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“The medical theory of ‘herd immunity’ posits that enough vaccinated individuals in a population can reduce the risk of contracting a disease — even for those who aren’t vaccinated. From the experience in Illinois and around the country, a relatively small number of armed people can similarly reduce the risk of crime — even for those who aren’t armed. So if you don’t own a gun but you are enjoying safer nights out on the town or sleeping more easily in your bed at night, give a little thanks to your neighbors who are gun owners. You’re the beneficiary of gun ‘herd immunity.’” – Paul Hseih in Herd Immunity Applies to Guns as Well as Vaccinations [at]


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  1. Wanna REALLY make their blood boil? Insist that non gun owners pay a penalty every year, to cover the costs incurred by responsible gun owners. Use the fees to give free NRA training to anyone that wants it. And when they complain, point out that we’re not forcing THEM to buy a gun, just taking their money if they don’t and “we learned it by watching YOU, alright!”

    • And what we learned is to start real small, like $2 a year, then as people get used to it, increase it by leaps and bounds. “$2 doesn’t cover our costs anymore, we’re only raising it to $5!” Then $10, then $50, then $500, boy, what fun.

    • The same statists who insist that we the people forfeit our right to making informed medical decisions and submit to government mandated vaccines?

      • there are no requirements to vaccinate your kids or your self, but out of curiosity what we’ll informed decision is there besides vaccination? Besides a compromised immune system or being relatively sure a specific disease is unlikely to effect your area.

        • I’m not an anti vaxxer. At all. But every medicine, even over the counter ones, have risks. You can usually read or hear a laundry list of them on any given pill bottle or at the end of a prescription medicine’s commercial.

          It’s not impossible for a rational person to decide that a given disease is more tolerable than the possible side effects listed in the information that the very company who makes the vaccine releases (even if the chances of those side effects are small).

        • Drew, vaccines are mandatory unless you obtain exemptions, which are currently under increasing attack. Some states only allow medical exemptions; yes the same MD’s asking you or your children if there are guns in the house will also be determining who has the right to make personal, informed medical decisions. If you haven’t done the research on vaccines, and have relied solely on what you have been told by the media and medical industry to make your informed medical decisions, then you probably should consider doing some research.

        • @JR, law vary from state to state, but ALL states have vaccine laws on the books which require Hep B within 24hours of birth. People can bypass the remaining vax schedule requirements with homeschooling, but the vax requirements will surface again with day care, town sports, all sorts of things. Unless people can produce exemptions, they will not be allowed in public schools, day care, and all sorts of things.

        • Still lacking citation that there is any BLANKET requirement for vaccines. There are requirements for children attending PUBLIC schools. Your child is exposing and is exposed to many potential carriers on a daily basis. Not vaxing your child puts not only YOUR child at risk, but also the other children and their families. The risks of routine vaccinations are statistically non-existent and has been covered to death already.

          The anti-science and tinfoil is strong with this one.

        • @grind, your opinion that risks from vaccines are nearly non existent effectively labels you as someone who has spent little to no time actually researching this, and as someone who relies solely on what the mass media (Bloomberg, CNN, pick the rest) and the medical industry tells you to believe. You are not credible on this this.

        • @grind, present your own data. If you’re really interested in obtaining the best information, get off your ass and look for it. That ‘show some data’ is a lazy cop out. Very little in this world is black and white, and many things require critical thinking based on many sources of information. I’m not willing to do your homework for you, but thanks for playing.

        • My own data for what? You made the first claim, now back it up. Your anti-science anti-vax bullshit doesn’t stand up to actual criticism and you know it.

  2. To the anti’s the gun owners are the unvaccinated putting all their gun-free children at risk.

    They don’t believe guns are used in defense of self even when shown a clear and obvious case of such.
    They don’t believe that a good guy with a gun stops/deters/delays a bad guy with a gun.
    They don’t believe good guys can have guns. Even the police. As much as the anti’s love the state and the power it holds over life and death they still see agents of the state as simple servants to be shit upon when not being used to pump up support for their next god political candidate.

