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Why the necessity of guns?


rigney
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"You are operating on misinformation.... no one hunts endangered species, it's illegal,"

http://www.polarbearhunting.net/tale.htm

http://www.cites.org/gallery/species/mammal/polar_bear.html

"Your only source of data is propaganda."

 

 

Polar Bears cannot be endangered if hunts are allowed, a species of concern possibly but what does this have to do with the subject at hand? BTW i don't give two shits about polar bears, they are dangerous animals that will prey on humans if given the opportunity and Alaska is... different... they do crazy shit like trying to succeed from the union and hunting wolves from helicopters they are an aberration compared to the rest of the US...

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Polar Bears cannot be endangered if hunts are allowed, a species of concern possibly but what does this have to do with the subject at hand? BTW i don't give two shits about polar bears, they are dangerous animals that will prey on humans if given the opportunity and Alaska is... different... they do crazy shit like trying to succeed from the union and hunting wolves from helicopters they are an aberration compared to the rest of the US...

 

Can you two sort out whether or not Alaskans exist?

Are they the crazy types who go hunting wolves (from choppers) or is it that the crazy wolf hunters don't exist?

 

 

Anyway,

"According to the FBI’s Crime in the United States 2011 report, there were 260 incidents of justifiable homicide by private citizens in the United States in 2011. Of those 260 incidents, 77 percent of those (201) involved firearms."

 

 

There are, as you said, about 600 deaths from accidental discharge of firearms

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/deaths_2010_release.pdf

 

So your gun is roughly three times more likely to kill someone by accident that it is to kill someone invading your home or mugging someone in the street.

 

 

On the other hand, there are about 20,000 suicides (OK some of them would have killed themselves without guns and some people manage to fail to kill themselves even with a gun)

 

So, very roughly, you are a hundred times more likely to kill yourself with a gun as you are to kill a burglar or whoever with it.

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Can you two sort out whether or not Alaskans exist?

Are they the crazy types who go hunting wolves (from choppers) or is it that the crazy wolf hunters don't exist?

 

 

Anyway,

"According to the FBI’s Crime in the United States 2011 report, there were 260 incidents of justifiable homicide by private citizens in the United States in 2011. Of those 260 incidents, 77 percent of those (201) involved firearms."

 

 

There are, as you said, about 600 deaths from accidental discharge of firearms

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/deaths_2010_release.pdf

 

So your gun is roughly three times more likely to kill someone by accident that it is to kill someone invading your home or mugging someone in the street.

 

 

On the other hand, there are about 20,000 suicides (OK some of them would have killed themselves without guns and some people manage to fail to kill themselves even with a gun)

 

So, very roughly, you are a hundred times more likely to kill yourself with a gun as you are to kill a burglar or whoever with it.

 

 

Are you seriously suggesting that statistics can be applied to individuals?

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You have an awfully eclectic debate style. Yes, I'm sure they exist. I doubt that a significant sized population does though. There are always outliers. I imagine I could find a guy known for making purses out of human skin. That doesn't justify demonizing an entire population of purse makers though.

 

Feel free to ponder the ethics of polar bear hunting by yourself. I don't feel strongly either way. Honestly, I don't really have any idea what they do up there. They send us oil, they do their own thing...

 

 

 

 

I don't have any problem with people killing themselves. It's tragic, yes, but I feel it's well within their right. You can't possibly claim that the weapon was somehow speaking to the victim forcing them to do it. I imagine most firearms accidents are also self inflicted, which I also don't have much of a problem with, assuming they're adults. How do any of your statistics support your claim that me owning a firearms infringes on your personal liberty?

 

If your gun control method consists of an information campaign I'm fine with that. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with paying for that though. I would also support further legislation to prosecute gun owners for the injury or death of a minor. I would probably also be willing to support legislation to prosecute gun owners for injury caused by a stolen weapon, assuming the weapon was completely unsecured, and the prosecution can prove that the crime wouldn't have been possible without access to the stolen weapon. In the US legislation already exists for both of these scenarios.

 

What else do you want?

