Forum posts made by tazznjazz

Topic Please do not contact us about "low" votes on your stories / poems
Posted 04 Feb 2013 14:10

I for one look for constructive criticism and think it would help improve my writing, but have noticed that those that score very low are those that don't leave comments and that makes me wonder if the low scores are just out of spite. I know I was so hurt by low scoring that it caused me to curtail my writing to the point that i don't even try any longer.

You put your all into writing and to be shot down by those that cant even be bothered to mention why they didn't like it makes it seem futile to put the time into trying to create something enjoyable.

I know I should be thicker skinned, but to a beginning writer, a one or two score is devastating.

Topic Just take away the guns, do it now
Posted 31 Jan 2013 23:21



and yet, without that tool, he'd be simply making his finger move, something that, unless you're a kung fu master, a vampire, or an alien, won't really kill people. now, if you put a gun back in his hands, and that finger happens to be on a trigger, people die. it's quite simple.

ok, how is this, so you feel better. let's ban all the people who own guns - that way we can stop all the nonsense of guns don't kill people, people kill people - i'd be perfectly happy shipping all of them down to antarctica with their guns so they can shoot each other to their heart's delight.

btw, unless you're a total idiot (a distinct possibility), you know you're just using hyperbolic rhetoric (look it up - google is your friend) and that the poster's point was not that guns are sentient creatures capable of making decisions or with morals and ethics. of course, you might not realize that, in which case, i'm not sure how you managed to pass the Lush IQ test and become a member here. :)

OMG!! I must have been absent on test day!! shhhhh;)

Topic Just take away the guns, do it now
Posted 31 Jan 2013 10:39

I recently heard that the president can outlaw guns under a provision of the patriot act. Does anyone know the details of this?

Topic Do lesbians like penetration?
Posted 29 Jan 2013 09:24

Lesbians like broccoli, but some prefer spinach.dontknow

Topic Radical Transformations in the Name of Acting
Posted 28 Jan 2013 23:24

It doesn't impress me.

I guess it's all part of the method v classical argument. Reminds me of that apocryphal story of Hoffman and Olivier - Hoffman had apparently stayed awake for days in preparation for a particularly harrowing scene. Completely unimpressed, Olivier said to him "have you tried acting, dear boy?"

This reminds me of a quote i read where Marlon Brando remarked to Val Kilmer '' Your confusing your talent with your paycheck''.

For my money one of the best performances was Leo DiCaprio in What's eating Gilbert Grape? I saw it twice before It registered who he was!

I think Daniel Day-Lewis is the master of transforming himself ''into character'' though and he uses his mind, not diets or trickery to become one with who he protrays

Topic Why no woman US president yet?
Posted 16 Jan 2013 08:04

Hillary would have been president with slick willie as first man if not for the Barack Obama surge from out of nowhere. Ms. Clinton would have had as hard a time with an obstructionist congress as what President Obama has encountered or worse, but should she decide to run she would make a strong leader as there is no one in government with more practical know how and with the GOP splintered her chances to shatter the glass ceiling are very good.Pour Wine

Topic Just take away the guns, do it now
Posted 01 Jan 2013 08:20

Fighting firepower with firepower is a shot not worth taking. Arming teachers goes against everything we should be teaching children. If guns don't kill people, people kill people, then it follows that guns don't protect people, people protect people. Guns and bullets cannot take responsibility for this problem and cant be held responsible for the solution. They are not people. This is our responsibility as members of a society governed by laws created by We the People, not the NRA or weapons manufacturers. Associations and manufacturers will never be shot at. They are not people.

Our country has progressed since 1776-1783, thank god, but not that much if we allow every person on the street access to assault weapons designed for nothing but mass killing of people in seconds, and no sane person can read into the 2nd amendment as granting that right.

Topic Would you slip into bed naked with the person above you?
Posted 29 Dec 2012 08:53

Yes!!

Topic Would you slip into bed naked with the person above you?
Posted 28 Dec 2012 21:08

Yes, please!

Topic 2nd amendment vs. the Patriot Act
Posted 26 Dec 2012 07:47

I find it interesting that those that rant and rave about gun control and constitutional protections don't seem to have nearly the same objections to the Patriot Act in regard to basic freedoms being taken away by federal legislation.

Patriot Act vs. ConstitutionWelcome « Patriot Act « vs. Constitution
Back
US Constitution (Bill of Rights) US Patriot Act
Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Freedom from unreasonable searches: The government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.
Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. Right to a speedy and public trial: The government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Freedom of association: To assist terror investigation, the government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity.
Amendment VI: ... to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. Right to legal representation: The government may monitor conversations between attorneys and clients in federal prisons and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ... Freedom of speech: The government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
Amendment VI: ... to be confronted with the witnesses against him ... Right to liberty: Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them. US citizens (labeled "unlawful combatants") have been held incommunicado and refused attorneys.

Topic Over 100 Shooting Deaths (U.S.) and counting Since Sandy Hook. Updated to 12/21/2012 @7 pm EST
Posted 23 Dec 2012 08:49

I just saw the head NRA lunatic on meet the press, the man is delusional to put it kindly. Not many people are having issue with gun ownership, just clips with multiple rounds exceeding 10 and military assault type weapons bans as a first step towards reducing Newtown type incidents. This is a rational proposal that has logic on it's side and those that oppose such a ban show themselves to be fanatical zealots who use perverse logic to point fingers anywhere but to the heart of the problem.

Are there other things that can be done? You bet and they are many and varied, but the first step is to keep these weapons that have no other purpose than to kill in mass numbers out of the hands of all but military personal.

No one is suggesting you cant keep a gun to protect your home or for sporting purposes, just not one able to kill 30 people in 30 seconds!!

