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A former member
Post #: 63
re: The Fraser Institute Article
The Fraser Institute has a clearly stated anti gun control agenda that is known to everyone. Just because an article is peer reviewed and referenced, does not mean it isn't biased, as I'm sure you are well aware. Also, I don’t know if this Mauser guy is up to your standards, as he isn’t a criminologist…but a PhD in Social Psychology, who works in a Faculty of BUSINESS. The way I look at it, from a critical point of view: this researcher did a 'brief review' and subsequently concluded that ALL CASES (of his brief selection) conformed to his employer’s previous views on the subject, and then made huge generalized conclusions on this basis, that completely support his employer’s proclaimed position and advocacy. That doesn't sound very thorough and scientific to me. Also, this was published in 2003, using data up to 2001, which is now about a decade ago.

Mauser first trick is to focus the discussion on criminal violence only, conveniently eliminating those people who die or are injured by guns through suicide or by accident.

The Emergency Physicians of Canada feel that these people are important, that the deaths and injuries are entirely preventable, and that the firearm registry and other gun control measures in Canada have helped. Interestingly they include data that Mauser would have had access to when he was doing his research, but since he set the parameters of his ‘research’ to (perhaps deliberately?) exclude anything not considered “criminal violence” he of course didn’t need to concern himself with any of this.
http://www.cjem-onlin...­ accessed 04.04.2013
From the Background: “In the 2001/02 fiscal year, 606 hospital admissions were a result of gunshot wounds (GSWs).2 Of these, firearm-related wounds that were intentionally inflicted by another person accounted for 37% (224); unintentional wounds, 34% (205); and suicide attempts, 20% (121). “

"Firearm-related suicides by males in Canada decreased between 1979 and 1998 from 41% to 29% of all suicides by males.11 Overall, firearm-related suicides have decreased by 43% since the introduction of stricter gun laws in 1991 and by 23% since the introduction of the Firearms Act17 in 1995 (Fig. 118). This decline was confirmed in a 4-study review that examined changes in Canadian suicide rates following the introduction of stronger gun laws in 1991.19"

The position paper also cites significant costs into the billions of dollars of cost (6 to be precise) to the health care system for these injuries/deaths.

Re: Britain
Mauser writes that: “The number of violent crimes involving hand¬guns has increased from 2,600 in 1997/1998 to 3,600 in 1999/2000. Firearm crime has increased 200% in the past decade.”
(UK) FIREARM STATISTICS 2008-09
• In 2008-09 firearms were involved in 0.3% or 1 in every 330 crimes recorded by police in England and Wales
• Firearms were used in 14,250 recorded crimes in 2008-09, an 18% decrease on 2007-08, and the fifth consecutive annual fall
• Excluding air weapons, firearm offences decreased by 17% to 8,208
• Handguns were used in 4,275 offences during 2008-09, a rise of 2% on 2007-08
• There was a large fall in the use of imitation weapons, which fell by 41% to 1,511
• Overall, firearm offences involving any type of injury were down by 41% in 2008-09, from 4,164 in 2007-08 to 2,458
• There were 39 fatal injuries from crimes involving firearms in 2008-09, the lowest recorded by the police in 20 years
Source: Home Office
http://www.bbc.co.uk/...­ accessed 03/04/13
(now curiouser and curiouser, there are reports that UK police are not reporting properly... But I also find John Lott author of More Guns, Less Crime, who says that the homicide rate by guns in UK was always low, even pre-ban. So honestly, I don’t know where these stats come from that show UK higher than the US.)

Australia
From http://www.slate.com/...­
Cites peer reviewed research, and a review of the said research which agrees there has been a positive impact of the reforms over a ten year period
http://www.hsph.harva...­

So basically, Mauser’s conclusions are not any more solid than Moore’s, although he presents them in a less flamboyant manner.

