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Old 12-16-2012, 10:35 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Let's research gun violence.

I've said this in a couple other threads, but I don't believe that gun control is going to get any traction in Congress. Some Democrats will push for it, some other Republicans will table it, some pro-gun control folks like myself will cry foul, and yet another Congress will pass without any gun control measures seeing the light of day.

But here's one thing that maybe we can start doing: better educate ourselves on gun violence, so we can stop stabbing in the dark as to what we can better do to mitigate it.

The problem is that for a couple decades now, the government has not been able to produce any information on gun violence because the NRA has been threatening war if Congress failed to choke off all funding for gun-related research.

The CDC and NIH used to conduct research for decades, but around the time of the late 90s, the NRA became so powerful it was able to prevent these agencies from granting funds to researchers on those topics. McClatchy DC:

Quote:
The CDC and NIH award billions in grants. They fund research into cancer, brain injury, tobacco use, obesity, AIDS, abortion, hearing loss, allergies, infectious diseases, back pain and virtually everything else related to human health. But gun violence is the one area that carries that specific language. The effect has been to limit federal funding into research that could be used to shape policy.
This is irresponsible. We pass hundreds of gun-related laws across the country every few years. Like all laws, we should be able to research the impact of the laws we pass, so we can make decisions based on more than pure ideology.

Anyway, there's a ton of stories on this, but here's a really good one from last year in the Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/us...anted=all&_r=0

N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say
By MICHAEL LUO
Published: January 25, 2011

In the wake of the shootings in Tucson, the familiar questions inevitably resurfaced: Are communities where more people carry guns safer or less safe? Does the availability of high-capacity magazines increase deaths? Do more rigorous background checks make a difference?

The reality is that even these and other basic questions cannot be fully answered, because not enough research has been done. And there is a reason for that. Scientists in the field and former officials with the government agency that used to finance the great bulk of this research say the influence of the National Rife Association has all but choked off money for such work.

“We’ve been stopped from answering the basic questions,” said Mark Rosenberg, former director of the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was for about a decade the leading source of financing for firearms research.

Chris Cox, the N.R.A.’s chief lobbyist, said his group had not tried to squelch genuine scientific inquiries, just politically slanted ones.

“Our concern is not with legitimate medical science,” Mr. Cox said. “Our concern is they were promoting the idea that gun ownership was a disease that needed to be eradicated.”

The amount of money available today for studying the impact of firearms is a fraction of what it was in the mid-1990s, and the number of scientists toiling in the field has dwindled to just a handful as a result, researchers say.

The dearth of money can be traced in large measure to a clash between public health scientists and the N.R.A. in the mid-1990s. At the time, Dr. Rosenberg and others at the C.D.C. were becoming increasingly assertive about the importance of studying gun-related injuries and deaths as a public health phenomenon, financing studies that found, for example, having a gun in the house, rather than conferring protection, significantly increased the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.

Alarmed, the N.R.A. and its allies on Capitol Hill fought back. The injury center was guilty of “putting out papers that were really political opinion masquerading as medical science,” said Mr. Cox, who also worked on this issue for the N.R.A. more than a decade ago.

Initially, pro-gun lawmakers sought to eliminate the injury center completely, arguing that its work was “redundant” and reflected a political agenda. When that failed, they turned to the appropriations process. In 1996, Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, succeeded in pushing through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the disease control centers’ budget, the very amount it had spent on firearms-related research the year before.

“It’s really simple with me,” Mr. Dickey, 71 and now retired, said in a telephone interview. “We have the right to bear arms because of the threat of government taking over the freedoms that we have.”

The Senate later restored the money but designated it for research on traumatic brain injury. Language was also inserted into the centers’ appropriations bill that remains in place today: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

The prohibition is striking, firearms researchers say, because there are already regulations that bar the use of C.D.C. money for lobbying for or against legislation. No other field of inquiry is singled out in this way.

In the end, researchers said, even though it is murky what exactly is allowed under this provision and what is not, the upshot is clear inside the centers: the agency should tread in this area only at its own peril.

“They had a near-death experience,” said Dr. Arthur Kellermann, whose study on the risks versus the benefits of having guns in the home became a focal point of attack by the N.R.A.

In the years since, the C.D.C. has been exceedingly wary of financing research focused on firearms. In its annual requests for proposals, for example, firearms research has been notably absent. Gail Hayes, spokeswoman for the centers, confirmed that since 1996, while the agency has issued requests for proposals that include the study of violence, which may include gun violence, it had not sent out any specifically on firearms.

“For policy to be effective, it needs to be based on evidence,” said Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, who had his C.D.C. financing cut in 1996. “The National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress have largely succeeded in choking off the development of evidence upon which that policy could be based.”