The people who oppose such measures show themselves as heartless, cowardly, illogical, and ones that peace loving normal Americans fear as the potential next mass murderer.

Topic Fuck or Pass???
Posted 22 Dec 2012 16:17

Fuck sis!

Topic Just take away the guns, do it now
Posted 22 Dec 2012 07:58

And round and round we go while people get shot down daily by accident or designNutbag
http://upload.lushstories.com/944-control 002wrap plain.jpg

The NRA finally made a statement calling for armed guards at schools with no willingness to work towards a reduction in assault weapons. After reading some of the posts from NRA advocates here this is hardly a surprise and in fact it's clear where the pro gun talking points originate.

We should just give in to the wisdom of the NRA and not only have armed guards in our schools, but train our children in the use of AK-47's from pre-school on. Five years old seems like a fine age to adorn the little angels in flack jackets, protective headgear, and the advantage of multi -clips in their ammo backpacks. Recess would be a lively affair, but to combat this, we can arm teachers with rocket launchers or bazooka's, the playgrounds drone zones.

The graduation rate may decline slightly but they'd be protected and freedom loving gun toting, pistol packing Americans and hold their heads high, feet spread apart in military stance as they look dead ahead at a bright future.

Topic Today in Pictures (post a picture representing your mood)
Posted 21 Dec 2012 08:57

http://upload.lushstories.com/244-world's ending.jpg

Topic Active shooters in schools: The enemy is denial.
Posted 21 Dec 2012 07:12

One influence I haven't seen mentioned much in the think tank is the gang/thug/rap culture that at times glorifies guns, crime and violence. I think it's every bit as much a negative factor as movie/video games, but not even close to the surface of the the solution. Eliminating access to lethal assault weapons and better recognition of those that need mental heath care and follow through treatment to helping those people lead a less troubled life is the best start.

I don't think anyone believes we can totally stop these incidents from happening, but we can and should do our utmost to try to reduce them if possible.

Topic Scammers Cashing in on Newtown School Massacre
Posted 21 Dec 2012 06:48

I've heard quite a bit about the need to have better recognition and care of troubled people that could be capable of this kind of act. I think doing something about assault weapons is only the first step in a long process towards trying to reduce these kinds of incidents. Part of the problem is cut backs in mental health care on the state and federal levels and certainly also is being looked into as a solution to ending these cruel acts.

Topic Just take away the guns, do it now
Posted 20 Dec 2012 19:36

And round and round we go while people get shot down daily by accident or designNutbag
http://upload.lushstories.com/944-control 002wrap plain.jpg

Topic Former FBI Behavior Analyst says the shooter "knew what he was doing" Don't blame ment
Posted 18 Dec 2012 14:37

He may have carefully planned his killing spree, but I think anyone would construe that someone capable of cutting down 6 year old children would be considered mentally ill.

Topic Second Amendment
Posted 18 Dec 2012 09:33

Maybe we have misunderstood the second amendment completely, perhaps the word militia is not the word to focus on, but the words ''well regulated'', because our gun laws are hardly well regulated when 6 year old children are gunned down by an assault weapon available at Wal-Mart which is designed for no other reason but to kill ruthlessly.

Topic At least 18 children and 9 others dead in Connecticut school shooting. Does this change your mind ab
Posted 17 Dec 2012 09:45

When an event like this occurs passions run high and fingers get pointed, but I think everyone agrees this was a senseless tragedy and instead of defending this or that position, gun sportsmen should lead the way in solving these issues before this kind of thing happens again by coming up with reasonable curbs and limits to assault weapons, because if a horrible incident like this is repeated they run a high risk of losing any and all firearm freedoms.

Should the parents against gun violence band together and become a dues paying lobby group they will be such a powerful voice that they'd make the NRA seem like a local bowling league.

Topic Just take away the guns, do it now
Posted 17 Dec 2012 05:03

SWEDEN – After a full decade of research, a team of Swedish scientists has confirmed that no matter how many guns a man owns, his penis will remain small and insignificant.

“Ve look at ze mens wit ze guns and ve look at ze penis of zeese mens,” said Dr. Sven Svenenberg of the Svenlandia Institute. “Itz veery zad. Ze penis is so wee.”

The research looked at 300 average American men who owned multiple guns. Those 300 were then weighed, measure, and found wanting. Following that, the men were then encouraged to buy even more guns over the next year. They were then were then weighed and measured again, and found wanting even more.

“Ze penis iz so wee, still,” said Dr. Svenenberg in an accent that no one could really identify. “Iz almozt of no uze. Like a wee pinkie toe.”

American scientist Tim Johnson said the research proved what has long been suspected – that owning guns for hunting and self-protection is generally a lie and that most men buy guns because they feel it will be an extension of their manhood.

“We’ve known this all along. We call it the ‘Glenn Beck Effect,’” said Johnson from his home office in Tupelo, Miss. “Not long ago, a Wikileaks document emerged showing a naked picture of Beck. Dude’s hung like a pimple on a pimple. Then all of a sudden you start seeing the guy show up holding guns.”

Still, some have called the research misleading. Ron Schmeits, President of the NRA said that the problem was that the men in the research sample were not encouraged to buy enough guns.

“These small men will get larger if they own more guns,” said Schmeits, handing out checks to Republican congressmen on the steps of the nation’s capital. “They need pistols and shotguns and guns that have guns attached to them and guns that shoot guns. That will fix them right up.”

But Dr. Svenenberg stood by his research.

“Zey are so wee, it’z almozt to make me to laugh,” said Dr. Svenenberg. “But no. I don’t to laugh. Iz zad. Zo veery zad.”

