Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Gun debate: Is the price of an armed America a more dangerous America?

Charles Ingram and Robert Webster were neighbors inFlorida, but friends said the two older men had little love for each other and often quarreled. On a spring day in 2010, the two men, both gun enthusiasts who had state permits to carry concealed weapons, got into another argument across their lawns.
This time, police later said, both men pulled out their weapons. When Mr. Webster began approaching, Mr. Ingram raised his gun, as did Webster. Two shots rang out simultaneously, and both men fell. Webster died almost instantly, Ingram less than a month later.
That "Deadwood"-style neighborhood gunfight is one of 555 examples compiled by advocates of gun control detailing how the mere presence of legal guns can turn mundane moments into tragedies – sobering rebuttals against the estimated tens of thousands of times a year Americans brandish guns in self-defense to thwart crimes in progress.


  1. Mike, this article seems to list both sides of the argument, but I doubt they looked carefully at the data. As you can see, they even mention the Police One survey that you're so tired of hearing about.
    Plus they mention the VPC's artificially inflated list of what they call concealed carry killers. This article is likely a good example of someone listing all of the arguments, but not really looking at the data.

    "In North Carolina, one of only a handful of states that reveals the identities of permit holders, 200 of the 240,000 concealed carriers (.08 percent) committed felonies of all types, including eight shooting deaths, in the five-year period ending in 2011."

    "Using data reported by police to the FBI, the National Crime Victimization Survey reports that Americans used guns in self-defense 338,700 times over five years ending in 2011."

    "Surprisingly to some, 91 percent of 15,000 police officers polled recently by the PoliceOne organization also said they support citizens' ability to carry concealed weapons."

  2. And so we can add my home state to the list of states where people are indeed checking on carry license holders. And if the most virulent anti-gun organizatin on the national stage can find 555 out of 8,000,000 plus license holders, I challenge the Violence Policy Center to name any other group with a record that good.

    Let's also note the biased language in the article here. Brandishing is a crime, but what was being described was displaying a gun to stop a crime from occurring. That's a legal act of self-defense.

    And by the way, Mikeb, the one verified case of a "Deadwood" style shootout in the Old West was between James Butler Hickok and Dave Tutt in Springfield, Missouri in 1865.

    1. Aren't those 555 all murders? Are you doing that distorting twisting thing again, pretending that only murders count?

    2. Not all of those 555 are murders. Some of them are legitimate acts of self-defense. But even if you take every one of the 555 as criminal homicide, they are murders since 2007, so that's over six years or more, and divided against the total number of carry license holders, it's a failure rate that is far better than should be possible, given the gun control narrative.

    3. "Aren't those 555 all murders? Are you doing that distorting twisting thing again, pretending that only murders count?"

      Mike, all I did was go to the VPC report. Its a pdf file so I did a search for suicide. I didn't count the murder/suicides, just the solo act. I came up with a total of 132. I found several entries like the one listed below. I also found at least one instance of a murder/suicide that occurred in Michigan which I presume was discovered through the media. Then it gets counted a second time when they use the State's annual report documenting suicides. There is even an entry from Michigan showing that three permit holders had homicide charges pending when the report was published. That raises the possibility again of one event being counted twice to say nothing about the fact that they had no way to look back and see if any of the three were acquitted.
      They also included five instances of the permit holders killing themselves unintentionally. The biggest stretch though comes in the form of a permit holder having an accidental/negligent discharge of a rifle in his home, which caused a fire, which resulted in two people dying of the fire.
      Going to these lengths to inflate the numbers is one of the many reasons I seldom take the VPC's reports seriously.

      # Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Name Not Provided
      Date: Between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011
      People Killed: 29
      Circumstances: Between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, Michigan State Police report
      that 29 Michigan concealed handgun permit holders took their own lives. In their annual
      report, the Michigan State Police do not release the victim’s name, the exact date of the
      suicide, nor the type of weapon used in the suicide.

    4. Right, the numbers excuse the deaths. Great logic, if you like killing.

    5. Greg and ss, when we're talking about how bad concealed carry permit holders are or when we're talking about kids getting their hands on guns, we cannot limit the downside to deaths. This is a trick that Greg loves to exploit in order to minimize the percentage. It's dishonest.

    6. What you quoted here was about concealed carry. You love to look at raw and uncategorized numbers, but data analysis requires more attention than that.

    7. "data analysis"
      Tells us that legal gun owners irresponsibility is causing innocent death and injury.

    8. "Greg and ss, when we're talking about how bad concealed carry permit holders are or when we're talking about kids getting their hands on guns, we cannot limit the downside to deaths."

      Mike, when the VPC goes to such great lengths as I mentioned above to inflate statistics, it calls into question your side's credibility.
      This isn't even making up numbers out of thin air. Its throwing in events that actually happened, but aren't germane, but hoping no one will notice. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and it took me a whole ten minutes to notice.
      Even more damning is that the list has been there for a while, and updated to boot, yet no one seems to have made an attempt to correct these errors. Even Kellerman was willing to correct his numbers when he was shown to be mistaken.

    9. ss, we're not talking about the VPC tricks. We're talking about Greg's tricks. He frequently quotes gun deaths when attempting to minimize the damage done to kids or, as in this case, by permit holders. That's dishonest because the damage extends far beyond deaths. Do you agree with that or not?

  3. Talk about your good news stories! Wow, two gunsuck morons out at the same time. This is going to make my entire evening bright and happy. I love stories where gunsucks are injured and killed by other gunsucks.