Author Topic: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!  (Read 8523 times)

Mad Dr Jeffe

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No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« on: July 09, 2003, 12:08:13 PM »
I was on slashdot today when some gun nut decided to use D.C's high murder rate as an example of why gun control doesn't work. (DC has had a ban on owning a handgun since 1976) Never mind that the District is Surrounded by two states with pretty lax gun control laws. He used the murder rate in 2000 as his example (242 people were murdered and 3553 people were robbed) and compared it to other states. What he failed to look at was  the nine year trend that shows that except for minor hiccups the Murder rate in DC has been on the decline. In 1993 454 people were murdered in city limits and there were 7107 robberies. Aggrevated assualt has also fallen from 9003 people in 1993 to 5003 people in 2001.



Sorry but it just made me mad
« Last Edit: July 09, 2003, 12:27:23 PM by ElJeffe »
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Entsuropi

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2003, 01:05:28 PM »
Hum. I disagree, but i am not sure if i should do so...

Jeffe; what was your intention in posting this thread?
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Fellfrosch

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2003, 01:35:19 PM »
Entropy, how can you disagree with a statement of statistical fact? I wasn't aware that Jeffe had made any subjective statements.
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Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2003, 01:43:42 PM »
Disagree as much as you want.
I was bothered by the original posters use of one year to show that DC was violent because of its gun control laws. It also fails to take into account DC's unique position between Virginia and Maryland where it is easy to obtain a firearm even if you live out of state. For the most part the statistics show a decrease in murders with small peaks followed by rapid declines. The number of assaults and Rapes are down and have been down for a while. Interestingly enough one can observe the effects of the 1993 Handgun Violence Protection Act or "Brady Bill" in the trend following after the year 1993.

I do understand that not all of the murders presented above involve firearms (although the vast majority of them do) and I recognize that at least 20% of that number is caused by stabbings, poisonings vehicles and  beatings.
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Tage

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2003, 02:23:30 PM »
"statistical fact" is an oxymoron.
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Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2003, 02:33:03 PM »
 ;D Strictly speaking no it isnt... an oxymoron requires incongruous or contradicting terms to be applied.

A statistic is
A numerical datum. A numerical value, such as standard deviation or mean, that characterizes the sample or population from which it was derived.

A fact is Knowledge or information based on real occurrences
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Entsuropi

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2003, 04:15:59 PM »
Ahh, but fell; i could argue that the analysis Jeffe is making is bad. I could argue that the results were dodgy as a result of the collection method.

And his entire post was subjective opinion. So was mine; so was yours. I may be an idiot but i can spot an opinion.

Jeffe: what was your purpose in posting this? You wanting a debate, or did you just want to rant to yourself? If the latter, intruding would be rude.
If you're ever in an argument and Entropy winds up looking staid and temperate in comparison, it might be time to cut your losses and start a new thread about something else :)

Fellfrosch

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2003, 04:33:53 PM »
the results were dodgy because of the collection method? I doubt the offical police numbers are wrong in this case.

Mainly I wanted to rant, but other people can hip hop on board if they want
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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2003, 04:39:30 PM »
I don't think DC will ever make a good case either way.  You should look at New York.  True there's no ban on guns, they do have strick laws, but their murder rate droped to one of the lowest of big US cities under Guiliani.  Banning guns alone wont do much, it just hinders the lazy.  There needs to be a combonation of things.  I'm a conservite guy but I do think there needs to be gun laws .I'm not for banning regular pistols, rifles,shotguns.  I am for banning anything that's not one of those includeing semi-automatic weapons.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2003, 04:40:14 PM by Spriggan »
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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2003, 07:59:16 PM »
Jeffe, pay attention to the use of the word "could". I was pointing out that one can argue with any set of statistics.
If you're ever in an argument and Entropy winds up looking staid and temperate in comparison, it might be time to cut your losses and start a new thread about something else :)

Fellfrosch

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2003, 09:07:50 PM »
Statistics are one of the easiest ways to lie and get a whole bunch people to believe it. The are just too many variables in a how statistics are collected and interpretted.
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Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2003, 09:22:37 PM »
Quote
Statistics are one of the easiest ways to lie and get a whole bunch people to believe it. The are just too many variables in a how statistics are collected and interpretted.

Yeah for a lot of things, like who likes the president more on monday or the number of people who like Jerry Lewis but when its a record of murders in a city backed up by police cases and not a statistical poll of people being asked if they like their corn grilled or fried the statistics tend to carry much more weight.  Plus the larger a sample and the longer a length of time you use to look at the more accurate statistics tend to be. Since the sample in this case is huge and the trend is long (over 10 years or so) its easy to see the results. Now if I took a random year out of the sample and used it to support my case then I could make any case I wanted. My first point was that this guy used just one year to say that conclusively a bill passed in 1976 to stop hanggun ownership in the District caused more crime. I used over 10 to prove it didn't. Which sample do you find to be more accurate. Especially considering that I went to the source and cited other related trends such as assuault and rape adding more variables over a longer period of time.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2003, 09:19:08 AM by ElJeffe »
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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2003, 11:43:09 AM »
I'm currently in my second stats class this year, and I have to side with Tage and 42.  Just because murders are on a decline, it doesn't mean that it is related to the hand gun ban.  it could be related to any number of things.

To illustrate, if you looked at those numbers in 1991, you would have been able to say that the handgun ban caused a disastrous epidemic of murder, just as conclusively as you are saying that it has caused the decline.  How can you relate the handgun ban to the murder rate, if you don't even present data from 1976?  Also, before we can believe anything about that graph (other than the raw numbers) we need to know what the crap happened in 1988-89.  Something obviously influenced the murder rate - other than the ban.
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Mad Dr Jeffe

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2003, 12:53:46 PM »
Quote
if you looked at those numbers in 1991you would have been able to say that the handgun ban caused a disastrous epidemic of murder

I think you misunderstand me. I never said that it was conclusive that because of the Ban murder rates went down, which is maybe where your getting the wrong idea. I said that murder rates weren't going up because of the Ban.
Again only if you looked at the one year, which is where I found fault with the other persons logic. Which is what the rant was about in the first place. He took one year out of the 20 (2000) I decided to list and said flat out its funny that the City with the most restrictive gun control laws also has the higest murder rate, and that the two had to be related. One year is a totally random number and he used it as a statistic designed to bully another person out of an argument. It struck a chord because I live here and he doesn't and his attempt to make DC sound like a slaughterhouse. Cities like New York, Las Vegas LA and DC also dont rate well in the Per Capita rating because of huge transient tourist and commuting populations which are never counted into the official total.  

To understand the region and the nations capital you have to understand a little something about the size of the area we are talking about.

DC is about 60 miles square and wedged between Maryland (a state with pretty good gun control) and Virginia one of the worst gun violation states in the country. Untill the 1993 Brady Bill there was no waiting period for handguns and you didn't need a state liscense to own one. The early 90's were tough on the region recession and race relations had hit low point. In 1992 these relations boiled over in Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan (two DC neighborhoods) when rioters and looters took to the street to protest the verdict in the Rodney King case. Local Government corruption and graft was rampant and best illustrated by the arrest of long time DC mayor Marion Barry for posession of Crack Cocaine in 1990. The fact that he was black further heightend tensions in the Nations Capital. After his arrest the new Mayors found it increasingly hard to govern the city and even to pay for basic services like police and fire. The gulf between poor city dwellers and rich suburbanites was also growing at rate much greater than many other major cities. Massive development in Virginia and Maryland led people and more importantly jobs to leave the city in droves during the 80's and 90's. Especially out by Tysons Corner (the silicon valley of the East). In 1993 the Brady Bill was passed requiring handgun sales to have a manditory 5 day waiting period and background checks. After a small spike on the graph illustrated above the number of murders began to go down, in 1996 and seven the numbers went sharply up as DC sunk into another Fiscal crisis, but stablized and went sharply down in subsequent years. As for the reason of the most recent increase I can only speculate but I expect that the demand to increaingly provide additional police presence at federal sites in washington after 9-11 has put a major drain on police budgets and police forces. Certain neighborhoods have been ignored alltogether and the effects shrinking DC budgets have again begun to be felt in the city.

It looks like things are getting under control, but only time will tell.

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Re: No one steps on a church in MY town!!!
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2003, 01:13:54 PM »
Sorry if I misinterpreted.  He was obviously wrong in his statement.  i'm still curious, however, about 1988.

On a somewhat different topic, I was recently going through the crime rates worldwide (i was researching Interpol and got sidetracked).  The US has some problems:

Murder in the US is about average, and a lot of places are a lot worse.  In 2001, there were about 5.61 murders per 100,000 people.  That's nowhere near the high (Brazil in 2001 was 22.98 per 100,000!)

The big news, which shouldn't be too surprising actually, is rape and attempted rape.  The US had 31.77 per 100,000.  No one i could find even came close: England 16.5, France 17.6, Israel, 10.11, etc...  What is it about america that puts us nearly twice the amount as the nearest contender?
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