The High Human Cost of Your “Freedoms”

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More than 7,500 children are admitted to hospitals for gunshot wounds each year according to a study that was unveiled at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.

As part of the study, researchers reviewed records for 36 million pediatric hospital admissions from the years 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009. And they found that the gunshot wound numbers have gone up. Between 1997 and 2009, hospitalizations from gunshot wounds rose from 4,270 to 7,730, and in-hospital deaths rose from 317 to 503. (And the numbers for both figures, hospitalizations and deaths, were higher in 2006 than 2009.)

Naturally, pro-gun rights fetishists responded by implying that the study isn’t fair because it didn’t measure people who didn’t become victims because they were armed. Guns save lives!

One calculation that’s mentioned too rarely involves the deaths and injuries that are prevented by legally armed citizens, said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

“When you look at the number of people who are alive today or who didn’t have to be hospitalized because they weren’t a victim — and the money saved on that — you have to look at that side of the equation to get good public policy,” Gottlieb said.

I don’t know what to call this other than psychosis.

If your natural reaction to a sharp increase in gunshot wounds among children is to call for more guns, there’s something deep and terribly wrong with you.

It hasn’t been studied by the Bureau of Justice Statistics since 1992 (partly because studying it was banned until President Obama lifted the ban last year), but at the time the Bureau found that roughly 1 percent of victims of violent crimes used a gun to defend themselves over a 5 year period.

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  • Badgerite

    That statement of “when you look at the number of people who are alive today or who didn’t have to be hospitalized because they weren’t a victim” — Does that include George Zimmerman?

  • blair houghton

    We’re killing more people, which means we’re saving more people? Stupid.

    Only 5% of people shot are criminals. The other 95% are the victims of a gun crime.

  • blair houghton

    200 children a year are shot by cops who are shooting at someone else.

    • feloniousgrammar

      link?

      • blair houghton

        don’t have one. doesn’t mean it’s not true. you can google as well as anyone can.

        • feloniousgrammar

          Sure I can, but I’m not the one who gave a statistic.

          • blair houghton

            so you’re not going to believe it…because you refuse to test it…

            like i said, you’ve proved nothing here. it’s a fact. deal with it.

          • feloniousgrammar

            I said nothing about disbelieving it. I haven’t seen you around here before. Who the hell are you? It’s odd behavior to make the claim that 200 children a year are shot by police who were shooting at someone else as a cold hard fact, refuse to link to a source for that statistic after being requested to but to respond with a snotty remark, and then accuse the person who asked for the link of disbelieving as if believing it were required, and then accuse that person of “refusing to test it” and of having “proved nothing”.

          • blair houghton

            It’s a fact. You can believe it or don’t. I read it on the internet, just the same as if I gave you the link to read it on the internet. Should I have to keep my brain hyperlinked so I can readily point you to ever fact I know? And it means nothing at all that you don’t know who I am, except that you think that means something, which says something about you and nothing about me. The only “snotty” here is your remarks, claiming that I have to provide links to every fact I state.

          • Christopher Foxx

            It’s a fact. You can believe it or don’t. I read it on the internet

            You’re an idiot. It’s a fact. I read it on the internet.

            I’ll even go further than you and actually back up my statement by showing you where.

            YOU’RE AN IDIOT. <=== right there. See?

          • blair houghton

            The difference is I’m telling the truth, and you’re not, and I know both of those things to be true, and so do you.

            You can look up the statistic about the kids on the Internet. You’ll just have to trust me on the fact you’re a liar.

          • Christopher Foxx

            The difference is I’m telling the truth, and you’re not, and I know both of those things to be true, and so do you.

            And right there, in the same sentence where you claim you’re telling the truth, you lie. Twice.

            1) You haven’t backed up your claim. Saying “the info is out there, you go find it.” is not you backing up your claim. It’s you trying to get someone else to do it for you. And your instance you have, particularly after several folks have carefully explained what “backing up your claim” means, shows you’re are an idiot.

            b) I do not know both of those things to be true. On the contrary, I know both of those things to be false

          • blair houghton

            Then you are a psychotic.

          • Christopher Foxx

            You have no idea what words mean, do you?

            It explains so much.

          • Pink No More

            YOU MADE THE CLAIM, YOU BACK IT UP. THAT’S HOW IT WORKS.

          • blair houghton

            I did back it up. Now you have to test it to see if it works twice. That’s science.

          • Christopher Foxx

            I did back it up

            No, you didn’t. On the contrary, you absolutely refused to back it up. You made a statement and, when asked to show your support for that statement, you refused to do so.

            Saying “The support is out there, it’s up to the people challenging me to find it.” is you refusing to back up your own statement.

          • Kitty Smith

            That only works if you provide the methodology of your experiment or at least your sources. Try again.

        • Kitty Smith

          Assertations that are presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

          In short, you started the party, bring the fucking favors already.

