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General Category => General Comments => Topic started by: Crunch on March 02, 2018, 04:33:01 PM

Title: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Crunch on March 02, 2018, 04:33:01 PM
It’s been a couple of week since the events in Parkland and quite a few things are coming into focus.

This started with the Obama administration’s Promise program. Trying to break the “school to prison pipeline” and improve race based statistical outcomes, criminal offenses were not reported to police. Students that would have been charged with various misdemeanors, including assault, were now be disciplined through participation in “healing circles,” obstacle courses and other “self-esteem building” exercises.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel backed the plan and a November 2013 video shows him signing the district’s 16-page "collaborative agreement on school discipline,” which lists more than a dozen misdemeanors that can no longer be reported to police, along with five steps police must “exhaust” before even considering placing a student under arrest.

Nikolas Cruz was a repeat offender that really benefited from this program. He was disciplined for multiple offenses -- including assault, threatening teachers and carrying bullets in his backpack -- but he was never taken into custody or even expelled. Instead, school authorities referred him to mandatory counseling or transferred him to alternative schools.

Quote
“He had a clean record, so alarm bells didn’t go off when they looked him up in the system,” veteran FBI agent Michael Biasello told RCI. “He probably wouldn’t have been able to buy the murder weapon if the school had referred him to law enforcement.”

Yeah, the FBI screwed up. The didn’t follow the process when Cruz was reported to them for that comment on YouTube. But it’s easy to see why, Cruz had no record. A quick check would have turned up nothing. Even if the FBI investigated, Cruz’s record was clean. That’s no excuse for not following the proper procedure though. If the FBI had done so, they might have realized Cruz was a threat and stopped this before the shooting.

If local law enforcement had been aware of his threats and behavioral issues, they too might have prevented the attack. Instead, Cruz was protected by the school resource officer, Scot Peterson, who had previously even refused to cooperate with a investigation of Cruz. I’m not sure how much blame we can pin on Peterson, he was only following policy.

Speaking of local law enforcement and procedure, we’ve learned that Capt. Jan Jordan, commander of BSO’s Parkland district, gave the order to form a perimeter around the deadly scene instead of following  BSO training and nationwide active-shooter procedure calling for armed law enforcement officers to confront shooters immediately rather than secure a scene. One wonders at how many dead kids we can attribute to that failure.

In the aftermath, the comedy continues as the survivors of the shooting have achieved celebrity status.  The MSM is fawning over them and how they just naturally work the activist events. Credit, when offered and it rarely is, has been given to the schools debate program and the kids’ innate relationship with social media.

We now know why that credit was largely a mystery. The reality is that there are literally millions of dollars being thrown at these kids by people like George Clooney and Oprah and PR firms have been engaged. Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying  a teacher’s union organizing the buses that got the kids to protests. Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March and MoveOn.org are doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, as well as training for student activists provided by Planned Parenthood. The president of the American Federation of Teachers has admitted they’re also behind the national school walkout, which journalists had previously assured the public was the sole work of a teenage victim. And just today, some of the students are directly engaged in fundraising for the DNC. This is hardly some natural talent on display here.

This event was a tragic thing. Using the young victims as props in a political sideshow is another tragedy.



Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 02, 2018, 06:22:45 PM
So, depending on how you want to consider the "oops!" Regarding the Air Force "forgetting" to communicate the Texas Church Shooter's Domestic Battery charge to civilian authorities (So it could show in a background check).

That would now make the second "unfortunate oversight" that happened under the Obama Administration's Watch involving the background check system for firearms.

I am seriously starting to wonder if we're soon to discover a third such "oversight" from his term of office.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 02, 2018, 09:47:02 PM
On further thought on this, if these allegations pan out. This probably is the single biggest favor the Democrats and the Gun-Control Lobby could have ever done for the NRA this cycle.

The Obama angle on this also feeds things further. As that means that the existing system should have worked in this particular case. The major contributing factor to its failure was a program initiated by Democrats under the Barack Obama Administration, not anything having to do with the NRA. And BTW, has everybody forgotten the NRA had already come out in favor of banning "Bump-stocks" after the Las Vegas shooting?

Weird how the NRA is getting demonized for mistakes made by the Democratic Party.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 03, 2018, 12:26:25 AM
I can't see how any party is more responsible here than the FBI. We can even accept all manner of corruption explanations about collusion between the local PD and the school system where crimes go unreported (and where only the most corrupt, cowardly officers are assigned to schools) and even then I would say that in light of the results here the FBI should summarily be...disbanded? I see very little purpose for their existence given their track record over the last 15 or so years. They prevent zero terrorist actions, cause more terrorist to come to exist than they curtail, and overall seem to be an organization more dedicated to perpetuating themselves than to dealing with crime. I exaggerate, of course, since they deal with a great many more types of crimes than terrorism and mass shootings, but I mean really, how sad can you get?
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 03, 2018, 12:37:52 AM
As I've started digging into articles on my own, rather than taking this at face value(or waiting for refutation).

The Promise Program as described seems to be described reasonably accurately.

The county the shooter lives in is perhaps the most extreme(known at this time) in regards to how it was implemented.

Most of the fault in this instance lies in school district and local law enforcement with respect to how they handled the shooter with respect to this program. The first thing the FBI would check is the kids record, but thanks to their wonderful program implementation, he had none. The FBI isn't at fault for that, at least not on an individual level.

I'd be inclined to say the Promise Program itself strikes me as borderline criminal negligence. Which perhaps should have been investigated by the FBI, but this was a program that the Obama Admin approved and supported, and as the FBI (mostly) takes orders from the person sitting in the White House.... They followed orders and seem to have left it alone.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 03, 2018, 01:04:28 AM
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/25/politics/sheriff-israel-sotu-full-transcript/index.html
Quote
TAPPER: I think there are a lot of people, sir, who think that there are a lot of mistakes, other than that one deputy.
But let me ask you something else. A lot of people in the community have noted that the Broward County School Board entered into an agreement when you were sheriff in 2013 to pursue the -- quote -- "least punitive means of discipline" against students.
This new policy encouraged warnings, consultations with parents and programs on conflict resolution, instead of arresting students for crimes.
Were there not incidents committed by the shooter as a student had this new policy not been in place that otherwise he would have been arrested for and not able to legally buy a gun?
ISRAEL: What you're referring to is the PROMISE Program.
And it's giving the school -- the school has the ability under certain circumstances not to call the police, not to get the police involved on misdemeanor offenses and take care of it within the school. It's an excellent program.
It's helping many, many people. What this program does is not put a person at 14, 15, 16 years old into the criminal justice system.
TAPPER: What if he should be in the criminal justice system? What if he does something violent to a student? What if he takes bullets to school? What if he takes knives to schools? What if he threatens the lives of fellow students?
ISRAEL: Then he goes to jail. That's not applicable in the PROMISE Program.
TAPPER: That's not what happened. But that's not what happened with the shooter.
ISRAEL: If -- Jake, you're telling me that the shooter took knives to school or bullets to school, and police knew about it?
TAPPER: I don't know if police knew about it.
ISRAEL: No. Well, police...
TAPPER: I know that the agreement that you entered into with the school allowed the school to give this kid excuse after excuse after excuse, while, obviously...
ISRAEL: Not for bullets, not for bullets, not for guns, not for knives, not for felonies, not for anything like that. These are infractions within the school, small amounts of marijuana, some misdemeanors.
You're absolutely exacerbating it. That's not...
(CROSSTALK)
TAPPER: There are at teachers at the school had been told, if you see Cruz come on campus with a backpack, let me know.
Does that not indicate that there is something seriously awry with the PROMISE Program if these teachers are being told, watch out for this kid, and you don't know about it?
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 03, 2018, 03:55:01 AM
That quote doesn't suggest anything substantive. I've heard both sides of the Promise story. One side argues that it's a corrupt system designed to artificially deflate crime reports so the district looks good, and results in serious crimes going unreported. The other side says that it's a program designed to prevent kids having their lives ruined over stupid misdemeanors such as small-time possession, vandalism, and so forth, in which case the entire argument that this relates to the shooting is a red herring.

For my part I don't have enough information to know which story is accurate, but nevertheless I find the conclusions either way irrelevant. If the FBI hears any kind of message about someone saying they'll shoot up a school agents should be at that person's door that same day. Doing a background check ought not be the deciding factor of whether they do anything about such threats. Having a prior record may be an indicator for the danger level, but you know what's another indicator? Hearing a kid say he'll kill people in a school.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 03, 2018, 07:29:26 AM
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/16/us/florida-shooter-cruz-records-police-calls-to-home-invs/index.html

Quote
The incident reports, which are as recent as September 2016, describe Cruz as suffering from mental illness and being "emotionally handicapped," and being on behavioral medication. One notes, "He has mentioned in the past that he would like to purchase a firearm."
The documents include more than 30 reports going back as far as 2011, covering misbehavior by Cruz and some by his younger brother. They add further depth to the emerging portrait of Cruz as an unstable teen who had long been on the radar of law enforcement, behavioral specialists, teachers and fellow students.
Yet Cruz was still able to pass the nation's gun background check system in February 2017 and obtain an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle, one that he used to kill 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/us/school-shooter-gun-threats-first-host-family-told-police-invs/index.html

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Just months before Nikolas Cruz killed 17 at his former high school in South Florida, the host family who had taken him in immediately after his mother's death warned local law enforcement that the 19-year-old had "used a gun against people before" and "has put the gun to others' heads in the past," according to records obtained by CNN.

It's the latest indication of how law enforcement encountered warning signs about Cruz's violent behavior before he attacked students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day.

CNN has obtained records from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office that detail deputies' interactions with Cruz in the home where he lived for a few weeks in November, before he moved in with another family, the Sneads, and months before the massacre.

So now we even have a second county involved. Although Palm Beach has a little more of an excuse. And this does indicate a weakness in the reporting systems that are being checked for "background checks."

Quote
On the day after Thanksgiving, Cruz was at work at a Dollar Tree store. Rocxanne Deschamps' son, Rock, 22, called 911 to report that an "adopted 19-year-old son" had possibly hidden a "gun in the backyard," according to a dispatcher's notes. Rock Deschamps told law enforcement "there were no weapons allowed in the household," the report said. It's unclear from the record whether sheriff's deputies conducted a search. The incident was classified as "domestic unfounded," which means a deputy didn't find proof to back up the claims.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office was called again to the home four days later, when Rock said Cruz lashed out against the family that took him in, according to the Palm Beach deputy's report and dispatcher notes. The deputy went to a local park and found Cruz, who explained that he had misplaced a photo of his recently deceased mother and, emotionally distraught, began punching the wall. Cruz lost control the same way he had several times in the past at his mother's home in Parkland, Florida, when he had not taken his prescribed mood-altering medication, as CNN has previously reported based on Broward police documents.

Rock interrupted Cruz and a fight broke out between them, according to the documents. Cruz left the home, and Rocxanne Deschamps called 911. She warned the police dispatcher that Cruz said "he was going to get his gun and come back," records show. She said Cruz had "bought a gun from Dick's last week and is now going to pick it up."

Rocxanne Deschamps told the dispatcher that Cruz had "bought tons of ammo" and "has used a gun against ppl before," the notes said. "He has put the gun to others heads in the past."

The Palm Beach sheriff's deputy who responded to the scene of the assault spoke to both young men, who "hugged and reconcile(d) their differences." Cruz "said he was sorry for losing his temper," the deputy wrote in his report. Rock Deschamps told the deputy that Cruz had been suffering significantly from the loss of his mother and that he didn't want him to go to jail, only to leave the house until he calmed down. He signed a form saying he refused to prosecute.

http://www.businessinsider.com/florida-shooting-police-response-criticized-911-calls-missed-nikolas-cruz-2018-2

Quote
Local authorities have also faced questions about their previous encounters with Cruz and why they never arrested or involuntarily committed him to mental-health facilities.

Florida's mental-health law, known as the Baker Act, allows the state to hospitalize people it deems a threat to themselves or others and may prohibit them from buying a gun under state law.

Though a Florida social-services agency said in a report that it had previously been contacted to detain Cruz under the Baker Act, it determined he wasn't a threat, The Times reported.

Dana Loesch, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, clashed with Israel on the subject during a CNN town-hall meeting on Wednesday, seizing on reports that his office visited Cruz's home 39 times over seven years and never arrested or committed him.

"Sending messages, telling other students that he was going to murder them and he was going to kill him I would think certainly would qualify under a Florida state statute for you to have Baker Acted him," Loesch said.

There have been numerous reports citing Cruz's former classmates and neighbors as saying he had a history of disturbing behavior, including boasting about his guns, selling knives at school, getting in fights, and killing animals.

"Look, I'm not saying that you can be everywhere at once, but this is what I'm talking about," Loesch said. "We have to follow up on these red flags."

Israel pushed back.

"First of all, we've talked about the Broward Sheriff's Office and some other local agencies and the FBI getting tips and what have you," Israel said. "America, there's one person responsible for this act: that's the detestable, violent killer. He is responsible for this act, nobody else but him."
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 03, 2018, 07:38:47 AM
For my part I don't have enough information to know which story is accurate, but nevertheless I find the conclusions either way irrelevant. If the FBI hears any kind of message about someone saying they'll shoot up a school agents should be at that person's door that same day. Doing a background check ought not be the deciding factor of whether they do anything about such threats. Having a prior record may be an indicator for the danger level, but you know what's another indicator? Hearing a kid say he'll kill people in a school.

Not entirely their field of operations? Usually, at least my neck of the woods, threats against schools result in a local law enforcement response. But evidently Florida requires federal assistance that isn't needed elsewhere?