Based on your very competent critique of the Mother Jones data, I have to say I am quite surprised that you haven't applied those same skills to Mauser.
Here is someone who has:
http://www.democratic...­



A former member
Post #: 64
I fail to see how mental health is not linked to suicide....

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.

Of course mental health is linked to suicide, but if you don’t have a lethal means to kill yourself available you are more likely to get through the suicidal thoughts; also you don't necessarily know when you are going to have a mental health crisis, and clearly neither do other people, most of the time. So having a gun in the home from the time when you were healthy, now becomes a problem when you are having issues. Israel has been dealing with this for years, as they have conscription and many young soldiers have firearms registered to them for their jobs. They found an increase in youth suicide, which was reduced significantly by not allowing the soldiers to keep their guns over the weekend. Not to say that other prevention and treatment isn’t needed, but clearly, having access to a weapon that simply requires you pull a trigger, is part of the problem. http://gsoa.feinheit....­ accessed 04.04.12

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.
Okay, fair enough, point taken. But what’s strange is that you seem very competent at this analysis, and yet you neglect to do so for the Fraser Institute article?

I read your articles, and they make sense to me, in terms of why the analysis isn’t sound, other than the fact that most mass killers got their guns legally. Also, I have found several articles which quote various criminologists in the States saying that these mass killings are not more common. Reading the history of mass killings was quite fascinating, how people could still kill so many others with blades or a pistol, or brutal beatings.
http://www.nydailynew...­
http://www.slate.com/...­
http://articles.latim...­

acting rashly out of fear is not the answer.
Who said we should act rashly out of fear? And anyway, this is just point of view. To you, acting rashly means restrictions which will make people vulnerable and to me acting rashly means continuing to allow extremely lethal weapons and rounds of ammunition to be sold to pretty much anyone.

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.
I agree that the media coverage is distorting the reality of these killings; however, BOTH SIDES are using the media to their advantage. And these mass killings, even if they aren't increasing, still traumatize a great number of people each time they happen, even without the media coverage, so to me, working to reduce or eliminate is still a worthy endeavour.

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.
True, it is an appeal to authority; however one which I still think is valid, although you dismiss it out of hand. Criminologists deal with crime, but there is more to the gun issue than guns used for crime. Health care workers are also seeing the results of the dangers of guns, including suicide and injuries/deaths due to accidents, mentioned above. Ironically, you are doing the same appeal to authority in reverse. The concept of collaboration between disciplines is to my knowledge, based on best practices for research. And, as I mentioned previously, Mauser does not meet your own “criteria.”

Jones is a clown, maybe one notch lower than Moore and more in your face, but they are pretty similar;
Thanks for the suggestion. I mentioned Jones a bit tongue in cheek to indicate that on BOTH sides there are people at the extremes, it is only fair to compare apples to apples if you are presenting one person on the extreme of an argument.


A former member
Post #: 7
I'm not sure why, in a gun debate, we seem to be talking so much about Michael Moore. No, he is not an investigative journalist. He's a sensationalist film-maker attempting to sway public opinion, while making profit in the process. But his targets are institutions like the NRA, health insurance companies, and the American government. Any assumption that these organizations are more honest and transparent than Moore is laughable. Yes, he fights dirty. But he does it for a cause that I agree with and he certainly has advanced the amount of discussion and debate on the issue, which can only be good.

I just need to call you on the "The evidence of the absence of legal guns in crime is evidence that legal restrictions on available guns does not improve public safety." comment. This is a bit of a false comparison using the word legal. Legal restrictions can help is they are directed towards the restrictions on illegal guns. Again, I agree with you that the Canadian gun law is misdirected, but the government does have a responsibility to protect us from potential gun violence, and I don't think that a 'hands-off' approach is a way to do that.

As for the right to own and carry a gun, I certainly think that it's more of a privilege than a right. The United States constitution has an amendment that was originally drafted to help maintain organized militias to defend states against the the federal government (or the British, whoever came knocking first). Since then court rulings have clarified it as an individual right as well, but do not guarantee it as an absolute right as well. Of course your not saying it is, but you do seem to be rallying against a 'ban on guns', which is the absolute opposite position and isn't being suggested by anyone.

