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Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Discuss the March 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month, Final Notice by Van Fleisher.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by Scott » March 23rd, 2019, 1:54 pm

LuckyR wrote:
March 21st, 2019, 4:16 pm
Since 43% of US households legally own guns but less than 20% of gun crimes (in Pittsburgh in the particular study) were used by the legal owner, my points are supported by the data. Of course, this is likely a correlation not a cause, but there you have it.
Scott wrote:
March 22nd, 2019, 12:38 pm

@LuckyR
What data? What study?

As far as I can see, nobody posted a single source or citation in this forum topic yet, let alone the link to a credible scientific statistical study.
LuckyR wrote:
March 22nd, 2019, 7:30 pm
Ok if you don't believe me: https://www.upmc.com/media/news/fabio-firearms

Is the lay synopsis from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The study was published in the Journal of Social Medicine
It's not about whether I believe you or not. You said "the particular study" (not even "a study" but "the"). I couldn't comprehend such words with a definitive reference to something not yet referenced. Now that you have provided the link to the study, I know what you mean by "the particular study" in that context used. Thank you for the clarification, and thank you for providing the link to the study.

That particular study has very limited scope, so it's far from proof, but nonetheless it does provide some evidence of your claim that legal gun owners are much less likely to commit gun crimes.

Since it is the only data we have so far, I am going to very tentatively conclude that legal gun owners commit violent crime less often than the general population. Needless to say, if better counter-evidence is presented, I will change my very tentative conclusion according to the evidence.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by Teralek » March 23rd, 2019, 3:51 pm

Scott wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 1:54 pm
Since it is the only data we have so far, I am going to very tentatively conclude that legal gun owners commit violent crime less often than the general population.
It is your prerogative, but I don't think you can go that far. Both studies, the Pittsburgh one and the federal one, only compare crimes where a firearm was involved. Yes legal gun owners commit less crimes than illegal gun owners. But do legal gun owners commit less violent crime than the general population? There is no basis for this claim.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by GE Morton » March 23rd, 2019, 7:27 pm

The question, as phrased in the thread title, is poorly worded, making it ambiguous. Is it asking whether an individual is more likely to commit a violent crime if he legally owns a gun, or whether violent crimes are more likely in a community when guns are legally owned? Those two questions are not necessarily correlated, because in a community where guns may be legally owned by some people, others may possess them illegally, and use them to commit crimes.

But in either case, no studies or statistical analyses are needed to answer those questions. They can be answered on logical grounds alone, together with some facts I take to be uncontroversial common knowledge. The answer to both questions is "Yes."

It is obvious that if no guns existed in a community, no gun crimes would be committed in that community. It is also obvious that as the prevalence of gun ownership increases, the number of crimes committed with guns will also increase, all other factors remaining equal. There are two reasons for this: 1) Guns make many crimes easier and more likely to be successful, and so a person contemplating a criminal act will be more likely to commit it if they can get their hands on a gun; and 2) wherever guns can be legally owned by some persons, criminals will get their hands on them, no matter what any laws say. So the more guns there are to be stolen or sold on the black market, the more persons with criminal propensities will obtain them and commit crimes --- crimes they could not have committed, or might not have risked, if they could not get a gun.

Scott seems to favor the first interpretation of that question, the "individual" interpretation:
Scott wrote:
March 20th, 2019, 10:18 am
Does legally owning a gun correlate to a significant difference in the statistical likelihood of the gun owner committing violent crime?
The answer to this version of the question is also "Yes." Persons considering committing certain crimes will be more likely to commit them if they have a gun, whether legally or illegally. Guns make some crimes feasible that would be infeasible, or too risky, without them.

Note that these facts do not contradict several studies which show little or no correlation between gun ownership rates and gun crime rates. That is because many other factors contribute to crime rates, and the positive contribution of gun ownership rates is overshadowed by those factors. The chief factor is the number of persons with criminal dispositions (as indicated by previous arrest and conviction records) in the community. In a community where there are few such persons the crime rate will be very low, even if everyone in the community owns a gun.

