The Big Gun Control Thread

Not really following the thread, but here are some random statistics for the curious

CDC has mortality data here: page 81, table 18 for US in 2009
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nv...

Total firearm deaths: 31,347
Unintentional: 554
Suicide: 18,735
Homicide: 11,493
Undetermined: 232
Legal intervention / war: 333

Averaging a rate of about 10 per 100,000

"Firearm injuries (all intents) decreased 1.9% from 2008 to 2009. The age-adjusted death rate for firearm suicide did not change from 2008, whereas the death rate for firearm homicide decreased 5.0% in 2009 from 2008"

So we either got better at saving the life of firearm victims, or people became worse at aiming.

That poster does specify handguns, so I'm not sure if that is just for the imagery or if they were only counting handguns. There are old CDC charts, but at a glance the closest I am seeing to firearm deaths is homicide. From 1983 (randomly picked date) there were 20,191 deaths from homicide and legal intervention (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/lea...). Compare that to the 2009 chart where there were 18,977 non firearm homicides and 30,470 if we add in the 2009 firearm homicides. So if about 38% of 2009 homicides were gun related then in 1983 7,615 homicide deaths would have been due to firearms. Of course this assumes that the choice of murder weapons is consistent near 30 years later. And ignores accidental deaths and suicides. At the moment, firearms make up a little over half of all suicides (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suic...).

There is also this chart from the Washington Post which cites the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to give a recent comparison of firearm homicides across several countries

IMAGE(http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/files/2012/12/firearm-OECD-UN-data3.jpg)

DSGamer wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

IMAGE(http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/537505_518344698199071_1432841063_n.jpg)

None of those above countries have video games. Problem solved.

Umm... except Japan... who kind of brought us into a golden age for them... and all the rest.

Also, that has to be pretty old, it has "West Germany" listed.

Demosthenes wrote:

Also, that has to be pretty old, it has "West Germany" listed. :P

Yeah, it's a nostalgic look at how silly we used to be to embrace gun culture. What we were we thinking?

Jayhawker wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Also, that has to be pretty old, it has "West Germany" listed. :P

Yeah, it's a nostalgic look at how silly we used to be to embrace gun culture. What we were we thinking?

Well, given my past posts here, I'm not really trying to make a joke of the statistics, just the fact that we're wondering how old it is when there's a pretty clear indicator of the time period it came from. I get that there's population differences there in terms of total population, but that's still really sad. The chart after? Worse.

Demosthenes wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Also, that has to be pretty old, it has "West Germany" listed. :P

Yeah, it's a nostalgic look at how silly we used to be to embrace gun culture. What we were we thinking?

Well, given my past posts here, I'm not really trying to make a joke of the statistics, just the fact that we're wondering how old it is when there's a pretty clear indicator of the time period it came from. I get that there's population differences there in terms of total population, but that's still really sad. The chart after? Worse.

I was trying to joke with you, not at you. We're on the same page.

Jayhawker wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Also, that has to be pretty old, it has "West Germany" listed. :P

Yeah, it's a nostalgic look at how silly we used to be to embrace gun culture. What we were we thinking?

Well, given my past posts here, I'm not really trying to make a joke of the statistics, just the fact that we're wondering how old it is when there's a pretty clear indicator of the time period it came from. I get that there's population differences there in terms of total population, but that's still really sad. The chart after? Worse.

I was trying to joke with you, not at you. We're on the same page.

That's what smileys are for!

I just heard on a local news station here in NJ after they broadcast the moment of silence in Newtown a newscaster say that the killer had played Call of Duty and that "we may never know if that had anything to do with what he did" but that parents should take away violent video games from their kids. Unbelievable.

lostlobster wrote:

I just heard on a local news station here in NJ after they broadcast the moment of silence in Newtown a newscaster say that the killer had played Call of Duty and that "we may never know if that had anything to do with what he did" but that parents should take away violent video games from their kids. Unbelievable.

Do people not understand that these are RATED just like movies? Any study on video game violence is always going to have that caveat of "bought for them by someone over the age of 18". Hell, I have thick facial hair with neckbeard most of the year (wife prefers it that way), and I still get carded at 28 for M rated games.

20 years ago or 1992 was just about the apex of violent crime in America btw. It has been dropping rather steadily since then.

West Germany ceased to exist in 1990, so there's a hard limit on how recent that poster is.

lostlobster wrote:

I just heard on a local news station here in NJ after they broadcast the moment of silence in Newtown a newscaster say that the killer had played Call of Duty and that "we may never know if that had anything to do with what he did" but that parents should take away violent video games from their kids. Unbelievable.

Part of me wants to snarkily suggest that we restrict controller attachments for assault rifles.

The bigger part of me (and I'm pretty big) thinks that we're kind of in a position not entirely dissimilar to gun owners. We're not certain there's a link between a certain type of video game and acts of violence... but what if there is? (This is sounding more like Pascal's rumination on the existence of God.) OG_Slinger's call for us to step up applies.

