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The Brave One

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I saw this movie yesterday, and it's a little disturbing. I am totally opposed to vigilanteism, and I think the film sends the wrong message.

This is the kind of movie that will give people like Jubelum orgasms in his sleep. But it's unrealistic.

And she wasn't brave. A brave person would have picked themselves up and got on with their life without having to start shooting people.
post #2 of 41
I kinda thought so to.

Although i was cheering for her, i thought it was really bad at the end when even the cop let her.

It was like she went crazy.

Also the part where they justify the killing with the "my hands don't shake"
post #3 of 41
apparently jodie foster is a big-time lesbian. any thoughts?
post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

This is the kind of movie that will give people like Jubelum orgasms in his sleep. But it's unrealistic.

Was that really necessary? And you don't really know that much about me re:vigilantism, so once again, joose sticka to whatcha no, jes?
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post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

Was that really necessary? And you don't really know that much about me re:vigilantism, so once again, joose sticka to whatcha no, jes?

Well I don't know if you saw the movie, but at least with regard to the scenes in the convenience store and the subway, she did exactly what you're suggesting "responsible people" holding guns should do. In both scenes her life was threatened and she used her gun to defend herself.

My premise is that even if she died in either situation, the streets would be safer because there would be less gns on it. Life would have been less safe for her (and would have cost her her life in the convenience store) but safer for society as a whole, because there simply would have been fewer guns on the street.

It wouldn't have helped her in the subway (the assailant had a knife), but imagine if the convenience store perp simply couldn't buy a gun. Her life there wouldn't have been under threat to begin with, so she wouldn't have had to defend herself with deadly force.

Those scenes of "self defence" were the "gateway drug" to her (not for self-defence) vigilante attacks on the organized crime boss, the psychotic john and her fiance's murderers.

What I liked about the movie was that her fiance was a highly targeted minority. That kind of touch in films helps to dispel prejudice.
post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

apparently jodie foster is a big-time lesbian. any thoughts?

Good for her to follow her heart the way (whatever God she believes in) made it.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

My premise is that even if she died in either situation, the streets would be safer because there would be less gns on it. Life would have been less safe for her (and would have cost her her life in the convenience store) but safer for society as a whole, because there simply would have been fewer guns on the street.

I'm not interested in derailing your thread with a guns debate. Unless that's what you are looking for.
I find it tragic when innocent people die because they had no means of self defense. It's not a requirement, just an inherent right/option, to choose self defense. Some do, some don't.

I'm astounded that you think the streets are "more safe" because an innocent did not have a means of defense that could have saved their life. The streets were certainly safer... for the assailant. Victim dead, assailant not harmed. Another victory for "safety." And before you go there... don't bother coming back with the "Jubelum wants everyone armed" farce.

And since you didn't address it, nor ask for the facts, I am opposed to vigilantism... I only support direct, violent citizen action in cases where there is no way law enforcement can help in time to prevent the victim from becoming a victim. Then let the grand jury sort it out should that be necessary. We are a nation of laws, and people should rely on our admittedly flawed system to achieve justice.
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post #8 of 41
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Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Good for her to follow her heart the way (whatever God she believes in) made it.

Scandalous!
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

My premise is that even if she died in either situation, the streets would be safer because there would be less gns on it. Life would have been less safe for her (and would have cost her her life in the convenience store) but safer for society as a whole, because there simply would have been fewer guns on the street.

I haven't seen the movie and so I'm not addressing the specific situation, but I don't think people are safer if they have guns. I think it's at least debatable whether a society is safer when more law-abiding, sane, sober citizens have guns. I'm willing to at least consider the possibility that criminals may be less aggressive if they believe the potential victims have guns.

But it doesn't pass my plausibility test that you, individually, are safer if you have a gun. I think it's clear that the infinitesimal chance of protecting yourself with it is heavily outweighed by the increased risk of having it around. At least, that's true for normal people in normal situations. I can imagine that someone living alone (no family) in a super-high crime zone might be safer. But under normal circumstances, you are putting yourself and people close to you at greater risk, not less risk.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

apparently jodie foster is a big-time lesbian. any thoughts?

