Sunday, December 28, 2014

Statistics

A bit dated from last summer...
Statistics can be like nailing jello to the wall in that the interpretation of Statistics, and quoted out of context Statistics leads to erroneous results.

We have all heard that if you have a gun in the home you are more-than-likely to be killed by a gun in the house ( sometime quoted, by that gun). This was based on reports from statistical data, but wait that is not all, there are questions to be asked. Is the murder rate of a home invasion higher for gun owners versus non gun owners. The environment where the gun owner lives...was home invasion murder with a gun in a higher risk than those who were not. What is the ratio of home invasion murders with a gun between gun owners and non gun owners in those same high risk areas...was there a member of in home involved with gang violence.

Back to the quote you heard often, if you have a gun in the house you are more likely to be killed by the gun is false. The data was isolating gun owners and leaving out an important fact, according to John Lott, that the guns are being brought into the home, it was not the gun owner's personal weapon gun that was involved in their home invasion murder.
Statistics can be like nailing jello to the wall in that the interpretation of Statistics, and quoted out of context Statistics leads to erroneous results.

You have to be careful evaluating reports from all sources. The integrity of reporting data was lost along time ago. One has to consider who is sponsoring the research and what are they mining for. Then how was the data collected and who sponsored the data collection, and what are the controls pertaining to the data collection. Of course, there are no endless funds for wholesome research, so you need to make the most of what you have without bias, and you do this with a critical analysis...still knowing what you are working with is less than perfect--who is going to do that? Many times that is left to us.

Anyway, I do not totally agree with everything that John Lott reports, but he is one of the few that pushes back and says, hey, let's take a look at that data, how did you come up with those results, and is there another way to interpret that data. I ran across this letter to the editor conversation below.

==========

First, Stephen DunLop, MD is the president of Hoosier Concerned about Gun Violence and he recently wrote an article in the "IndyStar" in Indianapolis which was refuted by John Lott with a letter to the Editor, quoted below:

"Stephen Dunlop, with Hoosiers Concerned about Gun Violence, makes a number of mistakes in his Aug. 15 letter, “Gun violence remains a public health issue.” In talking about the risks of guns in the home, Dunlop ignored that the research he cited assumes that if a person was killed and a gun was owned in the home, it was the gun in the home that was responsible for the death. In fact, virtually all of those deaths were due to guns being brought in by criminals getting into the home. For one of the papers in the meta-analysis, in only eight of the 444 homicide cases was a “gun involved (that) had been kept in the home.” Nor do the studies separate homes of gang members from those of law-abiding citizens.

As to Dunlop’s claim that my research is “discredited,” if he had looked at the literature, he would have discovered that about two-thirds of peer-reviewed research by economists and criminologists find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime. And no one finds higher murder, rape or robbery from concealed handgun laws.

John R. Lott Jr.

President
Crime Prevention Research Center"

Saturday, March 08, 2014

National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

Going to make some comments about The Brady Campaign, limiting the scope to just background checks. There is a recent published report that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has “stopped more than 2.1 million would-be gun purchases” sure sounds impressive, but that is mis-leading. 


The vast majority of the 2.1 million people flagged by NICS were legitimate purchasers who were snagged by mistake along with criminals who were basically turned loose to obtain firearms elsewhere without prosecution.

As an example, in 2010 only 62 out of 72,659 NICS denials led to prosecutions by the federal government – and only 13 of those prosecutions resulted in a conviction. That’s only .0001 percent...

According to Vice-President Joe Biden, the reason for the Administration’s lack of enforcement is that “we simply don’t have the time or the manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” OK, then what’s the noise about background checks and what's the point if only 62 out of 72,659 are getting prosecuted?

A recent Department of Justice survey of 1,402 convicted criminals found that nearly 90 percent of them got their guns from sources that would have not been blocked by NICS.

You would think that if the Brady Campaign's goal was to keep guns out of the wrong hands, it would challenge Biden and the Obama administration on their admitted refusal to prosecute those they know may be attempting to purchase a firearm illegally, right?

So could it be that what the Brady Campaign really wants is to register all guns and it really has little to do with anything other than control?

Just my thoughts...

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm Related Violence

As part of President Obama orders directing federal agencies to improve the knowledge of the causes of firearm violence, the Administration lifted the CDC ban on investigating gun violence;  what does that first major gun research in 17 years spending about 10 million dollars of your tax payer dollars reveal? 

The finding within this report is probably was is not what was expected by many...