Private foundations initially stepped into the breach, but their attention tends to wax and wane, researchers said. They are also much more interested in work that leads to immediate results and less willing to finance basic epidemiological research that scientists say is necessary to establishing a foundation of knowledge about the connection between guns and violence, or the lack thereof.

The National Institute of Justice, part of the Justice Department, also used to finance firearms research, researchers said, but that money has also petered out in recent years. (Institute officials said they hoped to reinvigorate financing in this area.)

Stephen Teret, founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, estimated that the amount of money available for firearms research was a quarter of what it used to be. With so much uncertainty about financing, Mr. Teret said, the circle of academics who study the phenomenon has fallen off significantly.

After the centers’ clash with the N.R.A., Mr. Teret said he was asked by C.D.C. officials to “curtail some things I was saying about guns and gun policy.”

Mr. Teret objected, saying his public comments about gun policy did not come while he was on the “C.D.C. meter.” After he threatened to file a lawsuit against the agency, Mr. Teret said, the officials backed down and gave him “a little bit more leeway.”

C.D.C. financing for research on gun violence has not stopped completely, but it is now mostly limited to work in which firearms are only a component.

The centers also ask researchers it finances to give it a heads-up anytime they are publishing studies that have anything to do with firearms. The agency, in turn, relays this information to the N.R.A. as a courtesy, said Thomas Skinner, a spokesman for the centers.

Invariably, researchers said, whenever their work touches upon firearms, the C.D.C. becomes squeamish. In the end, they said, it is often simply easier to avoid the topic if they want to continue to be in the agency’s good graces.

Dr. Stephen Hargarten, professor and chairman of emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, used to direct a research center, financed by the C.D.C., that focused on gun violence, but he said he had now shifted his attention to other issues.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:22 AM   #916
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
You really need help with semantics dude. You don't have a very strong grasp of words and their meanings.

Your "facts" and "stats" are only evidence if they apply to the facts in issue.
Which, of course, they do apply.

You're attempting to argue that examples from our Western allies aren't applicable at all, which is hysterical since you just did a song and dance about how Switzerland is some great example for how gun laws could work in the United States.

You're making no sense.

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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
Yes, as I pointed out, I can't prove what I saw or heard only that I was there.
Therefore, not a shit does Direckshun give.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:31 AM   #917
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
So... I can't use any information, statistics, or evidence of gun control effectiveness from Western countries, because that's not applicable to our culture.

But the Swiss can be used in service of your point.

Did I summarize that dynamic accurately?
Wow, are you sleepy? Logic evading you at the moment?

Let me try to summarize so you can keep up..

You say "we have 12X the amount of gun violence of other Western nations." OMG!!!!

You say "it's because we have easy access to guns.. that's why!!!"

I say "No, it is because we are just more aggressive and violent, it has nothing to do with the amount of guns... it's because we are a different culture"

I PROVE this by showing that the Swiss (part of your data set) have ready access to far "worse" guns than we do and yet they have the low gun violence you desire. Therefore, your "access to guns" argument falls apart.

EDIT: I actually don't prove anything except that your premise is wrong.. and there has to be another explanation, I offer up the "different culture" theory as one

I can use the Swiss because they clearly illustrate that your simple conclusion about the causalities in regard to the Western countries data are false. They are a Western nation like us. They have ready access to guns like us. Yet they have lower gun violence.

SOOOO, your premise that gun access is the major factor falls apart. Unless of course you want to claim that Switzerland is somehow an outlier. In which case I make the same claim for America.

And I'm pretty sure the line judge will back me up here... yes, he does.. and that is GAME.

Last edited by AustinChief; 12-25-2012 at 03:41 AM..
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:35 AM   #918
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Which, of course, they do apply.

You're attempting to argue that examples from our Western allies aren't applicable at all, which is hysterical since you just did a song and dance about how Switzerland is some great example for how gun laws could work in the United States.

You're making no sense.
Seriously? You still don't get the Swiss thing. It is not a positive proof. I am not using it to show anything except that your premise is wrong. How hard is this to follow? (Guessing you never took many logic classes or participated in debate.)

Just to help you out.. here is the meat of what I said...

MY argument is that the Swiss (God Bless them and their chocolates) have two major differences from us. #1) every gun owner is well trained (doubt this makes much difference in what we are talking about but maybe, so let's at least put it out there) and #2) they are a vastly different and less aggressive culture.

So, please explain to me why the Swiss have such low gun violence stats when they assuredly have ready access to guns?


You claim that the reason Euros have lower gun violence is because they have less access to guns. The Swiss have as much access and much deadlier guns... yet they don't have a problem. Therefore your premise doesn't hold water. Therefore there must be ANOTHER reason for the disparity. My claim is that it is cultural. I have no statistical proof of this (not even sure how that would be possible) but at the least I can show your premise to be crap.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:36 AM   #919
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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
Wow, are you sleepy? Logic evading you at the moment?