Also the FBI can't be everywhere, they have other irons in the fire as well. Background check was step 1, he came back clean, so he probably went to "back of the queue" for things to be investigated when they had time/resources. Which basically meant never.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 05, 2018, 03:19:33 PM
Although the Promise Program may have contributed to not identifying and stopping the shooter before he went on his rampage in Parkland, it would not have helped with the Las Vegas massacre, or the Texas Church shooting, or the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting, or the Lincoln County, Mississippi shooting spree. (https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/12/11/2017-deemed-deadliest-year-for-mass-shootings-in-modern-us-histo/23298797/)  Not to mention the other 170 or so people who were murdered with a gun the same week as the Parkland shooting.

So while the Promise Program and the FBI may have some responsibility for this particular shooting, it doesn't really address the much bigger, much more bloody problem of Americans shooting each other.  Even if we had prevented the Parkland shooting, it won't make a visible dent in the number of people who will be murdered by firearms this year. 

It's kinda silly to put the entire blame on the Promise Program when there are so many, many other dead bodies around from other people with guns. :(
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 05, 2018, 03:47:05 PM
I think just the opposite is true.  As much as we don't want to admit it, we can't make everyone safe all the time.  You can't always legislate and policy your way out of danger. 

This however, (looks to be) a failure of the systems meant to attempt to reduce risk.  It's one of those, "If we can't even get THIS right, how can we ever hope to solve the related issues which are even harder to stop?"

It's a moral hit.  This was by all accounts a preventable incident.  There WERE warning signs.  There WAS time to step in and head this off.  Those opportunities were missed and 17 people died. 

Sure we can note that it's a statistical blip.  Some find comfort in that I guess; but when the preventable deaths are not stopped, it makes people all the more upset about the larger issue of gun violence.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: LetterRip on March 05, 2018, 04:48:28 PM
Quote
This however, (looks to be) a failure of the systems meant to attempt to reduce risk.  It's one of those, "If we can't even get THIS right, how can we ever hope to solve the related issues which are even harder to stop?"

I've not seen anything that would be grounds for 'involuntary commitment' or felony charges that would result in loss of the possibility of gun ownership.

Even with involuntary commitment - most individuals who are so - don't get restrictions on their gun ownership.

So there doesn't seem to be any grounds that he would have been prevented from buying a gun and carrying out the school shooting had police, FBI, courts, or mental health professionals acted differently.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 05, 2018, 05:30:09 PM
Quote
I think just the opposite is true.  As much as we don't want to admit it, we can't make everyone safe all the time.  You can't always legislate and policy your way out of danger.

No, we can't prevent all murders and mass killings.  But you have to admit that we should be able to reduce the number of such killings by reducing the number of firearms in the hands of the killers.

We make it too easy for mass murderers, simple murderers, rapists, robbers and the like to get and keep a firearm.  It almost feels like we are protecting their right to obtain and keep such weapons.  And the result is mass shootings and around other 8000 firearm-related murders each year.

Focusing on one small aspect of one particular shooting that might have made a difference missing the big picture.  We have 10 Parkland shootings each week, spread out over the country.  What can we do to help prevent all of those, too?
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 05, 2018, 05:37:56 PM
Although the Promise Program may have contributed to not identifying and stopping the shooter before he went on his rampage in Parkland, it would not have helped with the Las Vegas massacre, or the Texas Church shooting, or the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting, or the Lincoln County, Mississippi shooting spree. (https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/12/11/2017-deemed-deadliest-year-for-mass-shootings-in-modern-us-histo/23298797/)  Not to mention the other 170 or so people who were murdered with a gun the same week as the Parkland shooting.

In the case of the Texas Church shooting, existing laws should have prevented him from obtaining a firearm legally. But as his offense happened within the Military Justice System, and someone failed to transfer that information over to the civilian side(as was supposed to happen), that shooter "came up clean" on the background check and the rest is history.

Didn't really follow the Airport Shooting, so don't know enough to comment on the shooter there. Evidently the Las Vegas shooter had amassed a considerable gambling debt, which would impart a motive on his part. Both suicidal at the thought of losing the lifestyle he'd known most of his adult life, and potentially feeling more than a bit vengeful towards the organization that facilitated his financial ruin(Casinos). As to how you codify that one, that would be rough.

Quote
So while the Promise Program and the FBI may have some responsibility for this particular shooting,

From the claims made regarding how the school administration was implementing the Promise Program, it was perhaps the single biggest factor in play. Without it, he would have been charged at least once, if not multiple times, ergo "no clean record" which would have potentially stopped the gun purchases in the first place, and even short of that, would have "thrown additional flags" for the FBI and would have been likely to cause more effort to be directed towards the would-be shooter.

Otherwise, agreed that the numerous call-outs to his place(s) of residence, where the people initiating the complaint/call then likewise failed to press charges, is "mostly noise" as local police cannot do much if the victim stops further action from being taken.

That is one where I'm partially split, as I'd like to give options for action to be taken in "domestic incidents" where such things happen, where the responding officer is able to flag the offending party/parties should a (gun purchase) background check ever be run on them in the future.

But the problem there is that leaves things wide open for false reporting, and how to prevent abuses of said mechanism from happening. (Such as police departments/officers who will flag everyone, without regard to evidence on scene; or neighbors/"friends"/family who call to make false/misleading reports for the express purpose of ending their gun rights)

Quote
It's kinda silly to put the entire blame on the Promise Program when there are so many, many other dead bodies around from other people with guns. :(

But in the case of that shooting, the Promise Program seems to be the major contributing factor in there even being a crack for him to slip through.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Crunch on March 06, 2018, 04:49:29 PM
I think just the opposite is true.  As much as we don't want to admit it, we can't make  is mass
We have 10 Parkland shootings each week, spread out over the country.  What can we do to help prevent all of those, too?
:o

What are the 10 mass shootings that happened last week?
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDrake on March 06, 2018, 05:33:48 PM
I think he means 10 events with an average of 1.7 people killed etc. The death equivalent of 10 Parklands per week. Pretty clear from the context of the note discussing simple murderers.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 06, 2018, 06:02:44 PM
I think Crunch's interpretation is fairer.  He's referring to a propaganda group that produces an overstated mass shooting count.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 07, 2018, 12:17:07 PM
We have 10 Parkland shootings each week, spread out over the country.  What can we do to help prevent all of those, too?
:o

What are the 10 mass shootings that happened last week?

What I mean is the 170 people, on average, that are murdered each week by firearms.  The 170 killings, in ones, twos, sometimes threes, and once in a while, four or more, spread out over the country, that don't make the national news headlines.  Shootings that, somehow, get ignored when we focus on how to prevent "mass shootings."  Like those killings aren't a problem, many times worse than all the mass shootings we have.  Like once we learn how to stop mass shootings, we have solved the problem with guns in America.  Like they don't matter or count.

And, no, Seriati, I'm not using any overstated mass shooting count.  I'm using the FBI statistics for Homicides each year from firearms.

Just imagine it for a moment.  Take all the victims from Parkland and lay them out in a parking lot.  Now multiply it by 10.  That's the number of other people killed that week.

Now do it again for the next week.

And the next week.

And the next week...

But, hey, the real problem is that Obama started the Promise Program, isn't it?  ::)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 07, 2018, 12:33:25 PM
Except its not true that those deaths are "spread out" over the country.  They are highly concentrated in a handful of counties that largely are in inner cities under strict Democratic control, where there are often heavy restrictions on the possession and ownership of guns.  The areas that have the highest average gun ownership rate also have the lowest murder rate, which again completely undercuts your case.

If you want to talk about banning rifles (all rifles, not just the AR-15), you're talking about less than 300 homicides a year (including the numbers from the mass killings) on average.

Most homicides are committed with pistols.  And you'd get far more results - if that's actually what you care about - by targeting the specific and tiny parts of the country where there really are murder epidemics.  And you know what you can get started right now, cause virtually all of them are under local Democratic control.

So tell me why the rest of the county, that doesn't have a murder epidemic problem should adopt the failed policies of the party that actually controls the areas that do?

EDIT - To answer specifically, the Promise Program seems high indefensible.  How can any law enforcement agency identify flags if we deliberately keep relevant information out of their hands?  It would have been a thousand times better to focus on misuse of information rather than suppression of it.  Of course, misuse of sealed and confidential records is so second nature to prosecutors now that the idea was probably inconceivable to the Obama administration.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: NobleHunter on March 07, 2018, 01:04:01 PM
Places where people are getting shot: we need less guns.

Places where people aren't getting shot: you need more guns.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 07, 2018, 05:01:36 PM
That's all very interesting, Seriati, except for a few points.

I do not want to ban all guns.  I want to make it harder for people who will misuse guns to obtain and keep them.

Which means that increased reporting by eliminating the Promise Program will help, but it is far, far from all we need to do.  It only scratches the surface at best, and will have no effect at worst. :(

BTW, what is your source for the statement that there are "the specific and tiny parts of the country where there really are murder epidemics...virtually all of them are under local Democratic control?"  I trust that, if it was from a report by the Crime Prevention Research Center, that you carefully vetted it, since that organization's methodology has been questioned in the past. (https://thinkprogress.org/debunking-john-lott-5456e83cf326/)

And exactly how does the policies of Republicans differ from those of Democrats in these areas?  And are you sure that it is the policies that are to blame for the higher murder rates, rather than other factors like population density, poverty rates, etc.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 07, 2018, 05:45:52 PM
Lol, thanks for the reference, their map is better than the one I saw before.  I'm not sure how exactly bias would enter into a map that shows the physical location of each event and then charts into incidence rates.  Maybe you can walk me through it?  Or is the idea here just to run a poisoning the well fallacy?   You can easily verify the murder rate of any city, and if you're honest, you'll discover for yourself that certain cities are primarily responsible for the statistics you are using.

On your last point, no.  I don't think the gun control policies are to blame for the high murder rates.  Of course I think the potential positive impact of such policies is overstated as well.  We in fact had an assault weapons ban and it did nothing.  What I do think is that gun control is appealing to the left because it has that "magic pill" quality.  They can hang their aspirations and political capital on a cure that doesn't involve any self reflection, acceptance of real responsibility or willingness to solve a problem like an adult but that is emotionally appealing to a group of irrational voters (I mean that in the literal sense, not an insult).  They can attribute whatever magical properties they want to the pill, and if they don't work it's simply because the dose was wrong, not because the treatment was flawed.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDrake on March 07, 2018, 06:06:06 PM
None of the proposed solutions seem like they can really curb the problem, whether it is more gun free zones, even strict gun laws like Mexico has, jamming people in mental hospitals, arming every man woman and child with a gun to defend themselves, prayer in school, or singing Kum-ba-ya.

All of these 'solutions' are an emotional appeal more than a practical science-based approach to problem solving.

Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 07, 2018, 06:14:32 PM
Well TheDrake, I think you have to identify which problem you are trying to cure cause they have different solutions.  Stopping someone from committing suicide with a gun requires far different solutions than stopping a gang member from killing a rival, which requires different solutions yet from stopping a mass killer, or a terrorist.

I mean what's the "single" solution for stopping domestic violence?

That's why a gun ban appeals.  It's a literal magic pill that it's advocates can claim will cure any ill.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: LetterRip on March 07, 2018, 07:00:04 PM
Seriati,

I completely agree that advocates seem to want one size fits all solutions to problems with diverse causes that probably need individualized solutions.

Many of the solutions probably do have overlap - for instance the 'gang bangers shooting each other' and 'suicide' - overlap due to not storing guns in gun safes (most guns used in gang violence are unsecured gun thefts; and child suicides and spontaneous suicides in general would be greatly reduced from guns being stored).

DV related gun deaths would be reduced from better reporting; expanding DV background checks to include violence in unmarried relationships.

Most sources of gun deaths could be reduced by a fairly good mental exam requirement before purchase or transfer that screens for sadism and psychopathy.

The age restriction idea might be fairly effective across the board (if you don't restrict it to men and women, there is a high liklihood that the women will buy it and the boyfriend will 'borrow' it)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 07, 2018, 07:50:20 PM
If the concern is overall gun deaths, the question becomes very different than if it's how to stop a lone maniac intent on killing people. I'm not sure how to stop the latter without a new system in place, such as (for example) Seriati's idea of a mandatory education program on gun safety. In my opinion such a system should include with it a filter for disturbed individuals, but that's a detail we're not really discussing right now. But for overall gun deaths I could propose a few easy solutions that will stop a great deal of it:

1) Halt utterly the "war on drugs", and remove all possible incentive for criminal activity in selling drugs on the black market. This will have a multiplier effect on reducing gun crime because not only will the gang activity stop, but so will incarceration for possession, which in turn perpetuates poverty and discontent, increasing the incentive to seek illicit employment.

2) Halt utterly the system of police militarization and overaggressive training, and focus hard on re-building community trust with the police forces.

3) Implement a basic income system in the U.S., eliminating the need for criminal activity in order to survive, and also giving certain types of people who would otherwise get up to no good the possibility of vegetating on their income and sitting in front of their Xbox 360.

This last is by far the hardest and longest-term to implement but I legitimately think it would have a massive impact on crime. That said, none of these will necessarily have a direct impact on psycho mass shooters, but who knows, maybe it would.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 07, 2018, 09:20:55 PM
I agree with a lot of what you said, Fenring, though I have quibbles with the likely effectiveness of mandatory gun safety programs having any effect on homicidal shooters, and with the relative difficulties in enacting basic income schemes.

