A couple weeks ago I made a statement that among the legal gun owners there are between 10% and 30% who should not have guns. After the bombardment of complaints I received, I retracted the statement and amended it to a simple 10%. Naturally, the pro-gun crowd who felt they had me on the ropes weren't satisfied with that. They were outraged. They demanded proof. They provided "proof" that the figure is really less than 1%. One guy suggested I downgrade my idea from "theory" to "hunch."
In this post I propose to offer a bit of what goes into my thinking. I won't call it proof, because as I've said before, much of this is not quantifiable. We must use common sense. So, in order to guard against bias, I'll downplay the numbers, allowing only very conservative figures to go towards the final result.
In the end, I will once again call my idea a "theory," and I would expect to never again hear the complaint that I make this up as I go along, that I say these numbers off the top of my head, and as Mike W. so eloquently put it, that I pull this stuff out of my ass.
Here goes. Let's presume there are 80 million gun owners. That means we need to identify 8 million who aren't fit to have a gun.
Good guys who turn bad. 1%
Some of you guys have generously provided the stats on concealed carry guys who get in trouble. That combined with the FBI stats of overall crime, allowing for the fact that some of the FBI criminals were not gun owners, we come up with about 1 million. So what we're saying is every year about 1 million gun owners out of the 80 million get in serious enough trouble to lose their right to bear arms. If you have trouble with that, look at the crime stats, add the felonies up and divide by 2, estimating that half the men own guns.
Alcoholics and drug addicts. 3%
It is estimated that 8.5% of the population is alcoholic. What percentage do you suppose has problems with other substances, anything from prescription medication to illicit drugs, another 10%?. Let's say 5%. That's 13.5% of our population at large and consequently of the 80 million gun owners. In all fairness, most of them, although I don't personally feel comfortable with their having weapons, won't cause any problems. But what of the worst 3%, say? These are the guys who become anti-social when they drink or party with drugs. You know the type. 3%.
It is estimated that about 8% of our population had at least one MDE (major depressive episode) in the last year. Gunowners, being no different from regular folks, can claim this same percentage, which I'll bet goes a long way explaining all those suicides. Since not everyone who suffers one of these episodes attempts suicide or does something else rash, let's call it 3%.
Rage (including road rage). 1%
One of the most frightening types of rage is called Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). It is estimated that 4% of the population has yearly episodes. I say not a single one of them should own a gun. I realize some of these guys also suffer from depression and may have even been counted under "Alcoholics and drug addicts," so we can cut the 4% in half twice and settle on 1%. I'll throw in the regular rageaholics and road rage maniacs for free. 1%.
Domestic abusers. 3%
It is estimated that 22% of women in America have been abused. It's men doing that abusing, usually the domestic partner, so let's say 22% of the men out there are guilty of this behaviour. Only about half of those men are gun owners, so we're down to 11%. Now, let's eliminate the one's who slap their partners once in a while because they asked for it. Now let's cut it way down because many responsible owners of firearms can successfully separate their domestic squabbles from their proper gun management. I say 3%.
The U.S. Department of Justice statistics for 2005 say that 191,670 incidents of rape or sexual assault were reported. Only 16% of rapes and sexual assaults are reported which brings the total in 2005 to about 1 million. 1 of 6 U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. These rapists may be some of the same guys we already counted in the "Domestic abusers" percentage. Also, some of these1 million rapes per year might be done by the same people, creating additional duplicate counting. I say we need another small entry here, say 1%.
General stupidity and irresponsibility. one half of 1%
I couldn't find anything to support this except humorous things that weren't very funny. But, just look around. You know who these people are.
There you have it, support for my "theory" that about 10% of the legal gun owners should not have weapons. I honestly believe using the same method I could make a good argument for the higher figures I'd stated earlier, but in the spirit of giving the benefit of the doubt in all cases, I'll leave it at 10% (rounded down from 13%, you probably noticed).
Some gun enthusiasts are very comfortable with the "us against them" mentality. They do it with the good gun owners and the criminal ones. They do it with the pro-gun folks and the anti-gun folks. It's all foolishness, say I. It is from their very midst, from this 10% that we have a significant "people flow." Not every one of the members of the group will go bad, and certainly not this year, but it is from their ranks that we see so many national headlines.