We should tone down AAA games, at least, and observe the results. Or as an Alan Arkin character said, "Try not to kill anyone for a few days; see how it feels."

EDIT for clarity

Yeah, this has made me think as well. If they actually found a correlation between violent acts and FPS games, I'd be fine taking them off the market and never playing them again.

Tanglebones wrote:

West Germany ceased to exist in 1990, so there's a hard limit on how recent that poster is.

And yet the number of homicides remained fairly constant.

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

We're not certain there's a link between a certain type of video game and acts of violence... but what if there is? OG_Slinger's call for us to step up applies. (Actually, it's sounding more like Pascal's rumination on the existence of God.)

As I said upthread, if there is a link shown I will happily stop playing. However, I often play BF3 on servers in the UK, France, and Germany, and they don't see to have our problem with gun-related deaths despite playing the same video games.

Demosthenes wrote:

Hell, I have thick facial hair with neckbeard most of the year (wife prefers it that way)

Waaay off-topic: This, more than anything else, should provide hope for Boogle.

Funkenpants wrote:
H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

We're not certain there's a link between a certain type of video game and acts of violence... but what if there is? OG_Slinger's call for us to step up applies. (Actually, it's sounding more like Pascal's rumination on the existence of God.)

As I said upthread, if there is a link shown I will happily stop playing. However, I often play BF3 on servers in the UK, France, and Germany, and they don't see to have our problem with gun-related deaths despite playing the same video games.

Ditto, and this is why I suspect that pointing at violent videogames is primarily an attempt to find a scapegoat for gun violence.

However, I still am uncomfortable with children playing violent games, and do have concerns as to how it may affect them in the long-term.

In a surprising move, the NRA is now blaming rules banning guns in schools for the Newtown shooting, since psycho killers know the teachers aren't tooled up.

(Link is to WSJ liveblog of the NRA press conference on the shooting).

Mr. LaPierre says, "The only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and... the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun."

If you read the blog, it looks like the NRA waited a week before putting out the standard talking points it always puts out. Meh. Didn't really need a press conference for that.

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

The bigger part of me (and I'm pretty big) thinks that we're kind of in a position not entirely dissimilar to gun owners. We're not certain there's a link between a certain type of video game and acts of violence... but what if there is?

Compare that to the position gun owners are in though: every time someone goes on a shooting spree, guns are involved. Every single time. If we keep guns out of the hands of people who want to go on shooting sprees, we will stop 100% of shooting sprees.

Keep those two facts in mind: if we succeed, we are 100% guaranteed to prevent 100% of these tragedies. We're 100% certain about the link. That puts us in a much different position. Maybe we make some decision along the line where even thought we're not 100% of the connection and we're not 100% about prevention we decide to intervene at an earlier step of video games as opposed to the last step of the gun that is in the gunman's hand, but let's remember how little doubt there is about the connection between guns and gun violence compared to everything else people try to link to gun violence.

If violent video games don't have a negative effect on kids' thinking, why bother with a ratings system?

It's obviously not the same thing, but there's a similar kind of carelessness happening with people legally allowed to buy something giving access to people who aren't. But buying your underage kid a copy of CoD definitely doesn't carry the same kind of baggage as buying your kid a fifth of vodka either. ("It's what he put on his xmas list, so I just bought it! What do I know about games?")

Then something tragic happens and people get their knickers in a twist about guns and video games. Again.

lostlobster wrote:

Yeah, this has made me think as well. If they actually found a correlation between violent acts and FPS games, I'd be fine taking them off the market and never playing them again.

How about better enforcement on purchases made by underage folks with violent games? This still doesnt stop the older brother or brain dead parent from buying them, but it would help.

clover wrote:

If violent video games don't have a negative effect on kids' thinking, why bother with a ratings system?

It's obviously not the same thing, but there's a similar kind of carelessness happening with people legally allowed to buy something giving access to people who aren't. But buying your underage kid a copy of CoD definitely doesn't carry the same kind of baggage as buying your kid a fifth of vodka either. ("It's what he put on his xmas list, so I just bought it! What do I know about games?")

Then something tragic happens and people get their knickers in a twist about guns and video games. Again.

This may be for a different thread but that's just a sh*t excuse from a bad parent. At that rate they might as well give the kid a fifth.

Funkenpants wrote:

In a surprising move, the NRA is now blaming rules banning guns in schools for the Newtown shooting, since psycho killers know the teachers aren't tooled up.

(Link is to WSJ liveblog of the NRA press conference on the shooting).

Mr. LaPierre says, "The only way, the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and... the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun."

If you read the blog, it looks like the NRA waited a week before putting out the standard talking points it always puts out. Meh. Didn't really need a press conference for that.

I am wondering if NRA is impicitly proposing to fund all those solutions (armed guards, "security shields", cordons etc), or it assumes that the taxpayers should foot the bill? So, the solution seems to be to create a government program which will, as a byproduct, result in additional gun sales? Brilliant.