Here are some key findings that refute some of the anti-gun movement’s deepest conviction within this CDC report:

1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker: 
“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual 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 compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.” (Page 16)

2. Defensive uses of guns are common:
“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.” (Page 26)

3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining:
“The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” The report also notes, “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.” (Page 24)

4. “Interventions” (i.e, gun control) such as background checks, so-called assault rifle bans and gun-free zones produce “mixed” results:
“Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue.” The report could not conclude whether “passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime.” (Page 44)

5. Gun buyback/turn-in programs are “ineffective” in reducing crime:
“There is empirical evidence that gun turn in programs are ineffective, as noted in the 2005 NRC study Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. For example, in 2009, an estimated 310 million guns were available to civilians in the United States (Krouse, 2012), but gun buy-back programs typically recover less than 1,000 guns (NRC, 2005). On the local level, buy-backs may increase awareness of firearm violence. However, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, guns recovered in the buy-back were not the same guns as those most often used in homicides and suicides (Kuhn et al., 2002).” (Page 55)

6. Stolen guns and retail/gun show purchases account for very little crime:
“More recent prisoner surveys suggest that stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals. … According to a 1997 survey of inmates, approximately 70 percent of the guns used or possess by criminals at the time of their arrest came from family or friends, drug dealers, street purchases, or the underground market.” (Page 43)

7. The vast majority of gun-related deaths are not homicides, but suicides:

“Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.” (Page 13)

For transparency promised but rarely practiced, why all the silence, we need to pay attention...Read for yourself:
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18319&page=R1

Monday, October 10, 2011

Support Republicans if Democrats Don't Support the Right to Bear Arms

by C. Michael Arnold, Eugene, Oregon Attorney

Our elected officials at the Oregon State Legislature determined some time ago that only they could regulate guns in Oregon. ORS 166.170 clearly states that “the authority to regulate [firearms] in any matter whatsoever…is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.” Even ignoring the constitutional implications, it is quite terrifying that the unelected bureaucrats at the State Board of Higher Education would ignore this Oregon law. The Oregon Court of Appeals recently stated the obvious: This statute leaves the authority to regulate firearms with the Oregon Legislature. (Read the opinion for yourself here).

Now there is talk by many Democrats in the legislature that there is a need to “fix the campus gun loophole,” as if there can be a loophole that allows us to exercise our rights. If any Democratic legislator attempts to overturn this case by amending ORS 166.170, I and others will actively financially support their Republican opponents. That is my promise and the promise of countless others.

Hopefully, Democrats such as my senator Floyd Prozanski will get this message and use their time in the legislature to protect our constitutional rights and not restrict them. This issue is an absolute deal breaker. I support all of our constitutional rights, and I expect our legislators not to pick and choose among them as if there is a salad bar of rights.

It will be a scary time when we have to support Democrats to keep the Republicans from fleecing jobs and support Republicans to keep Democrats from fleecing rights. Let’s keep our party in check now to avoid problems come election time. Ask your legislators now if they support CHL permit holders right to carry on campuses.

* Mike Arnold is a Eugene trial lawyer who gets to talk to juries regularly all over the statute about our constititonal rights. He farms in his spare time and is married to a record-setting Missouri whitetail deer hunter. His views are his own and don't necessarily reflect the views of this "big tent" caucus.  Mike last wrote about this topic in 2007 regarding UW's policy of no guns on campus that didn't prevent a gun death on campus.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sen. Prozanski and the Gun Owners Caucus

In light of a recent email that was sent out by Sen. Prozanski, we felt compelled to offer a statement:

The Gun Owners Caucus of the Democratic Party of Oregon is a big-tent Caucus and we do not limit our membership save that our members be registered Democrats and 2nd Amendment supporters. Any pro-2nd Amendment Democrat is welcome to join the GOC and add to our diversity. Some of our membership may agree with Sen. Prozanski's positions and behavior in the Senate Judiciary Committee last session and many do not. While Sen Prozansky does not speak for all of us, his is an example of the diversity of opinions which we cherish and encourage, albeit, do not promulgate as official caucus positions.


Monday, August 01, 2011

Good-bye

To my friends from the GOC I'd like to say good-bye and thanks. I am ceasing all political activity.

Chuck

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 Oregon Gun Legislation Tracking Website


I am doing my best to keep on top of 2011 gun related legislation in Oregon. Visit the legislation tracking website: http://www.bluesteeldemocrats.org/legislation/2011Bills.html. This is no small task.

Notice that HB 2787 (CHL Privacy), 2792 (CHL Reciprocity) & 2797 (guns and atvs) passed the house. On the Legislation Tracking website, you can click to see how your Representative voted and contact them to thank them or educate them. You can listen to the audio archives to see if your legislator said anything good or bad.

Now for the Senate: Nothing is making it thorough the Senate Judiciary Committee and that is where the above bills now sit. The Chair of the Judiciary Committee is Sen Floyd Prozanski (D). If we want to influence whether or not these bills get through committee we need to contact Sen. Prozanski (sen.floydprozanski@state.or.us) and let him know how we feel. This should be a personally written letter that is polite and makes mention on the subject line that it is from a Democrat - in hopes that he will be more likely to read it. O.F.F is saying that Sen. Prozanski's excuse is that the Senate Democratic Caucus is against these bills. If that is true, Democratic constituents are the ones who are in the best position to influence the outcome. There is a link on the above website that makes it easy to contact all of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, too.

If you hadn't heard about his website already, you must not be a member of the Gun Owners Caucus, because we have been sending out email about it. If you would like to join, do so here: http://www.bluesteeldemocrats.org. We'd love to have you.

The Gun Owners Caucus officially takes no position on these bills, we just provide information to help our members make educated decisions on pending legislation. Any bias you see above is my personal opinion slipping through, and I apologize.

Jodi