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Old January 26, 2015, 11:03 AM   #1
txblackout
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statistics around guns and gun violence

When discussing guns and gun violence here are some straightforward numbers:

High positive or negative number indicates strong correlation or anti correlation

Results:
Correlation of guns per/capita to all murders by state -.339 No correlation
Correlation of guns per/capita to gun murders by state -.328 No correlation
Correlation of murders to % african american population by state +.788 positive correlation
Correation of gun murders to % african american population by state +.811 positive correlation

Methodology:

Data on gun murders is from wikipedia (from the census bureau)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_vio...note-fbi2010-1

Data on african american populations is from wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...can_population

Data on african american populations from district of columbia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demogra...ashington,_D.C.

Used the correl function in excel to compare columns of state data


Key flaws/assumptions/caveats:

This is just a quick and dirty back of the envelope analysis.

The data is not necessarily controlled for exact years. So the gun violence data does not necessarily match the exact year of the demographic data. The assumption is that the demographics dont change substantially within a few years.

Correlation is not the same as causation.

I just used the most convenient excel function. There are probably better statistical methods to use.

Im assuming guns per capita is legal guns per capita.

Crimes committed with guns would be another way to look at this. Murders are at the extreme end of this. My assumption is that murder rates are somewhat correlated with violent crime rates committed with guns. This might not be true. Even if it is not true, it doesn't matter for this analysis about guns and relationship to murder. Another analysis of guns related to violent crimes would be worth doing.

Discussion

Murders and gun murders are somewhat correlated with having a high african american population and not correlated at all with guns per capita.

I was surprised that gun murders did not have more of a correlation with per capita (legal) gun ownership.

One reasonable, underlying assumption by gun control advocates might be that murders are highly correlated with illegal gun ownership and that legal gun ownership is correlated with illegal gun ownership. They in essence have created a logic chain that looks like [more legal guns -> more illegal guns -> more murders].

Like many logic chains, it seems reasonable. However, because there is no correlation between per capita legal gun ownership and murders, there is either no correlation between legal and illegal gun ownership OR there is no correlation between illegal gun ownership and murders. One of the links in the logic chain does not hold.


why is the african american component not discussed, ever?

I have heard people suggest this on various news programs and they are typically shot down vehemently. But not with data.

It is political/media suicide to discuss this or to push the issue. The sad thing is, the answer to murders is probably to find a fix to violence in the african american community. Neither liberals nor conservatives want to talk about the problem which means it cant be solved.

Liberals believe that by removing the tools for murder that they can reduce the murder rate. That way they dont have to address the uncomfortable problems in the inner city african american community. This doesnt make them bad or evil people, just in denial.

Liberals usually try to lump suicide in as "gun deaths" or "gun violence". In any discussion of data, this is the first thing to look for.

Ultimately I think murders are the cleanest way to look at this.
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Old January 26, 2015, 02:03 PM   #2
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While it is statistically well known that black on black violence is far above the national average, it has no bearing on RKBA, and is certainly not in the scope of of discussion here.
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Old January 26, 2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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Surely you're being sarcastic. This is an area for the general discussion of firearms, and who uses them, in what manner is certainly a discussion of firearms.
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Old January 26, 2015, 03:51 PM   #4
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Even if there were tangential relevance between the problems facing the black community and RKBA for an entire nation, anyone who's been here very long knows exactly where this thread will go. These ones always disintegrate into racial and political flame wars. Whether or not the subject needs to be discussed is irrelevant; we can do nothing constructive with this toxic material here.
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Old January 26, 2015, 04:06 PM   #5
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The thing is, this is part of the political theater that damaged the RKBA, and continues to. Feel-good legislation and the like don't have any link to actual data. Data isn't exciting to the general masses, but a story is.
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Old January 26, 2015, 04:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MachIVshooter View Post
Even if there were tangential relevance between the problems facing the black community and RKBA for an entire nation, anyone who's been here very long knows exactly where this thread will go. These ones always disintegrate into racial and political flame wars. Whether or not the subject needs to be discussed is irrelevant; we can do nothing constructive with this toxic material here.
its time to stop shrinking away from this topic, as it continues to impact all of us in a huge way. There is no reason an adult discussion can't take place, and this topic is well worth debating.
Whether the mods want to deal with keeping it civil is another matter.
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Old January 26, 2015, 04:24 PM   #7
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I assume you are quoting R-square numbers? Do you have p-values as well?