I have to agree with OG's harsh retoric: at this point, if you're supporting NRA, you're complicit with them and the mess which they are perpetuating.

clover wrote:

But buying your underage kid a copy of CoD definitely doesn't carry the same kind of baggage as buying your kid a fifth of vodka either. ("It's what he put on his xmas list, so I just bought it! What do I know about games?")

I might be off my rocker, but I kinda think that both of those actions should carry the same kind of baggage. I am pretty similarly appalled by both.

Silly me. I thought the NRA was actually going to have something intelligent to say...

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

I have to agree with OG's harsh retoric: at this point, if you're supporting NRA, you're complicit with them and the mess which they are perpetuating.

+1. Several people I follow on Twitter who were apparently NRA members have said they plan to resign their memberships over this and that this is the last straw. I suspect they are in the minority though. This organisation went off the rails a long time ago, now they're a few miles into the weeds and speeding up.

If he wants police coverage for every school to avoid a need for more gun control, why not tax gun and ammunition makers to cover the costs? Ammunition might go up to $8 a round, and an AR-15 might cost $27,000, but schools would be protected.

JC wrote:

Silly me. I thought the NRA was actually going to have something intelligent to say...

"Fool me once, and shame on you. Fool me many times a year for decades, and shame on me!"

clover wrote:

If violent video games don't have a negative effect on kids' thinking, why bother with a ratings system?

1) Because even if something doesn't have a negative effect on kids' thinking, it can have a negative effect on kids' feeling. Your kid might not grow up to be an ax murderer because they watched that horror movie when they were too young, but they might have nightmares for a week. In other words, protecting kids isn't just about protecting kids from what will cause them to grow up wrong. It's also about protecting them from things that will hurt them along the way. We don't just put kids in car seats to keep them from getting permanently injured, we put kids in car seats to keep them from being in temporary pain from an accident.

2) Because the negative effect might not necessarily be violence towards others. Maybe there are long-term negative effects, but maybe those effects are limited to how those kids treat themselves as opposed to other people. That makes this more like self-inflicted gunshot wounds and not like a massacre such as Newtown.

3) Parents sometimes define "negative effects" as not just those things we all agree are harmful. Some parents want to raise their kid to be a certain kind of adult and not another, even though both kinds of adults are considered healthy and okay. Maybe games like CoD aren't making our kids more violent. Maybe they're making our kids more comfortable with the military dropping bombs on people from Predator drones, though. Kinda complicates things, especially for conservatives: what if the effect of these games isn't to make kids more criminally violent, just more pro-military violence?

here's the big one: 4) People--especially parents and homeland security politicians--don't always do things because they are logical. They do things because they are (rightfully!) scared and a feeling of control is comforting. Doesn't necessarily mean a ratings system is evidence that children are being protected from a negative effect on their thinking. It is in large part, I think, to protect parents from their own negative feelings. I think it's also because parents experience their own form of peer pressure, where if they don't intervene they worry about other adults judging them to be bad parents. There's a lot of pressure on parents to appear to be 'in control' of their kids at all times and in all ways. The important word there being "appear."

It's obviously not the same thing, but there's a similar kind of carelessness happening with people legally allowed to buy something giving access to people who aren't. But buying your underage kid a copy of CoD definitely doesn't carry the same kind of baggage as buying your kid a fifth of vodka either. ("It's what he put on his xmas list, so I just bought it! What do I know about games?")

I don't think we're even close to being able to make the connections between CoD and a fifth of vodka when it comes to the health of children. We're closer to abstinence-only type thinking than we are to something like the thinking on the effects of alcohol, which is about hard medical science, not really fluffy pseudo-social science like we're seeing with these calls to go after video games.

Then something tragic happens and people get their knickers in a twist about guns and video games. Again.

How come no one talks about the connection between cars and video games? GTA and Burnout encourage kids to be reckless drivers, to even run over pedestrians. In 2009, ten states had more gun deaths than car deaths. As I read this chart, car and gun deaths over the last decade went from a high of about 15k back in 2000 to less than 5k in 2010. That decline lags behind the release of the GTA and Burnout games in a manner that is consistent with kids who played them as younger children getting their licenses. Why would a game where you are encouraged to shoot people contribute to gun violence, while a game where you are encouraged to use your car as a weapon is correlated with a drop in car deaths?

For what it's worth:

An NRA source tells Fox News its membership has surged by an average of roughly 8,000 new registrations a day since the massacre.

I heard a girl on NPR's Youth Radio program talking about how she thought more gun laws were a good idea because family members in her urban community were purchasing guns for their convicted felon relatives so they could protect themselves from other convicted felons with guns they ostensibly got from their relatives.

Jeez.

So, let me get this straight. Your relatives are engaging in straw purchases (a federal felony) so that they can shoot other folks whose relatives also engaged in felonious behavior out of "self defense" and you think the solution is more laws. Specifically, laws that would prevent ME from getting the firearms *I* would require to protect my life and livelihood from your crack-addled relatives.

Great.