Gun Control and Mass Murder

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GE Morton
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by GE Morton » March 12th, 2018, 1:03 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 10:14 am
If one argues that one has a right to protect himself with a gun, then others have a right to protect themselves from irresponsible gun owners.
I fully agree with you there. But for each person whose gun we propose to confiscate we need some evidence showing beyond a reasonable doubt that he has acted is irresponsibly with it. That's what "due process" means.

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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by Fooloso4 » March 12th, 2018, 2:29 pm

GE Morton:
I fully agree with you there. But for each person whose gun we propose to confiscate we need some evidence showing beyond a reasonable doubt that he has acted is irresponsibly with it. That's what "due process" means.
I am glad to see that we have found some area of agreement. By the time someone has acted, however, it is too late to protect those who were harmed. I think it sensible to require of those who want to purchase or own guns that there be a license issued upon satisfactory completion of certified training. Due process would come into play only when one is accused of acting irresponsibly. Licensing would be more a matter of demonstrating that an owner is capable of acting responsibly, which, of course, does not mean that he or she will act responsibly. Even with rigorous training poor judgment and lack of control due to fear or panic may still be a factor. Here is where due process comes into play. Adjudicating liability in such cases can be difficult.

I think it also relevant to determine the number of guns owned. Should extremist, anti-government militias be allowed to stockpile guns and ammunition? According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, as of 2015 there were about 1,000 such groups in the U.S. https://www.splcenter.org/active-antigo ... ted-states

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Greta
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by Greta » March 12th, 2018, 3:40 pm

GE Morton wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 10:27 am
ernestm wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 10:23 pm

. . . we are actually reaching the stage where the epidemic of gun violence is becoming mass lunacy, in the face of which, a few mass shootings (less than %1 of all gun deaths) is totally irrelevant.
Actually, the number of homicides in the US has been declining for the last 20 years or so. Over the same period the number of guns produced and sold increased significantly.

https://mises.org/wire/fbi-us-homicide-rate-51-year-low
Dodgy logic, given that homicide rates are dropping in all of the developed world. Are you suggesting that extra US guns affected violent crme rates throughout the western world? You are aware that the US was not the only western country to enjoy reduced crime in that period?

However, the US's gun culture does however appear to be the logical reason why the US's murder rate has long been worse than those in other western nations. The US murder rate may be improving there but it is still worse than those of comparable nations.

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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by GE Morton » March 12th, 2018, 7:07 pm

Greta wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 3:40 pm

Dodgy logic, given that homicide rates are dropping in all of the developed world. Are you suggesting that extra US guns affected violent crme rates throughout the western world?
No. Neither does the cited article. It merely points out that there is no correlation between the number of guns possessed and the homicide rate in the US. Hence there can be no causal relationship.
However, the US's gun culture does however appear to be the logical reason why the US's murder rate has long been worse than those in other western nations.
That is not the logical reason. As I mentioned before, the major factor is the number of blacks in the population. Though ~12% of the population, they commit over half the homicides --- 7 times the rate for whites. That correlation is also revealed in state-by-state data. States with the highest percentage of blacks have the highest homicide rates; states with the lowest percentage have the lowest homicide rates. The 5 states with the highest homicide rates have black populations >25%. The 5 states with the lowest homicide rates have black populations <2% (2015).

https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rat ... tate#MRord

http://worldpopulationreview.com/states ... opulation/

If the black homicide rate is discounted the remaining US rate would be comparable to Canada's.

GE Morton
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by GE Morton » March 12th, 2018, 7:11 pm

PS: The highest rate in the US is in the District of Columbia (Washington, DC). It is 48% black.

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Greta
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by Greta » March 12th, 2018, 7:12 pm

GE Morton wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 7:07 pm
Greta wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 3:40 pm

Dodgy logic, given that homicide rates are dropping in all of the developed world. Are you suggesting that extra US guns affected violent crme rates throughout the western world?
No. Neither does the cited article. It merely points out that there is no correlation between the number of guns possessed and the homicide rate in the US. Hence there can be no causal relationship.
Really? So military grade weapons are no more dangerous than kitchen knives? That's what you are effectively saying.

