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Thread: Violent Games Legislation Introduced to US Congress

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    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    Are you not aware that Australia's mandatory buyback coincided with a 59% drop in gun violence?
    Hello walrus,

    I am curious as to why you only mentioned the drop in gun violence, since Liberals assure us that their goal is to reduce violence in general what was the drop in total violence in Australia? Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoFins! View Post
    Yes, and I'd need to know how they defined gun violence before making any comment about a "59% drop in gun violence". Was self-defense included in gun violence? Accidental deaths? Police officers justifiably shooting criminals?
    They didn't use that term. That was an imprecise use of language on my part. The study charted firearm homicides and suicides in different states in Australia which had different percentages of guns that were bought back, comparing them to levels before the ban and also charting non-firearm homicides and suicides in those same areas.

    I posted a link to a USA Today story about the report a few pages back (only one for me, since I view 40 posts per page, but you get the idea). Here's a link to the PDF of the report itself:

    http://andrewleigh.org/pdf/GunBuyback_Panel.pdf

    I'd post the relevant sections but I haven't read the full report and it's written in a professional and jargon heavy style that's hard enough to understand with the charts, much less without them. Nevertheless, I advise downloading the report and at least looking through the "Main Results" section, starting on page 21. The "Discussion and Conclusions" section starting on page 44 is even more concise and plainly written for those just looking to get the highlights.

    Hopefully I'll get around to reading the entire thing at some point but I don't feel like doing it right now.

    ---------- Post added at 10:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:03 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    Hello walrus,

    I am curious as to why you only mentioned the drop in gun violence, since Liberals assure us that their goal is to reduce violence in general what was the drop in total violence in Australia? Thanks.
    I have no idea. If you find it, go ahead and post it, though.
    Last edited by TheWalrus; 01-25-2013 at 03:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    I have no idea. If you find it, go ahead and post it, though.


    I am not sure either, but if gun legislation only reduces gun crime and not the overall level of crime I think it’s obviously not effective. If I had to guess I’d say it doesn’t reduce total crime because all the groups advocating gun control only point to reductions in “gun violence” in other countries, if it actually reduced total violence I would think they’d be more than happy to point that out for us, just a hunch though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post

    I am not sure either, but if gun legislation only reduces gun crime and not the overall level of crime I think it’s obviously not effective. If I had to guess I’d say it doesn’t reduce total crime because all the groups advocating gun control only point to reductions in “gun violence” in other countries, if it actually reduced total violence I would think they’d be more than happy to point that out for us, just a hunch though.
    If the same number of people are being killed I'd say that's accurate. But "crime" and "crimes resulting in death" are not equivalent.

    You should know better than basing a hunch on the notion than an absence of proof indicates a proof of absence, though. You'll rarely be right that way.

    I'd post a few paragraphs from the report I linked to but the way it copies and pastes is awkward, so I won't. But start on page 43 and read through page 46. It doesn't go straight toward your question but it does say this:

    At a minimum, there is some time series evidence against the notion that stricter gun laws have led to increases in total homicides.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    If the same number of people are being killed I'd say that's accurate. But "crime" and "crimes resulting in death" are not equivalent.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post

    You should know better than basing a hunch on the notion than an absence of proof indicates a proof of absence, though. You'll rarely be right that way.

    I'd post a few paragraphs from the report I linked to but the way it copies and pastes is awkward, so I won't. But start on page 43 and read through page 46. It doesn't go straight toward your question but it does say this:


    Well you were talking about “gun violence” not “gun deaths” right?

    I never said anything about proof of absence, if I had proof of absence I wouldn’t need to call it a “hunch” because I’d have real proof. I am just very skeptical that it’s merely a coincidence that every group who advocates gun legislation because they claim it will save lives always backs this claim up by pointing to instances where it has reduced gun violence, which may or may not actually be saving lives. If it truly had a notable effect on the murder rate as a whole I suspect they’d point that out, wouldn’t you think? At the very least they are being rather sloppy with their scholarship.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    Well you were talking about “gun violence” not “gun deaths” right?
    I've already said that was a poor choice of words on my part. The study refers to gun deaths, not "violence".

    I never said anything about proof of absence, if I had proof of absence I wouldn’t need to call it a “hunch” because I’d have real proof. I am just very skeptical that it’s merely a coincidence that every group who advocates gun legislation because they claim it will save lives always backs this claim up by pointing to instances where it has reduced gun violence, which may or may not actually be saving lives. If it truly had a notable effect on the murder rate as a whole I suspect they’d point that out, wouldn’t you think? At the very least they are being rather sloppy with their scholarship.