Or paranoid schizophrenic; Panic Room, Flight Plan and Brave One...it's alright Jodi, John Hickley Jr.'s never getting out. Make some good films and stop wasting your talent.
post #11 of 41
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Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

apparently jodie foster is a big-time lesbian. any thoughts?

What does that have to do with anything? How does one become a "big-time lesbian" anyway? You're just being juvenile.
post #12 of 41
As far as vigilanteeism is concerned (is "vigilanteeism" even a word?), all I can say is that Clint Eastwood was in several ass-kicking movies during the 60's and 70's. I haven't seen "The Brave One" so I can't comment, but generally I see nothing wrong with using a gun for self-defense. The more sensible question to ask yourself is whether or not you think counter-violence should be used in self-defense at all. In all the inescapable self-defense scenarios I can think of, in none is a basic gun much more powerful than a blunt object. An uzi, maybe.
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post #13 of 41
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Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I haven't seen the movie and so I'm not addressing the specific situation, but I don't think people are safer if they have guns. I think it's at least debatable whether a society is safer when more law-abiding, sane, sober citizens have guns. I'm willing to at least consider the possibility that criminals may be less aggressive if they believe the potential victims have guns.

But it doesn't pass my plausibility test that you, individually, are safer if you have a gun. I think it's clear that the infinitesimal chance of protecting yourself with it is heavily outweighed by the increased risk of having it around. At least, that's true for normal people in normal situations. I can imagine that someone living alone (no family) in a super-high crime zone might be safer. But under normal circumstances, you are putting yourself and people close to you at greater risk, not less risk.

It seems like this should be pretty easy to get stats on, but good luck on finding an unbiased source. My opinion is that gun accidents are pretty uncommon, and that you probably have a lot fewer burglaries in places that allow gun ownership, and a lot fewer rapes in places with concealed weapons permits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

apparently jodie foster is a big-time lesbian. any thoughts?

[homer voice]Mmmmm, lesbians![/homer voice]
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post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I saw this movie yesterday, and it's a little disturbing. I am totally opposed to vigilanteism, and I think the film sends the wrong message.

This is the kind of movie that will give people like Jubelum orgasms in his sleep. But it's unrealistic.

And she wasn't brave. A brave person would have picked themselves up and got on with their life without having to start shooting people.

Admin-

This would definitely qualify as one of your famed "personal attacks", no? Let's get some civility back here... for 5 minutes!

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post #15 of 41
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Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

a blunt object.

Unfortunately, there are state jail felonies waiting on the books here in Texas for possession/concealment of a club or other blunt force weapon. You cannot carry a knife over 5.5 inches, throwing stars, brass knuckles or any kind of club. And there is no permit to allow them on your person. In most cases, it is the cop's discretion.
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post #16 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

Unfortunately, there are state jail felonies waiting on the books here in Texas for possession/concealment of a club or other blunt force weapon. You cannot carry a knife over 5.5 inches, throwing stars, brass knuckles or any kind of club. And there is no permit to allow them on your person. In most cases, it is the cop's discretion.

How about a D-Cell Mag-Lite?
post #17 of 41
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Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

apparently jodie foster is a big-time lesbian. any thoughts?

Apparently there are big-time lesbians and gays everywere. Gasp! look behind you.
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post #18 of 41
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Originally Posted by tonton View Post

How about a D-Cell Mag-Lite?

If the officer defines it as a weapon, or has cause to believe it is/was used as such, it is a crime.

I have a five cell D maglite next to my bed- I'd prefer to knock someone out cold than to remove their vitals from the proper place inside their torso.

When I do go to check on a noise at night, I have the Maglite and the 45. I do not carry the maglite concealed in my vehicle on the advice of a LEO. It's hard to carry a large flashlight concealed, and if you carry it in the open without previous training, you are more than likely going to be beaten without your own flashlight.
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post #19 of 41
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Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

It seems like this should be pretty easy to get stats on, but good luck on finding an unbiased source. My opinion is that gun accidents are pretty uncommon, and that you probably have a lot fewer burglaries in places that allow gun ownership, and a lot fewer rapes in places with concealed weapons permits.

