The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Discuss the March 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month, Final Notice by Van Fleisher.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by RJG » March 26th, 2019, 3:35 pm

Scott wrote:That's like saying that comparing the health/safety of smokers to non-smokers is absolutely nonsensical. No, it's basic correlation statistics, and calling it nonsensical is nonsensical.
The 'non-sensical-ness' or 'sensical-ness' of the reply, is wholly dependent on the question asked.

RJG wrote:Does apple eating make the apple-eater safer or less safe?
Scott wrote:To find the correlation, you simply check:
#1 - The percentage of people who eat apples who get hurt/sick during a certain time frame
#2 - The percentage of people who do not eat apples who get hurt/sick during a certain time frame.
Not so. This is non-sensical (a non-sequitur) as it attempts to answer a question that was not asked! My question specifically refers to the safety of "apple-eaters". I couldn't care less about the safety of "non-apple-eaters", nor do I care about those who get sick from non-apple-eating related reasons. The safety of non-apple-eaters (and non-apple-eating related sickness/deaths) has NOTHING to do with my question! Therefore to answer my question:

#1 - The percentage of apple-eaters that get sick/hurt/die from eating apples.
#2 - The percentage of apple-eaters that get health benefits/live from eating apples.

If #1 is greater than #2, then eating apples is BAD (less safe/not healthy) for the apple-eater.
If #2 is greater than #1, then eating apples is GOOD (safer/healthy) for the apple-eater.

And likewise,
Scott wrote:Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?
#1 - The percentage of gunowners that are safer because of their guns (i.e. have enhanced protection, prevented injuries and deaths, etc)
#2 - The percentage of gunowners that are less safe because of their guns (i.e. had gun accidents, suicides, etc)

If #1 is greater than #2, then gunowners are SAFER for owning their guns.
If #2 is greater than #1, then gunowners are LESS SAFE for owning their guns.

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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by Scott » March 30th, 2019, 3:42 pm

RJG wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 8:57 am

Does apple eating make the apple-eater safer or less safe?

-- How would we determine the answer to either?
Scott wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 11:48 am
To find the correlation, you simply check:

#1 - The percentage of people who eat apples who get hurt/sick during a certain time frame
#2 - The percentage of people who do not eat apples who get hurt/sick during a certain time frame

If #1 is greater than #2 than eating apples is correlated to getting hurt/suck more often (i.e apple eating is correlated with being less safe), if #2 is greater than apple eating is correlated to getting hurt/suck less often (i.e. apple eating is correlated with being more safe), if #1 is roughly equal to #2 then there is no significant statistical correlation between apples and getting hurt/sick.
RJG wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 3:35 pm
Not so. This is non-sensical (a non-sequitur) as it attempts to answer a question that was not asked! My question specifically refers to the safety of "apple-eaters". I couldn't care less about the safety of "non-apple-eaters", nor do I care about those who get sick from non-apple-eating related reasons. The safety of non-apple-eaters (and non-apple-eating related sickness/deaths) has NOTHING to do with my question!
Based on what's written above, our understanding of basic statistics and correlation is so fundamentally different that there is no way I can effectively communicate you with you further on the matter or in any other discussion even in other forum topics about specific statistical correlations (e.g. the rate at which smoking cigarettes correlates to lung cancer etc.). We will have to agree to disagree about how basic correlation statistic work, and thus there is nothing left for you or I to discuss with each other in this topic. Thank you for your efforts nonetheless. (And feel free to discuss with others of course.)
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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by LuckyR » March 31st, 2019, 2:19 am

Scott wrote:
March 30th, 2019, 3:42 pm
RJG wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 8:57 am

Does apple eating make the apple-eater safer or less safe?

-- How would we determine the answer to either?
Scott wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 11:48 am
To find the correlation, you simply check:

#1 - The percentage of people who eat apples who get hurt/sick during a certain time frame
#2 - The percentage of people who do not eat apples who get hurt/sick during a certain time frame

If #1 is greater than #2 than eating apples is correlated to getting hurt/suck more often (i.e apple eating is correlated with being less safe), if #2 is greater than apple eating is correlated to getting hurt/suck less often (i.e. apple eating is correlated with being more safe), if #1 is roughly equal to #2 then there is no significant statistical correlation between apples and getting hurt/sick.
RJG wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 3:35 pm
Not so. This is non-sensical (a non-sequitur) as it attempts to answer a question that was not asked! My question specifically refers to the safety of "apple-eaters". I couldn't care less about the safety of "non-apple-eaters", nor do I care about those who get sick from non-apple-eating related reasons. The safety of non-apple-eaters (and non-apple-eating related sickness/deaths) has NOTHING to do with my question!
Based on what's written above, our understanding of basic statistics and correlation is so fundamentally different that there is no way I can effectively communicate you with you further on the matter or in any other discussion even in other forum topics about specific statistical correlations (e.g. the rate at which smoking cigarettes correlates to lung cancer etc.). We will have to agree to disagree about how basic correlation statistic work, and thus there is nothing left for you or I to discuss with each other in this topic. Thank you for your efforts nonetheless. (And feel free to discuss with others of course.)
I have been reading some of this conversation from the sidelines and it is my guess that a problem with it, as pertains to this thread, is the use of the word: "safety", because it cannot be directly measured and is instead derived from other stats. In the example above (lung cancer) everyone knows what that is and the discussion is likely to be clearer.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by Felix » March 31st, 2019, 3:56 pm

