Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why 'being right' isn't good enough for them - a cut-out-and-keep guide

Nate has been debating with me in a very measured way on the issue of gun control over recent threads, but nevertheless a point was still reached in the last thread that seems to have come round with uncanny regularity every time I've had exchanges with people who share his views. (Indeed, to adopt the cynical, inward-looking, in-joke-rich vocabulary so beloved of the posters over at Kevin Baker's blog, I could perhaps say that this represents the standard stage #17 of the life-cycle of any encounter with the Baker Fan Club.) Nate had linked to an FBI study purporting to show that 108,000 crimes in a year were prevented due to the private ownership of firearms, and claimed that this disproves my suggestion that handguns have no meaningful function other than to kill and cause injury. I responded with a series of questions that went to the heart of the credibility of any conclusions that could be drawn from the study -

1) How many of the attempted crimes allegedly foiled were actually genuine? This is the most obvious question to ask about a self-reporting survey in which the respondents' word is simply "taken for it", ie. the figures do not appear to be based on police records or any other documentary evidence. As the supposed methods for foiling crimes include something as vague as "scaring people off" with a gun, it does not inspire huge confidence that the alleged crime victim will always have got to the point of objectively establishing that a crime is actually occurring - they may in some cases simply have convinced themselves that this was the case.

2) How many of the attempted crimes were serious and how many were petty? Obviously hugely significant given the claim that Nate is making - that 108,000 'crimes prevented' can be meaningfully weighed against 12,000 people per year murdered with a gun.

3) How many of these crimes could and would have been averted anyway, without the use of a gun? Again, this fundamentally challenges the credibility of the conclusions Nate feels able to draw from the report. It stretches credulity to suggest that a significant number of these 108,000 incidents would not have been stopped by another method - in the UK, members of the public without guns prevent both petty and serious crimes every day of the week.

4) How many of these alleged crimes would have been attempted had it not been for the prevalence of guns in American society? There is absolutely no meaning in suggesting that legal firearms helped you prevent a crime, if the general legality of firearms caused - either directly or indirectly - that crime to be attempted in the first place.

5) How many guns start off as legal but end up being held illegally? This is related to the above point, because if the wide legal availability of (and therefore demand for) guns leads to a massive increase in the number of illegal weapons in play for criminal purposes, it follows almost inevitably that a proportion of the 'crimes prevented' with guns would not have been attempted in the first place had a gun ban been enforced. This is one question that I actually found a partial answer to by reading other sections of the report Nate had linked to, and I think this extract speaks for itself -

"A major theme highlighted in a 1986 survey of incarcerated felons was that theft was an important means of obtaining firearms for those with criminal intentions: 32 percent of surveyed felons had stolen their most recently acquired handgun. Based on the NSPOF, an estimated 0.9 percent of all gun-owning households (269,000) experienced the theft of one or more firearms during 1994. About 211,000 handguns and 382,000 long guns were stolen in noncommercial thefts that year, for a total of 593,000 stolen firearms. Those estimates are subject to considerable sampling error but are consistent with earlier estimates of about half a million guns stolen annually."

6) How many of the 'crimes prevented' can be put down to the values of a paranoid, brutalised society which teaches its children that the next threat is always round the corner, and that 'freedom' can only be won down the barrel of a gun? This is obviously a more intangible point, but it's nevertheless important because Kevin Baker in particular has spoken at great length about how differences in culture can massively affect outcomes in terms of crime. The weaponisation of society is clearly a significant factor in the prevailing culture, thus offering another plausible reason for theorising that a gun ban could have ensured that many of these crimes would not have been attempted in the first place - further calling into question Nate's assumption that these were 108,000 incidents that would have been crimes had a gun ban been in place.

7) How many people were unnecessarily killed or injured by someone 'defending themselves'? This is a question that particularly troubles me given the rather broad definition of legal killing the US authorities seem to use.

8) How many guns being used for defensive purposes have been wrested away and used by an attacker? In these instances people arming themselves with a gun have simply put themselves and others in far more danger.

