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Some sound governance
Posted: 24 July 2009 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]  
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Bad Rabbit - 24 July 2009 04:19 PM

I wonder if the people on the other side of the murder weapon divide can see the relentless and poisoning logic of escalating fear.

“Murder weapon” is a very limited class of weapons, a category which has nothing directly to do with defensive weapons, by definition, but aside from that, what do you mean by “the other side” and to what are you referring when you say “the relentless and poisoning logic of fear”?

The data supports the “fear factor” in general gun ownership to some degree, but not in the way most people who use it as an argument seem to think. Increases in crime rates correlate with increases in gun ownership, but white males are the least likely demographic to acquire a gun specifically for protection (which doesn’t mean to carry), and when you isolate your subject population to concealed carry permit holders the fear factor disappears. Also, those who acquire carry permits are notably law-abiding. People who are afraid in their neighborhoods or in their homes at night, or who have been recently robbed or burglarized are less likely to own guns, and gun owners are less likely to be fearful or to be robbed or burglarized (General Social Surveys, National Opinion Research Center). This meshes with my personal experience—it’s invariably anti-gun types who raise the fear issue (perpetually) and talk about Dirty Harry fantasies and such, and they virtually always seem to be speaking from zero experience (in fact eucaryote’s the first one in memory who owns a gun).

Bad Rabbit - 24 July 2009 04:19 PM

By arming yourself while there isn’t any direct threat to your safety you set in motion a cycle of fear, gun proliferation and, unavoidably, gun-violence for which I hold people like Byron directly responsible.

This is the error that I was trying to explain by pointing out the fact that defensive weapons are emergency equipment ... the idea of waiting until you’re threatened to then go acquire a defensive weapon makes no sense at all.

Also, I’m curious if by “armed” you mean owning a gun, or if you’re specifically referring to carrying one. If it’s about ownership then you also blame eucaryote (just noting that), and if it’s about carrying, as I’ve posted at least twice in here, I don’t carry. But it’s

One of the problems here is that the unwashed tend to see a weapon as inherently dangerous rather than as a inanimate, neutral combat tools. Weapons can be used to stop an attack in progress or prevent an attack from happening—depends upon who’s on what end. This is patently obvious, and the main reason we arm police, yet when the debate is on, many anti-gun types seem suddenly unable to conceive of how this could possibly be (of course most pro-gun types are guilty of the very same kind of rapidly reconfigurable selective perception).

Byron

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Posted: 24 July 2009 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]  
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eucaryote - 24 July 2009 06:25 PM

I’ve wondered where the rounds land when they all get carried away firing automatic weapons into the air. I wonder how tied the NRA is to right wing xtian groups in the US?

It isn’t, at least not officially, but the unofficial connection is at least as strong as it would appear.

eucaryote - 24 July 2009 06:25 PM

Everything worked out well and logically for the 82 year old bar owner, but barely. Had the 24 year old gotten hold of the only real gun brought to the conflict, then the Darwin award would have to be given to the bar owner for being killed with his own gun after being confronted by a young maniac carrying what turned out to be a toy gun. The competition between the two, for the Darwin award, was neck and neck there.

Curious how some who bitterly protest the “what if” game from an opposing viewpoint are themselves prone toward playing it in the attempt to validate their own position.

eucaryote - 24 July 2009 06:25 PM
Bad Rabbit - 24 July 2009 04:19 PM

By arming yourself while there isn’t any direct threat to your safety you set in motion a cycle of fear, gun proliferation and, unavoidably, gun-violence ....

Thanks for saying that so simply.

But I’m afraid that you just don’t get it. You are failing to properly conflate guns with life preservers and first aid kits, you should realize what a benign thing it is to carry a gun. And remember, you have to anticipate the coming conflict so that you have the first aid kit with you when you need it. And of course since it is simply a first aid kit, then there are no other possible extenuating consequences or ramification to carrying weapons, other than first aid of course.

While infantile, your capacity to invent vapid arguments is very impressive indeed, but it brings your honesty into question when you insist upon repeatedly creating them on behalf of those who oppose your views.

Byron

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Posted: 24 July 2009 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]  
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Bad Rabbit - 24 July 2009 04:19 PM

I imagine that these are the sort of societies that the NRA and assorted lunatics have in mind when they try to further their cause of having more and more weaponry in our land, with fewer and fewer restrictions on their use.


I seriously doubt that’s true—I mean that you really imagine this to be the case.

Bad Rabbit - 24 July 2009 04:19 PM

The USA finds itself in between these examples with murder rates , usually by way of the gun, that are far higher than in Holland or Japan and yet we have not yet descended to the level of total anarchy that can erupt when a society is put under too much stress and when every Tom, Dick and Dickwad carries a gun.

And yet Canada, which has a very comparable level of gun ownership to the US is less violent, as is Switzerland, which has a far higher degree, and specifically assault weapons (real ones, not the misnamed “assault rifles” of the US “assault weapons ban”—a good example of bad legislation based upon ignorance and fear, but relatively inconsequential never-the-less).

Cross-cultural comparisons are rife with problems of complexity and concomitant variables, though they can be used to refute the more bullshit-laden notions.

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Posted: 24 July 2009 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]  
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SkepticX - 24 July 2009 07:07 PM

“Murder weapon” is a very limited class of weapons, a category which has nothing directly to do with defensive weapons, by definition, but aside from that, what do you mean by “the other side” and to what are you referring when you say “the relentless and poisoning logic of fear”?

Paragraphs like this make me wonder whether you are just being obtuse, wibbling, I suppose, is the word du jour,or whether you have developed an affinity for some weird fetish which involves beating your head, woodpecker-like, against your front door.

I will be back tomorrow, with a detailed and utterly vicious riposte while I, once again, break the Sabbath.

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Posted: 24 July 2009 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]  
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Bad Rabbit - 24 July 2009 08:53 PM
SkepticX - 24 July 2009 07:07 PM

“Murder weapon” is a very limited class of weapons, a category which has nothing directly to do with defensive weapons, by definition, but aside from that, what do you mean by “the other side” and to what are you referring when you say “the relentless and poisoning logic of fear”?