Edited by Lance
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"According to the FBI’s Crime in the United States 2011 report' date=' there were 260 incidents of justifiable homicide by private citizens in the United States in 2011. Of those 260 incidents, 77 percent of those (201) involved firearms."

 

 

There are, as you said, about 600 deaths from accidental discharge of firearms

http://www.cdc.gov/n...010_release.pdf

 

So your gun is roughly three times more likely to kill someone by accident that it is to kill someone invading your home or mugging someone in the street. [/quote'] In the first place, the gun is not supposed to kill the burglar, mugger, etc. It's supposed to warn them off, prevent their intent. Value is not measured in kills.

 

In the second, you can't draw that kind of conclusion from those stats. The odds of a gun being used to kill a mugger vary by orders of magnitude between different guns, different owners. So do the odds of accidental discharge. You don't have independent events, uncorrelated outcomes, a uniform probability distribution, etc.

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Are you seriously suggesting that statistics can be applied to individuals?

 

Of course, that's what they are for.

The stats certainly applied to the 606 individuals who were accidentally shot.

 

And you have to remember that those deaths involved people who thought that they knew how to use a gun safely- or they wouldn't have had one.

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Of course' date=' that's what they are for.

The stats certainly applied to the 606 individuals who were accidentally shot. [/quote'] You'd flunk stats 101 - you need independent events and a uniform probability distribution, neither of which you have.

 

For example, you haven't distinguished rifles from handguns from shotguns, or separated carry from household from hunting weapons, or considered the presence of children - - - your conclusion that a given gun is such and so more likely to be used for this than that is simply invalid. Invalid means wrong.

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Incorrect There's been at least one, the Monash University shooting, with 7 casualties. Also interesting to note a murder/arson that resulted in 15 deaths, Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire. Mass shootings are statistically irrelevant however. They are a very small proportion of violent crime.

 

You might want to check your facts on that first one. Only 2 people died, which doesn't qualify it as a massacre.

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While this isn't pertinent to the discussion at the moment, it may shed some light on the problem. Amzingly, none of these people even look remotely like a nut case. But since most things get glossed over, I suggest you use your own judgment.


Edited by rigney
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You might want to check your facts on that first one. Only 2 people died, which doesn't qualify it as a massacre.

 

 

I never claimed that is was a massacre. I claimed there were 7 casualties, which is accurate. I generally avoid emotionally manipulative words like "massacre".

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I never claimed that is was a massacre. I claimed there were 7 casualties, which is accurate. I generally avoid emotionally manipulative words like "massacre".

The comment you were replying to claimed that there had been no mass shootings since Port Arthur, which you said was incorrect and countered with your reference to Monash. Though there is no official definition of a mass shooting, the generally accepted one (and the one used by the FBI) is the same as that of a massacre - i.e. it doesn't qualify unless there is a minimum of four murders.

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The comment you were replying to claimed that there had been no mass shootings since Port Arthur, which you said was incorrect and countered with your reference to Monash. Though there is no official definition of a mass shooting, the generally accepted one (and the one used by the FBI) is the same as that of a massacre - i.e. it doesn't qualify unless there is a minimum of four murders.

 

So you're saying you can shoot as many people as you want, but as long as no more than 4 people die it's not a mass shooting? Also, I'd like a source for your FBI definition.

 

Regardless, you're just arguing semantics now which isn't really strengthening your argument.

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So you're saying you can shoot as many people as you want, but as long as no more than 4 people die it's not a mass shooting? Also, I'd like a source for your FBI definition.

 

Regardless, you're just arguing semantics now which isn't really strengthening your argument.

I'm not going to deny that I'm arguing semantics, but you can't claim someone as being incorrect when by definition, they are not. I actually agree with your stance and I think the comparison of the US to Australia in this context is neither relevant nor fair.

 

Anyway, here's my reference:

 

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder

II. Definition of Serial Murder

 

...

 

Most of the definitions also required a period of time between the murders. This break-in-time was necessary to distinguish between a mass murder and a serial murder. Serial murder required a temporal separation between the different murders, which was described as: separate occasions, cooling-off period, and emotional cooling-off period.