    According to the study, non-firearm homicides also decreased after the initiative passed, just not as steeply as firearm homicides decreased. Non-firearm suicides increased over the same period. For reference look at pages 22 and 23.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post

    According to the study, non-firearm homicides also decreased after the initiative passed, just not as steeply as firearm homicides decreased. Non-firearm suicides increased over the same period. For reference look at pages 22 and 23.
    Now that’s even more interesting, if firearms were truly the issue I would have expected non-firearm related homicides to remain fairly level, but it seems they decreased as well. I wonder if there was a cultural shift in the area at the time that would be a better explanation for the decrease in homicides.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    Now that’s even more interesting, if firearms were truly the issue I would have expected non-firearm related homicides to remain fairly level, but it seems they decreased as well. I wonder if there was a cultural shift in the area at the time that would be a better explanation for the decrease in homicides.


    So whatever it is, the legislation didn't work, right? Either non-firearm homicides go up in which case the legislation isn't doing anything to prevent death or if it goes down then it's not doing anything because of a cultural shift.

    The rate of homicides had been going down for a while even before the legislation was enacted. But the buyback coincided with a marked acceleration of that decrease, with a statistically relevant correlation between the states in Australia where a larger number of buybacks occurred and where a larger drop in firearm homicide occurred.

    Have you looked at the charts? The rate of non-firearm homicides decreased with a much shallower slope than those of firearm homicides.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post

    So whatever it is, the legislation didn't work, right? Either non-firearm homicides go up in which case the legislation isn't doing anything to prevent death or if it goes down then it's not doing anything because of a cultural shift.
    That’s not what I said at all, what I said was if guns were the real issue I would expect a drop off in gun related deaths after the buyback coinciding with a fairly level rate of non-gun related deaths. That’s not what we see, we see a drop off in gun related deaths and non-gun related deaths, which leads me to believe something other than the buybacks is causing that drop off. Believing that correlation necessitates causation is logically fallacious, I have been making that point for quite some time on here but nobody seems to get it.
    Even if you could demonstrate a causation factor between gun ownership and violence (something that is very logically difficult to do) that would not necessitate gun legislation in America. We have a Bill of Rights in this country not because they are rights that are easily protected, but rather because they are rights that are easily trampled upon. If the Government forced women to undergo a double mastectomy as soon as they reached the age of 35 they’d save thousands of women’s lives every year, if they castrated all sex offenders they’d save thousands of children from repeat offender molestations every year, if they euthanized everyone who is HIV positive they’d save thousands of people from ever getting infected with the disease in the future, if they sterilized all women with HIV they’d prevent babies from being born with the deadly disease, all of these measures can save lives, and yet they all trample our rights as Americans. Trampling our 2nd Amendment rights in this country may or may not save lives in the future, either way it is not something we can allow our Government to do. We’re free here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    That’s not what I said at all, what I said was if guns were the real issue I would expect a drop off in gun related deaths after the buyback coinciding with a fairly level rate of non-gun related deaths. That’s not what we see, we see a drop off in gun related deaths and non-gun related deaths, which leads me to believe something other than the buybacks is causing that drop off. Believing that correlation necessitates causation is logically fallacious, I have been making that point for quite some time on here but nobody seems to get it.
    I think you'll find I've been pretty careful to use the word correlation rather than imply strict causation. I'm well aware of the difference. All the study was seeking to find is if there was a statistically relevant link between the gun initiatives they enacted and a drop in gun deaths. They found one, and they found that the drop was much larger size than the drop in non-firearm related homicide.

    Have you looked at the charts on page 22 and 23 yet?

    Even if you could demonstrate a causation factor between gun ownership and violence (something that is very logically difficult to do) that would not necessitate gun legislation in America. We have a Bill of Rights in this country not because they are rights that are easily protected, but rather because they are rights that are easily trampled upon. If the Government forced women to undergo a double mastectomy as soon as they reached the age of 35 they’d save thousands of women’s lives every year, if they castrated all sex offenders they’d save thousands of children from repeat offender molestations every year, if they euthanized everyone who is HIV positive they’d save thousands of people from ever getting infected with the disease in the future, if they sterilized all women with HIV they’d prevent babies from being born with the deadly disease, all of these measures can save lives, and yet they all trample our rights as Americans. Trampling our 2nd Amendment rights in this country may or may not save lives in the future, either way it is not something we can allow our Government to do. We’re free here.
    Oh, c'mon. Gun ownership is comparable to the right to not be sterilized? Let's keep our brains in our heads, shall we?

    Each of the first 10 amendments is already subjected to regulation and limitation. And anyway I think you can make a strong argument that the 2nd amendment does not guarantee an individuals right to bear arms except within the context of national defense. Just because you think you know what it means does not mean that the language does not hold within itself different valid interpretations.

    The weight of historical judicial interpretation is on the side of a right to bear arms for personal use, but gun advocates are reluctant to reference that because they know that kind of thing can change. They'd rather cling to "shall not be infringed", even if they're not putting much thought or analysis behind the amendment as a whole.
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