Paragraphs like this make me wonder whether you are just being obtuse, wibbling, I suppose, is the word du jour,or whether you have developed an affinity for some weird fetish which involves beating your head, woodpecker-like, against your front door.

I’m avoiding presumption. You can turn a phrase, but sometimes that can compromise clarity of thinking and/or communication. I’m not going to presume what you mean when you’re vague, even if it’s witty and makes a strong emotional appeal to those who are invested in your side of the issue. When a subject is so contentious and evocative, and so divisive, it simply calls for clarity, and an “effective” turn of phrase may work to tickle the ears of a given audience, but it can be divisive, and it can do tremendous damage to the chances of a genuine dialog and mutual understanding, which my experience tells me is the cause behind probably the large majority of the contention—lack of understanding, and lack of interest in it.

So I’m avoiding presumption. Substance over form. Clarity over wit. Both is fine, but clarity is pretty much necessary if we’re interested in actual dialog rather than a meaningless ego-centered duel of linguistically nimble, button pressing monologues.

Byron

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Posted: 24 July 2009 09:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]  
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SkepticX - 25 July 2009 12:06 AM

So I’m avoiding presumption. Substance over form. Clarity over wit. Both is fine, but clarity is pretty much necessary if we’re interested in actual dialog rather than a meaningless ego-centered duel of linguistically nimble, button pressing monologues.

Byron

Holy shit Byron, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that many words used to explain ones’ love of clarity, something you deny to others. You fail to take the points of others seriously and deny them their point of view while lecturing them on how wrong they are. The idea that you are only one interested in dialog is a joke. You think that you provide substance while others indulge in “linguistically nimble, button pressing monologues” is just your own ego trip.

In as much as dialog with you is not possible, I think that ridicule of ridiculous ideas is in order. When I compare a lethal weapon to a first aid kit in jest, it’s ludicrous and funny, when you do it in complete seriousness, it’s just stupid. The idea that you refuse bring any real detail and nuance to your cognition of “gun” and “first aid kit” as real things in a real world is as disturbing as it is shallow.

You do understand that the same gun can be used for murder (in a very definitive and effective way), could also be used for defense, (in a very, very, limited way, and a very special situation). I just think that you are just well programmed. Simple algorithms have a very difficult time dealing with complex, unstructured or unexpected input. All they can do is run the same loop, just as we see here. The military mindset.

[ Edited: 24 July 2009 10:08 PM by eucaryote]
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Posted: 24 July 2009 09:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]  
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SkepticX - 24 July 2009 07:34 PM
eucaryote - 24 July 2009 06:25 PM

Everything worked out well and logically for the 82 year old bar owner, but barely. Had the 24 year old gotten hold of the only real gun brought to the conflict, then the Darwin award would have to be given to the bar owner for being killed with his own gun after being confronted by a young maniac carrying what turned out to be a toy gun. The competition between the two, for the Darwin award, was neck and neck there.

Curious how some who bitterly protest the “what if” game from an opposing viewpoint are themselves prone toward playing it in the attempt to validate their own position.

Not so much, Byron. Remember, I posted the original link. Without doubt Byron, mark this down as evidence in favor of your “defensive gun holding” philosophy. The guy probably held on to the gun forever without using it, (though it was apparently loaded and ready to go). Of course he was a bar owner, and probably knew better than we why he thought he may need it someday where you or I may think, probably not, for us, not being bar owners in Ohio. If I brought a handgun to my business, just to store in my desk as a first aid kit, everyone I knew, including my employees, would think I was nuts.

No question I agree with the Rabbit vis a vis, Octavious, (what a name), winning the Darwin award. I’m totally in sympathy with the old guy, getting robbed by a young idiot thug and with his successful use of the handgun. I’ve fired .357’s and .45’s. Technically speaking, they’re not guns, they’re fucking hand cannons. You have to have a little hand and forearm strength just to hold onto them.  They should come equipped with carriages and lanyards…..grin In the hands of an 82 year old in distress….I don’t know…the guy had his shit together, what can we say….I just cracked a beer to him!

What I’m pointing out here is the lose/lose situation, because of the presence of the gun. One or the other was going to win the Darwin award. No amount of premeditation on the part of either participant determined the outcome of their scuffle, though the odds would have to be on the young, violent guy. The presence of the gun however, helped insure that the outcome would be deadly. Being robbed of $1100.00 is far better than being murdered with your own defensive weapon, the one you provided your murderer when all he had was a toy gun, embarrassing at least, wouldn’t you think?

Again, I’m just pointing out that in a real, non-black and white world, the gun guaranteed the lethal outcome, but did not guaranty the absolute safety of the one bringing it to defensive use. It’s presence made it possible for the outcome to have been lethally different for the defensive gun carrier who brought the lethal weapon to the conflict. So can you deal with a little nuanced thought, some shades of gray?

Note, a Taser or bear spray would likely have been just as effective against the idiot with the plastic gun. (Apparently the idiot had already unsuccessfully tried an attack with a heart defibrillator????), The bear spray is heavier duty than the people spray, but even a lipstick sized, people strength pepper spray can put a man down at 25’. The bear spray is more intense and comes in small containers like small fire extinguishers. You could hose down a crowd of idiots with that shit. As I indicated before, I suspect you could use it to kill if you wanted to. You could make it look like self defense, (gee officer, he attacked me with a toy gun, so I let him have it with enough irritant to stop a grizzly bear in it’s tracks, how would i know his trachea and bronchia and sinuses would swell shut like that??!!) wink

For Byron though, fundamentalist that he is, it’s guns, lethal force, or nothing.

[ Edited: 24 July 2009 10:24 PM by eucaryote]
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Posted: 25 July 2009 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]  
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That post was all about, “the evidence says X, but if things were different ...[speculation]... so Y is a more reasonable take.”