Please feel free to comment. I'd love to hear your opinion.
Here's your basic problem MikeB. You don't have ANY quantifiable data to serve as a starting point for your 10% hunch.ReplyDelete
It is quite literally nothing more than some BS number you've pulled of out this air.
Why should anyone take a theory seriously when it is not based on any substantive evidence. Actually, since it's not based on anything even remotely factual it's really a "hunch" not a theory.
I could say that 10% of anti-gun bloggers are rapists, but without anything to substantiate it such a statement is nothing more than pure BS.
Simply making a statement doesn't mean it has any validity whatsoever.
Some of you guys have generously provided the stats on concealed carry guys who get in trouble. That combined with the FBI stats of overall crime, allowing for the fact that some of the FBI criminals were not gun owners, we come up with about 1 million. So what we're saying is every year about 1 million gun owners out of the 80 million get in serious enough trouble to lose their right to bear arms.ReplyDelete
Stop right there MikeB, and look at the FBI stats you just linked to.
~1.4 million violent crimes out of a population of 301 million. That number is for ALL VIOLENT CRIMES, not "violent crimes with firearms" so you cannot use it to measure gun crime.
Furthermore, you're assuming that 1million of the 1.4 million violent crimes are committed ONLY by the 80million legal gun owners. What of the other 220 million in the population? Funny how you omit them.
I notice you keep saying "I say, I say" making up supposed percentages as you go along. You expect me to consider that evidence?
If it is 10% as you so erroneously claim, why are the total FBI violent crime numbers not AT LEAST 8 million rather than 1.4 million?
Let's pretend momentarily that I'm willing to accept that your estimates have some basis in . . . anything. You are suggesting that the freedom of every nine people should be curtailed because of the character flaws of a tenth person? I don't think so, Mike. If my actions warrant the curtailment of my rights, that's something I'll have to deal with--I'll have brought it on myself. Otherwise, that "10%" has nothing to do with me.ReplyDelete
You, remember, act all hurt and surprised when we jump on you for your attacks on the irresponsibility and bad behavior of some gun owners, because if that description doesn't apply to us, we have no business being offended by it. But then you want it both ways, by saying that we should give up our rights for the behavior of such people.
Not just no, but HELL NO.
@Mike W. - Are you a religious person?ReplyDelete
I think that you show your lack of critical thinking here. To begin, you do a horrible job of looking at overlap of the population (alcohol is a depressant, wanna place a bet that the percentage of alcoholics having a bout of depression is higher than the general population).
Next, you repeatedly make the statement that gun owners are no different than everyone else. Yet the only dataset that we have to validate this statement (CCW holders) shows the exact opposite, that crime, depression, domestic abuse, etc. among CCW is lower than the population as a whole.
Let me make it simpler for you, Florida has a long history of issuing (and revoking) concealed carry permits. 1.4 million issued, 170ish revoked for gun crime, 4500 revoked for all reasons (which would be alcoholics, mentally unstable, other crime). So the percentage of CCW having their right revoked is 0.3%. Now for your sake we will assume that all other gun owners are 10X more volatile, so 3% shouldn't own guns. Which rounds up to 10%.
So with your theory of 10% who shouldn't own guns, how do find out who they are? If they haven't met your definition of bad guy, alcoholic, deppressive, road rager, or nut job yet (i.e. they're going to commit a crime tomorrow, next week, or next month) then do they still get to own guns now while they are in their right mind? Is there some genetic marker for these traits that we can look for? Better yet, are ou proposing that there be a psychic background check when ever someone wants to buy a gun?
I can see it now. "I'd like to buy this Sig, sir."
"OK, son, fill out these forms first."
"Alright, let me call the FBI...blah blah blah. Well, everything looks good with them, now I need to check with Miss Cleo...oh, sorry, she says your going to beat your wife 5 years from now."
"But I'm gay."
"Sorry son, the law is the law."
Your "estimate" seems to be based on every "category" being separate and apart from the other one.
Isn't it more likely that some/most of those that abuse alcohol and drugs are the same ones suffer from depression?