9) How many accidental shootings have there been from guns that were used carelessly, or not stored properly? Not related to crime, but these numbers would clearly offset any benefit Nate is claiming from gun legality.

10) How many suicidal people have found a quick and easy way out due to having a gun handy, when otherwise they might have stopped to think for longer and found a better solution? Similar to number 9, and again I actually found an answer to both of these questions in the report -

"Of 1,356 accidental deaths by gunshot in 1994, 185 involved children 14 years old and younger. For each such fatality, there are several accidental shootings that cause serious injury. Guns were also the means of destruction in 19,590 suicides, 210 involving children 14 or younger."

In other words, twice as many deaths by gun in these categories than even the sky-high homicide-by-gun rate.

All of these questions are, I think, perfectly logical, and to be frank it's not possible to make much sense of the study without answers to them. But although Nate (to be fair) addressed some of them later, his first reaction was instead to call into question my reasons for asking them -

"What I see is a lot of sound and fury to try to rationalize away a dangerous study that would tear a hole in your core belief than guns are useless tools of thugs and murderers. In your haste to protect victims of gun violence, you try your best to ignore the many examples of people who protected themselves with guns. Again, you can't just sweep them under the rug.

Although I myself am not of this mindset, this is why people accuse you of impure motives: you sympathize with the victims of gun violence but not with the ones who failed to become victims because they protected themselves with a gun. You exhibit herculean effort to convince yourself that all the people who protected themselves with guns are non-existent, incorrect in their judgement that they needed guns, or just made things worse."


Now again, to be fair to Nate, this is a model of impeccably measured debating compared to what I've experienced from many (probably the majority) of Kevin's disciples. However, the content does follow a very familiar pattern - what I'd call the "why isn't being right good enough for us?" pattern, in honour of one of Kevin's trademark cries at moments of particular self-awareness-deficiency. What tends to happen is that the individual in question produces a piece of statistical evidence purporting to show that more guns save lives, or that gun bans fail to save lives, or whatever. Having done so, they declare the matter proved beyond doubt, and sit back to admire their handiwork. When legitimate objections are then raised about the credibility of that evidence, or questions posed about whether it really proves what is claimed of it, the response is not to engage with those questions or supply answers, but instead to indignantly insist that the point has been proved and to assign some significance to the fact that I have not simply conceded this 'indisputable' truth. In Nate's case, he is merely suggesting in his measured way that I am a little blinkered, but unfortunately the more common reaction is screams of "Liar! This proves that he's not arguing in good faith", etc, etc. To be fair, this reaction is in a way not surprising, because there is presumably a great deal of emotional investment in statistics which they badly want to believe constitute unchallengeable proof. But that doesn't make the response any more legitimate.

I went on to point out to Nate that my basic proposition is a very simple one - that the UK has a gun crime rate that is vastly lower than America's, and a general homicide rate that is also much lower. The suggestion from the other side is not merely that our much stricter gun laws have got nothing to do with that (which would be startling enough), but that they are in fact somehow putting us in more danger. That is an almost jaw-dropping, logic-defying belief to hold, and there's a saying in scientific circles that extraordinary claims require extraordinary levels of proof. Frankly, what has been on offer so far hasn't even met the standards of ordinary proof - in almost every case, holes can be found very easily. For instance, Kevin often prays in aid an alleged "convergence" between the British and American murder rates, in spite of the tightened UK gun laws in recent years. He reacts with utter incredulity when it's pointed out to him that this trend might well be caused by other variables that have nothing to do with the gun laws, and that indeed it's perfectly conceivable that the gun crime rate would now be higher still in the UK had it not been for the bans. Frankly, his response is astonishing - for how else can he possibly explain away the much higher baseline gun crime and homicide rate in the US as compared to the UK other than by assuming that these other variables must be hugely important determinants of crime rates? It's nothing short of magical thinking on an industrial scale to present to the world the proposition that Britain's historically lower gun crime/homicide rate has nothing at all to do with gun restrictions, and yet that the supposed current (and very limited) 'convergence' between the two countries somehow must have absolutely everything to do with gun restrictions.

