Self defense.

Discussion in 'Gun Control' started by Logician0311, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Logician0311

    Logician0311 Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a lot of posts indicating that firearms are an effective tool for self-defense.
    The way I see it, there are two possibilities for any given day:
    1) you will be in a situation that requires lethal force to defend yourself.
    2) you will not be in a situation that requires lethal force for self-defense.

    If you are in this situation, and have a firearm, you may well increase the odds of effectively defending yourself - I don't disagree with that.
    However, I also believe maintaining a firearm inherently increases the odds of a firearm-related accident occuring that impacts you or someone around you (in the same way that a football player is more likely to sustain a football injury than someone who never plays football).

    So, given that there are risks in having a firearm and in not having a firearm, the real question is: "which is riskier?".
    This basically depends on how likely you are to find yourself the victim of a crime.
    I keep hearing that densely populated metropolitan areas are more crime-ridden, so I've obtained metropolitan crime stats and only used those (inherently providing bias to the pro-gun position).
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/table-6

    Based on these stats, about 310,205,095 people live in metropolitan areas of the US. In a year, the average number of "violent crimes" was 392.8 per 10,000. This means the odds of the average city-dweller being victim to a violent crime over the course of a year is one in 25. In other words, the average citizen is likely to be the victim of a violent crime once every 25 years.

    Given that the national life expectancy in the US (http://gallery.mailchimp.com/de3259be81e52e95191ab7806/files/HAG2013.pdf), this means that the average citizen living in an American city may or may be the target of a violent crime 3 times in their life, on average.

    Given that about two thirds of "violent crime" are aggravated assault (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/uc...2011/violent-crime/violentcrimemain_final.pdf), this means that the average person is likely to get pushed or punched twice in their lifetime (without the situation escalating into attempted murder or anything more severe), so even these experiences do not require lethal force.

    It seems the need for “self defense” by firearm is fairly low.

    Given this, what benefit would I gain by exposing myself, my family members, or my friends to the risk of an accidental shooting that may occur if I overlook a safety precaution once?
     
  2. sailorman126

    sailorman126 Active Member

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    logican
    so by your logic you don't need firefighters because the chances of your house burning to the ground is very small. we can also get rid of police ecasue as you stated the chances of a crime accruing is very small.
    everyone lets start making a list of everything we should get rid of because the chances of it being used is small.
    of course logician also fails to mention the tens of thousands of crimes prevented by gun owners every year, but of course if he mentioned that it would defeat his entire argument
     
  3. Logician0311

    Logician0311 Well-Known Member

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    I don't need to keep a firefighter in my house because the chance of my house burning to the ground is very small, but the chance of any kind of fire starting anywhere in my community is significant enough to warrant a fire station somewhere in the area.

    This might be the weakest and most poorly written strawman ever.

    Provide me a source for "tens of thousands" of superheroes you're talking about.
    Let's compare them to the criminals whose crimes were made easier by having easy access to a firearm.
     
  4. Krak

    Krak New Member

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    Ummm, no. In a game of football, there are uncontrollable factors. You can't control your body as well when you take a hit. You can't control how hard another player hits you. This is a straw man. I have 100% control of my firearms. They are either locked in a safe that I only have the combination/key or it is on my hip and doesn't get touched till I put it away. The risk of having a firearm related accident is always within control of the owner, it just depends how safe and responsible they are.

    As for the rest of your article; you make the assumption that all aggravated assaults are "pushing and punching." This is a poor assumption. Aggravated assault could include some young punk playing the "knock out game" on an elderly man or woman. I certainly think lethal force would be justified in that instance. An elderly person (or any person) that takes a nasty punch and falls and hits their head on concrete could easily be killed. I don't buy your argument that "most" aggravated assaults are "pushing and punching."

    And just to recap your stats; given that the average person will be the victim of a violent crime three times in their life, and two of these three times will be aggravated assault, that means the third time will be something more serious, no? I certainly think that justifies carrying a firearm. Tell me, if you were to only get into one serious car accident in your life, you would want to be wearing a seat belt, wouldn't you?
     
  5. Logician0311

    Logician0311 Well-Known Member

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    You've made some very well reasoned and articulately expressed points. Thanks!
    I'll attempt to address them:
    I used the analogy of football only to illustrate that a person is unlikely to be injured by a hobby they don't engage in. If you prefer, I could use the analogy of a vegetarian being more unlikely to choke on a chicken bone.

    I wholeheartedly agree that the gun owner's behavior is directly related to any incident (intentional or otherwise) involving their firearm. I just don't believe that any human being is capable of having 100% control of anything 100% of the time, particularly not over the course of decades.

