Tag: Gun control

Making Statistics Work for You

The local newspaper had a poll (in a heavily Republican area) asking if readers support gun control — now they didn’t define “gun control”, so it’s possible some individuals said “no” because they envisioned something unreasonably restrictive or some said “yes” because they think ‘gun control’ includes arming teachers in classrooms or something. Based on the way they elected to bucket the data, there’s no clear “winner”.

But looking at it as just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ — almost 80% of the readers said “yes”

They could break it out by party affiliation and show that only 10% of self-identified Democrats said they don’t support gun control where 28% of self-identified independents and 24% of self-identified Republicans don’t support gun control.

But any of these charts clearly show that a significant majority supports some type of gun control.

Estados Unidos Mexicanos -v- US Gun Manufacturers

Interesting approach, especially considering that the American government has a fairly long history of saying “hey, y’all — your drug cartels are a huge problem that you need to get sorted” — Mexico has sued a list of US gun manufacturers in US District Court in Mass (1:21-cv-11269). “Defendants have a duty not to supply the criminal market in Mexico” and details how Mexico feels the defendants have failed in this duty.

Simple Solutions

Saw an interesting note, after yet another school shooting, that said teachers eating lunch with students to maintain connection are able to identify individuals who could use intervention. Seems reasonable — I knew a few profs at Uni who ate in the student cafeteria instead of the faculty cafeteria. They were more engaged with the student body — kids would sit and chat with them, and rarely was the conversation limited to current class content.

Live Fire Exercises

Arm the teachers, they say. The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, they say. There’s some derision to this plan because of the logistical and financial challenges. Unless Glock, Sig, and H&K are donating handguns, are we really going to pay to arm teachers when we won’t pay for [tissues | pencils | paper | all of the other classroom supplies teachers are self-funding]? Are the local police ranges going to be open for these individuals? Are Cor-Bon donating thirty million rounds of ammo a month (Think I’m joking? That’s LOW. There are some 100,000 public schools in the US. One armed dude isn’t going to help – what if he’s sick that day? Three per school is a low average. Say hundred bullets a month [most people I know who regularly train with firearms shoot at least fifty rounds a week]. 100,000 * 3 * 100 = 30,000,000 bullets.) But that’s the least of my concerns.

Trump stresses that these are well trained individuals. Trained how?!? A gun for home defense is a fairly controlled situation with a small number of well known ‘good guys’. Make sure you know where the spouse & kids are taking cover, and teach them to STAY STILL. While it’s more difficult to hit a moving target than a stationary one, range time is good practice. In a school hallway, where the teacher knows maybe a quarter of the students well … which one is the short-ish guy in a gray hoodie? And what happens when, amid the chaos, some innocent (panicking) kid runs into the path of a teacher’s bullet? Or the local kid who shut down the High School a few days ago with a toy gun (bright orange tip and everything) gets terminated to ‘save’ the rest of the students (and, yeah, totally dumb move taking a toy gun into school … but probably not something for which anyone deserves to die). What happens when these good guys with guns realize it’s hard to shoot another human being.

Unless this training includes hours of live fire exercises every month, “training” not going to help. But it does let politicians claim to have done something. And it does provide a convenient scapegoat for future school shootings — because public discourse shall not say “well, obviously a good guy with a gun isn’t helpful” but rather “what flaw in these people had them fail in saving the day?”

On The NRA

I read an astute assessment of the NRA from Esquire tonight:

“the NRA’s agenda is not your own. The NRA is the lobbying arm of the armaments industry. It has that industry’s interests at heart and not your own.”

If it’s too soon to discuss gun control or not, it would behoove us to stop acting like industry lobbyists of any sort are there to defend public opinion, civil liberties, or constitutional rights. No one thinks industry-affiliated advertising agencies are there to promote public health or well-being. Sure, a marketing campaign may say a particular food needs to be consumed daily for your health. But marketing campaigns are about making money. It is purely happenstance if using the product actually enhances your life in some way.

Industry lobbyists are there to force a regulatory / legal environment where their industry can make more money. Objecting to a waiting period and background checks makes purchasing their products convenient (i.e. they make money). Selling a wide array of weapons provides repeat sales opportunities (they make more money) and allows the product to appeal to a wide variety of customers (hey, look … they make more money). If making money happens to speak to your interpretation of the second amendment … awesome. But lets be honest about their intentions.

There are plenty of weapon magazines I can read. I’m sure there are even citizen-based second amendment associations I could join. But why are American citizens even partially funding the armament industry’s lobbyists?


Well, here’s some good news (theoretically) — from Benjamin J Newman and Todd K Harman:

“Drawing upon multiple data sources on mass public shootings paired with large-N survey data, it demonstrates that increased proximity to a mass shooting is associated with heightened public support for stricter gun control. Importantly, the results show that this effect does not vary by partisanship, but does vary as a function of salience-related event factors, such as repetition, magnitude and recency”


Soooo, statistically … as more and more mass shootings occur, public support for gun control may reach a point where all the political lobbyists in the world won’t be able to counteract public demands. Sad way to go about it, though.

Right to keep and bear Arms

Let’s all take a second and realize (sadly) that we still won’t see limitations on something like how many guns a single person can own. But how about we limit individuals to half a dozen or so bullets. At a shooting range? No big – shoot all you want. They can ring them up by the half dozen. But off of the range, you get six. And when you want to buy more? Trade in the shells. Sure someone could be out trying to police brass at crime scenes to get a couple of extra bullets. But the dedication required to get a hundred bullets would be staggering.