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  • #46
    Instead of starting from scratch I will just repost my earlier comments from another thread.

    While the number of people killed in the US by firearms is tragic I think we need some perspective.

    Here are some numbers from the CDC

    All unintentional injury deaths

    Number of deaths: 130,557
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 41.3
    Cause of death rank: 4

    Unintentional fall deaths
    Number of deaths: 30,208
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 9.6

    Motor vehicle traffic deaths
    Number of deaths: 33,804
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.7

    Unintentional poisoning deaths
    Number of deaths: 38,851
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 12.3

    All suicides
    Number of deaths: 41,149
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 13.0
    Cause of death rank: 10

    All homicides
    Number of deaths: 16,121
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 5.1

    Firearm homicides
    Number of deaths: 11,208
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 3.5

    If we compare the homicide rate in the US to Australia's overall murder rate below we can see that it is 4 times higher in the US.

    "Over the past 18 years (1 July 1989 to 30 June 2007), the rate* of homicide incidents decreased from 1.9 in 1990-91 and 1992-93 to the second-lowest recorded rate, of 1.3, in 2006-07. *rate per 100,000 population."

    The US is indeed a violent place. There are many cultural reasons why the US is more violent than other countries in addition to gun ownership. Racial inequality, poverty, and a mystique that extends the virtues of self reliance to criminals are all potential explanations. Any forecasted reduction in homicides would have to take these factors into consideration. Assuming however that strict gun control as implemented in Australia were introduced in the US and there were no other factors involved it would reduce the homicide rate by 5000 deaths. Of course that is an optimistic number but even so that would reduce the preventable death rate by 3 percent.

    No one would argue that 3 percent reduction in preventable deaths is not a worthy goal but if the same legislative attention were applied to all other areas the reduction could save 41,000 lives instead of the highly optimistic 5000 deaths associated with firearms.

    I would not argue that gun legislation is not important but only that the numbers tell us that it should not be the highest safety issue before congress.
    We hunt the hunters

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    • #47
      You seem to have shifted the discussion from "gun violence rates" to "intentional deaths" -

      "Intentional deaths" have no correlation to gun ownership -

      Hypothetically - in a society with no guns at all - "intentional deaths" would be comparable -

      they would just be caused by knives, broken bottles, clubs, bricks etc...

      Although the total number would be - in all likelihood - lower, it is after all easier to kill with a gun than it is with a broken bottle.

      The "great equalizer" and all that
      Last edited by Snowygerry; 29 Jul 15, 09:58.
      Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Game.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
        I think that's a US American thing, the law-abiding-responsible-gun-owner is somewhat of a popular stereotype there apparently.
        Finland, Switzerland, Israel, until not too awful long ago Canada and Australia.

        Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
        Over here it's pretty much assumed that if want to carry a gun around, unless you're a hunter or a marksman, you're expecting to indulge in common crime at any rate.
        A difference in tradition and legality that has shaped attitudes, to be sure, but there's no reason to believe that such are written in stone.

        Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
        In that case an illegal one is preferable - since it cannot be easily traced.
        You didn't read my whole statement. Yes, that logic works, in as much as an untraceable weapon serves to preclude capture. The flip side, however, is that if one is arrested after having used an illegal firearm, one can then face additional penalties, and those can be quite severe: illegal possession, forfeiture of licenses/permits, confiscation of legal arms, suspicion of complicity in prior crimes committed with said illegal weapon. No reasonable person wants a "hot" weapon, but when dealing in contraband, one often doesn't get to pick and choose.

        Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
        As to bolded part, yes, that seems the only relevant statistic if you want to compare between different countries, the total number and the ratio legal to illegal - I doubt many households will admit to owning illegal weapons though..?
        Allow me to furnish an example. What's more telling: that US defense contractors sell a greater dollar value of arms -- or that PRC vendors sell more individual units? Likewise, while the rate of firearms in Mexico is probably similar to that in the US (x firearms per y population) the actual ownership of weapons is vastly different, since Mexico all but bans private ownership of firearms. In short, while millions of private citizens in the US own firearms, the only parties who own them in Mexico are the police and the gangs. That might go a long way towards explaining why Mexico's homicide rate (all causes, not just firearms) is four time the US'.

        Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
        Overall I was just responding to the suggestion there's corelation between legal gun owner ship and gun violence rates as suggested here:

        legal per capita gun ownership and Norway is 10th. Brazil ranks 72nd and has one of the highest gun violence rates in the world.
        I do suspect there is one between total gun ownership and gun violence rates.
        If Brazil's case is anything like Mexico, then they've established a system where only criminals can possess firearms. Norway doesn't have the kind of gang culture that Mexico does, and Brazil apparently does, so that kind of crime is not really a concern there. Mexico's legal prohibition against the private ownership of firearms has done nothing to eradicate their presence in Mexican society. (I honestly don't know the current legal status of private firearms ownership is in Brazil, so I'm at a loss to comment intelligently.) That includes military weapons, which are illegal in the US, and difficult to procure. In short, Mexican gangs are quite adept at procuring weapons from a number of sources independently. So if one were to ask, "would legalizing private firearms ownership reduce crime in Mexico," my gut would respond in the negative: the gang culture is at present too deeply rooted in Mexican society. Likewise, however, "would legalizing firearms ownership increase crime in Norway," I'd say, barring some dramatic demographic change, no: that kind of crime and violence is not a feature of Norwegian culture. So no, the raw total firearms number is not indicative of crime. Other conditions have to be factored into the equation.
        I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
          You seem to have shifted the discussion from "gun violence rates" to "intentional deaths" -

          "Intentional deaths" have no correlation to gun ownership -

          Hypothetically - in a society with no guns at all - "intentional deaths" would be comparable -

          they would just be caused by knives, broken bottles, clubs, bricks etc...

          Although the total number would be - in all likelihood - lower, it is after all easier to kill with a gun than it is with a broken bottle.

          The "great equalizer" and all that
          What I have shifted to is a more realistic view of what should be our primary concern when considering preventable deaths and it is not firearms.

          The firearms debate in the U.S. at least from a statistical point of view is about using emotions to capture peoples attention and gain political points. This is true for both sides in the debate.

          While studying the statistics for Australia I noted that it took over a decade for strict gun laws to have a significant effect and even at that it is only a 0.5 change in homicide death rates. It is from a statistical point of view almost within the noise value that could be attributed to other factors.
          We hunt the hunters

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
            Mexico's legal prohibition against the private ownership of firearms has done nothing to eradicate their presence in Mexican society. (I honestly don't know the current legal status of private firearms ownership is in Brazil, so I'm at a loss to comment intelligently.) That includes military weapons, which are illegal in the US, and difficult to procure. In short, Mexican gangs are quite adept at procuring weapons from a number of sources independently.
            The biggest issue with gun control in such situations is that, as you point out, getting them illegally is still far too easy.

            When you look at places like Mexico, you cannot ignore the fact that the United States right across the border is a prime source for weapons for criminals. We're producing so many we outgun places like Iraq and Yemen (per capita).

            Gun control laws can work, but it doesn't operate in a vacuum. No matter what laws Mexico passes, the United States is still producing plenty of weapons to fill the void. They're not in the same kind of situation as, say, Australia or Singapore, who can more effectively control their borders and the flow of goods.

            Add into that a very well funded and effective criminal element, and Mexico is going to struggle for generations with its armed bandits.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
              The biggest issue with gun control in such situations is that, as you point out, getting them illegally is still far too easy.
              Very easy, at least for those in the know, and with the cash to make it happen.

              Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
              When you look at places like Mexico, you cannot ignore the fact that the United States right across the border is a prime source for weapons for criminals. We're producing so many we outgun places like Iraq and Yemen (per capita).

              Gun control laws can work, but it doesn't operate in a vacuum. No matter what laws Mexico passes, the United States is still producing plenty of weapons to fill the void. They're not in the same kind of situation as, say, Australia or Singapore, who can more effectively control their borders and the flow of goods.

              Add into that a very well funded and effective criminal element, and Mexico is going to struggle for generations with its armed bandits.
              This is a myth, and while I'm not a birther, having seen the fiasco that Fast & Furious became, I wouldn't be in the least surprised if that myth was fabricated by the milieu that votes for Barack Obama, or even the Obama administration directly.