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Old January 26, 2015, 04:34 PM   #8
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Have you run the same test using socioeconomic status rather than race?
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Old January 26, 2015, 04:51 PM   #9
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why is the african american component not discussed, ever?

I have heard people suggest this on various news programs and they are typically shot down vehemently. But not with data.

It is political/media suicide to discuss this or to push the issue. The sad thing is, the answer to murders is probably to find a fix to violence in the african american community. Neither liberals nor conservatives want to talk about the problem which means it cant be solved.

Liberals believe that by removing the tools for murder that they can reduce the murder rate. That way they dont have to address the uncomfortable problems in the inner city african american community. This doesnt make them bad or evil people, just in denial.
first, of course, correlation != causation. so there's not necessarily a legitimate reason to discuss it, unless you can find some causation.

second, while some stereotypes might be valid statistically, they may do tremendous damage to the individuals who are otherwise innocent. in this case, consider the millions of african americans who have committed no gun crimes. think about what effect discussing (implying they are part of the problem) this may have on them and you will see why many rightly avoid it.

third, are you sure the data correlates with race? perhaps it is actually culture and not race? perhaps it actually correlates with income or education levels or something else?

i'll grant you there are some social problems that affect that community that are far out of bounds for THR discussions. Solving them is somewhere between difficult and impossible and in lieu of that, politicians look for an easier solution, likely knowing it will have zero effect. nevertheless, that discussion isn't appropriate here and if this thread veers that direction, it will be closed quickly
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Old January 26, 2015, 05:01 PM   #10
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I think most people would agree that what you are researching is culture, not race. It is unlikely that melanin content affects gun crime. However, it would be obvious that culture could. Skin pigmentation may be a proxy for culture, and and improved thesis could be developed by identifying exact portions of culture that affect the outcome and looking for heterogeneity in the population understudy for that facet
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Old January 26, 2015, 05:04 PM   #11
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And example would be, can you tease out single-parent families' impact on gun crime. Or any other behavioral trait such as school performance, present nonrelated parental figures in the house, previous arrests or convictions of parental figures.

Obviously, these are issues of life and death importance, which should obviously be addressed by our culture and our nation. Ostrich behavior is not appropriate here
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Old January 26, 2015, 06:29 PM   #12
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You've missed the fact that the correlation is really socioeconomic. Poor Americans that are concentrated in urban poor centers are the greatest at risk group for violence. In some states it is poor whites. In others it is poor hispanics. In others blacks. The correlation is "poor", not "black".
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Old January 26, 2015, 06:34 PM   #13
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its time to stop shrinking away from this topic, as it continues to impact all of us in a huge way. There is no reason an adult discussion can't take place, and this topic is well worth debating.
Even if this radioactive subject didn't dissolve into nastiness and bring out the lowest common denominators in our group, which it always does, the entire postulate is argumentum ad ignorantium. Lots of speculation, some very tenuous corrollaries and a completely unscientific dissection of data samples pulled at random. Even the OP states:

Quote:
The data is not necessarily controlled for exact years. So the gun violence data does not necessarily match the exact year of the demographic data. The assumption is that the demographics dont change substantially within a few years.
I mean, for goodness sake, we're looking at user editable "data" from Wikipedia. Wiki is a great place to start learning about a subject, but if one really wants to understand it, to study the subject matter knowing that it is truly accurate, we look elsewhere. Census, CDC, UCR, etc. for this kind of data.