True, "safer" is a broad term and therefore difficult to quantify. However in the U.S. the statistics are clear: It is less safe to own a gun than not to own one, because the every day risks of gun ownership, i.e, accidental injury, domestic altercations and suicide (suicides account for about 2/3rds of all gun deaths), are far greater than the risk of assault. For example, nationwide there are about 100 burglery homicides a year as compared to many thousands of suicides by gun owners (over 18,000 annually is a recent figure I read).
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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by RJG » March 31st, 2019, 9:34 pm

Question -- Does drug usage make the drug user safer or less safe?

P1. Statistics show that there are more drug related deaths (overdose, suicide, crime, etc.) with drug users than with non-drug users.
C1. Therefore, drug users are "less safe" (and NON-drug users are "safer").
C2. Therefore, banning all drug usage/users will make everyone "safer".

Hopefully we all see and recognize the nonsense here, as this "throws the baby out with the bath water". For if we ban all drug usage/users, then there will be MORE (not less!) overall deaths, and everyone will be "less safe" (NOT "safer"!). With NO drug usage, there will be no more bad drug usage, AND likewise there will be NO MORE GOOD drug usage (i.e. no more lives saved because of drugs; penicillin, etc, etc). If we wish to make societal changes based on these (non-applicable!) statistics and (unsound!) logic, then we are all DOOMED! ...we therefore need to STOP this type of irrationality (non-sensical-ness) from influencing and dictating our societal changes (imo).

(...and if we replace "drug usage" with "gun ownership" above, we will then recognize the same flawed reasoning/conclusion that Scott is asserting).

RJG's Simple Proposed Solution:
1. Ban all BAD drug usages, and encourage more GOOD drug usages.
2. Ban all BAD gun ownership, and encourage more GOOD gun ownership.
Win-win for all. :)


*************
Felix wrote:True, "safer" is a broad term and therefore difficult to quantify. However in the U.S. the statistics are clear: It is less safe to own a gun than not to own one, because the every day risks of gun ownership, i.e, accidental injury, domestic altercations and suicide (suicides account for about 2/3rds of all gun deaths), are far greater than the risk of assault. For example, nationwide there are about 100 burglery homicides a year as compared to many thousands of suicides by gun owners (over 18,000 annually is a recent figure I read).
Felix, I don't necessarily dispute your facts/statistics showing the number of lives LOST because of gun ownership. But where are your facts/statistics showing the number of lives SAVED because of gun ownership?

The good/bad of gun ownership is determined ONLY by comparing the good to the bad of gun ownership.

Your so-called "clear statistics" only compares the 'bad' of gun ownership to NON-gun ownership, which does not 'rationally' conclude, nor equate to "less safe" to own a gun. -- If you wish to know the safer/less safe of gun ownership then you need to compare the safer (good) aspects of gun ownership to the less safe (bad) aspects of owning a gun.

For if you only look at the BAD, then you will only see BAD!

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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by LuckyR » April 1st, 2019, 3:06 am

RJG wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 9:34 pm
Question -- Does drug usage make the drug user safer or less safe?

P1. Statistics show that there are more drug related deaths (overdose, suicide, crime, etc.) with drug users than with non-drug users.
C1. Therefore, drug users are "less safe" (and NON-drug users are "safer").
C2. Therefore, banning all drug usage/users will make everyone "safer".

Hopefully we all see and recognize the nonsense here, as this "throws the baby out with the bath water". For if we ban all drug usage/users, then there will be MORE (not less!) overall deaths, and everyone will be "less safe". With NO drug usage, there will be no more bad drug usage, AND likewise there will be NO MORE GOOD drug usage (i.e. no more lives saved because of drugs; penicillin, etc, etc). If we wish to make societal changes based on these (non-applicable!) statistics and (unsound!) logic, then we are all DOOMED! ...we therefore need to STOP this type of irrationality (non-sensical-ness) from influencing and dictating our societal changes (imo).

(...and if we replace "drug usage" with "gun ownership" above, we will then recognize the same flawed reasoning/conclusion that Scott is asserting).