There are two other problems with the question as phrased. What effect a gun being legally or illegally owned has on crime rates depends on the laws in effect, and how effectively they're enforced. If almost anyone can legally own a gun, then the qualifier becomes moot. The relevant factor is the prevalence of guns in a community, whether owned legally or illegally. The second problem is with asking for a correlation between gun ownership and "violent crime." Not all violent crimes are committed with guns, and it is not clear what gun ownership rates have to do with violent crimes committed with fists, tire irons, or baseball bats.

Perhaps the question can be re-phrased to permit more focused and precise answers.

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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by Felix » March 24th, 2019, 5:56 am

"Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?"

I don't understand the question... a different likelihood compared to what, not owning a gun? Logically if someone owns a gun, whether they've registered it or not, they'll be willing to use to use it to commit a violent act, since that is what guns are for.

Statistics show that the more gun owners there are, the more gun homicides occur - presumably for the aforementioned reason. Pacifists are not known for their gun collections.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by LuckyR » March 25th, 2019, 4:18 am

Felix wrote:
March 24th, 2019, 5:56 am
"Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?"

I don't understand the question... a different likelihood compared to what, not owning a gun? Logically if someone owns a gun, whether they've registered it or not, they'll be willing to use to use it to commit a violent act, since that is what guns are for.

Statistics show that the more gun owners there are, the more gun homicides occur - presumably for the aforementioned reason. Pacifists are not known for their gun collections.
Perhaps this will help you: the group who does not legally own guns includes those who don't own guns PLUS those who own guns illegally.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by LuckyR » March 25th, 2019, 4:33 am

Teralek wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 3:51 pm
Scott wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 1:54 pm
Since it is the only data we have so far, I am going to very tentatively conclude that legal gun owners commit violent crime less often than the general population.
It is your prerogative, but I don't think you can go that far. Both studies, the Pittsburgh one and the federal one, only compare crimes where a firearm was involved. Yes legal gun owners commit less crimes than illegal gun owners. But do legal gun owners commit less violent crime than the general population? There is no basis for this claim.
Your questions are all over the place. The study was on gun crimes (not all violent crime) which is germane since Scott asked about legal gun owners. I suppose you could ask whether legal gun owners commit more or fewer knife crimes than those who do not legally own guns, but I would ask: why?

In addition, the comparison group to legal gun owners isn't "the general population" since at 43% of US households, legal gun owners make up a major part of the general population. No, the comparo group are those who aren't legal gun owners.

Also by the numbers, if 43% of folks are committing 18% of the gun crimes, then 57% (non owners of guns plus illegal owners) are committing 78%.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by Felix » March 25th, 2019, 6:15 pm

LuckyR said: "Perhaps this will help you: the group who does not legally own guns includes those who don't own guns PLUS those who own guns illegally."

Really? Than why did you make a distinction between "legal" gun owners and gun owners in your previous replies in this thread, e.g., in your first post you said: "It's my understanding that legal gun owners are much less likely to commit gun crimes."

So then your point was: legal gun owners are less likely to commit gun crimes than those who do not own guns?

Obviously if you group together those who don't own guns with those who own guns illegally, Scott's question becomes irrelevant. The vast majority of violent crimes are committed with firearms, ergo it is very unlikely that they've been have committed by people who do not own firearms.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by Scott » March 26th, 2019, 11:38 am

GE Morton wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 7:27 pm
The question, as phrased in the thread title, is poorly worded, making it ambiguous. Is it asking whether an individual is more likely to commit a violent crime if he legally owns a gun, or whether violent crimes are more likely in a community when guns are legally owned? Those two questions are not necessarily correlated, because in a community where guns may be legally owned by some people, others may possess them illegally, and use them to commit crimes.
Due to the character limit, the titular question is only a summary of the question. The full question is in the following paragraph in the OP:
Scott wrote:
March 20th, 2019, 10:18 am
Does legally owning a gun correlate to a significant difference in the statistical likelihood of the gun owner committing violent crime? If so, does the evidence provided only provide evidence of correlation or does it provide evidence (even if weak evidence) of causality? Does the evidence provided strongly indicate a true correlation with actually committing violent crime or (more likely) only provide a correlation between gun ownership and being charged and/or convicted of violent crime? For what factors do the studies control (e.g. income, race, gender, age, etc.)? Keep in mind, any uncontrolled factors in a correlation study could be the true causal link leading to the thus relatively meaningless non-causal correlation.
I do think that question is more in referring to individual ownership.

