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MikeB302000. What's a motto with you? (courtesy

I recently threatened promised to publish pro-gun control content on this site. Readers ready to man The Walls of the City oppose the idea. Why give the enemy aid and comfort? Suffice it to say, TTAG is no more a false flag operation than Bar Refaeli is . . . well . . . you know. I simply believe in the Bob Hoskins philosophy. The more we know about gun control advocates’ thinking [sic] the more we’re able to lure fence sitters: Americans who don’t have the info or critical thinking skills to deconstruct disarmament deception—no matter how illogical. Yes, there is that. MikeB302000, for example, is endlessly infuriating. Our commenting policy remains in place: no flaming the website, its writers or fellow commentators. If you want to debate this editorial decision, please ping me at [email protected]. Meanwhile, here’s MikeB302000’s choice to reengage: The Famous 50%.

A couple weeks ago I made a statement that among the legal gun owners there are between 10% and 30% who should not have guns. After the bombardment of complaints I received, I retracted the statement and amended it to a simple 10%. Naturally, the pro-gun crowd who felt they had me on the ropes weren’t satisfied with that. They were outraged. They demanded proof. They provided “proof” that the figure is really less than 1%. One guy suggested I downgrade my idea from “theory” to “hunch.”

In this post I propose to offer a bit of what goes into my thinking. I won’t call it proof, because as I’ve said before, much of this is not quantifiable. We must use common sense. So, in order to guard against bias, I’ll downplay the numbers, allowing only very conservative figures to go towards the final result.

In the end, I will once again call my idea a “theory,” and I would expect to never again hear the complaint that I make this up as I go along, that I say these numbers off the top of my head, and as Mike W. so eloquently put it, that I pull this stuff out of my ass.

Here goes. Let’s presume there are 80 million gun owners. That means we need to identify 8 million who aren’t fit to have a gun.

Good guys who turn bad. 1%

Some of you guys have generously provided the stats on concealed carry guys who get in trouble. That combined with the FBI stats of overall crime, allowing for the fact that some of the FBI criminals were not gun owners, we come up with about 1 million. So what we’re saying is every year about 1 million gun owners out of the 80 million get in serious enough trouble to lose their right to bear arms. If you have trouble with that, look at the crime stats, add the felonies up and divide by 2, estimating that half the men own guns.

Alcoholics and drug addicts. 3%

It is estimated that 8.5% of the population is alcoholic. What percentage do you suppose has problems with other substances, anything from prescription medication to illicit drugs, another 10%?. Let’s say 5%. That’s 13.5% of our population at large and consequently of the 80 million gun owners. In all fairness, most of them, although I don’t personally feel comfortable with their having weapons, won’t cause any problems. But what of the worst 3%, say? These are the guys who become anti-social when they drink or party with drugs. You know the type. 3%.

Depression. 3%

It is estimated that about 8% of our population had at least one MDE (major depressive episode) in the last year. Gunowners, being no different from regular folks, can claim this same percentage, which I’ll bet goes a long way explaining all those suicides. Since not everyone who suffers one of these episodes attempts suicide or does something else rash, let’s call it 3%.

Rage (including road rage). 1%

One of the most frightening types of rage is called Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). It is estimated that 4% of the population has yearly episodes. I say not a single one of them should own a gun. I realize some of these guys also suffer from depression and may have even been counted under “Alcoholics and drug addicts,” so we can cut the 4% in half twice and settle on 1%. I’ll throw in the regular rageaholics and road rage maniacs for free. 1%.

Domestic abusers. 3%

It is estimated that 22% of women in America have been abused. It’s men doing that abusing, usually the domestic partner, so let’s say 22% of the men out there are guilty of this behaviour. Only about half of those men are gun owners, so we’re down to 11%. Now, let’s eliminate the one’s who slap their partners once in a while because they asked for it. Now let’s cut it way down because many responsible owners of firearms can successfully separate their domestic squabbles from their proper gun management. I say 3%,

Rape. 1%

The U.S. Department of Justice statistics for 2005 say that 191,670 incidents of rape or sexual assault were reported. Only 16% of rapes and sexual assaults are reported which brings the total in 2005 to about 1 million. 1 of 6 U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape. These rapists may be some of the same guys we already counted in the “Domestic abusers” percentage. Also, some of these1 million rapes per year might be done by the same people, creating additional duplicate counting. I say we need another small entry here, say 1%.

General stupidity and irresponsibility. one half of 1%

I couldn’t find anything to support this except humorous things that weren’t very funny. But, just look around. You know who these people are.

There you have it, support for my “theory” that about 10% of the legal gun owners should not have weapons. I honestly believe using the same method I could make a good argument for the higher figures I’d stated earlier, but in the spirit of giving the benefit of the doubt in all cases, I’ll leave it at 10% (rounded down from 13%, you probably noticed).

Some gun enthusiasts are very comfortable with the “us against them” mentality. They do it with the good gun owners and the criminal ones. They do it with the pro-gun folks and the anti-gun folks. It’s all foolishness, say I. It is from their very midst, from this 10% that we have a significant “people flow.” Not every one of the members of the group will go bad, and certainly not this year, but it is from their ranks that we see so many national headlines.

Please feel free to comment. I’d love to hear your opinion.

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    • When i first decided to comment on this, this was going to be my response, but I’m glad you got that base covered for us.

    • It’s pretty simple to summarize.

      “Very few legitimate gun owners commit crimes, especially conceal carry permittees. That would be too easy, and I want to come up with a plausible (to nannies) excuse to say that10% of gun owners shouldn’t have guns. So here are my made-up statistics.”

    • So I read the whole thing, and aside from the obvious flaws (not siting sources, estimating, etc.) I see one glaring flaw.. what if, IF mind you, all those percentages were of the population who chooses NOT to own a gun, legally of course…?

      I guess what I am trying to say is that there is no quantifiable evidence that ties any of these categories to a general gun owner.. so you could have just identified people who have never/will never legally own a gun.. what about your stats then????

    • Sorry, I don’t know what TL;DR means. I’m willing to admit that.

      MikeB302000, on the other hand, obviously is not willing to admit that he has NO CLUE what the simple English phrase “…shall not be infringed.” means. Can’t think of any other comment or response to his crap that needs to be made.

  1. I have stupid people burnout.

    We’re all willfully stupid in some ways, the best thing you can do is bring new people into the shooting world, to overwhelm the low information people on this issue.

  2. This is an exercise in circular logic, at best. I took several semesters of statistics as part of my Math Minor in college as well as Logic and Critical Thinking as part of my English Minor. MikeB### is in error.

    • One of my neighbors is a retired University Professor that taught Statistics and Logic.

      This fellow is one of the most illogical, self absorbed maroons, I have ever met. Some of his more admirable traits include lying, stealing, adultering, back-stabbing, ass-kissing, etc. ad nauseam.

      Statistically speaking, he is a good representation of anti-gun academia.

      • There is nothing inherently illogical in “lying, stealing, adultering, back-stabbing, ass-kissing…” If his goal is self-gratification, which seems like it would be, all of these things aid in that goal and would be the logical course of action to achieve that goal.

        He is immoral, not illogical.

    • +1. I support Roberts effort to consider reasonable logical arguments based on facts but MikeyB long ago failed that test. IMHO thus Mike violates the the TOS by insulting our intelligence and spamming for links to his own anti-site.

      YMMV. I’ll just pass these posts by in future.

    • agreed, all I got out of this is humans are unpredictable and can’t be trusted with weapons… backed up by the fact that 100% of people who drink water will die.

  3. But you’ll inevitably get some stupid, depressed, alcoholic, ex-con, druggie, domestic abusers/rapists who will throw the whole curve.

    Yes, there are some people who should not own guns, just as there are some people who should not be parents. The critical part is deciding who is who, while not allowing the decision-making process to be leveraged into a political tool.

    • There are indeed many, many people who should not be parents, but if i suggest that if we really wanted to do something “for the children” a better idea than gun control is making potential parents get a license and background check people act like I’m some kind of jerk.

    • To a large extent, deciding who is who is not possible before the bad actors have already acted badly. That’s a price of living in a free society (or what has been and could again be a free society). The only way to make sure nobody hurts anyone else is an absolute totalitarian police state (and even then, people will still harm others). Right now, if you aren’t engaged in criminal activity, your chances of getting shot by a random crazy are vanishingly low. I for one am not willing to give up any more freedom to lower that already low risk. And, as long as our constitutional Republic stands, nobody can LEGALLY force me to give up any more freedom.

      • This!

        Trying to say someone shouldn’t have a gun because they ‘might’ turn it on themselves or someone else is a fool’s errand. You can’t prosecute probable crime, only actual crime.

        • Not until the pre-crime units are in place, anyway.
          I promise you, they’re working on it. What do you think those brain scanners you’ll be seeing pretty soon are for?

    • Idiots will always make more babies. Let’s face it, they’re idiots and don’t know how to or that they should stop.

      Criminals and/or idiots who really want one (or more) will always have guns. Let’s face it, where there’s a market for a commodity there’s someone willing to supply that commodity.

      And even if MikeB and all the other gun grabbers got EVERYTHING they want, nothing would change these facts. It doesn’t matter if you think or believe that certain people should not have guns, try to stop them. Good luck with that.

    • +1. Of course there are people who shouldn’t own guns, but who gets to decide, and how to prevent abuse of this power? Liberty has a cost, if it’s low level violence and the occasional accident, it’s more than worth the cost.

  4. 1. Assuming that the gun owning community mirrors these population wide statistics. This is the kind of lying with numbers that says I’m most likely to be a Chinese woman.

    2. Assuming that yelling at your girlfriend, depression, alcohol use, etc. mean someone shouldn’t have a gun. I don’t concede that whatsoever. Committing or threatening violence against others means someone shouldn’t have a gun. If you want to go further than that you’re on your own.

    • Absolutely. You beat me to it.

      The basis of the argument is flawed. You cannot assume or assert that any characteristic of a sub-population represent the characteristics of the population as a whole when the population is as diverse as the human race.

      • Exactly…my wife and I stopped having kids after 2 because every 3rd child born is Chinese!! We don’t even speek Chinese so how would we even talk to him/her!

    • 1. Assuming that the gun owning community mirrors these population wide statistics. This is the kind of lying with numbers that says I’m most likely to be a Chinese woman.

