(10-27-2015 03:00 PM)DocWils Wrote: If you combine the populations of Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia, you'll get a population roughly the size of the United States. The US had 23 times the gun deaths in 2010 compared to the rest of them. Do you think it's because Americans are more homicidal by nature? Or do you think it's because those guys have gun control laws? I should hope it is the latter.
The problem is that you're cherry picking your data.
Do the same analysis in the Western Hemisphere and the results will be dramatically different.
As to the reason why? Hard to tell. There's very little correlation with gun control laws and violent deaths. Many of the countries with strict gun control have high violence rates, too. Even if there were a correlation, which direction does the causality run? Do strict gun laws cause less violence, or does a high crime rate make citizens decide they need guns to protect themselves? If you lived in a place where you had unarmed friends and neighbors who have been attacked and killed, and the police aren't handling it, wouldn't you be a little more likely to want a gun of your own to protect you in your home?
(10-27-2015 03:00 PM)DocWils Wrote: A joint study published in March 2013 by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and Brady Centre to Prevent Gun Violence, showed ‘states with the most [gun control] laws had a 42 percent lower gun death rate than states with the least number of laws’. That may not be true today, given the pandemic of mass killings over the last two or three years. But I do not believe that had the victims been armed the outcome would have been much different. Instead, the question has to be how or why were the perpetrators so easily armed.
You lost this argument in the US when you mentioned anything with "Brady" in the name. We don't trust anything involved with the Brady hysteria.
There's no pandemic of mass killings. It's a tragedy when your loved one gets killed, whether it's a "mass" killing, an isolated incident of gun violence, a case of non-gun violence, or a drunk driver. We need to stop worshiping the school shooters in the media. It leads to more violence.
We need to handle the real, statistically significant causes of death. A school shooting or other hyped "mass killing" gets lots of press, but it's not even a blip on the chart of the murder rate. Each death is a tragedy. Let's not glorify certain murderers because it's good for the TV ratings. For every one who has been terrified or killed in a "mass" shooting, there are a hundred who've been equally terrified or even killed by a different violent situation, perhaps not even involving guns.
(10-27-2015 03:00 PM)DocWils Wrote: As a white coat type, my take on this in the US is that it is a public health issue now, like smoking, and no longer a rights issue. So long as my crowd are trying to patch up the holes, it will remain a health issue, and it should be handed over to the Surgeon General to advise on it. Just my two centimes worth, so don't shoot me for it.
We don't trust our government that much. Have you heard about the NSA, Edward Snowden, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, climate change denial, etc.?
The Surgeon General is a political appointee. They've actually done a pretty good job in the US, but they're subject to political pressure. The Tea Party in Congress would rip him to shreds. They'd destroy the US Department of Health and Human Services. If the Democrats are in control, they'd mandate a forgone conclusion that gun control is a good thing.
Even if gun control is a good thing, the US Surgeon General is not the one to make the decision. If the Surgeon General did produce a report concluding that gun control is a good thing, it would probably do more harm than good for the cause of gun control.
Remember, we're the country that let popular opinion make us back out of conversion to the metric system. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. (And the stupid is on both the pro and anti-gun advocates.)
The real problem I see with the Surgeon General making such a study is that they would cherry pick data and assumptions. For instance, how do you account for the deterrent value of an armed population of citizens? How many criminals would do violent home breakins, but refrain because of the risk of being confronted by an armed homeowner?