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:47 AM
SkepticX - 24 July 2009 07:34 PM
eucaryote - 24 July 2009 06:25 PM

Everything worked out well and logically for the 82 year old bar owner, but barely. Had the 24 year old gotten hold of the only real gun brought to the conflict, then the Darwin award would have to be given to the bar owner for being killed with his own gun after being confronted by a young maniac carrying what turned out to be a toy gun. The competition between the two, for the Darwin award, was neck and neck there.

Curious how some who bitterly protest the “what if” game from an opposing viewpoint are themselves prone toward playing it in the attempt to validate their own position.

Not so much, Byron. Remember, I posted the original link.

What’s posting the link got to do with putting stock in hypotheticals? The point is no one can really say what would have happened. The “what if” game is attempting to postulate “evidence” into existence—armchair quarterbacking. It’s a pretty dubious approach to analysis, even for experts who can use what they know from the available research and/or from personal training and experience. For those with none of those things it’s little better than wild ass guessing at best, and often actually much worse.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

Without doubt Byron, mark this down as evidence in favor of your “defensive gun holding” philosophy. The guy probably held on to the gun forever without using it, (though it was apparently loaded and ready to go). Of course he was a bar owner, and probably knew better than we why he thought he may need it someday where you or I may think, probably not, for us.

That doesn’t mesh with your previous posts in this topic, or with the rest of this one.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

No question I agree with the Rabbit vis a vis, Octavious, (what a name), winning the Darwin award. I’m totally in sympathy with the old guy, getting robbed by a young idiot thug and with his successful use of the handgun. I’ve fired .357’s and .45’s. Technically speaking, they’re not guns, they’re fucking hand cannons. You have to have a little hand and forearm strength just to hold onto them. They should come equipped with carriages and lanyards…..grin In the hands of an 82 year old in distress….I don’t know…the guy had his shit together, what can we say….I just cracked a beer to him!

Hmmm. He kept a weapon in his workplace, in a bar. Weren’t you arguing that would mean he’s insane? I do appreciate that you’re trying to be objective though.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

What I’m pointing out here is the lose/lose situation, because of the presence of the gun. One or the other was going to win the Darwin award.

More of the “what if” game. There are many more cases of such armed confrontations being diffused without any wounds and even without any shooting, but they don’t tend to make the news, as I pointed out earlier. Here there was a body to grab the media’s attention. If Harvil had pulled the gun and the robber had reacted in a less Darwin Award-worthy manner (or been able to, since there was a struggle) we don’t know what would have happened, but the odds very much favor a mortality free incident (they actually still greatly favor a mortality-free incident even with shots fired and hitting their target—guns aren’t statistically anywhere near as lethal as most people think, it’s just that they definitely can be, there’s pretty much always that potential). In any case, I don’t think Harvil would agree that his gun made the situation worse for him. I wouldn’t either. You’re right that there’s not really a “winner” in a case of a DGU, even if successful, but the point isn’t to win or to best the perpetrator, the point is to not die.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

No amount of premeditation on the part of either participant determined the outcome of their scuffle, though the odds would have to be on the young, violent guy. The presence of the gun however, helped insure that the outcome would be deadly

Helped? Yes (not guaranteed). In the hands of the perpetrator a gun means the victim is more likely to be killed, but in the hands of the intended victim it means the reverse, and that the fruits of the violence are more likely to stay mainly with the aggressor who’s entirely at fault for bringing violence into the situation.

The guns the bad guys carry usually aren’t toys.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

Being robbed of $1100.00 is far better than being murdered with your own defensive weapon, the one you provided your murderer when all he had was a toy gun, embarrassing at least, wouldn’t you think?

Cases in which a gun has even been taken away from a victim trying to use it in self defense are virtually non-existent.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

Again, I’m just pointing out that in a real, non-black and white world, the gun guaranteed the lethal outcome, but did not guaranty the absolute safety of the one bringing it to defensive use.

That’s a perfectionist fallacy. It’s also “results-oriented analysis”—working toward a conclusion that’s contrary to the evidence you’re working with (don’t feel too bad, I’ve seen at least one published study that overtly states it does exactly the same thing—“the evidence says X, however ... “). A guarantee of absolute safety is a fantasy, and the gun didn’t guarantee a lethal outcome. There are no guarantees. A gun fired at a perpetrator is unlikely to result in a kill. A shot that hits the target is unlikely to result in a kill or even a permanent injury beyond a scar (I’m talking statistics though, which ignore individual cases and any extenuating circumstances or particulars). Using a gun on an assailant is very likely to stop the attack, however. Of course the potential to kill the target with a gun is still far greater than with other weapons, though that’s a pretty simplistic way of looking at it, and of course training increases those odds. Still, the raw odds are much lower than most presume.

These are examples of objective errors I’ve been trying to point out—each one an admission that you’re forming opinions in a vacuum in spite of being aware that’s what you’re limited to—errors that doing your homework with proper rigor should correct.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

It’s presence made it possible for the outcome to have been lethally different for the defensive gun carrier who brought the lethal weapon to the conflict.

“What if” again, and no, it didn’t ... if I’m reading you right here. Can I get a clarification?

This was a case of an 82 year old male being preyed upon in a violent attack by a 24 year old male. Right there you should recognize there’s the potential for a lethal outcome—no weapons required (there were killings and such long before guns). That’s true regardless of the age gap, that just exacerbates the situation (actually it’s the advanced age of the target, age gap or not). Barnes also had a potentially lethal weapon, though apparently a very unwieldy one, “a shocking device used to debilitate people with heart conditions”. (Should it be “defibrillate” as you suggest? Seems most likely.) I agree the outcome would most likely have been different if Harvil didn’t use a gun, but it may very well have been just as lethal, Harvil would just have probably been the fatality rather than Barnes(tactics).

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

Note, a Taser or bear spray would likely have been just as effective against the idiot with the plastic gun.

Possibly, but not certainly or probably or even generally.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

So can you deal with a little nuanced thought, some shades of gray?