The fact that there is a violence problem in the black community above and beyond what it is among other races or the nation as a whole doesn't matter when it comes to RKBA. I cannot see how it is possible to conflate the issues, let alone use them as a basis for RKBA arguments one way or the other. We do not need a racial breakdown to demonstrate that there is no correlation between gun ownership rates and gun violence rates. And we do not need firearm ownership statistics to demonstrate that certain demographics are more violent than others.

It is well established that gun control does not reduce gun crime, and also that absent a firearm, homicides and assaults are simply committed with other weapons. Best you might come up with from dissecting this matter (and doing so using a whole lot more data from reliable sources) is that certain races tend to kill each other more or less often with certain types of weapons. I do not see how that is anything other than relatively useless statistical data.

Furthermore, you're not going to win the hearts and minds of black folks by pointing out to them that their race tends to kill each other with much greater frequency than Caucasians, Asians, etc.

So, I'll say again, I don't see what can possibly be gained in arguing points for RKBA by discussing and dissecting crime in the black community.
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Old January 26, 2015, 06:44 PM   #14
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Also, as long as some of you want to discuss the race vs gun violence issue and how it relates to future RKBA, I feel I should point out that the pedestal from which the antis crow loudest are the "mass shootings". Not only do these rare but heart-wrenching atrocities have nothing to do with violence in the black community, but they are generally committed by young white males.
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Old January 26, 2015, 06:48 PM   #15
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Well if the stats are coming from the CDC or other current Government sources they would be very suspicious. Data criteria is routinely stretched and manipulated as well as double counted to skew results.
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Old January 26, 2015, 07:04 PM   #16
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first, of course, correlation != causation. so there's not necessarily a legitimate reason to discuss it, unless you can find some causation.
I agree with the first part, but not the second.

If stricter gun laws would reduce homicide or violent crime in general, you would expect to find a correlation between crime and gun ownership. If no correlation exists, and if you have constructed a sufficiently powerful test, then it is fair to say that gun ownership/legal restrictions do not influence crime rates much/any. If these things have little to no influence, then we might as well look to the prime interest rate or the air pressure in our tires as means to control crime.

If you run the stats (as I did) on state homicide rates vs. their Brady Grade, you find about as much correlation as you would by running random data. The problem with this is that the Brady Grades omit Washington DC and Puerto Rico, both of which have extremely strict laws and extremely high violent crime rates. Throw in the US Virgin Islands and those two/three points would surely show a negative correlation for the US data set, i.e., stricter gun laws correlate with higher crime.

One other thing we need to get straight: Contrary to the picture the popular press paints, the US is not a particularly violent place. Get over the inferiority complex already. We could do better, but we could do a lot worse, too. If you rank the countries of the world by homicide rate, we're pretty much in the middle. Japan and many European countries have rates that are 5X better than ours. On the other hand, Russia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Greenland, Jamaica, and many other countries have rates roughly 5X worse than ours, and a few have rates 10X worse than ours. (Russia used to be 5X worse than us, and is now officially only 2X worse than us. It's widely believed that they fudge the numbers.) And Japan, with practically no firearms has a suicide rate 2X ours. I think it's from the depression that follows not having firearms.
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Old January 26, 2015, 07:24 PM   #17
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If stricter gun laws would reduce homicide or violent crime in general, you would expect to find a correlation between crime and gun ownership. If no correlation exists, and if you have constructed a sufficiently powerful test, then it is fair to say that gun ownership/legal restrictions do not influence crime rates much/any. If these things have little to no influence, then we might as well look to the prime interest rate or the air pressure in our tires as means to control crime.