      Exactly. Huge flaw in the reasoning above…

      2. Assuming that yelling at your girlfriend, depression, alcohol use, etc. mean someone shouldn’t have a gun. I don’t concede that whatsoever. Committing or threatening violence against others means someone shouldn’t have a gun.

      Do you not think that drinking and driving is as good as threatening violence? Alcohol “use” has many faces, some of them ugly and dangerous. So, mikeb actually has a hard -to-refute point when it comes to alcohol/drug dependency and domestic violence (not “yelling”) being contraindications for gun ownership. He just falls short when he abuses statistics too make a case regarding the number of people who might be more dangerous when they have easy access to a gun.

      • Ah… but on the domestic abuse front, the lesser reported female as the aggressor stats were not included.

        Those who are THAT abusive as to use a gun in a domestic violence situation will just as easily use kitchen utensils (i.e. sharp knives, meat cleavers, etc), fists, or some other melee capable weapon (i.e. baseball bats, croquet mallets, golf clubs, etc) if available. The weapon grabbed in an abusive domestic violence situation is inconsequential as to the outcome of it: all can inflict serious bodily harm, even death.

  5. MikeyB#s is back again lol.

    “I won’t call it proof, because as I’ve said before, much of this is not quantifiable.” And then you turn around and attempt to quantify where your 10% number is coming from in the rest of the article. Not a good start.

    FBI crime stats: do not tell you where that person was a legal gun owner or already a criminal/felon incapable of owning a gun legally already. You cannot use these numbers with any semblance of accuracy.

    The rest is impossible to support or refute with factual data, beyond saying that you cannot punish or remove the rights of people not convicted of any crime/psychologically deemed unfit. You cannot play the “department of precrime”. Doesnt work.

    Are there unfit, legal gun owners out there? Im sure there are. Do I think that we can and should punish them by removing their rights before they actually commit a crime? Nope. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. That’s really what the gist of this argument boils down to: do you trust your fellow man to exercise their god given rights or not?

    • And JoshinGA goes long………………..

      and it is out of here.

      Very well spoken

  6. You’re cross polinating. Many chronic depressives are also drug and alcohol abusers and vice versa. Good guys who go bad might be accounted in the Rage/Rape/Domestic Abuse category. As well as Ragers likely being Domestic Abusers.

    Regardless, whether or not you are comfortable with someone having a gun is irrelevant. Only criminal acts are of importance, not criminal “potential.” Let’s not advocate opening an Office of Pre-Crime.

    • +1

      My first thought exactly – how many fit into multiple categories?

      Break out the Venn diagram. The outliers will be insignificant.

    • I also thought of this immediately.

      Also since no links to where the stats come from are provided, it is impossible to verify the data. For example the 1 million felonies comes from the FBI but is this really one million people or is it crime vitimizations or what? If you are going to use numbers provide links to your sources.

      I am fine with ball park estimates, they can be useful but the source of those estimates and ALL the assumuptions made are important to determine if the ball park estimate is in the park or another country.

  7. You have not demonstrated that the components of your 10% are unique. Are there no spousal abusers who are drunks? No stupid rapists?

    • No, but he was hoping against hope that you’d fall for his sham. He always comes back trying, expecting a different result. Isn’t that the definition of insanity, as espoused by Albert Einstein?

  8. If almost 10% of us are alcoholics, does that mean 1 out every 10 people shouldn’t be allowed to own a car? Those things can be dangerous.

  9. Some of those appear hard to argue with at first glance, but most of them have serious flaws.

    Alcoholics and drug addicts – How do you narrow it down to just that 3%? How do you quantify it? Under what rules do you decide to take their guns away? Under what rules do they get them back? (I know the answer to the last one is probably “they don’t, ever,” because you’re fond of taking gun rights away for life, but that’s simply preposterous. If you come up with some way to identify someone as being part of that 3%, but then they go to rehab and they’re 1, 5, 10, 20 years sober, how can you justify “forever?” After all, remember, they’ve never been convicted of anything illegal.)

    Depression – Millions of people suffer from depression, and yet function normally in society. How do you identify that 3% without unfairly stigmatizing the rest? How do you keep from scaring people away from seeking help for fear of losing their RKBA?

    Rage – How do you winnow down to that 1%? If they’ve never broken a law, and never sought therapy (and even if they have, it’s protected by HIPAA), how do you figure those people out? I don’t think you can without a massive invasion of privacy.

    Domestic abusers – Fvck ’em. If they are legitimate abusers (of either sex), I have no respect for them. They’re oxygen thieves.

    Rape – Rape is already illegal, and already a felony. I can’t help you with the 84% that aren’t reported. If they’re not reported, how do you find them? If you can’t find them, and you can’t convict them, how can you justify taking away any of their rights, whether that right be guns or simple freedom?

    General stupidity and irresponsibility – Is this where your old rules come in? Those being: “If you ever have a negligent discharge, you lose your RKBA” and “If you ever drop a gun, you lose your RKBA.” There were several other, equally preposterous ones, but I can’t remember them at the moment.

    So, while I appreciate the thought you’ve clearly put into this, your process and conclusions seem flawed to me.

    • I dropped my rifle in basic training. Was after a PT test. I think at that point I would have been happy to have it taken away (no Vietnam), at least for 2 years. As it happened, I just needed to do 50 pushups. Because of the PT test I only got 48 out.

    • +1 and very well stated Matt. Virtually everything you’ve said above cuts to the heart of the flaws in MikeBs reasoning. I’d like to add in plain language what I think you were getting at on several points.
      Being an alcoholic, rageoholic, idiot, or depressed person doesn’t and shouldn’t constitute a crime or a reason to abrogate a persons rights. If suspending the natural and constitutionally protected rights of a person can be achieved by categorizing them via non-criminal behavior we shall soon have no rights left to anyone.
      I hesitate to dip this low, but I can’t resist. If being generally stupid and irresponsible is a reason to lose ones 2A rights, is it too much to ask that generally stupid and irresponsible people forfeit their 1st amendment rights? (Yes, that’s a hint to stop giving the forum to a fool. We get enough of this garbage from the MSM and just don’t need it here in our happy place.)

  10. Ok, I’ll bite.

    First critique: Whenever you play with statistics you need to cite your sources. Most of your stats start out with “It is estimated” leading to the question “by whom?” Occasionally you’ll list a source like the DOJ crime stats, but you never list the specific documents or link to them. It is hard to discuss statistics without information about standard deviation and confidence intervals, and without you linking to your sources it is impossible to discuss the validity of the provided statistics.

    Second critique: Assuming your stats are good, they are stats concerning the general population. 3% of the country may suffer from some form of depression, but that says nothing about gun owners as a population. When talking about a group of people you need to study that group, not the general population in which the group resides. For example it is well known that men commit more crimes than women, what you are doing is equivalent to applying general crime stats to just women, which obviously results in skewed numbers.

    Third critique: you assume the answer: “Let’s presume there are 80 million gun owners. That means we need to identify 8 million who aren’t fit to have a gun.” If the goal here is to determine how many Americans are unfit to own a firearm, then this is not the way to go about it. The percentage is presumed and then you come up with reasons to justify it. A real scientific look at this question would not work backwards from the conclusion.

    • As an aside, let’s keep this classy guys. MikeB isn’t attacking anyone personally, no reason for us to attack him. Engage the ideas, not the person.

      • There are plenty of reasons to attack MikeB personally. I’ll just offer “his character,” “his rhetorical methods,” and “his history with US authorities” and leave the rest to others.

        • The reason to avoid personal attacks is to deny them (and their friends) an easy reason to dismiss us as knuckle draggers. It isn’t to be nice (though it is nice to be nice), it is to be effective.

        • Mikey likes to walk away from his history. I like walking behind him, carrying some of his history along. It’s that simple. Mikey’s actual and intended audiences aren’t worth worrying about. No politician dares quote him, because of his past. He’s kept his present as out-of-sight as he can. He wants the world to forget CA, Las Vegas, and Miami. Not a chance.

        • Gee, don’t leave those of us who are ignorant of MikeB302000’s “history with US authorities,” wallowing in benightedness. What is there to know about his history with US authorities?

      • Crap. MikeB is attacking the United States Consitution and my natural right to keep and bear arms. I think that leaves him wide open for any and all sorts of personal counter-attacks.

        If he wants to avoid personal attacks he needs to get busy with the legal and consitutional processes necessary to repeal the Second Amendment and stop running around advocating for laws that simply violate our consitutionally protected civil and natural rights.

        I see no particular reason to treat this trash in anything even approaching a “classy” manner. If he thinks he’s making any converts on this site he is truly an idiot. If he can’t take the criticism of both his ideas ad his personal character for promoting those ideas then he should send his stuff to the Huffington Post and leave us the hell alone.

      • “MikeB isn’t attacking anyone personally, no reason for us to attack him.”

        Like hell he isn’t. He seeks to render us all defenseless; if that isn’t an attack, I don’t know what is.

    • “The percentage is presumed and then you come up with reasons to justify it. A real scientific look at this question would not work backwards from the conclusion.”

      Exactly. If the real figure is only 1%, 3% will be “identified” nonetheless. If the real figure is 7%, 4% will go undetected.

      But we’re wrapped up in this, and we’ve forgotten something. This is MIKEY NUMBERS we’re talking about.

  11. After reading this…………..

    “My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives”

  12. Dear MikeB,

    So what’s your point? The real problem comes in when you want to move from the esoteric analysis of who might not be fit to own a gun, to how you prevent said people from owning a gun (assuming that your initial premise is correct and that their behavior warrants the extinction of their natural human right of self-defense). This is the very reason that our legal system is supposed to treat one as innocent until proven guilty.

    An alcoholic may never handle his firearms when drunk. Does that mean that his rights should be extinguished? Many depressed folks never commit suicide, but rather go on living productive lives. Should their rights be extinguished? Just because you have an explosive personality doesn’t mean that you will cross the line into physical violence (I’m thinking of screechers).

    Your hunch is the very same hunch that the antis use all the time regarding CCW, i.e. “we can’t have CCW because every perceived slight in human interactions will now turn into the Okay Corral!” That never happens. Similarly, your assumptions imply that because people have failings, then they can’t be trusted with the RKBA. It’s pure baloney.