GE Morton wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 7:27 pm
Scott wrote:
March 20th, 2019, 10:18 am
Does legally owning a gun correlate to a significant difference in the statistical likelihood of the gun owner committing violent crime?
The answer to this version of the question is also "Yes." Persons considering committing certain crimes will be more likely to commit them if they have a gun, whether legally or illegally. Guns make some crimes feasible that would be infeasible, or too risky, without them.
Your argument would apply if the question was whether gun ownership in general (whether legal or illegal) correlated with committing crimes. However, for the question at hand, your argument is a strawman argument.

GE Morton wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 7:27 pm
The second problem is with asking for a correlation between gun ownership and "violent crime." Not all violent crimes are committed with guns, and it is not clear what gun ownership rates have to do with violent crimes committed with fists, tire irons, or baseball bats.
I believe the above line of reasoning puts the cart before the horse. Correlative data can be calculated without first explaining why the hypothetical correlation exists or not. If you can't imagine what factors could possibly correlate eating ice cream and murder, or think the connection is unclear, or think what ice cream has to do with murder is unclear, then indeed you might be surprised if the data shows a correlation or be unsurprised if the data doesn't show a correlation. But to give your hypothetical surprise/unsurprise at yet-to-be-revealed data is putting the cart before the horse, in my opinion.

Too often we humans try to find data to match our expectations instead of vice versa. I believe that's a key difference between reason versus rationalization.

Nonetheless, there's countless possible ways legal gun ownership can be correlated to the owner committing more or less violent crime. It could be that people who are more prone to violence in general are more attracted to guns, shooting, hunting, and gun ownership, which could lead to a positive correlation. It could be that people who choose to obey gun laws are more prone to law abiding in general than the average person which could lead to a negative correlation. It could be that those who are anti-social or have personality disorders or are prone to violence are less able to stick it out and pass the required basic training classes that many states/countries have as a prerequisite to obtaining gun permits. Those are just a few small examples of the many countless possible factors at play. Only the overall data will show the true net correlation. Correlations are relatively easy to study statistically. A confidence-inspiring answer would involve checking and finding matching data from many different states, countries, and jurisdictions, using many different separate studies with varying methodologies. If there is not consensus among the data, then that itself may indicate the lack of a strong overall correlation one way or the other, or may indicate a null answer (i.e. we can't reasonably answer the question at all because the data is too conflicting).

Felix wrote:
March 24th, 2019, 5:56 am
"Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?"

I don't understand the question... a different likelihood compared to what, not owning a gun?
Here is the full question from the OP:
Scott wrote:Does legally owning a gun correlate to a significant difference in the statistical likelihood of the gun owner committing violent crime? If so, does the evidence provided only provide evidence of correlation or does it provide evidence (even if weak evidence) of causality? Does the evidence provided strongly indicate a true correlation with actually committing violent crime or (more likely) only provide a correlation between gun ownership and being charged and/or convicted of violent crime? For what factors do the studies control (e.g. income, race, gender, age, etc.)? Keep in mind, any uncontrolled factors in a correlation study could be the true causal link leading to the thus relatively meaningless non-causal correlation.
To be clear, the question I'm asking is about whether legal gun ownership correlates to the gun owner being more or less likely to commit violent crime than the general population (excluding the legal gun owners themselves). In other words, we are comparing them not only to those who don't own a gun but also those who illegally own a gun.

For example, image a pretend Island on which a third of the people own a gun legally, a third own a gun illegally, and a third don't own a gun at all. Now imagine 10 violent crimes are committed on the island. Imagine, illegal gun owners commit 4 of those crimes, legal gun owners commit 3, and non-gun-owners commit 3.

It would be true that 70% of the crimes on the imaginary island are committed by gun owners. It would be true that gun ownership in general is correlated to committing violent crime at higher rate on the imaginary island. Yet, it would also be true that legal gun ownership was correlated with committing less violent crime than the general population (33.3% population would be gun owners but they only commit 30% of the violent crimes).