So I'd offer this advice to the KBFC - if you're determined to base your case largely on statistical evidence and want it to be taken seriously by those who do not hold your views (whether opponents or neutrals), stop reacting to legitimate questions with mockery, indignation or outright anger, and instead start answering them. You are the ones that have made the extraordinary claim that your philosophy is literally provable beyond doubt - well, even providing some ordinary proof for that extraordinary claim would be a start. That means proof that will stand up to scrutiny, not assertions that can only be defended with synthetic indignation, mockery or outright abuse. For the record, most of the questions I asked about the FBI study remain unanswered, although as I said Nate did tackle some of them -

- Gun suicides: 19,895/year (and yet Japan has more than 30,000 suicides with virtually no guns)
- Accidental deaths: 731/year
- Unnecessary killings in the name of self defense: included in homicide.
- Legal weapons becoming illegal: I don't particularly care. It is my belief that if someone wants something illegal enough, they will get it. Heck, drugs are totally banned in this country and it hasn't helped a darn thing; any teenager can get whatever he wants. I believe it's the same with guns.


I'm glad he didn't make the direct claim that Japan's suicide rate proves that easy availability of guns is not a problem, as of course that conclusion would not be supportable. There are many variables that affect the suicide rate - the pertinent question is, would the US suicide rate be lower if suicide wasn't made so easy for so many? Could a chunk of those 20,000 deaths be prevented by simple gun control legislation?

The point about unnecessary killing in the name of self-defence being included in the homicide figures is in my view totally unsatisfactory. We've talked at great length about the tragic case of Andrew de Vries, the Aberdonian businessman who knocked on the back door of a house in Texas in 1994 to seek help, and was shot dead by the homeowner who mistook him for a burglar. This was clearly an unnecessary killing in the name of self-defence, and yet it was not included in the homicide figures. It would not surprise me at all if there are many other cases that would fall into the same category.

Nate's most complacent response is of course on the issue of legal weapons that become illegal, and the shocking figures on the theft of legally-owned firearms are testament enough to that.

Finally, Nate also raised a specific question on the previous thread about Switzerland - I can do no better than quote from Political Betting the words of Nick Palmer, until very recently the Labour member of parliament for Broxtowe, and (I believe) a former Swiss resident...

"On Switzerland, the position is not quite as implied by Plato and Richard Dodd above. It’s true that males of military service age are reservists and expected to keep a rifle at home. However, it is illegal for them to store ammunition for it - this would be issued to them in emergency. Despite that, the proportion of murders that are committed with guns is significantly higher in Switzerland than in most other countries in Europe, presumably because it’s easier to get ammo in Switzerland than an illegal gun elsewhere. Becuase crime rates in Switzerland are in general very low anyway, the rate of gun murders doesn’t stand out, but it’s clearly proportionately higher.

Coming closer to home, the death rate in Nottingham from crime has dropped heavily since the 5-year sentence for carrying handguns was introduced. While gang members have taken to carriyng knives instead, the rate of collateral killing in gang clashes has fallen (because you can’t kill a lot of people at once with a knife).

I don’t think there’s much doubt that widespread availability of guns produces more gun crime. Whether you conclude that tighter restictions of gun ownership should follow is a separate argument, but it evades that argument to suggest that there is no effect."

38 comments:

Kevin said...

I'm glad he didn't make the direct claim that Japan's suicide rate proves that easy availability of guns is not a problem, as of course that statement would not be supportable. There are many variables that affect the suicide rate - the pertinent question is, would the US suicide rate be lower if suicide wasn't made so easy for so many? Could a chunk of those 20,000 deaths be prevented by simple gun control legislation?

That one's easy. All available evidence says "No."

But of course, this is just more "voodoo statistics" that you'll dismiss because it doesn't agree with your worldview, but I'm used to that.

Kevin said...

Oh, and please do keep writing on the overall topic! You said you found my last Überpost "incomprehensible". I'm not surprised. I'm sure you'll find the next one, a Part II of sorts, equally incomprehensible but I'll be quoting heavily from this latest rich vein of commentary in it, and I thank you for that.

Nate said...