    The RKBA is a serious responsibility. However, until someone demonstrates that they cannot be trusted with that right with actual actions, they still have the RKBA.

    • “the extinction of their natural human right of self-defense” Don’t you think that’s a bit overly dramatic. Removing someone’s gun rights is not quite the extinction of anything.

      Do you think people who drink too much should be considered responsible gun owners as long as they don’t prove their unfitness? I say people who are unfit to responsible own and use guns are unfit to own and use them. What’s so hard about that?

      • Alcoholics and drug addicts are allowed to drive cars , have children and own guns. All can be a serious safety issue if not handled responsibility.They don’t loose those until their actions prove the can do it safely. What’s so hard about that?

      • People who drink too much may have their driver’s license suspended or revoked. Do you really think they will just stop driving, now without any insurance?

        People who go through a messy divorce or paternity dispute will still go out and make more babies. You think a court order is going to stop them?

        And who exactly is charged with the decision to “remove someone’s gun rights”? It can’t be Congress, the U.S. Constitution says definitively that they CANNOT. (“…shall not be infringed.”)

        The very MOMENT that the government assumes or presumes the right to determine who may or may not exercise or claim the benefit of ANY of the enumerated Bill of Rights (First Ten Amendments, since you obviously have not read them), they CEASE to be natural rights protected from government interference and assume the status of rights GRANTED to us poor peons by the government. This is not rocket science, but then it’s pretty obvious you are just an opinionate political hack, not a rocket scientist.

      • @ MikeBnumbers I don’t find that statement overly dramatic at all.

        What I do find dramatic is the level of indifference to the concept of innocent until proven guilty you demonstrate with your argument. However much you hate and fear armed civilians, can you truly not see where what you advocate leads? In order for a law to be just it must be one you would have enforced at every opportunity, for every person, including yourself. As I joked above, the logical expansion of what you suggest is that if a majority of the congress were pro-2A they should pass a law saying that since it’s ‘common sense’ that what you say isn’t true and is harmful, you shouldn’t be allowed to say it. It’s not much of a stretch to say that since a violent alcoholic can cause great harm or death with all sorts of things other than guns, all heavy drinkers should be imprisoned. (This has actually been tried, in the 30’s and 40’s in Germany.) Really, since anyone can become an addict or depressed at anytime without warning, everyone ought to be locked up all the time. Show me any logical escape from the reduction to absurdity argument your position is vulnerable to and I’ll at least offer kudos for effective debate. (Hint: I don’t think there is a logical escape from reduction to absurdity for your argument.)

      • So, based on this you feel that the country as a whole should segue from the government proving guilt to the person proving innocence. You should change your name to Torquemada, or possible move to Salem, MA.

  13. 80 million gun owners do not represent half of the adult population, but yet you split the crime categories in half? Another problem with attributing half of the crime to gun owners is that you fail to take into account the amount of crime committed by juveniles, who are not legal gun owners. You’re also assuming that one person commits one crime when in fact, one criminal will commit multiple violent offences. Your method is severely flawed.

  14. Because making legal gun owners illegal makes people safer. No one will ever buy a gun illegally, or steal one, hide guns while legal, make guns, use another weapon, or commit an act of violence when someone(s) comes to confiscate said guns.

    If we are using common sense . . . I fail to see how disarming %10 of the population does anything good even if we grant that number.

    • As the liberals in the immigration debate are fond of saying, a person can’t be “illegal”. So instead of “illegal gun owners”, which is a very hurtful phrase, why don’t we call them “undocumented gunpowder enthusiasts”?

  15. “This is not quantifiable”. Indeed, and I don’t believe in your brand of common sense.

  16. This is my first comment on this site. Been reading for awhile.

    Now the problem i have with this mentality is that you can point out everything and anything that people shouldn’t be doing that they do everyday.

    Take driving for example, count and think how many times you’ve been almost ran off the road or come in a close call with another driver. But they continue to drive on even though they are a terrible driver. Now count and think how many times you’ve been killed with a gun. Case rested.

  17. There are loads of unfit parents, car drivers, politicians, and policemen that are in a LONG list of groups of people that are not sanctioned until they do something unlawful. Guns owners should not be an exception to that methodology.

  18. While I can appreciate the effort you went through to produce this, it is of no consequence aside from an interesting intellectual exercise. No matter what a statistic may indicate (totally ignoring the rightness or wrongness of your figures), you want to deprive people of their civil rights based on the likelihood that they may possibly or eventually abuse it. The very premise of your assertion is unacceptable, as it prejudges people based on things they have not and may never do.

      • +1

        I had a large response typed out and deleted it.

        Even if we accept the 10% figure, what’s endgame, Mikeb?

        I would wager that at least 30% of teenagers are an incredible hazard on the road (and we certainly know they cause disproportionate amounts of accidents, some of which are fatal), but we can’t exactly ban their usage of vehicles, can we? Or to use a better analogy, limit the gallons they can put in their cars and the horsepower created by the engines, representing magazine capacity and caliber restrictions respectively.

        • Just a sidenote – in Europe they did exactly that for teenage motorcyclists. Restriction on displacement and horsepower for younger riders.

    • I agree. The argument is academic. Statistics and percentages are being slung around with only suppositions to tie them together. In addition, noting that the sum of the percentages from each case wouldn’t even necessarily be cumulative; to do so is to assume that no one who is depressed has engaged in domestic abuse. Or rape. Or any combination of the categories listed.

      And are one in five of the men you know are domestic abusers? Because 22% of women have been abused? In last year? Ever? I’d say it’s more likely there are much fewer abusers that affect more than one woman (i.e. many women) that attributes to that stat.

      Too much here to critique. Does not follow.

    • “The very premise of your assertion is unacceptable, as it prejudges people based on things they have not and may never do.”

      Wrong. My post only tries to point out that certain types of lawful gun owners are unfit to own and use guns. That’s all. It doesn’t go into what to do about that.

      • No, your post does not show unfitness. It alleges unfitness in an effort to defend your position and make the gun control side seem reasonable and admirable.

      • Oh, please. Not that you were overburdened with credibility before but did you type that with a straight face? You were pointing this out for what purpose? To pass the time? To make conversation? Is this your version of “some kind of weather we’re having?”

        Don’t pretend you don’t have ideas about what you’d like done about these “unfit” people. You wouldn’t bother trying to do the setup if you didn’t plan on trying the punchline.

      • Since your standard for unfitness is completely subjective it would be very difficult to fail in trying to show unfitness. This isn’t so much an argument as an attempt to justify a position that lacks any factual or logical basis. It reeks of inventing conditions and terms in an effort to legitimize that which has no basis.
        Since it hasn’t been offered yet I have to raise a counter argument:
        What is the ratio of accidental and intentional criminal shootings by persons deemed unfit by your standard Vs the number of legitimate DGUs by the same demographic? Surely it’s possible for a depressed person or alcoholic to use a firearm to defend themselves or another? Incidentally, police officers suffer from alcoholism and depression at a rate well in excess of that of the general public. Would you disarm them (and thus end their careers) along with the rest of us?

    • Good post, Shwiggie, however I believe you give MikeB too much credit by refering to his post as an “intellectual exercise” Pseudo-intellectual masturbation is about the most I would allow him.

  19. I’ve read that <1% of our population is in jail… that's all. Even so, that's a lot of people to put up at motel rates.

  20. “much of this is not quantifiable. We must use common sense. ”
    I quit reading after that…
    Why on earth would I want to pollute my mind with this stuff.

  21. It also doesn’t mention if all these crimes reported are all adults or of legal firearm ownership age, repeat offenders, determined mentally unfit, ect. I know that’s just nit picking but if we’re going to play the stats game the stats have to be you know…real. We all go on about the number of gun owners but have we done a number of guns to gun crime comparison?

    • We can do much better than wild guesses. We can get a darned good estimate. Here it is.

      There were about 9000 murders last year where the criminal used a firearm for the murder weapon. (See FBI Uniform Crime reports.) We also know that gunshot wounds are only fatal about 20% of the time. (I forget the source but it isn’t hard to find and this number makes perfect sense considering how gun shot wounds to extremities are almost never fatal and even gunshot wounds to the torso are often survivable.) That means criminals shot someone with a firearm about 54,000 times last year. (54,000 == 9,000 fatal gunshot wounds plus about 45,000 non-fatal gunshot wounds.) Of course criminals do not always hit their target: sometimes they miss. Let’s assume criminals only hit their target about 33% of the time — similar to the documented hit rate of police departments. That means criminals fired upon victims about 164,000 times last year — of which 54,000 times the criminals actually hit their victim either fatally or non-fatally.

      Now there are only two remaining questions. First, how often did criminals threaten their victim with a firearm and not shoot? The final question is, of all the total crimes where criminals used firearms, how many of them were upstanding citizens with no previous criminal record until they used their firearms for the first time in a criminal manner. No one knows for sure so let’s use some reasonable estimates. We know that criminals like to threaten with guns and yet appear to be reluctant to shoot. So let’s assume criminals only pull the trigger in 5% of attacks. That means criminals used a firearm to threaten, shoot at and miss, or shoot at and hit their victim about 3,280,000 times last year. (5% of 3,280,000 is 164,000 from the preceding paragraph.) Now how many of those were previously “good” gun owners? Well we know from FBI gang task force reports that criminals who are members of gang and drug distribution networks are responsible for at least 80% of all violent crime. (Sources are readily available for this number.) So gangs and/or drug dealers were responsible for 2,624,000 of those assaults with firearms. Who was responsible for the remaining 656,000? We also know from several sources that the recidivism rate among criminals is on the order of 90%. That means hardened, repeat criminals were responsible for about 90% of that remaining 656,000 assaults/murders — leaving just 65,600 assaults/murders.

      That’s right. Even being incredibly generous with unknown numbers and using very good estimates of known numbers, at most 65,600 people last year with no previous criminal record suddenly threatened or shot at someone with what was (up to that point) a legally owned firearm. Guess what? That is 0.08% of all gun owners. Let’s just round that up to 0.1% for easy math. That means MikeB’s laughable number is only off by a factor of 100.