 

Generally, mass murder was described as a number of murders (four or more) occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders. These events typically involved a single location, where the killer murdered a number of victims in an ongoing incident (e.g. the 1984 San Ysidro McDonalds incident in San Diego, California; the 1991 Luby’s Restaurant massacre in Killeen, Texas; and the 2007 Virginia Tech murders in Blacksburg, Virginia).

 

This definition is widely cited and accepted.

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Can you two sort out whether or not Alaskans exist?

Are they the crazy types who go hunting wolves (from choppers) or is it that the crazy wolf hunters don't exist?

 

 

Anyway,

"According to the FBI’s Crime in the United States 2011 report, there were 260 incidents of justifiable homicide by private citizens in the United States in 2011. Of those 260 incidents, 77 percent of those (201) involved firearms."

 

 

There are, as you said, about 600 deaths from accidental discharge of firearms

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/deaths_2010_release.pdf

 

So your gun is roughly three times more likely to kill someone by accident that it is to kill someone invading your home or mugging someone in the street.

 

 

On the other hand, there are about 20,000 suicides (OK some of them would have killed themselves without guns and some people manage to fail to kill themselves even with a gun)

 

So, very roughly, you are a hundred times more likely to kill yourself with a gun as you are to kill a burglar or whoever with it.

 

 

I think it would be more accurate to say that people who want to commit suicide gravitate toward guns as a method of suicide. If I decided it was time to check out hot having a gun would not prevent me from doing so.

 

Sadly you do have a point about people who have guns using them irresponsibly but I can say most of the gun owners i know take guns very seriously but I do know a few that shouldn't be allowed to have a sharp stick. That needs to be addressed and it is not being done. I think it is too easy to get a gun but I don't think guns should be outlawed completely...

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Imagine a society where almost nobody has a gun. Only the armed forces and police carry guns, as well as (unfortunately) a few criminals. Most people have never seen a gun from up close. Imagine that.

 

In such society, should they change, and allow everybody to buy (and carry) a gun? Or, would it be better to leave things as they are?

 

Because I am not an American, and I actually live in the society which I just described. And I would argue that it is a good and stable situation that I find myself in, which needs no change.

 

I am curious to hear from the gun lovers whether they agree that there are two (or more) desirable situations, one being the one in the USA, the other the one for example in Europe? Or should Europe change, and do the gun lovers think that I'd be better off if everybody carried a gun here?

 

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I'm not going to deny that I'm arguing semantics, but you can't claim someone as being incorrect when by definition, they are not. I actually agree with your stance and I think the comparison of the US to Australia in this context is neither relevant nor fair.

 

Anyway, here's my reference:

 

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder

 

This definition is widely cited and accepted.

 

I never claimed It was a mass murder. I claimed it was a mass shooting. They share the same threshold, yes, but differ in the definition of murder and shooting. You're correct in that the event wouldn't be classified as a mass murder, but it would classify as a mass shooting.

 

In all fairness I dislike the comparison as well, but ignoring it didn't seem like the best way to handle the wall of text that she posted.

Edited by Lance
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Imagine a society where almost nobody has a gun. Only the armed forces and police carry guns, as well as (unfortunately) a few criminals. Most people have never seen a gun from up close. Imagine that.

 

In such society, should they change, and allow everybody to buy (and carry) a gun? Or, would it be better to leave things as they are?

 

Because I am not an American, and I actually live in the society which I just described. And I would argue that it is a good and stable situation that I find myself in, which needs no change.

 

I am curious to hear from the gun lovers whether they agree that there are two (or more) desirable situations, one being the one in the USA, the other the one for example in Europe? Or should Europe change, and do the gun lovers think that I'd be better off if everybody carried a gun here?

 

 

I think you are making a critical error in your question, owning a gun does not equate to loving guns...

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Imagine a society where almost nobody has a gun. Only the armed forces and police carry guns, as well as (unfortunately) a few criminals. Most people have never seen a gun from up close. Imagine that.

