“If American (sic) had gun laws like those in Canada, England, or Australia, it would have a level of gun violence more like that of Canada, England, or Australia. That’s as certain a prediction as any that the social sciences can provide. To believe that gun control can’t work here is to believe that the psyches of Americans are different from those of everyone else on earth. That’s a form of American exceptionalism—the belief that Americans are uniquely evil and incorrigibly violent, and that nothing to be done about it—that doesn’t seem to be the one that is usually endorsed.” – Adam Gopnik in Armed Correlations: Gun Ownership and Violence [via newyorker.com]

59 Responses to Quote of the Day: Correlation Edition

  1. exactly! if we tie every American to a tree and leave them there, it will totally eradicate gun violence. Genius.

    • Guys, I think Adam is on to something! Now if we could just initiate human control, we could eradicate violence towards people altogether!

      With due respect to all of America’s friends and allies, we are different. According to Wikipedia, “American exceptionalism is the proposition that the United States is different from other countries in that it has a specific world mission to spread liberty and democracy. It is not a notion that the United States is quantitatively better than other countries or that it has a superior culture, but rather that it is “qualitatively different””.

      Just ask all of our heroes serving in third-world shitholes right now if they think this premise is true. To those heroes, thanks so much for letting me speak my mind and keep my guns. Be Safe & Happy Easter!

      • You call people invading countries and murdering their citizens because they dare to have their own laws / culture / religion “heroes”? I call them thugs, murderers, and cowards.

        • I’m sorry that you hate the same military that lets you speak so ignorantly. I’m sure that if you were living in one of the lovely countries that you suggest you’d be free to attack their military and religious/cultural beliefs and survive the day 😉 Good luck in life!

        • Yes, those are some of the words I’d use to describe Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda cohorts. I’ll never forget when they invaded the U.S., and flew those airliners full of people into the WTC. “Thugs, murderers and cowards”, indeed.

        • A culture that regularly throws acid on the faces of its girls and women simply for going to school, that assassinates anyone who argues for civil rights, and that encourages mob “justice” simply for drawing a picture of some religious figure has proven that it does not deserve to choose its own laws, culture, or religion.

          Subjugation is wrong, and anyone that fights to stop it is a hero, whether their superior officers and the politicians that sent them their intend that to be the mission or not.

        • +100

          And Ecodude, I don’t have to ask the military’s permission to do anything. If that’s your cuppa, try Burma or North Korea – they may be more to your liking.

        • @Ecodude

          I’m sorry, how does murdering people who pose no threat to us have anything to do with my freedom? Other than killing a handful of Osama’s pals in Afghanistan, that’s all they’ve done for SEVENTY YEARS.

          I’m curious though, since you think we have the right to invade and demand countries follow our views, would you be OK with China invading the US and demanding we become a communist nation?

          @blehtastic

          Other countries find many of our practices abhorrent too – do you think that gives them a moral right to invade us and murder anyone who dares to stand up to the invaders? Of course you don’t, because you’re just as much of a hypocrite as people like Feinstein – you think your desires should be forced upon everyone else but that it’s wrong for others to try to get you (even peacefully) to follow their views.

        • With a name like Totenglocke, I wouldn’t have expected quite this much coffeehouse liberalism. Shouldn’t you be out collecting your unemployment check, Mr. Ward Churchill? All us little Eichmann’s worked hard to pay for it, you know.

        • It gives them the right to try, and our second amendment should be the reason they don’t.

        • If forcing people to respect, or at least ignore, the desires and behaviors of others, and forcing people to not interfere with the natural rights of others is hypocritical or tyrranical, then I’m happily the most hypocritical and tyrranical person you’ll ever meet.

          There is a difference between pushing liberty on people and pushing tyrrany. If people crave tyrrany they can go join a religious cult of their own free will, but if a government or mob is tyrranical, its subjects have no other choice.

        • Why do you still live in the USA if you have these feelings? You are a dirty, creepy, antiAmerican scumbag who is ignorant as to how the world (and humans) work.

      • ” it has a specific world mission to spread liberty and democracy”

        BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!

        That’s the attitude that’s given us Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and so on, and I believe that that attitude and its (possibly unintended) consequences are indirectly responsible for the existence of “terrorists” at all! The only reason they want to kill us is because we started killing them first.

