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View Diary: Defensive Gun Use (Part I) - The CDC Report on Gun Violence (57 comments)

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  •  You missed a spot (5+ / 0-)

    Which would be the part in that section stating:

    "Studies that directly assessed the actual effects of defensive uses of guns (i.e. incidents in which a gun was "used" by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims as compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies."

    And while the variation in the number of defensive gun uses varies, I think the take-home part of the paragraph you did quote is:

    Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun use by victims is at least as common as offensive uses by criminals.
    Regardless of one's pro- or anti- stance, I cannot imagine there is anyone here who simply wants to trade one set of victims (those from gun violence) for another (those who would be victims if not for defensive gun use).

    I agree with the CDC's followup paragraph that "this is a sufficiently important question that it merits additional, careful investigation". And hopefully the CDC will get to do it.

    •  Would you please add the page number (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, Joy of Fishes

      so people can find the passage to which you refer? Thanks.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:54:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think I included those studies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, Joy of Fishes

      Thanks for reading.

      I included this sentence in the diary above:

      "* Four studies have been done showing that crime victims who actively used a gun to defend themselves had lower rates of injury than crime victims who did not use guns to defend themselves - Kleck 1988; Kleck and DeLone 1993; Tark and Kleck 2004; and Southwick 2000."
      Four studies of injuries to crime victims have been published, and all four show lower rates of injury in crime victims who use a gun to protect themselves.  I point out that three of these four studies were done by the same research group, and possibly used the same set of data - I don't know for sure because I haven't read those studies.

      I agree with you that it is important to understand accurately the incidence of DGU in the USA.  I think most researchers who study gun violence in America feel the same way.  So I have to admit feeling somewhat disappointed that the CDC report had little to say on this topic.

      I am planning two more articles about research on DGU: one on how defensive gun use is defined, and one talking about the 1995 Kleck study and the National Crime Victimization Survey that yielded such widely disparate results on the incidence of DGU.  I hope these articles will shed some more light on this important topic.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 12:04:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Trading sets of victims. (0+ / 0-)

      I expect that the difference comes down to how large we think those sets would be. Currently, with permissive gun ownership rules, the set is 30,000 dead Americans a year.

      So many, I think, would be willing to trade the lives saved by DGU for the current lives, if the overall number was lower than 30,000 and 100,000 injured.

      However others, I suspect, would fear that it was their lives being traded away, and would prefer a larger number of dead Americans with a lower chance that they, or their loved ones, were among that number. (With which I sympathize; I would certainly prefer that 30,000 strangers die before I'd put my son in what I believed was mortal jeopardy.)

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 12:09:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Safety is paramount (4+ / 0-)

        Thanks for reading.

        I believe, both for the gun enthusiast AND for the gun control advocates, personal safety is the key.

        Gun enthusiasts say they are safer with a gun in hand.  Gun control advocates say they are safer when fewer people have guns.

        Trying to accurately count the incidence of DGU is America is at the center of this debate about safety.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 12:48:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think that gun (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joy of Fishes

          control advocates are quite so motivated by personal safety.

          I'm a gun control advocate, and I imagine myself completely immune to gun violence. So my concern isn't for myself at all. This probably also explains why my advocacy is merely notional; gun control is very much not my issue.

          And I imagine it explains why there tends to be more passion on the enthusiast then the advocate side: more investment in personal safety. (Now I also wonder if those advocates who are very passionate actually do feel a personal stake.)

          I'm not sure if DGU actually matters that much, though. It's possible to argue both that:

          1) While defensive gun use saves a million people a year, gun control laws will save even more, or
          2) While defensive gun use doesn't save a single life, gun control laws will actually cause more lives to be lost.

          I'm not sure this is an argument that is susceptible to logic.

          If I feel that my gun is protecting my kid, I'd rather shoot you than let you take it away.
          If I feel that your gun is a danger to my kid, I'd rather shoot you than let you keep it.

          Hard to argue with those feelings, whatever the statistics say.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 01:37:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is a large middle ground (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GussieFN, Joy of Fishes

            Where the stance is,

            I have no problem with you having a gun, with conditions.

            As long as you have been trained to use it safely, and
            you practice good habits, and
            as long as your kid can't find your gun, and
            as long as you take reasonable means to secure it against loss and theft, and
            as long as I never have to see you parading around with it in public..

            etc.

            The middle ground wants people like the Navy Yard shooter to lose their RKBA the first time they use their gun in anger.

            The middle ground wants people like the Navy Yard shooter to face sanctions the first time they shoot through their floor.

            Currently lax enforcement of negligent discharge laws is a problem. Better enforcement is only part of what is needed to prevent people like the Navy Yard shooter from getting their hands on guns.

            Likewise we need better enforcement of public carry laws. There are far too many "I forgot I had my gun in my bag" incidents where the gun owner faces no sanctions. People who are that careless or inattentive are NOT good candidates for carrying a gun in public. (Concealed Carry permits).