If you run the stats (as I did) on state homicide rates vs. their Brady Grade, you find about as much correlation as you would by running random data. The problem with this is that the Brady Grades omit Washington DC and Puerto Rico, both of which have extremely strict laws and extremely high violent crime rates. Throw in the US Virgin Islands and those two/three points would surely show a negative correlation for the US data set, i.e., stricter gun laws correlate with higher crime.
But we already know the answers to these particular debate points, and can already demonstrate them with statistics that have been broken down accordingly by people who do that sort of thing for a living.

-We know that civilian gun ownership rates and gun violence rates do no strongly correlate anywhere in the world.

-We know that violent crime trends independently of weapons availability, legal or otherwise.

-We know that affluent communities have less overall crime than impoverished ones.

-We know that homogenous populations have less violence than diverse ones.

Etc, etc.

This information already exists in useful forms, and is valuable when arguing for RKBA. But I am still waiting for someone to explain the purpose of this thread to me.

So you demonstrate statistically that homicide rates are strongly correlated with race and not at all with lawful gun ownership. So what? What are you going to do with this information? Are you going to go to some single black mother in Chicago or Queens and tell her "look, statistically your son has a 13% chance of being dead before his 25th birthday, and it's an 84% chance that it will be a firearm homicide with a 94% probability that the gun was stolen or smuggled. So, since this has nothing to do with the weapons I want to procure legally in the future, will you please vote pro- RKBA?"

Or will you go to the bleeding heart liberal suburban white mom and make sure she understands that her kid is 23.47 times less likely to die by gun violence than the chicago/queens boy, and so the very low odds are proof positive that she should support your 2nd amendment rights?

Seriously, what do you think we're going to do with this data?
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Old January 26, 2015, 07:38 PM   #18
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But we already know the answers to these particular debate point
Yes we do. And that was my point. I was responding to the statement that correlation does not equal causation, which is true. But it is also true that if we construct a sufficiently powerful test and find no correlation, then it is fair to say that there is no important causation and that stricter gun laws are an exercise in futility. And that is what we have found.

Well, then I rambled off onto my pet peeve of the press painting the US as a very violent place.
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Old January 26, 2015, 08:52 PM   #19
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Even if there were tangential relevance between the problems facing the black community and RKBA for an entire nation, anyone who's been here very long knows exactly where this thread will go. These ones always disintegrate into racial and political flame wars. Whether or not the subject needs to be discussed is irrelevant; we can do nothing constructive with this toxic material here.
And this is why neither political party takes it up as an issue that actually needs addressing.
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Old January 26, 2015, 09:39 PM   #20
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It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between being poor and being the target of violent crime. My suspicion is that there is a positive correlation. In other words, I think poor people are more likely to be on the receiving end of violence than people who are not poor.

This is where an inclusive pro RKBA argument can be made. For example you could say, "by making it hard for law-abiding poor people to exercise their 2A rights, you are making them more vulnerable to violent crime."
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Old January 26, 2015, 09:46 PM   #21
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And this is why neither political party takes it up as an issue that actually needs addressing.
Just because it's taboo doesn't make it relevant to our mission. We have a very narrow focus here, and this is much more of a Facebook topic.

If someone, anyone can articulate a good reason that THR should delve into the black community violence issue for the sake of RKBA preservation, I'm all ears. But I don't think anybody can.

I'm not denying that it's a relevant issue in this country, and I'm not saying it isn't worthy of discussion. I would like nothing more than for the problems to be solved and this nation to move past racial divides. But while the causes of the strife in impoverished communities (a disproportionate number of them black communities) are easily identified, the solutions seem to elude even the brightest minds.