But the most obvious, I feel, part of the equation, but also the longest term, is the necessity of denormalizing the ownership of firearms and other weapons.  If you can make gun ownership as socially unacceptable as tobacco smoking, you will have gone a long way towards curbing both the number of guns available, and the willingness of people to even contemplate gun use against their fellow residents.  Couple that with on-going buy-back schemes, and that will, in conjunction with other initiatives, actually reduce the incidence of gun violence.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 07, 2018, 11:18:33 PM
Want to get rid of guns?  Invent the phaser pistol / stun ray.  A true "non-lethal" yet effective tool for self defense.  Make abuse of it, as serious a crime as homicide.  That takes away the "I need to defend myself" argument. 

We still would have people abuse it.  A "ranged ruffie" or stunning people while they drive, or walk out into traffic.  There'd still be deaths, but significantly less so.  So then we'd be faced with writing off the 2nd A. as "antiquated" and "no longer applicable to today's society" and we could comfort ourselves with the "we never stood a chance at fighting off the government if they turned on us anyway". (Despite how long of seeing the persistence of insurgent warfare now?)

We'd finally be in a position to put that to the test.  I mean, trust in the government is at an all time high right?  What better time than now?  Some body hook me up with a phaser pistol and a charging station.  Mr. Musk?  Got anything for us here?  Sounds cool, right up till the power stations go out.  I don't like my odds at hunting the urban squirrel for supper while recharging my phaser on a solar panel powered usb connection.  But I'd be willing to take that risk.  :D
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 07, 2018, 11:51:18 PM
I agree with a lot of what you said, Fenring, though I have quibbles with the likely effectiveness of mandatory gun safety programs having any effect on homicidal shooters, and with the relative difficulties in enacting basic income schemes.

I, too, think that this is incomplete as long as the health care system remains as it is.

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But the most obvious, I feel, part of the equation, but also the longest term, is the necessity of denormalizing the ownership of firearms and other weapons.  If you can make gun ownership as socially unacceptable as tobacco smoking, you will have gone a long way towards curbing both the number of guns available, and the willingness of people to even contemplate gun use against their fellow residents.  Couple that with on-going buy-back schemes, and that will, in conjunction with other initiatives, actually reduce the incidence of gun violence.

My proposals (not that these are formally up for debate, I just mentioned them) don't in any way introduce the notion of telling people what they should like, and I think that's important. Anyone such as yourself you would like to see less violent gun use had better look for methods to achieve this other than demonizing the weapons themselves, because all you'll do is cement the base of the other side. Look for other ways to occupy people, and ways to give people priorities other than the thing you don't like. You won't get far telling people the thing they like is bad!
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 08, 2018, 10:53:45 AM
I completely agree that advocates seem to want one size fits all solutions to problems with diverse causes that probably need individualized solutions.

Many of the solutions probably do have overlap - for instance the 'gang bangers shooting each other' and 'suicide' - overlap due to not storing guns in gun safes (most guns used in gang violence are unsecured gun thefts; and child suicides and spontaneous suicides in general would be greatly reduced from guns being stored).

DV related gun deaths would be reduced from better reporting; expanding DV background checks to include violence in unmarried relationships.

Well, the closest thing to a true "one size fits all" solution to all of the above is greater economic prosperity. This is a well known effect. If people are doing well, DV rates decrease(likely from lower stress levels about finances), suicide rates also tend to drop(again, the financial angle pops up--see LasVegas Shooter),  and crime rates from "Gang Bangers" also tend to drop as those people see that other options are indeed open to them.

Although for some, the lure of a quick buck via a life of crime is always going to trump everything else. Be they blue collar or white collar.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 08, 2018, 11:10:26 AM
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had better look for methods to achieve this other than demonizing the weapons themselves, because all you'll do is cement the base of the other side
That's why it is long term.  But I sincerely doubt that any solution that doesn't include denormalization as a necessary long term goal is bound to have only limited effect.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 08, 2018, 12:53:16 PM
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had better look for methods to achieve this other than demonizing the weapons themselves, because all you'll do is cement the base of the other side
That's why it is long term.  But I sincerely doubt that any solution that doesn't include denormalization as a necessary long term goal is bound to have only limited effect.

As Seriati has pointed out, I'm not even sure there's a connection between gun culture (i.e. people who enjoy having guns for sport, etc) and people who want to shoot up a public place. The one does not lead to desires for the other. If your term "denormalization" is a funny way of saying "no more guns" then perhaps that will make it harder for people who aren't hardened criminals from getting them. If it just means that guns won't be fashionable and make to look super cool in films any more, then I don't see what that will necessarily repair in the case of a psycho lone shooter.

The thing people on the left have to be careful about is mistaking their own personal preference (that there not be guns around) with actual steps necessary to prevent mass shootings. Pushing the wrong kind of fixes, and especially for the wrong reasons, will do anything BUT lead to solutions. The way many liberals handle the conversation right now I'd almost think they're shilling for the NRA since they're helping the latter's marketing for free.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 08, 2018, 04:53:03 PM
There are a number of problems associated with firearms that distinguish the USA from other first world countries - but three of the primary ones are simply the number of guns, the ease of acquisition and the acceptability of the use of guns to solve problems.

You can even see evidence of this third issue in the other thread where people are debating armed insurrection: otherwise rational people take it as a given that the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government might be a good thing.

Without taking a position on that debate, there is clear evidence that many citizens of the USA hold the position that the use of violence to overthrow an elected government has a place in political debate: whereas people espousing that idea in other first world countries would be deemed fringe, at best - but more likely dangerous and demented.

Denormalization, in this context, simply means the opposite of "making normal", nothing more, nothing less.  If the vast majority of the USA come to believe that gun ownership is weird or strange, the desire to own guns will be reduced.  The number of guns could then also be reduced, naturally, without coercion . The market for guns would shrink. A shrunken market, and a shrunken inventory of guns would mean less availability.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DJQuag on March 08, 2018, 05:48:22 PM
The mass shootings that make headlines only spiked after Reagan gutted mental health funds and authority.

Making it harder to lock people away involuntarily means that less people will be abused by that. It also means that truly crazy people will get a chance to get their crazy on. Whether the pros outweigh the cons is something that can be debated, but it's a real issue.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 08, 2018, 06:21:08 PM
You can even see evidence of this third issue in the other thread where people are debating armed insurrection: otherwise rational people take it as a given that the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government might be a good thing.

Without taking a position on that debate, there is clear evidence that many citizens of the USA hold the position that the use of violence to overthrow an elected government has a place in political debate: whereas people espousing that idea in other first world countries would be deemed fringe, at best - but more likely dangerous and demented.

You need to remember, the "standard" that we referenced was the Declaration of Independence as the precedent for that level of action. From there you are confusing and conflating things. Possibly both, and maybe even somewhat intentionally.

The "standard" imposed by using the DoI as a frame of reference means "Tyrannical" would need to be appended to any descriptor of the Government to be overthrown. Be that a monarch, a parliament, or a republic. Just because a government is "democratic" doesn't mean the government is therefore  not tyrannical, or potentially so, and that force may sometimes be needed to end that grip.

See Turkey for much of the 20th Century(They were complacent going into the 21st). Egypt after Mubarak was deposed and the Muslim Brotherhood won a democratic landslide electoral victory... Only to be deposed in turn by the combined efforts of the Egyptian Military and Courts.

Venezuela also comes to mind as well, only on the opposing end of things. "Popular will" and the democratic process worked out really well for them.  ::)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 08, 2018, 08:01:50 PM
I talk about first world countries, and Seriati brings up Venezuela, Turkey and Egypt.

Yes, roll your eyes.

The rest of your post just makes my point - in no other first world country would the distinctions you are struggling to make be seen as anything other than fringe or wacko.  And that perception is one very strong reason why gun violence in those countries is orders of magnitude less.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 08, 2018, 09:52:38 PM
Apologies to Seriati - the previous post was a reply to TheDaemon. My mistake.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 08, 2018, 11:25:32 PM
I talk about first world countries, and Seriati brings up Venezuela, Turkey and Egypt.

Yes, roll your eyes.

The rest of your post just makes my point - in no other first world country would the distinctions you are struggling to make be seen as anything other than fringe or wacko.  And that perception is one very strong reason why gun violence in those countries is orders of magnitude less.

Prior to Chavez coming to power in Venezuela, that country was, to my understanding, fairly well onto its way in becoming considered a "First World" type nation. It was actually doing rather well in the 1990's.

But if you want to restrict it to the First World. 1920's/1930's Germany comes to mind. That was a democratic outcome as well, after all. Well, at least until they took control, kind of like Venezuela and Turkey, and the Muslim Brotherhood's attempt at Egypt before they were curb stomped by the courts and military.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 07:27:24 AM
I didn't say first world war, I said first world.  It was also clear I was talking about how first world countries today do not have the violence problems that the USA suffers from, and that one common factor is that the USA has what the rest of the world considers an unhealthy deification of gun violence, at least partly based on a desire to leave the door open to violent overthrow of the government.

Do you dispute that, if the vast majority of the populace turned their backs on the acceptability of gun ownership, there would NOT be a downtick in gun violence?
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 09, 2018, 01:16:23 PM
I didn't say first world war, I said first world.  It was also clear I was talking about how first world countries today do not have the violence problems that the USA suffers from, and that one common factor is that the USA has what the rest of the world considers an unhealthy deification of gun violence, at least partly based on a desire to leave the door open to violent overthrow of the government.

Can you provide statistics for your claim about the first world not having a violence problem?

It's my understanding that such a claim is false.  The US generally speaking has a lower incidence of violent crime than the rest of the first world, with the exception of murders using a gun. 

I'd also note, that guns are not the only, or even the most relevant, basis on which other first world countries differ from the US.  The US has a much more diverse population than pretty much everyone in the first world, that complicates so many factors, particularly around crime and violence.

In fact, if you look the vast majority of the country (ie pulling out a few specific localities where gun violence is heavily connected with drugs and gang activity) the disparity per capita shrinks to a largely immaterial difference.

Where does that leave you?

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Do you dispute that, if the vast majority of the populace turned their backs on the acceptability of gun ownership, there would NOT be a downtick in gun violence?

Look, I'm a big guy, if you want to get rid of guns it won't impact my safety as much as it's going to impact everyone elses.  Well at least not until I get much older.

When young men already disproportionately engage in gun violence and every other kind of violence, why would you advocate for dissarming everyone else?  Do you like might makes right?
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 09, 2018, 01:20:53 PM
DV related gun deaths would be reduced from better reporting; expanding DV background checks to include violence in unmarried relationships.

I wasn't limiting that to gun deaths.  DV is an incredibly complex issue and better reporting wouldn't actually help solve DV at all, it may do a better job at putting holds on gun purchases, but then it may not.

Lots of DV victims are reported as perpetrators as well.  You'd effectively be disarming them.

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Most sources of gun deaths could be reduced by a fairly good mental exam requirement before purchase or transfer that screens for sadism and psychopathy.

That I agree with, though I don't see why it should be limited to guns if you're going to do that screening.  If someone is "too dangerous to have a gun" they are "too dangerous to be in society unmonitored."

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The age restriction idea might be fairly effective across the board (if you don't restrict it to men and women, there is a high liklihood that the women will buy it and the boyfriend will 'borrow' it)

I don't see that as "highly" likely, but if it becomes a problem it can easily be addressed.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 09, 2018, 01:34:17 PM
But the most obvious, I feel, part of the equation, but also the longest term, is the necessity of denormalizing the ownership of firearms and other weapons.

This is where dogma overwhelms fact.  Denormalizing firearms is exactly what's gotten us in this mess.  Firm arm ownership, use and access was far more part of normal society as a historic manner.  Firearms, rifles in particular, were often given as gifts to children, they were available in stores and by mail order without age restriction. 

It's the mystification of "guns" that's given the entire concept grossly disproportionate impact.  Why is a "worse" crime to you if someone shoots their spouse than if they stab them to death and cut their throat?  Or clunk them over the head with a shovel and bury them while they are still breathing?

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If you can make gun ownership as socially unacceptable as tobacco smoking, you will have gone a long way towards curbing both the number of guns available, and the willingness of people to even contemplate gun use against their fellow residents.  Couple that with on-going buy-back schemes, and that will, in conjunction with other initiatives, actually reduce the incidence of gun violence.

I actually seriously doubt there is even a bit of truth here.  Denormalizing as you suggest, even if it has the impact you want, is going to massively remove guns from people who'd never have used them for violence, and have little to no impact on people who are inclined to violence.

I mean honestly, there's an estimated 350 million guns in America, and maybe 100 of them were involve in a killing yesterday (if it was a bad day).  Even if you assumed a new gun involved for every single death (and included cops shooting bad guys, suicides and accidental deaths) for the next 100 years, you'd still have 347 million of those guns never involved in a death.  Which oddly enough, is roughly similar to the number of cars in America and the number that would be involved in a death over the same period.   And if were only talking about murders, it'd literally be more 349,400,000 not involved in 100 years. 
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 02:01:51 PM
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Can you provide statistics for your claim about the first world not having a violence problem?
Move the goal posts much?  Seriously, we were discussing firearm violence - the word "shooting" is even in the thread title.

But even if you want to focus on all mortality instead of just firearm mortality, the USA still leads the way in the first world.  Here are the rate of intentional homicide per 100K as of 2015 (I left Mexico and the Baltic states in, even though I consider neither area to be first world):

Country or dependent area   Rate
 Mexico   16.35
 Russia   11.31
 Lithuania   5.98
 United States   4.88
 Latvia   4.11
 Estonia   3.2
 Canada   1.68
 Finland   1.6
 France   1.58
 Romania   1.49
 Hungary   1.48
 Israel   1.36
 Sweden   1.15

Basically, the USA still has an intentional homicide rate 3 times that of its closest 'competitor', Canada.

