Gun Rights: Part 6: Conclusion: Will Reasonable Gun Control Save Lives? [214*2]

BACK TO DEATH, GUN RIGHTS, AND GUN REGULATIONS

WE JUST DISCOVERED IN PART 5 that the lack or the presence of gun control has a significant influence on certain factors which make up the rate of Violent Crime. But, this fact is masked in the overall statistic because the rate of legal ownership acts in opposite directions on Murder and Robbery thereby canceling itself out. If this is the case, why is there such a frenzy of anxiety coming from both sides of the political aisle. What is a fact, however, is that current levels of gun ownership leads to 30,000 dead people a year from bullets entering their body after having been ejected from a gun of one sort or another ... 30,000, of which 3,000 were children.

So, what about Death by Gun? What have we learned since our initial attempt to provide empirical evidence and analysis of the relationship between gun ownership, gun regulation, and the number of people who die by gunshot? We found in Part 1 that a relation can be stated as an equation like the following:

LN(Rate of Death from all causes) =

.735 * LN(% of Ownership) +

.185 * LN(Population) +

.290 * e(1/Gun Density)

This says that:

  1. As the rate of gun ownership increases, so does the rate of death increase
  2. As the population increases, the rate of death increases also and,
  3. As the density of guns per square mile increases, the Rate of Death decreases; which to me is somewhat counter-intuitive but that is what the data shows.

Further, if we consider just the rate of total suicides, we get:

Rate of Total Suicides = .092 * % Gun Ownership + .008 * Median Age + .123 *Avg Annual Temp - 5.243 * Log(Gun Density)

Likewise, when considering the rate of Suicides by Gun, we have:

Rate of Suicides by Gun = .111 * % Gun Ownership + .4.553 * Log(Median Age) - 2.027 * Log(Pop Density)

We see from these two equations that:

  1. As the rate of gun ownership increases, so do both rates of suicides
  2. The same with increases in median age and mean annual temperature
  3. And finally if the higher the density of guns or population the lower the rate of both types of suicide.

So, what do these three initial relationships (plus the one regarding murder itself from Part 5) tell us? They tell us that in cases

  • where guns are used to kill people,
  • the higher the rate of legal gun ownership,
  • the higher the rate at which people are going to die.

This makes intuitive sense to most of us and also is empirically substantiated by the data. The obvious, but impractical, solution to the 32,000 deaths by gun each year is to eliminate legal gun ownership in America. If that happened, then death by gun might drop to around 12,000 per year.

There are, however, very few people in America who think this is a good solution, or even a poor one; most think it is no solution at all and I am one of those. The real solution lies in appropriate regulation of legal gun ownership.

SYMBOL OF NON-VIOLENCE

DR/ MARTIN LUTHER KING
DR/ MARTIN LUTHER KING | Source

DOES DIGGING DEEPER CHANGE ANYTHING?

WELL, LET'S SEE. IF I TAKE THE same independent predictor variables I considered in Part 5, what is the result? With a "Goodness of Fit" metric, R2, of 75%, this is a reasonably good model and it goes as follows (follow the bouncing symbols, sorry:

(Rate of Death by Gun)^.25 =

3.285636 +

1.843604*(Rate of Gun Ownership)^.25 -

.36155*(% of non-minorities)^2.4 -

.94246*(Rate of College Graduations)^.25 -

2.13014*1/(Rate of Post-Graduate degrees)^.5 +

.327361*(Ratio of Minority to non-Minority Income)^2.2)

R2 = .79

When I run the U.S. averages through this model, I get an answer of 10.67 deaths by gun/100,000 population; the actual rate is 10.21.. I am happy. So, what is going on with this model?

  • If your goal is to decrease the overall death rate, you must decrease the rate of gun ownership
  • To decrease the death rate, you can improve the economic and social conditions of minorities .
  • To decrease the death rate, raising the education level, meaning more college graduates, would help
  • To decrease the death rate, lowering the Post Graduate rate will help (I will explain that odd outcome in a minute
  • And to decrease the death rate, increase the ratio of minority incomes to non-minority incomes.

Unlike almost every other model we have encountered, every predictor variable in this model can be influenced by public policy. In the other models, only one variable, if any of them, was subject to influence from public policy.

Now, to that oddity with Post Graduate levels. The reason it is working bassackward from common sense is that it is highly correlated with College Graduate levels; they move in concert with each other and are joined at the hip. Normally, this state of affairs would lead to discarding one of variable or the other. In this case, they help each other a bit in a balancing act between those two variables where the Post Graduate level moderates, or fine-tunes the impact of increasing College Graduation rates.

Again, including the ratio of minorities to non-minorities introduces the overarching negative effect of poorer economic and social conditions on the minority population. In this model, a new variable enhances this influence which is dividing average median income for minorities by that of non-minorities. This last variable has a positive sign which means the closer the median incomes of non-minorities to minorities, the lower the rate of deaths. In today's debate, this is an important aspect to remember.

THE FINAL STEP - REGULATING FIREARMS

WE HAVE COME TO THE POINT WHERE WE CAN PROPOSE a general public policy initiative that will reduce the 32,000 death by guns per year to some lower number. Based on the equation above, and one developed in Part >>>>, I will even take a stab at suggesting how many lives might be saved in different scenarios.

First, let me introduce you to a couple more charts, one is the short history of federal gun regulation and deregulation in America, and the other is a history of Death By Gun and the Rate of Death By Gun, just to keep things in perspective.

Source
Source

It should be easy to see that throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the trend in total deaths kept increasing, even with three different kinds of federal gun control measures passed by Congress. After 1974, however, after the first two gun control initiatives, the rate of deaths leveled out. The increasing trend in total deaths, in an increasing population, and the relatively level rate of death by gun lasted until 1993, when the Brady Gun Control Act was passed followed in 1994 by the Federal Assault Weapon Ban (which expired in 2004 and not renewed by the Conservative Congress). After those two Acts were past, and for the next six to eight years, America witnessed a historic drop in both the total number of deaths by gun, even though the population was still increasing, and a decreasing rate of death by gun, 25% and 33%, respectively! After that starting during the 2001 to 2003 time frame, both total deaths began to increase again and the rate of deaths leveled out.

Also, from the attempted assassination of President Reagan through the 1990s there was a major push in many states to implement more gun control. This was met with growing opposition by the NRA and the political Right. The tide seemed to turn toward the pro-gun lobby during the mid-1990s and coalesced with the 2001 Congress. It was only with the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary as a capstone to a series of highly publicized killings of children and political figures that America took interest again in trying to stop the bloodletting; and it can be curtailed to some extent. I hope I have proved to the open-minded over the last five Parts that the rate of legal gun ownership definitely plays a significant role in how many people are killed by guns each year.

I have also shown that sensible regulations reduce the rate of ownership while still protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of a States citizens. So, if one state can regulate guns within its borders with the positive result of reducing the rate of people dying from getting shot, why can't other states who hardly regulate their guns at all and have much higher rates of death by gun. In both cases the 2nd Amendment rights have not been abridged yet the citizens of one state are less likely to die from getting shot.than the other!

A BETTER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GUN OWNERSHIP AND GUN REGULATION

IF YOU RELOOK AT THE RELATION BETWEEN THE rate of ownership of guns in a given state and the strength of how that state regulates firearms, you find a highly correlated, inverse relationship. Normally, one looks for a "parsimonious" set of variables (few in number) to describe this relationship, but in this case, each time I added certain predictor variables, the amount of variation that was explained by that variable significantly increased, so I kept it. In the end, I finished with this rather large equation:

(% Gun Ownership)^.25 =

.814331 +

.103742 * 1/(Regulation Rank) ^.45 -

.06989 * 1/(Total Pop to Urban Pop Ratio) -

.08888 * (% Democrats in Legislatures )^.6 +

.32273 * 1/(Square Miles) ^.5 -

1.21869 * 1/(Post Graduate Rate) ^.35 -

.00011 * (Avg Urban Population) ^.5

R2 = 90%

In words, this says that if you want to live in a state where legal gun ownership is not as prevalent as another state, then find one who has 1) Stronger gun laws, 2) Where the Urban Population is a Larger Percentage of the Total Population, 3) Where the Percentage of Democrats in the State's Legislature is Higher, 4) a Larger State, 5) a State with a Higher Post-Graduate Rate, and 6) a State with a Lower Average Urban Population

BUY THIS FROM AMAZON (and earn My Esoteric some $$)

SAVING LIVES !!!

THIS BRINGS US TO THE CONCLUSION OF THIS SERIES, well almost, there will be one more summary section after this one, then polls and links. All of this headache producing nonsense was to get to this point with, what I hope, is some understanding of the factors involved and some trust in the way that I have approached my analysis because if you do, then the conclusions I draw are pretty straight forward. The two equations offered in this Part are for estimating the Rate of Gun Ownership and estimating the Rate of Deaths from ALL Causes as a result of gunfire. I have presented in other sections that major cause of death by gun is suicide, then comes homicide. What I want to conclude with is presenting estimates of lives saved if states choose to improve their gun regulation laws to various degrees.