        America’s mission is to be the Land of the Free. Period. Ideally, to lead by example (which the Washington DC regime has been doing an abysmally shitty job of doing, by the way.)

        Intervening in the internal affairs of sovereign nations is not only unconstitutional, it’s downright evil.

        You sound like a crusader: “I’m gonna save your soul if I have to burn you at the stake to do it!”

  2. Is that guy giving me the stink eye?

    Less guns “may” mean less gun violence, but not necessarily less violence overall.

    • The UK has less “gun violence,” but a much higher overall violence rate than the US. Too bad our subject above lacks the wisdom to see the whole picture. He looks like an angry person.

      • They have historically had lower gun murders, before and after their strict gun laws. Now that they have strict gun laws their murder rate has increased. Sure, it’s still lower than ours but they do not have the same conditions that our country has.

  3. Er, that isn’t even remotely true. In Iceland about 30% of households own guns, about 2/3 of the U.S. rate, and their murder rate is lower than Japan, where civilian gun ownership is all but nonexistent.

    When you start to look at developing nations, the house of cards comes tumbling down. Some gun control advocates claim it isn’t fair to compare the U.S. to developing nations, but isn’t it? The vast majority of US violent crime comes from large inner cities. Have you been to Detroit lately? Between the deterioration of the industrial base, low income levels, lowered life expectancy, government corruption, low literacy rates, largely cash economy, and spotty or ad-hoc infrastructure, I’m left to wonder why on earth we would want to put such areas in the “developed” category.

    EDIT: Oh good grief, his entire article is based on the study that shows a correlation between gun suicidies and gun laws. Okay, Adam, run along now. The adults are talking.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. The idea that we should ignore developing countries is absurd, especially since the line dividing the developed countries from developing countries is the relatively arbitrary measure of GNP. If you compare the U.S. to countries with similar incarceration rates or unequal distribution of wealth – stats which have a clear correlation to crime and violence – the U.S. has a far LOWER rate of violent crime and murder. The idea that we should only be compared to countries with similar total economies is laughable…

      Also, I have recently heard gun control folks discussing suicide claim, when presented with stats from countries with higher suicide rates and less guns claim that ‘ you can’t compare countries with such different cultures’… They want it both ways.. Lying, Manipulative a$$hats.

  4. “That’s a form of [violence] exceptionalism—the belief that [guns] are uniquely evil and incorrigibly violent, and that nothing to be done about it.”

    Fixed that for you.

  5. What they tend to ignore is that these countries had very low levels of gun violence prior to the bans as well. None of them banned guns in an effort to stem a tidal wave of violent crime. They also have vastly different takes on “freedom” than the USA. I’m not saying that to pump us up (USA! USA! USA!) but many of the “safety” laws that Brits, for instance, accept (e.g. Hooligans can’t travel for football games because they might start fights) would be utterly rejected here by liberals and conservatives alike.

  6. I don’t think the gentleman understands the statistical concepts very well. Murder rates – even gun murder rates – aren’t particularly correlated with gun ownership or laws. For example, consider this slight change to his argument:

    “If Chicago had gun laws like those in Montana, Vermont, or Idaho, it would have a level of gun violence more like that of Montana, Vermont, or Idaho. That’s as certain a prediction as any that the social sciences can provide.”

    That’s very unlikely to be true; changing Chicago’s gun laws isn’t going to affect the murder rate one way or another, because the gang members killing each other in Chicago don’t care what the law says. There are a lot of factors that cause Vermont and Chicago to have different murder rates, and gun laws or lack thereof isn’t one of them.

  7. “If American had gun laws like those in Canada, England, or Australia, it would have a level of gun violence more like that of Canada, England, or Australia. ”

    The media finally gets it.To see how gun free the Land Down Under is ……

    “The firearms we have identified here are certainly linked to criminal gangs,” said Superintendent Finch, who declined to specify which gangs.

    He said the guns were bought in Nashville in mid to late 2011 by local citizens commissioned to do so by an American citizen and Australians.

    Handguns were cheaper and easier to acquire in the US, and it was not uncommon for them to be sold for $15,000 on the streets of Sydney, Superintendent Finch said.

    He said it was believed the guns had been smuggled into the country inside car engines.

    -http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/gun-smuggling-linked-to-criminal-gangs/story-e6frg6nf-1226499388180

  8. Except if the idiot bothered to look at historical data, he’d see that we had a higher murder rate back when NONE of the aforementioned countries had any restrictions on guns. It comes from the fact that we have a much more diverse (racially, religiously, culturally, economically, etc) culture than the other countries mentioned.

