-control laws, including Louisiana, Arizona, Mississippi, Montana and Oklahoma, are among the 25 with the highest rates of violence, according to a study by the Center for American Progress, a Washington- based group that favors tougher weapons curbs. Those with the strictest, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, were among the least violent, according to a ranking based on 10 criteria.

“While the strength of a state’s gun laws is just one factor in the prevalence of gun-related violence in the state and cannot alone account for gun violence, there is a clear link between weak gun laws and high levels of gun violence across the United States,” wrote Arkadi Gerney, Chelsea Parsons and Charles Posner, the authors of the study.


Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

You provide NO EVIDENCE.  NO LINKS.

I provided peer reviewed science. and here is more
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/07/gun-violence-study-chicago/1969227/
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-04/states-with-fewer-gun-laws-rank-among-most-violent-study-finds.html
http://news.yahoo.com/more-gun-laws-fewer-deaths-50-state-study-224508338.html
http://www.livescience.com/39754-states-with-more-guns-have-more-homicides.html

If your claim is based on anything from John Lott, or the Lott derivatives, that was debunked by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309091241

Since you are not posting any links, and you don't have any factual science worth mentioning on YOUR side, you might want to rethink the 'dumb' accusations, and instead direct them to your mirror.




Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran:

association is still significant, and does not negate the conclusions:

"The study also found that laws requiring universal background checks and permits to purchase firearms were most clearly associated with decreasing rates of gun-related homicides and suicides."

The association suggests causation, in so far as more restriction, particularly background checks and permits, appear to be effective.

"The larger problem is that the United States effectively stopped doing research on gun laws and violence 15 years ago and now has no evidence that shows causes and effect, he said."

It's NOT that cause and effect do not exist, but that thanks to he NRA, funding to demonstrate further proof of the cause and effect was cut.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Dog Gone My citations are posted on this thread in response to MB's stupid accusations and can be found "below".. Your first link was conducted by Boston Children's Hospital (ha!, take that Harvard and FBI) and clearly states "Despite the findings, researchers did not establish a cause and effect relationship between guns and deaths. Rather, they could only establish an association."  


You have given me no reason to click on your other links. You can't win.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtrann  The Children's Hospital study was done AT Harvard, you don't read well for comprehension.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran
Oh, looky! -- more gun restriction, fewer guns= fewer people shot to death.

http://news.yahoo.com/more-gun-laws-fewer-deaths-50-state-study-224508338.html

In the dozen or so states with the most gun control-related laws, far fewer people were shot to death or killed themselves with guns than in the states with the fewest laws, the study found. Overall, states with the most laws had a 42 percent lower gun death rate than states with the least number of laws.

The results are based on an analysis of 2007-2010 gun-related homicides and suicides from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The results were published online Wednesday in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

More than 30,000 people nationwide die from guns every year nationwide, and there's evidence that gun-related violent crime rates have increased since 2008, a journal editorial noted.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran 

You lose.  My links are better science than yours.  Too bad to be you.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Dog Gone Yep, Better science: "Despite the findings, researchers did not establish a cause and effect relationship between guns and deaths. Rather, they could only establish an association."  I take comfort in the fact that I'm not you. Keep bangin. 


Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran

So, you admit you are afraid to look at any other evidence, then.  You DO realize that's unscientific, and called 'cherry-picking'?

You conveniently ignored this - which is established science and is NOT association -
"
Researchers Leonard Berkowitz and Anthony LePage found that just the presence of firearms in a room made people take more aggressive actions, administering stronger electric shocks to other study participants. A 1975 study showed that a person drove more aggressively when behind a truck with a gun in a rack than one with no gun – even though logic might caution you about honking your horn at a truck displaying a weapon. People have an evolutionary propensity to identify dangerous items very quickly – and studies show people can identify guns as quickly as snakes. It seems as if weapons trigger the same part of our brain as danger and aggression [source: Bushman]. Another 2006 study showed that gun interaction increased testosterone levels and aggressive behavior in men [source:
Klinesmith]."

I cited a pretty impressive body of science that supports my position.


You apparently posted your links in the same place the dog ate your homework.


YOU LOSE.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Dog Gone You didn't cite anything that supported your position. You do realize only idiots believe that THINKING about killing a person is the same as ACTUALLY killing a person, right? 


I didn't need to read your second set of "evidence" after your first posted citation. You've demonstrated you know nothing of science and only of projecting. Try actually saying something and refuting my links.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran 

I cited multiple sources which document that having a gun leads to greater aggression.

And the citations also documented that more aggressive ACTIONS result from that impulse to greater aggression, AND it documents how the mechanism works in the brain to produce that result of more aggressive ACTION.

And yes,  you DO need to read the rest of the evidence.

If your links are not posted here -- and they don't appear to be -- I'm not going looking for them elsewhere.  If you don't care enough to post them in a comment to me, then they must not be worth much.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Dog Gone No science refutes my claims, you're just not smart enough to ask the right question. One should look at cities, not states to find the answer. City dwellers don't own guns, country dwellers do. Gun murders don't happen in the country, they do in the city. What does that tell you? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state.  Look at DC: lowest gun ownership per state, highest gun murders per 100,000 people per state. Ask yourself how Chicago is doing as well, not to mention any other city in America compared to rural areas. Stop being dumb, start asking the right questions.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol @Dog Gone Poor, silly digitalprotocol is incapable of ever getting it right. First off, your posit cannot be proven because it doesn't always hold true. Second, must be the third time I've mentioned it in this thread, CITIES, not STATES need to be examined to get an accurate depiction of gun murders/violent crime. Third, violent crime is going down across the board. Only useful idiots create a problem where there is none. 