Quite. You’ve been arguing that your thinking is nuanced and mine isn’t while demonstrating precisely the opposite. Knowing about the topic matters.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

(Apparently the idiot had already unsuccessfully tried an attack with a heart defibrillator????), The bear spray is heavier duty than the people spray, but even a lipstick sized, people strength pepper spray can put a man down at 25’. The bear spray is more intense and comes in small containers like small fire extinguishers. You could hose down a crowd of idiots with that shit. As I indicated before, I suspect you could use it to kill if you wanted to. You could make it look like self defense, (how would i know his trachea and bronchia would swell shut like that??!!)

Sounds effective, as long as you get enough in the target’s face, the target doesn’t manage to turn away, if you have a pretty secure exit route and you’re adequately mobile, you’re not facing a stiff headwind (it would have to be a pretty damn stiff headwind, and it would just mean you might get some spray yourself), and you can avoid being grabbed shot or stabbed, etc. It’s also potentially lethal to people with asthma (or emphysema—unlikely), or apparently who are taking certain medications. Still, I’m an advocate—it’s not perfect and it’s not guaranteed to be non-lethal, and it’s certainly not guaranteed to work, but nothing else is either, and it’s still pretty effective. I don’t advocate risking your life to shift the benefit of the doubt from yourself to an assailant who is posing a clear and present threat to your life (the reality of violence), but I certainly respect the informed choice to do so.

Tasers are both far more risky and far less effective. If you miss with a taser or hit something like a bulky coat, you’re out—it’s a one shot deal. Your primary defense is spent. That pretty much rules them out without a more reliable backup of some sort. If you hit your target and let up with the taser rather than maintaining the electrical current the tased can pull out the electrodes (that’s why the cops always pile onto the tasee immediately—that and the fact that they only tase a perp for a short time to avoid killing the subject), so you either have to be prepared to keep zapping the perpetrator until the police arrive (dramatically increasing the likelihood of serious harm or death), or to maintain direct physical control of him ... manually. The cops also tend to make sure they get EMS en route before using their tasers if at all possible. All besides the fact that the tasers I’ve seen are too big to carry concealed without a purse or a backpack, which can pose obvious tactical access problems (you’d need a concealed carry purse or briefcase kind of rig).

Dunno about bear spray, but I do know that solid projectiles behave far better than sprays in windy or wet conditions, in brush, when the target is well covered ... etc. The tactical problems with sprays are more fundamental than the particulars of the chemical cocktail. As I said, though, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from an informed choice to carry the stuff instead of a gun.

eucaryote - 25 July 2009 01:16 AM

For Byron though, fundamentalist that he is, it’s guns, lethal force, or nothing.

That’s a pretty nasty accusation you keep casually tossing about here—quite irresponsible and venomous. Highly divisive. Patently false, and plainly counterproductive to a genuine interest in communication and understanding. That’s all characteristic of fundamentalist thinking, just as I pointed out when you demonstrated these traits much earlier.

Byron

[ Edited: 25 July 2009 08:13 PM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 26 July 2009 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]  
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I can not wrap my head around the idea that more people with more guns makes the world a better place, but it’s been an interesting thread to follow.

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Posted: 26 July 2009 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]  
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GAD - 26 July 2009 12:24 PM

I can not wrap my head around the idea that more people with more guns makes the world a better place, but it’s been an interesting thread to follow.

Maybe because that’s a really simplistic and strange way to look at the issue. I’d even argue the claim goes in the “not even wrong” category (and to be fair I suspect Lott and Mustard were mostly just going for a catchy title). It’s a popular notion here in the US, though, and the great majority seem to think of it in cartoonish, black and white terms, often as if gun ownership is a completely isolated variable or only considering the side of the issues that appeals to their personal sensibilities.

Personally, as I’ve clearly stated I think if a given country/society can keep guns at bay they should do so for as long as they can. The bigger problem comes if that society gets stoopid about it, gets into thinking of guns as themselves somehow evil or violent, and fails to recognize when they have enough illegal guns within their borders that the criminal element is easily enough armed that it’s more of a problem for the general public than if they had the capacity to arm themselves in self-defense. There’s a threshold at some point, but a society that’s gone histrionic on the issue won’t think about it like adults, and it will keep the balance of power with the violent predators.

It’s hardly civil to refuse the citizenry the basic right to a level of self-defense that best ensures individual safety (I say again, best ensures, not guarantees).

Byron

[ Edited: 27 July 2009 05:18 AM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 27 July 2009 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]  
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Part of what it is to be rational is to recognize and evaluate probabilities and understand the role that chance and circumstance play in shaping specific events. Sane people prepare for events in proportion to the probability of their occurrence. It is not rational to protect yourself from events that are unlikely to occur.

In order to justify carrying a lethal weapon for defensive purposes, the probability of actually having to use that weapon in such a situation must be very high.

The motives of those who have no such justification for carrying weapons, but do so anyway, should be questioned. When it comes to carrying lethal weapons, the absence of good reasoning constitutes poor reasoning. Certainly no responsible person carries a weapon indifferently, incidentally, or casually, that’s not sane either. If you live in a society where you are as likely to need a loaded sidearm as you are a band-aid, then you truly live in a violent society. Without question there are safer places.

The constant presence of a gun increases the likely-hood of it’s being “used” inadvertently, somewhere in the personal physical sphere surrounding the carrier. The likely-hood of something like that happening, combined with the potential for irreparable harm within that sphere, MUST BE BALANCED, against the likely-hood that it will be used successfully as a defensive weapon.

Guns introduce LETHAL POTENTIAL into a conflict. Potential is another way of measuring probability. Conflicts without guns are much less likely to have lethal results. Even Octavious didn’t deserve a death sentence for assault with a plastic gun.

A gun is only a defensive weapon when it is used defensively. It doesn’t become a defensive weapon just because of the owners original intent.

The gun owners intent also does not make a gun into something as benign as a first aid kit. The children who die after discovering their parents loaded first aid kits, (see the several earlier links), bear witness to this fact. Apparently, this with children, happens with great frequency. I don’t need to spell this out for you do I? There is no equivalence between guns and first aid kits.