I’d love to answer your post point by point, and I certainly could as I’m sure you’re aware, but there’s a general theme that I think I’ll address instead: the idea that nothing can really be proven.

This theme is best embodied your disdain for the phrase “literally provable beyond doubt.” Your dim view of statistics also seems to support my hypothesis as well. So I will ask you: do you believe that anything is provable beyond doubt?

James Kelly said...

Nate, to clarify a little further where I'm coming from -

1) Kevin very specifically challenged me to a debate about "philosophy" that would not be "about winning and losing". He and his followers were then brazen enough to suggest that I had "lost" the debate by default simply because I actually stuck to arguing about philosophy, rather than getting into the debased "let's fling statistics" around debate that Kevin actually had in mind.

2) Kevin and his followers repeatedly make the extraordinarily conceited claim that they have literally proved their philosophy beyond all doubt by means of statistical evidence. I have not made any such claim, and unless they want to back down from that, the onus is on them to justify it. That means providing slightly more meaningful responses when legitimate reasons are pointed out for why they have failed to prove what they claim, rather than routinely firing back with abuse or with the line "well, when have you ever produced statistical evidence for anything?"

The other thing I'd say for now is in response to something you said on the previous thread -

All I've ever said was that if the postulates of "more guns = more death" and "more gun control = more safety" were true from nation to nation, then they ought to be true within a nation as well.

It seems to me pretty clear that what you've been suggesting/implying goes a good deal further than that - that our stricter gun laws do indeed put us in more peril.

Ed "What the" Heckman said...

Nate,

In James' case I think the answer is pretty obvious. No amount of evidence will ever be enough to prove anything to him.

I've seen the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" phrase before. In every case, it has come from someone who has already been shown evidence that far exceeds the evidence for everything else in its category, and yet, it's still never enough. I've reached the point that when I see that phrase used, I pretty much understand it to mean "My mind is made up. Stop trying to confuse me with the facts."

(See James' claim that statistics which show that 1,187 murders were committed without guns in 2002 in the U.K. "doesn't even begin to prove" that people can and do commit murders without guns.)

In this case, it's not even an extraordinary claim (except in James' mind) that guns are useful for self defense. Furthermore, even legitimate extraordinary claims only require sufficient evidence to establish that the claim is the most reasonable explanation. (Occam's Razor)

Ed "What the" Heckman said...

In fact, notice how he uses "beyond all doubt" as his claimed standard for accepting Kevin's (and others') arguments. The problem is that this is an impossible standard. Absolutely nothing can reach this standard.

Can you prove that your life is real, and that you're not plugged into some Matrix-like artificial reality? It's wildly unlikely, but you cannot prove this isn't the case "beyond all doubt".

Can you prove that the universe didn't just pop into existence only 5 seconds ago and that all your memories are fakes, "beyond all doubt"? Again, no.

Can you even "prove" Rene Descartes' famous saying, "I think, therefore I am" beyond all doubt? Nope.

J.K. is confusing (and likely deliberately so) "high degree of confidence" with "beyond all doubt", then castigating us for not achieving what is literally impossible.

Weer'd Beard said...

I don't see why he's even bothering with this post.
http://www.weerdworld.com/2010/zealotry/

He's already admitted that he does not believe in lawful self-defense, and believes that any item or thing that can be abused to kill an innocent person should be banned.

Why did he even bother with the FBI study, as the core of the study is that Self Defense is lawful and acceptable, and restriction on items should only be done with great discretion.

Fundamental disconnect.

Of course I don't think James was being honest with me when he gave his answer. Just like he isn't being honest now.

Mike W. said...

I don’t think there’s much doubt that widespread availability of guns produces more gun crime.

Oh really? More "gun crime" sure, but OVERALL CRIME RATES drop. It should be obvious that less guns = less "gun crime" just as fewer horse & buggies = fewer horse & buggy accidents. What evidence do you have that the GUN is the factor?

If guns are the problem, as you so consistenly claim, then how could the U.S. murder rate drop so much at a time when firearms purchases are at an all time high?

facts prove you wrong, as they always do.

