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Comment Re: Mall shooting in Germany (Score 1) 189

No, the NRA did not lobby to stop government research on gun violence.

According to the NYT, the NRA did lobby to stop government research on gun violence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01...
N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say
By MICHAEL LUO
Published: January 25, 2011

The dearth of money can be traced in large measure to a clash between public health scientists and the N.R.A. in the mid-1990s. At the time, Dr. Rosenberg and others at the C.D.C. were becoming increasingly assertive about the importance of studying gun-related injuries and deaths as a public health phenomenon, financing studies that found, for example, having a gun in the house, rather than conferring protection, significantly increased the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.

Alarmed, the N.R.A. and its allies on Capitol Hill fought back. The injury center was guilty of âoeputting out papers that were really political opinion masquerading as medical science,â said Mr. Cox, who also worked on this issue for the N.R.A. more than a decade ago.
Initially, pro-gun lawmakers sought to eliminate the injury center completely, arguing that its work was âoeredundantâ and reflected a political agenda. When that failed, they turned to the appropriations process. In 1996, Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, succeeded in pushing through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the disease control centersâ(TM) budget, the very amount it had spent on firearms-related research the year before.

The research into gun violence is under the purview of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The federal agencies keep statistics on actual crime rates and don't try to force conclusions based on an uber-liberal bias.

According to articles in Science and Nature, researchers in gun violence say that the statistics gathered by the Department of Justice and FBI https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-t... are worthless for epidemiological investigation into the important questions they want to answer.

For example, much of the statistical reporting is voluntary, which biases the result. And they don't give the identity of the victims or accused, or the reporting officer, as they do in auto accidents for example, so you can't take a sample of cases and track down the causes and associated factors, as that NEJM suicide study did.

When I used to research auto safety, I found many US and foreign studies of auto accidents which would give complete details on hundreds or thousands of accidents -- type of accident, damage to car, type of injury, vehicle speed, weather, cause(s) of accident, etc. From these studies they could figure out what was causing accident deaths and injuries and figure out how to prevent them. For example, they proved that seat belts saved lives, by about 50% or more, and 100% in certain kinds of accidents. Everybody was pretty sure that seat belts saved lives, but lobbyists from the US auto industry were denying it, and congress would't accept or require seat belts in US cars it until engineers published papers demonstrating it in 1967. The result was seat belt laws that saved about 25,000 lives a year. I also used to research medical device accidents, and the FDA had the same kind of reporting system.

In contrast, you can't use the DOJ and FBI statistics for that kind of analysis. Why do people kill each other? How many of those guns were legally bought and how many of them were illegally obtained? Where did they get the illegal guns from? You can't tell from that data.

Comment Re: Mall shooting in Germany (Score 1) 189

Your source says:

A: This "Gun History Lesson" is recycled bunk from a decade ago. Murders in Australia actually are down to record lows.

According to your source, homicides did go down after laws regulated guns more strictly.

Actually, Australian crime statistics show a marked decrease in homicides since the gun law change. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, a government agency, the number of homicides in Australia did increase slightly in 1997 and peaked in 1999, but has since declined to the lowest number on record in 2007, the most recent year for which official figures are available.

Comment Re: Mall shooting in Germany (Score 2, Informative) 189

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/1...

Mortality among Recent Purchasers of Handguns

Garen J. Wintemute, M.D., M.P.H., Carrie A. Parham, M.S., James Jay Beaumont, Ph.D., Mona Wright, M.P.H., and Christiana Drake, Ph.D.

N Engl J Med 1999; 341:1583-1589
November 18, 1999
DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199911183412106

        Background

        There continues to be considerable controversy over whether ownership of a handgun increases or decreases the risk of violent death.

        Methods

        We conducted a population-based cohort study to compare mortality among 238,292 persons who purchased a handgun in California in 1991 with that in the general adult population of the state. The observation period began with the date of handgun purchase (15 days after the purchase application) and ended on December 31, 1996. The standardized mortality ratio (the ratio of the number of deaths observed among handgun purchasers to the number expected on the basis of age- and sex-specific rates among adults in California) was the principal outcome measure.