    As fun as this is to read it’s just more choir preaching.

  3. This is exactly what I’ve been saying. And it’s exactly why morons like Piers Morgan don’t get it. They believe that we think everyone needs to be armed in order to solve our current problems, which we all recognize as a straw man. The way Morgan presented himself when talking to John Lott, it’s pretty clear that he had never read his book beyond the title.

    • I believe that the ideal ratio of armed to unarmed adults is 1 in 6. When 1 out of every 6 adults is armed in public, violent crime in public will pretty much stop entirely.

      Think about it. Would you pick a person at random and try to rob or rape them when their is a 1 in 6 chance that the victim is armed? Only the most absolutely desperate and truly insane people would proceed with violent crime at that point.

      To further emphasize the benefit, a violent criminal will also have to adjust their calculus for groups. Thinking about robbing the liquor store with two cashiers and two patrons? You will probably be facing armed resistance in 2 out of 3 such events. Thinking of robbing a person on the street in the midst of 5 other people? You are almost guaranteed to face armed resistance.

      • Herd immunity and those types of theories say that you need roughly 75% to 83% of the population to be protected from certain disease or other things. IMHO, you need 25% to 33% of people packing to make a difference. If they bad guy knows he has a 1 in 4 or 1 in 3 chance of being ventilated, that risk will be very high. The more bad guys being shot and killed and the more media stories talking about the bad guys being shot and killed will lead to fewer bad guys taking a chance.

      • Then you would start seeing a rise in burglaries at yoga studios, natural food co-ops, and teacher supply stores. Ratio would be much lower there.

    • They also like to interpret our support for the freedom to chose to carry as a call to force people to carry or to GIVE guns out through some sort of welfare system. It’s a reflection of their inner landscape, they really can’t convieve of freedom as we do. For the record though i feel it is well within the authority and responsibility of state and federal governments to arm the public in response to significant criminal or terroristic threats. If armed militias had been formed during the 70s and 89s in specific neighborhoods in response to the spike in violent crime I think far fewer people would have died these last few decades.

  4. Just as it takes only a few human predators to create suffering and misery for the many, it only takes a few good people to reduce the suffering caused by the few.

    My only obstacle to being able to protect myself and others from the predators are those people that I have sworn to protect.

    I have also known, have experienced, and accept that when I put my life on the line to stop the depredations of the few, that it is very likely no one else will be there backing me up.

    How far we have fallen.

    At one time, and is still the case in a few places, that the many would have chased down the few that was causing harm.

    Not so much the case anymore.

  5. The left’s response would be to simply deny that crime is down and list an anecdotal incident of some child being killed (with a gun) as proof. Trying to reason with the unreasonable is a futile exercise.

    • Unfortunately, you are correct. You cannot reason with another person who has no interest in letting you live your life. You cannot even “negotiate” infringements in your life with such a person unless you have force to back up your negotiated infringement.

      This is why appeasement strategy never works. The only reason you would ever give something up to appease someone is because you believe that you are too weak to stop them from taking what they want … which just means they will keep coming back and taking more since you were too weak to stop them the previous time.

      • The bottom line is that they just don’t like guns. Guns are bad and you’re a bad person for having them. Even if you don’t kill anyone, you’re still a bad person because you hate children. You probably also vote Republican so you therefor hate the poor. You probably also favor more restrictions on abortion so you also hate women. You judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin so you must hate blacks. You want a secure border so you hate foreigners. Why would anyone listen to your ‘facts’ when you’re such an evil hate monger?

  6. Nice try, Mr. Hseih.

    Problem is, a gun owner, even the highly trained concealed carry type, aren’t immune from violent crime. The deterrent effect of armed citizens really doesn’t compare to immunity from infectious diseases.

    If you can use the analogy to sway a few fence sitters in the never-ending struggle for liberty, more power to ya. But it’s too easy to poke holes in the logic.