Absolute claims bear no credence.

Cases in which a gun has even been taken away from a victim trying to use it in self defense are virtually non-existent.

or

A gun fired at a perpetrator is unlikely to result in a kill. A shot that hits the target is unlikely to result in a kill or even a permanent injury beyond a scar….

It is statistically unlikely that extreme claims can be true. The claims above are simply not believable, (to the extent that they are true, they obviate the reasoning behind carrying a gun to begin with). These are the claims of a true believer.

According to these claims, it was unlikely that two out of two rounds fired at close range would hit Octavious at all, and even more unlikely that his death, or even scarring, would result from being hit in the eye by a round from a .45 cal pistol.

To make such claims is to ignore and soft-pedal the POTENTIAL severity of the POTENTIAL consequences of being wrong. Next thing you will be telling us is that young children “virtually” never shoot themselves or others with their parents loaded defensive handguns, so not to worry. Just make sure you don’t piss off those brats down the street too much…;-)

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Posted: 28 July 2009 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]  
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eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

Part of what it is to be rational is to recognize and evaluate probabilities and understand the role that chance and circumstance play in shaping specific events. Sane people prepare for events in proportion to the probability of their occurrence. It is not rational to protect yourself from events that are unlikely to occur.

If I take you at your word I also have to conclude you think it’s often irrational to keep jumper cables in your car, a spare tire, to maintain a fire extinguisher or a first aid kit, to use a backup parachute when skydiving, or to have several life preservers handy at a pool or on a boat, but I think we all know better than that. Still, the likelihood of needing these items is generally low, particularly if you have new tires, a lifeguard on duty, packed your parachute carefully, etc.

It’s patently obvious why you don’t prepare for emergencies only when you expect them, and that violent assaults are emergency situations. Your continued refusal to acknowledge this reality is getting very ... strange.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

In order to justify carrying a lethal weapon for defensive purposes, the probability of actually having to use that weapon in such a situation must be very high.

I’d like to hear an explanation of just how that would work, not just the abstract philosophy. How do you determine that you’re sufficiently likely to be attacked, what degree of likelihood are you thinking of, and how should we react when a gun is called for (own/store a gun vs. going to buy it when this determination is made)? That sort of thing. I want to know how you’d suggest making this philosophy work in practice—in the real world.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

The motives of those who have no such justification for carrying weapons, but do so anyway, should be questioned.

Perhaps ... by qualified critics.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

When it comes to carrying lethal weapons, the absence of good reasoning constitutes poor reasoning. Certainly no responsible person carries a weapon indifferently, incidentally, or casually, that’s not sane either.

Right out of the DSM ... what?

No one should carry indifferently, I’m not sure what you mean by “incidentally” given that you also added “casually” though, and those who don’t have an irrational fear of weapons most certainly can carry casually at least in the sense that it’s a matter of habit. Many people take the precautions required to carry a gun on a daily basis as part of their daily routine.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

If you live in a society where you are as likely to need a loaded sidearm as you are a band-aid, then you truly live in a violent society. Without question there are safer places.

Is this your standard for the degree of likelihood that warrants concealed carry?

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

The constant presence of a gun increases the likely-hood of it’s being “used” inadvertently, somewhere in the personal physical sphere surrounding the carrier. The likely-hood of something like that happening, combined with the potential for irreparable harm within that sphere, MUST BE BALANCED, against the likely-hood that it will be used successfully as a defensive weapon.

True, even if only technically (i.e. premise 1), but I don’t think you have a very good or realistic idea of what you’ve actually just posted. The issues that one needs to assess aren’t the question here, but there’s definitely some question as to whether you’ve got any valid basis upon which to make these assessments.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

Guns introduce LETHAL POTENTIAL into a conflict. Potential is another way of measuring probability. Conflicts without guns are much less likely to have lethal results. Even Octavious didn’t deserve a death sentence for assault with a plastic gun.

Guns increase lethal potential, they don’t introduce it. It wasn’t about Harvil besting his opponent or “winning”, it was about surviving the assault. Harvil didn’t deserve to have his life threatened (i.e. possibly being killed/or a “death sentence” for those prone toward hyperbole), and Barnes violated that fundamental aspect of the social contract by threatening it. As you agreed previously, Harvil acted reasonably by using potentially lethal measures to defend his life. This is the way reality looks when violence is visited upon people by violent criminals. You seem unable to maintain this context. You seem to be favoring a much nicer, happier world, which is fine—can’t blame you at all—except that the topic here is dealing with the harsh reality of violence in the real world.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

A gun is only a defensive weapon when it is used defensively. It doesn’t become a defensive weapon just because of the owners original intent.

Right.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

The gun owners intent also does not make a gun into something as benign as a first aid kit.

No, but guns and first aid kits are both used for emergencies. You aren’t going to repeat your opposition to that fact into being true. You need to either argue that violent assaults don’t constitute emergencies or that guns aren’t defensively useful in violent assaults in order to be taken seriously by an objective reader when you make that claim.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

The children who die after discovering their parents loaded first aid kits, (see the several earlier links), bear witness to this fact. Apparently, this with children, happens with great frequency.

Children and guns are a different issue than adults legally carrying them defensively, as emotionally and argumentatively appealing as it may be to try and conflate them. I certainly wouldn’t argue against the claim that people with kids have another very important consideration to deal with when it comes to owning a gun.

At any rate far more children are seriously harmed or killed by misusing things in first aid kits than you seem to realize (it’s a risk inherent to using most pharmaceuticals). You have no links about that as you claim, by the way, though I don’t think you realize that’s what would be pertinent to this claim rather than your links about children and gun accidents.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

I don’t need to spell this out for you do I? There is no equivalence between guns and first aid kits.

Your own obstinance is the only problem here. You’ve spelled out your errant viewpoint repeatedly and it still makes no more sense than it did initially. Shifting the comparison from the fact that they’re both used in cases of emergencies to the nature of the emergencies for which they’re used is only a rather transparent red herring ... at best.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

Absolute claims bear no credence.

