Monday, August 8, 2011

Risk Factor cross post from my blog

One of the arguments we hear from the pro-gun crowd is that more people die from swimming pools accidents than guns. I'll add in that one of the riskiest things you can do is cross the street in particular Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard which features 2 of the US's 10 most dangerous intersections:

2. Philadelphia, PA: Red Lion Road and Roosevelt Boulevard
3. Philadelphia, PA: Grant Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard

Of course, one can reduce the risks by following safety rules, but here's the original post:

This comes from Min S. Yee’s, The Great Escape; a Source Book of Delights & Pleasures for the Mind & Body (ISBN: 0552685593 / 0-552-68559-3)

The harder the task and riskier, the greater the feeling of self-fulfilment.

Here are some risk quotients for you to keep in mind:

High Risk Quotient: scuba diving, Skiing, surfing, mountain climbing, fox hunting, auto racing, bobsledding, sky diving, ski jumping, playing polo.

Very High Risk Quotient: Gang fighting, building atomic bombs in your garage, flipping the bird to voodoo priests, french kissing cobras, being a member of a snake handling church.

Risk Quotient squared and cubed: Driving an automobile, crossing the street, going out at night in the city, eating TV dinners.

Part of the reason that I mention this is that a fav gunloon argument is that other things besides guns can be lethal. The problem with that argument is that firearms are MEANT to be lethal weapons. If this list seems a bit skewed with things that are commonplace seeming incredibly risky, that is because they are indeed incredibly common.

For example, one of the most dangerous things to do is cross the street. But is it the crossing the street that is the dangerous act, or the dickbrain driver who fails to stop for, or otherwise avoid hitting, the pedestrian? As a former paratrooper, sky diving is dangerous, but you follow the checklist and safety rules to make it safer. Likewise, scuba diving can be dangerous if you have no idea of what you are doing, but you can still be safe if you follow the safety rules.


  1. "As a former paratrooper, sky diving is dangerous, but you follow the checklist and safety rules to make it safer. Likewise, scuba diving can be dangerous if you have no idea of what you are doing, but you can still be safe if you follow the safety rules."

    This of course applies to firearms as well. Considering how few accidents there really are, compared to the millions of rounds safely fired in the U.S. every year, statistically, shooting is a relatively safe sport.

  2. I think its a combination of both, the dumbass pedestrian who jaywalks and the dick brained driver who is not paying attention, like talking on a cellphone, eating a hamburger, applying make up or whatever.

    You can't equate vehicle deaths to firearm deaths as one is made for transportation and the other is produced as a means to inflict wounds or death

  3. Whoa, Cowman, that't got to be a comment everybody can get behind.

    I hate the comparisons. FWM rightly points out that the percentages are low. In my opinion they're not low enough.

  4. Low--hardly, I was surprised by some of the posts about NDs I found. In particular this page:

    Sorry, cowman, but it can work both ways. I've had cars speed up at me when I was in a cross walk!

    I find bicycles in the US to be the worst as they believe they are a law unto themselves. They plow right into pedestrians.

  5. I should also add that the point is that following the rules cuts down the amount of injuries.

    But, it is lost that the amount of activity (e.g., crossing the street) raises the amount.

    The more untrained gun owners who think guns are playthings, or walk around with loaded guns (see the ND post), the more there will be accidents--even if one follows the rules.

  6. Oh I wholeheartedly agree that the more you follow the rules the less chance of accident.

    I'm sorry MikeB but I can't get behind Psychiatric Evals. for firearms ownership, you open the door to that and lord knows what else the govt. would require. It's not like the govt. has ever overstepped its authority, (insert sarcasm).

    Laci is correct in that the more untrained owners, whether it be firearms or vehicles, the more potential for accidents.

    I can get behind a law that says you have to prove your proficiency with a firearm every 6 mos. to possess a CHL and maybe something like what IL. has, a FOID card which would identify the owner as having already gone through a background check. I do have a CHL and I try to get to the range at least once a week, I realize not every CHL holder does this but it has been my experience that a majority of us that do have a CHL try to stay proficient with the weapon we carry.

  7. One other point I should make is I just love these idiots who go buy a gun, know nothing about how it works or safe handling, take it home and put it in a drawer or somewhere not secured and then wonder why it is stolen or they accidently discharge it sometimes with tragic results.

    Now don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that we should be able to CCW but only with the proper training.

  8. I think you're on to something Mike about some sort of evaluation for a permit.

    The perfect example would be the MMPI, the Minnesota Muliphasic Personality Inventory.

    And we could probably have it paid for by the applicant's health insurance! It is an excellent diagnostic tool for psychopathology.

    The odds of accomplishing something so sensible, given thta we cannto get states like AZ and some 29 others to supply the anmes of KNOWN individuals who are dangerously mentally ill to the NCIS data base... Lets just say it is far more likely we'll keep having crazy people who too easily get permits and guns shooting up other people.