 

In such society, should they change, and allow everybody to buy (and carry) a gun? Or, would it be better to leave things as they are?

 

Because I am not an American, and I actually live in the society which I just described. And I would argue that it is a good and stable situation that I find myself in, which needs no change.

 

I am curious to hear from the gun lovers whether they agree that there are two (or more) desirable situations, one being the one in the USA, the other the one for example in Europe? Or should Europe change, and do the gun lovers think that I'd be better off if everybody carried a gun here?

Sounds a bit like Shangri-La the way you describe it. Thing is though, I would never want to see Americans to go through again what they experienced in the 1860s or what Europeans suffered from early history up and through the mid 1940s. Beginning with bow and arrow on to lance and sword, eventually culmiating into a bunch of "Gun Nuts" that literally butchered Europe. Unless you are a history buff It can be quite easily forgetten what got you to this now Eutopic state you've settled into. The rest of the world had best pray America never gets so complacent. While I am not for the indiscriminate killing of a mouse, ant or carp, I believe each person has a moral and legal right to protect their property, family and themselves. If you think that makes me a gun lover, so be it.

Edited by rigney
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You'd flunk stats 101 - you need independent events and a uniform probability distribution, neither of which you have.

 

For example, you haven't distinguished rifles from handguns from shotguns, or separated carry from household from hunting weapons, or considered the presence of children - - - your conclusion that a given gun is such and so more likely to be used for this than that is simply invalid. Invalid means wrong.

Well, I might flunk stats 101 if you were marking it, but I'm a scientist. I have quite a good grasp of stats. It's among the things that I get paid for.

You don't need a uniform distribution if you are considering the whole group (the US population) and it doesn't matter whether you distinguish hand guns from other or not for two reasons- firstly handguns are much more common and secondly, as before, I'm considering the whole ensemble of guns.

In the absence of any further information, the best deductions that I can make about you are that you behave like the average.

For example, you do not believe that it is likely that you will commit suicide or have an accident.

That assumption is also made by many people who die in accidents or suicides.

If I were saying rifles are more dangerous than pistols then you would have a point.

I wasn't saying that so your argument is invalid. Invalid means wrong."

 

I believe each person has a moral and legal right to protect their property, family and themselves. If you think that makes me a gun lover, so be it.

Of course you have the right to protect yourself and you property.

Believing that doesn't make you a gun nut.

What makes you a gun nut is thinking that owning a gun will help you to protect yourself and your property, even though the stats show that you are a hundred times more likely to shoot yourself with that gun as you are to shoot someone who deserves to be shot.

 

It's the same idea that stopped people wearing seatbelts (before they were made compulsory)

"I'm not going to have an accident, so I don't need to wear a seatbelt." is very similar to "I know that lots of other people get killed accidentally by guns, but I won't have an accident."

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Imagine a society where almost nobody has a gun. Only the armed forces and police carry guns, as well as (unfortunately) a few criminals. Most people have never seen a gun from up close. Imagine that.

In such society, should they change, and allow everybody to buy (and carry) a gun? Or, would it be better to leave things as they are?

Because I am not an American, and I actually live in the society which I just described. And I would argue that it is a good and stable situation that I find myself in, which needs no change.
Your society can and almost certainly will change, however - as the people in the former Yugoslavia found out, fairly recently. Your assumption of stability is not safe. Whether that means you, your neighbors, or your society would be better off by you obtaining a gun now or then or ever, I leave to your judgment - but a wariness from the lessons of European history is one of the more important factors underlying the desire of many Americans to keep a gun reasonably handy, on principle.

 

btw: Lots of Americans have no personal experience with guns either - only a minority of us ever shoot or carry or even own one.

 

Well, I might flunk stats 101 if you were marking it, but I'm a scientist. I have quite a good grasp of stats. It's among the things that I get paid for.

That's too bad. If you make a mistake like that on your job, it will cost you in reputation as well as time and hassle.
You don't need a uniform distribution if you are considering the whole group (the US population)
You need it to draw the conclusion you drew - that the average is the probability of a distinguishable individual in a group of distinguishable individuals.