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When young men already disproportionately engage in gun violence and every other kind of violence, why would you advocate for dissarming everyone else?
I did not "advocate for dissarming" anybody.  I did simply point out that the USA has a problem with the number of guns available to society as well as with the general perception that guns serve some use outside of hunting and target practice (again, the whole idea of using guns for self-defense is patently crazy).

There is no need to misrepresent what I wrote.

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The US generally speaking has a lower incidence of violent crime than the rest of the first world
It sounds like you are making an argument against having guns available to people... the USA has a lower incidence of violence, yet kills people at a rate more than 3 times higher than other first world countries...
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDrake on March 09, 2018, 02:28:15 PM
I mean honestly, there's an estimated 350 million guns in America, and maybe 100 of them were involve in a killing yesterday (if it was a bad day). 

Most knives weren't involved in stabbing somebody, but there are laws on how long your blade can be. Switchblades and machetes are largely prohibited, depending on the state.

We just don't hear about it because kniferights.org just doesn't have the same clout as the NRA. Although reading their website, earlier this year they repealed a statute that prohibited Connor MacLeod from carrying a sword.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 09, 2018, 02:36:00 PM
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Can you provide statistics for your claim about the first world not having a violence problem?
Move the goal posts much?


I didn't say first world war, I said first world.  It was also clear I was talking about how first world countries today do not have the violence problems that the USA suffers from, and that one common factor is that the USA has what the rest of the world considers an unhealthy deification of gun violence, at least partly based on a desire to leave the door open to violent overthrow of the government.

Maybe I misunderstood what you meant, but they were your goal posts, I didn't move them. The rest of the free world has even larger violence problems, just less of it is connected to guns.


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But even if you want to focus on all mortality instead of just firearm mortality, the USA still leads the way in the first world.

Why would I want to focus on "mortality," is it because those statistics are easier to find on a google search (we both know they are).  No the rate of violence in other first countries is higher than the US's, but the rate on gun violence is flipped.  That leads to some interesting problems in the case you are trying to make (as in there is no clear link to what you want the stats to mean).

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Basically, the USA still has an intentional homicide rate 3 times that of its closest 'competitor', Canada.

Yes.  The US also has a number of contributing factors to that, which are not shared with the other countries on that list (but with respect to drugs and gangs are shared with Mexico - which undercuts your point) that have been linked to that homicide rate.

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When young men already disproportionately engage in gun violence and every other kind of violence, why would you advocate for dissarming everyone else?
I did not "advocate for dissarming" anybody.  I did simply point out that the USA has a problem with the number of guns available to society as well as with the general perception that guns serve some use outside of hunting and target practice (again, the whole idea of using guns for self-defense is patently crazy).

There is no need to misrepresent what I wrote.

I agree, what you wrote is that there is a "problem."  Though you haven't actually showed how its a problem, or how it causes the actual problems to which it correlates.  You haven't bothered to address other correlations that actually have causation on the issues you wish to address, or contrary evidence that the correlation doesn't actually hold when you get granular rather than macro.  It's the ultimate in "we must do something" thinking.

I'm sorry you think self defense is "crazy."  There's literally no other mechanism that has a bigger equalizing impact on self defense than a firearm.  Particularly in male on female violence and young on old violence where there is really no other practical tool.   

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The US generally speaking has a lower incidence of violent crime than the rest of the first world
It sounds like you are making an argument against having guns available to people... the USA has a lower incidence of violence, yet kills people at a rate more than 3 times higher than other first world countries...

I didn't cite to anything that demonstrates causation, but the correlation there implies (much like you are doing) that the presence of firearms in the populace may decrease the over all rate of crime even if it increases the severity when it does occur.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 09, 2018, 02:38:33 PM
What does the total amount of guns available have anything to do with gun violence? It sounds like a non sequitur to me. Only a few guns are involved in gun deaths, as Seriati pointed out. The key to preventing gun violence would be to eliminate availability of those guns (i.e. to those people who used them) or else to remove the motive to use them. You're engaging on the former solution but without suggesting how decreasing the total number of guns will have an effect on the specific guns and gun users involved in actual shootings. I don't see how the 11 rabbit and deer guns in some guy's shed will have any bearing on gun violence towards humans.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 02:42:21 PM
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Maybe I misunderstood what you meant, but they were your goal posts, I didn't move them. The rest of the free world has even larger violence problems, just less of it is connected to guns.
And there you go again - even after I made it crystal clear the topic under discussion is firearms, you continue to interpret "violence" to mean something other than "gun violence".
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 09, 2018, 02:56:42 PM
No DonaldD I made it clear how you are artificially constraining and expanding on discussion points to avoid having to explain a logical connection.  If you want to argue that the number of guns is material and should be constrained you have to deal with the possibility that while they may increase murders, they may decrease other crime.  That's literally a trade that a safety advocate could deem worthwhile.

You also need to address that most of the "deaths" are not homicides, and most of the homicides really occur in the specific context of gangs and drugs, the exact people that are least likely to be influenced by your campaign to reduce the number of guns.

I don't have to accept your unconsidered opinion as relevant to the gun debate, it's up to you to explain why I should.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 03:05:42 PM
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You also need to address that most of the "deaths" are not homicides
Are you suggesting that the statistics I listed above for "intentional homicides" include deaths that are not homicides?
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 03:11:21 PM
If it helps you understand what I wrote earlier, I suggested that instilling an aversion to the ownership and use of firearms in the USA, and reducing the number of firearms in the population, would lead to reduced incidence of the use of guns against people in the USA.

I said nothing about generalized violence, which your posts are consistently steering back towards.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 09, 2018, 03:20:58 PM
If it helps you understand what I wrote earlier, I suggested that instilling an aversion to the ownership and use of firearms in the USA, and reducing the number of firearms in the population, would lead to reduced incidence of the use of guns against people in the USA.

I said nothing about generalized violence, which your posts are consistently steering back towards.

He's saying that even if this is true, it might result in an increase in the kinds of crime that guns curtailed. That's why he keeps re-introducing the general violence stat. Your thesis of reducing gun violence becomes less interesting if it doesn't increase actual aggregate safety.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 03:46:59 PM
Sure, it could lead to more violence.  Or it might lead to less violence. It's basically a null argument.

It is almost a certainty, however, that it will lead to fewer deaths.

So the math goes something like this:

fewer guns and an increased aversion to their use means fewer deaths (with a very high probability)
BUT
fewer guns will mean either more or less violence, with little evidence to support the proposition, at best, in either direction.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 04:00:42 PM
BTW, what is the acceptable cost of aggregate safety?

The USA has 3 times the intentional homicide rate of Canada, five time that of the UK. 

Is the reduction of, say, half the intentional homicides worth an increase in muggings of 50%?
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDrake on March 09, 2018, 04:05:05 PM
I don't really think you can correlate gun deaths with the number of guns. There just has to be a critical mass of guns and beyond that there are just "extra" guns. Those least likely to voluntarily give up guns would be the ones that use them all the time - hunters and criminals and gunophiles.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 09, 2018, 04:16:06 PM
BTW, what is the acceptable cost of aggregate safety?

The USA has 3 times the intentional homicide rate of Canada, five time that of the UK. 

Is the reduction of, say, half the intentional homicides worth an increase in muggings of 50%?

Depends on how many of those homicides were muggers...
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 09, 2018, 04:32:00 PM
Sure, it could lead to more violence.  Or it might lead to less violence. It's basically a null argument.

It is almost a certainty, however, that it will lead to fewer deaths.

Why do you think that?  Most of the places on Earth with high death and murder rates have heavy gun restrictions.  Effectively, only those with power and a willingness to abuse it are armed.  If anything I think the counter case is actually proven.

Though it may be a bell curve, it seems the risk at the top end (the US) is far lower than at the bottom end.

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So the math goes something like this:

fewer guns and an increased aversion to their use means fewer deaths (with a very high probability)

It doesn't mean that at all, since it's only a tiny fraction of the population that engages in murder (or really any crime), there may be no material impact.  In fact, I'd be willing to be if you got half the guns destroyed voluntarily, you'd see less than 10% reduction in deaths (mostly from suicides), and your homicide rate may even increase.

Whereas you'd almost certainly see an increase in home invasions, rapes, muggings and violent crime.

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BUT
fewer guns will mean either more or less violence, with little evidence to support the proposition, at best, in either direction.

There's a lot of evidence on the point.  Not being willing to understand it, or address it cause it hurts your argument doesn't make it non-existent.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 09, 2018, 04:36:02 PM
To roughly quote myself, I said you were artificially constraining:

Are you suggesting that the statistics I listed above for "intentional homicides" include deaths that are not homicides?

and expanding:

t was also clear I was talking about how first world countries today do not have the violence problems that the USA suffers from, and that one common factor is that the USA has what the rest of the world considers an unhealthy deification of gun violence, at least partly based on a desire to leave the door open to violent overthrow of the government.

to avoid explaining the logical connection.  How does any amount of guns in the hands of people who aren't likely to commit murders impact the intentional homicide rate, or the "violence problems" of the US?  Other than by increasing it by reducing their ability to defend themselves.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 05:16:42 PM
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There's a lot of evidence on the point.
What is this evidence - do you have statistics for first world countries changing their rates of gun ownership where the ownership rates drop and violent crime increases significantly, and where homicides do not drop?  Or where ownership rates increase significantly, and violent crime drops significantly?

Australia is the poster child for this type of change in a first world country; the data on homicides are clear (well, given that the Australian homicide was already quite low - on the order of 350 annually), whereas the changes in rates of non-homicide violent crime are less so:

http://theconversation.com/election-factcheck-is-crime-getting-worse-in-australia-60119 (http://theconversation.com/election-factcheck-is-crime-getting-worse-in-australia-60119)
https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi359 (https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi359)

Part of the challenge in interpreting non-homicide violent crime is the divergence of police reported crime and data gathered by victimization surveys over that period in Australia the former showing significant increases in crime reports, whereas the latter shows little or no increase.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 09, 2018, 05:27:22 PM
England should be one that should present some data one way or the other. Didn't they ban handguns back in the 1990's? That should have resulted in some kind of measurable shift in the statistics. Although they seem to undergone a noticeable demographic shift since then that is probably likewise causing an uptick in violence, so that probably won't bode too well for the anti-gun side.

Although I understand rifles and shotguns are still allowed under the right conditions("hunting"). (Much like Canada)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 09, 2018, 05:37:04 PM
But even if you want to focus on all mortality instead of just firearm mortality, the USA still leads the way in the first world.  Here are the rate of intentional homicide per 100K as of 2015 (I left Mexico and the Baltic states in, even though I consider neither area to be first world):

Country or dependent area   Rate
 Mexico   16.35
 Russia   11.31
 Lithuania   5.98
 United States   4.88
 Latvia   4.11
 Estonia   3.2
 Canada   1.68
 Finland   1.6
 France   1.58
 Romania   1.49
 Hungary   1.48
 Israel   1.36
 Sweden   1.15

Basically, the USA still has an intentional homicide rate 3 times that of its closest 'competitor', Canada.

The thing here, and this point was already mentioned, is that there are "outlier communities" that exist within the United States. Even before considering mass shooting events. Certain cities historically (Like Washington D.C., NYC(pre-mid-90's), LA(80's/90's), Chicago(currently), and Baltimore as well as Miami also feature IIRC) tend to generate a very disproportionate number of those "firearm homicides" and at such a rate that they can potentially skew the numbers wildly by themselves. Also of note about those cities? They're controlled by Democrats, and aside from Miami, they also reside in state jurisdictions that are also controlled by Democrats. In the case of Chicago and Washington, they actually have been a "gun-free zone" until SCotUS killed them. As I recall, those laws weren't helping improve the situation.

Of course, the argument was "the criminals were buying (legal guns in that area) from 'out of area' and bringing (illegal) guns back into the 'gun free zone'" so their ineffectiveness had no bearing on local laws.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 05:48:46 PM
Banning handguns would only be relevant if it led to a significant decrease in hand gun ownership - for the purposes of guns acting as a deterrent.

If there was little or no expectation or concern, prior to the handgun ban, that a potential victim was carrying a weapon, then any reduction in the dissuasive effect would be trivial.

For some context, there were about 6000 handguns handed in during the UK amnesty of 2003.  Or about 1 gun for every 10,000 residents.  Let's assume that 10 times that number were actually taken out of circulation around that time.  Then there would have been 1 fewer person per thousand with the possibility of carrying a hand gun at any given point in time.

The likelihood of this reduction having a significant effect on dissuading vs enabling potential violent criminals is highly unlikely.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 05:52:55 PM
Quote
The thing here, and this point was already mentioned, is that there are "outlier communities" that exist within the United States
There are outlier communities in all countries, and those outlier communities make up the vast majority of intentional homicides everywhere.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDrake on March 09, 2018, 05:58:25 PM
Quote
Whereas you'd almost certainly see an increase in home invasions, rapes, muggings and violent crime.

Yes, I'm sure there are thousands of would-be home invaders just biding their time because it is too risky with a potential gun owner behind the door.

Now if you mean an increase in successful home invasions, I might buy that. But I'm not sure it is as effective a deterrent as cameras and other home security systems or signs announcing them - except in much more remote or rural areas.

As for the others, not so sure.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 09, 2018, 07:34:37 PM
And doing some digging on my own.

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/death-by-gun-top-20-states-with-highest-rates/

Quote
Guns are expected to surpass car crashes for the number of American deaths caused in 2015. In 2013, there were 33,636 Americans killed by guns versus 33, 782 fatal crashes. The most recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics released in 2013 shows the number of gun deaths by state - whether it was homicide, accidental discharge, or intentional self-harm.