    Seriously this guy is not a scientist or anyone involved in research, he’s just a generic writer.

  9. The anti’s don’t want to actually discuss and examine the violence issue. Even pro gun paranoid types avoid reality. A couple of quick facts that they run away from like little girls spotting a spider.

    Something like 80% of violent crime occurs in less than 20% of the 3000 counties in America. Large swaths of America don’t see a murder for decades.

    Vast majority of violent crime is caused by young men.

    Majority of violent crime occurs in urban settings.

    Majority of violent crime occurs between folks with criminal backgrounds.

    Disproportionate amount of violent crime is perpetrated by blacks and Hispanics on blacks and Hispanics.

    If you stay out of the crumbling, crime ridden, urban areas, and don’t associate with criminals, or engage in criminal activity, you are actually very safe in America.

    • facts. we don’t need no steenkin facts.

      good post. why do the anti’s separate ‘violence’ and ‘gun violence’? they are NOT mutually exclusive.

  10. From the JAMA study conclusion:

    “As our study could not determine cause-and-effect relationships, further studies are necessary to define the nature of this association.”

    In other words, we can’t prove that more gun laws equal less “gun” crime.

  11. Elsewhere in his article he states that “people who know the consequences and still do everything they can to ensure that gun laws don’t change are complicit in the murder of children,” and he bases that on the fact that we make moral judgments elsewhere in our lives, such as “We pay taxes, and drones kill distant kids; we pay for roads, and thousands are killed in cars; we assent to the murder of farm animals that, we can be confident, feel pain and fear.” So by refusing to ban the guns he wants banned, we are making the determination that the massacre of more children is a reasonable price to pay for the maintenance of our freedom. Because, of course, the banning of weapons is the only way to work on the problem, right? Bullshit. It’s not even the most effective way to work on the problem.

    In case you’re wondering about this bleeding heart’s state of mind, I’d like to point out the last phrase of the quote above, where he refers to “the murder of farm animals.” Merriam-Webster defines murder as “the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought.” Dictionary.com defines it as “the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law . . . characterized by deliberation or premeditation.” I could go on, but there are two common threads among all the definitions: human or person and malice. Neither of those conditions are met by the slaughter of animals for food.

    • “people who know the consequences and still do everything they can to ensure that gun laws don’t change are complicit in the murder of children”

      I agree. Every day that passes that liberals stand in the way of nationwide constitutional carry results in more blood on their hands.

  12. There is a correlation between guns and gun deaths, just as there is a correlation between knives and knife deaths, cars and car deaths, prescription drugs and prescription drug deaths… but the real point is, we ban any of those things, and more people will die.

    People simply don’t understand that guns do more good than harm because the holder of the gun is far more often good than not… and how it is that extreme radicals get to write editorials in a national publication??

  13. “On the far side of the room, sitting at a table alone, a small, curiously beetle-like man was drinking a cup of coffee, his little eyes darting suspicious glances from side to side. How easy it was, thought Winston, if you did not look about you, to believe that the physical type set up by the Party as an ideal-tall muscular youths and deep-bosomed maidens, blond-haired, vital, sunburnt, carefree — existed and even predominated. Actually, so far as he could judge, the majority of people in Airstrip One were small, dark, and ill-favoured. It was curious how that beetle-like type proliferated in the Ministries: little dumpy men, growing stout very early in life, with short legs, swift scuttling movements, and fat inscrutable faces with very small eyes. It was the type that seemed to flourish best under the dominion of the Party.”

    -George Orwell, 1984

  14. Those countries may have less GUN violence but they have plenty of other kinds. And they have defenseless victims galore.

  15. Without going into the substance of the paper (correlation ain’t causation, nuff said), I find the last name of the character… telling.

    “Gopnik” in Russian means a “low-level street thug”.

  16. The minute the phrase “gun violence” was used I dismissed this as a useless article.

    “Gun violence” is a tiny subset of Violence and the big “V” is what I’m concerned with

  17. Banning guns lowers violence, really? Rwanda comes to mind. The tribes slaughtered huge numbers of unarmed innocent people with machetes, spears, and knives.