  7. You gotta love the irony when gun rights supporters use the same anti-gun arguments used against gun rights when they[gun rights advocates] themselves attack peoples rights to make informed medical decisions.

  8. Nice, but I don’t like the parallel because of the false sense of security it creates.

    As Dr. Hseih is no doubt aware, the flip side of herd immunity is that, because no vaccine is 100%, once vaccination falls below a certain threshold in a given population, the non-vaccinated population makes it more likely that the vaccinated population will begin to contract cases. Every time I hear someone say they’re not getting vaccinated because they intend to rely on herd immunity I grind my teeth.

      • What? It absolutely works so long as the vaccinated population is above a certain threshold. It won’t keep an unvaccinated person from getting the disease if exposed, but it most certainly radically decreases the likelihood than an unvaccinated person will be exposed to it. That’s why you have localized outbreaks of inoculatable diseases in the US rather than epidemics.

        If you have a local population (say orange county, CA, which is a great example) in which the vaccination rate drops below the threshold for a given disease, and that disease is introduced to the subject population, you’re going to get an outbreak because there are too few people in the population with which individual members interact to create a condition where a member of the population (unvaccinated) is unlikely to come into contact with someone with the disease. Basically, you lose the firewall effect of a high vaccination rate in a given population, and then the unvaccinated members of that population are vulnerable.

        The idea of herd immunity isn’t that an unvaccinated individual can’t contract the disease because everyone else is vaccinated — the idea is that an unvaccinated individual is much less likely to contract it if he lives among a population vaccinated over the disease specific threshold. So, yes, it absolutely “works” so long as not too many people decide not to get vaccinated.

        That said, personally, I think anyone who can get vaccinated against the major diseases and chooses not to is a fool.

        • Regarding your last sentence, I agree with you for the most part. Anyone refusing vaccinations should have a sound, logical reason for doing so (not because a glorified and retarded stripped told them vaccines gave her son autism). Just be mindful about painting with such a broad brush, saying anyone who doesn’t is a fool. For example, I personally don’t get vaccinations because every time I have (the most recent one being the MMR vaccine when I was in 10th grade), my body has violently rejected the vaccine, making me sick as a dog and putting me in agony for days. Oh, and it’s not like I deal with that and then I’m inoculated. No, my body (no idea why) actually rejects the whole thing entirely and I don’t even get inoculated.

        • Anyone refusing vaccinations should have a sound, logical reason for doing so…

          The real issues here are: …or what? and how and by whom will it be enforced?

          In a free society, there are very few things that free people should do, under threat of mandate by the State.

        • “That said, personally, I think anyone who can get vaccinated against the major diseases and chooses not to is a fool.” – your emotional opinion duly noted. As an aside, I’m certain a lot of “antis” feel the same way emotionally about people who they perceive as jeopardizing public health by carrying firearms.

        • @Chip, I didn’t get the sense he was calling for a state-enforced mandate when he said “should”, it was more along the lines of “would be very wise to” for reasons of benefit to himself.

          Of course, I could have read him wrong. But in general, I don’t read “should” the way you did here, unless it’s something like “X should be required” or “Job Lowe should be required to X.”

    • Disease agents aren’t sentient. They just get pased along. Humans make decisions about their interactions. increasing risks act as a deterrent

      • And this difference is why herd immunity to diseases is only an analogy (and not a very precise one) to the dynamic going on with thugs and concealed carry. If falls apart when you realize a disease organism will try to attack whatever it finds; if it dies because the person’s immune system crushes it immediately, it LOOKS as if the person was never attacked.

        The basic argument Dr. Hsieh is making here (for the deterrent benefit of widespread CC) is pretty sound; but the comparison to herd immunity looks weaker the more I look at it.

  9. The college shooter in CA who blogged about what he was going to do ahead of time even wrote that he eliminated one of his intended sites because he thought there might be armed people there.

    The guy who shot up the Aurora theater did not choose three other theaters that were closer to his house. The difference in the theaters? The one he shot up was the only one of the four that was posted “no guns allowed.” No proof that’s whey he chose it, but you gotta wonder.