Call it the Obama effect. The murder rate dropped 7.4 percent nationwide last year, and the administration can enjoy some of the credit - but not for the reason you might think. Mr. Obama's election sparked a surge in gun sales, and, consequently, crime rates have plummeted.

In November 2008, a total of 450,000 more people purchased firearms than had bought them in November 2007. This is a more than 10-fold increase, compared with the change in sales from November 2007 over November 2006, which was only about 35,000. The average year-to-year increase in monthly sales in the past decade averaged just 21,000.

The long lines at the local gun stores continued well beyond the presidential election. From November 2008 to October 2009, almost 2.5 million more people bought guns than had done so in the preceding 12 months.


More guns and a huge drop in murder rates?! That's impossible in your world Mr. Kelly, yet in the real world it's happening.

Mike W. said...

Ah, and here's the link.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/7/obama-cuts-crime/

James Kelly said...

In fact, notice how he uses "beyond all doubt" as his claimed standard for accepting Kevin's (and others') arguments.

Er, no, Ed. Won't wash. Read what I actually said. That isn't my standard for Kevin - it's Kevin's own standard. It's an extraordinary claim for him to have made, but he's made his bed and he'll have to lie in it. If Kevin thinks his philosophy has been literally proved - to such an extent that he can say "why isn't being right good enough for us?" - then he'd better have a damn good answer when people point out the gaping holes and ambiguities in the evidence on which he bases that claim. But in many cases he doesn't even bother to seriously engage with the objections.

If guns are the problem, as you so consistenly claim, then how could the U.S. murder rate drop so much at a time when firearms purchases are at an all time high?

facts prove you wrong, as they always do.


Right on cue, Mike - that's a textbook example of the pattern of behaviour I was talking about. Produce a piece of statistical evidence, simply assert that it proves something and that the issue is settled, and then treat any subsequent denial of that settled 'fact' as a lie. No, Mike, a 7.4% drop in the murder rate coinciding with an increase in gun sales does not prove what you think it proves. Correlation is not causation. Try harder.

James Kelly said...

"He's already admitted that he does not believe in lawful self-defense, and believes that any item or thing that can be abused to kill an innocent person should be banned."

That's a downright lie and you know it. You did your Barbara Streisand on-off farewell routine last night - I suggest you entertain yourself elsewhere in future.

Mike W. said...

If guns are only for killing (as you claim) and more guns = more crime (as you claim) then what I just posted does actually prove your claims wrong.

As I said, facts prove you wrong as always.

What I just posted shows that what you claim is in point of fact NOT HAPPENING. But hey, feel free to keep denying plain reality. You'll continue to be proven wrong.

James Kelly said...

"What I just posted shows that what you claim is in point of fact NOT HAPPENING."

No, Mike. To even begin to justify that very silly sentence, you will have to find an example of me saying "if you increase the number of gun sales in the United States, the level of gun crime will not fall in the short term". Do you have such an example?

"You'll continue to be proven wrong."

In your head, absolutely, that's demonstrably unavoidable, but fortunately for me I have this foible of caring more about objective reality.

Weer'd Beard said...

"That's a downright lie and you know it. You did your Barbara Streisand on-off farewell routine last night - I suggest you entertain yourself elsewhere in future."

Snitty, right there!

Ok, so #1. What Did I say that was a lie?
#2. If I indeed lied, what was the meaning of your selected comment?
#3. With all your flips and dodges, why should anybody consider your statements to be honest?

BTW Whining and crying amuse me, so keep that bit up!

James Kelly said...

1. The sentence that I quoted - in its entirety.
2. What selected comment?


BTW - Other than to answer question 2, don't bother.

Mike W. said...

So then you admit that more guns = less crime here in the U.S., and that you're wrong.

Good. Perhaps you're learning.

James Kelly said...

"So then you admit that more guns = less crime here in the U.S., and that you're wrong."

Er no I don't, Mike, as I believe you know. The phrase you appear to have conveniently skipped over is 'correlation is not causation'. And you complain about the reading comprehension skills of others?

Mike W. said...

I have no doubt you're willing to apply that consistently.....

Oh right, you won't apply it to your ideology.