Those numbers are hypothetical on an imaginary island. But they show that the correlation one way or the other of legal gun ownership to the commission of violent crime is not at all evidenced by checking what percentage of crimes are committed by guns in general or by what percentage of people own guns.

So the question is simply what is the actual data on this question. What are the actual stats regarding the correlation of legal gun ownership to the commission of violent crime by the gun owner. Namely, what is the ratio between (a) the percentage of the population in any given area that legally owns guns versus (b) the percentage of the population in that area that commits violent crime? Is the ratio greater than, less than, or roughly equal to 1. It is basic correlation statistics.

Felix wrote:
March 25th, 2019, 6:15 pm
Obviously if you group together those who don't own guns with those who own guns illegally, Scott's question becomes irrelevant.
Irrelevant to what?

What's the relevance to the forum topic of talking about the alleged irrelevance of the forum topic to some other thing?
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by Felix » March 26th, 2019, 4:40 pm

Scott said: "To be clear, the question I'm asking is about whether legal gun ownership correlates to the gun owner being more or less likely to commit violent crime than the general population (excluding the legal gun owners themselves). In other words, we are comparing them not only to those who don't own a gun but also those who illegally own a gun."

Well then the answer to your question is a qualified Yes because statistics show: (a) Most violent crimes have been committed with legally obtained firearms, however (b) The majority of these crimes are not committed by the legal gun owners themselves but by people to whom they gave their guns (e.g., via a "straw" purchase, which is illegal) or whom stole the guns from the legal owner.

This suggests that a practical gun control solution would be to prosecute legal gun owners and gun dealers who are negligent about gun sales/purchases and possession, i.e., straw purchases of guns are illegal as is failing to report the theft of guns.

Here's a summary of this issue from the Washington Post -- https://wapo.st/2aKaFtS
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by Harshad Dave » March 27th, 2019, 12:43 am

I just give one hypothetical event that practically happens in present society.
A person P has legally approved valid liscence to own a gun since a long time.
One day, under the influence of unknown reasons or circumstances or stress and strain, he takes up his lawfully own gun either preplanned or under agony and reaches to a place crowded with a mass of orient people not at all linked with any way with P. P fires there rendomly and kills numbers of guys present there.
I simply ask.......
What is the role and status of the gun liscence after he fired last bullet in the above event.
The philosophy of law might confirm that the liscence is still valid at that time also, but I ask, "What does our justice and good conscience say?".
I explicitly believe the event proves that legal holding of gun and its insane use can not be linked unwisely in a way it mislead the common people and those do not have sound knowledge of subjective philosophy on which the issue is founded.

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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by GE Morton » March 27th, 2019, 12:17 pm

Scott wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 11:38 am
GE Morton wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 7:27 pm
The answer to this version of the question is also "Yes." Persons considering committing certain crimes will be more likely to commit them if they have a gun, whether legally or illegally. Guns make some crimes feasible that would be infeasible, or too risky, without them.
Your argument would apply if the question was whether gun ownership in general (whether legal or illegal) correlated with committing crimes. However, for the question at hand, your argument is a strawman argument.
No, it is not. The claim is true if either condition in the disjunction ("legally or illegally") is satisfied. I.e., persons who legally own guns are more likely to commit crimes than persons who do not own a gun, as are persons who illegally own one. The former are less likely to commit them than the latter, however.
GE Morton wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 7:27 pm
The second problem is with asking for a correlation between gun ownership and "violent crime." Not all violent crimes are committed with guns, and it is not clear what gun ownership rates have to do with violent crimes committed with fists, tire irons, or baseball bats.
Nonetheless, there's countless possible ways legal gun ownership can be correlated to the owner committing more or less violent crime. It could be that people who are more prone to violence in general are more attracted to guns, shooting, hunting, and gun ownership, which could lead to a positive correlation. It could be that people who choose to obey gun laws are more prone to law abiding in general than the average person which could lead to a negative correlation. . . . [etc.]
Oh, yes. There are several conceivable reasons how and why gun ownership might be correlated with (non-gun) violent crime. But it is not clear how any of those possible relationships could be causative of those crimes (which I assume is the reason for exploring the correlation between gun ownership rates and gun crime rates).