Alcohol and drugs
On average between 2001 and 2005 —
l the presence of any alcohol or drugs was reported by victims in about 42% of all nonfatal intimate partner violence.
l victims reported that approximately 8% of all nonfatal intimate partner victimizations occurred when a perpetrator was under
the influence of both alcohol and drugs.
l female and male victims of nonfatal intimate partner violence were equally likely to report the presence of alcohol during their
l female and male victims of nonfatal intimate partner violence both reported their attacker was under the influence of drugs in
about 6% of all victimizations.
Or that some of those that are depressed are the ones causing domestic violence and/or road rage?
I could go on, but you get the idea. I wish there was some way to tell how many people with firearms get in trouble with the law each year...if there was only some place we could turn to!!!!
Family Violence Statistics: Including Statistics on Strangers and Acquaintances
Compares family and nonfamily violence statistics from victimization through the different stages of the justice system. Family violence is defined as all types of violent crime committed by an offender who is related to the victim and includes spouse abuse, parental violence against a child, and violence among other family members. Nonfamily relationships used for comparison include boyfriends and girlfriends, friends and acquaintances, and strangers. Data are drawn from victimization surveys, official police statistics, State and Federal court statistics, and surveys of inmates in State prisons and local jails.
Highlights include the following:
* Family violence accounted for 11% of all reported and unreported violence between 1998 and 2002.
* About 22% of murders in 2002 were family murders.
* Of the nearly 500,000 men and women in State prisons for a violent crime in 1997, 15% were there for a violent crime against a family member.
Hmm, just from the highlights we see only 15% of all criminals in jail for violent crime were there for a crime against family members.
And in 1997 firearms were used in only 9% of all non-fatal violent crime....we know that 15% is too high right?
So....maybe actually looking for the data would help you refine your numbers a little bit, eh?
Nope, not at all. I'm agnostic.ReplyDelete
Why? It has nothing to do with what's being discussed here.
how do find out who they are? If they haven't met your definition of bad guy, alcoholic, deppressive, road rager, or nut job yet (i.e. they're going to commit a crime tomorrow, next week, or next month) then do they still get to own guns now while they are in their right mind.ReplyDelete
Well we already know MikeB doesn't believe in presumption of innocence, so I doubt he'll care if they haven't done something to merit being called a bad guy "yet."
And Mike, I stand by my assertion that you pull these numbers out of your ass. See my 2nd comment in this thread.
A 'Theory' has evidence that has been verified and has been repeated by others.
What MikeB has created is a hypothesis. A guess on what he thinks is happening.
Mike W. said, "~1.4 million violent crimes out of a population of 301 million. That number is for ALL VIOLENT CRIMES, not "violent crimes with firearms" so you cannot use it to measure gun crime."ReplyDelete
I think you missed my point. I'm saying that lawful gun owners like yourself who commit felonies lose their rights. That's any felony, not just gun felonies. Follow me?
In other words, of the 80 million, each year about 1% lose their rights by committing crimes.
About the overlap, it's true enough that many alcoholic gun owners might also be counted among those who suffer from depression or beat their wives very badly. That's why I've cut the percentages in half on a few occasions and in the end I gave up three whole points. Remember I came up with 13% and knocked it down to 10%. Each point is equal to 800,000 gun owners.
So I think those percentage points that I halved and the three points I knocked off at the end cover for any overlap.
Yet, According to all reliable sources there are only 500,000 firearm related violent crime.ReplyDelete
For your 10% to be true, there would have be 300,000 unreported crimes a year AND no other people committing firearm related crime.
NO gang bangers committing crimes, no felons in possession committing crimes, no use of community firearms to commit crimes.
Does it sound reasonable that law abiding gun owners -- surely you don't expect criminals to admit to owning guns to the authorities or surveys-- are committing all the firearm related crime in America?
Remember that the FBI estimates that 80% of all crime is related to gangs & drug trade...doesn't that kinda take the wind out of your sails?
Your numbers still don't come even close to adding up MikeB.ReplyDelete
You're focusing on 80 million out of 301 million when making your "estimates."
When it comes down to it your "estimates" are nothing more than wild guesses. We could discuss them if they were based on something concrete, but they're not.
In other words, of the 80 million, each year about 1% lose their rights by committing crimes.
So, do you have any actual data regarding the number of gun owners who have their rights revoked due to felony convictions? If not I'm going to conclude you're pulling numbers out of your ass again.