–WKW
http://upload.lushstories.com/468-glenn-beck-gun-violence.jpg

Topic "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother"
Posted 16 Dec 2012 21:04



Why? Does the fact that I have rifles that are the mechanical equal to hers make me insane? Does the fact that I have rifles that are far more powerful than hers make me insane? Or does it make me a sportsman and a hobbyist who is into outdoor activities?

If you grant assault weapons access to a mentally challenged person or even have them in your house around an unbalanced family member, not only are you insane, but also partly responsible for their actions.

Topic "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother"
Posted 16 Dec 2012 20:06

I have friends who have a son who is mentally unbalanced and they have had a very difficult time finding help for him. He came from a loving two parent home. Both parents are well educated and professional, he a social worker and her a teacher and have better resourses then most for finding help and they had a very hard time finding help.

Imagine what it's like for a single or low income parent.

Aside from that, the fact that Ms. Lanza had assault weapons in her house makes you question HER sanity.

The facts are not clear yet, but this seems the definition of insane to have such weapons let alone take a disturbed boy to a firing range.Nutbag

Topic At least 18 children and 9 others dead in Connecticut school shooting. Does this change your mind ab
Posted 16 Dec 2012 18:46




It makes sense, but it's not a statement Morgan Freeman made. It's a hoax. I'm sure you can thank FB for that.

If we turn off the news and don't listen does that mean people will stop talking about it endlessly on FB and also here? Aren't we all doing the same thing, adding to his notoriety? I've posted on this thread, so I guess I'm guilty as well if this is part of the cause.
Charlotte Bacon(6)Daniel Barden(7)Olivia Engel(6)Josephine Gay(7)Ana Marquez-Greene(6)Dylan Hockley(6)Madaleine Hsu(6)Cathy Hubbard(6)Chase Kowalski(7)Jesse Lewis(6)James Mattioli(6)Grace McDonnel(7)Emilie Parker(6)Jack Pinto(6)Noah Pozner(6)caroline Previdi(6)Jessica Rekos(6)Avielle Richman(6)Ben Wheeler(6)AllisonWyatt(6)Rachel Davino(47)Dawn Hochsprung(47)Anne Murphy(52)LaurenRouseau(30)Mary Sherlach(56)and VictoriaSoto(27) will never again wake up on a Christmas morning with their families because NRA loons insist their phallus replacement toys are a right protected by an amendment that was outdated 200 years ago. Blame the media, lack of mental health care, video games, but lets fix this insane gun ownership issue NOW!
http://upload.lushstories.com/257-slide_270107_1888084_free.jpg

Topic Abortion and the Death Penalty
Posted 16 Dec 2012 16:26

A fetus doesn't feel pain as there's no brain developed in the first stages of pregnancy, hence no pain. The moral issue is when does life begin and most abortions are done before a''life'' as we know it begins. The meeting of two cells is not a life anymore than the cells on your skin you wash off in the shower or the bacteria living in your kitchen sponge. Is it ''murder'' to kill all living cells? The question is when is abortion a taking of life and the answer most come to is after the first trimester.

The death penalty is a whole different issue and non related.

Topic At least 18 children and 9 others dead in Connecticut school shooting. Does this change your mind ab
Posted 16 Dec 2012 05:50

Myth: A gun in the home increases personal safety.

Fact: A gun in the home make homicide 2.7 times more likely.



Summary

Keeping a gun in the home carries a murder risk 2.7 times greater than not keeping one, according to a study by Arthur Kellermann. The National Rifle Association has fiercely attacked this study, but it remains valid despite its criticisms. The study found that people are 21 times more likely to be killed by someone they know than a stranger breaking into the house. Half of the murders were over arguments or romantic triangles. The study also found that the increased murder rate in gun-owning households was entirely due to an increase in gun homicides only, not any other murder method. It further found that gun-owning households saw an increased murder risk by family or intimate acquaintances, not by strangers or non-intimate acquaintances. The most straightforward explanation is that the presence of a gun increases the possibility that a normal family fight or drinking binge will become deadly. No other explanation fits the above facts.



Argument

Most people keep guns in their homes for self-protection. The image of an unknown criminal breaking into your house is an important one for gun advocates, because it justifies keeping a gun in the home. But to gun control advocates, a gun in the home means that a family fight or a drinking binge is more likely to turn deadly. Which view is more accurate?

In an attempt to answer this question, a team led by Dr. Arthur Kellermann of Emory University conducted a survey of 388 homes that had experienced homicides. (1) They found that 76.7 percent of the victims were killed by a spouse, family member or someone they knew, and there was no forced entry into the home 84.3 percent of the time. Strangers comprised only 3.6 percent of the killers. However, the killer was never identified in 17.4 percent of the cases.

Of the 420 homicides they originally investigated, 96.4 percent were illegal. Only 3.6 percent were ruled legally excusable homicide (that is, self-defense).

After eliminating the impact of other variables like illegal drugs and domestic violence, the researchers found that the risk of getting killed was 2.7 times greater in homes with a gun than without them. No protective benefit of possessing a firearm was ever found, not even for a single one of the 14 subgroups studied.

Needless to say, the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun advocates have fiercely attacked this survey. Kellermann's work has been branded "junk science," "unpublishable," "biased," "seriously flawed," "fraudulent" and "grand malpractice." The NRA also criticized the Centers for Disease Control for continuing to fund such anti-gun research, and the Republican Congress pressured the CDC to shut it down completely. Thus, the reaction of Republicans and the NRA to this controversial study was not to call for more studies to clarify the issue, but to censor all further scientific research.