Regardless, I just can't make the connection between this nuclear topic and the second amendment. If it could be made, the antis would have used it against us by now. But it would be a very shaky platform, likely to blow up in their face. I don't see how it is any different for us.
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Old January 26, 2015, 09:53 PM   #22
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It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between being poor and being the target of violent crime. My suspicion is that there is a positive correlation. In other words, I think poor people are more likely to be on the receiving end of violence than people who are not poor.
There is, and it is well documented.
Quote:
This is where an inclusive pro RKBA argument can be made. For example you could say, "by making it hard for law-abiding poor people to exercise their 2A rights, you are making them more vulnerable to violent crime.
Been done here, ad nauseum. It is the principle reason we oppose bans on cheap guns or legislating training mandates, which cost money, thus effectively creating a poll tax on 2A.
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Old January 27, 2015, 01:17 AM   #23
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You've missed the fact that the correlation is really socioeconomic. Poor Americans that are concentrated in urban poor centers are the greatest at risk group for violence. In some states it is poor whites. In others it is poor hispanics. In others blacks. The correlation is "poor", not "black".
The correlation for poverty rate is .58 for murders and .56 for gun murders.

The data for poverty rates is here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...y_poverty_rate
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Old January 27, 2015, 01:26 AM   #24
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Just because it's taboo doesn't make it relevant to our mission. We have a very narrow focus here, and this is much more of a Facebook topic.

If someone, anyone can articulate a good reason that THR should delve into the black community violence issue for the sake of RKBA preservation, I'm all ears. But I don't think anybody can.

I'm not denying that it's a relevant issue in this country, and I'm not saying it isn't worthy of discussion. I would like nothing more than for the problems to be solved and this nation to move past racial divides. But while the causes of the strife in impoverished communities (a disproportionate number of them black communities) are easily identified, the solutions seem to elude even the brightest minds.

Regardless, I just can't make the connection between this nuclear topic and the second amendment. If it could be made, the antis would have used it against us by now. But it would be a very shaky platform, likely to blow up in their face. I don't see how it is any different for us.
As I stated, I see many pro 2a attribute nefarious motives to anti gunners. I dont believe that anti gunners simply want to destroy your 2a rights for the fun of it or simply to be in control. I do believe that they believe they are fixing a problem - that of gun violence. Many libs on daily kos support a RKBA section. They are trying to figure out how to solve the gun violence problem without banning guns.

I think that they also dont want to talk about the elephant in the room but believe that banning guns will enable them to avoid talking about the elephant in the room.


I participate at dailykos and many genuinely believe that pro 2a people are racists, want guns to protect themselves against african americans and support the 2a except for african americans.

Some here have suggested that poverty is the issue and I would love to see data showing why it actually is the case.

As far as the use of wikipedia, Im just crunching the raw numbers posted. The citations go to the CDC and census bureau, if it is really an issue Id be happy to corroborate the #s. But I doubt that they are far off.

As far as snarky comments about p values etc, I posted the method I used as well as the data. Feel free to run your preferred statistical method.

The purpose of this post was to generate a discussion around how to actually reduce gun violence which also happens to be what the anti gunners want too. Their method is to ban them, what is your strategy?

Last edited by txblackout; January 27, 2015 at 01:31 AM.
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Old January 27, 2015, 05:39 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by txblackout
The purpose of this post was to generate a discussion around how to actually reduce gun violence which also happens to be what the anti gunners want too.
Is it?

I don't think that's a significant motivation for the anti-gun folks.

I'll refer you to the Cultural Cognition Project, at Yale, in particular their publication More Statistics, Less Persuasion: A Cultural Theory of Gun-Risk Perceptions - from the abstract
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What motivates individuals to support or oppose the legal regulation of guns? What sorts of evidence or arguments are likely to promote a resolution of the gun control debate? Using the survey methods associated with the cultural theory of risk, we demonstrate that individuals' positions on gun control derive from their cultural world views: individuals of an egalitarian or solidaristic orientation tend to support gun control, those of a hierarchical or individualist orientation to oppose it. Indeed, cultural orientations so defined are stronger predictors of individuals' positions than is any other fact about them, including whether they are male or female, white or black, Southerners or Easterners, urbanites or country dwellers, conservatives or liberals. The role of culture in determining attitudes towards guns suggests that econometric analyses of the effect of gun control on violent crime are unlikely to have much impact.
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