Which brings us to the question we should be asking. What are the causes of high crime rates? While gun ownership rates (whether legal or illegal*) are clearly a contributing factor, other demographic factors are far more predictive of crime rates than gun ownership rates. The single-minded focus on gun ownership rates allows us to ignore those other factors.

* The legal and illegal ownership rates are themselves correlated. The more guns legally owned, the more illegally owned, due to thefts and black markets.

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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by LuckyR » March 29th, 2019, 8:26 pm

Felix wrote:
March 25th, 2019, 6:15 pm
LuckyR said: "Perhaps this will help you: the group who does not legally own guns includes those who don't own guns PLUS those who own guns illegally."

Really? Than why did you make a distinction between "legal" gun owners and gun owners in your previous replies in this thread, e.g., in your first post you said: "It's my understanding that legal gun owners are much less likely to commit gun crimes."

So then your point was: legal gun owners are less likely to commit gun crimes than those who do not own guns?

Obviously if you group together those who don't own guns with those who own guns illegally, Scott's question becomes irrelevant. The vast majority of violent crimes are committed with firearms, ergo it is very unlikely that they've been have committed by people who do not own firearms.
No... my point was (and is) that those who DO legally own guns commit gun crimes at a lower rate than those who DO NOT legally own guns (non owners PLUS illegal owners).
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by CSE » April 17th, 2019, 5:41 am

I cannot post a link as a new user, but the statistical office of Switzerland (www <dot> bfs <dot> admin <dot> ch) offers in the police report 2018 following information:

11% of the crimes with human killing are done with a form of gun (as compared to 55% with a form of knife or 22% without weapons).
2% of the crimes with violence but without killing (important injury) with a form of gun.
In only 12% of the crimes against property with physical menace was a gun involved.

From this information which does not answer at all the asked question, we can see that guns are in Switzerland mostly irrelevant for crimes.
There is however another statistics: the number of death by gun is rather high in Switzerland.
This is however mostly due to suicides - as these are not crimes, they are not registered in those statistics.

There is no hard evidence of the effect of gun ownership - it has been studied a lot here because every male citizen were "forced" to keep their military weapon at home, so gun ownership was sort of enforced by law, and this was discussed at every crime committed with them. Those crimes were almost only household crimes - a wife or a whole family shot by a crazy man (who usually commited suicide) using his military weapon. Nobody can say if those crimes would have happened using another weapon if the military one would not have been available.

I think the consensus is that legal gun ownership does not really impact the crime rate, may facilitate the actual "act" in suicide cases (which are sometimes accompanied by murders) or when somebody becomes crazy and want to shoot the neighborhood . This is because these cases of "spontaneous" unplanned crimes have on hand the means, and do not need a "preparation" (finding/buying a weapon) that could allow a cool-down period. For this reason it is now not required anymore to keep the military gun at home, and ammunition is not anymore stored at home.

As legal gun ownership here is very broad (every soldier = most male citizen and voluntary females; plus everybody who wants to) obviously the people that cannot have it legally are mostly crazies or criminals, as a criminal record may exclude you from legally owning a gun. As statisitics show that many crimes are from repeat offenders (or from few crazy people), we will probably spuriously make a correlation that legal gun owners commit less crime just because criminals (and crazy people) are not legally allowed to own guns. But it does not mean that owning a gun legally makes you less criminal... just that being criminal stops you from legally having a gun.

While this certainly is a Swiss-only kind of situation, it is still interesting to possibly balance some US-centric views.

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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by LuckyR » April 17th, 2019, 5:41 pm

CSE wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 5:41 am
I cannot post a link as a new user, but the statistical office of Switzerland (www <dot> bfs <dot> admin <dot> ch) offers in the police report 2018 following information:

11% of the crimes with human killing are done with a form of gun (as compared to 55% with a form of knife or 22% without weapons).
2% of the crimes with violence but without killing (important injury) with a form of gun.
In only 12% of the crimes against property with physical menace was a gun involved.

From this information which does not answer at all the asked question, we can see that guns are in Switzerland mostly irrelevant for crimes.
There is however another statistics: the number of death by gun is rather high in Switzerland.
This is however mostly due to suicides - as these are not crimes, they are not registered in those statistics.