Pro-gun advocates respond that they are not promoting censorship, only objecting to wasting tax dollars on blatantly biased, deeply flawed research. Pro-gunners feel that the sound bites generated by this study will become part of a popular mythology against guns that will be hard to correct. But this objection is based on a faulty view of the research method. The best way to correct bad science is to subject it to expert criticism: namely, peer review. Kellermann's study was, and it passed. Pro-gunners might then wish to criticize the peer review process. For example, they might accuse Kellermann's peer reviewers of sharing his bias (although there are protocols in peer review to avoid this). The principled response, then, would be to examine and reform the peer review process. For example, Republicans in Congress might have called for pro-gun criminologists like Gary Kleck to be included in all future peer review of CDC-funded studies. Another principled response would be for the NRA -- one of the richest organizations in America -- to start funding its own research by way of rebuttal. But to shut down all further research is both censorship and anti-science.

It is apparent from the attacks on Kellermann's study that most of his critics have not even read it. Simply reading the original article in The New England Journal of Medicine (October 7, 1993) would answer 95 percent of their objections. The study was well-designed and is entirely valid. Like any scientific study, it has its limitations. It does not prove that guns cause a higher murder rate in the home, only that the two are associated for some reason. And there are more variables that need to be explored. But the Kellermann study is a legitimate addition to the small but growing scientific literature on the benefits and costs of domestic firearms.

The rest of this essay will be divided into two parts: a detailed description of the Kellermann survey, and a rebuttal of its criticisms.

The survey

Kellermann chose to conduct this survey using the "case-control method" (or CCM). This method examines the differences between two groups: one that possesses a certain trait, and another that does not. For instance, a researcher may compare a "case group" that has lung cancer to a "control group" that is free of the disease. After asking them questions about their behavior and environment, he may learn that the case group generally smokes, but the control group does not. Conclusion: smoking is correlated to lung cancer. In this instance, the arrow of causality is easy to determine, because it is unlikely that lung cancer causes people to start smoking. But sometimes the arrow of causality is more difficult to determine, as in the case of gun ownership and murder.

Kellermann's team identified 388 victims ("case subjects") who were killed in private homes. Surviving members of the household ("proxies") formed the case group which answered the survey. The researchers also gave an identical survey to a control group of 388 other people, who were matched to the victims by age, race, sex and neighborhood.

The homicides which were studied came from three metropolitan areas. The first two were Shelby County, Tennessee (which includes Memphis), and King County, Washington (which includes Seattle), both from August 1987 to August 1992. The third was Cuyahoga County, Ohio (which includes Cleveland), from January 1990 to August 1992. King County is predominately white and enjoys a relatively high standard of living. Cuyahoga County is 25 percent African-American, as is 44 percent of Shelby County. The poverty levels of these counties were 5, 11 and 15 percent, respectively. (The national poverty rate in 1992 was 15 percent.)

The team originally identified 444 cases of homicide in the home, about a fourth of the total number of homicides for those counties. This number was reduced to 420 for the study for various reasons, then to 405 because a control couldn't be found, and then to 388 because a proxy couldn't be interviewed. The high response rate of case proxies (92.6 percent) and matching controls (80.6 percent) is typically considered to have minimized nonresponse bias.

The survey asked 31 questions about the subjects' environment and behavior. The results are listed below. The first two columns reflect the percentage of those who answered yes to the question. The third column reflects the crude odds that a murder would be more likely for those who answered yes. For example, for the first question, murder was 2.4 times more likely in a household where any member drank alcohol. An odds ratio of 1.0 represents no extra risk. Keep in mind that the crude odds are confounded by other variables, and by themselves do not tell the whole story. Another analytical step is needed to arrive closer to the truth.

Case Control Crude odds
Behavioral factors Subjects Subjects Ratio


Any household member drank 73.3% 55.9% 2.4
alcoholic beverages
Case subject or control drank 62.8 41.9 2.6
alcoholic beverages
Drinking caused problems 24.8 5.7 7.0
in the household
Any household member had 9.0 0.8 10.7
trouble at work because
of drinking
Case subject or control had 5.5 0.3 20.0
at work because of
drinking
Any household member 11.4 2.3 9.8
hospitalized because of
drinking
Case subject or control 7.6 0.5 14.0
hospitalized because of
drinking
Any household member used 31.3 6.0 9.0
illicit drugs
Case subject or control 20.3 4.2 6.8
used illicit drugs
Any physical fights in the 25.3 3.4 8.9
home during drinking
Any household member hit or 31.8 5.7 7.9
hurt in a fight in the
home
Any family member required 17.3 2.1 10.2
medical attention because
of a fight in the home
Any adult household member 29.9 18.8 2.1
involved in a physical
fight outside the home
Any household member arrested 52.7 23.4 4.2
Case subject or control 36.0 15.7 3.5
arrested

Environmental Factors
Home Rented 70.4 47.6 5.9
Public Housing 11.1 9.8 1.5
Case subject or control 26.8 11.9 3.4
lived alone
Deadbolt locks 68.8 75.3 0.8
Window bars 19.2 20.9 0.8
Metal Security Door 25.4 26.8 0.9
Burglar alarm 7.1 11.1 0.6
Controlled security access 13.9 9.8 2.3
to residence
Dog or dogs in home 24.2 22.4 1.1
Gun or guns in home 45.4 35.8 1.6
Handgun 35.7 23.3 1.9
Shotgun 13.6 16.8 0.7
Rifle 12.2 13.9 0.8
Any gun kept unlocked 29.6 17.8 2.1
Any gun kept loaded 26.7 12.5 2.7
Guns kept primarily for 32.6 22.2 1.7
self-defense
The above chart is an example of "univariate analysis," or a straight comparison between the two groups. But this analysis is incomplete. There are many variables that simultaneously contribute to the odds of a person being murdered: drug use, domestic violence, criminal history, level of protection, etc. A person who answers yes to the question "Does anyone in the house use illicit drugs?" might be nine times more likely to be murdered, but that doesn't eliminate all the other variables that also contribute to the total murder risk. To isolate the risk attributed to drug use alone, researchers need to perform "multivariate analysis," which zeroes out all these other factors. That way, we can learn how drug use in and of itself raises the murder risk.

Kellermann's team found only six variables that were strong enough to be included in the final model. They found that the following variables were associated with the following increased murder risks:

Murder risk,
Variable Odds adjusted ratio

Illicit drug use 5.7 times
Being a renter 4.4
Household member hit or
hurt in a fight in the home 4.4
Living alone 3.7
Guns in the house 2.7
Household member arrested 2.5
If there were a protective benefit to having a gun in the home, this survey would have found it. After all, if the survey could detect an increased murder risk from the presence of a gun in the home, there's no reason it couldn't from the absence of one as well. But the team found no protective benefits of a gun in the home whatsoever, for any of the subgroups studied.

Of all the methods of murder, guns were responsible for 49.8 percent of the victims killed at home. In homes that kept a gun, the overall murder risk was 2.7 times greater, but for gun homicides it was 4.8, while for non-gun homicides it was 1.2. Notice that 1.2 is not significantly different from 1, so there was no increased risk for non-gun homicides. In other words, people who kept a gun in the home were at higher risk for gun homicides only, not any other type of homicide. This is an important point, because it strongly suggests that gun availability tends to turn ordinary family arguments into something fatal, rather than the murder victims knew they were at risk and armed themselves with a gun.

Alcohol was not included in the multivariate analysis, despite its strong association in the univariate analysis, because alcohol was also related to all the other variables in the final model. Including alcohol in the final model did not substantially alter the results. Furthermore, the odds-adjusted ratio of alcohol was not significantly greater than 1.

The researchers also conducted a stratified analysis of their final model, which found that the link between guns and homicide existed in all 14 subgroups studied. This included women as well as men, whites as well as blacks, and the old as well as the young. Most tellingly, they found the strongest association between guns and homicide among family members and intimate acquaintances (7.8 times more likely). Guns were much less associated to homicides by acquaintances, unidentified intruders, or strangers (1.8 times). Again, this supports the interpretation that guns allow family fights to turn deadly. Here is a complete list of the murder risk by subgroup:

Murder risk,
Subgroup Adjusted odds ratio

Sex
Female 3.6 times
Male 2.3
Race
White 2.7
Black 2.9
Age
15-40 3.4
Over 40 2.3
Suspect related to or
intimate with victim:
Yes 7.8
No 1.8
Evidence of forced entry
Yes 2.5
No 2.8
Victim resisted assailant
Yes 3.0
No 3.1
Method of homicide
Firearm 4.8
Other 1.2
Also revealing are the circumstances surrounding the 420 homicides:

Characteristic Percent of victims

Scene
Inside residence 88.8%
Within immediate property 11.2
Sex of victim
Female 36.9
Male 63.1
Race or ethnic group of victim
White 33.3
Black 61.9
Native American, Eskimo, Aleut 1.0
Asian or Pacific Islander 1.7
Other 2.1
Age of victim (years)
15-24 13.8
25-40 40.7
41-60 25.2
Over 61 20.2
Circumstances
Altercation or quarrel 44.0
Romantic triangle 6.9
Murder-suicide 4.5
Felony-related 21.9
Drug-dealing 7.6
Homicide only 13.3
Other 1.7
Relationship of offender to victim

Spouse 16.7
Intimate acquaintance 13.8
First-degree relative 9.5
Other relative 2.9
Roommate 2.9
Friend or acquaintance 31.0
Police officer 1.0
Stranger 3.6
Unknown (unidentified suspect) 17.4
Other 1.4
Method of homicide
Handgun 42.9
Rifle 2.4
Shotgun 3.6
Unknown firearm 1.0
Knife or sharp instrument 26.4
Blunt instrument 11.7
Strangulation or suffocation 6.4
Burns, smoke, scalding 2.4
Other 3.3
Victim resisted assailant
Yes 43.8
No 33.3
Not noted 22.9
Evidence of forced entry
Yes 14.0
No 84.3
Not noted 1.7
Legally excusable homicide
Yes 3.6
No 96.4
Several points about this chart are noteworthy. The first is that at least 76.7 percent of the murderers were relatives, friends or acquaintances of the victim. In fact, the victim's murderer was 21 times more likely to be a relative or acquaintance than a stranger. Even in the 14 percent of the cases involving forced entry, the vast majority of the intruders were known to the victim. The threat of forced entry is the most commonly cited reason for possessing a domestic firearm, but the researchers found no protective benefit for this subgroup either.

The researchers write: "Efforts to increase home security have largely focused on preventing unwanted entry, but the greatest threat to the lives of household members appears to come from within."

Of the 388 homicides surveyed, 21 victims died while unsuccessfully trying to defend themselves with a gun. Only 15 of the deaths were ruled justifiable homicide or legal self-defense, and four of these were by the police.

The authors did present their study with several limitations. First, they acknowledged that they limited their study of homicides to those which occurred in the home, their goal simply being to measure the effectiveness of gun protection in the home. Homicides at other locations (such as bars, work or the streets) were not counted. Therefore, the dynamics of homicide in these locations might be quite different.

Second, they acknowledged that their research was conducted in urban settings that lacked a substantial Hispanic population. The dynamics of homicide in that community therefore might be quite different.

Third, they acknowledged that the arrow of causality could point in the opposite direction in some of the cases. For example, a person might acquire a gun in response to a specific threat. If the threat was then carried out, the correlation between the gun and the murder could be partly attributed to the failure of the weapon to provide protection.