There's a ton of research on it, and I don't think the sources are biased (or any more biased than any other type of research), it's just that there are some people out there who will claim that any research that conflicts with their pre-existing opinion is biased.

I think you're right that accidents are a lot less common than most people imagine, and I'm at least willing to contemplate that crimes may be lower in places with more citizens carrying guns (but I haven't seen any evidence clearly showing this).

But my argument is that the conjoint probability of 1) being the target of crime and 2) effectively using a firearm to protect yourself is so small, that it is smaller than the risk of you or someone in your home otherwise being injured by your firearm, either by accident (admittedly, rare) or intentional infliction - homicide or suicide or other intentional injury. The gun people dismiss those as non-issues, but the fact is, people in families get in fights and get very angry sometimes, or get very depressed sometimes. Often enough that having a gun is a risk factor for death or injury, it is not a protective factor, by any standard usage of those terms.
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

But my argument is that the conjoint probability of 1) being the target of crime and 2) effectively using a firearm to protect yourself is so small, that it is smaller than the risk of you or someone in your home otherwise being injured by your firearm, either by accident (admittedly, rare) or intentional infliction - homicide or suicide or other intentional injury.

I agree with this, but actually defending yourself with a gun is not the main beneficial effect - it is the deterrent. In Washington DC, muggers are pretty free to attack anyone because they know for sure that nobody has a concealed weapon. In NC, it does not matter if you carry a concealed gun or not, a mugger will be a lot more hesitant to attack anyone. My gut feel is that the deterred crimes are way higher than any +/- stats from the actual gun usage or mis-usage (accidents), the actual use of guns is almost a side note in the real story.

I have never owned a gun, and only touched one twice in my life, but I am pretty sure that the uncertainty about "are there guns in that guys house?" makes my house safer from break-ins.
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post #21 of 41
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Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

... My gut feel is that the deterred crimes are way higher than any +/- stats from the actual gun usage or mis-usage (accidents), the actual use of guns is almost a side note in the real story.....

I think I've read stats before that show that muggings and similar types of crimes in areas that allow concealed weapons licenses. There are many variables at work, of course, but who knows -- it seems logical.
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post #22 of 41
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Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

I think I've read stats before that show that muggings and similar types of crimes [are less common] in areas that allow concealed weapons licenses. There are many variables at work, of course, but who knows -- it seems logical.

Yes, but I have no doubt that shootings are more common. I'd rather be robbed than shot.
post #23 of 41
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Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I'd rather be robbed than shot.

Unfortunately, it's not either/or. I'm sure we all would rather hand over or wallet or auto than be shot, that's the nature of someone using illegal deadly force against you. You miss the boat with the assumption that just because guns are illegal, that criminals will not have guns. Nothing could be further from the truth. Criminals do not care about your gun laws... they enjoy the advantage.

The presence of your own means of protection increases the likelihood that you *might* have some kind of say in the matter, perhaps being able to avoid being robbed and/or shot altogether. The criminal must also be willing to take the risk that by threatening to shoot you, he might get shot in the process.

If the perp wants to rob you/shoot you, you can try out those non-violent verbal negotiation skills and hope the criminal will listen to your pleadings.
If not, I guess that is just too bad- someone else will have unrestricted and ultimate power to decide your fate.

Be sure to ask nicely.
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post #24 of 41
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Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I have never owned a gun, and only touched one twice in my life, but I am pretty sure that the uncertainty about "are there guns in that guys house?" makes my house safer from break-ins.

I keep a version of these in my training materials to hand out to chronic gun-haters...