      • Honestly, I’ve had anti’s say that. I was debating with a Brit and mentioned how the violent crime rate is far higher in the UK and he said that it’s OK if far more people are stabbed / strangled / beaten because “at least no one is being shot”.

  18. Don’t let him bait us here. The point is NOTwhether or not gun control simply “reduces” gun violence (it probably would). The question is whether or not the level of gun violence we tolerate in the US is compensated by increased levels of personal security, civility, and self-reliance.

  19. Americans are uniquely free and incorrigibly F@%$ YOU. So if you are feeling a little froggy Adam, jump up.

    We are so damn free, that we allow our people more ways than anyone to screw up, but we try not to punish them unless they do.

    Butthead.

  20. If America had as few blacks as England, Australia, and Canada, America’s crime rate would be lower.

    It may be racist to say so, but it’s also true.

    I leave it as an exercise to the reader to compare the per-capita violent crime rates among whites in these four English-speaking countries.

    • Kewl moniker, American Racist!

      GOD FORBID you ever get to actually KNOW a non-Caucasian well. Ptooey.

  21. “If American (sic) had gun laws like those in Canada, England, or Australia, it would have a level of gun violence more like that of Canada, England, or Australia.”

    No duh, but that could also read:

    “If American (sic) had gun laws like those in Canada, England, or Australia, it would also have a level of violence more like that of Canada, England, or Australia.”

    Which means over FOUR TIMES the US’s current level. Yeah, sounds good to me.

  22. Inversely, if the USA had the more restrictive gun control of, say Mexico, then we would expect the violent crime and murder rates should be in line with those of Mexico, right?

    The giant elephant in the room that they refuse to acknowledge is that the violent crime and murder rates among non-hispanic whites in America IS right in line with those in Canada, the UK and Australia.

  23. Well, the founding fathers would have agreed with the concept that the psychology of people in the US would not be different than others around the world. In fact, that belief in not being ‘supermen’ by virtue of being American is the key to understanding why they felt so strongly about including the Second Amendment guarantee not to infringe on the RKBA the colonists had under British rule.
    Gun control is based on a different application of American exceptionalism.

    —the belief that Americans are uniquely saintly and incorruptible, immune to the temptations of power, and that nothing needs to be done about politicians tempted by the abuse of their power. We are exceptional in that simply be being US, no possibility exists of a civilian disarmament and slaughter like those that occurred in Germany, Soviet Union, People’s Republic of China, Armenia, Cambodia, Uganda, etc. etc. etc. etc.

  24. The nonfirearms murder rate is higher than the murder rate in Australia, Canada and the UK so I guess the answer is that we have more violent elements than they do.

  25. …the gun-grabbers want to latch on to anything they think they can sink their teeth into… in order to exploit the emotional component of this discussion…(not debate, as they have no valid points)…to them, taking your guns is the manner in which they have dealt with all difficulty in life….restriction…which comes from the Parental Ego-State…and which drives much of the behvavior in this country….they want to take away anything the poor kids can hurt themselves with, while at the same time…continue to keep those guns in the hands of “officials”…as though they have a track record of non-corrupt conduct? Gun grabbers don’t want to talk about the violent culture we have developed and revel in…. with regard to our media, our entertainment and our story-telling….everything in the US has been, is being…or will be settled with some man on a white horse riding in violently to save the day….and our government is corrupt as any Mexican Drug Syndicate…..so really…what hypocrites….why don’t we begin to teach people how to communicate better, how to parent better and how to shape better, more non-violent communities…and then the gun isssue would be dead….so to speak…

    Regards,

    RJ O’Guillory
    Author-
    Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

  26. Another pencil-necked Euro-s^cking Democrat puke trying to cure America’s evils by taking guns from good people. Is there a factory where they crank out these dolts, or are they selectively bred for stupidity and smug superiority?

    • “Is there a factory where they crank out these dolts, or are they selectively bred for stupidity and smug superiority?”

      Look no further than all the state run “higher education” facilities across the globe…

      • Either you guys can’t read with comprehension, or I can’t. Because everything he said is congruent with the commonest arguments here.

        Oh. I get it. You think he acts like a KNOW-IT-ALL. How dare he?

  27. What a creepy looking libtard freak. Nice way to twist the term ‘American Exceptionalism’. If ya dont get it, get the eff out!

  28. I thought having one eye tied behind your back was an impossibility, I’ve been corrected by this most magnificent visionary, Randy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *