Fact Based Activism


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coloradokevin
July 22, 2012, 04:04 AM
Here's what I'm proposing, and why:

1) As gun owners, we face an uphill battle in trying to defend our position to citizens who do not own guns, and many of these citizens may still be on the fence regarding this issue (those people are our target audience).

2) Changing a person's perspective is often more easily accomplished when an argument can be backed with facts. Conjecture really has no place in an argument with intelligent and educated adults.

3) I'd like to use this thread as an informational resource that we can each use for the sake of supporting our arguments in defense of RKBA-related issues.

4) accomplish this task I'd like to see members post source information for studies, statistical data, and so forth, which will demonstrate the fact that guns are more valuable than they are harmful. By having this source data collected and available to members of the forum (in one place), we'll make it easier to argue our position more effectively.


LET ME LEAD THIS IDEA WITH EXAMPLES:


We often hear people on The High Road say things like:

1) "Areas with stricter gun laws have higher crime rates."

-This argument would be much stronger with factual support, pointing to the study from which this statistical trend was observed

2) "Guns save XYZ number of innocent lives each year."

-Where did we get these statistics?

3) "Strict gun control has not had a positive effect on murder/aggravated assault rates."

-Again, where can we source this data?






Most of us (clearly) already believe these statements to be true. But, we can't effectively argue these points with our idealogical adversaries if we don't have the source of our data to back up our position.

I would appreciate responses to this thread from anyone who can provide source data for those quotes, OR any other beneficial data that can support our position on the right to keep and bear arms. If this data is available in one place, it will provide our members with valuable intellectual tools for defending the rights of gun owners in this country. By having the data available to educate others, we can prove that we are not simply a bunch of "ignorant gun-toting rednecks", or some such nonsense.

Once this source information is available here in this thread, I'd strongly urge members to disseminate this information when writing to lawmakers, or communicating with people via e-mail, online forums, Facebook, or whatever other means you believe is appropriate.

We can win this argument through the use of facts, and we need to start gathering the facts that we need, so that we can support our position.

NOTE: Hopefully those of you in the moderation staff deem this thread worthy of placement within our "Activism" section. If not, please feel free to move it to a more appropriate category!

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YankeeFlyr
July 22, 2012, 04:23 AM
I eagerly await the avid participation of my fellow intellectual forum members (the ones who like to argue/rant the most).

:scrutiny:

This is "The High Road", not The Scholarly Road, The Rational Road or The Mature Road.

It is (too) often The I-Feel-This-Way-And-Everyone-Who-Disagrees-With-Me-Is-Un-American Road, and sadly, (too) often The Paranoid Road.

Good luck getting anyone on here to do real, original, introspective research. (Fox News stats don't count.)

The technical advice & assistance aspects of the site include some very well-informed and experienced individuals, though!

:)

hso
July 22, 2012, 08:50 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=571510

gunfacts (http://www.gunfacts.info/) and justfacts (http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp) offer fact based information about firearms and RKBA.

The Department of Justice FBI Uniform Crime Reports are available here http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr .
The most recent UCR shows ~4% drop in violent crime, a continuation of the trend over the past several years. Regional information shows the drop to be 4-4.9% except for the northeastern U.S. where the drop is only 0.8% http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/preliminary-annual-ucr-jan-dec-2011/data-tables/table-2

The DoJ also provides a report on NICS.
The most current is the 2010 report at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/2010-operations-report/2010-operations-report-pdf The report shows a steady increase in NICS checks over the past decade from 8,454,322 in 2002 to 14,409,616 in 2010.

Those and other publications are available through http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/

It is telling that the region of the country with the least reduction in violent crime is the most intensely regulated for firearms ownership and carry. There may be correlation between the regions with the lowest violent crime rate reduction and the lowest carry, but no direct relationship can be drawn saying carry reduces violent crime. What can be conclusively said is that high rates of gun ownership and carry do not cause an increase in crime and that takes the argument away from the Anti that there is a threat to public safety due to gun ownership and carry.

Firearms production numbers are here - http://www.atf.gov/statistics/

YankeeFlyr,

The majority of people react to and use emotional appeals. THR is no different in that respect, but we are more likely to see logical arguments used here than on other sites. This is contrast is especially obvious when you look at sites with an anti-RKBA bias where the arguments are almost exclusively emotional in nature. The fact that most people, even here, take this approach is not any indicator that the information isn't presented.

beatledog7
July 22, 2012, 09:06 AM
I laud your concept, and I believe the statistics can be compiled to support it. From what I have read on THR, many of the folks who frequently post have access to such data, and many others are capable of valid, scholarly research. We could provide a good start.

However, there are plenty of people on the side of having more gun control who will not be swayed by a raft of empirical data. This is not because they can provide equally valid contradictory data. They can't.

We're dealing with people for whom gun control is an emotional issue rather than a rational issue. They don't own guns, they don't like guns, they are in many cases quite afraid of guns, and they think--no, they feel--that government at various levels has a duty to infringe upon other people's right to keep and bear them. That's that.

On any issue, you can't change the minds of people who arrived at their position without having used their minds in the first place.

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