There is no hard evidence of the effect of gun ownership - it has been studied a lot here because every male citizen were "forced" to keep their military weapon at home, so gun ownership was sort of enforced by law, and this was discussed at every crime committed with them. Those crimes were almost only household crimes - a wife or a whole family shot by a crazy man (who usually commited suicide) using his military weapon. Nobody can say if those crimes would have happened using another weapon if the military one would not have been available.

I think the consensus is that legal gun ownership does not really impact the crime rate, may facilitate the actual "act" in suicide cases (which are sometimes accompanied by murders) or when somebody becomes crazy and want to shoot the neighborhood . This is because these cases of "spontaneous" unplanned crimes have on hand the means, and do not need a "preparation" (finding/buying a weapon) that could allow a cool-down period. For this reason it is now not required anymore to keep the military gun at home, and ammunition is not anymore stored at home.

As legal gun ownership here is very broad (every soldier = most male citizen and voluntary females; plus everybody who wants to) obviously the people that cannot have it legally are mostly crazies or criminals, as a criminal record may exclude you from legally owning a gun. As statisitics show that many crimes are from repeat offenders (or from few crazy people), we will probably spuriously make a correlation that legal gun owners commit less crime just because criminals (and crazy people) are not legally allowed to own guns. But it does not mean that owning a gun legally makes you less criminal... just that being criminal stops you from legally having a gun.

While this certainly is a Swiss-only kind of situation, it is still interesting to possibly balance some US-centric views.
As you mention, Swiss data is particularly unsuited to answering questions in this thread since the thread is dealing with the relative risk of legal gun owners (vs those who do not legally own guns) as pertains to gun crime or more broadly violent crime. Since my understanding is that essentially every Swiss household is mandated to legally own a gun, there is no viable comparison group, against which a relative risk can be determined.
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Re: Gun Control Series Q2 -- Is legally owning a gun correlated to different likelihood of committing violent crime?

Post by h_k_s » April 19th, 2019, 2:23 pm

Scott wrote:
March 20th, 2019, 10:18 am
This is a discussion topic for the March 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month, Final Notice by Van Fleisher, a book that through fiction addresses topics including techno-medical ethics, treatment of the elderly, and gun control. It's strongly recommend your read the book before participating in this discussion.


Does legally owning a gun correlate to a significant difference in the statistical likelihood of the gun owner committing violent crime? If so, does the evidence provided only provide evidence of correlation or does it provide evidence (even if weak evidence) of causality? Does the evidence provided strongly indicate a true correlation with actually committing violent crime or (more likely) only provide a correlation between gun ownership and being charged and/or convicted of violent crime? For what factors do the studies control (e.g. income, race, gender, age, etc.)? Keep in mind, any uncontrolled factors in a correlation study could be the true causal link leading to the thus relatively meaningless non-causal correlation.

Please don't respond with gut feelings or anecdotes, or otherwise answers to the question given without evidence. I am not asking for you to just state your conclusion/answer without evidence. Rather, I am asking you to provide evidence, namely presumably scientific statistical studies from credible sources, that the rest of us can then use to draw our own evidence-based conclusions.

If you don't have any evidence to provide, feel free to not post a reply at all. You don't have to reply to this forum post, so don't feel pressure to participate in this topic.


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This topic is a part of a series about gun control meant to start with (1) less controversial, less philosophical, and less complex gun-related topics and then move increasingly towards (2) more controversial, more philosophical, and more complex gun-related topics. If a person cannot discuss the simpler topics in the series in a reasonable civil open-minded way that utilizes the principal of charity, than that person should not bother participating in the more complex topics at all. This forum does not exist for flame wars between wingnuts. In fact, this forum is not a good place for anyone who is not significantly more open-minded than the average person because philosophy entails challenging deeply held beliefs. In this forum, we love respectful debate and discussing controversial topics in unusually productive ways. In this forum, we want others to challenge our ideas and appreciate when others play devil's advocate.
So have enough people chimed-in with evidence that the rest of us can comment yet?

Just wondering.

Thanks.

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