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@digitalprotocolol @mingtran

Not precise digitalprotocol.


States with more guns have more gun violence, including homicides, suicides and injuries from firearms.  Nothing about having more guns,  or less restrictive gun regulation, makes people safer.

It is the opposite - more guns, leads to more problems from / with guns.

Further, not only does the presence of guns lead to more aggressive behavior (NOT just more aggressive thinking or attitudes), it leads to false identifications of things, it leads to people reacting to things that are not really there. Guns warp our perception as much as our behavior.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/michael-brown-study-racial-bias-weapon

n a 2001 study, participants were shown a picture of a white face or a black face followed immediately by a picture of a weapon or a tool. They were asked to identify the object as quickly as possible. Study participants more often identified weapons correctly after they saw a black face, and more accurately identified tools after seeing an image of a white face. What's more, "they falsely claimed to see a gun more often when the face was black than when it was white," the report's author wrote. He goes on:

Race stereotypes can lead people to claim to see a weapon where there is none. Split-second decisions magnify the bias by limiting people's ability to control responses. Such a bias could have important consequences for decision making by police officers and other authorities interacting with racial minorities. The bias requires no intentional racial animus, occurring even for those who are actively trying to avoid it.

This study has been repeated by several different groups of scientists with the same results. (When participants are primed with female as opposed to male African-American faces, however, they are less likely to assume the object is a gun.)





Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran Chicago is getting better; their problem is that gun control doesn't prevent out of state/out of the city guns getting in.

New York, with better statewide gun control does much better -- and that improvement came with greater gun control/gun restriction.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran

I'm asking the right questions.

You just don't like the answers.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran


Gun rights advocates should stop using New York City (and Chicago) as examples

The deadly dozen: America's ten most murderous cities in 2012

For some reason the links aren't posting properly; both articles are at the Examiner.com, by sociologist Keith Darling-Brekhus

barbertj23
barbertj23 topcommenter

@mingtran @Dog Gone

99 of 131 murders in DC were gun related. Are you trying to say that number wouldn't change if those people didn't own firearms?

I.E.

No firearms still means 131 deaths

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Dog Gone Poor guy. It's right in front of your face, spelled out, and you refuse to see it.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@barbertj23 @mingtran @Dog Gone I'm saying numbers would go up. 3.6% of DC residents admit to owning guns. If there were less than 3.6% gun owners, there are even less opportunities to thwart an attempt with a gun. 

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@barbertj23, @mingtran

If 99 of 131 murders were gun related, then only 32 were not gun related, ergo without guns there would be fewer murders.

131

- 99

_____
  32


http://www.examiner.com/article/gun-friendly-southern-states-have-highest-homicide-rates-2012

The recently released FBI's crime statistics for 2012, once again show the American South dominating the list of states with the highest per capita homicide rates. Louisiana led the nation with a murder rate of 10.8 homicides per 100,000 population. Louisiana's Southern neighbor, Mississippi was second with a homicide rate of 7.4 per 100,000. Alabama (7.1), Michigan (7.0) and South Carolina (6.9) rounded out the top five most murderous U.S. states in 2012. Missouri (6.5), Tennessee (6.0), Georgia and Arkansas also ranked in the top ten states, with Georgia and Arkansas tying for 10th at 5.9 murders per 100,000.

While there are many factors that contribute to a state's homicide rate including poverty, access to rapid emergency medical care, and a myriad of other sociological factors, easy access to firearms is one factor that helps turn aggravated assaults in the South into deadly gun incidents up to and including murder. A domestic dispute where a gun is handy becomes a potentially lethal situation as does a confrontation in public if one or both combatants are armed. While the gun lobby likes to argue that gun control measures increase the homicide risk for "law abiding" citizens, the reality is that easy access to guns correlates strongly to higher homicide rates in the U.S. states. No reasonable person can argue that the reason homicide rates are higher in the American South than in any other region of the country is because the South is too strict with regulating firearms.


Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran

Nothing to see that you are showing, and no spelling worth reading either.

You have NOT refuted the science.  Facts are not your friends.

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtran @barbertj23

That is not what any research shows.

'Less opportunities to thwart an attempt with a gun"?

Fewer guns = fewer attempts with guns, ergo less 'thwarting' required. 

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@Dog Gone To a simpleton that makes sense. How are you going to confiscate every single gun in the US? 

Dog Gone
Dog Gone topcommenter

@mingtranan

No one is promoting the idea of confiscating any guns in the U.S..  That is an argument made by simpletons who can't come up with better ones against gun controls, and instead seek out a straw man argument.


However, background checks on EVERY sale would go a long way towards keeping guns out of the wrong hands, for starters.

Requiring a license and liability insurance, as we do with cars, would be another good step --- particularly if it were also a requisite for buying or making ammo.

NOT having a niche legal industry in getting back gun rights for violent offenders would be another good start.

NOT having lax regulations on giving gun rights back to those who have been found to be dangerously mentally ill would be another good step.

NOT permitting guns in the hands of illegal drug users would be another good step.  Currently -- courtesy of the NRA -- the NICS data base ONLY maintains drug convictions for one year --- usually a shorter period of time than the jail sentence for the conviction.

REQUIRING that the NICS data base names be kept current would be another good move we could make to keep guns sensibly and usefully restricted.

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