I shared in Part ??? a rating scheme of the Open Society Institute's A Comparative Survey of State Firearm Laws which determined the relative strength of firearm laws by state. When the rating was negative, it meant the states firearm laws were less than federal standards; if the rating was zero, they met federal standards, and if they exceeded federal standards. The magnitude of the rating gave you an idea of how much the state missed or exceed federal standards. Then I discussed how I transformed this data into a usable form for regression analysis so that the differences between rankings had an actual relative difference between them. That means if one number is a 2 and another number is a 4, that means the second number is twice as important as the first; it wouldn't necessarily mean that if it were just a simple ranking 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on.

Next, if you glance through the list of predictor variables in both equations, you will find that five of the variables can be changed by public policy, one can be changed by the People, and four are not controllable at all.

- The one that the People can change is the political make-up of their State Legislature

- The four variables that cannot be changed are:

  1. Racial demographics
  2. State size
  3. State urban population
  4. Total state population

- Finally, the five variables that can be changed by Public Policy are:

  1. Firearm regulation
  2. Other means to control rate of gun ownership
  3. College graduation rates
  4. Post-graduate rates
  5. The ratio of non-minority to minority incomes.

My focus throughout this series has been leading up to firearm regulations because that is the easiest and most effective way to save lives. So, how many lives will it save you may ask? Well, I will tell you.

BRINGING SUBSTANDARD STATES UP TO FEDERAL STANDARDS

That means changing enough laws in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia so that there study ratings would result in a "zero", or, in my scale, a 4.87 (negative numbers were 2.87).

So, the first thing I did was run my model to recalculate, state-by-state, an estimated Rate of Gun Ownership, based on the new Firearm Regulation rating. Then I used that result in the equation that estimates the number of deaths based upon, among other things, the Rate of Gun Ownership. Finally, I compare the this new result with a baseline result using the original data. Note, no other data changed save the ranking from the firearm regulations.

Here are the results.

The Baseline, based on my model, is 31,359 deaths (actual deaths, according to the CDC was 30,769, in 2007, 31,627 in 2010)

Changing the laws in the 18 states mentioned above just a little bit might lower the number of people killed by firearms by 508, or 1.6% to 30,852.

An almost 2% reduction just by coming up to federal standards.

BRINGING SUBSTANDARD STATES AND THOSE THAT MEET FEDERAL STANDARDS UP TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

This would be taking the states previously mentioned plus Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Washington up to the level of firearm regulation possessed by such states as Iowa, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

In this case, the result is 1,508 lives saved and Firearm Deaths from All Causes falls to 29,852 or a 4.8% reduction.

And this from simply coming bringing firearm regulations up to that of three rather conservative states.who take the 2nd Amendment very seriously. It seems to me this should be well within the realm of the possible if gun rights advocates simply get off their high-horses and compromise a bit.

GETTING INTO LIBERAL TERRITORY (YES, THE PREVIOUS RESULTS WERE FROM CONSERVATIVE REGULATIONS)

Now we get into a more difficult scenario, mimicking such liberal leaning states as California, Illinois, and Maryland. But if one did, you might see an 8.8% drop in deaths.

Here, potentially 2,783 lives can be saved by bring total deaths down to a still too high 28,576.


Finally, we get to the most restrictive of state Gun Regulation laws, Massachusetts and Hawaii; not likely to happen, in my opinion. But, if it did happen, you could possibly see this:

If this happy state of affairs ever came to pass, one could expect a 10.8% drop in fatalities from guns, down 3,389 to 27,971!

Fantasy, I know, but nice to think about. One thing to consider, by the way, is that even these restrictive regulations, an anathema to conservatives without a doubt, still meet the 2nd Amendment test and if most states actually did choose to adopt this kind of control on firearms, that would mean there would have been a fundamental shift in America's mindset about guns. One where Americans finally come to recognize how deadly guns are and want to do what they can to mitigate their effect without endangering our right to bear arms. I feel this would amplify the results from my equations and increase the actual reductions in death by gun.

A RECENT PUBLIC POLICY POLL REPORTED that Louisiana, a state with one of the worst death by gun records in America, voters were 75% in FAVOR of background checks on ALL firearm sales including Internet sales, while 9% where not sure; only 16% were opposed. If conservative Louisianians understand this, why didn't Congressional Republicans, when they voted against a much more modest version?? It doesn't make sense does it?

Up to this point, even though some commenters tried to focus the conversation only on violent crime, I have avoided discussing what might actually help reduce it. My aim was to reduce total deaths and the death rate by gun. But, here, I simply want to point out that IF, background checks were performed on all firearm sales, it is my opinion (since I haven't done the research on this and am relying on common sense and logic) that crime in general, crime using guns, and homicides by gun would decrease after and an initial increase once the law was passed.

My rational for what conservatives will certainly consider a ridiculous assertion is thus. As shown in a previous table, crime is a minor source of guns for criminals. According to surveys of the criminals themselves, the most common sources are all legal and free of background checks; checks which would make purchasing weapons hard to impossible. The argument will go, of course, that all this means is the criminals will turn to crime to acquire their weapons; and I agree. That is why I suggest crime will initially increase. However, crime is a risky business, and not all, in fact lots of would-be criminals don't have the guts to commit a crime without a gun, do they don't including committing one to acquire a weapon (although they may entice someone else to do it for them). But, as I said, crime is a risky business and many of these criminals now forced to commit crimes to acquire weapons will get caught and taken off the streets ... with their guns. This, in turn, tends to lower the crime rate, over time if enforced strongly enough.

The end result is that not one honest citizen is denied a gun as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment, but many guns are taken out of the hands of criminals buy denying them the best source of their firearms ... legal purchases. At least that is my theory and I am sticking to it.

LET'S REHEARSE

IN THE FIRST FIVE PARTS OF THIS SIX PART SERIES, I wanted to present the background and the kind of research that is needed to make thoughtful, fact-based policy decisions that literally determines if someone is going to live or die. This is the work that should be done by those trained to do it before the headlines are written and I hope I gave you some insight into this world.

I hope you are also walking away with an appreciation that you can't just read the headline "Majority of Americans Don't Approve of Obamacare" and believe it when in fact, it isn't true. Headlines are written to sell things, so they are provocative and often loosely based on the truth. Only later do some of the more respected news outlets go on to tell you that

"Well, that's not quite true folks, in reality, only 39% of Americans REALLY don't like Obamacare and what it stands for, another 17% think Obamacare simply isn't good enough and therefore don't like it for that reason, but if they had to choose between Obamacare and nothing, they would choose Obamacare."

That has been the story behind the Obamacare headlines ever since the top line number told a lie to everybody but a statistician; the statistician knew to ask the next question "Why" didn't someone like Obamacare.

In Part 1, we began by considering how predictive equations can be produced such that, assuming a relationship exists to begin with, knowing one set of facts can be used to predict another fact. In this Part, I tried, successfully I hope, to show how the Rate of Total Deaths from ALL causes, homicides, suicides, accidental, etc, could be predicted by knowing several other things, one of which was the Rate of Gun Ownership. It was found that a relatively simple formula (if you forget all those powers and logarithms) could be produced from the data which explain a reasonable chunk (97%) of the variation from what the model predicted and the actual data. I also attempted to unravel the secret world of statistics a bit to try to give some insight as to how this all works and why we think a successful predictive relationship can obtained between sets of observations that common sense says should be related. The point of doing what many would say is TMI (too much information) is deflect the "why should I trust you" comments. With the data that will finally appear in table (it is not complete yet) in Part 1, a statistician should be able to approximate my results.

Part 2 began a consideration of violent crime as well continue the tutorial in statistics. The argument between the pro-gun and the pro-gun regulation lobbies is that the number of legal firearms on the streets has an impact on violent crime. One side says it makes it go up, the pro-gun regulation lobby, and the other side says it makes it go down, the pro-gun lobby. In fact, they are both right and they are both wrong, but you have to wait until Part 5, Digging Deeper, to find this out. At the end of Part 2, both are simply wrong. When you consider violent crime or any of its parts, Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Forcible Rape, and Robbery, a good model could not be made with the data at hand. This in-turn means the Rate of Legal Gun Ownership is not a factor in Violent Crime and should not be part of the conversation regarding regulating firearms.

We turn to a different aspect of gun ownership in Part 3, the regulation of firearms. I start with presenting a table which depicts the five main reasons people are killed by guns; suicide (56%), homicide (39%), accident (2%), legal intervention (2%), and all other causes (1%). There is another chart that shows, if you can read it, that 85% of Americans favor background checks on ALL firearm sales, 80% of Americans think the mentally ill should not possess,and 67% believe there should be a federal database to track gun sales; that is an amazing result in a normally polarized society on most other social issues. From there, I move on to my main thesis of gun regulation and its relationship to gun ownership and show there is a good correlation, although I find a better one later in Part 5.

Part 4 reviews the terrible side of gun ownership, suicides. The fact that 56% of all gun deaths are suicides has to be disturbing. But, what is even more disturbing is that the current debate ABSOLUTELY ignores this sad fact. In fact, many ignorant advocates of gun rights say, astonishingly enough, that it is a smokescreen to the real problem, which we now know is a non-problem, violent crime! This attitude goes beyond the pale of understanding. In any case, a strong relationship was also found between the rate of gun ownership and total suicides as well as a very strong correlation between rate of gun ownership and the rate of suicides by gun.

