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View Diary: What you may not know about gun violence in Chicago (335 comments)

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  •  Correlation and Causation (0+ / 0-)

    While this is a wonderfully emotive argument, I would like to introduce a bit of logic.

    The theme seems to be "if we reduce the amount of guns, we reduce the amount of gun crime". Seems reasonable. But let's look at the statistics, realizing that while correlation does no prove causation, "correlation is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to make causal inferences with reasonable confidence"


    So, while correlation does not prove causation, to prove causation, showing correlation is necessary. How does this relate to the argument that if we decreased the amount of available guns, that gun crime would decrease? We would naturally look at the statistics of gun crime vice the amount of gun sales in society.

    Problem for this argument is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. Particularly since Mr. Obama took office in 2009, gun and ammunition sales have skyrocketed, while FBI statistics show us that violent crime rates have dropped. This is easy to research - just search "more gun, less crime" - you will find a plethora of articles and research on the subject.

    If you want to increase gun violence, try to ban - and especially effectively - try to confiscate - guns. Then there will be violence like most Americans who have never been in combat have never experienced.

    I dont go so far as to say more guns = less crimes, though the statistics support this conclusion. I do say if you say less guns would equal less crime, that statistics are stacked against your argument.

    So let's be a bit less emotive and a bit more logical, shall we?

    •  Seriously (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, Recall, matx

      You say "Correlation does not equal causation", then you provide an example where correlation equals causation.  Do you listen to yourself?

      Here's another correlation: Violent crime drops in line with the gun ownership rate.  Fewer people with guns = less violent crime.  States with lower rates have less violent crime.  This makes sense: Notice how gun bans don't actually ban guns, they ban people from purchasing guns.  Fewer people with them... less violent crime.

      Now, that's just another correlation.  Although it does match with correlations in other countries, where fewer people with guns = less violent crime.  So it's better than the one you propose.

      Still, the most well-established explanation for the drop in crime is environmental:  Lead pollution.  Extensive and repeated research (A good summary is here has conclusively linked lead molecules in the atmosphere, mostly from leaded gasoline exhaust, to the rise in crime about 15 years after its introduction during WW2, to the fall in crime that started about 15 years after it started being phased out in the '70's.  Other factors have been ruled out, and the effect is clear in every country and city that's been tested.

      Because what these other correlations can't explain (including yours) is the truly important question:  Why crime went up in the first place.  Lead pollution explains it.  It also explains why cities got it worse than the country (more cars = more pollution), and suggest that it's no coincidence that countries still with leaded gasoline--- Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, North Korea, and Burma--- are not exactly peaceful friendly spots.

      Add to a drop in lead pollution: added policing, stricter prison terms, and greater moral sensibility, and you get much lower crime rates in spite of there being more guns in circulation.  We can only dream of how much more peaceful our country would be without the guns that embolden people to confrontation.

      Correlative comparisons to the number of guns out there are facile and fallacious.  You need to find new excuses.

      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

      by nominalize on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 10:48:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, no, no (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Anyone who disagrees with Pete is "emotive" and non-logical.  Maybe I've only recently started paying attention to this, but it's amazing how often this canard arises among pro-gun types.  I'm thinking it's just projection. longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

        by TFinSF on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 11:06:50 AM PST

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      •  Perhaps I did not make myself clear (0+ / 0-)

        Correlation does not PROVE causation, but correlation is necessary in order to prove causation.

        Gun ownership is at ever increasing levels, but gun crimes are steadily DROPPING. Therefore, the correlation is that MORE GUNS = LESS CRIME, not the opposite.

        Therefore the argument that reducing the amount of guns would equal a reduction in crime has no correlation in the statistics, a necessity to argue causation.

        Is this more clear?

        •  Meanwhile, in the real world.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TFinSF, Recall

          (Second chart:) Gun ownership down, except just recently, when the death rate also stopped going down.

          You realize that a Gish Gallop only works when people are speaking face-to-face?  

          On the internet there are these things called "facts" that make it easy to verify people's claims.  And since everything we write is recorded as is, pulling the wool over people's eyes is very difficult.  Hence your frustration here.

          I suggest you stick to TV or radio.

          Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

          by nominalize on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 01:04:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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