 

Then to compare those invalidly derived probabilities as you did, you need to assume independence, lack of correlation.

 

You are making those assumptions when you derive those conclusions. And those assumptions are not only invalid given a state of ignorance, in this context, but known to be false in reality - the probability distributions of suicide, assault, type of gun owned among gun owners, etc, are not uniform, neither are they independent and uncorrelated, and that is information you do in fact possess.

 

Describing that as basic error, screwup at the Stats 101 level, is giving it the benefit of the doubt. If basic error is dismissed from the explanations, the remaining ones are worse.

For example, you do not believe that it is likely that you will commit suicide or have an accident.

That assumption is also made by many people who die in accidents or suicides.

And not made by many other people of all kinds. So?

 

That does not mean that everyone is equally likely to commit suicide, or have an accident. It doesn't even mean that everyone who assumes they won't is equally likely to, or that people who assume they won't and people who think they might are equally likely to, even on average.

 

And you are assuming that it does, when you assign probabilities to distinguishable individuals and compare them in that manner.

 

It's the same idea that stopped people wearing seatbelts (before they were made compulsory)

"I'm not going to have an accident, so I don't need to wear a seatbelt." is very similar to "I know that lots of other people get killed accidentally by guns, but I won't have an accident."

That doesn't mean an assumption that everyone is equally likely to get in an accident, or that everyone is equally benefitted by not wearing a seatbelt , or that those two groups are independent and uncorrelated, is justified. All those assumptions are invalid, and conclusions derived from them (such as "you are X number of times more likely to get in a car accident than to have your colostomy bag damaged by your seat belt") are errors of statistical reasoning.

 

That is error. There is also blunder, here. Blunder is telling people about themselves and what they are assuming about themselves, without finding out first - such as telling people they are assuming no chance of accident or suicide for themselves, when you have no information on that subject.

Edited by overtone
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I can see where comparing stats between countries might not be relevant, but individual instances can shed some light. I mean Aussies are superhuman, but still. I read a little about the Monash shooting and it supports the assault weapons ban argument very well. The guy was tackled by unarmed men when he stopped to grab another weapon.

This is the argument, that while it might be impossible to prevent these things from happening, we can at least reduce the carnage when they do. Xiang, the shooter, had joined a shooting sports club and purchased the guns legally. Not sure if there were any other dots, but the only thing listed was a teacher was concerned about his mental state one week prior. You can imagine how difficult it would be to have someone put on a list with a statement like that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monash_University_shooting

From the article

When Xiang stopped shooting and moved to switch weapons, Lee Gordon-Brown, the injured lecturer, grabbed Xiang's hands as he reached into his jacket. Gordon-Brown and a student in the room, Alastair Boast, a trained wing chun practitioner, tackled him. Bradley Thompson later entered the room and discovered five guns in holsters around Xiang's waist, including two Berettas, a Taurus, a .357 Magnum and a .38-caliber revolver, as well as two magazines from near his hip.


The weird reality of this attitude of needing guns and beyond comprehension to those demanding gun rights, is the reality that living in a world where you are terrified and totally unable to trust your fellow citizens to live peaceful, kindly lives is apparently NOT your concern. You just want the right to blow their heads off, and keep increasing the lethality of the weapons you keep in your homes.


Great post menageriemanor. Keep in mind that most of the real terror happens in small pockets throughout the country, but many in very safe areas still feel threatened. When I see how the US stacks against others in regards to healthcare, education, global warming, drugs and violence and the widespread denial of these problems in the general public, I do feel sad. I'm living in a shit country that thinks its number 1. We have many rich people, yay!

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I can see where comparing stats between countries might not be relevant, but individual instances can shed some light. I mean Aussies are superhuman, but still. I read a little about the Monash shooting and it supports the assault weapons ban argument very well. The guy was tackled by unarmed men when he stopped to grab another weapon.
That supports the magazine size curb, not the assault weapons ban. An assault weapon runs out of ammo faster, and after wasting more of it - if a perp has limited ammo he'll likely do less harm with an assault rifle, not more.

