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Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Dec 14, 2012 - 04:18pm PT

Eleven facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States
Posted by Ezra Klein on December 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm

When we first collected much of this data, it was after the Aurora, Colo. shootings, and the air was thick with calls to avoid “politicizing” the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for “don’t talk about reforming our gun control laws.”
Let’s be clear: That is a form of politicization. When political actors construct a political argument that threatens political consequences if other political actors pursue a certain political outcome, that is, almost by definition, a politicization of the issue. It’s just a form of politicization favoring those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun control laws.
Since then, there have been more horrible, high-profile shootings. Jovan Belcher, a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, took his girlfriend’s life and then his own. In Oregon, Jacob Tyler Roberts entered a mall holding a semi-automatic rifle and yelling “I am the shooter.” And, in Connecticut, at least 27 are dead — including 18 children — after a man opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
If roads were collapsing all across the United States, killing dozens of drivers, we would surely see that as a moment to talk about what we could do to keep roads from collapsing. If terrorists were detonating bombs in port after port, you can be sure Congress would be working to upgrade the nation’s security measures. If a plague was ripping through communities, public-health officials would be working feverishly to contain it.
Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. But that’s unacceptable. As others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t “too soon.” It’s much too late.
What follows here isn’t a policy agenda. It’s simply a set of facts — many of which complicate a search for easy answers — that should inform the discussion that we desperately need to have.

1. Shooting sprees are not rare in the United States.
Mother Jones has tracked and mapped every shooting spree in the last three decades. “Since 1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii,” they found. And in most cases, the killers had obtained their weapons legally:

2. Eleven of the 20 worst mass shootings in the last 50 years took place in the United States.
Time has the full list here. In second place is Finland, with two entries.

3. Lots of guns don’t necessarily mean lots of shootings, as you can see in Israel and Switzerland.
As David Lamp writes at Cato, “In Israel and Switzerland, for example, a license to possess guns is available on demand to every law-abiding adult, and guns are easily obtainable in both nations. Both countries also allow widespread carrying of concealed firearms, and yet, admits Dr. Arthur Kellerman, one of the foremost medical advocates of gun control, Switzerland and Israel ‘have rates of homicide that are low despite rates of home firearm ownership that are at least as high as those in the United States.’”

4. Of the 11 deadliest shootings in the US, five have happened from 2007 onward.
That doesn’t include Friday’s shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. The AP put the early reported death toll at 27, which would make it the second-deadliest mass shooting in US history.
5. America is an unusually violent country. But we’re not as violent as we used to be.
Kieran Healy, a sociologist at Duke University, made this graph of “deaths due to assault” in the United States and other developed countries. We are a clear outlier.

As Healy writes, “The most striking features of the data are (1) how much more violent the U.S. is than other OECD countries (except possibly Estonia and Mexico, not shown here), and (2) the degree of change—and recently, decline—there has been in the U.S. time series considered by itself.”

6. The South is the most violent region in the United States.
In a subsequent post, Healy drilled further into the numbers and looked at deaths due to assault in different regions of the country. Just as the United States is a clear outlier in the international context, the South is a clear outlier in the national context:

7. Gun ownership in the United States is declining overall.
“For all the attention given to America’s culture of guns, ownership of firearms is at or near all-time lows,” writes political scientist Patrick Egan. The decline is most evident on the General Social Survey, though it also shows up on polling from Gallup, as you can see on this graph:

The bottom line, Egan writes, is that “long-term trends suggest that we are in fact currently experiencing a waning culture of guns and violence in the United States. “

8. More guns tend to mean more homicide.
The Harvard Injury Control Research Center assessed the literature on guns and homicide and found that there’s substantial evidence that indicates more guns means more murders. This holds true whether you’re looking at different countries or different states. Citations here.

9. States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.
Last year, economist Richard Florida dove deep into the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths. The disclaimer here is that correlation is not causation. But correlations can be suggestive:

“The map overlays the map of firearm deaths above with gun control restrictions by state,” explains Florida. “It highlights states which have one of three gun control restrictions in place – assault weapons’ bans, trigger locks, or safe storage requirements. Firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control legislation. Though the sample sizes are small, we find substantial negative correlations between firearm deaths and states that ban assault weapons (-.45), require trigger locks (-.42), and mandate safe storage requirements for guns (-.48).”