Fourth, they acknowledged that a third, unidentified factor might be responsible for both gun possession and murder risk. For example, the victims may have had violent, aggressive personalities or some other psychological disorder that predisposed them to both greater gun possession and murder. The authors note that they included several behavioral markers for aggression and violence in their survey, but they did not conduct a full "psychological autopsy" given the impractical nature of such a task. Still, they note that "a link between gun ownership and any psychological tendency toward violence or victimization would have to be extremely strong to account for an adjusted odds ratio of 2.7."

So, what are the study's conclusions? The authors write:

"Despite the widely held belief that guns are effective for protection, our results suggest that they actually pose a substantial threat to members of the household. People who keep guns in their homes appear to be at greater risk of homicide at the hands of a family member or intimate acquaintance. We did not find evidence of a protective effect of keeping a gun in the home, even in the small subgroup of cases that involved forced entry."
It is important to note that Kellermann's findings agree with many other studies. For example, the FBI reports that in 1993, only 1.7 percent of all handgun murders were justifiable homicides. Kellermann's team found that only 3.6 percent of the 420 homicides it studied were justifiable. The FBI found 19.1 percent of all homicides to be felony-related; Kellermann found 21.9 percent of those in the home to be felony-related. In 1994, the FBI found that only 13 percent of all murder victims were killed by strangers. Kellermann found that 3.6 percent of the domestic homicides were strangers and 17.4 percent were never identified. The FBI found that 12 percent of all killers in 1994 were related to the victim; Kellermann found this figure to be 12.4 percent in domestic homicides. (2)

Kellermann's research also confirms numerous studies like the one done by Linda Saltzman, which found that assaults by family members or intimate acquaintances are far more fatal when the weapon is a gun. (3) There are also many cohort and interrupted time-series studies that demonstrate a strong link between gun availability and homicide rates in the community. (4) Kellermann's study has now confirmed this correlation at the individual household level as well.

Criticisms of the study

Pro-gun advocates have raised a number of objections to this survey. The following are actual arguments taken from the Internet and the NRA: (5)

1. "99.8 percent of the protective uses of guns do not involve homicides," says Paul Blackman of the NRA. Defensive gun uses include waving the weapon, firing warning shots, wounding the intruder, etc.

It is simply untrue that researchers cannot measure the nonfatal protective benefits of firearms, or that Kellermann's survey failed to detect such a benefit. If firearms deter, scare away or wound intruders, then the murder victimization rate of gun owners should be lower than non-gun owners. The absence of a gun in the home would have been recognized as a murder risk, rather than the presence of a gun.

Kellermann's case-control method was ideally suited to detect such benefits, if they existed. For example, suppose that guns save 100,000 lives a year, through nonfatal means. Assuming a perfect protection rate, we would see no homicides in households with guns, and 100,000 in households without them. A case-control survey would find the risk associated with guns to be 0.0 -- a perfect benefit. But suppose (more realistically) that guns protect their owners only half the time. There might then be, say, 100,000 homicides in homes with guns and 200,000 in homes without them. A researcher using the case-control method would find that 33 percent of the cases and 50 percent of the controls owned guns, for an odds ratio of .50. Being less than 1, that's a very strong benefit.

Of course, Kellermann's survey found quite the opposite -- a risk 2.7 times greater.

2. Guns do not emit magic rays that control people's minds, or magnetize murderers to the doorstep.

This strawman argument is based on a false stereotype. Over 76 percent of the homicides were committed by a relative or acquaintance of the victim, and only 3.6 percent were verified as strangers breaking in. Furthermore, arguments and romantic triangles comprised half the homicides. But the most important point here is that a gun in the home only raised the risk of gun homicide -- not homicide by any other means. The most straightforward explanation is that greater gun availability transformed a normal family fight into something much more deadly.

3. People threatened by violence bought guns to defend themselves, hence the correlation between gun ownership and murder.

This is possible, but the number would only be very small, for the following reasons. The study already controlled for domestic violence, so the only way this could happen is if the murderer threatened the life of the victim before things escalated into violence. The victim would then have to buy a gun, which would fail to protect.

Several things make this unlikely. First, we would expect a history of violence to precede any threats or attempts on a person's life, which is, after all, the ultimate form of violence. Second, the study showed that gun ownership resulted in an increased risk in gun homicides only, not any other type of homicides. Why would the murderer restrict himself to a gun, and then only if the victim had a gun? Third, this makes a poor case for gun deterrence, since the correlation is only possible when the gun fails to protect. Again, the researchers found no protective benefits of gun ownership.

4. Kellermann's study didn't document whether a firearm used in a particular homicide was the same one kept in the home, or whether it might have been carried in by the murderer.

True, the study doesn't say, but the study's findings make it logically impossible for a significant number of these guns to have been brought in from the outside. The study found that keeping a gun in the house raised the chances of gun homicide only, not any other kind of homicide. It also found that it raised the chances of being killed by a family member or intimate acquaintance, not a stranger or non-intimate acquaintance. We can therefore eliminate the possibility that owning a gun raises the risk of a stranger breaking in (and then only with a gun!). The only alternative is that a family member or intimate acquaintance brought a second gun into the house on the day of the murder (any longer-term storage would have classified it as a "gun in the house"). That all murderers using handguns would do this seems highly implausible. It is also unlikely that these live-in murderers would restrict themselves to guns; we should expect to see other murder methods employed as well. The only plausible conclusion is that the vast majority of the guns used for homicide were the ones kept in the house.

Pro-gun advocates might try a different tack. If an angry spouse has a gun, the other might seek protection by buying a gun also. However, this strategy had to fail for the survey to find a correlation between gun ownership and homicide. This does nothing to rescue the pro-gunner's point that guns protect their owners.