Bob, You missed something important.ReplyDelete
It's in my last paragraph, talking about the 10%. "Not every one of the members of the group will go bad, and certainly not this year, but it is from their ranks that we see so many national headlines."
. . . but it is from their ranks that we see so many national headlines.ReplyDelete
The fact that such events make "national headlines" is proof of how extraordinarily rare such incidents are--if they happened all the time, they'd barely warrant a brief article on an interior page in the local news.
Are you going to publish my comment from last night or not???ReplyDelete
"but it is from their ranks that we see so many national headlines."ReplyDelete
Because the daily carnage committed by repeat violent offenders in places like Chicago aren't newsworthy.
It's the very fact that these items become 'national headlines' show how they are the exception and not the rule.
kaveman, I've deleted no comments of yours or anyone else's lately.ReplyDelete
I did notice that a comment I myself wrote disappeared. I got a laugh at that one, it's like I moderated myself. I ended up rewriting it.
Sorry, the system may be acting up a bit.
Damn, I spent an entire hour on that.ReplyDelete
So are you saying perhaps 10% over 10 years? meaning 1% a year goes bad.
10% over our lifetimes? 60, 70 years?
That might be closer -- 0.166%.
So, what percentage per year goes "bad"? and when should we all give up our rights because of that percentage?
Bob, That's great. I knew if you kept twisting and strangling the thing long enough you'd get it back to the famous "less than 1%."ReplyDelete
What's your point anyway? Are you saying you're comfortable with 99% of the gun owners? Are you saying they're all as responsible as yourself and Mike W.?
yes, I'm comfortable with 99% of all gunowners.
I'm comfortable with all drivers being allowed to drive UNTIL they prove themselves to be incapable of following the LAW. And more then 1% of drivers have shown that.
Yet, we don't call for background checks on drivers, do we?
We don't have laws limiting the size of the engines (like the .50 caliber BMG rifle that is banned in places) or the cosmetic features on a car (like a pistol grip on a rifle).
We don't have laws saying that all car sales must go through a licensed dealer. Heck I'm not sure that a car dealership has to have any license....yet traffic fatalities are high than firearm fatalities.
Liberty is dangerous, when you give people the freedom to choose some of them will choose unwisely.
We don't require pysch screenings for people who want to have kids...even though quite a few moms and dads kill their kids?
What I see in you and many gun banners is the desire to have freedom without the responsibility that goes with it.
You want to be able to walk around without having to be responsible for your safety. So you try to disarm anyone and everyone thinking that will make you safe.
It doesn't, it won't and it can't make you safe.
Yes, I trust 99% of all gun owners. I trust 99% of all people, but that doesn't mean I don't take reasonable precautions myself. I don't try to force society to change to keep me safe because I know it can not.
I trust most drivers to stop at traffic lights and stop signs, but I still look before I cross the road. Don't you?
You on the other hand want to take away the risk...force everyone to accept governmental control over their lives. Can you show me one place in all of history where the average person was safer with the government having control over their lifes?
Mike. The average gradeschool class is roughly 30 kids. Let's say the teacher gives everyone a pair of scissors for a class project.ReplyDelete
If ONE kid in 30 runs with the scissors after being told not to should the teacher take that child's scissors and discipline him or should she punish the other 97% of the class by taking away all the scissors?
Does her appropriate course of action change if it's 3 kids in 30 (10%) instead of one kid?
Of course given the logic you've displayed I fully expect you'll tell me she needs to take away everyones scissors and cancel the project because Billy couldn't play nice.
Mike W. said I'd probably say "she needs to take away everyones scissors."ReplyDelete
Well, not necessarily, Mike. I'd start by asking her to quit saying the child scissor users are all responsible. I'd ask her to admit that a certain percentage of them, 10% I'd say, are not to be trusted with scissors. I'd ask her to tell that to Bob S. who seems to think the trustworthy are in the 99th percentile.
I'd start by asking her to quit saying the child scissor users are all responsible. I'd ask her to admit that a certain percentage of them, 10% I'd say, are not to be trusted with scissors.ReplyDelete
What? No concerns about "scissor flow," from the "good scissor users" to the "bad 10%," Mike?
Yeah, and no blaming the 99% of responsible scissor owners (or 90% if that be the case) for the actions of the small minority who are irresponsible?ReplyDelete
You may not come out and SAY "They're ALL responsible" but you'd advocate punishing all of them for the actions of a distinct minority right? What with your theory of "shared responsibility" and all.