Have not seen a SINGLE ONE on a front door or posted in a yard yet, and I must have handed out at least fifty of them.
I guess, as much as they cannot admit it, my eeeevil gun must keep them safe as well.
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post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

I agree with this, but actually defending yourself with a gun is not the main beneficial effect - it is the deterrent. In Washington DC, muggers are pretty free to attack anyone because they know for sure that nobody has a concealed weapon. In NC, it does not matter if you carry a concealed gun or not, a mugger will be a lot more hesitant to attack anyone. My gut feel is that the deterred crimes are way higher than any +/- stats from the actual gun usage or mis-usage (accidents), the actual use of guns is almost a side note in the real story.

I have never owned a gun, and only touched one twice in my life, but I am pretty sure that the uncertainty about "are there guns in that guys house?" makes my house safer from break-ins.

That was the point of my first post above: That the general presence of citizens with guns may act as a deterrent to crime, but at the same time, they also put those citizens with the guns at higher risk. So, strangely enough, the best position to be in is to live in an area where lots of citizens have guns, but you personally don't have one. That way you gain the advantage of any deterrent effect, without acquiring the risk of having the gun.

But I still have to say that, although this deterrent effect has been promoted by people like John Lott, his data are, at the very best, extremely murky. On the other hand, the data are crystal clear that there is more likely to be a death or injury in your home if you have a gun (granted, still extremely low, but higher than having no gun).
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Yes, but I have no doubt that shootings are more common. I'd rather be robbed than shot.

No, I seem to remember that that was to point: fewer robbings and less violence as well. "Violent crime" was the primary subject of the report. This was a few years ago, and I can't be so good as to find the source. The internet, however, is useful, and I'm sure you can find many similar reports on the matter. You can probably find some contradicting reports, too, if you look hard enough.

Anyway, my original point was that I'm just about as easy to rob with a gun as I am with a knife, or for that matter a souvenir baseball bat coupled with menancing disposition. There's only one reason why I'd ever support full-on gun control, and that's the fact that in the 'States, you can't get in a bar fight without fear of someone pulling a gun. But I'm getting too old for bar fights. Of course, in the UK, where there is gun control, they bring along screwdrivers, utility knifes, and (at times) tack-hammers with them, so that's not exactly a clean fight, either. I just haven't yet seen any real evidence that the presence of easily-obtainable guns in the USA is a driver of crime, so I don't see guns themselves as a menace to society. Just to keep things in perspective, I do see wisdom in, say, banning the posession of Plutonium, which is pretty much useless except for fission or as a poison.
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post #27 of 41
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Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

So, strangely enough, the best position to be in is to live in an area where lots of citizens have guns, but you personally don't have one. That way you gain the advantage of any deterrent effect, without acquiring the risk of having the gun.

That applies for a random person, not a particular person.
Take someone who has the diligence and know-how to handle guns safely, store them securely, and isn't aggressive/impulsive/suicidal, and the conclusion isn't the same as if it was a random person.

Not to mention there are conditions where the actual crime-stopping ability of the gun trumps the (negligible) accident risk to a random gunowner/gunhandler. If you take a store that has seen three armed robberies or armed robbery attempts in the past year, then a random clerk of that store probably ought to have access to a weapon. Again, that doesn't mean all specific clerks would benefit from that access.
post #28 of 41
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Originally Posted by Gon View Post

That applies for a random person, not a particular person.
Take someone who has the diligence and know-how to handle guns safely, store them securely, and isn't aggressive/impulsive/suicidal, and the conclusion isn't the same as if it was a random person.

I wouldn't use the term 'random' person, I'd say "the average person with a gun." And I'd be willing to bet anything that the average person with a gun believes they fall into your ideal.

Quote:
Not to mention there are conditions where the actual crime-stopping ability of the gun trumps the (negligible) accident risk to a random gunowner/gunhandler. If you take a store that has seen three armed robberies or armed robbery attempts in the past year, then a random clerk of that store probably ought to have access to a weapon. Again, that doesn't mean all specific clerks would benefit from that access.