5. Proxies for the murder victim were not asked if the gun had previously been used for self-defense.

What this objection is asking us to imagine is this: a gun prevents a murder from happening in, say, nine cases. But on the tenth it fails (by necessity, to produce the murder victim in question). If guns really provided this kind of protection, we could easily imagine that one of the previous nine murder attempts would have been successful, had the victim not possessed a gun. In that case, non-gun owners would have seen a higher murder rate. This is something the study would have found (see point 1), but it did not; it found a higher murder rate among gun owners. Pro-gunners might then argue that an individual facing a likely threat sought protection by buying a gun, hence the higher correlation. But this is the same argument rebutted in point 3. Ultimately, the pro-gunners starting assumption is incorrect. Guns do not prevent a series of threats, one of which ultimately succeeds; rather, guns enhance the possibility of murder.

6. "These people were highly susceptible to homicide," says Paul Blackman of the NRA. "We know that because they were killed."

If there is an Illogic Hall of Shame, this remark deserves to be emblazoned above its front entrance. By this reasoning, we should not put seat belts in cars, because people killed in car crashes were susceptible to those accidents anyway.

What Blackman is doing here is evoking a general risk for murder, while ignoring its specific risk multipliers. You may, in general, have an antagonistic person in your life given to flashes of murderous temper. But there are specific factors that may increase the risk of murder. Does he drink? Use drugs? Commit crime? Own a gun? Increasing any of these behaviors increases the risk. But it makes no sense to increase the risk multiplier, let someone get murdered, and then argue that the multiplier was not at fault, since the victim was obviously susceptible to murder anyway.

This argument also ignores one of the study's findings, that a gun in the home increased the risk of gun homicide only, and not any other method of homicide.

7. Of course if someone gets shot in their home, there's bound to be a gun in the home. And drowning victims are always found near water.

This is a variation of the Blackman argument above. Water is not the only thing correlated with drowning. There are all the usual risk multipliers, such as a lack of lifeguards, life jackets, warning signs, adult supervision, etc. And notice that this analogy is incorrect. The analogy of guns isn't to water; it's to a lack of lifeguards. The analogy to water is actually murder in general.

8. The majority of the homicides were not committed by guns, so could not have been committed by Kellermann's scary "guns in the home."

Homes that kept guns experienced an increase in homicides, but this increase was entirely due to gun-related homicides, not homicides by any other method. This objection misses the point.

9. The researchers did not include in their analysis those cases where the home-owner shot a non-resident intruder.

These cases were rare, but even so, this objection is irrelevant. The protective benefits of a gun would have still shown up in the different victimization rates of gun-owning and gun-less households. (See point 1.)

10. This study was conducted by medical doctors who were out of their league; this is an issue best left for criminologists.

Epidemiologists are highly experienced at using the case-control method to determine risk factors. This is how cigarette smoking was linked to lung cancer, for example. The statistical method is the same no matter what the risk factor, be it cigarettes, a virus, a missing vitamin or a gun. A good analogy is that of an astronomer using optics technology to make a breakthrough in optometry.

11. The use of the case-control method allows for spurious associations.

This objection is bogus, since it ignores the role of multivariate analysis.

12. A disproportionate number of survey respondents were criminals, hence the correlation between gun ownership and murder.

But the survey controlled for criminal backgrounds and domestic violence. The gun/murder correlation was reached after multivariate analysis factored these variables out.

13. The study was conducted in urban areas, which have high crime. This would promote both gun ownership and death in violent crimes.

But the survey controlled for neighborhoods. The researchers matched the control subjects by neighborhood to the case subjects.

14. Most of the victims were black, and blacks have a higher murder rate.

Irrelevant. The study controlled for race.

15. The victims typically had stunningly different lifestyles from the controls: more drinking, crime, drug use, domestic violence, etc.

Again, this objection ignores that multivariate analysis factored out all these variables. The "2.7 times" statistic measures gun possession alone (within the limits of the study's 31 variables).

16. The survey failed to ask about other variables.

The survey asked questions about 31 variables, but in a complex world it's always possible to think up more. Kellermann asked about the most obvious ones; even then, only six retained significance in the final analysis. If there were indeed a "missing variable," it would have to be extremely strong -- and probably extremely obvious as well -- to produce a murder risk of 2.7.

17. The survey failed to determine the strength of the variables (severity of drug use, domestic violence, crime, etc.)

Indeed, the study asked only "yes or no" questions about problems in the home. For example, it asked whether any member of the household had been arrested, without determining the severity of the criminal charge. However, just because the individual questions did not control for severity does not mean the entire study didn't, since it asked a total of 15 questions about behavior, many closely related to each other. But this is really an argument about refining the study's results, not overturning its conclusions, which would be highly unlikely.

18. The study underestimated the amount of drug use or other domestic problems, which was really the cause of an increased murder risk for gun owners.

Not true. After the researchers controlled for these other risks, the murder risk associated with guns increased, from 1.6 in the univariate analysis to 2.7 in the multivariate analysis. If the study had underestimated the amount of drug use or other domestic problems, then the true risk associated with guns would be even greater.

19. The number of guns in the control homes were underreported.

If this were true, this would indeed artificially raise the murder risk of having a gun in the home. Conversely, if the number of guns in the case homes were underreported, then this would artificially lower the murder risk associated with guns. But the authors do not believe this was a problem. First, in two of the three counties they studied, they compared their survey results to a pilot study of homes listed as the addresses of owners of registered handguns. The survey respondents' answers were found to be generally valid. Second, the rate of gun ownership by the control respondents in all three counties was comparable to estimates derived by previous social surveys and Cook's gun-prevalence index. (6)

Of course, respondents might not have disclosed possession of illegal guns. Pro-gunners argue that the case subjects were prevented from underreporting the possession of such guns, because murder itself is almost impossible to underreport. (It's difficult to hide either a corpse or a person's absence). And a murder causes the police to search -- and usually find -- the murder weapon, so the truth about gun ownership in the case homes probably came out. However, control subjects have not been investigated by the police for guns, nor do they desire such a search, so they may lie about possessing an illegal gun. The researchers were aware of this possibility, and they assured the respondents that their answers were confidential, and that they could freely refuse to answer any questions. Even so, only a very few respondents refused to answer a question. Ultimately, the possibility of underreporting remains pure speculation at the moment, and further research needs to clarify this question.

