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Author Topic: Guns and religion in America  (Read 960 times)

Sorcha

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Re: Guns and religion in America
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2019, 08:44:55 am »
I'm curious: did you read the well over thirty studies cited in those articles to see what factors were controlled for? Or just assume that factors such as socioeconomics were not considered?

Also, another thing you might find interesting is the Dickey Ammendment. It was passed in 1996 and lobbied for by the NRA, and is largely the reason that, if we dont have more than correlation, we don't. It's not an outright ban on gun violence research, but it's a ban on effectively DOING anything about any research by the CDC that shows guns having an adverse effect. It came after a study showed that gun ownership positively correlated to increased gun violence in the home. The NRA promptly freaked out and lobbied, essentially, to halt any more research into that correlation in its tracks by disallowing any government funding into gun violence research done by the CDC. We have an enormous dearth of information DUE TO gun rights activists, not in spite of them, so if all we have is a correlation, it is not the fault of those doing the research.

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Sorcha

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Re: Guns and religion in America
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2019, 08:46:02 am »
Those statistics don't account for other variables; they show a correlation, but without context it's meaningless.

Certain demographics tend to own guns; certain demographics also tend to experience more violent crime. That doesn't mean owning a gun causes you to experience violent crime. That's like saying that eating icecream causes heatstroke, or that the decrease in ocean piracy causes climate change. Those things correlate as well, but correlation is not causation and causation should never be assumed from correlation alone.

Rather, before you assume causation, you should always have a hypothetical causal mechanism. For the above cases of pirates and ice-cream, there is no logical way for the correlated events to have a causal relationship...

In my opinion, the same is true for gun ownership and being a victim of violent crime; if you own a gun, but keep it locked up and never use it, and nobody knows about it, there's no logical way that could make you a target for violent crime that wouldn't have otherwise affected you.

It's only once other variables come into play (bragging about your expensive guns in public, for example) that a possible causal element is introduced.


I just don't see a compelling reason, without much more through research that properly eliminates variables and establishes a probably causal factor, to assume that the correlation between violent crimes reflects causation. 

Rather, I think the two things correlate because they share a common cause; social inequality. The same way icecream and heatstroke have a common cause; summer. Doesn't mean they cause one another.
ARGH I forgot to quote and am unsure how to fix it. I was quoting the above. Sorry, mods.

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Hariti

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Re: Guns and religion in America
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2019, 10:08:17 am »
I'm curious: did you read the well over thirty studies cited in those articles to see what factors were controlled for? Or just assume that factors such as socioeconomics were not considered?

No, but I've read several of them before, and none of them are particularly convincing. Proving correlation is largely irrelevant.

However, I will get around to reading them if you think they do more than just show correlation; I have no desire to be disinformed.

At the moment, though, I've never seen anyone so much as suggest a causal mechanism that would link gun ownership to increased violence. Considering that I spend most of my time in a university AND keep up with current social-science journalism, AND I am almost exclusively in association with left-wing people (being one myself), I think that I would have heard about it if someone had discovered a smoking gun... pun intended... proving that owning guns increases violent crime. The gun debate is so politicized in the modern developed world that if there was strong, empirical evidence that could sway the debate, it wouldn't be hidden in scholarly research journals, it would be all over the news.

So, yeah, if somebody has proposed a psychological, economic, or other mechanism that could reasonably support the idea that guns are causal to crime, and not merely symptomatic of the same conditions that crime arises from, I'm all ears. Direct me to it and I'll happily read it.

OTOH, I've got no interest in reading studies that go 'look, correlation!' and act like they've proven something. That's bad research. Noticing correlation is just step one of the scientific process; it's merely an observation and not valid grounds on which to make theoretical claims. You can use it to make a hypothesis (and they have, that being 'guns cause crime') but unless you go on to test said hypothesis empirically it's basically just guesswork.
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Hariti

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Re: Guns and religion in America
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2019, 10:21:36 am »
is largely the reason that, if we dont have more than correlation, we don't.

That sounds a lot like inductive reasoning; you've already reached a conclusion as to what the results of the research would be (the conclusion being; it would support the hypothesis that guns cause violence) despite the fact the research has not actually been done.

It's quite possible that, if the research was allocated funding and undertaken, that the results would not support your position. There's no way to know what the results of research that hasn't yet happened would be.

I agree that the NRA and the Dickey Ammendment are the reason these questions remain unanswered; make no mistake, I do not support the NRA's political meddling, nor it's political position. Just because I support gun ownership doesn't mean I agree with everyone else who supports gun ownership, on every aspect of politics!

I would love to see the research actually get done; perhaps it would prove that guns do cause violence, perhaps it would prove that they do not cause violence, but either way we can't know what the results would be at the current time. So, I don't agree with you that 'we' would have 'more than just correlation' if the research was being conducted. It's quite possible that further research would find no causation, and we'd still be left with correlation and nothing more.

...also, about the Dickey Ammendment; it's only relevant in the USA; if guns are really a cause of violent crime, there are dozens of other developed countries where research could be going on to prove causation, but it's not. That doesn't mean that there's no proof to be found, it just means that nobody has found it yet. Clearly, there's more going on than just the NRA blocking research in the United States. Whatever forces are preventing people from researching potential causal links between gun ownership and violence are international, and widespread.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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