Cases in which a gun has even been taken away from a victim trying to use it in self defense are virtually non-existent.

or

A gun fired at a perpetrator is unlikely to result in a kill. A shot that hits the target is unlikely to result in a kill or even a permanent injury beyond a scar….

It is statistically unlikely that extreme claims can be true.

And you’ve based the assessment that my claim is extreme upon what research, knowledge and/or experience?

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

The claims above are simply not believable, (to the extent that they are true, they obviate the reasoning behind carrying a gun to begin with). These are the claims of a true believer.

This is a pair of objective errors like I spoke of before. Those claims sound unbelievable to you (and probably to a lot of people, unfortunately, much like a lot of popular opinion regarding the idea that atheists can be happy, psychologically healthy, positive contributors to their communities) because you don’t know much about this subject, as you admitted at the outset, and because you’re forming obviously strong opinions from within that vacuum.

According to National Crime Victimization Survey data (‘92-‘98), guns being taken away from defensive users and used against them are basically a myth. In 0.2% of DGUs the defender lost the gun to the offender, and the question didn’t specify that the gun used for self-defense had to be the gun taken. That means if the guns were stolen in a robbery and a victim used a gun in self-defense against the burglar, that would have shown up as a gun being taken whether or not the gun used in defense was one of the guns stolen. The specific stat doesn’t say anything about whether the victim of the burglary was shooting to defend life or property though. In any case you have a maximum of 0.2% of possible cases in which a gun might even potentially be taken and then used on the defender.

There’s also some misleading research that bases an estimate on the fact that, over the period of data analyzed (‘84-‘88), 19% of police officers killed on duty with guns were killed with their own weapons. I’m going to leave it there for the time being, but I’ll post some more analysis of this particular study later.

The explanation of how lethal guns actually are vs how lethal they’re thought to be (and as I clearly stated before, how lethal they can be) is in the links I provided before that you obviously haven’t even glanced over.

This is the biggest problem with the gun “debate”. A great many people decide to weigh in and do so with vigor, but based upon little if any actual knowledge, experience or understanding—usually these opinions are actually based upon nothing but pure emotion, and they’re often extremely resistant to correction. This is why the gun control “debate” is so similar to the “debate” on religion (also drugs and maybe a few other topics).

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

According to these claims, it was unlikely that two out of two rounds fired at close range would hit Octavious at all, and even more unlikely that his death, or even scarring, would result from being hit in the eye by a round from a .45 cal pistol.

As I clearly stated previously, statistics don’t account for individual instances or circumstances. What the stats say is that, if you heard that there was a shooting incident with two shots fired, it would be likely no one was hit. That’s all. If you add the fact that there was a struggle and the shots were fired (apparently) in the midst of that struggle and therefore at point blank range, the odds change, but I’d also like to point out that the initial statistics still hold true. “The odds are against it” doesn’t mean “it won’t happen”. Quite the contrary. “The odds are against it” means it will happen a given amount of the time.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

To make such claims is to ignore and soft-pedal the POTENTIAL severity of the POTENTIAL consequences of being wrong.

In fact I made a point of doing the opposite.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

Next thing you will be telling us is that young children “virtually” never shoot themselves or others with their parents loaded defensive handguns, so not to worry. Just make sure you don’t piss off those brats down the street too much…;-)

Children and guns aren’t the issue, so hopefully we’ll both be able to refrain from padding our arguments with impertinent, counterproductive, evocative commentary about them. But accidents involving children and guns are rare, they just virtually always make the news.

Byron

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Posted: 28 July 2009 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]  
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SkepticX - 28 July 2009 02:53 PM
eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

Part of what it is to be rational is to recognize and evaluate probabilities and understand the role that chance and circumstance play in shaping specific events. Sane people prepare for events in proportion to the probability of their occurrence. It is not rational to protect yourself from events that are unlikely to occur.

If I take you at your word I also have to conclude you think it’s often irrational to keep jumper cables in your car, a spare tire, to maintain a fire extinguisher or a first aid kit, to use a backup parachute when skydiving, or to have several life preservers handy at a pool or on a boat, but I think we all know better than that. Still, the likelihood of needing these items is generally low, particularly if you have new tires, a lifeguard on duty, packed your parachute carefully, etc.

It’s patently obvious why you don’t prepare for emergencies only when you expect them, and that violent assaults are emergency situations. Your continued refusal to acknowledge this reality is getting very ... strange.

eucaryote - 27 July 2009 09:38 PM

In order to justify carrying a lethal weapon for defensive purposes, the probability of actually having to use that weapon in such a situation must be very high.

I’d like to hear an explanation of just how that would work, not just the abstract philosophy. How do you determine that you’re sufficiently likely to be attacked, what degree of likelihood are you thinking of, and how should we react when a gun is called for (own/store a gun vs. going to buy it when this determination is made)? That sort of thing. I want to know how you’d suggest making this philosophy work in practice—in the real world.

Byron, you’re crazy, now guns are equivalent to jumper cables?! I’m coming away from this discussion very impressed with your programming.

I carry jumper cables because I or someone else use them on a fairly regular basis. The same is true of first aid kits and spare tires. The probability of me needing jumper cables is much, much higher than the probability of me needing a gun to defend myself. How do I know? I have needed jumper cables and band aids and spare tires some unknown but significant number of times in my life. Rationally speaking I travel with a spare tire because there is some probability, based on my experience, that I may need it.

I have never been attacked and never needed a gun. The probability that I would need a gun, (especially given my propensity for avoiding those who may carry guns), is virtually zero. You tell me, why would I carry one?

Again, if your experience is that you need to reach for a gun as often as you need to reach for a spare tire or a bandage, then I suggest that you move to safer place. If you perceive the odds are as good but they are not, then you are crazy, paranoid.

More importantly, there are no potential problems associated with carrying jumper cables at all. I know you have a hard time grasping this concept, but, jumper cables and first aid kits are not lethal weapons. It is not possible to use or interpret the use of a first aid kit as anything but benign.


