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A/B testing gun control laws.
4 points by edouard1234567 955 days ago | 14 comments
I personally don't care for guns, I don't own one and never used one. I come from a country where gun ownership is rare and very regulated.

Today I read lots of arguments in favor or against further regulation but none of them were very convincing. In most cases correlation is confused with causality. For example, most developed countries have much tighter rules on gun control and significantly less violence. This only shows correlation and doesn't prove or disprove that more gun controls will reduce violence. One could simply argue that there are many other variables that correlates with violence and COULD explain higher crime rates in the US compared to other developed nations.

How about we run a large scale A/B test instead. We pick two states with very similar characteristics, percentage of gun ownership, crime, poverty, income distribution, similar gun control laws, etc... We completely ban guns in one state and measure how crime evolves over a long period of time : 1 or 2 years. If we observe a significant drop in violence in the test state compared to the control (where gun laws will remain the same during the test) then we can start arguing that banning guns will reduce violence and less violence means less needs to own a gun for self defense. A less emotional/more data driven approach to policy making.




It's a hard experiment to pull off.

First - because being surrounded by states where access to guns is easier will mean it's likely that they'll be significant illegal traffic in guns. You already see that between areas with tight gun controls like NYC and other states.

Second because I think one or two years is unlikely to be enough time for affects to show. I'd bet you'd see a drop in male suicide - but the culture of crime and violence will take longer to change.

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People without guns = (subjects as in the UK) People with guns = (citizens as in the USA)

Also said people with guns used said guns to kill people in the oppressing countries army. They then used their new found freedom to create a constitution that said that the RKBA 'shall not be infringed'. Of course it was over 200 years ago, but it is still relevant as the Constitution is still the source of law in the USA.

I don't trust the government to protect, and it is important for society to have access to the same infantry weapons that the military does, but without the obligation to any certain individual. This was the point of RKBA.

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The 2nd amendment is 2nd for a reason. banning guns will strip you freedom more than anything else. Every once in a while there is a horrible incident that the government can use to blame the 2nd amendment. A guy in china just stabbed 20 people yesterday so let's ban knifes. Is this logical to you?. Just imagine the power grab that will happen when you won't have access to weapons in order to protect yourself.

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Cars are dangerous! You can run people over with cars, so we should ban them!

As you point out, what many people don't know is that the purpose of the second amendment was to provide the people with a means to rebel against a tyrannical government. Not for hunting, not for home defense.

Now, the A/B test thing sounds like a perfectly great idea. The problem? Doing such a test would mean placing authority over our right to self-determination to a faceless bureaucratic government. That's exactly the opposite of what pro-gun people want.

I don't personally own a gun, but I am not against the responsible ownership of firearms for self defense or even defense against a tyrannical state. As long as the police and military are allowed to have guns, you should have them too. You trust someone to power, just because they wear a uniform, or are more financially well endowed than yourself?

In NYC, the only people who have guns are the private security details of the elites, and of course, those who possess illegal guns.

As it is, violent crime is higher in the areas with the more restrictive gun laws. Chicago, for example!

Shootings, we have had a problem with. But honestly, it's not the gun that killed those people. He could have looked up bomb recipes on the internet, ran people over with a car, or slashed people up with a machete, furthermore, he could have obtained an illegal gun, since he was going to break the law anyway, why would he care?

Kennesaw, Georgia, has a MANDATORY firearm posession law. All adult heads of household must own a gun, unless disabled. Crime rate there is < 1/2 the US average.

BTW, this is why our system is great. If you don't like the gun laws in your state, move to a state that is more suited to your tastes.

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Comparing cars to guns is very dishonest. Cars are primarily used for transportation, and can kill people in some situations. Guns are for killing [people or animals], period. The oft cited Chicago example is also extremely dishonest, because most of the violence is gang related which is a completely different problem. The guns in this case DID kill the people involved..at the point when people are using bomb recipes on the internet to commit mass murders, we can also address that problem, but guns DO kill people, and they really should be taken out of civilian hands.