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 02:00:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, but you're talking logically. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener, Joy of Fishes

              "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

              by GussieFN on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 02:25:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The low hanging fruit in the middle ground (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joy of Fishes, JayFromPA, buddabelly

                is to allocate funding for better enforcement and for each of us to demand better local enforcement of existing law.

                "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                by LilithGardener on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 02:35:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Spoken like an RKBA group member. eom. (3+ / 0-)
                  •  Ahem* (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joy of Fishes

                    Spoken like a member of Firearms Law and Policy Group

                    =)

                    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                    by LilithGardener on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 05:06:44 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Err, no. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joy of Fishes

                      There's "prior art" from RKBA group members about the easiest thing that would have the most immediate impact would be funding for the states to better enforce the Prohibited Persons list, which would be better enforcement of existing law.

                      This prior art was in context to Cho, the guy who did the virginia tech shooting. He was adjudicated mentally ill. The prohibited persons list was not enforced, as gaps in the law allowed him to slip through.

                      This prior art relates to an ongoing problem where Texas is more gun-responsible than Massachusetts BY FAR. Texas has banned hundreds of thousands of people from buying a gun while Mass has banned ZERO people. This NICS reporting matters because someone who is reported as mentally ill by texas cannot move to some other state and escape the prohibition, the NICS list is nation wide. And yet, Massachusetts has not prohibited anyone.

                      So yeah, your words about better enforcement of existing law is an old old suggestion that has been put forth by many of the RKBA group for a LONG time now.

                      Any claim to uniqueness of the suggestion on your part is merely a matter of exact wording. I'm pretty sure that the RKBA Founder has also used the "low hanging fruit" element as well.

                      So I stand by what I said. You spoke like a RKBA group member.

                      •  Credit goes where credit is due. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        LilithGardener

                        I'd like to know more about RKBA's list of low hanging fruit.   Would you - or someone in RKBA - expand on this in a diary or point me to a diary that you recommend reading?

                      •  I'm glad there is a point of agreement (0+ / 0-)

                        I grew up with guns and have held this view about lax enforcement long before I became politically active.

                        You may think the idea originated with the RKBA group at Daily Kos but I can assure you that like the RKBA acronym, the calla for better enforcement of existing law have been around for a very long time, long before Daily Kos existed.

                        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                        by LilithGardener on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:54:37 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  PS - I'm sure the idea did not originate with me! (0+ / 0-)

                          It's an old idea.

                          I join with RKBA group members who agree on this point, and urge all our readers to find specific examples locally and lobby our city councils and state reps to fund and demand better local enforcement of existing laws.

                          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                          by LilithGardener on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:05:38 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  It's a beginning, then I want to see some (3+ / 0-)

                  actual dollars dumped into mental health care for all and one thing I think should be done is felon restrictions changed to violent felon restrictions. Just this switch would re-enfranchise the millions who have relatively minor drug or other non-violent felonies who are civil rights disabled with no reasonable facts to show why. At the same time it would free up enormous dollars to tackle the other underlying causes of violence as well as monitor the proven violent close enough like in the Hartford Conn. action which showed a lot of success in  comparison to other methods.

                  The single most identifiable precursor to someone using a gun in a crime is if they have used a gun before and got away with it.

                  At the same time all restrictions on voting by felons should be immediately repealed.  There is no defensible position that felons should be disallowed from voting after incarceration is done.

                  Also one thing that could be done immediately but Congress will not due to fear of being called "weak on crime" and that's to fund the process for rights reinstatement at the federal level....The process is there, the laws are there yet Congress absolutely refuses to fund the process.....

                  That in itself is why people refuse to allow flawed systems like the "terrorist watch list" to be a determiner of whether you have the right to self defense or not. If there's no way to fix a problem that occurs, then why would anyone sign on to the program?

                  Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                  I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                  Emiliano Zapata

                  by buddabelly on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 05:52:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Very good points, buddabelly. nt (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    buddabelly
                  •  This is very important (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    buddabelly, Joy of Fishes

                    The Navy Yard shooter could have been sanctioned at least twice before; the first time he used a gun in anger and shot out someone's tires, and the second time, when he shot through his floor. A claim of "I was cleaning my gun" must be dismissed as the absurd lie it usually is. It's a gross failure of law enforcement/DA's office/juries that they accept such drivel in place of investigation and prosecution.

                    The single most identifiable precursor to someone using a gun in a crime is if they have used a gun before and got away with it.
                    Agree with your other points too. There needs to be a separation -it's the violence that matters most and non-violent felony convictions are often not predictive of violence.

                    There needs to be an adjudication process to a) correct errors in the NICS system and b) to restore rights after "rehabilitation."

                    I never understood why felons are stripped of voting rights. Their residence in a district is counted for some purposes but they are not allowed to vote on any issues that matter to them.

                    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                    by LilithGardener on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:02:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  even if we accept the negligent discharge as just (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joy of Fishes

                      that, not accidental, imo there are 3 types of discharge, intentional, negligent and mechanical failure.  There's no excuse for # 2 but I don't see it as felony material.  Intentionally firing into the air? Yes, that should be disqualifying at least for a time and here it's a Felony with decent time and rights revocation.