And what about the good scissor users who "go bad?" If she cancelled the project and got rid of them no one could go bad right?
He'd also start punishing all the kids not based on whether they actually ran with scissors, but on whether they "might" run with them.ReplyDelete
And if someone in the class left their scissors unattended and one of the "bad" kids picked them up and ran with them the kid who's scissors were stolen would be punished. What does that teach the kid who's scissors were stolen? What does it teach the bad kid who did the stealing?
Obviously the teacher needs to be punished for supplying the scissors in the first place. The parents also should sue the scissor manufacturer for oversupplying them.ReplyDelete
Man--not a chuckle about "scissor flow"?ReplyDelete
We don't want to talk about "scissor flow" because then we would have to address the lax door security between the 4th Graders and the Kindergarteners. That's the 800 lb gorilla in the fridge.
OK, Reputo, thanks. I guess I can put my hurt feelings to bed ;-).ReplyDelete
Thanks for the laughs guys! Predictably there's no counterpoint from MikeB.ReplyDelete
We often hear there are 300 million people in the United States. Some estimates say there are as many individuals as there are people. Naturally, all these people and all these individuals do not fit into one single group. So, to simplify matters here's what I've come up with.ReplyDelete
First we divide the group called "people" into two smaller groups. Let's call them the "Giants" and the "Cowboys". Immediately our first problem arises. How do we qualify them? A generally accepted rule of measurement is, since we all believe in the presumption of innocence, felony convictions. Anyone with a felony conviction is one of the "Cowboys". Let's throw in those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence and those who've been adjudicated mentally ill. I realize the definition of that last one needs some fine tuning, but for argument's sake, let's say those are the folks who make up the group called "Cowboys"
Everybody else is in the other group. They're all "Giants". Do you see the problem already? They include all the folks with clean records who buy tickets to see the Cowboys. They're called straw Giants. Some do an occasional deal to make a couple bucks on the side; others are professionals and in many states they can safely buy ten or twenty tickets at a time with no questions asked. Until they're caught, they belong to the group called "Giants."
Also in that group are many criminals and gang members who've yet to experience their first arrest and conviction. As they do, they slide from the one group to the other, but at any given time the group called "Giants" contains many of them. That's the price we pay for that extremely important presumption of innocence.
The straw purchasers and criminals who somehow have maintained a clean record are what I call "hidden Cowboys." No one knows what percentage of the "Giants" is made up of "hidden Cowboys."
Additionally there are all the types I outlined in The Famous Blind Link, the bad drinkers, those who abuse prescription medication, the rageaholics, etc. All these and more belong to the "Giants."
The final type of people who makes up the "Giants" group is the responsible one. He not only has a clean record but is intelligent enough and sober enough and safety conscious enough to pose no threat to anyone. He is the responsible one. People in the home are properly mannered. He trains regularly. He keeps on top of the laws so as to be always in compliance. With him, safety comes first, always.
The problem is that he is in the minority. The group called "Giants" is too heavily populated with hidden criminals and 10%ers. The solution is simple, in a phrase, people control laws.
The people crowd is wont to clamor that we have so many laws already on the books, adding to them won't help. That's nonsense. What we have on the books is a mish-mash of easily circumvented laws. What we need is a federally issued set of simple but comprehensive people control laws. Straw Cowboys could be eliminated, theft could be greatly diminished and many of the unfit characters, the "hidden Giants" could be identified and disposed of.
The most amazing thing is the responsible people among the "Giants" fight tooth and nail against any additional regulations. Taking their marching orders from the NFL and the jersey manufacturers, they refuse to budge on any of the most common-sense issues raised by the people control folks.
I'm optimistic that eventually reason will prevail. As tragedy after tragedy is daily reported in the main stream, rather than becoming inured and desensitized, people will begin to see that ticket availability to unfit people is something we can and must address.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.
A parody of something I wrote. Now, I've arrived.ReplyDelete
"Much of this is not quantifiable." I believe that the word you're looking for isn't "theory" or "hunch." It's "opinion." HTH. HAND.ReplyDelete
Not quantifiable, huh? That means it's much higher.Delete