    I remember way back when Florida first got CCW permits. There was a guy the press called the “rest stop robber” who would rob highway travelers at rest stops. The cops noticed that he only attacked out of state travelers. When they caught him, he said he would look for stickers from rental car companies on the outside of the cars. (Rental car companies don’t do that anymore) He said he only wanted to rob out-of-state folks because he was afraid he might get shot by and in-state person who was carrying. This was when only a tiny percentage of Floridians had permits.

  10. I have made this argument to anti-gun neighbors as it applies to home invasions or hot burglaries. If the perp understands that he has a 1 in 3 chance of getting shot when he crashes the door he will find some other neighborhood do work in or simply chose unoccupied homes.

    • That’s why the incidence of a hot home invasion is in the teens here in the USA versus over fifty percent in England.

      The robbers here are scared of getting shot by the home owner; so they make more of an effort to make sure no one is home before breaking in.

      In England? meh, why should the criminal worry when the home owner would more than likely be charged with assault if they resist the home invader with more than their fists?

      And if the homeowner is trained as a boxer, he might be charged for using a lethal weapon and end up in jail.

    • Okay you’ve said this at least three times in this thread.

      Care to back it up with actual facts, or are you going to instead tell us to do the work for you, like you usually do? (Methinks this is cowardice on your part.)

      TL; DR: Put up or shut up.

      • Lol, ok, I’ll produce evidence something doesn’t exist. Joke. Nice try. While I’m working on it will you produce some evidence that Bigfoot doesn’t exist?

        • When someone goes to a Bigfoot believers site, he’ll generally claim there is no evidence for Bigfoot and will be expected to debunk the (purported) evidence that’s out there. They won’t let him get away with simply asserting Bigfoot doesn’t exist.

        • Exactly my point Steve, burden of proof is on the party that puts forth or supports a scientific theory, not the other way around. If the evidence supporting vaccine supported herd immunity is readily available, it is your burden to produce it, not my burden to prove it doesn’t exist.

        • Pg2, I don’t think you understand scientific inquiry at all, or the words you are using “burden of proof.”

          First of all, there is no “proof” in science. There is data. That is, measured, observed data. Data either support a conclusion or not.

          Some make the claim of ‘herd immunity.’ If they want me to draw the same conclusion they are drawing (ie, that it exists), they have to supply me with data.

          You are claiming it does not exist. If you want me to draw your conclusion, you will have to supply data.

          Show some data that challenges the conclusion, or stop making a speculative claim of belief, expecting us to buy it just because you say so and then hiding behind some fanciful notion of “burden of proof.”

        • Clarification: You absolutely can provide data that demonstrate no correlation to each other.

          Show a population with a high vaccination rate (80-90%, whatever) and that it has less, the same or more net immunity for those diseases as a population with a much lower (5-10%) vaccination rate.

        • JR, you can dance around all day with semantics and verbiage. I am staying there is no scientifically valid proof that vaccine induced herd immunity exists. Pretty simple. Its funny how gun rights supporters suddenly do 180 and become compliant statists in supporting state intrusion into personal medical decisions based soley on junk science.

        • “JR, you can dance around all day with semantics and verbiage. I am staying there is no scientifically valid proof that vaccine induced herd immunity exists. “

          Are these guys pulling the idea out of thin air, or have they conducted a studies that provide data that show net immunity goes up?

          It sounds like you are saying they are making it up out of thin air. That should be easy to “prove” to those that are challenging you. Show the results of a Google search, or other literature search that shows no such studies in peer reviewed journals.

          Or, are you saying the studies have been done but do not support the conclusion that net immunity of a population increases with vaccination rate? If that’s the case, provide cites to those studies and refute the conclusions based on the data contained therein.

          Since you are calling it “junk science,” it sounds to me like the latter…that someone somewhere has some data, but that you disagree with conclusion. Fine. Provide the data and show how their conclusion is wrong.

          You asserting something does not make it true. Calling something ‘junk science’ does not alone make it true. Support your assertion or stop making it, please.