      Important note: my only number that is debatable is how often criminals merely threaten and do not pull the trigger. I estimate that at 5%. If you want to claim that a much higher percentage of “good” armed citizens commit crimes, then you will have to claim that far fewer than 5% of criminals actually pull the trigger. Good luck with that.

    • Good points but the problem in MB’s numbers is deeper than that. The majority of crimes are committed by repeat offenders, such that recidivism rates are nearly 80% (that is people who have been to prison returning to prison on new convictions). The simple facts are that the vast majority of people go their entire lives without committing a serious crime while a very small minority commit a great many each. Further, given that in most cases a felony conviction equals permanent disbarment from owning firearms legally, subsequent crimes committed with a firearm are not perpetrated by lawful gun owners.
      Likely it’s because I’m tired, but it seems that the more I think about it the more flawed MBs argument is. In fact, it seems that there really isn’t anything to it at all. The substance of tissue paper and the intent of a thrown brick.

  22. Although I disagree with Mike’s conclusions, for a “ball-park, first approximation” estimate, I’d say he approached this in a somewhat logical fashion. Again, it’s not a critical analysis, and my biggest critique is that many of the categories has has overlap – for example abusive behavior and drug/alcohol use are often related, so the total for those two categories would go down.

    His other critical assumption is in what he’s defining as “gun owners”. I think there may be a disconnect between what gun enthusiasts and Mike call “gun owners.” My assumption is that what I’d call a “gun owner” is a citizen who may legally possess a gun, and uses such for self defense, competition, collection, or sporting purposes. However, that definition can be expanded – to convicted criminals who also own guns, or persons committing crimes who haven’t been caught yet.

    If you use that expanded class – then a fairly large percentage of the people that Mike thinks “shouldn’t own guns” are already prohibited from doing so by law.

    Although all non-criminal citizens certainly share in the RKBA, there undoubtedly is some non-zero percentage of that total population that for, whatever reason, probably shouldn’t have one in their possession. The big question is – who gets to make those judgments? A big-city police chief who only issues CCW to cronies? An anti-biased legislator who wants to erect barriers to any gun ownership? A jury of peers and expert witnesses, who judge an individual to be unstable for gun ownership at this point in time?

    As always, the devil is in the details. Flatly denying Mike’s claim without countervailing evidence is not logical either.

    • Thanks. In the post I put up today, which for some reason Robert ignored, I made it clear we were talking about lawful gun owners who should be disarmed.

      • Which is the whole point of gun control. Disarm the lawful gun owners. Make the hoops so many and so difficult to jump thru that nobady can legally qualify for a gun.

      • What other constitutional rights should be taken from those people? Where does it stop?
        It’s amazing that people always talk about taking away someone’s 2A rights, but the other constitutional rights are rarly in danger.

        • Well, they’ve been getting a little footloose and fancy-free with the First and Fourth…

      • “I made it clear we were talking about lawful gun owners who should be disarmed.”

        Let me clarify that, since your prose logic is as flawed as all your other attemps at logic. What this sentence REALLY says is:

        “I made it clear we were talking about lawful gun owners who in my opionion should be made into unlawful gun owners and then be disarmed.”

        The federal government has no constitutional authority to disarm any citizen regardless of whether you or I or anyone else thinks they should not own a gun. And in my opinion no state should be allowed that authority, either. The natural and civil right to keep and bear arms is either that, and inviolable at any level of government, or we are just kidding ourselves.

      • “I made it clear we were talking about lawful gun owners who should be disarmed.”

        Because you want them to be at the “mercy” of the criminals and the government.

        What do you intend to do to the people you render defenseless, Mikey? What crimes are you planning?

  23. While I do not agree with the hypothesis, lets say that I did. There is still a huge problem with the “statistics” presented. The way he adds them up to come up with his “approximately 10%” is to assume that all the individuals in each group are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE from each other…in other words, no one who is in the “alcohol and drug addicts” group is part of the “depressed” group, or any other group. This oversight alone throws his numbers way off, whether you want to agree with him or not.

  24. Your math is wrong. For example, in your alcohol and drugs statement you estimate 13.5%. And through that you say about 3% should not have guns. Your math is showing 3% of the total population, whereas in truth it would be 3% of 13.5% of the entire population. Which would only add up to 0.405% of the total population.

    And that is not including tfunk’s comment above mine

  25. TO: Robert Farago
    RE: MikieB

    I don’t believe I’ve encountered this person on this web-site.

    RE: Flaming, Anyone?

    Please describe—with examples—’flaming’, as you understand it.

    I ask because sometimes, as Scripture allows, it’s necessary to point out to a Fool that he/she/it IS a ‘fool’.

    My working definition of ‘Stupid’ is….

    Ignorant and proud of it.

    Would that qualify as ‘flaming’?


    [Rebuke a fool according to his conceit.]

    • A flame is a direct attack on a commenter, not on their ideas. For instance, if I was to say:

      Chuck, you are a self-important, bombastic windbag who doesn’t have the sense that God gave little green apples.

      …that would be a flame.

      • Heh….

        ….I’ve heard such from you before.

        And yet you are still commenting here.


        P.S. I’m not as ‘self-important’ as you might want to believe.

        Actaully, I consider myseld just a tad above ‘slime-mold’. Albeit a rather aggressive and dangerous form. But you helped make me that as part of your defense against tyranny. And you continually send me a check—every month—for my good service.

        Thanks you for that…..

        • TO: Chuck
          RE: Why isn’t your comment in memo form?

          Why isn’t your comment in memo form?



        • TO: Brian
          RE: Isn’t?!!?!?!

          Why isn’t your comment in memo form? — Brian

          And here I thought it was.

          But, admittedly, sometimes I don’t

          And if I had not replied to you in similar form, some poor ‘fool’….OOOPS!….wouldn’t know who I was addressing.


          [Good formatting is the hobgoblin of precise communications.]

        • TO: Brian
          RE: Oh….I Get It

          Why Isn’t your comment in memo form? — Brian RE: Reply to Matt in FL

          Sorry. I was in ‘shooting from the lip’ mode. And as it was immediately under Matt in FL’s comment, I felt it wasn’t necessary to do the memo form. As opposed to the level of indent/reply we’re at HERE.

          Hope that helps…..


          [The only Man who was ‘perfect’ got himself nailed to a tree for His temerity.]

    • Get ready for a LOT of that, as these so-called ‘liberals/progressives’ have no reason whatsoever.

      They’ve been brainwashed in the vaunted American public education system, if they came out of the K-12 range, i.e., graduated high school, after 1975.

  26. Almost your entire argument is based on a bad assumption – that the various bad statistics pertaining to the general population overlap with legal gun owner at the same rates. They don’t. To say that some percentage of the general population are alcoholics does not mean that the same percentage of gun-owners are alcoholics. That is bad science, faulty reasoning, and discredits your entire argument.

    You also seem to not understand population overlap – that is, individuals who are members of several statistical groups. You are in affect counting many people multiple times to increase your numbers artificially.

    Also, your very first point regarding gun owner who fall afoul of the law and loose there gun rights implies that they did so as a result of some gun-related incident. There are in fact many ways to loose your gun rights that do not involve guns, not imply that the person is too dangerous to own firearms – but that is another discussion.

    • I was thinking of a way to say those things, and you beat me to it. I couldn’t have said it better. (I seem to be lacking in the eloquence department recently, must be my alcoholism)

    • Part of what I based this on is an idea that I got from you guys. You’re normal people. You suffer from all the same ailments as everybody else. You’re (gun owners as a group) neither better nor worse.

      What are you saying the percentage of alcohol abusers is lower among gun owners? Or the rage guys are fewer among gun owners, marijuana smokers?

      • It wouldn’t surprise me that legal (as in not failing a NICS check) gun owners more less prone to substance abuse and rage violence than the general public because substance abuse and rage violence are often correlated with criminal activity and convictions, which can disqualify a person from passing the NICS check.

        Certainly not all, and not all of those convictions are disqualifying, but as a general matter it wouldn’t surprise me that the barrier to entry makes the lawful gun owning population somewhat less prone to those problems.

      • “What are you saying the percentage of alcohol abusers is lower among gun owners? Or the rage guys are fewer among gun owners, marijuana smokers?”

        Because behaviour like the above often leads to felonious acts & the removal of that person’s right to possess firearms – should they have any.
        I know no gun owning friends or acquaintances with any of the above traits but I DO know drunks, pot heads & unstable non gun owners, with at least two not owning firearms BECAUSE they recognise their own issues.
        From personal observation, firearms owners are more sober & stable than non owners & a sight more rational in their thoughts too.
        The above might not be a scientific test but it IS a slice of reality, so get used to it.

        • “The above might not be a scientific test but it IS a slice of reality, so get used to it.”

          Oh, I’m used to it. I’m used to your ridiculous justifications and bullshit rationale.

          • Prove me wrong.
            You have singularly failed to produce ANY reasonable rationale for your anti self defence stance.
            Your attempt at statistical analysis is risible & bettered only by your patent inability to counter reasonable points of debate.

        • mikeb’s reply notwithstanding, the Limey raises a point:

          “Because behaviour like the above often leads to felonious acts & the removal of that person’s right to possess firearms – should they have any.”

          The general population assertions mikeb uses INCLUDES the whole population, as in with all the criminals.

          Legal gun owners, as a population, does NOT include whole classes of barred individuals. And the very people excluded from that population (more accurately a sub set) are the ones most likely to be a risk to own guns (as in they were convicted of crime(s) already).

          Math like: General Population = Legal Gun Owners + Legal Non-Gun Owners + Barred from owning guns (Illegal Owners + Illegal Non-Owners)

          Legal Gun Owners: can and do own guns within the current laws
          Legal Gun Owners: can own guns within the current laws, but do not
          Barred from owning guns: all those who are not allowed to own guns within the current laws. This has two sub groups:
          Illegal Owners: cannot legally have guns, but do anyway
          Illegal Non-Owners: cannot legally have guns, and do not have guns

          Just like you can add up the total population from how many people are in each group, you can add up their contribution to the overall prevalence of any one issue. That’s because these groups are separable (gun owners are not non-owners, legal owners are not illegal owners, for instance).

