December 14, 2012

Gun facts and fallacies

Why are mass shootings becoming more common?

By Brad PlumerOf the 12 deadliest shootings in U.S. history, six have taken place since 2007. (The Newton school shooting will likely rank second on that list.) Around the world, mass killings appear to be on the upswing—even as other types of homicides and violent crimes are becoming less frequent.Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States

By Ezra Klein8. More guns tend to mean more homicide.

9. States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.
Experience in other countries

Mythbusting: Israel and Switzerland are not gun-toting utopias

By Ezra KleinBoth countries require you to have a reason to have a gun. There isn’t this idea that you have a right to a gun. You need a reason. And then you need to go back to the permitting authority every six months or so to assure them the reason is still valid.A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths

In part by forbidding almost all forms of firearm ownership, Japan has as few as two gun-related homicides a year.

By Max Fisher
What is the role of guns in Japan, the developed world's least firearm-filled nation and perhaps its strictest controller? In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.

Almost no one in Japan owns a gun. Most kinds are illegal, with onerous restrictions on buying and maintaining the few that are allowed. Even the country's infamous, mafia-like Yakuza tend to forgo guns; the few exceptions tend to become big national news stories.
After a 1996 Mass Shooting, Australia Enacted Strict Gun Laws. It Hasn't Had a Similar Massacre Since

By Will OremusViolent crime and gun-related deaths did not come to an end in Australia, of course. But as the Washington Post’s Wonkblog pointed out in August, homicides by firearm plunged 59 percent between 1995 and 2006, with no corresponding increase in non-firearm-related homicides. The drop in suicides by gun was even steeper: 65 percent. Studies found a close correlation between the sharp declines and the gun buybacks. Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly. Meanwhile, home invasions did not increase, contrary to fears that firearm ownership is needed to deter such crimes. But here’s the most stunning statistic. In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass shootings in the country. There hasn’t been a single one in Australia since.More myths

Debunking the Myths About Guns

Five Lies The Gun Lobby Tells You

The 4 Most Meaningless Arguments Against Gun Control

Including a couple links on John Lott, the patron saint of junk gun "research":

Who Is Gun Advocate John Lott?Gun researcher John Lott has made numerous media appearances in the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. to argue against the enactment of gun violence prevention measures. While Lott uses his media platform to push a multitude of statistics--often from his own research--he has been thoroughly discredited as a serious academic researcher.Why is the media rehabilitating John Lott?In the early 2000s, his work fell into controversy for employing what some academic critics termed “junk science” and for various apparently fatal methodological flaws. Later, he was unable to prove the existence of a study central to his thesis. He was also caught using a fake “sockpuppet” persona to defend his work and attack his critics online. “In most circles, this goes down as fraud,” Donald Kennedy, the then-editor of the prestigious journal Science wrote in an editorial.For more on gun control, see Newtown Shootings Show America's Pathology and Time to Talk About Guns.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was thinking what? I know Israeli and Swiss excchange students. Both, upon hearing how guns are everywhere in their country (and how Israel is so wonderfully nonviolent) just looked at me with...I didn't know human jaws went that far down.