    "About 29% of households with children younger than 12 fail to lock up their guns, according to a 2006 study in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine by Harvard's David Hemenway and others."
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/11/children-protection-gun-violence/2079177/

    "Thirty-nine percent of parents who reported that their children did not know the storage location of household guns and 22% of parents who reported that their children had never handled a household gun were contradicted by their children's reports."
    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/7129044_Parental_misperceptions_about_children_and_firearms

    I share your distaste for the "knock out game" and would be first in line to see the "young punks" playing that game punished. Of course, that game is an aggravated assault that is based on punching. I also don't think that particular game makes up a significant percentage of the aggravated assaults taking place nationally - no matter how much air time the media gives it.

    Are you saying that a person should introduce an increased risk EVERY DAY so that they can be prepared for an incident that might happen once?
     
  6. dnsmith

    dnsmith New Member

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    I have hunting weapons. Several, one for each of several game animals I hunt. The ammunition for all but one is locked and secure. My twice barrel shutz gun save my life when an armed intruder broke into my home. I just happened to be taking a nap when I heard the crash of the door being splintered with a crowbar. The guy had to walk through the living room, across the kitchen/dinning area and foolishly led with his hand gun through the door to the hall. At 10 feet the bird shot took off his hand with the gun. Had he not been peering around the corner he may have survived but the bird shot and his own hand gun took off part of his face and skull. Thank goodness he fell on the tile floor of the kitchen so it was easy to clean up.

    BTW, are you guys aware that one of the most reasonable holdings of the USSC in Heller vs DC was that requiring a firearm to be locked in a safe or have a trigger lock was unconstitutional? If a firearm is for hunting lock it up unitl ready to go hunting. If it is for self defense, keep it loaded and ready. Personal experience and 27 years in the Army taught me that.
     
  7. Wolverine

    Wolverine New Member Past Donor

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    Remove magazine.
    Pull slide back.

    Pretty *******n simple, the OP is moot.

    Accidental shootings kill less than 700 people per year, compared to 618,000 self-defensive uses, and 3,000,000 if predatory animals are included.
     
  8. Shooterman

    Shooterman New Member

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    I am 78 years old. I have a fake knee, plastic eyes, a partial set of store boughtens, an automatic ticker kicker, two bad shoulders, and COPD. Taking a punch or a shove, could be very harmful, if not deadly to me, so I am unwilling to trust any bastard to only fold, bend, or mutilate myself ( he can truly be a nutcase and want to kill for funsies ). If in that 1 in 3 times, I am killed, the extra precaution was well worth the effort. In my 78 years, any firearm I may have, has not jumped up and caused me or anyone else, any grievance.
     
  9. Hotdogr

    Hotdogr Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Do you have a fire extinguisher in your house? Do you agree that having a fire extinguisher in your house greatly reduces your chance of needing to wait for a firefighter to get there save it?
     
  10. Pendraco

    Pendraco Member

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    Reality is rarely a static average. While what you say may apply to me while at home in my neighborhood surround by friendly people I see daily, The office I'm sitting in right now (with my gun) isn't as fortunately located. The convenience store next door gets robbed every so often, and we are constantly dealing with transients, Druggies and other generally unfortunate and desperate people.

    Trust me, unless you never travel anywhere, you will find yourself in situations / places where you are far more or indeed less likely to be a victim. Ever been to a city or area you are not familiar with? Ever turned a corner and instantly realized YOU do not belong there? LOL, I have and it is very uncomfortable, even WITH a firearm.

    As for accidents? I agree, there is risk. I believe it to be every gun owners responsibility to negate this danger as much as possible. My 2 kids are 9 and 14 years of age, both take a minimum of 1 gun safety and handling class a year. Thankfully both my kids choose to do more, our local ranges offer many classes and competitions.

    And as long as we are running around frightened of statistics, firearms are not my largest concern..
     
  11. OrlandoChuck

    OrlandoChuck Well-Known Member

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    My job is educating gun owners. As a firearm safety instructor I can tell you there will never be a negligent discharge (Most uneducated folks refer to these as accidental discharges) if some simple rules are followed. These rules are universally taught by firearm instructors everywhere.

    1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded at all times, whether you know they are loaded or not.
    2. Never point a gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Never put your finger on the trigger until you are safely pointed at your intended target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is behind your target.
    5. Always keep you firearms locked or out of reach from unauthorized persons.

    If these simple rules are followed, owning a firearm is not the risky proposition that the OP is trying to make it.
     
  12. Krak

    Krak New Member

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    You missed my point. You were trying to trivialize aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is not trivial and anyone should defend themselves with whatever means necessary against it. The point that I was making is that all it takes is one good punch and that aggravated assault turns into manslaughter.