          Total population = 316,000,000 (approx. best I recall at the moment)
          Legal Gun Owners = 80,000,000 (mikeb’s number)
          Barred from owning Guns = 8,780,000
          (I’m using 5.85,000,000 convicted felons in 2010 from plus an additional arbitrary 50% of that number for all the other ways to get barred, if someone has a good overall number I’d love to see it. Amusingly this comes just over 10% relative to the Legal Gun Owners)
          Legal Gun Non-Owners = everyone else or 316 million – 80 million – 8.78 million = 227,220,000

          That means that 25.3% of the general population legally own guns, 71.9% could but don’t, and 2.8% can’t legally own guns (some do, some dont).

          So, here’s where this is going: if the overall population has a rate of “problem” of such and such, then that overall must be from combining these sub groups.

          If we assume that the majority of the population pretty much follows the overall average, we can say their prevalence equals the overall average and basically ignore them from here (because they don’t affect the average).

          Convicted felons, prison populations of any kind, have a higher incidence of the noted problems than average. Go look for yourself of percentage of prison populations with a mental health diagnosis, substance abuse problems, impulse control issues, what have you.

          If they’re higher than average, then to get the average Legal Gun Owners have to have a lower than average incidence.

          So, okay, here’s the take home: criminals cause a disproportionate amount of the incidence of “bad” events. Criminals are not legal gun owners, they are excluded. Therefore, on average legal gun owners are proportionally LESS the cause of those same events.

          Really short version: legal gun owners are anti-criminals.

  27. We should not allow ourselves to be dragged into a morass of numbers. Civilian Disarmament vs Individual Rights is NOT about statistics. The Anti-Saloon League (prohibition era) had lots of imposing data about all the problems caused by alcohol.

    There are many dangerous objects and activities that are or should be legal in our society. No one is saying there is zero downside to having 100’s of millions of firearms in the US.

    The biggest hitch to the “reasonable gun law” argument — is not that it is impossible to think of some change in our laws that might be reasonable — it is that no such end result can be found in ANY of the omnibus firearms laws that have been created lately in places like NY, NJ, CT, etc. Furthermore — we need to show that institutions that are creating the legal templates behind these laws — and organizations supporting them — favor massive restrictions and draconian criminalization — but don’t admit it. A bit of homework can show any determined researcher that ALL the “pro-gun-control” groups favor long term goals of restrictions that they don’t discuss as they push for each increment of change.

    You can’t have a dialog with people who don’t recognize the most basic individual rights. Just look at the recent criminalization of BB guns and air-rifles.

      • Ultimately the honest answer (not the one people like to hear) is society. Society says if you defame someone you have to pay, 1st Amendment or no. Society says you have to register to vote (in effect a background check to make certain you are eligible), and society says certain people can’t own guns.

        At the time of the founding the definition of “people” in “right of the people” excluded non-whites, women etc. So in that regard we have come a long way. I agree that the danger of restrictions is they beget more restrictions, but it is politically impossible the US will accept no restrictions on people owning guns, and the Constitution as drafted is fine with that.

        Not ideal, but reality.

        • So who gets to decide what level of infringement is not really infringement? It just seems so very obvious to me that just as soon as we are complacement about letting Congress or the courts or the idividual states determine which of us may or may not exercise any of our natural and civil rights, and to what extent, and where and when, THEY ARE NO LONGER NATURAL AND CIVIL RIGHTS! They then become rights granted to us by the government and therefore rights that can be amended, revised, or repealed at the whim of government. Why/how is this so difficult to understand?

  28. Sorry Robert, but statistical analysis is not your strong point. You can’t simply add up percentages like that. You’re assuming that the people that fall within those percentages are all distinctly separate people when in reality there is probably a large overlap among them. People who are depressed, alcoholic, suffer from rage issues, and commit domestic abuse and rape? I think many of the people who participate in gun violence would fall within at least 3 of those categories. Most likely, that would bring your 13% down to 5% or lower.

    According to the FBI, “In 2011, a total of 478,400 fatal and nonfatal violent crimes were committed with a firearm.” And, “about 61% of nonfatal firearm violence was reported to the police.” Given those figures, we can estimate 784,262 acts of firearm violence in 2011 and probably about the same in 2012, plus or minus 1%. Many of those acts are probably not committed by different people so lets say there are about 400,000 scumbags that committed those crimes. That would be 0.5% of the gun owning population and probably less given the difficulty in determining the number of gun owners – legal or otherwise.

    That said, I can easily think of 10% of the people that I know who should definitely not own a gun.

  29. Don’t try to argue with an idiot. They’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    • I’ve heard it in a different manner…..

      Don’t wrestle with a pig. You get dirty. But the pig enjoys it.

      Is MikieB a ‘pig’? Is properly identifying him as that a violation of the TTAG Rules of Engagement?

      • Mikey is a beast. He wants people defenseless. Why? What are his intentions?

        No one with good intentions wants to render you defenseless. The people who want you defenseless intend to commit some act they believe you will resist, some act so severe you will resist with lethal force.

  30. This will be my last comment on mikeybnumbers post. It is simply to state that while I will dogpile on any comments made by mikey and friends during one of the other postings I will not comment on any posts he is the author of nor will I read them. Same goes for low budget dave and hmmmmmmer. I would much prefer to hear crickets chirping to any of their postings.

    • At least with crickets you can reasonably tell the temperature.
      Not much to be learned from the hmmmm of bad logic.

    • TO: jwm
      RE: Heh

      Sounds like you’re abandoning the battle field.


      [Thanks for playing…..]

      • Chuck, this isn’t a battlefield. It’s just a place to voice opinions. My opinion is it’s a waste of time to give mikeyb this much attention. And if enough of us avoid his postings RF will quit wasting space on him.

        • TO: jwm
          RE: Not a ‘Battle Field’?

          Sorry to burst your bubble but ALL politics is a battlfield.

          Even Sir Winston Churchill admitted to that reality when he said….

          Politics is a lot like warfare. We may even have to use poison gas.

          RE: Time On Target MikeyB

          Spend as much time as you deem appropriate. But don’t totally ignore him.

          Every now and then throw a ‘grenade’ in his direction.

          As I stated earlier in this thread….

          Rebuke a fool according to his folly, lest he become proud in his conceit. — Proverbs


          [All warfare is a test of wills.]



    • I have decided to go jwm’s route on this. I will not read or respond to these posts again, and following this comment, I’m unsubscribing from this post so I don’t see the updates. That decision was cemented when I learned, according to several posts by mikeb above, that this isn’t even his post. It’s his ideas, sort of, but reworked (mikeb30200’s word was “mashup”), so you’re not even arguing with mike, you’re arguing with a strawman. You’re not learning how an anti-gunner things, you’re learning how RF thinks one thinks. That’s not worth my time. Y’all have fun.

      • I’m joining JWM and Matt, and thanks for reminding me to not feed the trolls, even the ones in official positions.

      • Anti-gunners do not think. They simply fear their intended victims may be able to resist them.

  31. Even if your numbers are ballpark – and I doubt this – the assumption that each of these groups (depressive, rapists, etc) don’t overlap is just stupid.

    So which is it? Is Mike-of-many-numbers bad at math? Or is he hoping that the rest of us are bad at math?

  32. No offense to MikeB but I wonder if this exercise would be more profitable if the writer was less on the opposite extreme and more towards what the general population considers the “center”. We might get more out of it i.e. better understanding of those in the center and a sharpening of arguments, as opposed to the being dismissed and unread by much of the community.

    Also, as many, many commenters have said already you can’t count these groups as independent without some serious evidence to back up that claim. The same people often suffer from several different pathologies.

    • You must be new here. This, for mikeb30200, is “more towards center.” This is a guy who has in the past, in perfect seriousness, advocated the removal of gun rights from anyone who has ever dropped a gun. It doesn’t even have to go off. Although, if it does, that’s another one. Removal of gun rights from anyone who ever has a negligent or unintended discharge. Ever. And forever.

      • Actually Matt, what I said is, people who do things wrong with guns, whether that’s innocuously dropping a gun or actually shooting a kid while you’re squirrel hunting, should all face the one-strike-you’re-out rule. What that means is they would appear before a judge who would have the same latitude to apply the appropriate sentence as judges in any other case. Due process would require that, and obviously extenuating circumstances would be considered, like no one what hurt or a kid was killed.

        The great improvement over what we do today would be that those clumsy and stupid gun owners would have documented records of their actions and a reasonable judge would probably not throw the book at them first time out. But repeat offenders would be disarmed, in some cases before they actually killed a kid.

        Now, that’s a little different than the brief example you gave to purposely misrepresent what I said, isn’t it?

        • This seems to place too little emphasis on our current means of dealing with these cases (civil suits and in certain cases criminal negligence) and too much power in the hands of the state.

          Would you support a “one strike” rule for defamation? What about for parenting? I am legitimately curious. If you want a world of exacting standards for all human endeavors and constitutionally protected rights that is one thing, but just guns is another.

          Either way seems like a bad idea and incredibly taxing on justice system resources to boot.

        • I think anyone who advocates rendering the populace defenseless should lose their 1st Amendment rights.

          • “I think anyone who advocates rendering the populace defenseless should lose their 1st Amendment rights.”

            “Rendering the populace??????” This must be an example of that “absurdum” argument.

            • “Mr & Mrs America, turn them all in”.

              Those are the words used by Dianne Feinstein stating what her aim would be if she could get the votes in Senate.

              Who is in denial now?

    • There is NOTHING to be gotten out of Mikey Numbers but frustration, headaches and misery. I say this at the risk of somehow empowering someone who, in all likelihood, has power issues.

  33. My Name happens to be Mike, but I’m not THAT Mike. Now that we’ve got that cleared up…

    Old joke, but while we’re using “statistics” to prove things…

    The population of this country is 237 million.
    104 million are retired. That leaves 133 million to do the work.
    There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.
    Of this there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work.
    2.8 million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work.
    Take from the total the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.
    At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.
    Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons. That leaves just two people to do the work. You and me.
    And you’re sitting at your computer reading this!

    In conclusion, math can prove anything and 73% of all statistics are made up. So while this post is an interesting thought experiment, that’s all it’ll ever be.

    • Mike,

      U.S. population is 313.9 million…
      Other than that, I enjoy your statistical shenanigans.

      • Thus the introduction of “it’s an old joke”. I literally copy and pasted it from the intert00bz. I wish I was clever enough to come up with that mathematic wizardry off the cuff.