RJG's Simple Proposed Solution:
1. Ban all BAD drug usages, and encourage more GOOD drug usages.
2. Ban all BAD gun ownership, and encourage more GOOD gun ownership.
Win-win for all. :)


*************
Felix wrote:True, "safer" is a broad term and therefore difficult to quantify. However in the U.S. the statistics are clear: It is less safe to own a gun than not to own one, because the every day risks of gun ownership, i.e, accidental injury, domestic altercations and suicide (suicides account for about 2/3rds of all gun deaths), are far greater than the risk of assault. For example, nationwide there are about 100 burglery homicides a year as compared to many thousands of suicides by gun owners (over 18,000 annually is a recent figure I read).
Felix, I don't necessarily dispute your facts/statistics showing the number of lives LOST because of gun ownership. But where are your facts/statistics showing the number of lives SAVED because of gun ownership?

The good/bad of gun ownership is determined ONLY by comparing the good to the bad of gun ownership.

Your so-called "clear statistics" only compares the 'bad' of gun ownership to NON-gun ownership, which does not 'rationally' conclude, nor equate to "less safe" to own a gun. -- If you wish to know the safer/less safe of gun ownership then you need to compare the safer (good) aspects of gun ownership to the less safe (bad) aspects of owning a gun.

For if you only look at the BAD, then you will only see BAD!
You'd think that the proponent for taking the increased safety of legal gun ownership would start posting the stats on it to demonstrate his point rather than just leaving his point unproven.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by RJG » April 1st, 2019, 6:50 am

LuckyR wrote:You'd think that the proponent for taking the increased safety of legal gun ownership would start posting the stats on it to demonstrate his point rather than just leaving his point unproven.
Yes, agreed. We need to see both sets of stats before jumping to conclusions. And as for me, I'm not a proponent of either side, but instead, only just a "proponent" of SOUND REASONING.

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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by Felix » April 1st, 2019, 1:40 pm

RJG: "But where are your facts/statistics showing the number of lives SAVED because of gun ownership?"

You're asking me to prove a negative? You want to know the number of times a crime did not occur, because of the supposed deterrant effect of owning a gun, etc? No one can tell you that.

I gave you one actual statistic: "For example, nationwide there are about 100 burglery homicides a year as compared to many thousands of suicides by gun owners (over 18,000 annually is a recent figure I read)."

The question posesd by the OP was: "Does gun ownership make the gun owner safer or less safe?"

Statistical evidence clearly shows that it does not make the gun owner safer.

I presumed we're not counting law enforcement professionals and military personnel?
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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by LuckyR » April 3rd, 2019, 2:32 am

RJG wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 6:50 am
LuckyR wrote:You'd think that the proponent for taking the increased safety of legal gun ownership would start posting the stats on it to demonstrate his point rather than just leaving his point unproven.
Yes, agreed. We need to see both sets of stats before jumping to conclusions. And as for me, I'm not a proponent of either side, but instead, only just a "proponent" of SOUND REASONING.
Awaiting the results of your research. Meanwhile, there are the known statistical negatives of gun ownership as pertains to it killing or maiming you or your family. Let's see how much of that gets cancelled out. Though since the number of murders is less than half of the number of suicides, it would have to be a dramatic effect.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by RJG » April 3rd, 2019, 8:38 am

Felix wrote:RJG: "But where are your facts/statistics showing the number of lives SAVED because of gun ownership?"

You're asking me to prove a negative? You want to know the number of times a crime did not occur, because of the supposed deterrant effect of owning a gun, etc? No one can tell you that.
If you can only count the "less safe" then you can't answer the OP question.

If you can only count the green apples, then you can't know if apples are more green or more red.

Felix wrote:I gave you one actual statistic: "For example, nationwide there are about 100 burglery homicides a year as compared to many thousands of suicides by gun owners (over 18,000 annually is a recent figure I read)."

The question posesd by the OP was: "Does gun ownership make the gun owner safer or less safe?"

Statistical evidence clearly shows that it does not make the gun owner safer.
This is bad logic.

(...see the 'drug user' analogy for an example).

RJG wrote:We need to see BOTH sets of stats before jumping to conclusions. And as for me, I'm not a proponent of either side, but instead, only just a "proponent" of sound reasoning.
LuckyR wrote:Meanwhile, there are the known statistical negatives of gun ownership as pertains to it killing or maiming you or your family. Let's see how much of that gets cancelled out. Though since the number of murders is less than half of the number of suicides, it would have to be a dramatic effect.
Maybe so. But until we can count and compare the "safer" apples with the "less safe" apples, then we can't know which is more. Just counting the bad (the "less safe") tells us nothing.