          • blair houghton

            ” assertations that are presented without evidence will be dismissed without evidence”

            That’s a you problem, not a me problem. I know the evidence exists, and you at least suspect it does. I know I got it from the internet. I don’t have the link at hand and choose not to do the work of finding it for you when I know you can do it yourself, and possibly find much more on the subject.

            I know it’s true, not merely as a matter of faith, but because I saw it with my eyes. It’s not a fantastic thing to claim, since it doesn’t involve magic, it’s just a statistic I read. And if I gave you a link, would you believe the person stating it at that link, or just transfer your refusal to believe to them instead of me? If you’re a typical gun nut, the answer is going to be the latter, and that helps neither of us (I honestly don’t give a shit if you believe me, that’s the way of science). So I’d rather give you a lesson in epistemology and credibility than do your homework for you.

            BTW, I can give you a link to a “study” that claims that millions of people a year use guns for “self protection”. Even after reading the study and doing a little math on the numbers I don’t buy it. So that thing about the availability of evidence being a binary cause to believe or disbelieve is a fallacy.

            There will be a quiz tomorrow. Bring a #2 link and a dunce cap for Chris.

          • Kitty Smith

            That’s a you problem, not a me problem. I know the evidence exists, and you at least suspect it does.
            No, no it is not. You have not presented the evidence, and it is not anyone else’s job but you to present evidence of your claims when it is requested. You said you’ve seen it, we are asking you to share. Not difficult. Until then, your assertation can and should be dismissed.

            I know I got it from the internet. I don’t have the link at hand and choose not to do the work of finding it for you when I know you can do it yourself, and possibly find much more on the subject.

            Which would be applicable if I were engaging in research instead of an argument. If you got it from the internet, you should be able to retrieve the link. Until then, you are telling me to prove your argument for you. That is not how it works.

            I know it’s true, not merely as a matter of faith, but because I saw it with my eyes. It’s not a fantastic thing to claim, since it doesn’t involve magic, it’s just a statistic I read.

            Then present the source. That is all we are asking.

            And if I gave you a link, would you believe the person stating it at that link, or just transfer your refusal to believe to them instead of me?
            That would be dependent on the perceived trustworthiness of the source. RIght now you, as a source, are not trustworthy because for all I know you pulled that statistic out of your ass.

            If you’re a typical gun nut, the answer is going to be the latter, and that helps neither of us (I honestly don’t give a shit if you believe me, that’s the way of science).

            This is irrelevant. And a scientist who makes an assertion will present evidence for it, in the form of the details of their experiments, including the methodology of the experiment, so that it may be reproduced and verified. If they are using a source, they will reveal that source, which will have the details of the experiments performed by that source.

            So I’d rather give you a lesson in epistemology and credibility than do your homework for you.
            Again, applicable if I were doing research. I am not. I am asking you to present the study that gave you that figure. I said before, I’m not inclined to disbelieve you (In fact, I’m wondering if that figure is lowballed) but it’s up to you to provide evidence.

            BTW, I can give you a link to a “study” that claims that millions of people a year use guns for “self protection”. Even after reading the study and doing a little math on the numbers I don’t buy it. So that thing about the availability of evidence being a binary cause to believe or disbelieve is a fallacy.

            What are you talking about? Which fallacy would that be?

            Furthermore, without the evidence that you have been ASKED for, you are telling us to take it on faith that you are correct. We are not willing to. You can turn what has to be taken in faith and turn it into taken in fact. But you are refusing to do so.

            Make with the links already. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but what you’re claiming is not extraordinary. It shouldn’t be this hard.

          • blair houghton

            it’s not my “job” to do anything for you, and it’s clear you aren’t convinced by anything anyone tells you, so it wouldn’t be worth my time to do the “job” for you.

            i gave you the truth. if you want it proved, do it yourself. capisce?

          • Kitty Smith

            Okay, I tried. I call bullshit.

            First of all, Chuckles, it is your job to back up your arguments. YOU HAVE FLAT OUT REFUSED TO DO SO. You have done so while claiming that because you are being dismissed, any source you would present would be dismissed. YOU ARE BEING DISMISSED BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT PRESENTING YOUR SOURCE.

            YOU ARE TELLING US THAT WE MUST EITHER PROVE YOUR ARGUMENT FOR YOU OR ACCEPT IT. You are, quite simply, arguing in bad faith.

            You say it’s truth. How are we to accept it as true if you will not back up your claim?

            Moment of truth, time, Zerbo: put up or shut up.

          • blair houghton

            No, it is not my “job” to do anything.

            I told you where to find the evidence. You chose not to read it. That’s because you are too lazy to use Google.

            You are “dismissing” the facts. That, again, is a you problem, not a me problem.

            Any empiricist would tell you that it’s up to you to prove anything you are told, regardless of what evidence you are presented. I am, quite simply, a better philosopher than you.

            Whether I provide the link or you find it yourself does not change either the truth of the statement or your need to accept or reject it.