  34. Is it just me, or is it really bothersome that he keeps saying “theory” instead of “hypothesis?” They are very, very different things. A theory can actually be supported by evidence; this garbage is someone just pulling numbers out of their butt and trying to make it sound scientific. /rant

  35. I agree with this article, for the most part. There are some people who shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun.

    In our form of government, my opinions don’t matter on this topic any more than they would matter if I expressed a similar opinion about free speech. The Bill of Rights expresses fundamental human rights that may not be removed from individuals, and that has a certain sublime beauty.

  36. Everyone, the numbers are MEANINGLESS. Let’s say 50% of Americans are “ineligible” for gun ownership. So what? How does that justify curtailing the right to own a gun? Magazine capacity limits and “assault weapon” bans don’t get guns out of the hands of lunatics and wife-beaters. They only re-distribute the restrictions: instead of “bad” people having no guns and “good” people having them, everyone has watered down gun rights and the insane and criminal have more gun than they should, while the law abiding have less.

    Even if 50% of America shouldn’t have guns, the other 50% of us still have the protection of the Second Amendment. If we’re rushing to provide new marriage rights for 3% of the population, why is it so hard to preserve clear Constitutional rights for 50% (or 90%, as the case may be)?

  37. Law abiding gun owners are law abiding. Argument is invalid.
    law abiding gun owners are more law abiding than the law abiding public without guns.

    • I once got a response to that very question from some anti: “What part of ‘well regulated militia’ don’t you get?”

      I answered, “The part where people try to twist it around in an effort to change the meaning of ‘shall not be infringed’ to ‘may be shat upon at the whim of the power elite.'”

      He hasn’t answered back yet.

  38. I’d say this comes closer to meeting the definition of a hypothesis than a theory. One aspect I suspect you’re failing to adequately account for is overlap between groups – i.e. domestic violence and drug/alcohol abuse. Of course there are people out there who should not own guns, for various reasons. However, simply denying these people firearms will not necessarily deter them from the mayhem they cause, nor will it necessarily prevent them from actually acquiring a firearm. It may even create a false sense of security.

    There are serious concerns about how to go about abridging people’s constitutionally protected rights. This necessitates due process, as well as a review process for restoration of rights. It usually can’t kick in until someone has already done something dangerous or illegal, anyway.

    Also, a lot of these groups are already “prohibited persons” – Federal and state laws already criminalize possession of firearms for addicts, those who have had a protective order filed against them, those who have been convicted of even misdemeanor domestic violence, anyone who has been convicted of a felony, etc. Such a broad brush approach to restricting voting rights would not be tolerated in this country, and I don’t see how the right to keep and bear arms is any different.

    Finally, is there any actual evidence that laws limiting gun ownership have a significant impact on crime? From everything I’ve been able to put together, there is actually little to no correlation between firearms ownership rates and violent crime, so ultimately I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. Going after the visible symptoms, rather than the root cause of the problem. I know that’s a lot easier than treating the disease, but it’s not going to be terribly effective.

  39. the major fault with these numbers (other than what was already discussed) is that it is assumed that there is no overlap between the figures. there is nothing that says all or most of the spouse abousers are also drug users, yet the figures are totalled as if they are.

  40. Hey Mike Numbers,

    let’s find something in the bill of rights you like, and I can spend time coming up with BS stats to justify taking that right away. Let’s start with the 1st amendment. are you willing to get licensed, and have your “content” (sic)reviewed in advance by a gov’t censor after a wait and paying a fee? What about your 4th Amendment rights? What about 5th? or 6th? Hell, let’s get to your 8th amendment rights to cruel and unusual punishment. Let’s have you get tortured and have to pay the gov’t to stop it. . . . . this is a dangerous road you are headed down.

    A better approach is to identify things that should disqualify someone from losing a civil right and enforce those laws . . . . evenly and balance with other rights.

  41. MikeB302000,

    According to the federal CDC, it is estimated that 15-20% of straight couples experience some form or degree of domestic violence. The federal government every several years or so changes the criteria they use to define domestic abuse ie rolling one’s eyes disrespectfully at your spouse is now considered abuse courtesy of the pro-male-control factions of society. The last time (a few years back) the CDC released stats on domestic violence on straight couples , women were responsible for 50-70% of cases for initiating domestic violence when the struck partner ie victim (the man) did not retaliate. Among teen (minors) couples, slightly more couples stated the girl struck the boy rather than the other way around. Among women+women couples, the domestic violence rate is one in three. A woman is safer in a relationship with a man than another woman. The National Organization of Witches err I meant Womyn uh Women is not a source to rely upon and neither is the mass media and academia. Get your facts accurate before making statements.

    You stated that 1% of women report being raped and that the real number not reported is 16X fold. Where does that last number come from?? Get real. This is not 1965 when being raped was an embarrassment. These days the accuser is treated like a royal victim and the accused like a criminal before and during the trial. Have you ever thought to consider the reality that well over 50% of rapes are false rape allegations? This may come as a shock to you yet women do viciously lie and rationalize their feelings into wrong and absurd claims they insist are true.

    • The 16x number comes from organizations who use it to whine for more funding. It’s a lie.

  42. 1st wrong assumption: Those groups are not the same people and are indeed groups made up of people who have only one of those “issues” and not all of them.

    2nd wrong assumption: every assumption in the article.

    If you want to do this right, correlate the FBI crime statistics with how many crimes were committed by gun owners who are not “prohibited persons”. Now you have a base number of gun owners who legally own weapons, who shouldn’t have owned them based on the fact that they committed a crime.

    Until you have verifiable data based on real numbers, you are just proving the point of the gun rights advocate – Low information gun control proponents rely on emotion to prove their point, because they do not have the actual data to do so.

    This doesn’t even take into consideration the idea that criminals who have paid their debt to society still should have the means to defend themselves.

  43. Who would not be baffled when, even more irritating than a ex’s latest filing for adjustment of support, a notorious anti-gun click-bait artist with a self-admitted criminal past appears on a firearms website? If Mikey will fill out the form, I’ll be happy to pay the fee to watch Mikey fail a NICS check, if he’s returned to the US. Lacking the slightest inclination to back claims couched in statistical language with actual links to relevant databases, Mikey fills his time attempting to inspire good regard in left-wing politicians, hoping, I have no doubt, that his efforts may earn him, eventually, a pardon. What a shameful approach to his goal, firearms rights denial, that he would take the opening lines of a noble poem, “singing of arms and a man…,” for his site’s epigraph. We might as well, with the same degree of benefit, zero, be reading a habitual scofflaw’s anonymously-written views on the spirit of justice. If I wanted to read Mikey’s opinions, obviously I would go to HIS website. I haven’t. So it’s come to me?

    • This.

      We’re just fortunate he didn’t cite his own blog as a reference again.

      I have always enjoyed Mikey’s concern for the occupational health of criminals.

      • Laugh. Yep. “An a pirate’s just an honest working man.” G&S. Long ago, many years ago, MikeyB posted a description (which I still have on disk) of what seemed to be his need to have a shotgun to defend a drug transaction in Las Vegas. Apparently in retirement, he still rues the ‘avoidable’ danger of such work. You nailed it. Guns have apparently spoiled that calling for many.

  44. ITT we learn that MikeyB doesn’t understand a thing about statistics. But he’s anti-gun, so we knew that already.

  45. Without even analyzing the rationale used to arrive at percentages for each group, there is a serious logical flaw in simply adding them together: you’re assuming there is no overlap (or not more than the overlap accounting for 13% reduced to 10%) among membership in each of these group. Using the same logic, I could postulate 100 different reasons why someone might use a gun irresponsibly or violently, provide a conservative estimate of 1% for each reason, then use the sum total to argue that nobody should own a gun.

    Yes, I saw some attempt to account for this (like the rape number reduced to 1%), but the numbers and data and sources are all so fuzzy that I couldn’t place confidence in the final 10% conclusion any higher than opinion. For example, using a number like “only 16% of rapes are reported” to estimate how many unique rapists there are is wildly unscientific. It doesn’t matter to me if you had concluded 1% or 30%; the method by which you drew that conclusion is unreliable.

    My biggest problem with your argument, however, is simply a personal disagreement with your approach: you start from reasons you believe people should not own guns and work forward to estimate how many people you should fear / mistrust. I find this process inherently pessimistic of human nature, and I take exception to that.

    Furthermore, you tried to make a point about gun owners being comfortable with the “us against them” mentality, but are guilty of the same when you argue that “[i]t is from their very midst, from this 10% that we have a significant ‘people flow.'” [emphasis mine].

    So, here’s an argument in favor of gun rights without any “us against them” diviseness: I believe that mankind is inherently good. We have, what, almost 7 billion people on the planet? 300 million in the U.S.? And while we have wars and violence and tragedy ever ongoing somewhere, the norm for most of us is a predominantly peaceful existence and functioning society.

    My default position, then, is that people are inherently good and should be trusted with firearms and freedom. Unless they cannot be. My approach to figuring out “who should not have a gun,” then, would necessarily start with actual cases of violence and irresponsible gun handling, and work backwards, looking for any logical trends that might justify removing or suspending someone’s right to keep and bear arms. And even in those cases I find it equally important to define a path to restoration of those rights, because I believe in redemption.

    Naturally, any numbers I might come up with will be smaller than yours because my method is biased against removing someone’s RKBA. And, yes, some of the people my approach would allow to KBA will abuse that right and do terrible things. But the same is true of your approach. As long as free will exists, so too does the ability for anyone to willfully inflict harm. You’ll never achieve “safety” until you remove all free will; do you really think that’s a worthwhile tradeoff?

    • “you believe people should not own guns and work forward to estimate how many people you should fear / mistrust.”

      You could also say I start from the belief that people who are qualified SHOULD own guns if they want to. Even in my recent post, I accept that about 50% of the current lawful gun owners are fit and responsible and should be allowed to continue owning and using guns.

      That’s not extremist or fanatical. Gun control extremists want no guns in civilian hands.

        • Rob Crawford, your recent half-a-dozen comments are among the stupidest I’ve seen over here. I’m not a fanatic of gun control who thinks civilian gun ownership should be eliminated. But, I don’t accept that so many unqualified and dangerous people should be able to call themselves lawful gun owners.

          That’s not wanting to disarm everyone, as your lying comments accuse me of.

          Guys like you always make me wonder, if you really had such a good argument, why would you resort to such nonsense as that? Why do you have to exaggerate what I say? Isn’t what I actually do say bad enough for you? Sure it is. I suppose it’s simply because you and the others like you wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you on the ass.

  46. I’d surmise that the same people you identify in this post are also people who shouldn’t have children. Do you support a license to reproduce? Who should be sterilized, and who gets to make that decision?

    Keeping in mind that there is no such thing as a right to reproduction, but there is a right to keep and bear arms on the books.

  47. Only 1 number or statistic counts with me.
    The number of CWP holders who have lost their permits nationally in a given time period.
    While I don’t know that number.
    Im willing to “theorize” its well under .001 of 1 percent.
    Statistically irrelevant.

  48. So perhaps we should re-name the site The Truth About Anti-Gunnies?
    Well I guess if it generates Buzz and extra Hits it serves a porpoise (among other marine mammals)

  49. Why should suicidal people be prohibited from ending their lives in a fairly painless and humane manner without the interference of government?

  50. Using statistics for concealed carry permit holders, we know that the likelihood of them “going bad” is far less than 1%.

    Fearing the random stranger with an NRA sticker on his or her car is not based on reason. It’s based on an emotion-driven political response.

  51. I gave him about 3 and a half paragraphs then skimmed the rest. I don’t like academic constructs that try to underscore a position on an issue without concrete data points.

    It’s like trying to argue that Obamacare is going to lower the cost of healthcare while increasing the quality and availability.

  52. Read “400 years of Gun Control” by Howard Nemerov. Stats aplenty in an intelligent and usable form.

  53. Some people probably shouldn’t drive, have kids, talk on a cell phone, or simply exist because of one reason or another. Yet the government is not there to go around taking people’s reproductive rights, confiscating drivers licenses and cars, or phones unless they have committed a crime. That is how rights and freedoms work in a society where people are innocent until proven guilty. In the above scenario who would enforce the theory of 10%? Also, some of those numbers are crossovers, not every alcoholic shoots people, and just because you are depressed doesn’t mean you will commit suicide. Finally, there are about 1.3 million gun crimes a year. Based on the 10% theory there should be around 8 million. Bad math+ bad political ideology = bad.

  54. There’s an old study called the 80-20 principle. It basically says and proves that in most cases 80% of the value comes from 20% of the product. If you want to test the 80-20 idea just look at your snail mail… 8 out of 10 items are circulars, flyers, credit card offers, – trash. About 2 out of 10 are your bills and things you need. (I didn’t say like or want – just need). As a long-time supervisor in my profession 80% of my challenges and problems came from 20% of my subordinates, bosses, customers, and equipment. I stand with you on this one, from what I see at the shooting range (another propane tank, REALLY! wasn’t the last one, the one with the old TV enough!) I think you called it 20% works anecdotally if nothing else.

  55. The pesky little problem with freedoms is that there is an inherent necessary increase in the responsibility required by individuals. There’s simply no way around it. Either you’re for more freedoms or less, because ‘status quo’ always turns into less freedom.

  56. Some people have the RKBA and others don’t because you’re not comfortable with them. Roger, got it. Until none of us do.

    Same statist drivel as always Mikey.

    Robert, if we are to have anti-RKBA contributors on TTAG can you find one that has some fresh ideas and a little more credibility.

  57. I’ve taken numerous courses in statistics, and am state certified in a field where I apply the knowledge I from these classes in my daily profession. While I won’t go so far as to say there are zero current legal gun owners that should not own firearms, I can confidently say that the methodology you utilized to quantify that percentage is glaringly incorrect. What you attempted wouldn’t even be acceptable as a “quick and dirty” or ” back of the envelope” rough estimation. You can’t work with statistics without at least a basic understanding of statistical analysis. You are also ignorant of what the figures you are starting with are actually measuring or how they were quantified or collected. For example, have you ever heard of a repeat offender, or possibly heard of someone found guilty of multiple infractions at one time? The amount of fail that I see with your calculation is actually causing me physical pain. If I were in a court, without doing any prior preparation other than reading what you wrote. I could testify to two things. The actual percentage is not zero (using your basis, not mine, for who “should” not own guns), and it is also, with 100% certainty, not what you came up with. Even as a ballpark estimate. Not even close.

  58. Your numbers make no sense. Here are some real studies.

    Despite initial worries about Kansas’ concealed carry laws, it seems as if the state has done a good job of weeding out malcontents who hoped to have a pistol strapped to their side.
    Since the law took effect in 2007, the state has issued 51,078 concealed carry permits. Of those, 44 permit holders have been charged with a crime committed while using a firearm and 17 had their licenses revoked.
    That comes to less that 1 percent of permit holders who broke the law, or one in every 1,161 permit holders.
    Opponents of the concealed carry law initially speculated that the law would create the opportunity for more lawlessness and criminal activity among permit holders. Supporters argued that those seeking a concealed carry permit would prove to be more law abiding than the general public, thanks to thorough background checks.
    The supporters’ position has proven true. In 2011, the overall Kansas crime index or crimes per 1,000 people was 32.8; for violent crimes it was 3.4. The rate among concealed carry permit holders amounts to less than one crime per 1,000 people.

    A recent study in Texas backs up this conclusion: Concealed carry permit holders do not use guns to commit crimes and they commit crimes of any nature much less frequently than the general population of Texas.

    The Texas Department of Public Safety published a list of crimes committed in Texas in 2011 by everyone convicted and by those convicted who also held CCL’s. The bottom line: Concealed carry permit holders commit less than 1% of the crimes. If you want to be exact, they committed two tenths of one percent of the crimes in 2011. And not all of those involved firearms or violence.

    • alanhinMN, you said so simply and well what MikeyB tried and failed to counter with pages of confused drivel. Good on you.

    • Nailed it!
      As is typical in most anti-gun arguments, the author negates his entire argument before he begins with the statement that, “much of this is not quantifiable.” And like most anti-gun arguments, the statistics used completely ignore the real and very available statistics which disprove this article.
      Other comments (Jay also in Florida and BeninMA) alluded to those statistics, but alanhinMN finally mentioned them. Nor should we forget the statistics from Florida and North Carolina which corroborate these. The fact – overlooked by the author of the article – is that many (most?) of the individuals who shouldn’t own guns, don’t own guns.
      That said; this article does exactly what RF said it would – give us insight into how the anti-gun crowd thinks – and I thank him for that.

  59. If those numbers are correct, and they certainly could be, I would say it’s not about limiting gun ownership as much as it clearly should be about disallowing those people continued freedom in society. Someone here said it best, and I’m paraphrasing, “if your not responsible enough to own a gun, your not responsible enough to participate in society”.

    Does stopping the production of panel vans or controlling who buys them stop child molesters? I think not. If Mr./Ms. Wackjob doesn’t have a gun, and flips his/her lid and only murders 3 people vs 10, well that’s great, right? Unless your one of the three people…cause then it still sucks pretty hard.

    If “those people” would refocus their efforts on culling Mr. Wackjob from society or even perhaps helping or fixing them, then maybe you could actually save some people.

  60. I will happily concede that there are some people who probably shouldn’t have access to firearms. But it doesn’t matter, because in order to deprive them of a fundamental liberty, due process requires that they be adjudicated as belonging to one of the categories of prohibited persons.

    Almost all of the categories of people listed in this article ALREADY would be prohibited from owning a weapon if they had been convicted of the appurtenant crime, or designated mentally deficient by a court.

    That actual interesting argument would be the one where you try to argue that people who HAVE NOT been adjudicated as a prohibited person, should be legally prohibited from firearms ownership, because…

    Go on, I dare you.

  61. So by the same logic …

    What fraction of the population shouldn’t be allowed to vote, because they’re too stupid or immature or self- centered?

    Who shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce because they’re too prone to cancer, or have poor eyesight, or are otherwise a net drain on society?

    Who shouldn’t be given access to medical care, because the cost of keeping them alive represents a net negative return on investment?

  62. First: MikeB302000, thank you for sharing your hypothesis and the statistics you’re using to develop it. The Internet is filled with unsourced propaganda posted by zealots of various stripes, so it’s good and healthy for people to look at their beliefs and candidly debate the assumptions underlying them.

    Second: I’d also like to thank those people assessing and analyzing MikeB’s conclusions. If we are going to prevent foolish and ill-advised government schemes to “prevent gun violence” and “protect the children”, we need both passion and skilled analysis. This is good practice.

    Third: I agree that there are SOME people who “should not” own guns. I strongly believe that your analysis is fatally flawed, but I’ll agree with the core idea. The crucial flaw that I see is the psychological difference between those people willing to shoot another human being and those who are unwilling. I work in a prison and have reviewed literally thousands of inmate files. People who intentionally kill other people are generally not normal members of the general population: Many of the people in the categories you cited would never shoot another person, despite their other terrible behavioral flaws. This makes simple analyses such as yours hideously imprecise: You’re not measuring the right variables.

    Fourth: I fear that this approach to determining who “should” or “should not” own guns is a dangerous line of reasoning. Anti-gun politicians have repeatedly “carved out” little niches of society for special treatment regarding guns. This sort of analysis facilitates the same sort of reasoning they favor. “Ex-Cops can have guns, because they’ve proven themselves, but those with a history of domestic abuse certainly can’t, because we must PROTECT THE CHILDREN.” By pitching overly-broad prohibitions on various categories of potential gun owner, they can slowly eat away at everyone’s gun rights. Each of those categories includes people who “shouldn’t have guns”, but the government would lay down the law to ban everyone in the category from possessing arms.

    • “Many of the people in the categories you cited would never shoot another person, despite their other terrible behavioral flaws.”

      The same could be said of any group of people. Take all the folks who have lost there driver’s license for driving drunk. Many of them would never do it again, but the thinking is we can’t take a chance on them because some of them would.

      It’s the same with gun owners who have debilitating handicaps like alcohol or drug abuse or mental illness. We can’t take a chance on them because some of them will surely act badly.