Let me try to summarize so you can keep up..

You say "we have 12X the amount of gun violence of other Western nations." OMG!!!!

You say "it's because we have easy access to guns.. that's why!!!"

I say "No, it is because we are just more aggressive and violent, it has nothing to do with the amount of guns... it's because we are a different culture"

I PROVE this by showing that the Swiss (part of your data set) have ready access to far "worse" guns than we do and yet they have the low gun violence you desire. Therefore, your "access to guns" argument falls apart.

I can use the Swiss because they clearly illustrate that your simple conclusion about the causalities in regard to the Western countries data are false. They are a Western nation like us. They have ready access to guns like us. Yet they have lower gun violence.

SOOOO, your premise that gun access is the major factor falls apart. Unless of course you want to claim that Switzerland is somehow an outlier. In which case I make the same claim for America.
There are far more Western countries, really almost every single one of them, that I can show that have less access to guns than we do, and have far less gun homicides than we do.

I made this point earlier, but you rebuffed it because all of these countries are incomparable to us in every way.

So, you pick up on Switzerland, and you're like "well these guys don't fit your theory, so they clearly fit the narrative for America I'm trying to sell."

Again, you're trying to have it both ways. You're telling me no country is applicable, but you can apply Switzerland.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:37 AM   #920
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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
You claim that the reason Euros have lower gun violence is because they have less access to guns. The Swiss have as much access and much deadlier guns... yet they don't have a problem. Therefore your premise doesn't hold water. Therefore their must be ANOTHER reason for the disparity.
Not necessarily. It's also possible the Swiss are an outlier, which I'd argue they clearly are, given that their entire country is a country club.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:44 AM   #921
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So, now that the game is over and you've lost. Feel free to offer up YOUR explanation of why the Swiss have such low gun violence. AND don;t forget to provide that HARD METRIC regarding what will make gun violence NOT an epidemic anymore. You claim it is an epidemic and make me define what I think an epidemic is.. yet you sit back and won't define it yourself. That's pretty weak sauce.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:54 AM   #922
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Feel free to offer up YOUR explanation of why the Swiss have such low gun violence.
Pretty sure I offered it in a previous post.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:58 AM   #923
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
There are far more Western countries, really almost every single one of them, that I can show that have less access to guns than we do, and have far less gun homicides than we do.

I made this point earlier, but you rebuffed it because all of these countries are incomparable to us in every way.

So, you pick up on Switzerland, and you're like "well these guys don't fit your theory, so they clearly fit the narrative for America I'm trying to sell."

Again, you're trying to have it both ways. You're telling me no country is applicable, but you can apply Switzerland.
You are almost pointless to debate with when you can't follow logic in any meaningful way.

Let's try again. I AM NOT TRYING TO SAY THE SWISS ARE THE SAME AS US. I am clearly using them to show that they (and other Western countries) are NOT the same. It really isn't that ****ing hard. I am clearly saying they are NOT applicable. I am using them to show the holes in YOUR logic, not to prop up any of mine. Holy crap you are dense if you can;t see this.

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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Not necessarily. It's also possible the Swiss are an outlier, which I'd argue they clearly are, given that their entire country is a country club.
HAHAHAHAHAHA. Ok this is funny. So let's summarize.

America, England, Japan, Switzerland, France = Western countries.
England, Japan, Switzerland, France = low gun violence
England, Japan, France = low access to guns.

Therefore low access to guns equals low gun violence!!!

Oh what? The Swiss? oh they don't count, they're a country club!

You would have failed every logic class I have ever taken.

I love how the Swiss can be culturally different (country club) and that explains the low gun violence yet America is pretty much the same as the other Western countries. No way we are culturally different as an explanation for our gun violence!

yes, because America is far closer culturally to France and Spain and Japan than Switzerland is to Austria or Germany or Italy.

You do realize how incredibly naive and stupid you sound now right?
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Old 12-25-2012, 04:01 AM   #924
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Pretty sure I offered it in a previous post.
No, no you didn't... to recap here was the crap answer you gave.

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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I'd say we passed what was acceptable when we weren't near the top of the list in least gun homicides. Anything past that, in a country with our phenomenal resources, must be remedied.
A complete weasel answer. I gave a hard metric, I expect one in return. Your answer is bullshit that can easily be used to "move the goalposts" as you pointed out earlier. What HARD METRIC makes gun violence NOT an epidemic for you? Don't think I'm going to let you demand one from me and not get one in return.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:18 AM   #925
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No, no you didn't... to recap here was the crap answer you gave.