Conclusion

The Kellermann study is valid, if incomplete -- as any study must necessarily be. More research needs to be done on other possible variables contributing to the murder rate, although Kellermann has apparently identified the most important ones. The results could be refined by determining the severity of some factors, like criminal background. And it would be good to reconfirm the honesty of the respondents' answers. But the study itself is sound, and gun-control advocates can use it with confidence.

Return to Overview

Endnotes:

1. Arthur Kellermann et. al., "Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home," The New England Journal of Medicine, October 7, 1993, pp. 1084-1091.

2. Federal Bureau of Investigations, Crime in the United States, annual.

3. Linda Saltzman, et. al., "Weapon Involvement and Injury Outcomes in Family and Intimate Assaults," Journal of the American Medical Association, 1992;267, pp. 3043-7.

4. A.J. Reiss, Jr. and J.A. Roth, eds., Understanding and Preventing Violence: Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior (Washington D.C.: National Academy Press, 1993), pp. 42-97; P.J. Cook, "The Effect of Gun Availability on Robbery and Robber Murder: A Cross Section Study of Fifty Cities," Policy Stud Rev Annu 1979;3, pp. 743-81; J.H. Sloan, A.L. Kellermann, D.T. Reay, et. al., "Handgun Regulations, Crime, Assaults, and Homicide: a Tale of Two Cities," New England Journal of Medicine, 1988;319, pp. 1256-62; C. Loftin, et. al., "Effects of Restrictive Licensing of Handguns on Homicide and Suicide in the District of Columbia," New England Journal of Medicine, 1991;325, pp. 1615-20.

5. I am deeply indebted to Tim Lambert of the University of New South Wales for providing many of these objections and rebuttals, which came from his archived postings to the Internet newsgroup talk.politics.guns. Many of the responses here are based on his answers.

6. J.D. Wright, P. Rossi, K. Daly, E. Weber-Burdin, "Weapons, crime and violence in America: a literature review and research agenda," (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1983), pp. 212-60, 361-411; P.J. Cook, "The effect of gun availability on robbery and robber murder: a cross section study of fifty cities," Policy Stud Rev Annu 1979; 3, pp. 743-81.

Topic At least 18 children and 9 others dead in Connecticut school shooting. Does this change your mind ab
Posted 15 Dec 2012 23:12

1996, in the small town of Dunblane, Scotland a man called Thomas Harrison walked into the primary school and slaughtered 16 children aged about 5/6yrs old and their teacher before turning the gun on himself. The reaction from residents and the people of the UK was a campaign to tighten the already strict gun laws. In 1997 it was made illegal for a private citizen to own or attempt to buy a firearm.

This was in stark contrast to the majority of contributors to this forum, whose solution seems to be more guns, even arm the teachers says one person. It is a shame that when the first school shooting happened in America people took the same action as we did in Scotland. If they had a lot of innocent children would be alive today.

I am proud of the way my country reacted to an appalling massacre and loss of life. The eyes of the civilised world will be on America in the weeks to come but I am afraid that the people who can only recite the mantra "guns don't kill people, people do" as if it is repeated often enough it will somehow become true. They will win again and more innocent people will be killed.
Thank you for your post, we can only pray that the U.S. reacts as humanely as Scotland did to such a horrific tragedy and pray for the poor children that lost their young lives in this terrible way.

Topic At least 18 children and 9 others dead in Connecticut school shooting. Does this change your mind ab
Posted 15 Dec 2012 13:16

I understand the point that if guns were illegal, only criminals would have them, but if a criminal has his gun pointed at you and you, in your finest wild west hour, go to draw on him, guess what? your dead anyway! On the other hand, you may just live to see another sunrise if you make no aggressive move, that may be a passive way of looking at it, but a realistic one too.

I think the NRA culture that glorifies guns is at much or more at fault than media, violent video games and the like.

We should have much better screening for allowing people to have firearms, if at all.

The idea of arming teachers is foolish at best, aren't they supposed to be role models, not police! Metal detectors at all entrance ways would keep armed students and visitors at bay much more effectively. It's a sad state of affairs to have to resort to this, but it seems to be effective in airports.

Crimes of passion, accidents and in the case of Sandy Hook, apparently the guns used belonged to the now deceased mother! Her mentally unstable son had access to her firearms, obtained body armor and went on his rampage in a planned out fashion. Had the mother been rejected from gun ownership because of a mentally ill family member living at home there would be 18 more children looking forward to Christmas this year.

The bottom line is the less guns in a society, the less senseless killings.

Topic Petitions to secede from the United States after the election
Posted 14 Dec 2012 16:07

http://upload.lushstories.com/945-doonesebury.jpg
http://upload.lushstories.com/446-doonesebury 001.jpg
I have nothing against Texas or Texans, but these cartoons are on topic!

Topic At least 18 children and 9 others dead in Connecticut school shooting. Does this change your mind ab
Posted 14 Dec 2012 15:53

I guess arming the teachers, students and everyone is the only solution, if someone looks at you cross eyed, your justified in murdering them to protect your right to bear assault weapons! This is a sickening world we live in when a child cant go to school or a movie without fearing for their lives.