Saturday, December 14, 2013
Subtle Inuendo Follows
A year after Newtown, America's gun carnage continues with no end in sight
Slate calculated that the US death toll from gun violence since Newtown is more than 33,000. When will we wake up?I'm awake. So people who are intent on taking human life did not look on the horrible tragedy of 20 young grade school kids (and a half dozen teachers and administrators) murdered by a crazy person and immediately mend their errant ways and decide not to kill anyone else, ever. Is that the result that Mr. Cohen was rationally expecting? Let's start with his numbers.
But a year later what is even more unimaginable, more difficult to comprehend and more shocking than this horrible act of violence – is that the carnage continues with seemingly no end in sight.
A 2010 meta-study by a researcher at the Harvard Injury Control Center lays out the sobering consequences of expanded gun ownership:
The evidence is overwhelming … that a gun in the home is a risk factor for completed suicide and that gun accidents are most likely to occur in homes with guns.
Ah, but what about protection say gun advocates? How will I ever keep my family safe from the hordes of home invaders? As the study says, "There is no credible evidence of a deterrent effect of firearms or that a gun in the home reduces the likelihood or severity of injury during an altercation or break-in."
This is the former Democrat State Senator Evie Hudak's position--you think you can defend yourself with a gun but we know better. Only Harvard researchers could look at the hundreds of thousands of successful defenses by a gun each year to criminal activity and not see "credible evidence" that having a gun when you need it is a good thing. We non-Harvard types know better.
If there is one thing that we do know about gun ownership in America, it is that buying a gun and keeping it one's home for "protection" dramatically increases the possibility of dying (or having a family member or friend die) from gun violence.
Well, for sure if you go out and buy a gun with which you intend to kill yourself, your chances of dying by gunshot are increased substantially. And again, if there is no gun in the house, the incidence of gun accident there is very low indeed. As to the idea that the mere presence of a gun in the house increases your chance of being a victim of gun murder... That's not as clear. The study I believe Mr. Cohen is citing without attribution is not a good one as it did not take on causation at all, merely post hoc propter hoc.
It's even worse for children. By one estimate, more than 75% of guns used in suicide attempts and unintentional injuries in those between birth and age 19 were kept in the home of the victim, at relatives or with friends. Imagine if Americans were told that every time they went to the gun store to buy a weapon.
So 3/4 of suicides and accidents with guns for child victims involved guns kept "in the home of the victim, at relatives or with friends". So 1/4 involved guns held by non-relative strangers. Doesn't that seem high?
As Mr. Cohen notes, gun ownership has soared in the United Sates from an already high number to an even higher number. Despite the tens of millions of new guns purchased over the past several decades the rate of American gun homicide rate per 100,000 has fallen by at least 40%. Is that not refutation to anyone saying more guns lead to more gun crime, at least for the ultimate taking of another life?
Mr. Cohen doesn't mention that statistic.
The potential gun confiscators can't handle that truth.
Labels: Gun Violence; Michael Cohen