 

The magazine size curb has fairly broad support - and would have more, if it were carefully introduced so as to avoid its employment as a camel's nose on the way to confiscating people's guns in general.

 

That cat's well out of the bag, though - that's probably a long term proposition, getting it back in.

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Your society can and almost certainly will change, however - as the people in the former Yugoslavia found out, fairly recently. Your assumption of stability is not safe. Whether that means you, your neighbors, or your society would be better off by you obtaining a gun now or then or ever, I leave to your judgment - but a wariness from the lessons of European history is one of the more important factors underlying the desire of many Americans to keep a gun reasonably handy, on principle.

 

btw: Lots of Americans have no personal experience with guns either - only a minority of us ever shoot or carry or even own one.

 

That's too bad. If you make a mistake like that on your job, it will cost you in reputation as well as time and hassle.

You need it to draw the conclusion you drew - that the average is the probability of a distinguishable individual in a group of distinguishable individuals.

 

Then to compare those invalidly derived probabilities as you did, you need to assume independence, lack of correlation.

 

You are making those assumptions when you derive those conclusions. And those assumptions are not only invalid given a state of ignorance, in this context, but known to be false in reality - the probability distributions of suicide, assault, type of gun owned among gun owners, etc, are not uniform, neither are they independent and uncorrelated, and that is information you do in fact possess.

 

Describing that as basic error, screwup at the Stats 101 level, is giving it the benefit of the doubt. If basic error is dismissed from the explanations, the remaining ones are worse.

And not made by many other people of all kinds. So?

 

That does not mean that everyone is equally likely to commit suicide, or have an accident. It doesn't even mean that everyone who assumes they won't is equally likely to, or that people who assume they won't and people who think they might are equally likely to, even on average.

 

And you are assuming that it does, when you assign probabilities to distinguishable individuals and compare them in that manner.

 

That doesn't mean an assumption that everyone is equally likely to get in an accident, or that everyone is equally benefitted by not wearing a seatbelt , or that those two groups are independent and uncorrelated, is justified. All those assumptions are invalid, and conclusions derived from them (such as "you are X number of times more likely to get in a car accident than to have your colostomy bag damaged by your seat belt") are errors of statistical reasoning.

 

That is error. There is also blunder, here. Blunder is telling people about themselves and what they are assuming about themselves, without finding out first - such as telling people they are assuming no chance of accident or suicide for themselves, when you have no information on that subject.

And after you have finished the ad homs, it remains true that that my best estimate of the odds in your particular case is the average odds for the group you are in.

It's not an error or a blunder.

The error is yours, you assume that you are "a distinguishable individual in a group of distinguishable individuals".

From my point of view, you are an American with a gun. Neither you, not the other 3E8, are distinguishable.

You think that your odds are better than the average, but I imagine most of those who died did so too.

 

You keep missing the point that all the people who shot someone by accident thought they were safe- just like you do.

If they hadn't thought they were safe they wouldn't have picked up a gun.

 

You may say that you are an excellent gun owner, you may prove to be mistaken.

What I have assumed is that while there are certainly some groups more at risk of, for example, suicide then others, you don't actually know which group you are in.

 

Lets's simplify things.

We just consider suicide. We don't consider the means or the reason. We assume that if they decide to end it all, they do so and they succeed

And lets make a very simple model of the probability.

 

One person in 10 is "potentially suicidal" and the other 9 are not. those who are not "potentially suicidal" never commit suicide

 

The "potentially suicidal" group effectively toss a 100 sided die each year and if they get 100 they kill themselves.

 

If you know which group you are in then you can assess your odds of suicide.

1 % per year or zero, depending on the group.

What if you don't know which group you are in?

 

Now lets look at theodds for the group as a whole.

First consider a population of 10,000 people

How many suicides are there?

Well, 9,000 of them don't even get close because they are not in the "potential suicide" group

Of the remaining 1000, on average 1% ie 10 individuals take their lives.