It would be interesting for the US to try seeing what a low gun society might look and feel like. However, being free of guns is not a freedom that Americans can ever enjoy.

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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by GE Morton » March 12th, 2018, 7:25 pm

Greta wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 7:12 pm
GE Morton wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 7:07 pm

No. Neither does the cited article. It merely points out that there is no correlation between the number of guns possessed and the homicide rate in the US. Hence there can be no causal relationship.
Really? So military grade weapons are no more dangerous than kitchen knives? That's what you are effectively saying.
Er, Greta, my statement had nothing to do with the comparative danger of various tools and weapons. It concerned the correlation between gun ownership and homicide rates. So, no, that is not what I am "effectively saying."

You need to critique the propositions actually asserted, not specious "translations" of your own.

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Greta
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by Greta » March 12th, 2018, 7:37 pm

GE Morton wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 7:25 pm
Greta wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 7:12 pm


Really? So military grade weapons are no more dangerous than kitchen knives? That's what you are effectively saying.
Er, Greta, my statement had nothing to do with the comparative danger of various tools and weapons. It concerned the correlation between gun ownership and homicide rates. So, no, that is not what I am "effectively saying."

You need to critique the propositions actually asserted, not specious "translations" of your own.
Based on the constant bias and spin in your arguments I can see how the application of logic may be disconcerting for you. However, since this is a philosophy forum we are allowed to use logic, even when it doesn't serve you.

So, yes, the US with its self-destructive gun culture saw a decrease in violent crime along with other western nations.

However, the US's overall homicide rate is far worse than those of other western nations. So, let's apply logic again - not your spin and games, just logic. Might the greater availability of lethal weapons in the community be a factor? Logically?

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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by GE Morton » March 13th, 2018, 11:03 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 2:29 pm

I am glad to see that we have found some area of agreement. By the time someone has acted, however, it is too late to protect those who were harmed.
Not necessarily. Making threats, brandishing or firing the weapon erratically or irresponsibly, even if no one was injured, could also be grounds for a "firearms restraining order."
I think it sensible to require of those who want to purchase or own guns that there be a license issued upon satisfactory completion of certified training.
Firearms homicides are not a result of lack of training, though some accidental deaths may be. A licensing scheme that imposed a training requirement would deter only honest gun buyers, and would infringe their rights to self-defense (think of a woman being harassed or threatened by a stalker). Criminals, of course, would ignore any licensing law.
I think it also relevant to determine the number of guns owned. Should extremist, anti-government militias be allowed to stockpile guns and ammunition? According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, as of 2015 there were about 1,000 such groups in the U.S. https://www.splcenter.org/active-antigo ... ted-states
Anti-government groups, "extremist" or not, and even militias are covered not only by the 2nd Amendment but by the 1st --- freedom of speech and thought and freedom of association and assembly. The number of gun or other crimes committed by members of such groups is minuscule.

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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by Fooloso4 » March 13th, 2018, 1:53 pm

GE Morton:
Not necessarily. Making threats, brandishing or firing the weapon erratically or irresponsibly, even if no one was injured, could also be grounds for a "firearms restraining order."
I agree that not every erratic or irresponsible act involving a weapon results in injury, but it is still necessarily true that in cases where someone was injured by the time someone has acted it is too late to protect those who were harmed by the action.
Firearms homicides are not a result of lack of training, though some accidental deaths may be.
True, but the fact that some accidental deaths may be the result of lack of training supports my point that it is a sensible requirement.
A licensing scheme that imposed a training requirement would deter only honest gun buyers, and would infringe their rights to self-defense (think of a woman being harassed or threatened by a stalker).
The same argument is used against background checks. It is not intended to be a deterrent and does not infringe anyone’s right to self-defense, it merely temporarily limits one mode of self-defense in order to protect both that person and others. A responsible gun owner is one who knows how to use the gun. One cannot be a responsible gun owner and not know how to use the gun, unless the gun is not intended to be used and measures are taken to prevent it from being used. To anticipate your objection, that does not mean it will never be used by someone who circumvents these measures,
Criminals, of course, would ignore any licensing law.
The argument that measures intended to reduce the risk of harm of use by legal gun owners does not prevent criminals from using guns is vacuous.
Anti-government groups, "extremist" or not, and even militias are covered not only by the 2nd Amendment but by the 1st --- freedom of speech and thought and freedom of association and assembly.