10. Gun control, in general, has not been politically popular.
Since 1990, Gallup has been asking Americans whether they think gun control laws should be stricter. The answer, increasingly, is that they don’t. “The percentage in favor of making the laws governing the sale of firearms ‘more strict’ fell from 78% in 1990 to 62% in 1995, and 51% in 2007,” reports Gallup. “In the most recent reading, Gallup in 2010 found 44% in favor of stricter laws. In fact, in 2009 and again last year, the slight majority said gun laws should either remain the same or be made less strict.”

11. But particular policies to control guns often are.
An August CNN/ORC poll asked respondents whether they favor or oppose a number of specific policies to restrict gun ownership. And when you drill down to that level, many policies, including banning the manufacture and possession of semi-automatic rifles, are popular.

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Dec 14, 2012 - 04:20pm PT
"I own guns and believe in our right to have them, but the small penis, gun fetish, self centered as#@&%es who support the NRA and it's goal to resist background checks, high capacity magazines, easy access to assault weapons, and the like should take a good look in the mirror and realize they are helping make sure psychos can get these weapons."


Enter the 'slippery slope' retort from the gun-nutz...




Boulder climber
Dec 14, 2012 - 04:23pm PT
"My bud Jeff and I and his Apache gunship that has turned people in to pink spary with his awesome chain cannon.
And yes we are gun nuts!!It's a Wyoming thing.
Got terrorists? Not much crime in the hood or the state for the matter. BECAUSE WE ALL HAVE FIRE ARMS.Well not all but a lot. Lots of laws on the books regarding guns already. It also should remain a state thing keep the fed out of it."

yea, dogtown is obviously a sackless deranged idiot. I really liked how he ended with the whole separation of powers argument though. It showed his willingness to listen to other ignorant f*#ks who have no idea about constitutional law issues. Nice job dogtown, you f*#king moron!

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Dec 14, 2012 - 04:39pm PT
It was interesting how during the hiatus from horror this thread kind of became a circle jerk for bullet buddies. Now with the the Carnage D'Jour the otherside can again be heard above thin din of reloading.

Weapons: Of the 139 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally. The arsenal included dozens of assault weapons and semiautomatic handguns. (See charts below.) Just as Jeffrey Weise used a .40-caliber Glock to massacre students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did James Holmes (along with an AR-15 assault rifle) when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater.

The "If guns are outlawed only Outlaws will have guns" Mantra is nothing but NRA propaganda and hyperbole. It does not need to be so easy to get assault weaponry and high capacity magazines. There is not a single logical reason to have those kinds of weapons in the hands of your average Joe the Plumber. If you choose to believe you need that kind of fire power to protect your life guess what you are all ready dead. Nothing but a souless husk of fear and defeat.

How about this as a compromise; Anyone can get a concealed weapon carry permit provided they are prohibited from wearing clothing.
nick d

Trad climber
Dec 14, 2012 - 04:46pm PT
When that guy in Virginia killed several of his fellow students it was found that he'd been under psychiatric care for his rage and anger issues.

In response to that information one of the top guys in the NRA said that even crazy people had inalienable gun rights and should face no restrictions.

That's why I hate the NRA and their no compromise on anything stance. They are an anti-government, anti-American group.

I said before we need reasoned discourse, but most pro-gun types are not capable of reason.

I personally feel that someone who feels they must be armed 24/7 is by definition somewhat paranoid, and that describes most of the NRA types.

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Dec 14, 2012 - 04:55pm PT
Supreme Court Justice Scalia said he believes the 2nd Amendment gives the right to own any kind of weapon they can physically carry "on their person", grenade launchers, etc

Oh I so gotta get me sum GrrrrNades I'd feel so safe.
'Cause nuttin says back off like a guy on a bad hair day with a GrrrrNade in one hand and the pin in the other.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#278340
GrrrrNades don't kill.
Pulling the pin does.