In Part 5, I reconsidered all of the previous models regarding violent crime, in order to finally put the debate about that factor to rest in my mind, and looked for additional data as well as different ways to transform the information to make it more amenable to regression analysis. It worked. What I found validated the results from Part 2. Specifically,

  1. There is no particular relationship between the rate of gun ownership and with forcible rape or with aggravated assault.
  2. There is a negative relationship between the rate of gun ownership and the rate of robbery, meaning more legal guns on the streets, less robberies.
  3. There is a positive relationship with homicides, meaning more legal guns on the streets, more murders.
  4. The positive and negative relationships cancel each other out so in the aggregate, the rate of gun ownership is not a predictor of the rate of violent crime, only of the rate of death by guns, the rate of suicides, and the rate of suicides by gun.

Finally, in this Part, we reconsidered if there are better equations that can be developed to relate guns to death and regulations to guns; and we found out there were. Also, from the charts presented, it can be determined that federal regulation of firearms appear to have had a positive impact on the rate of deaths from firearms from roughly 1974 to 2000.

In the end, the who purpose of this series of hubs was to determine that if public policy were to change regarding stronger regulation of guns, without violating the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans to bear arms, would it have a significant role in reducing the number of people killed by firearms. Again, we found that it would, potentially from 1.6% to 10.8%, if my simple calculations are anywhere close to the truth!

Firearm Assault Cost You Money

11-1-2014: THIS IS AN ADDENDUM FROM AN ARTICLE I JUST READ at CNN.com based on an Urban Institute study using 2010 statistics titled State Variation in Hospital Use and Cost of Firearm Assault Injury, 2010, Embry Howell, Sam Bieler, and Nathaniel Anderson, August 2014. It reports on a study of six states; Arizona (-1, 14.6), California (53, 7.9), Maryland (43, 9.3), New Jersey (35, 5.2), North Carolina (18, 11.8), and Wisconsin (3, 8.8), as well as using National data, and determined the medical costs associated with firearm assault injuries (not just deaths and excluding self-inflicted wounds and unintentional); the numbers in parenthesis are 1) the raw regulation rankings, the higher the number, the better the regulations, and 2) the rate of gun deaths per 100,000 (keep in mind from the equations above, regulation is only one of the factors which determine the rate of deaths from firearms).

The conclusion from this study was that the cost to society as a whole is roughly $174 billion a year while the medical costs associated with injuries from firearm assaults run $669 million/yr. Of that latter amount, 73% or $489 million is picked up by you, the taxpayer through either Medicare, Medicaid, or because the victim was uninsured. As can be seen by Table 1, there is quite a variation between States as to how these costs are distributed.

Hospital Costs for Firearm Assault Injury

 
TOTAL COSTS ($M)
PUBLIC/UNINSURED (%)
ARIZONA
$10.9
85.0%
CALIFORNIA
$87.4
64.8%
MARYLAND
$12.2
83.9%
NEW JERSEY
$12.6
79.8%
NORTH CAROLINA
$9.9
78.0%
WISCONSIN
$3.8
78.7%
NATIONAL
$669.2
72.9%
TABLE 1

HERE IS ANOTHER REASON TO BE INSURED

I KNOW THIS IS WAY OFF TOPIC, BUT IS NEED TO KNOW in today's argument over Obamacare. One of the tables in this study shows why it is important to have insurance rather than gripe about the mandate and being forced to buy insurance ... it may save your life. While these statistics apply only to deaths from gunshot wounds, I suspect they carry over to hospital care in general. Table 2 strongly suggests to me I would not want to go to a hospital without insurance.

FIREARM INJURIES LEADING TO DEATH

 
PRIVATE INSURANCE
MEDICARE/MEDICAID
UNINSURED
TOTAL
NATIONAL
5.0%
5.1%
8.4%
6.5%
ARIZONA
10.4%
4.6%
8.9%
6.8%
CALIFORNIA
5.9%
7.6%
11.9%
8.6%
MARYLAND
9.5%
12.2%
21.1%
15.6%
NEW JERSEY
3.9%
7.6%
10.1%
8.3%
NORTH CAROLINA
2.9%
3.5%
6.0%
4.8%
WISCONSIN
6.1%
6.8%
6.2%
6.5%
TABLE 2

A FINAL DISCLAIMER AND COMMENT

AS I TRIED TO MAKE CLEAR AT THE BEGINNING of this series, I am not an academic, nor am I a theoretical statistician. My background is applied statistics and cost/economic analysis for the Air Force and OSD; and that is dated now as I retired in 2008, and, I left active analysis work (until I started hub writing) about 8 years before that, although I helped out when needed. All total then, I had about 20 years of training and experience in this field.

As a consequence, this series of hubs is not a "rigorous" analysis, but nevertheless it is a practical and pragmatic one; the kind I would and did deliver (for a discrimination case) to my bosses. There are several things that could be done to improve upon what I have done, although I do think I have offered one unique approach; and that is a "holistic" look at this issue. What I mean is, in all of the research I did working on this series, I found research papers that would concentrate on this issue or that issue, but not one multiple issues at the same time such as I have done here. I would hope somebody much more qualified and who has access to much better data than I do has actually performed this kind of analysis, but I haven't found it yet.

My apologies for the intensity of the mathematics, but I felt it necessary to get above the "well, it is just your opinion" frey. It is not my opinion, it is the results of the information available from official sources used by all analytical organizations of any merit. I dare say I had a couple of my pet beliefs popped as I worked through the regressions and I still am curious as the the "why" of some results (not related to guns) as they don't make intuitive sense to me, but I nevertheless accept as correct for the moment because the results were stable. I really do hope my explanations made sense of things, and helped you get past the equations, and that the logic of it all worked for you. Finally, it is my fondest hope that I changed a couple of minds and put doubt in several others about the correctness of their stance vis-a-vis regulating firearms.and saving lives.

Now I need to go back and clean up six hubs and finish adding to the Table in Part 1 the raw data I used in this effort, now that I know what it is.

THE POLL

Has This Series of Hubs Changed Your Stance on Regulating Firearms?

  • No, I was always for banning all personal firearms to start with
  • Yes, I used to be for banning all personal firearms, but now I think reasonable regulation is enough
  • Yes, I used to think reasonable regulation was enough, but now I am for banning all personal firearms
  • No, I always thought more States should improve their gun regulation laws
  • Yes, I now think more States ought to improve their gun regulation laws
  • Yes, but I now think more States ought to weaken their gun regulation laws
  • No, I always thought States should weaken their gun regulation laws
  • No, I always thought there should be no laws regulating personal firearms.
  • I am still not sure
See results without voting

DEMOGRAPHICS QUESTION #1

Do you consider yourself philosophically Leaning

  • To the Left?
  • To the Right?
  • Standing Straight Up?
  • Some combination of the Above
  • Some other Direction
See results without voting

DEMOGRAPHICS QUESTION #2

Are you

  • Male?
  • Female?
See results without voting

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35 comments

Misfit Chick profile image

Misfit Chick 3 years ago from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD

Wow, these are pretty thorough articles. I don't think I've seen anyone put things into formulas like you have. Of course, all this makes sense... The question still stands why can't we agree on gun control? Because most people (including me) don't think it will help. You've said that Suicide is the most common way for people to die with guns. Guns are easy to get a hold of - won't those 'desperate' peeps find another way to end their own lives?

Thanks for all the work - it is much appreciated. But, I still think that pouring more resources into improving people lives, in general; and focusing on more effective ways to deal with rampant mental issues that many people suffer from would be a more logical and convenient way to address this issue. Because again - SO MANY people are just OBSTINATE about 'not having their guns taken away' from them. They view it is a decrease in their FREEDOM, even though this might seem absurd to the rest of us. Improving quality of life across the board for everyone is the only real way to diminish all kinds of violence - not just gun violence.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you very much for you thoughtful comment @Misfit. Actually people should be Obstinate about having their guns taken away, just not properly regulated, because it does help lower overall deaths. And no, as you will see in Part 4, there is NOT a 1-for-1 trade-off between suicides by guns and by other means if guns aren't available; rates of total suicides actually decrease where guns are less prevalent.

As to you assertion about improving the quality of life helping, that is very true and is a factor in almost every one of my equations ... improve that quality and the rate of death by gun goes down.


Misfit Chick profile image

Misfit Chick 3 years ago from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD

So, the suicide rates would probably go down (honestly, being someone who suffers from depression and suicidal tendencies at times, I find this unlikely. There are many ways to commit suicide and people will find them if they really want to). How are you going to get these 'obstinate' people to give into having their weapons 'regulated'? You don't think improving the quality of life would help at all?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

All I can say is that is what the data tells me, looking across all 50 states and all sorts of different mixes of suicide and gun ownership rates, there is no strong correlation that as the rate of gun ownership, and therefor suicide by guns go down, that suicide by other methods goes up by the same amount. Don't get me wrong, some people do find other means, but many other people do not try other ways and get by the impulse.

I DO think improving the quality of life would help, and probably help a lot; the equations back that up.

I doubt those who don't want their guns regulated will ever accept it because they cannot separate "reasonably regulate" from "take away" in their minds.