        Results

        In the first year after the purchase of a handgun, suicide was the leading cause of death among handgun purchasers, accounting for 24.5 percent of all deaths and 51.9 percent of deaths among women 21 to 44 years old. The increased risk of suicide by any method among handgun purchasers (standardized mortality ratio, 4.31) was attributable entirely to an excess risk of suicide with a firearm (standardized mortality ratio, 7.12). In the first week after the purchase of a handgun, the rate of suicide by means of firearms among purchasers (644 per 100,000 person-years) was 57 times as high as the adjusted rate in the general population. Mortality from all causes during the first year after the purchase of a handgun was greater than expected for women (standardized mortality ratio, 1.09), and the entire increase was attributable to the excess number of suicides by means of a firearm. As compared with the general population, handgun purchasers remained at increased risk for suicide by firearm over the study period of up to six years, and the excess risk among women in this cohort (standardized mortality ratio, 15.50) remained greater than that among men (standardized mortality ratio, 3.23). The risk of death by homicide with a firearm was elevated among women (standardized mortality ratio at one year, 2.20; at six years, 2.01) but low among men (standardized mortality ratio at one year, 0.84; at six years, 0.79).

        Conclusions

        The purchase of a handgun is associated with a substantial increase in the risk of suicide by firearm and by any method. The increase in the risk of suicide by firearm is apparent within a week after the purchase of a handgun and persists for at least six years.

Comment Re: Mall shooting in Germany (Score 1) 189

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01...
N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say
By MICHAEL LUO
Published: January 25, 2011

The dearth of money can be traced in large measure to a clash between public health scientists and the N.R.A. in the mid-1990s. At the time, Dr. Rosenberg and others at the C.D.C. were becoming increasingly assertive about the importance of studying gun-related injuries and deaths as a public health phenomenon, financing studies that found, for example, having a gun in the house, rather than conferring protection, significantly increased the risk of homicide by a family member or intimate acquaintance.

Alarmed, the N.R.A. and its allies on Capitol Hill fought back. The injury center was guilty of âoeputting out papers that were really political opinion masquerading as medical science,â said Mr. Cox, who also worked on this issue for the N.R.A. more than a decade ago.

Initially, pro-gun lawmakers sought to eliminate the injury center completely, arguing that its work was âoeredundantâ and reflected a political agenda. When that failed, they turned to the appropriations process. In 1996, Representative Jay Dickey, Republican of Arkansas, succeeded in pushing through an amendment that stripped $2.6 million from the disease control centersâ(TM) budget, the very amount it had spent on firearms-related research the year before.

Comment Re: Mall shooting in Germany (Score 2) 189

If you're willing to possibly have your world view shattered actually sit down and research this

If you're willing to sit down and research gun violence, you won't be able to, because Congress, as a result of NRA lobbying and campaign contributions, prohibited government agencies from doing well-designed research into gun violence.

That's because the studies started to show More guns=more killings.

The study that aroused the NRA's ire and got research cut from the federal budget was a study in the New England Journal of Medicine which compared gun licenses with death certificates. It turned out that people who got gun licenses were more likely to commit suicide than die by other causes. More guns=more suicide.

Our legislators responded by removing gun licenses and cause of death from the public record, so that even legitimate medical researchers couldn't do any more studies like that.

there's absolutely no evidence that gun laws have an effect on gun violence rates.

Assuming ad argumentum that's true, it's because there's almost no evidence on gun laws and violence -- because the NRA stopped all government research. No research=no evidence.

Comment Re:Contempt of Court (Score 1) 204

The land was taken in a war, Israel was attacked, and they conquered the areas. By international law, if it were any other country, it would be legally their land.

You obviously don't know anything about international law.

Theodore Meron was the Israeli government's own lawyer and he wrote in 1967 (and still believes) that the occupation of the West Bank would be illegal.

I think you will agree that Meron knows more about international law than you.

Under international law, a country doesn't get legal ownership of territory just because they conquered it in war.

Comment Re:Contempt of Court (Score 1) 204

I'm not trying to figure out who the good countries and bad countries are any more. There don't seem to be any.

But if you're trying to figure out a solution, international law is a good way to sort things out.

I think -- and Theodore Meron thinks -- that Israel would have been better off if they had followed international law.

The Likud created their own problem and they're dragging us down with them.

Comment Re:Israel is fighting terrorism (Score 1) 204

I used to work in Israeli public relations, so I can do a better job than you of making up arguments to defend Israel. And I know they're bogus.

