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Chris K.
user 73018662
Calgary, AB
Post #: 4
So I was watching some videos regarding the gun debate the other day and of course it is impossible to not come across the seemingly faded Michael Moore. I had almost forgot about him and his purposely misleading fictions that he calls documentaries... This sparked me to go look into some of the blatant lies that he tells which led me to a somewhat dated article by the Fraser Institute studying the effect of gun laws on crime (http://www.fraserinst...­. If you don't yet know that the big boy in the baseball cap (a nice touch to help people believe that he is one of them) is purposely fraudulent, it is pretty easy to look up on his lies, do not trust his words regardless of whether you support his views or not.

I often have dissenting views from most people I encounter on a variety of issues and this one is no different. People get convinced of things through the very human appeal to emotion and fall victim to groupthink as they are told what they should believe, and do so without examining the issues for themselves and thinking critically. The article is pretty convincing, what really jumps out at me is that only about 10% of guns used in crime in the three countries examined ever passed through the hands of a licensed dealer.

From the conclusion:

"This brief review of gun laws shows that disarming the public has not reduced criminal violence in any country examined here: not in Great Britain, not in Canada, and not in Australia. In all cases, disarming the public has been ineffective, expensive, and often counter productive. In all cases, the means have involved setting up expensive bureaucracies that produce no noticeable improvement to public safety or have made the situation worse. The results of this study are consistent with other academic research, that most gun laws do not have any measurable effect on crime."

Events such as Sandy Hook are horrific, however lunatics will do as lunatics do. The ability to obtain weapons for nefarious purposes is unlikely to change with increased legislation, criminals and loonies do not care if their weapon is legal and neither do firearms smugglers and black market pushers. Besides that fact, a crazy could just as easily create their own weapons (look no further than the fertilizer bomb in Oklahoma or the improvised explosives used by the PETA sponsored ALF). Indeed, the article states that: The mass media find gun crimes more newsworthy but multiple civilian murders by arson have historically claimed more lives than incidents involving firearms, shoot, maybe we should be registering matches and gasoline! The greatest loss of life on US soil due to criminal action happened when a bunch of Arabs used freaking box cutters... Crazies will do as crazies do, criminals will do what gives them their illegitimate gains, it is inescapable and cannot be legislated away.

Estimates on the cost of Canada's attempted registry range between 1 and 3 billion. Given the enormous failure the program turned out to be and the data in the Fraser article, I think the money could have been used more effectively elsewhere, as could whatever the US is preparing to spend if they implement stricter laws there. This not to mention that it is an affront to civil liberties and a foot onto a slippery slope (not just the inability to possess guns, but increased search and seizure powers and increased government intrusion)

Wow, all this rant from a little Mike Moore fueled skepticism... opinions?
A former member
Post #: 61
Using a well known conservative think tank to counter bias on the other side is hardly compelling.
A former member
Post #: 6
Okay, I’ll take a few swings at this.

I’m not sharing the Michael Moore hating all that much. I know he’s not a scientist and he does tend to overreach on occasion. One notable example of this is when he implies that the transport of ballistic missiles through the streets of Colorado at night has some effect on the minds of the Columbine shooters. But that doesn't mean that a “gun culture” doesn't exist or contribute in a negative way to gun violence. Michael Moore may be misinformed and occasionally less than honest with his material, but his efforts to popularize important social issues put him in the plus column for me.

As for gun legislation, if your point is that the current government program is too expensive and will probably be less than effective, I agree 100%. Of course, that is mostly because of costly government bureaucracy and an incorrect focus. From my understanding of gun violence (which is limited, I’ll agree) it’s not registered guns that are killing people in the United States and other places, but illegally obtained guns. I believe that is why studies measuring gun violence should be taken with a grain of salt because they don’t have enough data on illegal possession and sales to provide meaningful conclusions.

I do not, however, see this as a civil liberties issue. I don’t believe that it is a basic civil right for us to own a gun. Unless you use it directly for your profession, to hunt for food that you actually eat, or to protect your property from invaders (real invaders), your gun is a toy, and a dangerous one. I understand and agree that crazies will do what crazies will do, but it’s a lot harder for them to do it with a hammer than with a handgun. Thanks.
Sean
Sean-ESHG
Group Organizer
Calgary, AB
Post #: 191
Chris, I'll agree that Michael Moore is heavy handed and sometimes overzealous with his presentation which tends to lead to some claims that are dubious. the example sited by Jason is a good one. I don't suspect there is a link between the transport of missiles through the streets and the shootings at Columbine.

However what is lacking in that quote is any form of verifiable fact. Perhaps the study goes on to later qualify the opinion expressed with some data to back it up however your quote doesn't express that. I'd like to see that substance. If you could post it, I'd be interested to read it.