Misfit Chick profile image

Misfit Chick 3 years ago from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD

I'm sorry, I'm going to continue because I've written my own 'series' on this subject, and there have been more of these 'pro-gun-control' articles up here lately. It's not that I don't agree with any of you - I do. It is logical to think that gun regulation and/or control WOULD tone things down a little, MAYBE.

But, you're really talking about trying to change the minds of people like NRA members. In doing that, you have to change a lot of their cherished, lifelong BELIEFS - whether we agree with them, or not.

Have you ever tried to change a dogmatic Republican's mind surrounding 'social issues'? (Not that all NRA members are dogmatic Republicans. Btw, I'm an Independent). They pretty much have an 'everyone takes care of their own' ideal.

But, we can all see what happens when people don't choose to embrace that 'take care of their own' attitude. And what about people and/or families who just plain 'ol need help doing whatever it is they need to do, in order to help their kinfolk who might need it?

Providing funding for things like educating the public on child abuse reporting, prevention and education; or even BULLYING - which they pretty much view as being a rite of passage through childhood - is like talking to a brick wall. After all, so many of them have their Bible verses to back them up, just like so many gun diehards do.

I can only guess that using these Holy Scriptures to argue their fundamental defenses is the only way they know how to argue it. Good luck if you're someone who doesn't believe in their 'God' and/or agree with the way their particular denomination translates the dogma.

My main point is... Happy people don't usually turn into criminals and/or 'break' violently into shooting sprees to hurt other people or themselves.

Improving on social issues doesn't (or at least, it shouldn't) make people feel so 'threatened' as to seem like someone is 'toying with their freedoms' by messing with THE LAW.

Let them keep their dumb guns and let anyone who wants them to have them, easily enough...

Of course, we'll never make everyone happy, healthy or mentally-sane either. But tending to America's social and family issues and the volume of medical and mental health aspects surrounding them; just seems like something we can all do in 'the here and now' without losing a bunch of energy, money and time into the seemingly-hopeless task of trying to wrestle common-sense, uncompromised gun control laws through an impossibly fractured and largely dysfunctional government.

It's like I say in part 3 of my articles... When life gives you rules that you can't live with, you 1) do what you can do, and/or 2) change the damn rules! ;)


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You are certainly preaching to the choir here @Misfit, so preach away. Don't be too sure about not changing minds, however. Take a look back at the stats I threw out in the closing paragraphs

- 75% of all Louisianians, a pretty NRA bunch if there ever was one, FAVOR background checks for EVERY gun sale regardless of who it is between or where it happens. This is in direct opposition to the stance their beloved NRA takes and the Conservatives in Congress took; Conservatives who clearly DON"T listen to their conservative constituency. (do you like my alliteration?)


Misfit Chick profile image

Misfit Chick 3 years ago from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD

Maybe there's hope yet, ha! :)


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

BTW, Seattle is one of my favorite places. I was stationed at then Ft. Lewis back in 1973-1975; then was back again a couple of years ago to catch a cruise to Alaska; quite a change. I have pictures from the latter trip; not of Alaska yet, I am ADHD when it comes to hubs.


johnny405 profile image

johnny405 3 years ago from 307 W Crawford Ave. Effingham Il. 62401

If you take our right away to have guns witch this country was founded on, the Government will walk all over you! Did you look at the other countries like Australia? Just ask the people there what happens when you take away the guns from the people ,even more violence follows .like rape and burglaries,"Government take over !" I have the right to own a gun, by the 2nd amendment and you should do better when doing your investigations by looking out side of the box


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks @Johnny, but your response needs to go to a hub about taking your "right away to have guns"; this series of hubs is not about that, as they clearly state ... many times. Instead, they are about regulating ownership of guns while maintaining 2nd Amendment rights to bear them; there is a big difference. So, I will only address the relevant part of your comment.

If you read the series, you would have found your point about No Guns = More Rapes, simply isn't true, at least not in America. The number of Forcible Rapes is independent of the prevalence of legal guns on the streets.

I didn't look at Burglaries, since they aren't one of the four components of Violent Crime.

If you had said Robbery, for America, I would have agreed with you.

If you had said Homicide, you would be dead wrong (pun intended). In America, More Legal Guns on the Streets (rates) = More Homicides by Gun (rates).

Like rape, there is no correlation between the fourth component either, aggravated assault.

So, the bottom line is, when you look at 'Violent Crime in total', the Rate of Violent Crime in America is INDEPENDENT of the Rate of Legal Gun Ownership. What that says is the rates of Violent Crime in Massachusetts, with very tough gun laws, and Arizona, with almost non-existent gun laws, will not change appreciably if each State adopts the other's gun laws.

In other words, the gun lobby's most frequent argument to put a gun in every American's hand, reduction in Violent Crime, is simply not true.


wilderness profile image

wilderness 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Most interesting. I did an in depth study of gun ownership vs homicide rates as well, but did it worldwide.

I was rather surprised when I came up with the same conclusion you have: there is no correlation between gun ownership and homicide rates worldwide. I had not expected to see that.

There is obviously a correlation between gun ownership and homicide by gun, but even that connection was far weaker than I expected to see, and I suspect it would be lower still had I been able to limit gun ownership to LEGAL gun ownership.

Just one datum you might find interesting; there is a VERY strong correlation between homicide rates and both prohibition and marijuana laws. Take away drugs that the majority of people want and homicide rates climb dramatically. Give them back and the rates quickly fall. Again, something that had never occurred to me.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thank you @Wilderness, some validation once in a while is nice. I am not surprised at all by your drug-homicide correlation; it makes all the sense in the world.

With the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado, we have the foundation of a control group to test that theory out in the US.


bradmaster from orange county ca 24 months ago

suicide tops homicide by nearly two to one in the gun-death business.

So that pretty much supports the gun owner versus the gun.

Guns make death easy. That is, it’s not technically hard to pull a trigger. A law abiding citizen in despair chooses not to kill the object of his anger (the wife run off, the humiliating plant manager, the rival for the girl’s affection, the gods themselves for ruining the harvest) and instead turns his anger inward. What means does he have? Poisoning (horrible, painful), vehicle into tree or off cliff (no guarantee of results), knife in the belly (that’s for Samurai), overdose (maybe, but, again, no guarantee), jump off a high place (takes a lot of nerve), suffocation (on yourself? really?), and gunshot.

Gunshot to the head is nearly foolproof, with in-the-mouth the method of choice. I’ll wager that most of these self-inflicted gun deaths are done with a handgun, which is easier to wield. However, for those with access to only a rifle, there’s always removing your shoes, placing the stock on the floor, leaning over the barrel, and working the trigger with your toes.

It’s just one quick moment of decisiveness, and you’re done.

So, as we enter further into the debate about gun laws, it is good to keep in mind that, while spectacular massacres with exotic weapons generate headlines, the real numbers are composed of pensive ranchers and despondent farmers, facing drought, bankruptcy, and loss, who give up fighting the forces they see arrayed against them and take the nearest exit.

© 2013 Endpoint Technologies Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

It is interesting that the place with the lowest gun ownership is the place with the highest gun murder deaths.

State Population

(total inhabitants)

(2010) Population

Density

(inhabitants

per square mile)

(2010) Murders

(total deaths)

(2010)

[1] Gun

Murders

(total deaths)

(2010)

Gun

Ownership

(%)

(2007)

[2] Murders

(rate per 100,000

inhabitants)

(2010) Gun

Murders

(rate per 100,000

inhabitants)

(2010)

District of Columbia 601,723 10298 131 99 3.6% 21.8 16.5

So, maybe it isn't that simple.

Thanks

bradmasterOC


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 23 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Ahh, that is where you need to need to understand statistics. D.C. was not part of the sample because I needed to look across large geographic and demographic populations; D.C. and other large cities do not fit that criteria. In fact, they are a criteria in the larger analysis within states to capture the fact that their densities are much different than the rest of the state and may drive variations in the outcomes. So, while I didn't deal with D.C. specifically, I did account for the number of and size of large population centers in each state.


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

The point of the DC data is that it is an example that shows gun ownership is not the core of the problem of gun violence. This also shows that limiting or outlawing guns is not the answer to lowering gun crimes.

From its concentrated population density, it correlates more to the act of the person, then the act of the gun. The person had to defy the law to get the gun, and then commit the act.

It is also ironic that the Nation's capital is the worst offender of the gun violence. If congress can't keep their own district safer from guns, then what chance would they have in other states.

It is interesting also that the data from Texas where guns are legal and they can be carried openly is about the same as California where they guns are not allowed to be carried in a similar manner.

In California, there are about twenty thousand gun owners that have been determined to be mentally incapable of owning the guns they do own. Yet, the government claims it doesn't have the resources to track them down and take away their guns in less than several years.

Here is an example of something that the government should do, and could do, but they don't have the resources!

As far as your supposition about the gun being the problem with gun violence, the law is in opposition.

In murder cases, or cases involving intentional crimes the elements of the law look to the Mens Rea, or the mental intent of the defendant. This would be true if the murder was committed by a gun, a rock, a knife or any weapon.

In the case of vehicular manslaughter the current laws infer and intent even if the person was so drunk they didn't know what they were doing. They use the process of getting drunk, to replace the intent of causing harm to another person. They manipulated the Mens Rea to come up with their desired result of making drunk driving an intentional felony satisfying the criminal elements of homicide.