I don't disagree with this type of analysis - it's the same one I'm making - but I'm pretty sure we disagree on where the risk-reward ratio turns over. The only situation where I'm willing to believe that there's any safety benefit to having a gun is one in which crime is very high (e.g., you live in South Africa or Colombia), the likelihood of actually using the firearm to protect yourself is high, and the risks (both to an individual and others in the household, and both from accidental and intentional causes) are very low.

I just don't believe that the likelihood of protecting yourself from crime are high enough to outweigh the risks of having a gun in any realistically common situation. It could happen, but I think the vast, vast majority of people who think they're increasing their safety by having guns are doing no such thing. Now, if someone says they just like guns and don't care, that's different.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I wouldn't use the term 'random' person, I'd say "the average person with a gun."

You were talking about someone without a gun.
Quote:
And I'd be willing to bet anything that the average person with a gun believes they fall into your ideal.

Yes, and I believe most of them are correct in thinking that. The average gunowner is quite safe. It's a minority that keeps and uses their guns poorly. Because the damage of a single gun accident or misuse can be high, the minority is enough to make the average gunowner look careless in statistics even though they aren't.
Quote:
I don't disagree with this type of analysis - it's the same one I'm making - but I'm pretty sure we disagree on where the risk-reward ratio turns over. The only situation where I'm willing to believe that there's any safety benefit to having a gun is one in which crime is very high (e.g., you live in South Africa or Colombia), the likelihood of actually using the firearm to protect yourself is high, and the risks (both to an individual and others in the household, and both from accidental and intentional causes) are very low.

I just don't believe that the likelihood of protecting yourself from crime are high enough to outweigh the risks of having a gun in any realistically common situation. It could happen, but I think the vast, vast majority of people who think they're increasing their safety by having guns are doing no such thing. Now, if someone says they just like guns and don't care, that's different.

It's easy to not care when the impact of the whole thing is nonexistent. The presence of cigarettes in your house predicts a very significant shortening of your lifespan. The presence of a firearm predicts practically none.

I don't gain safety from having a firearm where I live, but it isn't any kind of risk either.
post #30 of 41
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Originally Posted by mydo View Post

What does that have to do with anything?

Gender and sexual orientation politics--

The actor playing the vigilante female in this case is a purported lesbian. It's interesting on both levels: flipping the traditonal gender of the film vigilante and casting a gay woman. There's something to be said there, despite the reprehensible subject matter of the film. (I'm guessing at least the gender inversion partially motived Jodie Foster to take the role, cause the script sure couldn't have!)
post #31 of 41
We either let the people protect themselves or we adopt the tuff on crime tactics of Tonton's Hong Kong democracy. I'll choose being able to protect myself.
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post #32 of 41
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Originally Posted by Gon View Post

You were talking about someone without a gun.

No, I just wanted to make it clear that I wasn't talking about giving a random person a gun. Maybe that was obvious to you, but I just wanted to make it clear.

Quote:
Yes, and I believe most of them are correct in thinking that. The average gunowner is quite safe. It's a minority that keeps and uses their guns poorly. Because the damage of a single gun accident or misuse can be high, the minority is enough to make the average gunowner look careless in statistics even though they aren't.

It's easy to not care when the impact of the whole thing is nonexistent. The presence of cigarettes in your house predicts a very significant shortening of your lifespan. The presence of a firearm predicts practically none.

I don't gain safety from having a firearm where I live, but it isn't any kind of risk either.

Now it's clear that we have a factual dispute. It's very easy to collect data on the relative risk of having a gun - just look at people who have guns, find roughly equivalent people who don't, and see who dies or gets injured more. It's exactly how any other risk would be assessed. And when you do that, you find a heightened relative risk for the gun people. In the studies I've seen (here's an example), the relative risk of gun ownership is around 2, i.e., you are 2 times more likely to die if you get a gun. For suicide in particular, it's probably around 4 (here's another review that uses this same approach). That's not a risk of "practically none."

You're right that you can't compare it to smoking, which is the leading cause of death in the developed world. The relative risk of lung cancer for smokers is I believe around 20. But that's a unique risk factor because it's so strong. Compared to most other risks (excessive alcohol use, exposure to toxins, sexual promiscuity, etc.), the risk of gun ownership is right up there with the best of them.