Yes, they are, but this does not address the problem. Stockpiling of weapons is not “self-defense” unless they consider themselves enemies of the state who need to defend themselves from the state by armed force. (Note that this is not a matter of being labelled an enemy of the state, but of declaring oneself an enemy of the state). The use of armed force against the government is not covered under freedom of speech or association or assembly.
The number of gun or other crimes committed by members of such groups is minuscule.
What has not happened does not determine what may happen. If you are concerned with the problem of terrorism then you should be concerned with the problem of domestic or homegrown terrorism, but perhaps you are not concerned because the crimes committed by terrorists is “miniscule”. Fortunately, the government is not so sanguine. According to the Heritage Foundation, 50 terrorist attacks have been thwarted since 9/11. Their conclusions include:
The U.S. must also be ready to adapt its security strategies—such as to counter terror attacks by an increasing number of homegrown terrorists. (https://www.heritage.org/terrorism/repo ... -terrorism)
While it is true that the weapons involved are not limited to guns, it does not follow that the stockpiling of guns and ammunition by such groups should no be considered a problem.

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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by GE Morton » March 13th, 2018, 10:54 pm

Greta wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 7:37 pm

Based on the constant bias and spin in your arguments I can see how the application of logic may be disconcerting for you. However, since this is a philosophy forum we are allowed to use logic, even when it doesn't serve you.
I'd love to see the logic by which you derived your conclusion, regarding guns and kitchen knives, from my premises regarding gun ownership and homicide rates. Can you set it out formally?
Might the greater availability of lethal weapons in the community be a factor? Logically?
That is not a question one can answer via logic. It is an empirical question, and the answer appears to be, "No." The six states with the highest gun ownership rates, above 50%, are (in order):

Alaska
Arkansas
Idaho
West Virginia
Wyoming
Montana

Two of those states (Arkansas and Alaska) had homicide rates above the national average, one (West Virginia) about the national average, and three (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) well below the national average. The 2016 national average was 5.3 per 100,000.

http://www.businessinsider.com/gun-owne ... ate-2015-7

https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/murder-rat ... tate#MRord

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Greta
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by Greta » March 14th, 2018, 1:31 am

GE Morton wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 10:54 pm
Greta wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 7:37 pm

Based on the constant bias and spin in your arguments I can see how the application of logic may be disconcerting for you. However, since this is a philosophy forum we are allowed to use logic, even when it doesn't serve you.
I'd love to see the logic by which you derived your conclusion, regarding guns and kitchen knives, from my premises regarding gun ownership and homicide rates. Can you set it out formally?
No need for formality. How do you think a military armed with knives would fare against one with guns? Would you arm your military with knives in normal operations or knives?

If you are arguing that one can kill as many people with a knife in a short time as a gun then there is no point continuing as you are beyond the reach of reason.
GE Morton wrote:
Might the greater availability of lethal weapons in the community be a factor? Logically?
That is not a question one can answer via logic. It is an empirical question, and the answer appears to be, "No." The six states with the highest gun ownership rates, above 50%, are (in order):

Alaska
Arkansas
Idaho
West Virginia
Wyoming
Montana

Two of those states (Arkansas and Alaska) had homicide rates above the national average, one (West Virginia) about the national average, and three (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) well below the national average. The 2016 national average was 5.3 per 100,000.
I think you forgot that most of the western world is not the USA and all other OECD nations enjoy lower murder rates than the US, and almost all have much more responsible gun laws than the US. Coincidence?