The fact is they don't factor the vehicle as the problem. The real problem is alcohol, and or drugs but the government was unsuccessful in prohibiting either of them, so they focused on the person.

Any set of data can be used to show many different statistics, but that doesn't change the data, it only changes the interpretation of the data. This interpretation can be skewed illogically, if the other variables that are dependent on it are not factored into it.

For example, comparing the test scores of high school students form several different states, and cities within them is a simple mathematical task. But interpreting this statistic is not an equality function because of the differences in the variables. These variables include, the location, the wealth or lack of the schools in that area, the qualifications of the teachers, and the school administration, whether the schools focus on the tests to make their academic achievement goals, or whether they focus on educating their students, the diversity of the students, and a number of other factors.

Many of the Southern States have a higher gun violence than other regions. To make statistics that represent the collective population and the entire US would require a homogenous population, and environment. Even McDonalds considers the local culture to provide a hometown feel for a nationwide company.

All people killed with a gun are dead

But not all dead people are killed with a gun.

Food for thought.

bradmasterOC

If it rains then the sidewalks are wet

If the sidewalks are wet then it rained (this is not always true)


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 23 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

@Bradmaster, I agree with your 1st point in the 1st paragraph but I disagree, by definition, with your 2nd point. I am not asserting that guns are either the core problem of gun violence. But common sense, simple logic, and statistics say that limiting or outlawing (which I don't support, btw) guns would lower gun violence. In the extreme case, no guns, no gun violence. In a realistic case, lower the access of criminals to legitimate sources (friends and family) must lower gun violence because only criminal activity is only a small source of guns for criminals at the moment and there won't be a one-for-one trade off.

What the statistics do show is that there is a very weak correlation between reduced LEGAL gun ownership and Increased homicides. On the flip-side, there is an even weaker correlation between reduced Legal gun ownership and a Decrease in armed robberies. That is why, when taken together, there is no correlation between legal gun ownership and violent crime in general.

BUT, the correlation between Reduced Legal gun ownership and a Reduction in Death by Gun is solid. That is what is important and not crime, for there is no correlation there.

Also, as I said before, DC is not in my data set because it is not a state. However, large cities like Chicago and Los Angeles were taken into account when working with state data.

Government doesn't have resources nor the legal authority thanks to Conservatives and NRA.

As to your comments about statistics, you are quite correct ... for someone who doesn't understand them. But, as I have mentioned before, that was my profession for 20 years and I was relatively good at it, or at least the Air Force thought so; they kept promoting me. I have done the same type of analysis for them as I did in this series of hubs.

Read up on multiple regression analysis.


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

I don't believe that your broad brush stroke of the composite of gun statistics can really have any specific correlation between gun violence and legal gun ownership.

Half of the gun deaths are due to suicides. Do it correlate that the legal gun ownership is going to stop these people from suicide?

If these people want to die, they can employ other deadly mechanisms, and in desperation they can force the police to kill them.

The best approach is to enforce the gun regulations, and allow legal gun ownership after investigating the prospective gun owner, and requiring a comprehensive gun safety test.

As I mentioned before, the government has not done their due diligence in taking away the guns of people known to have mental illness.

I think that the drug problem in the US is much more worthy of trying to stem, than the ambiguous correlations of legal gun ownership and gun violence.

The former is epidemic in proportion, while the latter is finite.

The illegal and even legal drug industry is paralleled by the criminal element that supplies these drug users with these drugs.

The illegal drug industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Like prohibition, the US government has been feeble in its attempts to contain this continuum of generation after generation of these drug users. Only the illegal drug products seem to change, but not the propensity of the new generation to take over where the previous generation left off.

This has a more direct effect on our economy, criminal activity, and deaths both direct and indirect than do the legal guns.

Today, young drug users are using legal products to get their high. I purchased compressed air to clean my computer, and I was asked my age. Apparently, kids are using this to inhale to get high. Even OTC cold medications can be used to get a high.

Young kids are still smoking, and congress doesn't care. Smoking also has an indirect effect on our economy and our healthcare system.

My point is that guns are not the mass problems as are the drug, and tobacco users.

I am still not a fan of using statistics as the primary mechanism to try to make factual conclusions.

For example, statistical sampling is not the same as a fact.

It is an extrapolation, that is used to mathematically develop a conclusion based on a very small percentage of people to represent the entire country. People have common traits, but they are not homogenous that only a portion of them can be sliced to represent the whole.

On government projects for Hughes, Boeing, Northrop, and Rockwell, they all use the same project management. They use the budget to determine the percentage of completion of the project. So when fifty percent of the budget has been spent, then the project is fifty percent complete.

But, if the project is completed and it is under budget, than the next project by the company will have its budget cut back in proportion to the last budget's savings.

So companies will expand their budget use to exhaustion.

This was an example of how statistics are manipulated to get a desired end, but not necessarily the appropriate end.

The organized criminal activities of gangs in the US, is not limited to the US, as it an international crime problem.. Yet, we seem to metaphorically look for our lost car keys under the street lamp when we know that they are not there.

The US has a limited number of agencies, and field officers to combat organized crime, drug users, and prostitution. So, to make their jobs more effective they need to focus on the most dangerous crimes.

Prostitution if legalized would allow the government to have more resources to fight the other more deadly crimes. Legalizing marijuana to the same extent as tobacco, and alcohol would also free up needed resources.

If you were to prioritize these issues with your gun issue, then the gun issue would fall to the bottom of that list, in my opinion.

Thanks

bradmasterOC


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My Esoteric 23 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You said "I don't believe that your broad brush stroke of the composite of gun statistics ..." That is how any meaningful information can be developed. Nothing useful can be ascertained from anecdotal reports or local data sets; good statistical analysis simply doesn't work that way. You have to have lots of data that covers many instances of the same thing. Then you try to find out which variables account for what changes. In the case of gun violence as a broad category, there is no statistically significant link. Also keep in mind, I am not focusing on gun violence, that is just a piece of the equation. Instead, I focus on the category of all deaths

Yes, legal gun ownership does strongly correlates to suicides by gun. And yes, there is a statistically significant correlation between stronger regulations and lower suicides by gun. Further, there IS NOT a 1-for-1 trade-off between lack of access to guns to a potential suicide victim and the use of another means to kill oneself. Many people will only use a gun for a variety of reasons, when one is not available, they simply don't do it.

You said "The best approach is to enforce the gun regulations, and allow legal gun ownership after investigating the prospective gun owner, and requiring a comprehensive gun safety test." and you hit the nail on the head. BUT, you are quite wrong in the gov't in not doing its job.

1 - With what powers the NRA and Conservative do allow the federal gov't to have, the Conservatives seriously underfunded it.

2 - The NRA and Conservatives have joined forces to prevent the federal gov't from maintain the necessary databases to track guns used in crimes, to stop "straw" purchases, to conduct background checks of ALL gun purchases, and a plethora of other hurdles.

You said "I think that the drug problem in the US is much more worthy of trying to stem, than the ambiguous correlations of legal gun ownership and gun violence." - So true, but improving gun regulations is a simple solution to help reduce, not eliminate, death by gun. I think the US is a big enough country to take both on effectively. Also, I personally don't consider 88 deaths by gun a day, every day, year after year; I think that is more than finite.

Is it fact the sun will rise tomorrow? NO, it is a statistical probability.

"It is an extrapolation, that is used to mathematically ...", hehe, so you are telling me I wasted 20 years of my life and mislead the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Air Force on two or three occasions? I did the same to Under Secretary's of Defense a few more times. Nah, I think a college degree or two in statistics and related subjects qualifies me say I am correct in what I do.


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

You wrote

You said "I don't believe that your broad brush stroke of the composite of gun statistics ..." That is how any meaningful information can be developed. Nothing useful can be ascertained from anecdotal reports or local data sets; good statistical analysis simply doesn't work that way. You have to have lots of data that covers many instances of the same thing. Then you try to find out which variables account for what changes. In the case of gun violence as a broad category, there is no statistically significant link. Also keep in mind, I am not focusing on gun violence, that is just a piece of the equation. Instead, I focus on the category of all deaths

bm:

Then I must have misinterpreted what I read.

---------------------

You wrote

You said "The best approach is to enforce the gun regulations, and allow legal gun ownership after investigating the prospective gun owner, and requiring a comprehensive gun safety test." and you hit the nail on the head. BUT, you are quite wrong in the gov't in not doing its job.

1 - With what powers the NRA and Conservative do allow the federal gov't to have, the Conservatives seriously underfunded it.

bm:

That is still the government.

---------------

You wrote

2 - The NRA and Conservatives have joined forces to prevent the federal gov't from maintain the necessary databases to track guns used in crimes, to stop "straw" purchases, to conduct background checks of ALL gun purchases, and a plethora of other hurdles.

bm:

Still the government, so my statement wasn't wrong.

--------------

You wrote

You said "I think that the drug problem in the US is much more worthy of trying to stem, than the ambiguous correlations of legal gun ownership and gun violence." - So true, but improving gun regulations is a simple solution to help reduce, not eliminate, death by gun. I think the US is a big enough country to take both on effectively. Also, I personally don't consider 88 deaths by gun a day, every day, year after year; I think that is more than finite.

bm:

Apparently they are not.As they haven't done so yet.