      You mentioned killing, but the harm that unfit gun owners do is not limited to killing others. The 50% that I’d like to disarm are responsible for more then their share of stolen guns, they’re responsible for more than their share of private sales without background checks to disqualified people. In other words, the bad 50% are responsible for almost all the problems.

  63. Go to any college or high school and hand this in as a term paper. See what grade you get.

  64. I reject his version of reality and substitute it with actual reality. In other words, E my S, AD.

    That is all.

  65. I think that the math behind this is flawed. The first 1%, good guys who go bad. How did we come up with this 1% number?

    But, even larger than that, are you saying that these wouldn’t be grouped together in some way? Even if the numbers were true in the individual groups, I am sure there would be lots of overlap and not get up to the 10% total number.

    This is more conjecture than anything else.

  66. I’m going to engage.

    Category by Category:

    Good guys who go bad. Well some do but many “good guys” just haven’t been caught yet so they aren’t really good guys. They can legally purchase firearms until the get caught and convicted. So the 1 million number is not really 1 million good guys.

    Alcoholics and drug addicts. Good point on drug addicts. Whether drugs are legal or not most drug addicts can’t hold a job and are potential criminals. But hold on about those Alcoholics. Every here about functional drunks? They go through most of life without hurting anybody unless they kill someone with their car. If your worried about a drunk committing suicide with his gun then you don’t seem to understand that he can simply drink himself to death. That’s what a friend of mind did.

    Depression: Like drunks, depressives aren’t going to kill people. They are suicide risks. Take away their guns and they will hang themselves, drink themselves to death, jump off of bridges, step in front of trains or take pills.

    Rage: Ill defined concept. I can get enraged and never think of pulling my gun. In fact carrying one is almost like tranquilizing agent. You know you can’t get mad. If rage was really a factor then we see all sort of blood in the streets. It just doesn’t happen.

    Domestic abuse. Abusers are already prohibited persons.

    Sexual assault. Like abusers, they are prohibited persons after apprehension.

    You grossly overestimate the number of legal gun owners who are a threat.

    • tdiinva, it sounds like you basically agree with my categories but in a self-serving way you won’t admit how common these problems are among gun owners.

      You’re right about the good guys who go bad are not really good guys. The presumption of innocence demands that we consider them as such. I sometimes call them hidden criminals.

    • Well, Mike if you bothered to read you would understanding that agreeing to the categories does not mean agreeing without your assumptions. Particularly in the matter of alcoholics and depressives, two of the biggest categories; these are people who only are threat to themselves whether they own guns or not.

      A downside of living in a free society is that the presumption of innocence where in order to respect individual rights and the rule law you have pay the price of never caught criminals engaging in crime. The alternative is to treat all people as criminals and repress them.

      There is a famous Soviet Era novel called “The Trial Begins.” by Andrei Sinyavsky, writing as Abram Tertz, that describes the kind of society that presumes guilt. Perhaps you should read it.

  67. Didn’t read the article. Just clicked in to mention that life is too short to waste time reading the same old nonsense from the likes of MikeB. TTAG may indeed boost traffic by giving him a podium, and of course that’s their prerogative, however sleazy and cynical it might be. But if that’s the goal, why not post nudie pics in every article? Would accomplish the same goal and be a lot less sleazy.

  68. soooo…. 90% of gun owners are responsible and using firearms for lawful purposes. Excellent! Based on that statistic I would say let citizens be innocent until proven guilty and the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  69. Let’s use the same logic, to decide who SHOULD have a gun.
    percent who might be violently mugged = 20%
    percent who might be raped = 10%
    percent who might be be assaulted in their home = 10%
    percent who might be assaulted in their workplace = 10%
    percent who might suffer from gang violence = 10%
    percent who might be attacked with a knife = 10%
    percent who might be attacked with a gun = 20%
    percent who might suffer a wild animal attack = 10%
    percent who might need to hunt for food = 10%
    percent who might suffer under an oppressive government = 10%
    There. Irrefutable proof that 120% of the population should own guns.

    mikebnummers, I’m a liberal too. And you are really giving us a bad name.

  70. So you’re presuming that all of these elements are additive and are not being counted twice e.g. depressed alcoholics? In addition, you’re presuming a completely normal distribution between the general population and lawful gun owners. You honestly think the methodology you’ve employed is statistically sound?

    I personally love a good debate, that’s how the best ideas get vetted and ultimately chosen. But what you’ve presented here is tantamount to the type of logic you’d get when asking a room of 5th graders to solve a problem.

    Might I suggest a little pre-reading for you?

  71. Hey RF, thanks for the social experiment! Let’s get back to our regularly scheduled program.

  72. I love the math!

    So if 55% of TV viewers don’t watch the morning news and 55% of TV viewers skip the evening news, then 110% of TV viewers don’t watch the news at all.

    It’s actually a common mistake. Population fractions of non-independent variables can’t be added. It’s easy to forget that when the percentages are small. Or, easy to convince unwary readers .

  73. Allah dammit, people. The entire point of posting pro-gun control posts is to piss people off and get page views… . And you guys fell for it.

    As I said before, if I wanted to read this crap I’d get the New York Times.

  74. A final comment, if anyone bothers to read this far down the page – if every American is not (illegally) prohibited from keeping and bearing arms (and this can only mean also the right to actually USE those arms n self defense), the small percentage who should not own guns, by whatever criteria may be established, will quickly cull themselves from society by their improper behavior and the appropriate reponse from their armed neighbors. Problem solved.

    I expect the prison populations would decline as well.

  75. Glad to see you’re so openminded, Mikey. To quote an 80’s rock song: SUCK ON MY BIG 10″!

  76. As an attempt at statistical justification, MikeB’s thinking makes a good teapot.

  77. I’ve warned people before: I am long winded. Select and utilize the coping mechanism most suitable to your individual circumstances. (AKA Deal With It).

    Hypothesis: a guess, sometimes also a WAG (wild azz guess) or SWAG (Scientific Wild Azz Guess)

    Theory: a hypothesis which has been tested against data and is supported. Still doesn’t mean it’s right, just that it “seems to work as far as we can tell”.

    Lacking any testing, you have at best a hypothesis. However, since you propose no mechanism or relation between cause and effect, it’s not a hypothesis either.

    You have a calculation. Well, an attempt at one. It’s pretending to be one. But the math is all kinds of wrong. Maybe we could call it a generalization.

    Now, statistics errors. First, you cannot add these groups as they are not separable. Or, the groups do overlap. A lot (as in wife beaters, rapists, and road ragers tend to be the same people, possibly in a frat, or Jersy Shore). Plus, you did not account for repeat and multiple offenders in each category. Each burglary would disqualify someone, but one person could have multiple burglaries (I’ve personally seen five convictions for one person and have heard of higher). With recidivism rates around 40% ( a good chunk of those currentlybarred would be previously barred (over 70% of inmates have a prior conviction, So a lot of that total were already disqualified, but that math-like stuff is getting hard and the deceased equine sufficiently beaten.

    Finally, the conclusion is internally flawed. If there are 40,000,000 gun owners you would disarm (50% fo 80 million, but I’d say the number of gun owners is probably much higher) because of the risk they pose…then the gun “problem” would be WAY worse. Even if 10% of the population is such a risk you won’t let them have guns…but there are about 7,000,000 people under some form of correctional supervision [jail, prison, probation, ect] at the end of 2011 [most recent year I found the info for]. This is about 1 in 34 of the total population, or a number around one sixth of just the gun owners you would ban. (

    So, assume that everyone under the supervision of the state was a gun owner and every one of them should not have guns and nobody else ever did anything wrong and STILL only a bit under One in Six of the people you want to disarm are actually criminal. That’s about five times over inclusive. No thanks, that is not the kind of narrowly tailored law necessary to restrict a fundamental right (I’ll give a pass to the important government interest).

    Suppose we take that 1 in 34 number, which is more like what you did by assuming a similar percentage to the general population. One in 34 people did something bad enough to be under correctional supervision (keeping in mind it looks like a parole on a misdemeanor counts the same as life in prison in these numbers). Translate to gun population the same rate of 1 in 34 and your 50% is now more like 3%. If gun owners matched the general population.

    But we know they don’t. Specifically, permit holders have a much lower incidence of criminal conviction than the general population. Something like 1 in 1000 permit holders get revoked. Generalize to gun owners (who often have much the same requirements just to purchase a gun, especially handguns, and exactly the same background check) and gun owners are now a LOWER risk population than the average citizen, possibly by a factor of 30 or so. (–concealed-carry, I could find others, but have no reason to bother).

    I’ll take the same kind of arbitrary factors you used and say that gun owners in general are ten times more dangerous than carry permit holders and we still only get 11 out of 1000, or 1.1%, or 880,000 of your 80,000,000? Sheesh, better make them a hundred times more dangerous and then we get near the 8,000,000 mark for 10%.

    So, instead of calculating from the population and eliminating a similar percentage of gun owners, we can take the same procedure and calculate from known permit holders and building to gun owners and show a much safer population.

    Still bad math.

    And, it logically fails as a general proposition. You reach 50% (or 10%) by generalizing from the population as a whole. That means not just 50% of gun owners, but half of everyone (because a lot of them just don’t happen to own guns, but should not own them even if they wanted to, based on your assumptions). Seriously? You think half of everyone shouldn’t have guns? Even one in ten is high for the average population that would really be any sort of danger with a gun, in my opinion. You talk about 40 million gun owners, but you really mean 158,000,000 Americans (half).

    Personally, if you can’t be trusted with a firearm you can’t be trusted in public unsupervised. I really think it’s that simple.

    • I am so glad that you did this so that I didn’t have to… I ‘like’ how he adds percentages of the same people together to make it appear that each group is mutually exclusive, rather than commonly inclusive.. Typical gun grabber logic.. and lest we forget he seems to be an ‘expert’ on what makes up categories of people who shouldn’t own guns.. projection much???!?

  78. It sure seems to me like he actually proved that the number is in the neighborhood of 1%, using the “good guys who turn bad” number. Everything else is fluff and bullshit, since it assumes that every criminal is a legal gun owner, when by definition they are not legally allowed to own guns. The real number is easy to find if the people who keep the stats (you hear me FBI and DOJ?). All you need to do is quantify whether the person *legally possessed* their firearm when they committed their crime/crimes. This means that they acquired it through legal means and were not prohibited persons at the time.

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