    The increased risk is minimal, if not, moot. In 2007 there were 617 deaths related to firearm accidents http://webappa.cdc.gov/cgi-bin/brok...=lcd1age&ethnicty=0&ranking=20&deathtle=Death. If there are 310 million firearms in the United States, that means there is a fatal accident rate of 1.990322580645161e-6 per year.

    You have a better chance of winning the lottery than being accidentally killed by a firearm. That risk is acceptably low for me and everyone else who owns a firearm. The risk of being accidentally killed by a firearm is actually LOWER than your chance of being the victim of a violent crime. The risk vs reward analysis is clear hear, you are at more risk of great bodily injury by NOT owning a firearm than if you do own a firearm.
     
  13. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    LOL this makes me laugh..it is along the same math lines as the automobile usage verses firearms usage. It failed as well and the responses to this are overwhelmingly conceptually correct. Finally how does one statistically negate firearms as a means of self defense even if they occasionally have a negative impact. Heck what everyday common utensil/mode of transportation/product of leisure doesn't. I'll start paying attention when those singing the praises of government intervention for weapons start demanding the same amount of control for non weapons. Guns are the most regulated instrument in the world....scary looking guns just scary looking guns LOL
     
  14. sunnyside

    sunnyside Well-Known Member

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    As was mentioned, it's pretty well agreed on that you really ought to have a couple fire extinguishers and smoke alarms in your home. And I bet your odds of needthing those are lower than or at least comperable to your odds of being in a position where you wish you'd had a firearm.

    You also should get a radon detector by the way.

    There are quite a few studies on the numbers of defensive gun uses in the United States per year. Here's one:
    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/165476.pdf

    The numbers vary based on methods used, definitions, and assumptions, and is complicated due to the fact most defensive gun uses aren't reported. The numbers range from multiple millions to only 60,000 when those opposed to gun ownership handle the study, but that's still 60,000 per year, not exactly a small number.

    First of all aggrevated assault, as opposed to simple assault, is defined as assault causing serious bodily injury or an assault committed with a deadly weapon. So I wouldn't write those off at all.

    Secondly even without considering those, your numbers find that one would EXPECT such a thing to happen to you eventually. I don't see how you consider that to be something to ignore.

    As discussed, the odds of that are very low, and can be much lower if you take proper precautions. This is particularly true for having firearms for self defense, as opposed to using them for hunting, sport, or recreation which inherantly create more situations where you could have an accident.
     
  15. Wolverine

    Wolverine New Member Past Donor

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    And really, it can be reduced down to remove magazine, open action.

    That is the #1 rule I have when I go shooting with people, second is muzzle control. Muzzle control is not that (*)(*)(*)(*)ing hard, and I am a stickler/dick when it comes to people observing these rules. Every time someone is careless with muzzle control, I am irritated to no end.
     
  16. Herkdriver

    Herkdriver New Member

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    Law abiding citizens have a Constitutional right to own firearms. I'm not sure any other argument matters, but yours is duly noted. I've read that statistically a gunowner is more likely to use the gun on themselves (suicide) than to use it to save their life in a self defense situation.

    Regardless...
    statistical analysis aside, however valid they may be.
    Arguments like these are ultimately rendered moot by the 2nd Amendment.

    You choose to not own a firearm, and that is your choice. To impede or infringe on another law abiding citizen's choice to own them is unconstitutional in my interpretation of the law. That's all that matters here.
     
  17. Battle3

    Battle3 Well-Known Member

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    First, UCR Table 16 already collates crime rates by metropolitan population. Table 6 is a list of all individual cities in the US, my hat is off to you is you went through that table and calculated the data.

    Using table 16, the worst case is cities in the 500,000-999,999 population range, with a violent crime rate of 869.2 per 100,000. The total US population in those cities is 15,144,879.

    Using these numbers and your approach, you would conclude that your chance of being a victim in a year is about 1 in 100, or maybe once in a lifetime. Thats not correct. With these numbers, assuming everything is constant, the chance of being a victim in 1 year is 0.87%. In 10 years it is 8.3%, 20 years its 16%, over 65 years its 43.3%.

    In other words, if you live in this statistical city for your entire lifetime, your chance of being a victim of violent crime (murdered, raped, or suffering a life threateing beating) is 43.3%.


    No, aggravated assault is not being pushed or punched (that is "simple assault" and is not included in the violent crime offenses).