---------------------------------

Is it fact the sun will rise tomorrow? NO, it is a statistical probability.

bm:

I don't see the relevance. Guns and drugs are social issues, but the Sun is more predictable as it doesn't rely on humans.

-------------------

You wrote

"It is an extrapolation, that is used to mathematically ...", hehe, so you are telling me I wasted 20 years of my life and mislead the Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Air Force on two or three occasions? I did the same to Under Secretary's of Defense a few more times. Nah, I think a college degree or two in statistics and related subjects qualifies me say I am correct in what I do.

bm:

Now, it seems like you are taking my statements personally.

I gave examples about why I have these opinions.

They came from my personal experience, as was yours. They just differ in results.

How did Sgt York do for the country?

------------------------------


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 23 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You said "They came from my personal experience, as was yours. They just differ in results." - And I disagree. Unless you have education, training and operational experience in the subject area then your opinion is not equivalent to mine; similarly, my opinion about the space-time continuum, while having some value, would not hold up to that of Einstein. (I am definitely not saying I am an Einstein when it comes to statistics, btw).

I am just saying statistics is a science established over many centuries whose predictions turn out to be true when all of the rules are followed.

Saying "it is the government" is a cop out, in my opinion (now that IS an opinion) based purely on semantics. To be perfectly accurate, since government in America is Of the People, For the People, and By the People, then your statement should be "it is the People" ... you and me, in other words.

"The" government is not some alien being which is separate from you and thinks of one mind; just like God is not truly separate from the Universe as Christians believe. Replace 17 minds who think differently in the House and you have an entirely different outcome. The People can change those 17 minds, so it is the People, in the end, who decide what "government" does.

But more than that, since People are broken into factions, so is government; government is not homogenous, it is heterogeneous (besides, no god-fearing conservative would belong to "homo-anything", which may explain why they are creationists since they couldn't abide by being called homosapiens, lol.)

Over time, it is one faction or another faction which controls government UNLESS, it works like our founders intended and they COMPROMISE. Only then does your "its still government" have a ring of truth to it. Today, we don't have a government, we are ruled (or not ruled is probably more correct) by factions.


bradmasters from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

You wrote

You said "They came from my personal experience, as was yours. They just differ in results." - And I disagree. Unless you have education, training and operational experience in the subject area then your opinion is not equivalent to mine; similarly, my opinion about the space-time continuum, while having some value, would not hold up to that of Einstein. (I am definitely not saying I am an Einstein when it comes to statistics, btw).

bm:

You don't have to be a chicken to judge an egg, and you don't have to be an economist to judge the economy, and you don't have to be a congressmen to judge the success or failure of a law.

Einstein crafted a theory, and that theory is only the best opinion too date. He never solved his goal of creating a grand unification theory.

----------------------

You wrote

I am just saying statistics is a science established over many centuries whose predictions turn out to be true when all of the rules are followed.

bm:

My point is that statistics are just an interpretation of a set of data, and that interpretation can be biases, or even misunderstood.

Additionally, statistics as used by the government is reactive, and not proactive. Mostly everything that the government does is reactive. That means they are always behind the curve.

This is my opinion, and I base it on how the use of statistics has been misused by the marketing over the last fifty years. I gave you my classical example with the "4 out of 5 doctors recommend brand x."

These statistics are meaningless as to supporting brand x, but the implications of that statement are wrongly concluded by the consumer.

The data that supports it is unknown, but it will be inferred by the people as an overwhelming choice of all doctors. Yet, we don't know anything about these doctors, and that is important. We don't know the sampling rate, or the demographics, nor do we know the questions they were asked in the survey.

-----------

You wrote

Saying "it is the government" is a cop out, in my opinion (now that IS an opinion) based purely on semantics. To be perfectly accurate, since government in America is Of the People, For the People, and By the People, then your statement should be "it is the People" ... you and me, in other words.

bm:

Definitely, the root cause of bad government is the people, and specifically the loyal party voters. This is because the loyal party voter just rubber stamps whatever direction that the party chooses to go..

Once the voter is registered with the party, the party cashes in their loyal vote, then they look to their real boss, the financial people and corporations that donated all that money. Then the party removes the people from the process of the government and obeys the wishes of the third party interests.

The federal government was totally responsible for 911, From their lack of being proactive and not intelligently using the information they had in hand, to the pathetic lack of any defense to the attack. Apparently, Andrews Air Force Base is just a shuttle service for the politicians.

They were probably relying on the statistical chance that a scenario like 911 would ever happen on American Soil, just like they didn't have a clue of what to do with information about a possible attack on Pearl Harbor.

The situations were similar, and yet the federal government didn't learn from their experience.

---------

You wrote

"The" government is not some alien being which is separate from you and thinks of one mind; just like God is not truly separate from the Universe as Christians believe. Replace 17 minds who think differently in the House and you have an entirely different outcome. The People can change those 17 minds, so it is the People, in the end, who decide what "government" does.

bm:

Then the founders misnamed our country. and the reason why we have a central government in the first place. United we stand, divided, which is the norm today, we fall, and we are falling.

---------

You wrote

But more than that, since People are broken into factions, so is government; government is not homogenous, it is heterogeneous (besides, no god-fearing conservative would belong to "homo-anything", which may explain why they are creationists since they couldn't abide by being called homosapiens, lol.)

bm:

You are addressing the wrong person, I never put religion as an argument into my statements.

------------

You wrote

Over time, it is one faction or another faction which controls government UNLESS, it works like our founders intended and they COMPROMISE. Only then does your "its still government" have a ring of truth to it. Today, we don't have a government, we are ruled (or not ruled is probably more correct) by factions.

bm:

The control in the last one hundred years, is proof that neither party has moved the country forward. Because of their phobia of becoming bipartisan they have only moved the country to the left, or the right, and the best they do is when they cross over the center.

-------------

My point is not personal.

It is really closer to a fact than just an opinion that none of the statistical expertise, and information helped in any way to prevent 911, or the economic meltdown of 2008. Nor has it really helped in finding a recovery to bring us on the path to prosperity.

This is because statistical use is motivated by opinion, and not fact.

When the Rover is sent on a mission to Mars, it get there as planned. The reason is that the statistics are based on physics, and not the actions of humans. The laws of hard science is based on exact repeatability, and not the flow of human actions which periodically changes.

California is a microcosm of the current federal government.

It has been run by the liberals for over forty years.

My example of how government doesn't work also applies to CA.

Over twenty years ago, they started building a Toll Road. Not that we don't pay enough taxes for it to be a freeway. I digress.

Today, that Toll Road is still unfinished. It was supposed to augment the one major freeway from Orange County to San Diego. For the last twenty years the Toll Road ends in the middle of nowhere.

Because of the mountains on the East, and the Pacific Ocean on the West, there are no real alternatives traveling from Los Angels to San Diego.

The point is that traffic congestion wastes time, and burns fuel, and that creates air pollution. Yet, for over twenty years, that is what has been happening. During that time the population of California has almost doubled.

Highway 241 is the Toll Road in question.

So, how has the government helped the people, and yes, the people keep voting for this type of ineffective government?

As for the expertise of the federal government, how has statistics helped them figure out what are the basic food groups for the people to eat a healthy meal. They have been wrong every time so far.

Thanks

bradmasterOC


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 23 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

For "...and you don't have to be an economist to judge the economy ...," - while the other two are correct, this one is not, in its entirety. You obviously can have an opinion on the economy, but it would not be an expert opinion; but, a trained, practicing economist would have an expert opinion based on his or her education and practical experience. Einstein might have if he lived long enough.

How about the statistics recently used to prove the Higgs boson exists? Or how about the statistics used to measure the need for headlights to be on for a particular stretch of road. They used statistics, to stay with science for a moment, to theorize the existence of other fundamental particles which they found one by one.

Then they use statistics to determine the probability that contamination in Love Canal was the cause of a series of cancer cases. Or the probability that a DNA sample fits the defendant.

I agree with you, however, any statistic used by politicians, marketing, or by anybody else where there is a vote to get or a buck to be made is highly suspect with a "high probability" of being misleading. Nevertheless, one rotten apple doesn't spoil the whole barrel.

To your 9/11 scenario - first, this isn't a statistical issue, it is an idiotic bureaucracy and funding issue. Statistically, something like 9/11 has a slim to none chance of happening; obviously it did. Your reasons are spot on, but it isn't really "gov't's" fault, it is human nature's fault. This was bound to happen, and will happen again in another 60 years; just like it did 70 years ago for the Pearl Harbor you mentioned. If it doesn't happen in America, it will happen somewhere else because that is the way humans are stupid, lazy, and forgetful.

"United we stand, divided, which is the norm today, we fall, and we are falling." - Absotutely.

"The control in the last one hundred years, is proof that neither party has moved the country forward. " - Personally, I think we have moved forward in a huge ways: 1) President Jackson - suffrage for all white males, 2) President Lincoln emancipation for slaves, 3) President Lincoln - suffrage for black males, 4) President Wilson - suffrage for women. 5)

President Johnson - Civil Rights Act of 1964, and 5) President Johnson - Voting Rights Act of 1965. You may not consider this progress, but I certainly do.