And yes, I understand completely what "correlation is not causation" means.

I don’t think there’s much doubt that widespread availability of guns produces more gun crime.

I'm hon

But I thought correlation did not equal causation?

James Kelly said...

"And yes, I understand completely what "correlation is not causation" means."

I'm delighted to hear it - which makes your failure to spot I'd said it (and the obvious significance of the fact that I did) even more incomprehensible. Anyone would think you're trying to play games or something.

James Kelly said...

New post : A challenge flunked.

Kevin said...

What, no comment on my "voodoo" suicide statistics?

I'm working on that next Überpost, James, but I'm certain you'll find it as "incomprehensible" as the last one.

And again, that'll be my fault somehow.

Mike W. said...

And again, that'll be my fault somehow.

Kevin, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him think....

I wonder if Mr. Kelly even read your 1st Uberpost?

James Kelly said...

Oh yes. There were two, and the act of reading them pretty much covered my spring 2009.

Mike W. said...

What, no comment on my "voodoo" suicide statistics?

Mine were ignored as well, but that's hardly surprising.

James Kelly said...

I acknowledge Kevin's suicide link on the new post, but my only mistake with you, Mike, has been not to ignore your drivel.

Mike W. said...

I posted a link, and quoted from it. I guess cited facts that completely destroy your position are considered "drivel."

I can hardly say I'm surprised, given your astounding ability to deny reality in order to maintain your failed, easily disproven beliefs.

Kevin said...

Oh yes. There were two, and the act of reading them pretty much covered my spring 2009.

That long! Did your lips get tired? ;-)

I acknowledge Kevin's suicide link on the new post

Acknowledging is not the same thing as "commenting on." Or were you unable to comprehend that one either?

Mike W. said...

Comprehension seems to be an ongoing problem for Mr. Kelly, even when we're intentionally dumbing it down for him.

James Kelly said...

I haven't had a chance to read it in full yet, Kevin, I've been too busy sleeping, mowing the lawn, eating, and responding to Mike W's moronic comments across multiple threads. And yes, it's the latter activity that seems to have taken up the most time. I will read it, I promise, but I hope you're not going to pretend that directing me to a ready-made post (and we'll see if the contents stack up) on just one of the ten topics makes the other nine magically disappear.

Mike W. said...

So, no response to my citation except to call my comments moronic. Just because I cite facts you find inconvenient does not make my comments "moronic."

Nice to see you have to resort to such drivel though. Would responding intelligently be all that hard?

Mike W. said...

stop reacting to legitimate questions with mockery, indignation or outright anger, and instead start answering them.

You assume, incorrectly, that they are all legitimate questions.

Hell, your claim that violent criminals would refrain from committing crimes if not for the legality of firearms is so illogical it's laughable.

The same can be said for your discussion of suicide. Do you have proof of a causal relationship between gun ownership and suicide?

Murder, rape, robbery, burglary etc. etc. have occurred throughout human (and U.S.) history. These predatory acts did not suddenly begin happening after guns came into the picture. They would not cease to occur in your "gun-free" utopia, assuming for the sake of argument that such a goal is even attainable (which the UK shows us it is not)

James Kelly said...

Shall I point out the obvious at this point for slow learners? That suggestions that a gun ban might not result in "utopia", "perfection", "paradise", "peace" and "nirvana" is (whisper it gently in case Unix-Jedi is listening) just a wee bit of a straw man argument?

It was only a couple of days ago that I pointed out to Nate that the UK is undoubtedly a more dangerous place than it was thirty years ago. (Still a hell of a lot safer than the US, of course...)

Mike W. said...

Kevin, it would appear James is still unable to comprehend and provide reasoned counterpoints to issues raised in this thread.

His avoidance is impressive and speaks volumes as to the strength of his positions.

And James, how could the UK be more dangerous than it was 30 years ago? You anti's keep claiming that gun control is necessary for "public safety." Are you actually admitting what we already know, that gun control has been an abject failure in the UK?

James Kelly said...

YET AGAIN, Mike, you are tediously going through the motions of asking me a question you have already seen me answer IN TERMS. The answer was, is, and will remain, NO.