And again, my guess is that virtually all those gun owners think they're just the most careful, responsible people in the world, and that they're actually protecting themselves rather than putting themselves at risk.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

Gender and sexual orientation politics--

The actor playing the vigilante female in this case is a purported lesbian. It's interesting on both levels: flipping the traditonal gender of the film vigilante and casting a gay woman. There's something to be said there, despite the reprehensible subject matter of the film. (I'm guessing at least the gender inversion partially motived Jodie Foster to take the role, cause the script sure couldn't have!)

I suspect you're right that that's something of interest to her.

Regarding her personal life - the media has largely let her keep her private life private.
post #34 of 41
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Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

the relative risk of gun ownership is around 2, i.e., you are 2 times more likely to die if you get a gun.

That's not exactly accurate. The study found a relative risk of 2.2 (1.3-3.7) associated between a history of family handgun purchase and dying from homicide, not death in general. There's a pretty big difference between the two.

So the incidence rate of dying from homicide is a fairly important consideration. If that risk is low (I'm too lazy to find our the IR of death from homicide) then there can be a debate about how important the doubling of a low number is. Regardless, the study does make the point out (and I haven't read it so I can't comment on the methods) handgun ownership increasing your risk of death from homicide and suicide.
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post #35 of 41
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Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

That's not exactly accurate. The study found a relative risk of 2.2 (1.3-3.7) associated between a history of family handgun purchase and dying from homicide, not death in general. There's a pretty big difference between the two.

So the incidence rate of dying from homicide is a fairly important consideration. If that risk is low (I'm too lazy to find our the IR of death from homicide) then there can be a debate about how important the doubling of a low number is. Regardless, the study does make the point out (and I haven't read it so I can't comment on the methods) handgun ownership increasing your risk of death from homicide and suicide.

Yup, you're right.

I just want to point out that firearms are considered a leading causes of death in the US. It's #7, right above sexual behavior and illegal drug use and right below cars and pollutants. So this is not an irrelevant or non-existent factor.

Cause Number (Percentage)
Tobacco 435 000 (18.1)
Poor diet and physical inactivity 400 000 (16.6)
Alcohol consumption 85 000 (3.5)
Microbial agents 75 000 (3.1)
Toxic agents 55 000 (2.3)
Motor vehicle 43 000 (1.8)
Firearms 29 000 (1.2)
Sexual behavior 20 000 (0.8)
Illicit drug use 17 000 (0.7)
Total 1 159 000 (48.2)
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Now it's clear that we have a factual dispute. It's very easy to collect data on the relative risk of having a gun - just look at people who have guns, find roughly equivalent people who don't, and see who dies or gets injured more. It's exactly how any other risk would be assessed. And when you do that, you find a heightened relative risk for the gun people.

You cannot control for people buying weapons because they anticipate they are going to need them. That simple fact wrecks the studies.

This is what you'd actually need to do: take a group of people who are just handing over the cash for a gun purchase, magically prevent half of them from ever getting their hands on a gun, and measure the results.
Quote:
In the studies I've seen (here's an example), the relative risk of gun ownership is around 2, i.e., you are 2 times more likely to die if you get a gun.

For suicide in particular, it's probably around 4 (here's another review that uses this same approach). That's not a risk of "practically none."

Multipliers don't seem all that interesting.
Here's at least something about incidence rates.
http://www.csdp.org/research/1238.pdf

30000 overall firearm deaths / yr or 1.2% of overall deaths, including police, criminals, suicides, accidents, legal and illegal weapons. Obviously you can only avoid some fraction of those possible deaths by choosing not to own a personal firearm.

If you aren't a criminal, the homicide risk is small. From Wikipedia:
"In Philadelphia, the percentage of those killed in gun homicides that had prior criminal records increased from 73% in 1985 to 93% in 1996."