                      The shooting of the tires out is inexcusable period and should have resulted in jail time minimum and again rights revocation.  And the laws exist now to have done just that.  For some reason, this guy never actually faced consequences, he kept his clearance, he could still buy guns legally, that's a huge problem imo....

                      And yes, until congress actually funds the rights restoration process, every additional restriction will be fought tooth and nail because there's no way out of the problem.  They admit the Terrorist watch list is full of false positives yet our party fought like hell to take a completely unreliable database and use it to restrict a civil right with no recourse.....That kind of stuff loses us elections and I'll say it yet again,


                      Republicans in power cause way more damage and death than all the guns in the country combined do.......

                      Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                      I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                      Emiliano Zapata

                      by buddabelly on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:57:09 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm sympathetic re your point about (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Joy of Fishes

                        the Terrorist watch list, and the problem of no mechanism for appeal/correction of errors in the NICS. What do you (or the RKBA group) propose we do to advocate for correcting that problem?

                        I disagree with the meme "Don't talk about guns, or we will pay at the polls" and think it is headed for the dustbin of American political history.

                        The Navy Yard shooter is our new poster boy for some pretty large gaps in our laws.

                        I favor a gun licensing scheme that would include "points" for minor infractions of gun laws, such as "forgetting" you have a loaded gun when you're boarding a plane or going into a courthouse, or any other place where guns are prohibited.

                        That would take care of the occasional mistake with a simple fine. Repeated mistakes would face higher fines with eventual loss of RKBA and remedial training for restoration of rights.

                        On language: I prefer unintentional rather than accidental, and think that all unintentional shootings should face significant sanctions, but not necessarily involve jail time.

                        Licensing would allow for a graded sanction system that removes guns from the hands and homes or people who are too stupid, careless, or angry to possess and use them safely.

                        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                        by LilithGardener on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:42:45 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  And there is the dilemma (4+ / 0-)

        Do you take away the fundamental, individual right to self-defense against larger and/or more numerous attackers (through defensive gun use) in the interest of a collective benefit (less overall firearms violence)? There are also "unforeseen consequences". I believe the violent crime rate in the UK quadrupled after their civilian ownership ban of 1997 (serious woundings up by a factor of four, rapes up by a factor of eleven). Are these two things correlated? I cannot definitively say, but has anyone reading this even considered it as a potential side effect from what they propose for gun control?

        The "individual freedom vs. collective benefit" decision is a moral minefield which extends far beyond gun ownership, as Bloomberg found out with his "high capacity soda" ban.

        30,000 dead Americans is a lot, and many of these deaths are preventable. So are the 19,000 people (mostly women) who kill themselves with something other than a gun, the 5,000 murdered with things other than a gun, the 26,000 alcohol-induced deaths, the 40,000 drug-induced deaths, 38,000 auto fatalities and so on (CDC 2010 figures). Just because many of these deaths are not done by someone to someone else doesn't make the person any less dead nor make the death any less preventable.

        If a restriction on conduct or possessions that saves lives is "moral" for one topic, then it is equally moral for any topic where it generates similar benefits. Conversely, if permissiveness in possessions or conduct has a cost measured in lives that is acceptable for one topic, it is acceptable for any topic with similar costs.

        •  British crime trends (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener, Joy of Fishes

          The British numbers you cite don't jibe with this publication.
          https://www.ncjrs.gov/...

          Source:     Great Britain Home Office
          Communication Development Unit
          Room 264, Home Office
          50 Queen Anne's Gate
          Research Development and Statistics Directorate
          London SW1H 9AT, United Kingdom
          The BCS estimate for crimes against adults living in private households, based on interviews taking place in 2002/2003, was approximately 12.3 million. This represents a decrease of 2 percent compared with the estimate for 2001/2002. Police recorded crime has been affected by the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) this year. The total number of crimes recorded by the police in 2002/2003 was just under 5.9 million, which once the impact of the NCRS has been taken into account, suggests an underlying fall of 3 percent. Since 1995, the BCS has reported a fall in crime at each successive survey. There has been a 25 percent fall in the crime measured by the BCS over the last 5 years, between 1997 and the 2002/2003 BCS. Burglary has fallen by 39 percent since 1997. Vehicle related thefts have fallen by 31 percent. There was a significant reduction of 5 percent in vehicle thefts compared to last year. After steep falls in violent crime measured by the BCS, the trend appears to have leveled off.
          •  Compare to this (3+ / 0-)

            from 2009:
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

            from 2006:
            http://www.theguardian.com/...

            The British Crime Survey (or BCS) is a polling survey that asks a relatively small number of households about their experiences with crime, while the figures I was using were based on police department records and independent EU figures.

            The Home Office tends to use the BCS because it makes them look better, while the Home Office criticizes police department figures as being subject to different sorts of recording bias. If you were the government, which set of figures would you tout to show the success of your policies?

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

            I suspect on this side of the pond we will have an equally interesting discussion about the accuracy of various surveys and crime figures as relates to the gun control debate. People will discount figures that do not support their view, and automatically assume credibility for ones that do.

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