Which state has the fewest firearm-related deaths? With a rate of 2.6 deaths per 100,000 population, it's Hawaii. Seven of the top ten states for gun violence also had higher than the normal homicide rate nationally. Which states had the most firearm-related deaths?

Ok, so in 2013, 146 more people were killed by automobiles than were killed by guns in the United States. I do find that statistic interesting as a top-line item. Even more interesting given the matter that the gun fatality number cited there includes suicides("intentional self-harm").

So as of 2013, you were more likely to be killed in an automobile accident than you were to be killed by a gun. If you're not suicidal, your odds of death-by-firearm drops even further.

But going back to the dot link CBS cited, https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx

Fatalities per 100,000 population in an automotive accident in:
2013: 10.40 (32,893)
2015: 10.92 (35,092) -- Worst year since 2009

going to source CBS used for homicide rates(which actually was the aggregate total of firearm deaths in the number they reported, not homicides): http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/compareyears/194/total_number_of_gun_deaths

2015 had 36,247 firearm homicides, gun violence seems to have spiked in 2015 and continued to rise into 2016 (38,658 deaths) so something seems to have happened in 2015 that is causing things to pick up in pace from 2013's 33,636 deaths.

Firearm suicide rates were reported as follows(and they seem to be citing CDC)
Quote
2016: 22,938
2015: 22,018
2014: 21,334
2013: 21,175


So it seems that while suicides account for ~1,750 of the ~5,000 additional deaths, something is certainly going on nationally.

For comparison, here are the national suicide numbers(includes firearm use)
Quote
2016: 44,876
2015: 44,145
2014: 42,773
2013: 41,149

So it seems gun use is involved in fully half of successful suicide attempts, and those suicide numbers also play hell on the state level fire-arm statistics as well. Particularly in low population (typically conservative) states as a handful of suicides can spike that number really quick.

But going for a recent breakdown of firearm homicides:
Quote
2016: 14,415
2015: 12,974
2014: 10,945
2013: 11,208
or per 100,000
Quote
2016: 4.46
2015: 4.04
2014: 3.43
2013: 3.54

So it seems your initially cited number already excluded suicides. Although their number is 4.04 for 2015, while the number you cited was 4.88 for 2015. But it still stands that this is a national statistic, let me see if I can get a homicide breakdown by state.

But even with the 4.88 number you cited(which is higher than the site CBS linked to provides), that is still less than half of the 10.92 deaths per 100,000 suffered in automotive accidents in 2015. So it can easily be said you are more than twice as likely to die in a car crash than you are to be killed by a firearm.

But doing some checking, and clicking on homicides(it seems state-level data newer than 2013 is unavailable at this source):
http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/illinois
Total homicides (Chicago?)
Quote
2013: 576
2012: 645
2011: 610
2010: 577
2009: 628
2008: 631
2007: 575
2006: 625
2005: 569
2004: 573
2003: 696
2002: 728
2001: 747
2000: 674
1999: 689
per 100,000
Quote
2013: 4.47
2012: 5.01
2011: 4.74
2010: 4.50
2009: 4.91
2008: 4.95
2007: 4.53
2006: 4.94
2005: 4.51
2004: 4.55
2003: 5.54
2002: 5.81
2001: 5.98
2000: 5.43
1999: 5.57
http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/district-of-columbia
Total homicides
Quote
2013: 61
2012: 55
2011: 77
2010: 84
2009: 104
2008: 122
2007: 129
2006: 120
2005: 142
2004: 137
2003: 156
2002: 176
2001: 141
2000: 138
1999: 145
per 100,000
Quote
2013: 9.44
2012: 8.68
2011: 12.43
2010: 13.96
2009: 17.56
2008: 21.03
2007: 22.46
2006: 21.03
2005: 25.04
2004: 24.13
2003: 27.44
2002: 30.71
2001: 24.54
2000: 24.12
1999: 25.43
http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/georgia-usa
Total homicides (Atlanta?)
Quote
2013: 472
2012: 481
2011: 439
2010: 443
2009: 456
2008: 515
2007: 557
2006: 495
2005: 439
2004: 419
2003: 493
2002: 477
2001: 454
2000: 442
1999: 438
per 100,000
Quote
2013: 4.72
2012: 4.85
2011: 4.47
2010: 4.57
2009: 4.74
2008: 5.42
2007: 5.96
2006: 5.41
2005: 4.92
2004: 4.78
2003: 5.72
2002: 5.61
2001: 5.42
2000: 5.40
1999: 5.44
http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/idaho
Total homicides
Quote
2013: 14
2012: 18
2011: 16
2010: 12
2009: 10
2008: 13
2007: 29
2006: 24
2005: 28
2004: 16
2003: 19
2002: 15
2001: 25
2000: 14
1999: 16
Quote
2013: 0.87
2012: 1.13
2011: 1.01
2010: 0.77
2009: 0.64
2008: 0.85

2007: 1.93
2006: 1.63
2005: 1.96
2004: 1.15
2003: 1.39
2002: 1.12
2001: 1.89
2000: 1.08
1999: 1.25
http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/iowa
Total homicides
Quote
2013: 24
2012: 33
2011: 31
2010: 34
2009: 19
2008: 34
2007: 18
2006: 38
2005: 23
2004: 30
2003: 24
2002: 30
2001: 24
2000: 25
1999: 28

per 100,000
Quote
2013: 1.78
2012: 1.07
2011: 1.01
2010: 1.12
2009: 0.63
2008: 1.13
2007: 0.60

2006: 1.27
2005: 0.78
2004: 1.02
2003: 0.82
2002: 1.02
2001: 0.82
2000: 0.85
1999: 0.96


Now, just as a refresher.
But even if you want to focus on all mortality instead of just firearm mortality, the USA still leads the way in the first world.  Here are the rate of intentional homicide per 100K as of 2015 (I left Mexico and the Baltic states in, even though I consider neither area to be first world):

Country or dependent area   Rate
 Canada   1.68
 Finland   1.6
 France   1.58
 Romania   1.49
 Hungary   1.48
 Israel   1.36
 Sweden   1.15

Basically, the USA still has an intentional homicide rate 3 times that of its closest 'competitor', Canada.

Clearly Iowa and Idaho are in desperate need of Gun Control legislation because their homicide rates with firearms are so far out of line with other first world nations.  ::)

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/louisiana
Total homicides (New Orleans?)
Quote
2013: 446
2012: 428
2011: 431
2010: 432
2009: 449
2008: 430
2007: 488
2006: 443
2005: 457
2004: 480
2003: 473
2002: 467
2001: 400
2000: 427
1999: 342
per 100,000
Quote
2013: 9.64
2012: 9.30
2011: 9.42
2010: 9.53
2009: 10.00
2008: 9.69
2007: 11.15
2006: 10.30
2005: 9.99
2004: 10.54
2003: 10.46
2002: 10.38
2001: 8.93
2000: 9.55
1999: 7.67
http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/maine
Total homicides
Quote
2013: 13
2012: 15
2011: 15
2010: 13
2009: 15
2008: 12
2007: 15
2006: 15
2005: 8
2004: 11
2003: 6
2002: 8
2001: 7
2000: 11
1999: 15
per 100,000
Quote
2013: 0.98
2012: 1.13
2011: 1.13
2010: 0.98
2009: 1.13
2008: 0.90
2007: 1.13
2006: 1.14
2005: 0.61
2004: 0.84
2003: 0.46
2002: 0.62
2001: 0.54
2000: 0.86
1999: 1.18
Looks like Maine also is in desperate need to take lessons from Europe regarding gun control.

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/maryland
Total homicides (Baltimore, Washington D.C. "spillover"?)
Quote
2013: 299
2012: 294
2011: 276
2010: 306
2009: 316
2008: 379
2007: 424
2006: 416
2005: 422
2004: 386
2003: 394
2002: 365
2001: 363
2000: 353
1999: 396
per 100,000
Quote
2013: 5.04
2012: 5.00
2011: 4.73
2010: 5.30
2009: 5.51
2008: 6.67
2007: 7.50
2006: 7.39
2005: 7.55
2004: 6.96
2003: 7.17
2002: 6.71
2001: 6.75
2000: 6.66
1999: 7.54

Looks like Massachusetts is roughly comparable to Canada's homicide rate per 100,000. Which kind of surprised me.

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/michigan
Total homicides (Detroit?)
Quote
2013: 493
2012: 579
2011: 511
2010: 440
2009: 495
2008: 489
2007: 506
2006: 536
2005: 491
2004: 488
2003: 477
2002: 489
2001: 499
2000: 504
1999: 516
per 100,000
Quote
2013: 4.987
2012: 5.86
2011: 5.17
2010: 4.45
2009: 5.00
2008: 4.92
2007: 5.06
2006: 5.34
2005: 4.89
2004: 4.87
2003: 4.75
2002: 4.88
2001: 4.99
2000: 5.07
1999: 5.21

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/minnesota
Ranges from 54 homicides in 1999 to 88 in 2005. with a per 100,000 rate that bottoms at 0.87 in 2009 and peaked at 1.72 in 2005 unsurprisingly.

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/california
Ranges from a peak homicide rate of 1,883 in 2006 (closely matched by 1,878 in 2005) to a bottom of  1,312 in 2013(closely matched by 1,314 in 2011. 2010, 2012, and 1999 also finish in the 1,300's with ascending tallies in that order). But even with 2013 being a "good year" in the prior 14 years of records being looked at, with 1,312 deaths in 2013 against a national total of 11,208 in 2013 California alone accounts for ~11.7% of gun homicides in the country by itself.
Their per 100,000 numbers ranged from a peak of 5.24 in 2005(5.23 in 2006), to a low of 3.42 in 2013 (3.49 in 2011, 3.58 in 2012) where they actually beat the national average by 0.06 deaths per 100,000 people.

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/alabama
http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/mississippi
Are weird, and I'm not sure what is going on in those states. They're lower than Lousiana, but higher than Georgia(which in turn tracks with Missouri(which has Kansas City and St Louis), Arkansas and Tennessee(Memphis, Nashville)), and while they do have some "Respectably large Cities" within their borders, I'm not sure that accounts for what is going on there. I'm thinking this is more an indicator of endemic poverty, something the south is notorious for, as are the inner cities, as the decisive factor in play here.

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/kentucky
Oddly, Kentucky is a full point below the average of Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas and Missouri and up to 2 points below Illinois. (it even beats out Indiana) Ohio and West Virginia do better with firearms still when it comes to homicides. Virginia seems to be a bit more mixed.

So it seems that while there is a definite "urban bias" it also does appear that in the South-eastern states, there also is "something going on" with regards to gun use.

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/texas
Seems to indicate that while you're safer from a gun-homicide in Texas when compared to Tennessee and company, you're safer still in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia respectively.

But we'll close this with another one of the few states that seem to be in dire need of a European intervention when it comes to firearm homicides.
http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/utah
Total homicides
Quote
2013: 33
2012: 28
2011: 27
2010: 27
2009: 30
2008: 24
2007: 40
2006: 29
2005: 33
2004: 30
2003: 37
2002: 27
2001: 40
2000: 16
1999: 30
per 100,000
Quote
2013: 1.14
2012: 0.98
2011: 0.96
2010: 0.98
2009: 1.10
2008: 0.90

2007: 1.54
2006: 1.15
2005: 1.34
2004: 1.25
2003: 1.57
2002: 1.16
2001: 1.75
2000: 0.72
1999: 1.36
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 09, 2018, 07:52:35 PM
I'm sure you thought you were making a point somewhere in all that.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 09, 2018, 08:38:51 PM
I'm sure you thought you were making a point somewhere in all that.

I was regurgitating data.

Some states were high, and they tracked with large population centers known for having impoverished urban(usually populated by minorities) cores.
Other states that were high also rank high for poverty incidence rates.

However, it also is apparent that "Gun culture" doesn't account for everything. Iowa, Idaho, Utah, and Maine are four states I cross-posted numbers for who routinely post gun-violence rates that put even the numbers boasted by Sweden to shame.

Utah in particular is noteworthy because of the Salt Lake City metro-plex is pushing into the millions of residents, and yet they're still tracking below Sweden in terms of gun violence numbers as of 2013. But then, SLC's "ghetto" in so much as they have one, isn't much of one.

Iowa has some significant urban concentrations as well, with Omaha right on the western border, Des Moines, and the tri-cities on their eastern one. Idaho is starting to become highly urbanized in and around Boise as that metroplex is now well past half-a-million at this point. 
Maine is frankly outside of my awareness, other than I know it has a lot of near-wilderness areas, so I know hunting and fishing is very much a thing up there.

It frankly was interesting to see red state vs blue state didn't track very well with that data. The definite spike/high-homicide-rate pretty much across the former Confederate States was very "interesting" to say the least. California seems to have done a reasonably decent job of cleaning up things in their urban areas, or they've just become better at treating gunshot wound victims. As their firearm homicide rate is nearly spot on with the national average(in 2013) with a long-term trend towards decreasing violence with that conclusion at least. (That data set seems to be available at the linked to site, I just wasn't looking at that one)

In many of the smaller population states, it also was interesting to see how "spiky" their data was going from year to year. Particularly when you could see what looked like huge swings in the per 100,000 number, only to find out the difference in the total number of deaths involved is often fewer than a dozen. Such as Idaho going from 2000(1.08) to 2001(1.89) which looks really bad, until you see the raw score went from 14(2000) to 25(2001) which was a near doubling in the number of firearm deaths, both "only" a change of 11 deaths in total.

