Thursday, March 8, 2012

Washington Ceasefire Ad Campaign




The group’s Know the Facts campaign uses data from a leading book in the gun debate -- “Private Guns, Public Health,” by David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health -- to make the case that a gun in the home generally does more harm than good.

There are estimated to be about 6.5 million guns in Washington State alone -- about one per resident -- and approximately 40% of homes in this state have guns. Many homeowners acquire guns for what they see as a means of protection against intruders, though the facts show that the risks of home gun ownership far outweigh the benefits. One of the Know the Facts ads educates the public that when there is a gun in the home, there is a 22x greater chance of killing a family member or a friend than an intruder.

In one of the largest studies on the topic covering three cities -- Galveston, Memphis and Seattle -- there were only 13 legally justified acts of self-defense out of a total of 626 fatal and non-fatal shootings in residences. The survey was taken in 1994, and several subsequent studies validate the findings. According to ‘Private Guns, Public Health,” there has never been a study demonstrating that a gun in the home can meaningfully deter or thwart burglaries or home invasion.
A spokesman for the organization said they aren't pushing for a change in legislation which would disallow guns in homes, they're trying to educate the public which often suffers from the misconception that a gun in the home makes them safer.

Where do you think that misconception comes from? Cui bono, baby?

Another very interesting statistic was presented in the article.

There are almost 600 gun deaths annually in Washington state – a death toll higher than that from motor vehicle accidents --  including some 350 suicides. Indeed, a majority of completed suicides are via a firearm.
I suppose in low gun states like New Jersey and New York, car accidents take a bigger toll. But Washington State must be typical of the high-gun states.

It all comes back to the simple fact that guns cause more harm than good.

15 comments:

  1. 1. Twenty-two times more likely? I thought that it was forty-three. Or was it make-up-a-distressing-sounding number? The First Amendment protects political speech, even when it's a bald-faced lie.

    2. So more than half of the gun deaths in Washington are suicides? That's a choice. Take away guns and then you'll go about trying to make ropes and air-tight garages illegal.

    3. I do think about the guns that I buy. I learn what I can about them, and when I see one that appeals to me, I check my bank account and buy from time to time.

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    1. 1. Whatever the percentage is, it's bad.
      2. Take away the guns and the total number of successful suicides would be half.
      3. I don't know why you wrote that.

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    2. 1. Good, bad, or indifferent isn't the question. Is the number accurate? No. Does society need to pass new laws to change that inaccurate number? No.

      2. Take away choice, and no one will do what isn't approved. Quit trying to control people--how about that?

      3. The people who put up the sign want me to think twice before I buy a gun. They seem to believe that I just stumble into the gun store and incoherently point at the display case.

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  2. Not My Real NameMarch 8, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Ever notice how the argument sounds completely ridiculous if you leave out the totals for suicide? No wonder anti-gun bigots always conflate the numbers and use ambiguous stats like "gun deaths". They don't want you to focus on actual crime statistics.

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    1. Suicide is a crime too, in every sense of the word. Gun suicides would be greatly reduced if you removed the gun, just like gun murders would. Neither would be eliminated, but improvement is what we're after here.

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    2. Only in a tyrant's world can what I do with and to myself be considered a crime. In addition, what you fail to recognize is that a suicidal person will simply change methods. Are ropes next on your list of things to ban?

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    3. "Gun suicides would be greatly reduced if you removed the gun"

      Well, duh. Rope suicides would be greatly reduced if you removed the rope. That is a brilliant observation Mike! Unfortunately, removing the gun or the rope doesn't prevent someone from killing themselves. It only changes their tactic.

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    4. You caught me, man. It's hard to make a mistake around here and get away with it.

      I meant:

      "Suicides would be greatly reduced if you removed the gun, just like murders would."

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    5. Don't miss the huge error in your thinking by focusing on the smaller errors.

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  3. Ceasefire Washington makes it clear that they are against legal gun ownership, unlike MAG which at least publicly claims to only be after illegal guns (but we know better). Sure they say they aren’t out to get legislation passed forbidding gun ownership, but that would be in clear violation of the constitution and the Supreme Court decisions, so what does it matter that they say they don’t want to do something that they can’t do? Instead they want to discourage gun ownership through public education campaigns. Ok, so it’s pretty clear that they would push legislation that discourages gun ownership- a major complaint I have of many gun control propositions. What would you say to Republicans who say “look, I am not trying to disallow poor people from voting (only because I can’t, mind you). I am just trying to make it harder for poor people to vote by making it more expensive or more of a pain in the butt. So what’s the big deal?”

    Second, looking at your “more bad than good” statement, are you saying that the only good that comes out of gun ownership is a dead intruder? Because that is what is being measured. That is not very consistent with other posts that you do here where you are pretty solidly against dead intruders.

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    1. To me, "more bad than good" means for every legitimate DGU, you'd have several MISuses of the gun.

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  4. The "22 times more likely" figure is grossly inaccurate. The statistic includes abusive husbands as "family members" and also includes incidents with illegally-owned firearms. When you correct the study to eliminate cases where the "family member" is a violent aggressor, situations in which the "family member" is engaged in illegal activities, and instances where the ownership of the firearm is already illegal under existing laws (e.g. the owner is a convicted felon) the reality is that legally owned firearms pose significantly more risk to attackers than to innocents.

    Ultimately, the problem is that statistics such as these lump all firearms (and all family members) into the same category. If a woman shoots her abusive husband to stop him from beating her to death, that "counts" as a gun killing a family member but not as an intruder. If a convicted felon illegally has a gun and shoots an accomplice over a drug money dispute, that "counts" as a gun killing a friend but not as an intruder.

    When one restricts the sample set to only those who obtain firearms legally and excludes instances where a "family member" or "friend" is a violent aggressor, the statistics tell a very different story.

    Now, regarding suicides, between 1988 and 1998 suicides fell from just over 18,000 annually to just over 17,000 annually. During the same time period, however, the number of firearms increased from about 280 million to 330 million. (Data from FBI, CDC, and BATF.) Japan, which has no private firearm ownership (aside from the handful of licensed shooters on Japan's Olympic team) had a suicide rate that was twice the US rate in 2011 (per WHO data). The availability of firearms is simply not a driver of the suicide rate; other sociopolitical and psychological factors are in play here.

    As far as suicide being a crime "in every sense of the word," I challenge you to find a section of the RCW to support this assertion. The closest you will come is RCW 9A.36.060 which prohibits the promotion of suicide. Even this, however, does not criminalize the act of suicide itself. There are no penalties under the law for a person who attempts his or her own suicide and, as such, suicide cannot be considered a "crime" in any sense, much less "every" sense.

    None of this is to say that firearms laws could not be improved. For example, current HIPAA laws that prohibit the release of psychiatric information to state agencies are a major problem because that information really should be available in the federal NICS background check system that everyone goes through to purchase a firearm. However, the facts are that persons who obtain their firearms legally simply do not face the elevated risks described by the advertising campaign.

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    1. Thanks for such a thoughtful and respectful comment, especially this part.

      "None of this is to say that firearms laws could not be improved."

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  5. Washington Ceasefire is LAME. They are not only trying to take away our 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms but they’re also infringing upon our 1st Amendment rights to free speech through censoring by deleting comments and banning people from their facebook wall that have alternative views than they do.

    Our website is proof that they have been deleting and censoring comments from their wall. You will see that they no longer have any of the comments that aren’t in favor of their message. Search "Washington Ceasefire is LAME" on Google, Twitter and facebook.

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    1. Not too many gun control people and organizations want to take away your 2A rights. They want to regulate guns better, that's different.

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