10 suicides from a population of 10,000

So the overall odds are 1 in 1000.

The odds for suicide for an individual in this population (which, I remind you has a very uneven distribution of probability) is 1 in 1000.

 

Now, compare that to an individual's risk given that they don't know which group they are in.

They have a 10% chance of being in one group (where the risk is 1 in 100) and a 90% chance of being in the other where the risk is zero).

So their overall risk is (0.1 *0.01) +( 0.9 * 0)

which is 1 in 1000.

The individual who does not know which group they are in has the same chance as the average for the population.

 

That's why it's the best estimate of your chances- because you only think you know which group you are in. You think you are the group who doesn't need a seatbelt, because you are not going to have an accident.

 

That's what the car-crash victims thought: they were clearly wrong, and we can wait and see if you are too.

 

BTW,

re

"Blunder is telling people about themselves and what they are assuming about themselves, without finding out first - such as telling people they are assuming no chance of accident or suicide for themselves, when you have no information on that subject."

No, it's not.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/blunder

 

and re

" Lots of Americans have no personal experience with guns either - only a minority of us ever shoot or carry or even own one."

That's odd, I read somewhere that there's a gun in 45% of US households.

Can anyone imagine how I came to the conclusion that gun ownership was common?

Edited by John Cuthber
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And after you have finished the ad homs,

I haven't made a single ad hominem argument on this forum, ever.
it remains true that that my best estimate of the odds in your particular case is the average odds for the group you are in.
Well, your conclusions were nevertheless false - even silly. So how did your "best estimates" lead you to such goofy conclusions?

 

Because your method of arriving at "best estimates" doesn't work unless you make a couple of assumptions that are invalid here (relative to the "group you are in, in particular). And your comparison of the two invalid "best estimates" was likewise based on invalid assumptions. You need different methods of arriving at "best estimates", and comparing them to draw conclusions, when you can't make the necessary assumptions for those methods.

 

The error is yours, you assume that you are "a distinguishable individual in a group of distinguishable individuals".

That's not an error, that's an informed observation.
From my point of view, you are an American with a gun. Neither you, not the other 3E8, are distinguishable.
That error is the beginning of your difficulties, but not the end of them.
You think that your odds are better than the average, but I imagine most of those who died did so too.
Your presumptions there are my nomination for what's preventing you from catching your own mistakes. Your goal of correcting people you don't know much about who are mistaken about themselves has led you astray. That kind of goal is notorious for doing that.

 

Another example of that:

That's why it's the best estimate of your chances- because you only think you know which group you are in.
And you are simply assuming that all Americans uniformly lack the capability of making such an assessment with reasonable accuracy.

 

Well, if you assume that an American doesn't know what kind of gun they own or what they use it for or how often, has no idea whether, when, or where they are at greater than average risk of assault, doesn't know how old they are, what sex they are, what race they are, or whether they were ever in the military, does not know whether they are currently being treated for depression or bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, doesn't know whether they are in a gang or addicted to drugs, etc etc etc,

 

and you propose to ignore your own access to that kind of information for the sake of making an invalid argument,

 

then I suppose you can address individual members of the American public as if they don't know what groups they are in and can't distinguish themselves or each other. (Much closer to an ad hominem argument than anything of mine).

 

But even then you still can't compare two such assessments and draw conclusions as you did - suicide and accident odds vs self defense odds, say - without establishing in your knowledge their independence. You simply assumed it - and that, on top of the uniform probability (uniform ignorance) assumption, is just too goofy.

 

You think you are the group who doesn't need a seatbelt, because you are not going to have an accident
Or you think that while being driven home from the hospital on side streets by your forty year old accident-free son, your odds of getting in a car accident are much lower than your odds of a seat belt damaging your colostomy bag.

"Blunder is telling people about themselves and what they are assuming about themselves, without finding out first - such as telling people they are assuming no chance of accident or suicide for themselves, when you have no information on that subject."

No, it's not.

http://www.thefreedi...ary.com/blunder

Lousy definition, but it fits anyway. Why do you claim otherwise?
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