  9. Oh yeah, and strengthen the reporting requirements for NICS/
    I also support a law that would require all transactions of firearms to go through NICS with only a sale-no sale/

    As you can see, I'm not one who believes that there should be no restrictions on firearm ownership, but I am also not one who believes that guns should be banned except for police or the military, there has to be a middle ground that we can all agree on.

  10. Cowman, only fools think that gun regulation means restricting firearms to police and military. That is a farce that people like Tenn Budd like to promote. I don't know of ANY western industrialized country that has that restriciton, nor that has proposed it.

    You seem ill advised on the actual lobbying activities and the money spent to prevent successful, reasonable gun regulation by groups like the NRA - who were behind making the NCIS voluntary rather than mandatory, the reason it doesn't work.

  11. NICS is not voluntary for FFL's. When you buy a firearm from a gun store or an FFL holder, you have to fill out form 4473 and then the store calls it in to see if you are a prohibited person. It's even a Federal crime to lie on the 4473 form but the problem is that it is rarely enforced.

  12. And the reason why NICS doesn't work quite as well as it should is not because of the NRA, it's because the states are not reporting prohibited persons like the mentally adjudged. The NRA helped write the Brady Background Check law.

  13. And I agree that only fools think that only police and military should have guns, but unfortunatly there are alot of fools out there.

    I do support reasonable gun laws, but your definition of reasonable and my definition of reasonable are different and somewhere in the middle might me the answer

  14. Cow wrote:"And the reason why NICS doesn't work quite as well as it should is not because of the NRA, it's because the states are not reporting prohibited persons like the mentally adjudged. The NRA helped write the Brady Background Check law."

    Prove that statement Cowman. Let me help you, since I clearly am better researched and informed than you are. YES, the NRA PARTICIPATED in the Brady Background check law....but they WERE NOT HELPING. THEY WERE GUTTING IT, the NRA was the group that made it voluntary, when the pro-gun legislation people wanted supplying the names to be mandatory. And it is the NRA which consistently OPPOSES mandatory state participation on the federal level, and state funding for participation on the more local level.

    It is stunningly frightening that you are so extraordinarily ill-informed and factually challenged, yet presume to tell the rest of us how everything works.

  15. cowman said...
    And I agree that only fools think that only police and military should have guns, but unfortunatly there are alot of fools out there.

    The only fools are people like you who believe that supporters of gun regulation want to do that.

    There are a lot of fools out there all right; we colloquially call them gun loonz.

    Back up even ONE of your statements cowman. PROVE it. Fact check it. PROVIDE LINKS TO CREDIBLE, VERIFIABLE SOURCES.

    Because so far, your contribution here has been to parrot right wing myths and to espouse other crap I wouldn't use to fertilize my garden, it's so tainted. You are spetacularly factually inaccurate.

  16. So are you saying that the NICS is voluntary, because if so than it is you who is extrodinarily iff-informed.

    When you pruchase a gun from a gun store or an FFL holder it is mandatory that you fill out a form 4473 and then the dealer will call NICS. At theat point 3 things happen.
    1. NICS tells the dealer the sale is approved, or
    2. The sale is outright denied,or
    3. The sale is put on hold for 3 days while more investigation is done, If after 3 days NICS doesn't contact the seller, the sale is allowed to go through. I know this because I was the victim of Identity theft and my SSN was flagged as a poss. prohibited person, I had to jump through alot of hoops to prove that I was legal to own firearms.

    So are you still saying that NICS is voluntary? Oh and one other thing, the NRA had nothing to do with private individuals not being able to use NICS, thats all on the Feds.

  17. Cowman, your ignorance is so vast, it is painful to read.

    Apparently you are so ill informed about how the NCIS operates, that you are unaware that it is VOLUNTARY FOR STATES TO SUPPLY THE NAMES of felons, drug addicts, and the dangerously mentally ill.

    I know perfectly well how an NCIS check works. YOU should be as well informed about the ENTIRE process, including how names reach the data base in the first place.

    OR, more precisely, DON'T reach the data base, making the check of a person a useless exercise in too many cases, even if they SHOULD BE THERE BY LAW.

    Might I point out that per this graph, YOUR home state has only provided the names of 163 dangerously mentally ill people who should not own guns. The statistics suggest that this is a fraction of the names which should be provided.

    NOW, Cowman. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Substantiate, verify, provide data to support your positions. You need to work on that. Until you do, I am correct for criticizing what you have stated as factually inaccurate.

    Because YOU ARE.

  18. and I do believe that I said that the NICS needs to be strenghtened didn't I? But by reading your first post you implied that NICS is voluntary, I am well aware that it is up to the states to provide the names of prohibited persons and that they are not doing a very good job of it. It should be a Fed. law that all states should provide those names.

    I think your personal animosity towards me is getting in the way of having a meaningful debate so i will refrain from replying to you from now on . Is that acceptable to you?

  19. Cowman, having a constructive conversation with you on anything is on a par with listening to the late Gilda Radner doing her character Emily Litella - although you appear to be a real life Emily Litella.