As for suicide, it's not like that just happens out of the blue. If you own a firearm and for some reason develop serious mood swings you can't control along with depression and suicidal thoughts, then it's probably time to get rid of your firearm during the moments you're doing better. If you aren't experiencing swings, just resolved to die, most people have everything necessary at hand to setup a sure and painless death in a matter of minutes without a firearm.
Quote:
You're right that you can't compare it to smoking, which is the leading cause of death in the developed world. The relative risk of lung cancer for smokers is I believe around 20. But that's a unique risk factor because it's so strong. Compared to most other risks (excessive alcohol use, exposure to toxins, sexual promiscuity, etc.), the risk of gun ownership is right up there with the best of them.

As overall causes of death, we can see from the above link that firearms are in line with sexual behavior and drug use. But a person of relatively normal mental health owning a legal gun? Definitely not.

It's noteworthy that alcohol kills three times the people firearms do, and *all* that is self-inflicted. The casualties of smoking are an order of magnitude up from there, and again it's mostly self-inflicted.

Going from abstinence to having a couple beers every week after sauna will not kill you. Neither will responsible gun ownership.
post #37 of 41
post #38 of 41
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Originally Posted by Gon View Post

You cannot control for people buying weapons because they anticipate they are going to need them. That simple fact wrecks the studies.

This is what you'd actually need to do: take a group of people who are just handing over the cash for a gun purchase, magically prevent half of them from ever getting their hands on a gun, and measure the results.

Yeah, "need them." There's a massively higher incidence of suicide among people who have recently purchased a gun. Other studies have looked not just at recent purchases, but at the simple ownership of a gun, and also find increased risk of death. Whether you look at people who have just recently gone out to buy a gun, or people who have had a gun for some time, the risk is still higher for them compared to not having a gun.

Actually I believe they have done those kinds of studies, by comparing places that enacted a background-check vs. those that have not. It would be interesting to see those, but I imagine the data are quite murky.

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Multipliers don't seem all that interesting.

Why aren't multipliers (I assume you're talking about the relative risk numbers) interesting to you? That's how you would convey whether the risk is higher or lower from having a gun, which I thought was what we were discussing.

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Here's at least something about incidence rates.
http://www.csdp.org/research/1238.pdf

30000 overall firearm deaths / yr or 1.2% of overall deaths, including police, criminals, suicides, accidents, legal and illegal weapons. Obviously you can only avoid some fraction of those possible deaths by choosing not to own a personal firearm.

If you aren't a criminal, the homicide risk is small. From Wikipedia:
"In Philadelphia, the percentage of those killed in gun homicides that had prior criminal records increased from 73% in 1985 to 93% in 1996."

I posted those exact same incidence rates above. It's the 7th leading cause of death in the US. That's pretty damn big. This is not some non-issue. Firearms kill about as many people as breast cancer. Think of all the concern and public health advertisements about STDs (including HIV), not to mention illegal drugs. And yet firearms cause more deaths than either of those.

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As for suicide, it's not like that just happens out of the blue. If you own a firearm and for some reason develop serious mood swings you can't control along with depression and suicidal thoughts, then it's probably time to get rid of your firearm during the moments you're doing better. If you aren't experiencing swings, just resolved to die, most people have everything necessary at hand to setup a sure and painless death in a matter of minutes without a firearm.

Yes, people should get rid of their guns when someone with access to it is depressed. But how many people accurately predict someone else's suicide attempt? And how many people who want to commit suicide intentionally take away the method to carry it out?

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As overall causes of death, we can see from the above link that firearms are in line with sexual behavior and drug use. But a person of relatively normal mental health owning a legal gun? Definitely not.

It's noteworthy that alcohol kills three times the people firearms do, and *all* that is self-inflicted. The casualties of smoking are an order of magnitude up from there, and again it's mostly self-inflicted.

Going from abstinence to having a couple beers every week after sauna will not kill you. Neither will responsible gun ownership.