What I mean when I suggest that a gun is a TOY, is that unless it is used for the reasons I stated previously, it ISN'T A TOOL. It serves no real purpose in the hands of a public citizen except to make a situation more dangerous. People who think that they can make a difference if they were armed during some sort of armed robbery situation have been watching too many movies. And anyone who thinks that we need guns in case we need to overthrow the government or limit it's power is living in the wrong century. We started ushering that idea out when democracy spread across North America and Europe (and other places with varying success). We debate stuff now, not strengthen our position with gun possession.

Finally, we've been talking "crazies" and people with mental health issues in a general way up to this point but I think we should define the people we're talking about. For me, they are people, who if allowed to own a gun for personal use, would incur a 'significantly higher probability of personal injury or death to themselves or others'. I know this isn't the tightest definition around, but it gets to the point of the matter. This isn't just for the perpetrators of mass killings or Alex Jones (who certainly should own a gun. Imagine having him as a neighbour...). This includes individuals who physically harm their partners during domestic disputes. Depressed people for who the presence of a gun significantly increases their likelihood of committing suicide. And individuals prone to violence who have be desensitized to the seriousness of gun use by mass media. People that treat guns as toys as opposed to tools.

My point is that this group is a lot larger than most would expect, and I think arming a large number of these individuals is a bad idea. I don't fear and oppose liberal gun possession because I'm afraid of mass killings, I fear and oppose it because I know several people that I wouldn't want owning a gun. Thanks.
Chris K.
user 73018662
Calgary, AB
Post #: 8
The Fraser Institute has a clearly stated anti gun control agenda that is known to everyone.

I did a search on the Fraser website, it returned 12 results for "gun control", 4 results discussed wars, 1 healthcare reform, 1 tax cuts. 6 articles remain discussing gun control, hardly a stated anti gun control agenda known to everyone.

Fraser is more of a pro-market libertarian think tank. It was founded in part by F A Hayek and Friedman. It has turned more conservative over the years which is unfortunate, as is the perception of libertarians as being strictly right wing.

Also, I don’t know if this Mauser guy is up to your standards, as he isn’t a criminologist

He has been studying crime for 20+ years. He has been in BOTH the faculties of BA and Urban Canadian Research Studies (Faculty of Criminology). He has published and presented for criminology forums such as the American Society of Criminology, Journal of Criminal Justice, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Canadian Journal of Criminology etc.

Also, this was published in 2003, using data up to 2001

So, he was supposed to use data from 2003? Sources such as the CDC, FBI, statscan etc. do not release numbers for 2003 until well after 2003, they do not make mid year reports with the final numbers projected. An example is the Aus. Institute of Criminology, their most recent facts and figures publication (F&F 2011) was released in 2012 and includes data for 2010.

This researcher did a 'brief review
That sounds like its own huge generalization of its own. He does not hide that ALL CASES he examined relate to the 3 countries in study.

Mauser first trick is to focus the discussion on criminal violence only, conveniently eliminating those people who die or are injured by guns through suicide or by accident.

It's not really a trick, he tells the reader that he is examining violent crime. He does put forward accidents, however accidental deaths during his study period were 1% or less in the 4 countries, aren't there more important issues than 1% or less? Furthermore, I question whether the majority of accidents happen to gun owners themselves who take the risk voluntarily, or to the unexpecting public. Suicides are examined briefly as well, though again one has to question whether someone committing suicide is likely to use a different method, or if they reeeally want to do it with a gun, whether they care if that gun is legal. Different sources give different numbers but hanging is similar in effectiveness to firearms. Something that IS curious in the study is that the comparison btw US and Aus. suicide rates end at 1997, the year the ban went in.

