Sunday, June 19, 2022

Quick Summary

The Quillette article about gun ownership and gun deaths mixes together the suicide and homicide numbers. The former is sensitive to gun availability, the latter is not, or just barely. Additionally, there are more gun deaths in high-crime areas, and people buy guns defensively for that purpose, raising the total. One can argue that is a vicious cycle, but that can be attributed to feelings, as it could just as easily describe a virtuous cycle of prevention. One has to dig deeper to suss out which is happening - and in the end, the amount of gun ownership is not going to be a major factor in any case.

Emergency clinicians are increasingly trained to get all dangerous items, especially those the patient has used in the past, away from the person in crisis: guns, pills, car keys, etc. You can usually find an uncle willing to hold the guns for a few months, or however long the crisis lasts.


PenGun said...

"You can usually find an uncle willing to hold the guns for a few months, or however long the crisis lasts."

Of course, a complete solution.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

It is statistically very good. The determined will find another method or another way of getting to their preferred method. But the crisis-point intervention brings great reduction, better than verbal contracting, entering therapy, or alerting the family. The only thing that seem to be better is eliminating substance abuse. And it doesn't chase a whole family out of engaging with mental health services, which is what insisting on absolute removal often does.

Donna B. said...


Here are some ideas for some 'complete' solutions:
1) Time travel to un-invent guns and all other explosives.
2) Engineer evolution to eliminate human nature. Or perhaps, humans.
3) Re-engineer nature to make all rocks and sticks from Nerf.
3a) Re-engineer nature to eliminate all substances that can be abused.
4) Pass a law requiring everyone to be mentally stable and possess an IQ of exactly 100.

Upon further thought, none of the above alone would be a 'complete solution' except the 2nd part of #2.

PenGun said...

Guns. One real problem is that they make it so easy, and so allow you to be little involved, in your attack on anyone.

Getting up close and personal and sticking a knife in someone is a much more visceral and intense experience. It requires you to be there as they die, and experience what you have done immediately and completely. You have to be hard and more ruthless than any average person, to do this kind of thing. So you can kill someone easily with a gun, it requires a whole other level of dedication to use a knife.

Its my contention that arming a population, then making those arms almost a cultural necessity, is a bad way to go. In a war zone you need a good gun, everywhere else, not so much. You have a nation wide war zone in partial play. What could go wrong.

Now Trudeau just banned hand guns in Canada. Well the sale and owning of new ones. I am ambivalent as we don't have a serious gun culture here and this may not be the best way to reduce gun ownership.

I wander my mountains and routinely meet Elk, Bear and the occasional Mountain Lion. If I had a gun, I would be afraid to. As I do not, I have to make some kind of deal, and that's been working well for almost 40 years now. ;) I know my animals, and make sure they do not fear me, except for the Mountain Lions that need to fear me, so we get along.

David Foster said...

If I understood the article correctly, they correlated availability of guns with *gun homicides*. It would have been better to correlate the availability with *total* homicides. I don't know what the fungibility of murder is, but I'm sure it's not zero.

David Foster said...

I'll note also that guns can be smuggled across the southern border. Also they can be *made*, without benefit of a formal factory...will we at some point see a proposal to restrict ownership of machine tools and 3-D printers?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Pen Gun - Yes, you have that feeling about what must be true about guns. And many other people have similar feelings. Most Canadians would agree, for example. We have all heard these theories many times, and I used to believe them myself. The numbers don't back that up.

@ David Foster - yes, fair. I got involved in answering to the graph and the comments more than the article.

Christopher B said...

They have to mix homicide and suicide statistics in order to obscure this inconvenient correlation.

North Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Wyoming all have murder rates that are under one murder per 100,000 residents.

source:worldpopulation review

Here are the 10 states with the highest rates of gun ownership:

Montana (66.30%)
Wyoming (66.20%)
Alaska (64.50%)
Idaho (60.10%)
West Virginia (58.50%)
Arkansas (57.20%)
Mississippi (55.80%)
Alabama (55.50%)
South Dakota (55.30%)
North Dakota (55.10%)

source:worldpopulation review

Assistant Village Idiot said...

And Vermont isn't low at 50%. Maine and NH are in the 40's. It works somewhat the other way as well. NJ has low gun ownership rates, for example, less than 15%. It doesn't seem to have fixed things quite as much as one might expect.

Christopher B said...

If you look at the top 5 murder states at the same source you might notice Mississippi and Alabama are also on the top 10 gun-owning list, and squaring that with the rest of the top 10 is likely to raise some politically incorrect questions.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

There is also the recursive estimation of safety depending on how safe your area is. If you lived in a place where everyone was peaceable you would feel less concerned about the self-defense part and might be less likely to acquire one. But if everyone on your street is shooting each other up you might read up on the available guns quickly and get yourself some lessons.