You said "It is really closer to a fact than just an opinion that none of the statistical expertise, and information helped in any way to prevent 911, or the economic meltdown of 2008. ..." - Statistics wouldn't be used or of use for these purposes, nor would they have been used for 9/11. What would have been useful is letting go of dogma and some simple common sense.

'As for the expertise of the federal government, how has statistics helped them figure out what are the basic food groups for the people to eat a healthy meal. They have been wrong every time so far." - Once again, this isn't a task for statistics, but basic science; although some aspects of the research probably involves statistics.

As to the basic food groups; science learns new things all of the time and I am glad to hear we aren't stuck with a 1950s model and its been updated with new knowledge.

As to why the toll road hasn't been finished, is there a reason? Normally, it is a cooperative between gov't and private industry.


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

You wrote

For "...and you don't have to be an economist to judge the economy ...," - while the other two are correct, this one is not, in its entirety. You obviously can have an opinion on the economy, but it would not be an expert opinion; but, a trained, practicing economist would have an expert opinion based on his or her education and practical experience. Einstein might have if he lived long enough.

bm:

Where were these economists during the dot com and the sub prime bubble inceptions?

---------

You wrote

How about the statistics recently used to prove the Higgs boson exists? Or how about the statistics used to measure the need for headlights to be on for a particular stretch of road. They used statistics, to stay with science for a moment, to theorize the existence of other fundamental particles which they found one by one.

bm:

Physics is not determined by humans, while the economy is heavily involved with the humans.

-----------

You wrote

I agree with you, however, any statistic used by politicians, marketing, or by anybody else where there is a vote to get or a buck to be made is highly suspect with a "high probability" of being misleading. Nevertheless, one rotten apple doesn't spoil the whole barrel.

bm:

The economy is part of that not independent of it.

----------

You wrote

To your 9/11 scenario - first, this isn't a statistical issue, it is an idiotic bureaucracy and funding issue. Statistically, something like 9/11 has a slim to none chance of happening; obviously it did. Your reasons are spot on, but it isn't really "gov't's" fault, it is human nature's fault. This was bound to happen, and will happen again in another 60 years; just like it did 70 years ago for the Pearl Harbor you mentioned. If it doesn't happen in America, it will happen somewhere else because that is the way humans are stupid, lazy, and forgetful.

bm:

They did happen, and the statistics were probably low, but that is another reason not to rely strictly on statistics.

The same was true of Pearl Harbor, and 911 could have been at least mitigated if president Bush had taken control by commanding that air defense take over. What was the fault of the government is not to have a full time ready domestic defense.

Military bases need to be run armed and ready to defend, not be run live a private business.

The first plane to hit could have been prevented by using the existing information that existed in the government. The others could have been defended, if we had armed and ready defenders.

The fact, that 911 occurred during a multiple day war simulation is more than ironic.

The statistics would have proven that all these conditions of 911 would have been very low probability, but with humans probability is only a suggestion as to their actions.

-------

You wrote

"United we stand, divided, which is the norm today, we fall, and we are falling." - Absotutely.

"The control in the last one hundred years, is proof that neither party has moved the country forward. " - Personally, I think we have moved forward in a huge ways: 1) President Jackson - suffrage for all white males, 2) President Lincoln emancipation for slaves, 3) President Lincoln - suffrage for black males, 4) President Wilson - suffrage for women. 5)

bm:

If that is all in one hundred and fifty years. that is pretty pathetic.

----------

You wrote

President Johnson - Civil Rights Act of 1964, and 5) President Johnson - Voting Rights Act of 1965. You may not consider this progress, but I certainly do.

bm:

We are still arguing about the effectiveness of these laws even today.

It certainly didn't help much last century.

LBJ escalated the Vietnam War and virtually lost it.

Medicare has been the piggy bank for fraud since its creation.

------------

You wrote

You said "It is really closer to a fact than just an opinion that none of the statistical expertise, and information helped in any way to prevent 911, or the economic meltdown of 2008. ..." - Statistics wouldn't be used or of use for these purposes, nor would they have been used for 9/11. What would have been useful is letting go of dogma and some simple common sense.

bm:

Apparently, we lost that somewhere along the way.

------------------

You wrote

'As for the expertise of the federal government, how has statistics helped them figure out what are the basic food groups for the people to eat a healthy meal. They have been wrong every time so far." - Once again, this isn't a task for statistics, but basic science; although some aspects of the research probably involves statistics.

bm:

You cite statistic for Higgs, yet you are reluctant to apply them to healthy foods. They are both aspects of science.

Statistics have proved the dangers of tobacco, and yet the government didn't do anything to stop its legal use. But when seven people died from a bad batch of Tryptophan last century, they completely banned it.

Statistics could have been used to prevent that ban, and to ban tobacco. That is why statistics cannot be used correctly by the government.

--------

You wrote

As to the basic food groups; science learns new things all of the time and I am glad to hear we aren't stuck with a 1950s model and its been updated with new knowledge.

bm:

The government has made several changes to the basic food groups since the fifties, and they have been wrong most of the time.

So all the people that followed the government suggestion did the wrong thing.

Are they doing the right thing now?

They certainly have let politics continue generation after generation being hooked on tobacco.

As to why the toll road hasn't been finished, is there a reason? Normally, it is a cooperative between gov't and private industry.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 23 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

You said "Medicare has been the piggy bank for fraud since its creation."

- Shall I start listing how many private corporations have defrauded the public in the billion dollar plus range.

- Or should we look at this in the proper light and consider how many lives have been saved because of both SS, Medicare, and Medicaid? Which is more important on your scale of justice?


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

Neither of these things could have happened without the hand of the government making it possible. And the government can pursue the private sector offenders to make them pay. or at least cut off their avenue of greed.

Changing subjects doesn't change the validity of my statements.


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

What do think about the gubernatorial race in Florida?

Incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott is running for re-election to a second term in office.[1] The Democratic nominee is former Governor Charlie Crist. Crist was elected Governor as a Republican in 2006 but did not run for re-election in 2010, instead ran for the U.S. Senate. In April 2010 and while still in office, he left the Republican Party to run as an Independent instead. He was defeated in the general election by Republican nominee Marco Rubio. In December 2012, Crist joined the Democratic Party. Also running are Libertarian nominee Adrian Wyllie and several candidates with no party affiliation.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 23 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Christ is tolerable, don't really trust him, but tolerable. Scott is terrible and intolerable, as well as an honest to goodness crook in private life; but the Right didn't care ... so much for law and order. At least nobody was surprised when the Dems in D.C. reelected the Coke-sniffing mayor; they are more realistic about human nature and don't campaign on law and order.


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

I would trade CA Gov Brown for Christ.

Thanks

Back to the topic of the hub.

What do you think about the shooting in Ottawa today, and the car used to run down two soldiers?


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 23 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

@Bradmaster, I don't understand this one - "The economy is part of that not independent of it.", relative to what I wrote.

Your comments regarding 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. Again, statistics are not a player in that discussion. However, the American People, and especially Conservatives, would not stand to pay to high cost in perpetuity for the "hot" bases surrounding all major metropolitan areas where planes can respond in less than 10 minutes. That would have saved the Pentagon for I had time to 1) find a parking place, 2) take the elevator up to my 4th floor office, 3) get the word out, 4) set up a TV to watch what was going on, 6) watch the towers fall, and 7) wonder out loud when the Pentagon, my HQ, was going to be hit; a few minutes later we felt the impact a 1/4 mile away. But, nothing would have saved the Twin Towers, either one. Communications, the lack of it, as you said, was the key. In over 200 years, we have never figured out how to do it, and we still haven't got it, although it does seem a schosh better.

You said "If that is all in one hundred and fifty years. that is pretty pathetic." Considering the very stiff headwinds conservatives put in front of progressivism for the first 100 years, I think it's rather an impressive record.

Unfortunately, conservatism have been successfully dismantling what has been gained since 1980 to now.

You said "We are still arguing about the effectiveness of these laws even today. It certainly didn't help much last century." By last century, I assume you mean 1965 - 1999. If so, then I must wholeheartedly disagree. I think all those represented by the movie "The Maid" would disagree as well as those who finally were allowed to use the right to vote they were given 100 years earlier and are now starting to be denied again thanks to Chief Justice Roberts AND Congress ... the whole Congress in this case.


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

You wrote

@Bradmaster, I don't understand this one - "The economy is part of that not independent of it.", relative to what I wrote.

bm:

You need more of the context, that is missing here

-----------------------------------

You wrote

Your comments regarding 9/11 and Pearl Harbor. Again, statistics are not a player in that discussion. However, the American People, and especially Conservatives, would not stand to pay to high cost in perpetuity for the "hot" bases surrounding all major metropolitan areas where planes can respond in less than 10 minutes.

bm:

Military bases are not the same as private airports, if they don't have the defense as a primary purpose then they are useless.

This is not a partisan responsibility, it is a one for the entire congress. There is nothing to be gained by blaming the other party.

When the cold war was on, we did have a ready defense. Today, only the enemy and their methods of attack have changed.

-------------------------------

You wrote

That would have saved the Pentagon for I had time to 1) find a parking place, 2) take the elevator up to my 4th floor office, 3) get the word out, 4) set up a TV to watch what was going on, 6) watch the towers fall, and 7) wonder out loud when the Pentagon, my HQ, was going to be hit; a few minutes later we felt the impact a 1/4 mile away. But, nothing would have saved the Twin Towers, either one.

bm:

Not true there was enough time to save the second tower. There are air bases in the area, and there was enough information to know that the second plane was way off course. The problem was that the FAA had not relinquished control to NORAD.