Again, culture has to be examined when questioning suicide numbers. Japan is a good example, very tight gun control, but their eastern honor based society gives them one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

Mauser would have had access to when he was doing his research, but since he set the parameters of his ‘research’ to (perhaps deliberately?) exclude anything not considered “criminal violence” he of course didn’t need to concern himself with any of this.

Perhaps because criminal violence is that which is most dangerous to the general public?

"Firearm-related suicides by males in Canada decreased between 1979 and 1998 from 41% to 29% of all suicides by males...."

Key part there, FIREARM related suicides, the overall suicide rate in Canada has remained relatively flat for a long time. There has been a drop since 99 but I don't seem to remember any legislation coming into effect until 2 years after that, or 8 years prior.

The position paper also cites significant costs into the billions of dollars of cost (6 to be precise) to the health care system for these injuries/deaths.

I almost wish that were true as I could use it to point out the gross inefficiency of our health care system (6B/606 = a lot). The paper that the article points to reports the cost to the medical services is $63M and public services 10M. ~4-5B of the “cost” is attributed to pain and suffering, I wonder just how one quantifies public cost due to pain and suffering as ~7-8M/person.

Britain
Mauser writes that the number of violent crimes involving handguns has increased from 2,600 in 1997/1998 to 3,600 in 1999/2000. Firearm crime has increased 200% in the past decade.
(UK) FIREARM STATISTICS 2008-09
um, 2008 is after 2003. Regardless, one of the points being made in the article is the ineffectiveness of bans, handguns banned, more handgun crime. These stats also show 4275, 9 years later, a further increase of 19% of handgun (“banned”) homicide from '00-'09.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/...­. accessed 03/04/13
I don’t know where these stats come from that show UK higher than the US.

In some categories it is, though I don't give too much validity to direct cross cultural comparisons due to differences in many variables, as well as differences in definitions of various crimes (the main point of the article is to compare the countries to themselves, pre and post ban, and with the TREND of a country that did not ban, there is still some cultural bias in this as cultural climates in either country can change as well).

It is understandable that in the Mauser article the overall homicide rate in the UK was shown to have shot up after the '96 ban, because it did. What I would like to know is why it dropped almost back to pre-ban levels since the peak in 03. One thing that could have influenced it since then was an increased police presence (~20% increase in manpower from '00 - 05). Overall crime stats seem to be a little more sketchy, to use the technical term. Many sources, not just Lott, claim that the reporting has changed or is being depressed by things other than less actual crime.

Australia

Again, the fall of homicides happened after 2002, the Mauser trending of homicide rate was flat, because it was at that time. This seems like an odd lag again, which makes me skeptical that it was the gun ban that caused a reduction. Something that has increased dramatically nearly every year since the ban is sexual assaults (note that Aus. does not classify rape separately). 14.5k recorded in '96, peaked at 20k in 2008, and sits at 17.7k as of 2010. Assaults have also gone up nearly every year since the ban.

So basically, Mauser’s conclusions are not any more solid than Moore’s, although he presents them in a less flamboyant manner.
He also doesn't quote out of context, misrepresent himself to interviewees, staple together speeches to put words in people’s mouths, use cheap film editing, alter sequences of events etc. Oh, and he also doesn’t tell the youth of America that they have no chance at success!

http://www.democratic...­.
A generalization (I don't have the time or amount of characters to pick that dudes crap apart as well), that individual also misses the point in that while firearms homicide does seem to fall after legislation, the overall rate does not seem to be affected. It does nobody any good to not be shot if they are still going to be bludgeoned or stabbed.