              Here's the truth:

              As we discussed in a previous analysis, the 90 percent number was derived from a June 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to Congress on U.S. efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico (see external link).

              According to the GAO report, some 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008. Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing. Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF, and of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.

              This means that the 87 percent figure relates to the number of weapons submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF that could be successfully traced and not from the total number of weapons seized by Mexican authorities or even from the total number of weapons submitted to the ATF for tracing. In fact, the 3,480 guns positively traced to the United States equals less than 12 percent of the total arms seized in Mexico in 2008 and less than 48 percent of all those submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF for tracing. This means that almost 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico in 2008 were not traced back to the United States. . . . .

              The third category of weapons encountered in Mexico is military-grade ordnance not generally available for sale in the United States or Mexico. This category includes hand grenades, 40 mm grenades, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), automatic assault rifles and main battle rifles and light machine guns.

              This third type of weapon is fairly difficult and very expensive to obtain in the United States, especially in the large numbers in which the cartels are employing them. They are also dangerous to obtain in the United States due to heavy law enforcement scrutiny. Therefore, most of the military ordnance used by the Mexican cartels comes from other sources, such as the international arms market — increasingly from China via the same networks that furnish precursor chemicals for narcotics manufacturing — or from corrupt elements in the Mexican military or even deserters who take their weapons with them. Besides, items such as South Korean fragmentation grenades and RPG-7s, often used by the cartels, simply are not in the U.S. arsenal. This means that very few of the weapons in this category come from the United States.

              In recent years the cartels, especially their enforcer groups such as Los Zetas, Gente Nueva and La Linea, have been increasingly using military weaponry instead of sporting arms. A close examination of the arms seized from the enforcer groups and their training camps clearly demonstrates this trend toward military ordnance, including many weapons not readily available in the United States. Some of these seizures have included M60 machine guns and hundreds of 40 mm grenades obtained from the military arsenals of countries like Guatemala.

              But Guatemala is not the only source of such weapons. Latin America is awash in weapons that were shipped there over the past several decades to supply the various insurgencies and counterinsurgencies in the region. When these military-grade weapons are combined with the rampant corruption in the region, they quickly find their way into the black arms market. The Mexican cartels have supply-chain contacts that help move narcotics to Mexico from South America, and they are able to use this same network to obtain guns from the black market in South and Central America and then smuggle them into Mexico. While there are many weapons in this category that were manufactured in the United States, the overwhelming majority of the U.S.-manufactured weapons of this third type encountered in Mexico — like LAW rockets and M60 machine guns — come into Mexico from third countries and not directly from the United States.

              "Mexico's Gun Supply and the 90 Percent Myth," StratFor Global Intelleigence, 10 Feb 2011
              Various public figures and news outlets will repeat this tripe because it either serves an interest, or satisfies a target audience. Mexican officials will repeat it ad infinitum because it shifts the blame for Mexico's current failed state status from them and onto the US. The Obama administration and their partisans will regurgitate this noise because it allows them to paint firearms manufacturers, retailers, and private owners as evil arms dealers. Liberal-leaning news outlets parrot the line because it pleases their core audience, it panders to their already established prejudices. All of it, however, ignores the growing firepower now being wielded by Mexican criminals. These ain't Saturday Night Specials, and they ain't Glocks, though plenty of them abound, as well: Mexican gangsters are using more and more frequently military grade weaponry not easily obtained by civilians in the US. The drug cartels are wired into the international arms market, they're learning their way through it awfully fast, and they clearly have the cash on hand to buy virtually anything they want.
              I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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              • #52
                Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
                The drug cartels are wired into the international arms market, they're learning their way through it awfully fast, and they clearly have the cash on hand to buy virtually anything they want.
                They do make plenty of money from the transportation of drugs across the border, but you're right that Mexico is going to blame anyone and everyone else if it can first.

                After all, it's hard to accept that your own corruption is the biggest enabler for said gangs:

                Drug Cartel's Main Source Of Income Isn't What You Might Think

                LAZARO CARDENAS, Mexico (AP) — Forget crystal meth. The pseudo-religious Knights Templar drug cartel in western Mexico has diversified to the point that drug trafficking doesn't even rank among its top sources of income.

                The cartel counts illegal mining, logging and extortion as its biggest moneymakers, said Alfredo Castillo, the Mexican government's special envoy sent to restore the rule of law in Michoacan, the state controlled by the Knights Templar the last several years.

                Iron ore "is their principle source of income," Castillo told The Associated Press. "They're charging $15 (a metric ton) for the process, from extraction to transport, processing, storage, permits and finally export." The ore itself doesn't go for that price; the cartel skims $15 for every ton arriving in port. While it's long been known that Mexican cartels engage in other types of criminal activity, including trafficking of people and pirated goods, this is the government's first official acknowledgement that a major organized crime group has moved beyond drugs. The Knights Templar and its predecessor, La Familia, started out as major producers and transporters of methamphetamine.
                Huffington Post - Full Article

                Still, 87% that could be traced and were submitted were American - but that accounts for only 10% or more of the total numbers seized. My argument isn't that the US is the reason for Mexico's problems, only that it is much harder to enact gun control laws effectively when you border a large arms producer.

                Can it be done? Yes. Does it help the situation in Mexico? No. And is the US to blame for Mexico's ills? Certainly not.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
                  They do make plenty of money from the transportation of drugs across the border, but you're right that Mexico is going to blame anyone and everyone else if it can first.

                  After all, it's hard to accept that your own corruption is the biggest enabler for said gangs:
                  Notice how La Cosa Nostra moved beyond alcohol to achieve "great things" in a number of other fields, a few of them quite legitimate on their face.

                  Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
                  Still, 87% that could be traced and were submitted were American - but that accounts for only 10% or more of the total numbers seized. My argument isn't that the US is the reason for Mexico's problems, only that it is much harder to enact gun control laws effectively when you border a large arms producer.

                  Can it be done? Yes. Does it help the situation in Mexico? No. And is the US to blame for Mexico's ills? Certainly not.
                  If no firearms came out of the United States, the Mexican cartels would still have access to arms throughout Central America, South America, Africa, Asia, and even Europe. Every time a war ends -- like the breakup of Jugoslavia -- all kinds of weapons show up in the global arms market. And that's not mentioning the manufacturers in places like PRC and DPRK who have no qualms about selling to drug cartels.
                  I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
                    (...) In short, while millions of private citizens in the US own firearms, the only parties who own them in Mexico are the police and the gangs.
                    Somehow I doubt that - but we should really hear it from someone over there,

                    in a country were violence is prevalent and guns plentiful why wouldn't private citizens acquire guns for their own protection/or property defence, even if it's illegal ?

                    There's of course also the numerous examples of citizens militias, vigilantes etc, who all appear to be armed - although I imagine you'd include them under "gangs".

                    So if one were to ask, "would legalizing private firearms ownership reduce crime in Mexico," my gut would respond in the negative: the gang culture is at present too deeply rooted in Mexican society. Likewise, however, "would legalizing firearms ownership increase crime in Norway," I'd say, barring some dramatic demographic change, no: that kind of crime and violence is not a feature of Norwegian culture. So no, the raw total firearms number is not indicative of crime. Other conditions have to be factored into the equation.
                    Not of crime as such, but certainly of gun related crime which was the original contention.

                    Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
                    (...) I do suspect there is one [a correlation] between total gun ownership and gun violence rates.

                    Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                    What I have shifted to is a more realistic view of what should be our primary concern when considering preventable deaths and it is not firearms.

                    The firearms debate in the U.S. at least from a statistical point of view is about using emotions to capture peoples attention and gain political points. This is true for both sides in the debate.

                    While studying the statistics for Australia I noted that it took over a decade for strict gun laws to have a significant effect and even at that it is only a 0.5 change in homicide death rates. It is from a statistical point of view almost within the noise value that could be attributed to other factors.
                    I agree for the most part, but we - or at least I - was considering the distinction between legal and illegal firearms, not the relation of guns to "preventable deaths" or crime as such.
                    Last edited by Snowygerry; 30 Jul 15, 03:39.
                    Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Game.

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