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Dec 14, 2012 - 04:56pm PT
In response to that information one of the top guys in the NRA said that even crazy people had inalienable gun rights and should face no restrictions.

Source for that please?

Lake Tahoe
Dec 14, 2012 - 05:02pm PT
I deserve to lose? I am not the one who is committing the evil.

We have a long standing tradition in this country of punishing the innocent to try to stop 100% of the guilty. The court system is the only place where the guilty go free in order to protect the innocent and even then, it doesn't always work so well. Outside of court, lawmakers are always making things hard for law abiding citizens in order to get re-elected... I mean in order to stop crime.


Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Dec 14, 2012 - 06:00pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#278346

"Tyranny of Dogma alive and well".

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 14, 2012 - 06:02pm PT
Waiting for the NRA spin on this one.....I see this as a tipping point.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 14, 2012 - 06:05pm PT

Hey jahil, yeah lets give this sicko the posthumous thrill of disarming a free nation.

Sport climber
Dec 14, 2012 - 06:49pm PT
It's sad what happened. you can take the gun away from the person, but you can't take the evil.

They could of easily suicide bombed the place. Killers like to see the fear in people before they kill them. Sure, using a gun was easier than using a knife. But it was going to happen either way.

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Dec 14, 2012 - 06:59pm PT
The most depressing thing about today is that it won't change anything.

This "enforce existing laws" and "guns don't kill people" drives me mad.

Existing laws are a joke, barely enforceable even after the fact. I can buy any gun I choose, as many as I like, then sell them all to whoever I want. If one of those guns turns up killing a cop or a bunch of kids, I just say "I lost them", and unless the cops can prove otherwise, I walk.

I won't even comment further on the idiocy of "guns don't kill people".

At this stage nothing will dramatically fix the problem, but sensible ownership restrictions, and laws that mandate responsible ownership would be a huge start that doesn't infringe on anyone's fundamental rights. Maybe over decades we could slowly reverse the trend. If we could reduce gun deaths by just 1%, there would be 150 lives saved every year, and thousands of horrific injuries avoided.



Social climber
London, Paris, WV & CA
Dec 14, 2012 - 07:00pm PT
Toker Villan:
Interesting juxtaposition of dictators and patriotism.

This is nothing to do with either, its about how a society chooses to co exist and regulate itself.
What happened in CT shows there is no place for unrestricted weapons in our society.


Trad climber
Dec 14, 2012 - 07:04pm PT
The most depressing thing about today is that it won't change anything.

I'm not sure that's true. Yesterday I'd have said there would be no talk of gun legislation this term. Once the "Cliff" is settled though, I think we're going to start seeing some changes.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Dec 14, 2012 - 07:17pm PT
Yes....I do believe we have reached a tipping point.

Dec 14, 2012 - 07:22pm PT
In the recent Oregon shooting the kid had stolen the gun. We have laws making theft illegal. Didn't slow him down at all.Doesn't slow folks down in Mexico. They have strict gun control so they buy or steal a gun from a cop or army person and put it in use immediately.

Texas, the other side of the border, his minimal gun laws, more guns (everywhere, it's Texas) and much less shootings.

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Dec 14, 2012 - 07:32pm PT
The question is what has changed?

Guns have been guns for the past 50 years...

What is causing otherwise young middle-class males to go out and kill as many RANDOM people as possible...

That's the question...

Somethin' aint right laws sure as Hell aren't going to fix

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Dec 14, 2012 - 07:34pm PT,b=facebook

Mike Huckabee: Newtown Shooting No Surprise, We've 'Systematically Removed God' From Schools

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) weighed in on the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, saying the crime was no surprise because we have "systematically removed God" from public schools.

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"

This line of reasoning isn't new for Huckabee.

Speaking about a mass shooting in Aurora, Colo. over the summer, the former GOP presidential candidate claimed that such violent episodes were a function of a nation suffering from the removal of religion from the public sphere.

"We don't have a crime problem, a gun problem or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem," Huckabee said on Fox News. "And since we've ordered god out of our schools, and communities, the military and public conversations, you know we really shouldn't act so surprised ... when all hell breaks loose."

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Dec 14, 2012 - 07:41pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#278357
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