More to come, I am pretty busy as I am out of country on Thurs. though. I do appreciate the discussion though.
Chris K.
user 73018662
Calgary, AB
Post #: 9
Of course mental health is linked to suicide, but if you don’t have a lethal means to kill yourself available you are more likely to get through the suicidal thoughts; also you don't necessarily know when you are going to have a mental health crisis, and clearly neither do other people, most of the time. So having a gun in the home from the time when you were healthy, now becomes a problem when you are having issues. Israel has been dealing with this for years, as they have conscription and many young soldiers have firearms registered to them for their jobs. They found an increase in youth suicide, which was reduced significantly by not allowing the soldiers to keep their guns over the weekend. Not to say that other prevention and treatment isn’t needed, but clearly, having access to a weapon that simply requires you pull a trigger, is part of the problem. http://gsoa.feinheit....­ accessed 04.04.12

I will respond to this for now, studies vary on the effectiveness or the influence of gun presence in suicides.Reason puts a couple of the studies on the other side forward. The Duggan one, which I recommend only to math geeks shows that gun availability is not the only factor. The second article is coincidentally by Don Kates and Gary Mauser (apparently he is good enough for the peer reviewed Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy).

Regardless of all this, the debate ongoing south of the border is not for complete bans, and thank the spaghetti monster for that. The only thing I can see going through is a more thorough background check, while the constitutionality of that becomes a question, I actually do agree with it to an extent. Hell I would even support proof of firearms training like we have in Canada, the 28 day wait period is a little ridiculous though...

What is being proposed by the Dems: the ban of "assault rifles" with high capacity mags may happen, i am doubtful though. Back to the suicide point, I think it is pretty unlikely that people are purchasing the much vaunted AR-15 (btw that same weapon can be bought in Canada, Kalashnikovs too!) with a 30 round mag as a method of self homicide.
Sean
Sean-ESHG
Group Organizer
Calgary, AB
Post #: 193
What doesn't make sense to me is the sale of "Assault" weapons, In the US/Canada/wherever. These are weapons designed to be fired fast with little recoil to ensure that you can hit as many targets accurately in as short a period as possible. What is the purpose for these weapons in civilian hands? I'm open to hearing a logical argument for them but I personally haven't been able to come up with a reason that we'd realistically need them.

The argument about ensuring the people of the US are armed to repel a tyrannical government is bunk, so lets leave that one out please.

The only argument I can see for it is the libertarian one. Taking away the right to have them is taking away a right. However I still go back to the instances of violence using these weapons and have to conclude that the right of these people to have these weapons was outweighed by the right of the people to live who were killed by these weapons. Perhaps there's not the problem the media is painting; however banishing only assault weapons, it would seem, may have saved several lives. I'd like to hear of an instance of assault weapons in civilian hands saving lives.
A former member
Post #: 8
I don't have any hard facts about assault weapons saving lives, but Sam Harris talks about assault weapons on his blog:

http://www.samharris....­

His major point is that assault weapons (classified as rifles) only account for approximately 3% of gun homicides, and so focusing on them avoids dealing with the real problems. I've also heard him in interviews talk about how a gun like the AR15 would be a potentially better self/home-defence gun for individuals who are weaker and smaller because of the light recoil and ease of use. Not exactly a convincing argument but thought-provoking nonetheless.
Sean
Sean-ESHG
Group Organizer
Calgary, AB
Post #: 194
Well I think the deeper we go in this discussion the more we obfuscate some things.

What I mean is, I agree if we focus too much on Assault weapons we can lose the plot. However it's low hanging fruit, it's a quick win. I would argue with Sam Harris in that a low caliber handgun would be just as effective provided that someone is trained in how to use it. I don't think it's rational to give people guns if they're not trained. Moreover the last thing I want is a scared, untrained person who can fire off 30 rounds in a matter of seconds.

The point I think I'm making is there are far more greater issues to deal with than Assault weapons and because there is no solid reason why someone should own one of those instead of a number of other deadly weapons, lets just get them off the table.

Hopefully after that the discussion can continue on the other issues at hand.
Sean
Sean-ESHG
Group Organizer
Calgary, AB
Post #: 195
Ultimately this discussion is moot.

Here's why:
3D Printed Guns
A former member
Post #: 9
I could see the NRA actually being in favour of legislation of this process of gun making. Gun manufacturers don't stand to make a lot of money when their market can manufacture their own guns.
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