Today's mass shooting in the US

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The argument is that an individual has the right to bear arms, that's it. My view is that just because some morons use weapons illegally it doesn't mean another person shouldn't have the ability to defend themselves in their own home against a potentially armed intruder. America is a large place and Police aren't always a couple of minutes away, people in America can be armed and dangerous, there's way more of a hardcore drug culture involving substances like Meth that just makes people go crazy. If I lived in America I'd be definitely have a gun at home, you'd be mad not to unless you lived in a secure gated community.

So more "good" people buy guns to defend themselves from the "bad" and down the spiral they go. The drain is flowing and they can't put the plug back in, in fact they cut the plug up and let it flow away with any chance of a life without guns.
 
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https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/firearms/fastfact.html

http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6938&context=jclc
The above puts it at 256,500-373,000.

But as you have eluded to, it's complicated because of a lack of actual statistics on the issue, lots of it isn't reported.

Thanks, that was helpful.

There is a huge range in those figures, which might indicate a lack of confidence there. That's not a criticism, really, just an observation on the quality of sources, and different methodology. I only had a quick look, so I may well be wrong there.

My gut feel is the upper end estimates are pretty unreliable, and that's being diplomatic! Top end would suggest one in two hundred US adults use a gun defensively every year, and that feels unlikely to me.

Personally, I'd say just defining "defensive gun use" is very difficult and that's reflected in what I've said above. It would also have a huge impact on numbers.

Anyway, thanks for the links.
 
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Do you have a source for that?

I'm genuinely interested, as the home defence argument is often put forward, but numbers are rarely, if ever, provided.

I'm not doing this in a "LINK OR IT NEVAR HAPOENED" spirit- I'd like to know how that can be measured. I'm guessing it is from reported crimes, but would like to know.

The main source is the CDC. When Obama was president, he authorised the CDC to investigate. Presumably he was expecting the results to support more restrictions on gun ownership (which was what he wanted), but they didn't. Quite the opposite.

It's also clear that the truth is uncertain. The CDC did a meta-analysis of research as part of their investigation and the numbers vary a lot. That generally indicates unreliable numbers. But even the lowest figures for defensive use of firearms in the USA are substantial.

You can find a very brief summary and a link to the CDC's most recent report here:

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/firearms/fastfact.html

It's about halfway down, under the heading "What is defensive gun use? How often does it occur?"

There's a bit of a discussion, including references to the 1996-98 investigation by the CDC (the results of which were quietly ignored and buried for years) here:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulhsieh/2018/04/30/that-time-the-cdc-asked-about-defensive-gun-uses/

I tried to pick out sites that weren't obviously biased one way or the other. There are plenty of those.

It's also worth noting that most defensive gun uses don't involve firing a gun. The usual defensive use scenario starts and ends with a person displaying a gun. "If you attack me I will shoot you with this gun. It would be better for you to go away" is likely to be an effective message for defence.

I've seen arguments that the higher estimates for defensive gun use are higher than the number of reported gun crimes, as if that was a completely compelling argument against the existence of defensive gun use. It obviously isn't. Say, for example, I'm trying to steal your phone (no gun crime) and you show me your legally held gun and tell me to get lost (no gun crime). Defensive use of a gun and no gun crime. Even if you reported it, it's still not a reported gun crime because it isn't a gun crime.
 
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Thanks for the reply
The main source is the CDC. When Obama was president, he authorised the CDC to investigate. Presumably he was expecting the results to support more restrictions on gun ownership (which was what he wanted), but they didn't. Quite the opposite.
...
It's also worth noting that most defensive gun uses don't involve firing a gun. The usual defensive use scenario starts and ends with a person displaying a gun. "If you attack me I will shoot
I've seen arguments that the higher estimates for defensive gun use are higher than the number of reported gun crimes, as if that was a completely compelling argument against the existence of defensive gun use. It obviously isn't. Say, for example, I'm trying to steal your phone (no gun crime) and you show me your legally held gun and tell me to get lost (no gun crime). Defensive use of a gun and no gun crime. Even if you reported it, it's still not a reported gun crime because it isn't a gun crime.