President Bush failed in 911, what he did in Florida was wrong. He had no idea whether he was part of the terrorist target. He should have immediately got on AF1 and taken command to direct a defense.

The fact that we keep on uses our military might around the world and yet we cannot and didn't protect our homeland is a result of the two party system working on one country.

-----------------

You wrote

Communications, the lack of it, as you said, was the key. In over 200 years, we have never figured out how to do it, and we still haven't got it, although it does seem a schosh better.

bm:

The Patriot Act is not the same as being able to defend our country against an unorthodox enemy. In fact, because the US hasn't really declared a war since WWII, the act should have been unconstitutional.

If I were president during 911, I would have fired the top layers of all the agencies that failed. This was the same kind of failure that we had during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The problem along with lack of meaningful communications in the US government is the lack of being proactive. That is one of the reasons that the terrorists have the advantage.

============

You wrote

You said "If that is all in one hundred and fifty years. that is pretty pathetic." Considering the very stiff headwinds conservatives put in front of progressivism for the first 100 years, I think it's rather an impressive record.

bm:

You keep saying that the flaws of this country in the last 150 years was because of the actions, or inactions of the republicans.

It is due to the inability of having a congress, and a president that cannot work for the people, rather than their party. Today, we have an extreme example of how ineffective and incompetent is the government.

Blaming the other side for its inability to work together is just as bad as the perceived failure of that party. In essence, both parties have failed because their job was to work together, and not against each other.

---------

You wrote

Unfortunately, conservatism have been successfully dismantling what has been gained since 1980 to now.

bm:

Nothing has been gained, but we are losing everything.

------------

You wrote

You said "We are still arguing about the effectiveness of these laws even today. It certainly didn't help much last century." By last century, I assume you mean 1965 - 1999. If so, then I must wholeheartedly disagree. I think all those represented by the movie "The Maid" would disagree as well as those who finally were allowed to use the right to vote they were given 100 years earlier and are now starting to be denied again thanks to Chief Justice Roberts AND Congress ... the whole Congress in this case.

bm:

Late last century, the blacks were not protected by the silly laws of congress, and their grievances were real, but today the grievances are perceived and fabricated.

Blacks are successful in sports, music, and entertainment, but they fail at education and business. As well known as they are in sports and music, they are also well known in crime, welfare, and not being educated.

Many people want to call the latter the result of discrimination, but it is really a fact of failing to achieve in these areas. Every benefit from school busing to affirmative action has proven that the problem lies within the blacks. Many of them in the urban areas have been on welfare for generations, and it is not advantageous for them to change.

It is not that they are stupid, it is that the government has taken away their motivation to achieve independence from the government care and feeding.

The immigrants from Europe at the beginning of the last century, couldn't even speak English. They were discriminated against, and treated poorly, yet they overcame these problems in less than fifty years.

My point is that the government has created a dependent class of people, that still think that they are Africans. And Africa is no stranger to slavery, as they came to America courtesy of African slave traders.

The Chinese also came to America as slaves, but you don't see them as a government dependent Americans.

The government likes to have a dependent group of voters, that will be loyal to them, in order to keep their fish coming to them, as opposed to fishing rods.

------------------

Thanks

bradmasterOC


bradmaster 23 months ago

My Esoteric

The total number of registered guns in the US is

270 million.

here is an interesting article.

Despite the high number of guns estimated to be in the U.S., indications are that gun ownership is actually on the decline. The long-running General Social Survey, maintained at the University of Chicago, has been asking about gun ownership since its inception in the 1970s. It has found that the number of people who say they have a gun in their home is at an all time low – hovering around 30 percent, from a high of 50 percent in the 1970s.

“When you see all the numbers, the overall pattern is quite clear,” Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey, told TheBlaze.

Survey data shows self-reported gun ownership peaked at 53 percent in 1973 before seeing a fairly steady decline to 32 percent in 2010, the most recent year available. He cautioned singling any one year out, saying the numbers are better judged in the context of a whole: the 1970s averaged about 50 percent, the 1980s averaged 48 percent, the 1990s at 43 percent and 35 percent in the 2000s.

Smith pointed to several main factors responsible for the overall decrease in firearm ownership: a general decline in hunting, the rise of single-adult households and an overall drop off in crime.

Hunting, while still a major part of American life, has seen a decline in part because of urbanization.

The household effect is twofold: first, because fewer adults in the house mean fewer potential gun-owners, and second, that women are much less likely to own a firearm. “Millions of women of course do have firearms but their level is significantly lower than man,” Smith said.

Men are five times more likely than women to own a gun, and being married nearly doubles a person’s chance, according to surveys by Gallup.

Gallup polling from 2007 to 2012 found that gender, region of the country and marital status were some of the biggest predictors of whether an individual owned guns. In the South, 38 percent reported owning a gun, compared to 27 percent in the West or 21 percent in the Eastern U.S.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 23 months ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

That is great information and helps explain some stuff. I am going to hunt down the rest of the General Social Survey for the other years of data; with it, I can do a much more robust analysis. I just used the latest data from a single survey plus data from the 50 states; the ability to do time series analysis would be wonderful.

Coincident to the gun control acts of 1986, 1993, and 1994 is first a leveling off of and then, beginning in the 1990s, a steady decline in violent crime rates until around 2009. Given the decline in private ownership of guns began its decline in the 80s, according to what you wrote, but the decline increased, it seems, in the 1990s as wells. The correlation seems obvious, but I haven't seen any analysis on it yet; so right now, it is simply interesting.


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

I guess that you would have to correlate the decline of the gun ownership to the gun deaths, and to the violent crime rates over time to cover some of the dependent variables.

BTW, I posted a comment before the one with the article, I am interested in your opinion on that one as well.

Thanks

bradmasterOC


bradmaster from orange county ca 23 months ago

My Esoteric

Here is an interesting article from the NCIC on gangs

----

• There are approximately

1.4 million active street, prison, and OMG gang members comprising more than 33,000 gangs in the United States.

Gang membership increased most significantly in the Northeast and Southeast regions, although the West and Great Lakes regions boast the highest number of gang members.

Neighborhood-based gangs, hybrid gang members, and national-level gangs such as the Sureños are rapidly expanding in many jurisdictions. Many communities are also experiencing an increase in ethnic-based gangs such as African, Asian, Caribbean, and Eurasian gangs.

• Gangs are responsible for

an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions and

up to 90 percent in several others, according to NGIC analysis.

Major cities and suburban areas experience the most gang-related violence. Local neighborhood-based gangs and drug crews continue to pose the most significant criminal threat in most communities.

Aggressive recruitment of juveniles and immigrants, alliances and conflict between gangs, the release of incarcerated gang members from prison, advancements in technology and communication, and Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization (MDTO) involvement in drug distribution have resulted in gang expansion and violence in a number of jurisdictions.

• Gangs are increasingly engaging in non-traditional gang-related crime, such as alien smuggling, human trafficking, and prostitution.

Gangs are also engaging in white-collar crime such as counterfeiting, identity theft, and mortgage fraud, primarily due to the high profitability and much lower visibility and risk of detection and punishment than drug and weapons trafficking.

• US-based gangs have established strong working relationships with Central American and MDTOs to perpetrate illicit cross-border activity, as well as with some organized crime groups in some regions of the United States. US-based gangs and MDTOs are establishing wide-reaching drug networks; assisting in the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and illegal immigrants along the Southwest Border; and serving as enforcers for MDTO interests on the US side of the border.

• Many gang members continue to engage in gang activity while incarcerated. Family members play pivotal roles in assisting or facilitating gang activities and recruitment during a gang members’ incarceration. Gang members in some correctional facilities are adopting radical religious views while incarcerated.

• Gangs encourage members, associates, and relatives to obtain law enforcement, judiciary, or legal employment in order to gather information on rival gangs and law enforcement operations. Gang infiltration of the military continues to pose a significant criminal threat, as members of at least 53 gangs have been identified on both domestic and international military installations. Gang members who learn advanced weaponry and combat techniques in the military are at risk of employing these skills on the street when they return to their

communities.

• Gang members are acquiring high-powered, military-style weapons and equipment which poses a significant threat because of the potential to engage in lethal encounters with law enforcement officers and civilians. Typically firearms are acquired through illegal purchases; straw purchases via surrogates or middle-men, and thefts from individuals, vehicles, residences and commercial establishments. Gang members also target military and law enforcement officials, facilities, and vehicles to obtain weapons, ammunition, body armor, police gear, badges, uniforms, and official identification.

• Gangs on Indian Reservations often emulate national-level gangs and adopt names and identifiers from nationally recognized urban gangs. Gang members on some Indian Reservations are associating with gang members in the community to commit crime.

• Gangs are becoming increasingly adaptable and sophisticated, employing new and advanced technology to facilitate criminal activity discreetly, enhance their criminal operations, and connect with other gang members, criminal organizations, and potential recruits nationwide and even worldwide

--------

Wouldn't you consider this magnitudes higher than legal gun ownership?

Thanks

bradmasterOC

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