Whereas California only had one year where their year-over-year change was +5 in 2005 to 2006, while their more typical change was anywhere from 30 to several hundred.

It makes for good demonstrations of "lies, damned lies, and statistics" when you look at those number under differing filter criteria. Cherry picking years, or specific data points, you make a case for almost anything with this stuff. But I'll leave it to someone else to try to drill into firearm homicide by city or county. If you can even find data for that in most places.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: LetterRip on March 09, 2018, 10:14:10 PM
TheDeamon,

Quote
In many of the smaller population states, it also was interesting to see how "spiky" their data was going from year to year

that is simple statistics - samples from larger populations are more representative of the true mean.  Smaller populations will fool you into thinking there are trends and variations that aren't really there - the low years will be consistent underestimates, and the spike years will be consistent overestimates.  If you broke a big state into multiple small states you'd see the same 'spike and lull' patterns going on.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 10, 2018, 02:21:12 AM
TheDeamon,

Quote
In many of the smaller population states, it also was interesting to see how "spiky" their data was going from year to year

that is simple statistics - samples from larger populations are more representative of the true mean.  Smaller populations will fool you into thinking there are trends and variations that aren't really there - the low years will be consistent underestimates, and the spike years will be consistent overestimates.  If you broke a big state into multiple small states you'd see the same 'spike and lull' patterns going on.

I know and understand that. Still qualifies as "interesting" to see real-world demonstrations of that principle. Even if the subject matter at hand is rather morbid.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Crunch on March 10, 2018, 09:28:22 AM
Quote
So it seems that while there is a definite "urban bias" it also does appear that in the South-eastern states, there also is "something going on" with regards to gun use.

The “urban bias” reflects gang activity. For example:
Quote
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), gang homicides accounted for roughly 8,900 of 11,100 gun murders in both 2010 and 2011. That means that there were just 2,200 non gang-related firearm murders in both years in a country of over 300 million people and 250 million guns.
This is why black men make up more than half the people killed with a gun.

Suicide is even more impactful, from 538.com:
Quote
Two-thirds of the more than 33,000 gun deaths that take place in the U.S. every year are suicides
you can try to pin access to guns on this but Japan disproves that as they have far fewer guns while having nearly double the suicide rate.

When looking at desth rates like this and trying to compare with vehiclular desths and not correcting for this so that it seems guns are so much more dangerous to the general public, that’s simple and dishonest propaganda.

The reality is, if you’re not suicidal or not involved in criminal gangs, your odds of being killed by someone with a gun falls by more than  70%. It’s dishonest to compare death stats without that information.

We don’t have a gun problem, we have a gang and mental health problem.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 10, 2018, 10:45:16 AM
The percentage of gun-related homicides attributed to gangs in Canada was 54% in 2016, the last available year.  Call it 50% of the total.

That still puts the frequency of non-gang related homicides in the USA attributed to firearms at over three times the rate in Canada.

The reality is, if you’re not suicidal and not involved in criminal gangs, your odds of being killed by someone with a gun are still three times higher in the USA than in Canada.  Of course, some people also care about the lives of people with mental illness and even the lives of people who are criminals, if not just the societal effects of those murders, so won't just discount the actual higher rate.

As an aside, believing that other countries do not have gangs and do not have mental health issues is lazy thinking.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 10, 2018, 01:50:54 PM
Quote
So it seems that while there is a definite "urban bias" it also does appear that in the South-eastern states, there also is "something going on" with regards to gun use.

The “urban bias” reflects gang activity. For example:
Quote
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), gang homicides accounted for roughly 8,900 of 11,100 gun murders in both 2010 and 2011. That means that there were just 2,200 non gang-related firearm murders in both years in a country of over 300 million people and 250 million guns.
This is why black men make up more than half the people killed with a gun.

Suicide is even more impactful, from 538.com:
Quote
Two-thirds of the more than 33,000 gun deaths that take place in the U.S. every year are suicides
you can try to pin access to guns on this but Japan disproves that as they have far fewer guns while having nearly double the suicide rate.

When looking at desth rates like this and trying to compare with vehiclular desths and not correcting for this so that it seems guns are so much more dangerous to the general public, that’s simple and dishonest propaganda.

The reality is, if you’re not suicidal or not involved in criminal gangs, your odds of being killed by someone with a gun falls by more than  70%. It’s dishonest to compare death stats without that information.

We don’t have a gun problem, we have a gang and mental health problem.

Well, that number was working from a "biased source" as I noted in the post, in the cited article, they cited the gun death statistic as being the gun homicide statistic. Which were two entirely different numbers, even on the site they referenced for that number. But that mis-citation on their part made a more comparable number to make it seem as "commonly dangerous" as cars in general.

When the reality is, as I demonstrated when I pointed out that number could be dropped to roughly a third of their claimed number in order to reach the true homicide rate, at which point you're more than twice as likely to be killed by an automobile than a gun. Further narrowing the field, as you did by filtering out "gang violence" from the homicide statistics likes drops the odds even further(down to nearly 1/4th of the initial homicide rate) for people not living anywhere that gangs operate in. (They do shoot people other than just rival gang members too)

But that would point to how Idaho for example takes that risk from "comparable to a car accident" (actually worse in Idaho when you do include suicides) to less than half of that initial number, and then down to under a quarter of even that second number where it then manages to beat out even Sweden in most years when it comes to non-suicides.

But going back to why I referenced it against risk of death in car accidents. It was to point out that while fatal car accidents are in fact far more frequent, and much more "random" virtually all motor-vehicle accidents are preventable as well. Yet we're collectively shrugging that one off  and going "oh well" and even increasing vehicle speed limits, which is known to increase the lethality of the accidents that happen. While likewise not talking about "better screening" of people attempting to get a drivers license, or when registering a vehicle for operation in a given state(to ensure it is "safe to operate" to start with).

But oh my, Guns are positively out of control, that your odds of being "radomly killed" by somebody with a gun are "unacceptably high" and requires immediate action now. Even though you're far more likely to get randomly killed while using a local roadway when somebody decides their cellphone or GPS is a higher priority than safely operating their vehicle.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 10, 2018, 02:01:19 PM
Reducing gun-related homicides does not preclude reducing vehicular deaths. You can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Just jump to the conclusion: everybody dies from something, 100% of the time.  Gun homicides - heck, even all gun related deaths - make up only a small fraction of all deaths. Clearly, we should focus on the majority of deaths first before looking at those attributed to guns.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 10, 2018, 03:59:05 PM
Not saying that well purposed gun controls in general are a bad thing or pursuit of them is invalid on the previous basis.

However, it does leave a rational objective individual to wonder at the tens of millions of dollars thrown around regarding gun control. While automotive safety groups are on a comparative shoestring even though that issue is one of the most expensive economic line items out there.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 10, 2018, 07:24:51 PM
Without even getting into the fact that hundreds of millions of people are required to use motor vehicles in the USA every day...https://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/FMVSS/ (https://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/FMVSS/)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 10, 2018, 07:49:11 PM
Without even getting into the fact that hundreds of millions of people are required to use motor vehicles in the USA every day...https://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/FMVSS/ (https://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/FMVSS/)

And all the safety standards in the world don't make a lick of difference the moment you put 1 "idiot" behind the steering wheel.

Much like happens with firearms. But IIRC, something like 90% of licensed drivers in the United States think they're "above average drivers" so I guess we can rest easily on that front.  ;D
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: DonaldD on March 10, 2018, 08:15:55 PM
Also, MADD alone raised 40,000,000$ in 2013 - that's one group that raised, on its own, the equivalent of "the tens of millions of dollars thrown around regarding gun control."

As for standards and idiots - you are simply wrong. Those crash worthiness standards, airbag, seat belt, bumper, frame standards - they all save countless lives exactly when idiots get themselves in trouble.

Do those standards save everybody?  No.  But they absolutely reduce the number of deaths.  Anybody who convinces you that with today's technology, and the economy of transporting hundreds of millions of people every day, that motor vehicle deaths can be eliminated, well, they're selling you a bill of goods.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 12, 2018, 05:10:03 PM
Quote
There's a lot of evidence on the point.
What is this evidence - do you have statistics for first world countries changing their rates of gun ownership where the ownership rates drop and violent crime increases significantly, and where homicides do not drop?  Or where ownership rates increase significantly, and violent crime drops significantly?

Artificial narrowing. Like I said.

There is plenty of evidence of the rates of violent crime compared to the current rate of gun ownership.  There is direct US evidence of the "impact" that has resulted from every single gun control law that has been passed to date (pretty much it doesn't show the impact that was promised).

It's also notoriously difficult to study the impact of a single change on a society, when there are dozens if not hundreds of variables changing at the same time.

Quote
Australia is the poster child for this type of change in a first world country; the data on homicides are clear (well, given that the Australian homicide was already quite low - on the order of 350 annually), whereas the changes in rates of non-homicide violent crime are less so:

Is it "clear"?  You understand that the number of firearms in Australia has been increasing year on year ever since the 1996 buy back?  That at no point did they remove all firearms? 

If your argument were true, the increase in fire arms should have been causing the rate to increase, shouldn't it?  Yet the rate steadily goes downward.  So what gives, well killing others with a gun became far more abhorent in Australia in 1996, and the impact of that pyschologically is probably feeding the trend more than the reduction in firearms.

You'll note - in the US - we've become less repulsed about the idea of killing by firearm in that time period.  We've desensitized ourselves both from seeing other people as real and from the idea that shooting people is a personal event.  That's something that is far more influenced by our culture than by the weapons themselves.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 12, 2018, 05:12:14 PM
Quote
The thing here, and this point was already mentioned, is that there are "outlier communities" that exist within the United States
There are outlier communities in all countries, and those outlier communities make up the vast majority of intentional homicides everywhere.

That's a dismissive answer of a real problem.  Outliers in the US have fundamentally larger difference characteristics than those in virtually every other company.  Well at least until recently, with the massive influx of third world refugees into Europe.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 12, 2018, 05:43:44 PM
TheDeamon,

Quote
In many of the smaller population states, it also was interesting to see how "spiky" their data was going from year to year

that is simple statistics - samples from larger populations are more representative of the true mean.

You forgot to say "all other things being equal."  And in fact they are not equal.  Urban populations have fundamentally different characteristics that sub-urban and rural.  TheDeamon could get to a very impressive N value by aggregating all rural together, all sub-urban together and all urban together, and then comparing those internal populations against each other and looking for internal characteristics in each that were influencing what's going on.

You'd still find that gun violence in the US is a very narrow problem.

Quote
Smaller populations will fool you into thinking there are trends and variations that aren't really there - the low years will be consistent underestimates, and the spike years will be consistent overestimates.  If you broke a big state into multiple small states you'd see the same 'spike and lull' patterns going on.

Again though, you wouldn't see quite the same spike if you say broke a state in Detroit area vs rest of Michigan or Chicago Area versus rest of Illinois.  Nor if you did the Rural Midwest versus the Urban midwest.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDrake on March 12, 2018, 05:46:38 PM
Quote
Is it "clear"?  You understand that the number of firearms in Australia has been increasing year on year ever since the 1996 buy back?  That at no point did they remove all firearms? 

True, which is good data however:

Quote
"Remember there were several massacres in Australia - Port Arthur wasn't the only one - and during the period that people were thinking about those massacres a total of a million guns were surrendered," he said.

"What's happened since then is that gun imports spiked while people replaced them, and then crashed again for several years and they were way down at lower levels.

"But then gradually for the past 10 years they've been creeping up again and Australia has now replaced that million guns."

Professor Alpers says the guns that have been imported are not the semi-automatics that were banned after Port Arthur.

Quote
At the heart of the push was a massive buyback of more than 600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, or about one-fifth of all firearms in circulation in Australia. The country’s new gun laws prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a “genuine reason” for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.)

So, in other words, they managed to restrict the most dangerous mass-shooting type weapons and put some controls in place to ensure that the wrong kind of people (buy their standard) did not have access to a gun, and required people to present some kind of reason for having the gun.

A good first hand account from an Australian who loves his guns:

Quote
I love firearms. I collect them and I enjoy shooting them. I probably have 30 pistols and 20 rifles or shotgun combinations. My family has always had lots and lots of firearms.

Then, after the 1996 massacre, I probably had to hand in six to eight semiautomatic rifles and shotguns to the police. We got fair value for them, but I wasn’t thrilled to be doing it because I thought “Well gee, what have I done wrong?” Would anything untoward ever have happened with the firearms I owned? No.

It’s actually not that hard to own a gun. But you do have to have a genuine reason. You have to be a member of a target shooting club or a hunter and you have to prove it.

All applicants undergo a background check by the police and there is a mandatory 30 day cooling off period for all license applications, both long arms and pistols. Firearms safety training courses are mandatory as well.

An H license is for handguns. If you want to buy a pistol in Australia you’ve got to be a member of a target pistol club. You’ve got to do a minimum of eight competition shoots per year to keep your license. If you don’t, you lose it.

Another part of the law that changed is that the police can come to your house and inspect your storage. When we renovated our house, I built a room dedicated to my firearms collection. They’re all in large safes.... I’m happy for them to do it. I want them to see that it’s safe.

I would feel less safe where in Texas where everybody’s walking around with open carry. That would freak me out. It freaks me out enough to see the police all armed at the airport. Would I walk around the street with a pistol loaded on my waist? No way.

In Australia we don’t want guns to protect our homes. That idea’s ridiculous. When I was growing up, I kept rifles under my bed. One day I was home sick and I was on my way to the loo when I see this guy at the front door shining a flashlight. I thought: I could get the rifle; and then I thought, I’ll just turn the lights on and he’ll run away, which is just what he did. Why would you shoot anybody?