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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by LuckyR » April 3rd, 2019, 3:24 pm

RJG wrote:
April 3rd, 2019, 8:38 am
LuckyR wrote:Meanwhile, there are the known statistical negatives of gun ownership as pertains to it killing or maiming you or your family. Let's see how much of that gets cancelled out. Though since the number of murders is less than half of the number of suicides, it would have to be a dramatic effect.
Maybe so. But until we can count and compare the "safer" apples with the "less safe" apples, then we can't know which is more. Just counting the bad (the "less safe") tells us nothing.
Dude, you are now into the "broken record" zone. Either look up the stats on the "safer" half of the equation or allow the "less safe" stats that really exist, stand on their own. Your choice.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by Felix » April 4th, 2019, 2:19 am

I said: "Statistical evidence clearly shows that it (i.e., owning a gun) does not make the gun owner safer."

RJG said: "This is bad logic (...see the 'drug user' analogy for an example)."

It is your analogy that is bad logic. Your drug user/non-drug user example is not relevant to this discussion, because we are not comparing people who own guns with people who do not. We are in fact asking whether those who own guns are safer as a result of owning them, i.e., does it reduce the risk that they and their immediate family members will be victims of gun violence. And the answer to that question is that it does not, but instead increases that risk, because any protective advantages of owning a gun are far outweighed by the dangers of having it.

If you want to turn the question around and instead ask if those who do not own guns are safer because they do not own them, the answer will be the same: Yes, they are safer because they do not own guns just as those who do own them are less safe.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by RJG » April 4th, 2019, 6:58 am

LuckyR wrote:Dude, you are now into the "broken record" zone. Either look up the stats on the "safer" half of the equation or allow the "less safe" stats that really exist, stand on their own. Your choice.
Apparently you don't read what I write. Again (dare I repeat myself), it is NOT ABOUT THE STATS per se, it is about your BAD LOGIC. The "less safe" stats "standing on their own" says NOTHING tangible, it tells us NOTHING of substance.

Claiming that X is less than Y, when one only knows the value of X, is a non-sensical claim. X by itself tells us nothing of substance. Those that make such a claim, employ BAD LOGIC.

Agreed?

RJG wrote:This is bad logic (...see the 'drug user' analogy for an example).
Felix wrote:It is your analogy that is bad logic. Your drug user/non-drug user example is not relevant to this discussion, because we are not comparing people who own guns with people who do not.
Well, maybe not you, but certainly Scott and LuckyR (and others) are. Kudos to you if you recognize this error. Scott et al asserts that the proper (and "stand alone") statistic to determine "safer" or "less safe" is to compare the bad of gun ownership to NON-gun ownership. I argue that such a comparison is non-sensical (logically invalid), and then I show this 'non-sensical-ness' in the drug user analogy, using the same type of statistics, comparing the bad of using drugs to the NON usage of drugs.

In both cases, we SHOULD be looking at the safety of the gun owner/drug user, and NOT of the NON-gunowner/NON-drug user, otherwise we end up with a logically flawed conclusion, as Scott, LuckyR, and others have done. The scary part is when people use this flawed reasoning to justify societal changes, which could end up killing us all, as illustrated in the drug user analogy (i.e. most of us would be dead if we implemented a blanket ban on all drug usage based on these non-sensical statistics).

If we want to make 'good' changes to society, then we need to stop the proliferation of all this 'bad' (non-sensical) logic.

Felix wrote:We are in fact asking whether those who own guns are safer as a result of owning them…
Yes, agreed. And the same goes with the drug user analogy. We are asking whether those that use drugs are safer (or less safe) as a result of using them.

Felix wrote:...i.e., does it reduce the risk that they and their immediate family members will be victims of gun violence.
The "immediate family members" may or may not be gunowners/drug users, so they do not necessarily apply to this discussion about the gunowners/drug users themselves.

Felix wrote:And the answer to that question is that it does not, but instead increases that risk, because any protective advantages of owning a gun are far outweighed by the dangers of having it.
How do you know it "increases that risk" and that the dangers of guns "far outweigh" the benefits of guns? Is this just a personal hunch on your part? ...or do you have some stats that show this? ...hopefully you are not basing this on the bad of gun ownership versus NON-gun ownership stats, ...else-wise, I may need to take back my "kudos to you" comment.

Again, the issue with this type of discussion is that we can't make a judgement or conclusion with only one side of the equation (of the logical relationship). We can't conclude that X is less than Y without knowing the values of both X AND Y. Making the claim that one is "less than" or "greater than" the other, without knowing the values of BOTH, is non-sensical.

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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by Dai Cymru » April 4th, 2019, 7:17 am

I guess the answer to this question depends on the type of environment, and the sort of human characters who share the environment with the gun owner.

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Re: Gun Control Series Q1 -- Does gun ownership make the gunowner safer or less safe?

Post by Dai Cymru » April 4th, 2019, 7:41 am

On reflection, gun ownership is a high risk occupation and places the gun owner in a great deal more danger, as opposed to more safety.

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