Thanks.

It's going to be in large part reliant on self-assessment, which is never ideal.

Just because someone said they felt threatened doesn't mean they were- it is just their view. A "defence" might actually be an assault...

Just for fun: if I say I have a gun, but don't, and that threat deters an assault, is that a gun related defence?
 
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[..] It's going to be in large part reliant on self-assessment, which is never ideal.

Agreed. There's also the huge variation from study to study. When the results of studies into something vary by over an entire order of magnitude, the studies can't be relied on. There are major factors that aren't showing.

But even the lowest estimates are substantial. It's something that happens a non-trivial amount of times in the USA.

Just because someone said they felt threatened doesn't mean they were- it is just their view. A "defence" might actually be an assault...

That too. Or a huge over-reaction. Or outright paranoia. Or maybe the genuine and justified defensive uses are higher than reported. There's bound to be some people who wouldn't report it because it might cause them trouble or just because they don't want to get involved or because they don't give personal information on principle.

Just for fun: if I say I have a gun, but don't, and that threat deters an assault, is that a gun related defence?

That would be an interesting question to answer, but I think the same problems in finding the true number of occurences would apply.

I'd be inclined to say "yes" since the defence is based on a gun. An imaginary one, but it's still the key element of the defence.
 
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Agreed. There's also the huge variation from study to study. When the results of studies into something vary by over an entire order of magnitude, the studies can't be relied on. There are major factors that aren't showing.

But even the lowest estimates are substantial. It's something that happens a non-trivial amount of times in the USA.

To be fair, in a country of 300million, with high gun ownership, I'd expect decent numbers. I'd guess situations that in the UK would involve a bit of shouting might escalate differently in the US.

That too. Or a huge over-reaction. Or outright paranoia. Or maybe the genuine and justified defensive uses are higher than reported. There's bound to be some people who wouldn't report it because it might cause them trouble or just because they don't want to get involved or because they don't give personal information on principle.

Agree. Self-reporting... :rolleyes:

That would be an interesting question to answer, but I think the same problems in finding the true number of occurences would apply.

I'd be inclined to say "yes" since the defence is based on a gun. An imaginary one, but it's still the key element of the defence.

Agreed, even the threat of a non-existent gun makes it a gun-related defence, in my view.

Having said all the above, I still find US gun violence inexplicably high, on the whole.

I know people have different views, but widespread firearm ownership decreases public safety in the US, in my opinion.
 
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Man of Honour
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To be fair, in a country of 300million, with high gun ownership, I'd expect decent numbers. I'd guess situations that in the UK would involve a bit of shouting might escalate differently in the US.

A few years back, a claim that violent crime rates were higher in the UK than in the USA got quite a bit of attention. That attention faded away when enough people learned that the reason for the quoted numbers was that two extremely different definitions of "violent crime" were being used. The USA figures only counted GBH and upwards. Maybe not even GBH. The UK figures literally (and I do mean literally) included shouting.

Having said all the above, I still find US gun violence inexplicably high, on the whole.

It is, but I don't think guns are the main root cause. I think the main root cause is the vast inequality in wealth distribution and the vast amount of grinding poverty and hopelessness and lack of social mobility. That causes violence everywhere it exists. I see no reason why it wouldn't do so in the USA. The USA policy on drugs is another big factor. So is their prison system (which is horrendous in every way other than for generating profit for privately owned prisons).

I know people have different views, but widespread firearm ownership decreases public safety in the US, in my opinion.

I'm undecided. Maybe it decreases public safety, maybe it increases public safety, maybe it has no significant effect. I don't know.
 
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There's no political angle to be used. They can't use it to promote racism for their own benefit. So they won't do anything.

Looks like you're right, which is very sad.

8 children was shot and 1 killed so far this month.
And 58 people got shot earlier this month on a weekend!
 
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Let them have all the guns they want, just stopping making ******* ammunition and their constituent components.

Let's face it, if they won't change their attitude to guns after all the children that have been murdered, nothing will.
 
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