I'm sure an individual who is very responsible with their guns will not be one of these statistics. Almost by definition, we're talking about people who aren't responsible. And you could say that about every one of the other major risk factors for death - you can use drugs, alcohol, have sex, etc., responsibly or irresponsibly. But none of that changes the basic fact that, for the population as a whole, guns are a risk factor, not a protective factor.

And I'm still willing to bet anything that most of the people who had guns in their home and died as a result believed that they were the height of responsibility when it came to guns. Do you disagree with me on that?
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

There's a massively higher incidence of suicide among people who have recently purchased a gun.

So... buying a gun makes you want to kill yourself with said gun?
Houston, we have a causality problem if that is the case.

Interesting discussion, BTW. Overall, a well-reasoned debate- wish I had more time to jump in. At least you articulate the position of a thinking, thoughtful, anti-gunner, rather than the emotional screeds we get so often.
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post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Yeah, "need them." There's a massively higher incidence of suicide among people who have recently purchased a gun. Other studies have looked not just at recent purchases, but at the simple ownership of a gun, and also find increased risk of death. Whether you look at people who have just recently gone out to buy a gun, or people who have had a gun for some time, the risk is still higher for them compared to not having a gun.

Many reasons for wanting a weapon persist for long after acquiring one, though, so the timeframe doesn't establish which way the cause-effect relationship goes. If you have had one for five years and then kill yourself with it, who's to say you didn't originally have that use in mind but life just got better in between? For that matter, correlation doesn't show there is a cause-effect relationship at all. What if some aspect of your character both makes you interested in a legit form of shooting, and also later on makes it more likely for you to consider suicide as a solution to a problem?
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Why aren't multipliers (I assume you're talking about the relative risk numbers) interesting to you? That's how you would convey whether the risk is higher or lower from having a gun, which I thought was what we were discussing.

Owning a gun raises the risk of getting shot with your own gun by infinity. What can you do with that number other than go "ooh, that must be very dangerous then"?

We can instead talk about absolute incidence per person and manner of death (probably the best numbers to look at) or the percentage among reasons of death. Both methods enable us to compare two choices, for instance acquiring a gun and learning to smoke cigarettes, and see that the latter is at the very least 20 times more dangerous for a random person - likely a lot more than that.
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I posted those exact same incidence rates above. It's the 7th leading cause of death in the US. That's pretty damn big. This is not some non-issue. Firearms kill about as many people as breast cancer. Think of all the concern and public health advertisements about STDs (including HIV), not to mention illegal drugs. And yet firearms cause more deaths than either of those.

I'm not saying deaths by firearm are a non-issue. I'm saying death by firearm is a very different risk than death by your own firearm, and that being a lawabiding citizen goes a long way to diffuse the risk.
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Yes, people should get rid of their guns when someone with access to it is depressed. But how many people accurately predict someone else's suicide attempt?

And how many people who want to commit suicide intentionally take away the method to carry it out?

What I was saying is that the depressed person who doesn't trust his own will to stay alive in the immediate future should seek to remove the firearm as well as other particularly handy implements from their own reach to prevent some bad impulse decisions.

Not unlike dropping your car keys in your locked mailbox on the way to the bar in order to make it harder for Stupid You four hours in the future to go for a drive.

Now, when even a doorknob and a shoelace will do the job, of course you can't stop a *determined* person from killing himself, with anything short of putting them in a straitjacket or under constant observation. Should someone get to that stage, I guess nothing will save them except luck or that they have committed themselves in time.

I remember reading that women are strongly averse to suicide methods involving mechanical trauma (including firearms). I don't remember the source right now. If that information is accurate, then getting a firearm should be an even lower risk for an all female household than it is for a random one.
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And I'm still willing to bet anything that most of the people who had guns in their home and died as a result believed that they were the height of responsibility when it came to guns. Do you disagree with me on that?

Yes, I think you exaggerate. I'm sure there are many of those types, but I'd bet on there having been more of those who mistakenly think they're doing okay despite cutting some corners, as well as those who just don't think (and if questioned, some of whom would acknowledge they need to do things safer).
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