My thoughts on gun control is that there's no (excuse the pun) magic bullet. the premise that making guns harder to source has definite logic to it. Sure Sandy Hook may have happened anyway but what would it have looked like should Adam Lanza not had the ability to have multiple automatic weapons? If Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold been forced to show up with knives, how more readily would someone fought back against them? The reality is that we don't know because it didn't happen. It's not a stretch to say that the damages would have been considerably less than they were.

Again I'd like to see some of the facts that support the above argument before I say too much more but I suspect they are more ideological than they are factual.
A former member
Post #: 5
I would be interested to hear what, (if any) practical solutions have been put forward which will bring about the desired result, 'no more mass killings in schools, shopping malls, cinemas or other public places'.

We hear the polarized views in the media but I am not convinced anyone has come up with a workable solution. I suspect few in politics want to tackle this in a meaningful way as it carries all the hallmarks of political suicide.
Thanks for the forum

Chris K.
user 73018662
Calgary, AB
Post #: 5
I’m not sharing the Michael Moore hating all that much. I know he’s not a scientist and he does tend to overreach on occasion. One notable example of this is when he implies that the transport of ballistic missiles through the streets of Colorado at night has some effect on the minds of the Columbine shooters. But that doesn't mean that a “gun culture” doesn't exist or contribute in a negative way to gun violence. Michael Moore may be misinformed and occasionally less than honest with his material, but his efforts to popularize important social issues put him in the plus column for me.

Gotta take the opposite stance on Moore, it is not just occasional dishonesty.

The ends do not justify the means for Moore. He is purposefully deceptive and not simply mistaken. The Heston speech in his Bowling film was heavily edited, he took 7 sentences from 5 different parts of the speech and spliced them between emotional cut scenes, at one point he even splices 2 different sentences together; hardly a mistake. Both speeches by Heston mentioned in the film were juxtaposed by Moore in order to make it look like he was throwing it in the faces of victims immediately after horrific events; however the one in Denver, 11 days after Columbine, was a legally required AGM, the NRA cancelled all other events; the one in Flint was at a "get out the vote" event 8 months after the shooting of 6 year old Kayla Rolland. Moore deceives the viewer into thinking the Flint stop was immediately prompted by an interview Heston had done with the Georgetown Hoya 48 hours after the shooting. Bush, Gore, Moore (for Nader) and many other political people were rallying in Flint around the same time. There's much more, and much trickier, frauds regarding the speeches (people should look it up, it's actually kinda interesting how he uses misdirection), the key here is that Mike creates a deception, leaves a vacuum, and lets the viewer fill in the blanks thus solidifying the deception, and he is very effective at it. Make no mistake, the man is a fraud, liar, propagandist, and many other things.

The Heston interview at the end of the film (edited down to ~6 mins, the big boy was too lazy to find somewhere that there was not a clock above his head...) is questionable as well. Moore, in my opinion, took advantage of Heston's lack of memory of the sequence of events (he was suffering from Alzheimers) to further suggest the Flint rally was in response to a horrific event. A clever editing trick was likely used at the end as Heston is filmed walking away while Moore made the emotional appeal of the picture of Kayla. Moore was filmed front and back, however if it were really done while Heston was filmed walking away, the camera front of Mike would have been visible in the filming.

Given that according to him he has a team of lawyers and researchers who poke through his films he must have known the missiles were not for military purposes. After SALT I & II, that factory had been phased out of the military since 87, they produce Titan IV missiles, the weapons of mass destruction talked about in the film are really used to launch satellites. Regardless, I agree with you that having a weapons factory nearby has nothing to do with wackos committing mass murder.

The nobody locks their doors in Canada farce is particularly funny to me and could have been pretty easily faked using David Blaine style editing, try 100 doors, maybe 5 are unlocked, only show those 5. it is possible that he did happen on a few unlocked doors, all in a row, but that seems improbable to me and is more evidence of overt and purposeful lies.

There is much moore deception that Mike commits, even just in that film, but by far too much to list here. In my opinion the man is a joke, I dislike him just as i dislike famous conspiracy theorists and other figures who prey on human emotion with the goal to mislead the public, regardless of their ends. He is hardly Oscar worthy and his winning film does not qualify as a documentary, nor do his other films.

As for gun legislation, if your point is that the current government program is too expensive and will probably be less than effective, I agree 100%. Of course, that is mostly because of costly government bureaucracy and an incorrect focus. From my understanding of gun violence (which is limited, I’ll agree) it’s not registered guns that are killing people in the United States and other places, but illegally obtained guns. I believe that is why studies measuring gun violence should be taken with a grain of salt because they don’t have enough data on illegal possession and sales to provide meaningful conclusions.

