Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Facts, not Feelings

Joe Huffman has been a source of inspiration today. First he links to a very interesting piece out of Massachusetts, then his Quote of the Day prompts me to post a reply. Blogger Mikeb30200 quoting Violence Policy Center statistics says:
The Violence Policy Center published the latest statistics which prove what many people already believed, that more guns means more gun deaths. In fact, I've always found it surprising that some people deny this obvious truth.
(My emphasis.) Well, I just had to respond to that. Apparently Reasoned Discourse™ hasn't broken out there yet, so I think my comment will post, but before I hit "Publish" over there, I thought I'd do it here first:
Oh, hell, I'll give it a shot.

Please check this Bureau of Justice Statistic page of homicide rates in the U.S. from 1950 to 2005.

Please note that, after peaking in 1991, the homicide rate in the U.S. began a steep decline until it leveled off in 1999 at a rate not seen since the mid-1960's. Yet each and every year approximately three million new long guns and one million (or more) new handguns are purchased by American citizens.

Thus your assertion that "more guns means more gun deaths" is mathematically refuted. From 1991 through 2005 at a minimum fifty million new firearms ended up in private hands (at a guess, an increase of something like 25% over those held in 1991) yet homicide declined from a rate of 9.8/100,000 population to 5.6/100,000, or 43%.

Further, the corollary that fewer guns must equal fewer gun deaths is refuted by the example of Massachusetts. To paraphrase, their 1998 Gun Control Act has resulted in a decrease of licensed gun owners from "1,500,000 to 220,000, an 85 percent drop," however, "Based on incidents per 100,000, gun-related homicides are up 68 percent".

So why do "some people deny this obvious truth", the "obvious truth" that "more guns means more gun deaths"?

Because we understand numbers, logic and reason, and check the facts.

Next question?

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