I'll never convince you.

But for the benefit of anyone following this argument, I'll point out the central fact -- you won't even condemn the murder of a 3-year-old child.

Comment Re:Contempt of Court (Score 1) 204

You go back 3500 years ago to get that?

OK, here's something more recent.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Yitzhak Shapira is an Israeli rabbi who lived in the West Bank Israeli settlement Yitzhar[1] and is head of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva.[2]

In 2009 he published a book (The King's Torah) in which he writes that it is permissible for Jews to kill non-Jews (including children) who threaten the lives of Jews.[3][4] The book states "There is a reason to kill babies [on the enemy side] even if they have not transgressed the seven Noahide Laws because of the future danger they may present, since it is assumed that they will grow up to be evil like their parents."[5] They can be killed indirectly to put pressure on enemy leaders, or if they are "in the way".[6] They can also be harmed if they "prevent a rescue, because their presence contributes to murder". He also writes that children of the king can be harmed to pressure him if he is wicked and harming them will prevent him from acting wickedly. He adds that "it is better to kill one pursuing another to murder him, than to kill others."[7] The book was distributed by Yeshivat HaRaayon HaYehudi in Jerusalem, which adheres to the ideas of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.[8]

Comment Re:Common carriers are immune (Score 1) 204

Name three acts of terror committed by the State of Israel...

Just search through the Goldstone report three times for "white flag".

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/...

773. At about 12.50 p.m., Khalid Abd Rabbo, his wife Kawthar, their three daughters, Souad (aged 9), Samar (aged 5) and Amal (aged 3), and his mother, Hajja Souad Abd Rabbo, stepped out of the house, all of them carrying white flags. Less than 10 metres from the door was a tank, turned towards their house. Two soldiers were sitting on top of it having a snack (one was eating chips, the other chocolate, according to one of the witnesses). The family stood still, waiting for orders from the soldiers as to what they should do, but none was given. Without warning, a third soldier emerged from inside the tank and started shooting at the three girls and then also at their grandmother. Several bullets hit Souad in the chest, Amal in the stomach and Samar in the back. Hajja Souad was hit in the lower back and in the left arm.

The IDF refused to let an ambulance bring them to the hospital, so they walked. Amal and Souad died. Samar had a spinal injury and was left paraplegic for life. The Israeli government never investigated this event or prosecuted the soldier responsible.

Comment Re:Contempt of Court (Score 1) 204

Seriously? When was the last time anyone held the Palestinians to any kind of behavioral standards? They can bomb, knife, stone, shoot, or otherwise harass anyone they want anytime they want and "international peace organizations" say nothing about it.

How about last Saturday.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/lat...

The deadly attack on civilians at a Tel Aviv shopping and restaurant complex last night displayed a stark contempt for human life, Amnesty International said.

Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at the Sarona market in Tel Aviv on Wednesday evening, killing four civilians and injuring others. Several of those wounded were still hospitalized on Thursday morning. Israeli forces apprehended the attackers, wounding one of them.

"This heinous attack flouted fundamental principles of humanity," said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

"There can be never be any justification for deliberately attacking civilians."

Comment Re:Contempt of Court (Score 1) 204

Who's rules. What makes those external rules law? I thought war and losing makes the law. As far as I see, all the land that Israel got after 1963 is the result of the arabs fucking up. So, tough. I am not jewish, christian or muslim. But I am a realist.

There actually are rules of war, and there is international law. The Geneva Conventions cover the rules of war.

So, if if the Nazis confiscate the home of a Jewish woman, and the Nazis in turn are defeated by the Soviets, the Soviets don't own her home. And in fact the Soviets did respect property claims by Jews. The Jewish woman or her descendants could come back and claim her home (although because of the documentation and other requirements it wasn't easy).

The Israelis can decide that they won't recognize the Geneva Convention, or international law, which they have effectively done.

But then why should anybody respect their lawsuits against so-called terrorists?

Comment Re:Contempt of Court (Score 1) 204

There's considerable question as to how much of Israel was taken illegally.

Well, according to Theodor Meron, who was chief legal counsel to the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 1967, it was illegal under international law for Israel to take any of the lands seized in the 1967 war (beyond the Green Line).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

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