            You are stating a fallacy in claiming that my refusal to be your research librarian disproves the facts that I am presenting.

            Apologize when you understand that.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Gods, what a moron.

          • Kitty Smith

            I am not telling you to be my research librarian. I am telling you to back up the VERY CLEAR CLAIM you made in the beginning of this thread. You are refusing because you claim since I will not accept you at your word I will not accept any source you present. You are refusing because you think I should be doing the work of verifying YOUR claim for you.

            You are not a teacher, or a philosopher. You are a random fucking moron on the internet.

            What you are doing is the equivalent of a “scientist” who makes a claim, and then when asked to provide the data and the experiment with which they derived their data, demands that they reproduce the experiment without providing the method of the experiment itself.

            You know what? Fine. I apologize. I apologize for trying to make you take on the onerous duty of providing proof of your own claims. I apologize for trying to force you to take on the backbreaking, agonizing labor of CTRL-C/CTRL-V. I apologize for not taking the eminently simple task of proving your own claims for you.

            Now, your turn. Apologize for being a fucking moron.

          • blair houghton

            I don’t have to do anything you tell me to do. Do your own due diligence. Then grow up. Or do it the other way around. Or don’t. That’s a you problem, not a me problem. And the experiment is simple: Google it. Do I have to tell you how to do that, too?

          • Kitty Smith

            Very well, dismissed.

            And had this been an assertation in, say, an essay or a thesis, and I were an educator of some sort, I would have thrown it out on the basis of you refusing to reveal your sources.

          • blair houghton

            You do realize this is not such a venue, and you’re on your own recognizance to check facts presented to you. I can say all sorts of insane bullshit and present copious links to “back it up.” What I did instead is state the truth and then teach you and Mojo Jojo there the difference between the internet and peer review.

          • Christopher Foxx

            and you’re on your own recognizance to check facts presented to you

            OK. You win. I checked the facts myself.

            Huh, isn’t that interesting. It said on the internet that you’re wrong.

            Now, according to you, the way this works is I have backed up that statement by simply telling you that it’s out there online somewhere. And it’s now up to you to go find where because that’s how science works. Or something.

          • blair houghton

            Except we already know you’re lying. You did it before and you’re doing it now. And since you know it, but refuse to believe it, that makes you a psychotic. Are you writing all of this down? Good. Wouldn’t want you to be unable to refer back to it when asking yourself for links when explaining it to yourself.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Except we already know you’re lying. You did it before and you’re doing it now. And since you know it, but refuse to believe it, that makes you a psychotic.

            Ah, I get it. All this time you’ve been talking to yourself. It makes sense now.

          • blair houghton

            one last thing: “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” is itself fallacious. extraordinary claims only require ordinary evidence, just like ordinary ones. and it only requires that the evidence exists. it’s not actually the responsibility of the person making the claim to provide that evidence. you may find it at your leisure.

          • Christopher Foxx

            I know the evidence exists, … I know I got it from the internet

            And the evidence exists that you are an idiot. I know I’ve seen it, at least five times, on the internet.

            So that’s five times to your claim of having seen something once. I must be five times as right as you.

            Take my word for it.

  • Robert Scalzi

    well that says it all – we definitely need to start arming fetuses

  • muselet

    Researchers reviewed statistics from 36 million pediatric hospital admissions to draw their conclusions. Asked for comment by NBC News, Alan Gottlieb made a semi-coherent categorical statement based on pretty much nothing at all.

    Is it any wonder I have more confidence in the researchers than I have in the gun-licker?

    –alopecia

  • D_C_Wilson

    It hasn’t been studied by the Bureau of Justice Statistics since 1992
    (partly because studying it was banned until President Obama lifted the
    ban last year), but at the time the Bureau found that roughly 1 percent of victims of violent crimes used a gun to defend themselves over a 5 year period.

    I suspect that number has gone up since the passage of legalized stalking and killing Stand Your Ground laws.

    • Christopher Foxx

      I suspect that number has gone up since the passage of legalized stalking and killing Stand Your Ground laws.

      FTFY

  • GregPorter

    Didn’t the recent CDC report on preventing gun violence say that defensive gun use was -at least as common- as criminal gun use, and that outcomes for the victims were more favorable for firearm-based self-defense than for any other means?

    • Christopher Foxx

      I don’t know. Why don’t you go find out?

  • Christopher Foxx

    Naturally, pro-gun rights fetishists responded by implying that the study isn’t fair because it didn’t measure people who didn’t become victims because they were armed.

    Naturally, pro-gun rights fetishists can’t respond by actually pointing to a study that supports their claim. But facts are for wussies.

  • Christopher Foxx

    but at the time the Bureau found that roughly 1 percent of victims of violent crimes used a gun to defend themselves over a 5 year period.

    But, Bob. That’s exactly why we need more guns! Then more than 1% of folks would be able to defend themselves.