    You appear blissfully unaware that it was the NRA, operating through largely right wing politicians, that wrote out the mandatory participation by states in the NCIS data base, allowing more gun sales to people who are legally debarred from owning guns. The NRA pushed for that loophole large enough to drve an 18 wheeler through; yet you assert they HELPED write the legislation as if it were cooperative. The NRA and so-called pro-2nd Amendment gun loonz are the ones PREVENTING current efforts to do exactly that- strengthen the NCIS and make STATE REPORTING mandatory, including that states FUND IT. It is the 'cut government spending' crowd, every single one of them pro-NRA, supported through donations by the NRA, that have blocked that change.

    If you want respect, earn it. So far, you keep sliding further away from that with every word you write.

    YOU incorrectly asserted I stated the NCIS was voluntary in a way that I did not state; that was clearly out of your own ignorance. Not mine.

    If there were ever a moment to tell someone to 'Go teach grandma how to suck eggs', you provide it.

    You have yet to advance a single well informed, substantiated position. I'm still waiting for you to provide me with any credible and verifiable source supporting your statements law enforcement supporting less restrictive concealed carry legislation.

    You can't. They don't.

    You have so far not substantiated a single mistaken position that you claim as if it were fact.

    I don't respect ignorance, and I don't take well to real life male versions of Emily Litella patronizing me.

    THAT sir, is what I dislike: arrogant male stupidity that expect to be given credence it does not deserve.

  20. I was under the impression that the state reporting to NICS was voluntary because if it were mandatory, the Federal government would have to fund it, and, had the push to make it mandatory (and funded) not been compromised, the bill would not have passed. In other words, Brady compromised to get the bill through, not the NRA.

  21. The support for federal funding was always there; that was in fact part of the 'compromise' to get the necessary votes, the argument that states should fund their own contribution of names, and that of course they would because it was in their interst to do so.

    Except that some 30+ do not do so at all in some categories, and under report in the millions of names in other categories.

    The same argument is taking place currently; every Democratic attempt to make mandatory reporting to the NCIS - and there ARE other kinds of mandatory state reporting that are not federally funded btw - it is the mandatory nature of the reporting that is the issue. There was no problem getting lots of other legislative funding passed at the time the NCIS data base became law, and in the interval since then.

    Funding is simply one mechanism the NRA has used to obstruct the effective functioning of the NCIS. They appear to oppose any regulation that would restrict anyone from legally owning guns as an unwarranted intrusion on the 2nd Amendment - even felons, druggies, and the dangerously mentally ill.

    Instead, far too many people believe the NCIS is working - like those in MN (again, exclusively and partisanly on the right) who have tried to get rid of very effective state regulation, while simultaneously and emphatically refusing to fund our NCIS reporting.

    This is a pattern, not an accident.

  22. My very last post is directed to you doggone, you asked for some examples of people advocating bans on guns, I gave you 2 and there are alot more but I noticed that your refuse to post them, Hmmmm, I wonder why that is? I'm just guessing here, but maybe because it came from me and also it doesn't fit your agenda.
    Ever since our dust up I have been nothing but respectful here, no insults, no name calling, but you on the other hand haven't missed a chance to insult me. I think that speaks alot towards your character.

    I've already contacted MikeB by e-mail and laid out my reasons as to why I will no longer post here and he has been very gracious towards me.

    I wish you no ill will and once again, I hope every thing in your life goes well.


  23. No cowman, you haven't offered any sources. You have come up with "I think I remember something" statements without a link, without providing any verifiable source. No dates, no context, nada.

    When you DO, IF you ever do, I'll be sure to post them.

    Telling me to go google what you think you might maybe sorta kinda remember? That doesn't cut it.

    Posting a link here, with context does. That is what I do, that is what I ask others who posit dubious statements. THAT is backing up what you say.

    Why don't you begin by backing up your claims about the support for looser concealed carry regulation by law enforcement?

    Then you can move on to how the NRA helped with the Brady legislation making states keep current with NCIS submissions.

    And then you can move on to how anyone anywhere has actually moved to legislate against gun ownership, as distinct from identifying existing gun possession.

    Seriously cowman? Do you really think you are going to find me either uniformed, or incapable of supporting my statements?

    I've provided plenty of links here in my comments in just the past 2 or 3 days. Do your own damn google searches, and DO let us know what you find - and do be sure to check out the quality, particularly ACCURACY of the content of those sources.

    You can bet I will.

  24. "Instead, far too many people believe the NCIS is working"

    The folks at Brady seem to love to claim that it is working.

  25. FWM, what sources do you have to support that claim the Brady folks are so happy with the NCIS.

    My understanding is that while there ARE provisions with which they are in deed very happy - like the 5 day waiting period, and while they are happier with the NCIS than nothing, they would also be even happier if the ommission in the NCIS were corrected.

    So please show me where the Brady folks DON'T want such provisions enacted.

    I'd be fascinated to see them.

    You are making errors of fact and reasoning both.