    This is the definition of "aggravated assault" from the FBI Offence Definitions

    The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines aggravated assault as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. The UCR Program further specifies that this type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Attempted aggravated assault that involves the display of—or threat to use—a gun, knife, or other weapon is included in this crime category because serious personal injury would likely result if the assault were completed. When aggravated assault and larceny-theft occur together, the offense falls under the category of robbery.​



    You conclude that facing a violent crime 3 times in a lifetime (your numbers) is acceptable and there is no "need" for self-defense. WIll you tell your daughter (if you have one) that she will face rape, murder, and/or a severe beating 3 times in her life, but thats acceptable and she need not worry about defending herself? And those "3 times" can happen anytime, not evenly spaced.

    Or, using the correct numbers, that she will probably (40%) be raped, murdered, or beaten in her lifetime but not to worry about self-defense?

    And all of this ignores the number of times people use a firearm to prevent themselves from being a victim, without any firearms the violent crime numbers will go up significantly.


    Accidental shootings are very rare, accidental shooting deaths are <800 a year.

    If you mean that you do not feel competent to own and operate a firearm, then by all means you should not have a firearm. But that can easily be remedied by yourself with training and self-discipline. And your decision based on your own perceived competence is completely irrelevent to, for example, my competence and decision to own a firearm.

    The major flaw is that you are trying to determine my "need" for a firearm and you are making false and biased assumptions about my competence to handle a firearm, so that you can take away my firearms. Why are you so threatened by my firearms? Why are you so interested in making security decisions for me? I am not the problem, and my actions do not contribute to the problem, yet all the actions taken by anti-gun people focus on disarming me.
     
  18. Defender of Freedom

    Defender of Freedom Member

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    Considering that according to the CDC that less than 2% of people injured by a firearm are accidental, you are more likely to get into a scenario to use a firearm to defend yourself than accidentally shooting someone. With reguard to the Kleck study, although some accuse it of oversampling the south, claims that upwards of 2.5 million crimes are prevented by firearms, the low estimate indicates 800,000 crimes prevented. The oversampling in the south happened because the study required the caller to own a firearm, then the questioning begins, the south has a greater density of gun ownership.
     
  19. Sadanie

    Sadanie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but having a fire station and a few firemen within reach of your home is in NO WAY increasing the risk of either fire, injury, or death. I also believe that firemen deal with A LOT MORE than just "fire in your house," like, life threatening occurrences (such as a stroke, a fall, an car accident), and have even been known (on occasions) to save the life or at least the day of a few stranded cats atop of a tree!

    Same thing goes for the police. . .

    I believe YOUR argument against a well defined and logical analysis of a situation FAILS!
     
  20. Sadanie

    Sadanie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    So. . .if 2.5 millions crimes are prevented by firearms. . .how many crimes DO occur to people who do not own a firearm? Because, let's face it, if 2.5 millions crimes are prevented, there must be at least 5 times that many committed, correct?

    And that's kind of strange because, in my pretty long 63 year life, I have NEVER had to prevent a crime . . .with or without a firearm!
    And I LIVE IN THE SOUTH!
     
  21. Defender of Freedom

    Defender of Freedom Member

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    Depends if the crimes are recorded or not. Many are prevented, but not reported as a committed crime. I never said that crime was greater or lesser in the south, only that that would be the explanation of how the study got a high response from the south.

    My question to you would be, if you were in a situation where someone was going to bring you harm, would you want to effectively defend yourself in that situation?
     
  22. Sadanie

    Sadanie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Actually, statistics show that VIOLENT CRIME, especially FIREARM RELATED CRIME is much more frequent in the South. . . .because there are MANY MORE GUNS!

    Which, obviously, support Logician's analysis!

    And, after the latest "crazy" stories (Zimmerman, Dunn, and the guy who shot the father of a 2 year old because he was "attacked" with popcorn), I believe that EVEN George Washington may have revised his comment about "restraining evil interference!"
     
  23. stjames1_53

    stjames1_53 Banned

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    funny you didn't mention the fact that this was a retired POLICE CHIEF.....................who actually knew better....................and was trained with small arms weapons and aided in the creation of the local SWAT teams....................
    and I don't think Washington would have said anything of the kind. He would encourage people to stock up on ammo.
     
  24. Defender of Freedom

    Defender of Freedom Member

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    So by your logic, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and LA, should be the safest places in the country....guess what, they aren't. There will always be nutcases in the system, and punishing the vast majority of gun owners for the acts of a few is ridiculous. Also the south is the most populous region in the United States, thus the violent crime numbers are slightly higher.

    George Washington knew that we have the right to defend ourselves from the evils of man, whether it be foreign or domestic.

    http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

    You also never answered my question.
     
  25. taikoo

    taikoo Banned

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    That is so horrifying, an experience like that. I hope nothing like that ever happens with me.

    But i will do it rather than be taken.
     

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