Jerry The Geek said...

"[J]aw-dropping, logic-defying belief" is it?

James, your ten-point questionnaire would have more validity if you would do the research and find the answers to the questions you pose.

I once had an extended discussion with a British policeman who described himself as the "ASBO Monger". He was proud of the number of Anti-Social Behavior Orders he had handed out. I asked why he didn't just arrest the Bad Boys (Yobs) on the first offense; that just isn't they way you do things.

The "ASBO Monger" was determined to make the case (as you did) that Britain has fewer firearms-related deaths than does America.

Well, duh. Americans are allowed to protect their persons, their property, and their families. Brits are not. That doesn't mean that Britain has fewer assaults; they don't, they have more. The assaults are less likely to result in a death.

Instead, the home-owner is likely subject to a beating, or stabbing, because the YOB has a plan, and a knife or a club, and the victim has no weapon. The YOB plan is to kick ass until the victim is a bloody mess on the floor.

YOBs don't HAVE to kill anybody to have their way, though it doesn't much bother them if they do. Consequently, the British Government has decided to resolve the situation by making it illegal for people to have knives. That's good, clear thinking.

And if a British subject chooses to defend himself, he is MORE likely than the aggressor to spend serious jail-time than the YOB who attacked him. Compare "Deaths by firearms" with "violent assaults" here and there. I found it meaningful. But I won't give the citations. You have the onus of proving your point.

Americans don't typically treat YOBs gently. We have them, but the resolution is preferably Darwinian.
As you can see from the example of "the tragic case of Andrew de Vries", the response to crime in America is more inclined to the protection of the rights of the victim than to the rights of the guilty. De Vries was trespassing, aggressive and intrusive. Folks here are more respectful, or they are considered a bad health risk and treated appropriately.

The cultural dissonance is that you treat it as a tragedy that which should have been avoided given a more understanding attitude on the part of the home-owner.

We treated it as a tragedy because the aggressor was a dork.

Nice people don't climb our fence and pound on our back door in the middle of the night. Fences are to keep good people out; a gun is used to deal with not-good people. Folks who don't respect fences do not meet to our standard of behavior.

I'm sure you won't acknowledge "The Castle Defense". Heck, you don't even spell it right. "Defence"? Who the heck taught you to spell? Or how to act?

Not the ASBO Monger. He is teaching your YOBS that if they are aggressive and rude nothing particularly bad will happen to them. Do you start out to be idiots? No, you are training yourselves that way

Americans don't always do a better job of bringing up our children, but at least we haven't institutionalized the idea of raising idiots. Expect for politicians.

You think you have a better culture than do Americans, because you have fewer "gun deaths". Is that per-capita, or per assault?

Are your children more often murdered for their cell-phones, or for their sneakers, than ours?

That's a better measure of the deadliness, and the violence, of our respective societies.

And that is my "One-Point List of Questions" which may better go "to the heart of the credibility of any conclusions that could be drawn from the study".

Summation: studies and conclusions are based on statistics. You can tweak statistics to suit you conclusions.

I don't like your conclusion, I don't think you have proved it, and I challenge you to answer your own questions.

Mike W. said...

Jerry - To be fair some of Mr. Kelly's "incorrect" spellings (defence for example) are the correct British spellings

Mike W. said...

YET AGAIN, Mike, you are tediously going through the motions of asking me a question you have already seen me answer IN TERMS. The answer was, is, and will remain, NO.

Actually I've asked several different questions. Some you have answered incorrectly & insufficiently, others you have ignored because they are fatally damaging to your ideology.

James Kelly said...

"You think you have a better culture than do Americans, because you have fewer 'gun deaths'. Is that per-capita, or per assault?"

Per capita.

"Are your children more often murdered for their cell-phones, or for their sneakers, than ours?"

No.

"Who the heck taught you to spell?"

A teacher who didn't make mistakes.

Hmmm, that was a remarkably stress-free grilling. Incidentally, who taught you to be so unintentionally funny?

(PS - You spelled 'sneakers' incorrectly. The correct spelling is t-r-a-i-n-e-r-s.)