Agreed, which is why, as I mentioned in the OP, the figure of around 10% of guns used in crime in Canada, UK and Australia were not been bought legally is one of the more staggering figures in the study. The evidence of the absence of legal guns in crime is evidence that legal restrictions on available guns does not improve public safety.

I do not, however, see this as a civil liberties issue. I don’t believe that it is a basic civil right for us to own a gun. Unless you use it directly for your profession, to hunt for food that you actually eat, or to protect your property from invaders (real invaders), your gun is a toy, and a dangerous one. I understand and agree that crazies will do what crazies will do, but it’s a lot harder for them to do it with a hammer than with a handgun. Thanks.

Disagree, especially in the case of the US. The US constitution contains arms rights in it which were meant not for hunting. The founders recognized the rights of the citizenry to have guns to defend themselves and to deal with tyrannical governments like the one they (and i admittedly wish we) escaped from. Whether or not the citizens could actually overthrow the government, or if the government is likely to turn that way is another issue; but that was the intent of the constitutional amendment, not hunting. Beyond this, I believe it is the right of honest citizens to defend themselves. Registration turns into bans, bans turn into confiscation, with increased search and seizure powers along the way; the step by step removal of rights has a great danger of leading to further steps. Another rights issue is the fact that making the guns illegal effectively removes the right to current gun owners to their legally obtained property.

I just don't think it is as simple an issue as ban the guns. It seems like the easy solution but has proven to be expensive as well as being ineffective in reducing crime... There are so many problems with it too, like the amount of guns currently, who gives them up first? Legal owners without bad intentions or criminals... Once the legal owner has no right to own it will the legal owner just give it up? Will some of them bend and sell them illegally? Is it prudent for the gov. to spend an inordinate amount on a buyback to prevent illegal sales?

Guns are dangerous in the wrong hands (and are certainly not a toy), but as you alluded to in your previous paragraph lawful ownership is not the problem, so why create additional laws for legal owners? As well, the problem remains that crazies don't necessarily care that the handgun or improvised weapon they have is less legal than their hammer.
A former member
Post #: 62
My point was that I don't consider the Fraser Institute to be any more reliable than Michael Moore, because they also have a particular agenda to push.
So I did an internet search to see what other points of view I could come up with, and this article in Forbes which tries to collect a variety of data proved to be very interesting reading.http://www.forbes.com...­

Something I hadn't considered: guns kill more people by suicide than homicide. So I don't know if you can separate quite so easily "the crazies" from the mentally healthy legal owners.
Gun violence decreased in the US from the 1990s to 2005. Homicide rates are down too, although the South stands out as having increased rates of homicides in comparison to the rest of the United States.
There are more mass killings, but no one knows why.
People in the health care field, promote reducing firearms. (New England Journal of Medicine; Harvard School of Public Health). Since they are the ones dealing with the life and death situations, I think what they have to say is pretty relevant.
The Washington Post article indicates that the American public does support specific limitations on the lethality of the weapons.

And if you watch Alex Jones, the gun control issue is a plot by the US Government to make their citizens defenseless against whatever nefarious plans the government has...




Sean
Sean-ESHG
Group Organizer
Calgary, AB
Post #: 192
I have watched Alex Jones only in the short time he had with Piers Morgan. Now I'm not a fan of PM but Alex made him look like a positive genius. I suspect that was the agenda on CNN though, or perhaps PM's agenda. It was surprising to me that they would put Alex Jones on the air without screening him first if they were being honest about having a gun debate. However what they got was a lunatic ranting and raving about almost anything that came to mind. If they weren't honest (as I suspect) they've proven a point to some moderate people who don't do motivation analysis. The gun debate, on one side, has some scary individuals who seem very unbalanced and make you uneasy about them having guns.
Chris K.
user 73018662
Calgary, AB
Post #: 6
I don't consider the Fraser Institute to be any more reliable than Moore

Disagree, not many are less reliable than Moore. Whether or not they have a leaning Fraser is peer reviewed and referenced. If the Fraser study has blatant Mike sized lies in it, please show me where they are rather than dismissing the article because, oh, it just must be untrue!

Something I hadn't considered: guns kill more people by suicide than homicide. So I don't know if you can separate quite so easily "the crazies" from the mentally healthy legal owners.

I fail to see how mental health is not linked to suicide.