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So, why should a police officer be trusted with a gun any more than a private citizen with equivalent firearms training , education, and licensure?

To advocate this, I'd hope you'd also advocate taking guns away from cops, because honestly they're not much different than you and I, with the exception of a sense of authority handed to them by the state which most of them certainly do not deserve. Furthermore, you'd trust a soldier with a gun, but not a civilian? Many civilians are far more likely to be responsible with a gun than a soldier. A lot of our soldiers are 18 year old kids who join the army because they think it will be like call of duty. Perhaps they should not have guns either.

Since you're pointing out errors, I'm going to point out yours. Please tell me a time in history where a gun killed someone all by itself -- "Guns do kill people"

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"the purpose of the second amendment was to provide the people with a means to rebel against a tyrannical government"

by this logic, shouldn't you be able to buy IEDs and RPGs (and launchers) at walmart? I understand these weren't available at the time of The War of American Independence, but going by the spirit of the Second Amendment, one would want people fighting tyranny to have the most effective weapons possible to do said fighting. Those(IEDs etc) seem to be the most effective weapons for a guerilla force fighting a tyrannical government (vs Glocks or whatever).

And if you are considering non guerilla forces facing off with government forces, you probably need artillery and heavy machine guns (to start with).

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>by this logic, shouldn't you be able to buy IEDs and RPGs (and launchers) at walmart?

Yes, that was the thinking of the time. However, RPGs did not yet exist. Notice what you quoted me saying. "The purpose of the second amendment was..." That is past-tense.

Obviously in today's age the original scope of it must be limited. I don't even support the idea that everyone should have an absolute right to a gun. There should be some regulation, but outright outlawing guns? I am glad that I can say I'm confident that it won't happen across the entire US any time soon.

I believe they should have about the same level of regulation as automobiles. Both are deadly. Yet, with proper training and mental clarity, they are both useful and safe.

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just to be clear, I am not saying you should ban handguns. Or saying that the constitution writers should have foreseen all weapons of the futue.

Just saying that if the purpose of the Second Amendment were to promote the ability of the populace to fight tyranny, then citizens should probably be able to access all military grade weapons short of nukes or other WMD (maybe those too?).

I am not taking a stance against that position,just pointing out that it takes some weird mental contortions to be have citizens be have a constitutional right to buy a high magazine hand gun, but not (say) a mortar, or RPG, a grenade launcher, or even an HMG. The former provides defence against tyranny, but the latter don't?

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The latter do, and I think there are quite a few people who probably believe they should have a right to those items. I'm personally not aligned with their beliefs.

Obviously we can go uphill with this until the argument caps out at nuclear power. I believe that personal small-arms are probably at least enough to make an escape if troops were sent out to capture you and take you to an internment camp or something (which by the way, they are trained to do) -- it should be considered that if the government really did become tyrannical, that a lot of the military would rebel as well.

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The whole point of the 2nd amendment is to be able to form a militia if the government gets big and tries to take your liberty. You don't need artillery, just a small percentage of resistance like the small percentage that fought the british

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yes, and just as muskets were probably the most effective weapons for the resistance then, so RPGs and IEDs are, today. And so (following logically from the 2nd amendment) citizens should be able to buy and stock them. Or can the potential oppressors decide what weapons the opposing militia may have?

How can you promote handguns, but not RPGs (if the logic of promoting handgun availability is that it enables resistance to tyranny)? Or, looking at it the other way, how can you ban RPG/IED purchases, but not ban handguns?

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Have you opened the news in past two years? governments can fall in weeks starting with stones. don't kid yourself.

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I wasn't referring to this very sad incident only but to this stat http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/files/2012/07...

BTW, the fact that it's the second amendment doesn't mean it can't be changed it just means it will get more people to agree to be able to change it and the solution is probably more complicated than a simple ban anyway. I'm just advocating using empirical evidence derived from a real life test to drive this debate.

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