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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by LuckyR » March 14th, 2018, 11:51 am

Greta wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 1:31 am
GE Morton wrote:
March 13th, 2018, 10:54 pm


I'd love to see the logic by which you derived your conclusion, regarding guns and kitchen knives, from my premises regarding gun ownership and homicide rates. Can you set it out formally?
No need for formality. How do you think a military armed with knives would fare against one with guns? Would you arm your military with knives in normal operations or knives?

If you are arguing that one can kill as many people with a knife in a short time as a gun then there is no point continuing as you are beyond the reach of reason.
GE Morton wrote: That is not a question one can answer via logic. It is an empirical question, and the answer appears to be, "No." The six states with the highest gun ownership rates, above 50%, are (in order):

Alaska
Arkansas
Idaho
West Virginia
Wyoming
Montana

Two of those states (Arkansas and Alaska) had homicide rates above the national average, one (West Virginia) about the national average, and three (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming) well below the national average. The 2016 national average was 5.3 per 100,000.
I think you forgot that most of the western world is not the USA and all other OECD nations enjoy lower murder rates than the US, and almost all have much more responsible gun laws than the US. Coincidence?
Your observations of the situation are accurate, though to continue the accuracy: any future US gun policy will NOT include confiscation of existing guns, rather on future sales etc. Thus any rational expectations should incorporate the reality that for the US, there are enough guns out in the community to supply anyone who wants to get one for the next hundred years, even if guns sales were stopped 100% today. I am not editorializing whether this is a good or bad
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by GE Morton » March 14th, 2018, 10:39 pm

Greta wrote:
March 14th, 2018, 1:31 am

No need for formality. How do you think a military armed with knives would fare against one with guns? Would you arm your military with knives in normal operations or knives?
Greta, the question you posed in this series of exchanges, and to which I replied, was, "However, the US's overall homicide rate is far worse than those of other western nations . . . Might the greater availability of lethal weapons in the community be a factor?"

I then gave you some statistics indicating that there is no corrrelation between gun ownership rates and homicide rates, and offered an alternative explanation, with stats, for the high US homicide rate. Instead of refuting those stats or the alternative explanation you respond with irrelevant questions about kitchen knives and with sophistries, such as, "If you are arguing that one can kill as many people with a knife in a short time as a gun then there is no point continuing as you are beyond the reach of reason." Of course, I made no such argument.

You have become convinced that the widespread ownership of firearms is the chief causal factor in the US homicide rate. That belief is false.
I think you forgot that most of the western world is not the USA and all other OECD nations enjoy lower murder rates than the US, and almost all have much more responsible gun laws than the US. Coincidence?
Yes; as a matter of fact, it is. What other OECD countries also lack are large numbers of descendants of African slaves.

Whether restrictive gun laws are "responsible" or not depends upon their focus. If they aim to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, they are "responsible." If they focus on the design of weapons or erect obstacles to ownership by honest citizens they are irresponsible, and will certainly be ineffective. Your experience in Australia confirms that: in 1996, when Australia banned most semi-auto rifles and launched its "buyback," there were 354 homicides in the country. The average over the next 5 years --- 1998 - 2002 --- was 358 per year (1997 not included in average since the buyback was not completed by then).

https://www.factcheck.org/2017/10/gun-c ... a-updated/

The Oz homicide rate has declined since 2002, but not by as much as it has in the US, despite the substantial increase in the number of firearms owned in the US.

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Greta
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Re: Gun Control and Mass Murder

Post by Greta » March 14th, 2018, 11:28 pm

Basically your argument is that black Americans are the sole reason for the US's high homicide rate and that the loose availability of lethal weapons plays no role. Noted.

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