Thursday, June 23, 2016

Saving a Few Percent

Last night, before there was shooting in Germany, where I believe they have "reasonable" and "common-sense" gun legislation*, a few people shared on my FB an essay about a cute little three-year-old girl having to learn to stand up on a toilet in a drill at school to be safe in the event of an active shooter. How heartbreaking it all is.  What a terrible world, etc.  And we won't even try.  I am presuming they don't have a similar opinion of fire drills.

I was caught by the numbers that she knows gun control won't prevent 100% of crime, but doesn't know if it will help 1% or 2% or 50%. How will we know if we don't try?  Which seems strange in a place where there already are lots of gun regulations, different in many states, different country-to-country and we have some ability to measure and compare. If you've actually got something out there that will reduce violent crime by 50%, I'm pretty sure we're all on board with listening to that. No, she is writing about size of magazines and the like, so I'm betting she is reacting to school shootings and the like, not drug deals gone bad or hunting accidents or suicides.

Just a little back-of-the-envelope calculation here...4-6 incidents a year @ 2% would be about one less incident of 4+ deaths every 10 years.  Or maybe it's number of victims per incident, which would be one less at Orlando. If you look hard enough, you can retrospectively find an incident, maybe even two or three over the last few decades, where some law that you are imposing retroactively would have made a difference.  Unless the shooters just bring multiple guns, of course, which they seem to commonly do. Real life is more dynamic.

*crickets chirping tonight.


Texan99 said...

I'm getting those FB posts, too--"Why can't we even try." What do they think all the regulations and training and social conventions and police we have now are? That's not "trying"? I suspect what they mean by "trying" is really "trying to eliminate guns," not "try to create a society in which we do something reasonable to restrain crazy people from deadly violence without making the whole place unliveable for everyone else all the time." Why can't we eliminate all bad things from happening? It goes along with the "in the world's richest country, why can't we . . ." arguments, which usually mean, if you scratch the surface, "Why can't someone else spend his money on . . . ." You want to prevent bad/sick people from committing murder? Make the bad/sick people so happy they don't need or want to kill anyone. Don't know how? Yeah, me neither.

james said...

Let's grow cars by planting tires instead of corn. How do you know it won't work? Can't we even try?

jaed said...

I think a lot of the disconnect is with people who cannot even conceive of defending yourself with a firearm. (Or perhaps who cannot conceive of successfully defending yourself at all - it may not be specific to guns.) I mention this because I've heard from so many people who say things like "The only purpose of a gun is to kill people!" as though this were self-evident (and self-evidently bad).

In this way of thinking, guns have no useful purpose. They're only used by criminals. So there's no legitimate reason to have one - those who think they do have a use for one are simply delusional, since self-defense by use of force is unthinkable. Naturally they are not satisfied with current gun-control measures, since there are still guns.