How many times have you needed a gun to defend yourself? How do YOU calculate the probability of needing a gun to defend yourself?

I think it’s pretty funny that you set yourself up as some kind of authority. This Kleck fellow is your guru, eh? You read one book and you’re an expert Maybe his research is a little dated and biased. One doesn’t have to look hard to find this from those authorities who apparently differ in their analysis and their perspective.

From the 2006 book “Private Guns Public Health” by David Hemenway, out of context, but you won’t like the context either. I suggest you read the entire 28 pages available on line.

David Hemenway is Professor of Health Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health and Director of Harvard’s Injury Control Research Center and Youth Violence Prevention Center. A former Pew Fellow on Injury Control, he has been a Senior Soros Justice Fellow and held a Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.

Long the subject of twentieth-century heroic myth, the realistic image of the nineteenth-century cowboy is a “a hired hand with a borrowed horse, a mean streak, and syphilis.” Cowboys were mostly young, single itinerant, irreligious, southern-born men who lived, worked and played in male-company. Many were combat veterans, and almost all carried firearms. Youthful irresponsibility, intoxication and firearms led to so many murders and unintentional injuries at the end of their trail that laws were enacted to force cowboys to check their guns before they entered towns. (Courtwright 1996) For today’s gun enthusiasts, the citizen-soldier and the cowboy lawman remain two archetypes of American history. (Kohn 2000). But what is not a mystery is that America is currently awash with guns. It is estimated that there are more than two hundred million working firearms in private hands in the US-as many guns as adults.

One of the more important predictors of gun ownership is whether one’s parents had a gun in the home. Gun ownership is more prevalent among those with higher incomes. While gun owners come from the entire spectrum of American society, people who admit to having been arrested for a non-traffic offense are more likely to own guns, (Cook and Ludwig 1996); owners o semiautomatics are more likely to than other owners to admit that they binge drink (Hemenway and Richardson 1997); and combat veterans with PTSD appear more likely than other veterans to own firearms ( and to engage in such potentially harmful behavior as aiming guns at family members, patrolling their property with loaded guns, and killing animals in fits of rage(Freeman, Roca and Kimball 2003).

Kleck’s position clearly misrepresents the data.

According to criminologist Gary Kleck, “Most surprisingly, general gun ownership levels….appear to be unrelated to rates of fatal gun accidents” (1997b), 384). This claim is indeed surprising, and it is incorrect. Where there are more guns, their are more accidental gun deaths. One study examined data from 1979 to 1997 and found that for every age group, for men and for women, for blacks and for whites, people living in states with more guns were far more likely to die in gun accidents. Even after accounting for poverty, urbanization, and region, the differences were enormous. (Miller, Azrael, and Hemenway 20001)

This last quote supports my assertion that a loaded gun is just a problem waiting to happen. I think that it’s possible that Gary Kleck is not the guru that you want to sign onto. I’ll try to read the rest of your post later. This is getting tedious Byron, all I’m learning are things I already knew but didn’t know I knew…..whereas I think you may be in uncharted waters. I’m forming the opinion that those who have ever been religious, never lose the need sign on to something….anything to believe in. Very strange….

Interesting read, Byron, check it out, here are 28 pages available from google books….http://books.google.com/books?id=iANw1pb4fPAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ViewAPI&hl=en

[ Edited: 28 July 2009 10:22 PM by eucaryote]
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Posted: 29 July 2009 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]  
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eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

This is getting tedious ...

Getting tedious?

eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

Byron, you’re crazy, now guns are equivalent to jumper cables?! I’m coming away from this discussion very impressed with your programming.

I seriously doubt your reading comprehension is that sophomoric. Do you think that by evading what I’ve written the concepts go away, or that any remotely objective reader here will be so easily duped into buying your spin?

eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

I carry jumper cables because I or someone else use them on a fairly regular basis. The same is true of first aid kits and spare tires. The probability of me needing jumper cables is much, much higher than the probability of me needing a gun to defend myself. How do I know? I have needed jumper cables and band aids and spare tires some unknown but significant number of times in my life. Rationally speaking I travel with a spare tire because there is some probability, based on my experience, that I may need it.

Then in order to get the actual idea across I’ll try and accommodate your unique world. We can stick with fire extinguishers ... or are you often putting fires out in your car and around the house as well?

I’m representing the concept I’m communicating with similes, the similes aren’t defining the concept. If you argue the similes don’t fit what I’m saying, that means the similes may need to be modified to fit the concept better, it doesn’t mean the poor fit modifies the concept. You’re arguing that the similes suggest some other concept than the one I’m pointing out, but you’re confusing that with an argument against the concept.

For example:
Sex is even better than Guinness!
I don’t like Guinness, so it doesn’t sound like sex is very good.

That constitutes a joke, not a rational argument.

Here’s how it’s been manifest in here:
Defensive handguns are tools used for given emergencies, just as any other emergency gear.
Other emergency gear is different from guns as are the emergencies for which they’re used, therefore guns aren’t emergency gear.

It’s really very telling that you’re so resistant to this particular concept. It’s almost as if you’ve rejected the whole notion out of hand and you’re not really interested in considering the issue at all, but yet you want to make a show of it to makethis particular aspect of your position appear credible when in fact it’s completely vapid.

eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

I have never been attacked and never needed a gun.

Aside from my military career, since high school I haven’t either, other than “needing” a gun for competitive shooting and such.

eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

The probability that I would need a gun, (especially given my propensity for avoiding those who may carry guns), is virtually zero.

You avoid those who carry like a believer might choose to avoid atheists—just how do you think you’d know? If you’re presuming that you’ll be able to tell based upon outward behaviors and attitudes and such, you’re mistaken. You can’t tell a guy eating with his family at a restaurant from a guy eating with his family at a restaurant who has a concealed handgun, for example.

