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Next time you see a policeman.. | 398 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
The "Wild West" is a myth
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 12:52 PM EST
Abstract

Contrary to popular perception, the Old West was much more peaceful than American cities are today. The real culture of violence on the frontier during the latter half of the nineteenth century sprang from the U.S. government’s policies toward the Plains Indians.

Link

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

I would like to see some proof of that claim
Authored by: celtic_hackr on Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 03:56 PM EST
I done tons of genealogy in the Western states. I can't say I've seen any
difference in violence in the East or the West during the same timeframe. But I
have no statistics to offer to support a claim of a wild or not-so-wild West or
East for that matter.

I can tell unequivocally, society was far more violent in the 1600s than it is
today. My own ancestor was an under-sheriff and so figures largely in court
records of the time. A woman would be whipped and shamed in public for sweeping
her house on a Sunday. I can pull up references to the records of Harlem on that
if you'd like. Might take a while though, as I didn't record it. Also one of my
ancestors fled the Plymouth colony because of the violence, and settled in a
more peaceable New York location. So guns or no guns the 1800s would almost
certainly be more violent than today.

One must always be careful to compare apples with apples.

One must also remember, there is an additional danger in arming everyone. When
the occasion occurs of some loon on a shooting binge, there is the very real
danger of cross-fire injuries/deaths.

It's a tough topic. While I am a gun-owner and hunter. I would gladly give it
all up for World Peace. Imagine.

Happy Holidays to all.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Next time you see a policeman..
Authored by: myNym on Tuesday, December 25 2012 @ 10:51 PM EST
I was wondering if anybody else was going to pick up on this
and answer it, but no one has, so..

The answers you get will depend on which policeman you ask.

If you ask one that is politically appointed or who answers
to voters (police chiefs or sheriffs, for example), then the
answer you might get could sound a lot like: "Based on
studies published by the New England Journal of Medicine,
they have found that it is _x_ times more likely that you or
a loved one will get killed as compared to the number of
times you kill an intruder."

I'll cover _x_, and those studies in more detail later.

If you ask the same question to a police officer who is
honest and more aware of the truth, you might get an answer
like: "A properly stored gun is of negligible risk to
yourself and your family, but provides the best option of
dealing with an imminent threat."

Now, as for _x_. In Kellerman's earlier "studies", the
number he gave was 43. This number was thoroughly debunked.
Later, the number became more like 23. This also was
thoroughly debunked. Apparently, he now is saying the
number is closer to 2.7. This also has been debunked.

First of all, how can an accurate "study" vary so far in the
results? From 43 all the way down to 2.7?

The answer is easy. He is using statistics.

Now, in at least one purported study, the test group was in
an area where there were crack houses. If you looked at the
actual numbers, the correlation factor for having bars on
windows was greater than the correlation factor of having a
gun. In that study, he included in the "conclusion" ratio
anybody you had ever met before, and categorized them as
"loved ones". So, that crack user that you sold crack to
yesterday, would be counted as a "loved one", even if he
came back to try to rob you.

One debunking showed that Kellerman didn't ascertain exactly
where the gun came from. So, a crack user, busts into a
house with a gun, presto, the house had a gun.

Probably the biggest glaring error is that Kellerman
consistently fails to include in his "stats" those cases
where nobody dies, and worse, ignores those cases where no
shots are fired.

According to Dr. Kleck a noted criminologist, 98% of the
time that a gun is used in self defense, no shots are fired.
That figure has been questioned by the gun banner mafiosi,
but even they claim that the number is probably no higher
than 80%. So whichever number you wish to choose in that
range, it's clear that Kellerman failed to count all the
cases of a successful gun defense in his "studies".

This is all old news. The 23 times number was debunked
something like 20 years ago, maybe closer to 30.

BTW, everything I wrote up to this point is from memory. I
have probably forgotten more about this "debate" than most
of you have ever been exposed to. But please, don't take my
word on any of this. Do your own research, I will include
some links to get you started.

Meanwhile, you might ask yourself why Kellerman's "studies"
are still so widely quoted by the media. Why do the gun
banners need to cook the stats?

Some links:

http://people.duke.edu/~gnsmith/articles/myths.htm

(scroll down to MYTH 3)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php%3f
az=view_all&address=118x334436

(search for "Debunking the '3 times more likely to be the
victim' myth")

http://www.guncite.com/kleckjama01.html

(This last is an article by Dr. Kleck published in JAMA.)

Feel free to flame away, I eat asbestos for breakfast.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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