When then Prime Minister John Howard proposed the gun law I marched like everybody else did in opposition to it. But I now fully endorse what he did. I didn’t like handing over my rifles, but at the end of the day, it’s a small price to pay not to have the nut-jobs walking through shopping centers and massacring innocent people.

What it's Like to Own Guns in a Country with Strict Gun Control (http://time.com/4172274/what-its-like-to-own-guns-in-a-country-with-strict-gun-control/)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 21, 2018, 11:18:03 AM
So anyone noticing the wall to wall coverage of yesterday's school shooting?  Surely, in the immediate aftermath of the school shooting in Fl (which was wall to wall for a week, with coverage of the "kid's movement" in great detail thereafter), another school shooting should be wall-to-wall as well?

That's odd that it seems to already have largely disappeared.

Wonder what could have caused that?  Couldn't be the presence of an armed guard almost immediately ended the threat could it?  It's not so useful for the narrative if a shooter is immediately shut down.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: NobleHunter on March 21, 2018, 11:38:27 AM
Now why wouldn't an attack where only the attacker died not get as much coverage as one where 17 people were murdered? It must be the MSM's dastardly anti-freedom agenda!
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: LetterRip on March 21, 2018, 12:01:24 PM
Quote
Wonder what could have caused that?  Couldn't be the presence of an armed guard almost immediately ended the threat could it?  It's not so useful for the narrative if a shooter is immediately shut down.

Actually the presence of the guard was likely irrelevant - the shooter had a single clip and no other preparations.  He shot his ex-girlfriend and one other person who was present.  The reality is that most school shootings the individual only shoots one or two targeted persons than stops and waits for the police then commits suicide - regardless of whether they are confronted.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 21, 2018, 12:51:16 PM
Quote
Wonder what could have caused that?  Couldn't be the presence of an armed guard almost immediately ended the threat could it?  It's not so useful for the narrative if a shooter is immediately shut down.

Actually the presence of the guard was likely irrelevant - the shooter had a single clip and no other preparations.  He shot his ex-girlfriend and one other person who was present.  The reality is that most school shootings the individual only shoots one or two targeted persons than stops and waits for the police then commits suicide - regardless of whether they are confronted.

All of that makes sense, but are we to draw conclusions or plan countermeasures based upon such information? 

You can't know in advance what the motivations are of the shooter.  In this case, they were quickly stopped.  Does it make for as much of a media circus?  Of course not, but it should be part of the discussion. 
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 21, 2018, 01:01:28 PM
So anyone noticing the wall to wall coverage of yesterday's school shooting?  Surely, in the immediate aftermath of the school shooting in Fl (which was wall to wall for a week, with coverage of the "kid's movement" in great detail thereafter), another school shooting should be wall-to-wall as well?

That's odd that it seems to already have largely disappeared.

Wonder what could have caused that?  Couldn't be the presence of an armed guard almost immediately ended the threat could it?  It's not so useful for the narrative if a shooter is immediately shut down.

Come on, Seriati.  Only three people were shot, and only one died.  It wasn't a mass shooting.

If the news media had to do wall-to-wall coverage of every shooting in schools, we wouldn't have time for any other news. ;)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 21, 2018, 01:07:43 PM
So the argument is: 
Shooters unopposed on mass shootings qualify as news, and motivate political action;
Shooters opposed and stopped with force prior to them qualifying as mass shootings are not news, and should not be part of the debate on firearms?

Just making sure I've got that correct.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: NobleHunter on March 21, 2018, 01:24:29 PM
Body count matters. A car crash that kills 2 people is only local news (self-driving cars excepted). A car crash that kills 200 people is quite likely national news.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDrake on March 21, 2018, 02:11:16 PM
There's not much controversy, that's part of the answer. I haven't heard anybody say that armed resource officers are a bad idea. They are trained, it is their profession. It's arming the lunch lady and the Geometry teacher that inspires a discussion.

Anything short of throwing a week long parade of joy for the gun blazing hero would be unlikely to satisfy card carrying members of the NRA.

From reports I've read, it is not even clear whether the resource officer hit the shooter with the single round he fired or if the shooter killed himself.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 21, 2018, 03:11:08 PM
So the argument is: 
Shooters unopposed on mass shootings qualify as news, and motivate political action;
Shooters opposed and stopped with force prior to them qualifying as mass shootings are not news, and should not be part of the debate on firearms?

Just making sure I've got that correct.

No, no.  Shootings with one to three victims killed are common.  They're no big deal.  They happen every day.  On average, 24 people were murdered today with a firearm in the U.S., not counting justifiable shooting deaths like this one.  This was just another shooting, albeit one that occurred at a school, as opposed to everywhere else.

If the news media should have wall-to-wall coverage on this shooting, what about all those other shootings?  Even CNN couldn't handle it.  We would need a 24-hour channel devoted to just shooting deaths, updated hourly.

This shooting got so much coverage because it was the next school shooting after Parkland.  But if it wasn't for Parkland, it would haven't had as much coverage as it got.  Just a minor item at the end of the 6 o'clock news, if that.  To expect it to get more coverage ignores the fact that it was such an every-day occurrence.  Make a huge deal out of this, you'll need to make a huge deal out of all of them.

And we don't have the bandwidth for that.  :P
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 21, 2018, 03:55:52 PM
So the argument is: 
Shooters unopposed on mass shootings qualify as news, and motivate political action;
Shooters opposed and stopped with force prior to them qualifying as mass shootings are not news, and should not be part of the debate on firearms?

Just making sure I've got that correct.

No, no.  Shootings with one to three victims killed are common.  They're no big deal.  They happen every day.  On average, 24 people were murdered today with a firearm in the U.S., not counting justifiable shooting deaths like this one.  This was just another shooting, albeit one that occurred at a school, as opposed to everywhere else.

I think DW's point went a bit 'whoosh', based on your reply. The argument is that if you treat 'small' shootings as 'no big deal', and include among these shootings that were small because they were prevented by measures being suggested to correct the mass shooting situation, then you're manipulating the public debate by making it look like mass shootings can't be stopped since the only ones being discussed are ones that weren't prevented. Do you see? You're creating a circular argument (prevention doesn't work because we're not counting cases that were prevented) as well as a cluster fallacy (how come every time a potential mass shooter does their thing they succeed?). In this particular case maybe the shooter wasn't geared up for mass mayhem anyhow, but the presence of someone to stop even minor carnage should be highlighted by the media as a job well done. But nothing other than scary news sells copies, right?
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 21, 2018, 04:04:08 PM
For the record, I know how the media works and what generates add revenue.  I wasn't so much suggesting I didn't know that was how things are, and more lamenting how frustrating the situation was and how it distorts the conversation.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 21, 2018, 06:21:23 PM
So the argument is: 
Shooters unopposed on mass shootings qualify as news, and motivate political action;
Shooters opposed and stopped with force prior to them qualifying as mass shootings are not news, and should not be part of the debate on firearms?

Just making sure I've got that correct.

No, no.  Shootings with one to three victims killed are common.  They're no big deal.  They happen every day.  On average, 24 people were murdered today with a firearm in the U.S., not counting justifiable shooting deaths like this one.  This was just another shooting, albeit one that occurred at a school, as opposed to everywhere else.

I think DW's point went a bit 'whoosh', based on your reply. The argument is that if you treat 'small' shootings as 'no big deal', and include among these shootings that were small because they were prevented by measures being suggested to correct the mass shooting situation, then you're manipulating the public debate by making it look like mass shootings can't be stopped since the only ones being discussed are ones that weren't prevented. Do you see? You're creating a circular argument (prevention doesn't work because we're not counting cases that were prevented) as well as a cluster fallacy (how come every time a potential mass shooter does their thing they succeed?). In this particular case maybe the shooter wasn't geared up for mass mayhem anyhow, but the presence of someone to stop even minor carnage should be highlighted by the media as a job well done. But nothing other than scary news sells copies, right?

Although I do like your point, and D.W.'s as well, I was responding to his interpretation of Seriati's point that this latest small shooting should get the same coverage as the Parkland shooting.  After all, this tragedy did receive national attention, so it is not like the incident was suppressed or anything.  But you cannot expect it to be treated like a shooting that killed 17 people unless you expect all similar small shootings to get the same treatment.  And there are just too many of those.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 21, 2018, 11:45:56 PM
School shootings actually aren't that common, or at least weren't in the 1980's and 1990's. Plenty of the events listed had a (low) single digit body count, if any.

Shootings in general are another matter.

Speaking of events that avoided much time in the press. Remember that Church Shooting in Texas? You know the one that ended with the shooter being killed while being pursued by a (armed) former NRA instructor? The body count certainly came up again after Parkland, but its media screen time lasted only a few days before they swiftly found other things to discuss. Even though it had a comparable body count to Parkland.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 22, 2018, 02:40:22 PM
Speaking of events that avoided much time in the press. Remember that Church Shooting in Texas? You know the one that ended with the shooter being killed while being pursued by a (armed) former NRA instructor? The body count certainly came up again after Parkland, but its media screen time lasted only a few days before they swiftly found other things to discuss. Even though it had a comparable body count to Parkland.

Possibly, although I suspect you are comparing apples and oranges.

How much of the Parkland coverage involves the shooting itself versus the actions that were inspired or initiated by the shooting?  It's seems to me that there was more ancillary events that happened after the Parkland shooting--the student protests, the meeting with the President, the legislative battles--than happened after the Texas Church shooting.  If you count those as part of the Parkland shooting media coverage, then it's obvious why there was more coverage, and it was obviously not because the Texas Church shooter was killed at the scene.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 22, 2018, 03:05:50 PM
How much of the Parkland coverage involves the shooting itself versus the actions that were inspired or initiated by the shooting?  It's seems to me that there was more ancillary events that happened after the Parkland shooting--the student protests, the meeting with the President, the legislative battles--than happened after the Texas Church shooting.  If you count those as part of the Parkland shooting media coverage, then it's obvious why there was more coverage, and it was obviously not because the Texas Church shooter was killed at the scene.

Isn't this potentially another circular argument, where the lack of all these ancillary events may be linked to the lack of initial major coverage in the first place? These types of broad social memes that turn into national walkouts and so forth are generally the result of a major media event going viral. Remember Ferguson, and all the media frenzy that resulted from the shooting of one person? This kind of whirlwind generally results from the spark generated by media attention, and then can take on a life of its own. This doesn't always happen, but when the media passes it by it will also be much less likely to develop into a viral meme.

When the event is 'sexy' enough or somehow sparks into a flame we can see these Ferguson, or now Parkland situations turning into the catalyst for national-level debate. That won't happen if there's no spark in the first place and no one fans the flames.

Not saying you're totally wrong, I actually don't know. But suggesting that the lack of aftermath excitement for an event that didn't get that much coverage seems circular to me.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 22, 2018, 03:29:47 PM
Quote
Remember that Church Shooting in Texas?
There's another thing at play here as well. 

School > Children > Innocents

Mention of "church" immediately triggers biases in some or at least associations.  Church > Conservative > Republican > Pro Gun > less sympathetic

It's messed up, but it's baked in there. 
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDeamon on March 22, 2018, 03:51:53 PM
When the event is 'sexy' enough or somehow sparks into a flame we can see these Ferguson, or now Parkland situations turning into the catalyst for national-level debate. That won't happen if there's no spark in the first place and no one fans the flames.

Not saying you're totally wrong, I actually don't know. But suggesting that the lack of aftermath excitement for an event that didn't get that much coverage seems circular to me.

The other example, and that one can be pointed to as media manipulation(also in play in Ferguson), was the whole Trayvon Martin affair as well.

Using pictures of him when he was much younger to portray the victim(as happened again in Ferguson), selective editing of the dispatch tape recordings, so on and so forth.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: LetterRip on March 22, 2018, 04:16:17 PM
The other example, and that one can be pointed to as media manipulation(also in play in Ferguson), was the whole Trayvon Martin affair as well.

Using pictures of him when he was much younger to portray the victim(as happened again in Ferguson), selective editing of the dispatch tape recordings, so on and so forth.

You are wrong - his 11th grade photo ID is about the same as the photo used by the media - the only significant difference is he is smiling in the photo provided to the media - the photo used by the media is only with him 6 months younger than the age that he died.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/false-trayvon-martin-photographs/

There are some cases of shootings where the photo used was misleading - for instance the Tamir Rice shooting.  Where Tamir was 80-100 pounds heavier when he was shot compared to the photo used (Both autopsy and eye witness testimony were that he was 5'7"/5'8" and 195 lb).  As far as I'm aware though that is the only photo of Tamir that was publicly available.  The autopsy information also wasn't available till after the photo was circulated, so there is no reason the media should have known that it was a younger picture of him (he 'looks' 12 in the photo).
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 22, 2018, 06:45:56 PM
How much of the Parkland coverage involves the shooting itself versus the actions that were inspired or initiated by the shooting?  It's seems to me that there was more ancillary events that happened after the Parkland shooting--the student protests, the meeting with the President, the legislative battles--than happened after the Texas Church shooting.  If you count those as part of the Parkland shooting media coverage, then it's obvious why there was more coverage, and it was obviously not because the Texas Church shooter was killed at the scene.

Isn't this potentially another circular argument, where the lack of all these ancillary events may be linked to the lack of initial major coverage in the first place? These types of broad social memes that turn into national walkouts and so forth are generally the result of a major media event going viral. Remember Ferguson, and all the media frenzy that resulted from the shooting of one person? This kind of whirlwind generally results from the spark generated by media attention, and then can take on a life of its own. This doesn't always happen, but when the media passes it by it will also be much less likely to develop into a viral meme.

