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charts

14 Aug

look how awesome all of these COLORLINES charts are! omg!

There are more here.

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14 Aug

http://www.mideastyouth.com/2010/08/04/suicides-among-migrants-in-kuwait-persist-at-an-alarming-rate/

It’s interesting that the U.S. State Dept is focusing energy on migrant worker abuses in other countries instead of finding ways to end those abuses in our own country.

Currently reading: Lethal Logic – Exploding the Myths that Paralyze American Gun Policy

12 Aug

Facts:

  1. “Democrats rated the NRA the ‘most effective’ interest group on Capitol Hill; Reuplicans ranked it number two.”
  2. “Of gun owners, 61 percent favor mandatory registration of handguns”
  3. “a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide by nearly five times”
  4. firearms account “for 60 percent of suicide deaths among youth under the age of nineteen.” the claim that, without firearms, kids would just find other ways to accomplish the same thing, may be true. however, in a study, “suicides by gun were successful 92 percent of the time” vs. “carbon monoxide (78 percent), hanging (77 percent), and drowning (66 percent)…lethality of poison (23 percent), drugs (11 percent), cutting with a knife or other sharp object (4 percent).” The point of all those statistics is that, though adolescents might try other ways to commit suicide in the absence of a gun, they would be much less successful. Guns, simply put, are more lethal.
  5. “From 1993 to 2001, an average of 846,000 violent crimes were committed each year with firearms. More crimes were committed with firearms than with knives, baseball bats, or any other products.” Again, this speaks to both the greater lethality of guns, as well as the fact that criminals perceive guns to be more lethal, and therefore use them more frequently.
  6. “As to felonies involving threatened or actual bodily injury – homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault – the involvement of guns increases fivefold, to 20 percent. For homicides alone, gun involvement jumps to 70 percent. …Guns don’t kill people. They enable people to kill people.”
  7. “The gun homicide rate in the United States is sixty-three times that in England and Wales.”
  8. “About 40 percent of gun sales occur in…transactions” between private citizens; those sellers are not required to run background checks on those to whom they are selling. These private sellers often sell at gun shows, and claim that they are simply selling from a personal collection. The boys in the Columbine shooting obtained their weapons from a gun show.
  9. The Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller prohibits guns from being outlawed. Although this seems like a loss for gun control advocates, what it really means is that the gun lobby cannot argue that smaller instances of gun control (like background checks on everyone who purchases a gun) are just the beginning of an effort to outlaw guns (what a stupid slippery slope argument). Because of the Supreme Court’s ruling, guns cannot be outlawed. So, gun control advocates cannot possibly be aiming for the outlawing of guns.
  10. The argument that gun control will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals – and therefore we should not have gun control – makes no sense. If we  were to subscribe to that belief, that we shouldn’t have any criminal laws, because criminals would disobey those laws no matter what. Most (sane) people agree that we need laws against assault, homicide, rape, etc. Those laws exist even though there are clearly people determined to ignore them.
  11. “A study found that denial of a handgun purchase [because of previous felony convictions] is associated with a reduction in risk for later criminal activity of approximately 20 to 30 percent.”

Okay. That’s a lot of facts. And hopefully the next time you argue with someone who opposes gun control, you will be able to pull out these facts/refute their arguments. But actually, I’m only 45 pages into a 200 page book, so look forward to more writing about gun control as I get further into Lethal Logic. In future posts, I will probably imitate the construction of the book, and present each of the gun lobby’s bumper sticker slogans (i.e. “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”) and tell you how the author, Dennis A. Henigan, completely destroys the logic behind those arguments.