You’re right about the probability of needing to defend yourself though, at least on any given day, and at least you and I and those more or less like us. (You also fall under “mobile, able-bodied white males not too advanced in years”, I presume?) Some people aren’t as free from concern over being violently victimized, however. Even you and I and those like us aren’t immune though. Over the span of a lifetime, particularly as we grow older, we’re likely to have violence visited upon us by violent predators. Some study analyses put the probability for the average lifetime at 80%, but I think that’s based upon an overly wide definition of violence—it includes verbal threats and such, which are legally assaults, and which may unsettle the hypersensitive, but I don’t think they fall under the category of violence, and I’m not sure for how much of the data they account. Given that carrying a gun isn’t a personal risk, if it fits into your lifestyle (if you don’t frequent bars and/or large public venues like sporting events—malls are a matter of debate) it’s a matter of carrying a slightly bulky object around with you on a daily basis (depending a great deal on which gun you carry), and the increased potential of an early violent death ... but you’re right that on any given day it is highly unlikely, and that this is not the only factor to consider.

eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

You tell me, why would I carry one?

Why the hell would I tell you to carry a gun!? I don’t carry one myself, as I’ve stated more than once in here in no uncertain terms.

eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

Again, if your experience is that you need to reach for a gun as often as you need to reach for a spare tire or a bandage, then I suggest that you move to safer place. If you perceive the odds are as good but they are not, then you are crazy, paranoid.

It only takes one violent assault to end your life. The odds are low, you’re absolutely right, but the stakes are as high as they get for individuals. The odds (again the odds—this means here I’m only referring to the odds) would be like living in a world with mini black holes popping up from time-to-time that are attracted to something about we humans, so they mostly pop up in populated areas, and when they pop up near enough to a person that person can be seriously harmed or even killed, but we have a gun device that dispels these mini black holes. It’s not guaranteed, but the vast majority of the time if you use the gun device it works and you won’t be harmed by the mini black hole, or you won’t be more harmed than you were when you used the gun device.

Again, that was just referring to the odds. Other important factors obviously apply to defensive weapons, but pretending that the only significant factor is that the odds are low, and that you should only prepare for the low possibility of being violently attacked when you think the odds are high is a ludicrous idea, just as the notion that you should only get a fire extinguisher when you expect the odds of a fire are high. I’m not sure I believe you’re actually having the kind of difficulty with this concept as you’re putting on.

eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

More importantly, there are no potential problems associated with carrying jumper cables at all. I know you have a hard time grasping this concept, but, jumper cables and first aid kits are not lethal weapons. It is not possible to use or interpret the use of a first aid kit as anything but benign.

Actually I keep trying to explain this concept to you.

Here’s an example of the problem “we’re” having:
X: Skyscrapers are like the Giza Plateau pyramids because they’re huge and they stand out high above the horizon.
E: You’re crazy! The pyramids were made with slave labor, and skyscrapers have nothing to do with slave labor. Pyramids were also tombs, and skyscrapers mostly consist of offices. Your argument is insane!
X: Hmm ... okay. A pyramid is to structures like an elephant is to animals. They’re both huge and stand out high above their surroundings.
E: So NOW you’re arguing that slave labor is like an elephant!? You’re insane!

And that’s not much of an exaggeration either. You’re pointedly avoiding the very aspect of guns as emergency gear that’s pertinent here, which is telling. By doing this you’re ensuring you’ll utterly fail to grasp the whole armed self-defense concept (which is a whole different thing than actually disagreeing with it). As I said, you either have to argue that violent attacks aren’t emergencies or that guns aren’t useful in a violent attack in order for your position to be taken seriously. Otherwise it seems pretty obvious you’re just being obstinate, and that won’t change if you just keep it up long enough. As long as violent attacks are emergencies and guns are useful for dealing with them it’s patently obvious your position is quite detached from reality.

eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

How many times have you needed a gun to defend yourself? How do YOU calculate the probability of needing a gun to defend yourself?

I never have, though I’ll never know if our hardware successfully deterred attacks that would have been made otherwise when my Army unit was deployed overseas. I suspect that’s true though. At any rate I make my assessment based upon the research and my personal training and experience.

I choose not to carry even though it’s a tactical error because tactics don’t define all behavior (we do a lot of things that are tactical errors on a regular basis) and my lifestyle just doesn’t really allow it. I most likely wouldn’t carry even if it did, though, because it would be an modification to my daily routine I’d likely never really feel sufficiently motivated to internalize (same reason I haven’t developed the habit of flossing my teeth, pretty much).

eucaryote - 29 July 2009 02:06 AM

I think it’s pretty funny that you set yourself up as some kind of authority.

Actually it’s telling that you think I’ve done so. Also, I suspect you’re still arguing mostly against straw men rather than my actual positions, not that I think you’re aware of it.

Byron

[ Edited: 29 July 2009 12:29 PM by SkepticX]
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Posted: 29 July 2009 09:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]  
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Byron,

Maybe it’s a slow new’s day, but I note that some number of folks continue to monitor our debate. I’ll persist if for no other reason. It is a new topic for me, and I am arguing not from some emotional perspective as you insist, but far more dispassionately. It’s not difficult to catch up on the “research” that you have done. I see now that Dr. Kleck himself defined box that you are putting me in…..I see that you are a rare kind of believer…what is your number, how many are you?....is this in Kleck’s writings?
Here’s a photo of Dr. Kleck on his wikipedia page, and another from his current page at the University of Florida. I think we would all agree that Dr. Kleck could benefit from updating his wiki photograph. wink Also, here is a link to Dr. Hemenway’s page at Harvard School of Public Health. The website wouldn’t let me copy the photo. Dr Hemenway authored the quotes that Byron has failed to respond to. Dr. Hemenway’s thoughts seem to run more parallel to mine, and he specifically contradicts Dr. Kleck on several topics. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/faculty/david-hemenway/
Good previews of his book as well as Klecks book, (including what Byron posted of Kleck) found here…
http://books.google.com/books?id=iANw1pb4fPAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ViewAPI&hl=en

[ Edited: 29 July 2009 10:23 PM by eucaryote]
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