Scanning a bit through CDC data, ~half of suicide deaths give toxicology results showing, opiates, amphetamines, antidepressants, marijuana or cocaine, 1/3 of suicides test positive for alcohol. "Overall, mental health problems were the most commonly noted circumstance for suicide decedents, with 41.0% described as experiencing a depressed mood at the time of their deaths. Approximately 44.1% were described as having a diagnosed mental health problem; 31.3% were receiving treatment."
"Other than mental health conditions, circumstances noted most often were intimate partner problems (31.4%) and a crisis of some kind in the preceding or impending 2 weeks (26.6%). Physical health problems also were noted in 21.0% of cases with circumstance information and job or financial problems in 14.6% and 13.8% of deaths, respectively." http://www.cdc.gov/mm...­

Also, you can't help but think, or at least I can't, that someone so bummed out, so mentally unstable or so whacked out on drugs that shooting themselves is the way to go would be reluctant to use other measures. I believe that a serious review of how mental illness and drug addiction is dealt with would do a lot to drop the numbers of homicides, suicides, and mass homicides.

the South stands out as having increased rates of homicides in comparison to the rest of the United States.

There are a variety of reasons that could explain why the South has more violence, although they have to do with the culture, criminal activities and organizations, physical location (I would wager that border states see more drug crime), the economy, poverty, and many other factors. There are far too many variables to simply point at one of them and say OH! that MUST be it. In my mind, among other factors, it is the people, even the big boy amusingly says "guns don't kill people Americans kill people"; I don't understand why he parrots a statement similar to the NRA, but I agree with him on that.

There are more mass killings, but no one knows why.

Ah, the Washington Post, and I'm the one using data from biased sources. Not to mention their data comes from a Mother Jones study. I won't dismiss the article due to the media bias, but because of the absolute crap data analysis in the study.

1: There are more mass killings
A major problem with relying on that study is the definition of mass murder, depending on what you call mass murder, you could probably make stats seem to fit any model. Even if one relies on the data in MJ as truth, to someone knowledgeable about statistics it is suspect. The sample size is very small and has been influenced by a small number of large events. Lets say Newtown happened a few months later, would 2 years of a similar death toll show that the trend is leveling off? of course not, that's not how statistics works. Also, the title of that article is misleading, what they meant to say was that the number of people killed in each event is increasing. The only mention of more events is that 25 of the 62 events were in the last 7 years, and that 7 were in 2012, above the average of 2/year over 30 years. Again, 2012 in statistical terms is likely a freak year, remove 2012 and in the other 6 years there were 3/year, an increase, but one has to question the statistical significance. MJ doesn't elaborate much on the number of events year on year. They even failed at their cherry picking... This and their bad math make their study hard to take seriously.
2: No one knows why
Trivially true. How can anyone know the motives of the killers when in most cases they are mentally ill and almost all end up dead. The small number of sane survivors makes it absolutely impossible to know why. We can hypothesize though, we can test the guesses and search for solutions, acting rashly out of fear is not the answer. I agree with the article that giving the attention may make the problem worse. This also intrudes on families at a terrible time to profit and make political points with the blood of the victims loved ones.

Regarding the overall WP article, Reason and AP refute Plumer's WP article and consult with actual criminologists. Plumer even acknowledges those articles, while missing the point that the MJ study was bunk. I strongly agree with the guy from Reason that people showing empathy is not a bad thing, but it must not lead to paranoia and irrationality. The Reason article led me to a blog of a PhD astronomer his analysis of the bad math is more concise and damning than mine.

People in the health care field, promote reducing firearms.

They may deal with the aftermath, but they are not criminologists. It is a common hubris committed by people who are very well educated in one area to think that they are experts in others. This is an appeal to authority.

The Washington Post article indicates that the American public does support specific limitations on the lethality of the weapons.

I can't seem to find the article which you refer to. Regardless, public opinion polls often generate the questions to prove what the pollster is out to find, just look at how unreliable polls are during elections. Besides that point, the American public would likely support a lot of things that are unconstitutional, this is why there are constitutional democracies and not pure democracies. For example, with the Christian majority in the states many of them would likely support breaking some of the barriers of the separation of church and state, that doesn't make it right.

And if you watch Alex Jones...

Although I'm not quite sure why you mention him, Jones is a clown, maybe one notch lower than Moore and more in your face, but they are pretty similar; just the mention of Jones makes me want to go off on another discrediting tirade. As Sean mentioned, Jones going ape was likely what CNN wanted, I'll add to it that Jones got the 15 mins of fame that he wanted. CNN's liberal audience most likely had their views solidified by seeing a gun advocate go nutso (both sides of the media use this tactic on a variety of issues), Jones satisfied his viewers who are used to his tantrums. There have been many reasonable people debating guns with PM, the one everyone will remember is the ape man. Many other reasonable people, I suggest Judge Andrew Napolitano, give a better and more complete view on the constitution, how it was formed, and why the articles are written the way that they are than ape man.
Chris K.
user 73018662
Calgary, AB
Post #: 7
I meant to put "Boston Globe" where I linked to "AP"
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