When the event is 'sexy' enough or somehow sparks into a flame we can see these Ferguson, or now Parkland situations turning into the catalyst for national-level debate. That won't happen if there's no spark in the first place and no one fans the flames.

Not saying you're totally wrong, I actually don't know. But suggesting that the lack of aftermath excitement for an event that didn't get that much coverage seems circular to me.

But we are also dealing with a media that responds to viral memes.  As we have seen from the Russian interference with the last election, some of their memes became so popular that they were reported on by the media.  So a viral meme can get media coverage, which further flames the meme, which the media covers, etc., etc., etc. :)

We can still compare coverage by comparing just the coverage of the event itself.  Even then, we have to take other factors into account, too, like the fact that the killer in the Parkland shooting was not immediately caught  (the ancillary stories were who was the shooter and when he would be caught) and the relative ease of reaching the shooting site (five minute drive from a local station gets more coverage than a thirty minute drive for similar incidents--sad but true).  But it would be a fairer comparison.

The bottom line, though, is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to assign the differences in coverage to the idea that the mainstream media is specifically trying to suppress the coverage of shooters who weren't taken out by other armed people.  I would find it very hard to reach that conclusion without a good running jump. :)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 22, 2018, 07:45:58 PM
Excellent points Wayward.  I think it's safe if we just assume everyone is lying to us or misinformed or has an agenda and is telling only part of the story.  Or all 3 at once! 
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 22, 2018, 09:26:02 PM
The bottom line, though, is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to assign the differences in coverage to the idea that the mainstream media is specifically trying to suppress the coverage of shooters who weren't taken out by other armed people.  I would find it very hard to reach that conclusion without a good running jump. :)

Why would you reach that conclusion?  There suppressing that story, they just have no interest in repeating it, it doesn't confirm their bias.

There influence is felt by increasing the push behind the first story.

It's also felt when they characterize as crazy the idea that arming responsible adults in a school can have a positive effect on turning a mass shooting into 'not a mass shooting' or 'a common occurrence that's not newsworthy.'  When the media sold an idea as crazy last week, and it literally happens the next, it should be part of the debate.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 22, 2018, 10:21:01 PM
The bottom line, though, is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to assign the differences in coverage to the idea that the mainstream media is specifically trying to suppress the coverage of shooters who weren't taken out by other armed people.  I would find it very hard to reach that conclusion without a good running jump. :)

Is this a response to me? I didn't say anything about a conspiracy to suppress facts. I said that SINCE the media only cares about scary and shocking news (5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT PARKLAND...YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT COMES NEXT!!!) that they are going to over-report things that are either horrendous things, general failures, or else, as you said, basically regurgitate memes. But the fact that media companies jump on meme bandwagons doesn't also mean that they play no part in generating the buzz in the first place. It's like birds going after a downed hot dog. Sure, most of them are chasing because they see other birds chasing, but some of them actually saw the hot dog and went for it too. And some of the birds knew it was a hot dog but reported that is might be Italian sausage, and isn't the SPICY NEWS, and...ok sorry, this analogy derailed.

My point is that the media isn't going to go bananas over a situation that was readily controlled with minimal damage, because it's not CRAZY enough. Local news might cover a prevented shooting greatly, but on the national level it will come and go quickly. The result is that only the terrible cases resound in the minds of the public and the conversation becomes "but what can we do about these horrible tragedies?" since the cluster fallacy of thinking that all shooting scenarios ends in carnage. They think that because they only remember the loud stories that gave them that impression. The lack of mentioning something is as powerful on the mind as mentioning something loudly. It's not because of a conspiracy (probably), but because of prosaic dollars and cents. The balance of the discussion ends up thrown off by lack of media buzz around 'non-starter' disasters. How many times have you heard of local flood stories, where the story is that the special new flood barriers...held? No, you'll only hear when they fail, and then people are left wondering why mankind is so helpless against floods.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on March 23, 2018, 09:57:35 AM
Is this a response to me? I didn't say anything about a conspiracy to suppress facts. I said that SINCE the media only cares about scary and shocking news (5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT PARKLAND...YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT COMES NEXT!!!) that they are going to over-report things that are either horrendous things, general failures, or else, as you said, basically regurgitate memes.

Except that isn't the case.  There a plenty of gruesome events that they don't cover because it doesn't fit their meme.  More gun deaths everyday from inner city crime that they ignore because it doesn't sell the right message (and if you want to argue they are "too common" to cover, maybe you could explain why the 6 news covers a car crash every day).

The media is only interested in narratives.  That hasn't historically been quite as graphic, but the 24 hour news cycle has massively increased the push to sell a story rather than report an event.  The bias comes in from journalists being overwhelming from the left. 

An even more recent change is that journalism schools have started to push the idea that reporting the news is doing a doing a disservice, that it's part of the ethical responsibility to make sure the person consuming the news is "correctly" interpreting it and not just forming their own "wrong" conclusions from the facts.  There's all kinds of pieces by the media chastising the media for not doing more to support candidates on the left.

I mean heck, there's a front page article on Fox today about Time putting the Parkland kids who are anti-gun activists on its cover while ignoring the equally activist kids who are pro gun.  That's nothing but a choice as the two sides have the same back story and relevance.

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But the fact that media companies jump on meme bandwagons doesn't also mean that they play no part in generating the buzz in the first place. It's like birds going after a downed hot dog. Sure, most of them are chasing because they see other birds chasing, but some of them actually saw the hot dog and went for it too. And some of the birds knew it was a hot dog but reported that is might be Italian sausage, and isn't the SPICY NEWS, and...ok sorry, this analogy derailed.

It's more like the way duck hunters use decoys in a pond to attract real ducks.  They're exploiting the instinct of the duck to assume there is safety where there's already another duck. 

If the media were neutral in what they chose to cover it'd be a hot dog, but they only want the ducks in the ponds they choose, regardless of what's best for the ducks, so it's a decoy.

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It's not because of a conspiracy (probably), but because of prosaic dollars and cents.

Then why is Fox the most watched?  Do you think the "Fox strategy" is a mystery that's uncrackable by the other networks?  If it was really about dollars and cents they would have copied and cloned the strategy (the networks do it all the time when another network comes up with a hit concept).  If were really dollars and cents, we'd have more Fox clones, instead we got MSNBC - which stayed on the air through truly dismal ratings (ie dollars and cents) years.

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The balance of the discussion ends up thrown off by lack of media buzz around 'non-starter' disasters. How many times have you heard of local flood stories, where the story is that the special new flood barriers...held? No, you'll only hear when they fail, and then people are left wondering why mankind is so helpless against floods.

Just so it's clear, I'm not discounting your point.  You're absolutely correct that these kinds of events bring extra coverage.  But when the chance to mix in political points is available is when the issue gets the wall to wall treatment over equally "juicy" stories.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 23, 2018, 10:17:24 AM
We really need better terms for these prominent stories.  While I instantly know what people mean when they call stories of violence and tragedies "juicy" or worse, "sexy" it still makes me a bit queasy.  And it's not even as if those are the first descriptors that pop to mind when I'm discussing them either. 

Even the way we talk about coverage of these incidents is *censored*ed up.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Fenring on March 23, 2018, 11:09:36 AM
Seriati, I agree with you that it isn't just enough to say that the media carries stories that sound exciting. They have other agendas, and some of them come right down from the top. But it's no surprise to me that certain kinds of stories are carried rather than others, and it's because of perceived ratings. And when parsing what ratings means, you have to remember that it's not just about viewers/clicks for a given story, but also about winning the overall market from your competitors. And part of that is hooking your viewers with narratives that appeal to them - or sometimes that you tell them appeals to them, which can result in the same. You're right that there are unreported horror stories, but it still doesn't require a conspiracy theory to suppose that they avoid focusing on those because it doesn't help them promote their company's brand. I mean, it's a conspiracy insofar as it's an agreed upon strategy, but it's not conspiracy to commit a crime, which is to say, to lie to people in order to further some third party's agenda. That might happen (I think it does), but we don't need to suppose it does to explain what these companies do.

DW, I agree that these terms are lewd to an extent. I was being sardonic when I used the word 'sexy' in reference to horror stories, but I'm sorry regardless that it caused you discomfort.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: D.W. on March 23, 2018, 11:20:45 AM
I'm confident I'm sometimes (and have been) guilty of the same in the past.  One of those things that is fine when you don't devote any processing power to.  Sorta like large swaths of my profanity vocabulary.  :P
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 23, 2018, 01:55:56 PM

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Quote from: Wayward Son on March 22, 2018, 06:45:56 PM
The bottom line, though, is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to assign the differences in coverage to the idea that the mainstream media is specifically trying to suppress the coverage of shooters who weren't taken out by other armed people.  I would find it very hard to reach that conclusion without a good running jump. :)

Is this a response to me?

No.

It's a response to the original claim I was responding to.

Excellent points Wayward.  I think it's safe if we just assume everyone is lying to us or misinformed or has an agenda and is telling only part of the story.  Or all 3 at once!

Well, it helps keep you on your toes. :)

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Why would you reach that conclusion?  [They're not] suppressing that story, they just have no interest in repeating it, it doesn't confirm their bias.

There influence is felt by increasing the push behind the first story.

It's also felt when they characterize as crazy the idea that arming responsible adults in a school can have a positive effect on turning a mass shooting into 'not a mass shooting' or 'a common occurrence that's not newsworthy.'  When the media sold an idea as crazy last week, and it literally happens the next, it should be part of the debate.

You can't eliminate bias from the media.  I won't deny there is some liberal bias in the mainstream media, and that some stories don't get as much emphasis and screen time as they might if the bias was more conservative.

And the idea of arming responsible adults was reported and is part of the debate.  You know about it; I know about it; we're debating it.  QED. :)  (And to clarify, "arming responsible adults" was not what was called "crazy."  As one news outlet said yesterday, having armed, trained security in schools has been around for years and no one is objecting to it.  What was characterized as "crazy" was the simplified idea that teachers should be armed.  As one very liberal teacher put it, Do you really want to give me a gun? (https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2018/02/23/do-you-really-want-to-give-me-a-gun/) :) )

What I stridently object to is the idea that the Texas Church shooting and this latest school shooting weren't reported as HUGELY and PROMINENTLY as the Parkland shooting only because it doesn't fit in with liberal bias.  Basically, that the mainstream liberal media is trying to suppress conservative memes purely because it disagrees with them.

What I'm trying to point out is that there are plenty of other reasons that these stories did not get the same prominence.  Objective reasons like the fact that there are many, many other small shooting that happen every day.  ("If we fill our report with this shooting where a single person was killed, what about the seventeen others today, and the twenty others tomorrow?  What makes this one so newsworthy?")  That there were more ancillary stories related to the shooting.  ("Students are protesting at the Florida legislature and meeting with the President.  We need to mention this was because of the Parkland shooting.)  Or mere logistics.  ("I know you want to follow up on this aspect of the church shooting, but there is an equally important story 50 miles away, and you're the only crew available.  You'll have to drop it and go.")  Or just the normal problems of choosing which stories to report.  ("First principles, people:  if it bleeds, it leads.")

To blame it all on liberal bias is to feed the paranoia that the NRA and others are trying to instill in this country.  "The media is against us!  Liberals are against us!  They want to take away all your guns!  For proof, look at how the media tried to squash the Texas Church shooting and this latest school shooting!  If they weren't against us, they'd report it just like the Parkland shooting!  QED!!"  (OK, maybe they don't say "QED." :) )  And this paranoia is one reason why we can't talk about reasonable gun control, like mandating background checks for all gun sales or blocking sales to people with a history of mental illness.  "Those new laws are a slippery slope to taking all your guns away!"

Only a tiny percentage of Americans want to outlaw all guns. (https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/guns-parkland-polling-quiz/)  And I understand the frustration of having your point-of-view not represented by the media as much as one thinks it should.  I'm frustrated that the gun problem we have in the United States, which are used to murder about 170 people each week, has been overshadowed by a shooting that killed a "mere" 17 people (as horrific as that is).  It feels like this tip of the iceberg has become the entire problem, and that if we somehow took off this tip, the iceberg would no longer be a problem. :(  But the media has its own problems, and just because it doesn't address our point-of-views doesn't mean it completely against them or actively trying to suppress them.  We can't expect them to jump when we want them do.  Nor can we believe that it is because they don't like us.
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Wayward Son on March 23, 2018, 04:08:44 PM
Oh, and speaking about why some people think arming teachers is a bad idea, read this essay on a twitter conversation by a certified firearms instructor on why is it a lot harder than it sounds. (http://www.stonekettle.com/)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: TheDrake on April 12, 2018, 02:31:41 PM
And here's another reason why arming teachers might not go so well.

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A teacher from the Florida high school where 17 people were shot dead two months ago has been arrested after leaving his gun in a public toilet.

Sean Simpson, 43, absentmindedly left the loaded weapon inside a cubicle, says Broward County Sheriff's Office.

It was found by a homeless man who fired a bullet into the wall before Mr Simpson snatched it from his hands.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher previously said he was open to the idea of arming teachers.

Mr Simpson told police on Sunday he realised he had left the legally registered pistol in the toilet at the Deerfield Beach Pier after hearing a single gunshot.

After running back to the bathroom, the science teacher encountered a homeless man holding the gun, who, he added, appeared drunk.


bbc (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43733755)
Title: Re: A comedy of failures and a mass shooting
Post by: Seriati on April 12, 2018, 02:59:48 PM
It's a funny anecdote, but there are millions of concealed carriers everyday who use the bathroom and manage not to leave a gun laying around.