A complete weasel answer. I gave a hard metric, I expect one in return. Your answer is bullshit that can easily be used to "move the goalposts" as you pointed out earlier. What HARD METRIC makes gun violence NOT an epidemic for you? Don't think I'm going to let you demand one from me and not get one in return.
oops, though your response was to the other part.

And if your "answer" is that Switzerland is a cultural outlier, why would the same not hold true for America? I love how the Swiss are a convenient exception to your rule. Maybe it's not that they are an exception, maybe it's that your entire premise is bullshit.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:13 AM   #926
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Damn, Kyle - you stayed up all night on Christmas arguing with this douche?

I certainly hope you were doing something worthwhile between posts.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:51 AM   #927
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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
You are almost pointless to debate with when you can't follow logic in any meaningful way.

Let's try again. I AM NOT TRYING TO SAY THE SWISS ARE THE SAME AS US. I am clearly using them to show that they (and other Western countries) are NOT the same. It really isn't that ****ing hard. I am clearly saying they are NOT applicable.
Arguing that Western civilization is not applicable because the Swiss often aren't doesn't make a lick of sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
America, England, Japan, Switzerland, France = Western countries.
England, Japan, Switzerland, France = low gun violence
England, Japan, France = low access to guns.
You're leaving a few countries out of what one might consider to be Western civilization, are you not.

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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
Therefore low access to guns equals low gun violence!!!

Oh what? The Swiss? oh they don't count, they're a country club!
We can include the Swiss if you so desire it in your soul -- but they're one example, and they're a bit of a red herring:

Quote:
Why Switzerland Is A Red-Herring In The Gun Control Debate
Adam Taylor
Dec. 14, 2012, 2:32 PM

There's one country that comes up time and time again in the gun control debate, often used as a paradox that proves American gun laws do not have to be tightened: Switzerland.

The neutral country has a tradition of a gun in every closet, and ranks amongst the highest levels of gun ownership in the world with estimate of as many as 4.5 million guns in a country of just 7.9 million people (few countries have more guns per capita the US and Yemen are two).

However, gun related crime is remarkably low, with only 24 gun murders in 2009 0.3 gun homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 2007 figures in the US of 4.2 per 100,000 people, according to Time Magazine.

However, attempts to compare the US to Switzerland gloss over the vast differences between the two countries.

For example, the nature of gun ownership in Switzerland is tied to the military. Switzerland has a very small standing army, and citizens are expected to act as militiamen should the country be invaded. Every 18-30 years old Swiss male between has to do three months' military training, and many more regular refresher courses. The majority of guns are army-issued, though rules on private gun ownership are very lax compared to other European countries.

This is also a country with a population smaller than New York City. According to 2011 data from the IMF, Switzerland has a GDP per capita of $83,073, almost double that of the US, or other European countries like the UK or France. The CIA says 6.9 percent of the country lives below the poverty line, compared to 15.1 in the US or 14 in the UK.

Finally, it would be wrong to ignore that gun control has become a hot topic in Switzerland in recent years. Last year a vote was held on whether the country should end the practice of keeping army-issue firearms at home and tighten over private gun ownership restrictions. While the plans were rejected by 57% of voters, the movement appears to be growing. Switzerland's notion of direct democracy (citizens are able to call constitutional and legislative referendums, but only on laws passed by the legislature) means that more votes are likely in the future.
Now, again, I know there's no doubt that Business Insider would have failed "every logic class" you "have ever taken," but my arguments against Switzerland are hardly unique.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:55 AM   #928
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Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
No, no you didn't... to recap here was the crap answer you gave.
No, the answer I gave was that Switzerland was a country club -- it has 9 million people, and is astoundingly wealthy.

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A complete weasel answer. I gave a hard metric, I expect one in return.
You actually didn't. Not even close, really. You offered a bullshit line in the sand ("people directly affected by gun violence") which isn't even meaningfully measured, without explaining why it must be people directly affected.

As I said, we've all been affected and mourned Newtown, but in your eyes our mourning doesn't count because we're not closely related to the victims.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:53 AM   #929
pr_capone pr_capone is offline
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:02 PM   #930
RNR RNR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
No, the answer I gave was that Switzerland was a country club -- it has 9 million people, and is astoundingly wealthy.



You actually didn't. Not even close, really. You offered a bullshit line in the sand ("people directly affected by gun violence") which isn't even meaningfully measured, without explaining why it must be people directly affected.

As I said, we've all been affected and mourned Newtown, but in your eyes our mourning doesn't count because we're not closely related to the victims.
How about this, myself and countless other law abiding gun owners have not given you or anyone else reason to surrender any of our guns or limit the capacity of ammunition they can hold. So **** off...oh and Merry Christmas~
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