          “Its funny how gun rights supporters suddenly do 180 and become compliant statists in supporting state intrusion into personal medical decisions based soley on junk science.”

          I’m not doing a 180 and supporting anything. I’m telling you that if you want people to take you seriously, you will have to provide more than just “Nya nya, I don’t believe this stuff, listen to me. I’m right!”

          You are challenging what appears to be scientific model in medicine that has some support in the medical community and calling it ‘junk science.’ If it is, in fact, junk science, it should be pretty easy to show the data that has been collected does not support the conclusion of a net increase in immunity.

          I don’t know; you’ve gotten me curious regarding the answer. So…convince me. But don’t expect me to believe you just because you repeat it over and over and insinuate we are all fools for not believing your assertion out of hand.

        • @JR, let’s take it from square 1…. ‘herd immunity’, the concept that when enough people in a community are vaccinated, all are protected. There are many documented instances showing just the opposite – fully vaccinated populations having experienced epidemics. Vaccination has never actually been clinically proven to be effective in preventing disease, because no researcher has directly exposed test subjects to said diseases. The medical community’s scientific gold standard, the double blind, placebo-controlled study, has not been used to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and the practice remains unscientifically proven. If you want sources for vaccinated populations experiencing epidemics, I’ll provide them. Otherwise you can find them yourself with a little digging. Much of this paragraph was paraphrased from Alan Philips, Director of Citizens for Healthcare Freedom. Regardless of which source is used, the facts remain the same.

        • ” There are many documented instances showing just the opposite – fully vaccinated populations having experienced epidemics. “

          Then it should be pretty darn easy for you to provide just one citation showing that.

          Provide evidence for what you are claiming or knock off the claims. That’s all we are asking.

        • @JR. Crickets. Hear the crickets?

          I love the implication. The smallpox vaccine should be tossed away as unproven. Never mind that it eliminated a scourge that has killed millions, if not billions, of people throughout history. Something else must have caused this scourge to go away.

        • @JR&Steve, a google search turned up many results, depending on the death words. This was one of the first hits, it’s unfortunate you are either unable or unwilling to do research into something that you seem to think is important.

          There were many other hits and references, some even CDC, backing what I’ve said. And Steve by the way, I do have a life outside of doing your homework for you, the only crickets you are hearing is likely the foam in your easy chair compressin as you change your position in front of yor television.

        • it’s unfortunate you are either unable or unwilling to do research into something that you seem to think is important.

          Oh, you are hilarious! I didn’t care one rat’s ass about this issue until somebody irritated me by repeating vague (and unsupported) assertions and then refused to back them until put on the spot.

        • Are you kidding me with that link?

          That’s just nuts. First of all, no population is 100% vaccinated (as claimed) and that’s based on self reporting in this case which is not reliable data. What is the vaccination rate of the population in the surrounding countryside…the ‘exposure’ group?

          Second, 130 cases out of a population of over 20,000 (0.7%) in a remote area of Nepal where the true vaccination rate is unknown is questionably an “outbreak.” It is entirely possible that this 0.7% was NOT vaccinated and they are the ones that contracted the measles there.

          The way you are talking I would think you could clearer data than this.

          So, yeah….crickets. Don’t let that get in the way of your dogma, though.

          Your claim is a farce.

  11. My respect for the ideas put forth in this man’s article is exceeded only by my personal quandary over how to pronounce his name.

    (Is it “Say”? “Seh”?)

    • It’s pretty close to “Shay” but the sound of the Sh isn’t quite like in English, nor is the vowel sound. “Shay” is close enough for government work.

    • Good point, if these vaccines are as safe as advertised, then why did the Federal Governemnt grant the pharmaceuticals immunity from liability? That has left the taxpayer on th hook for Billions, with a B, for damages derived from these products.

      • Possibly for the same reason firearms manufacturers have immunity from lawsuits: Because friviolous, non-fact-base, hysterical lawsuits that threaten to be played before hysterical juries still cost the industry a ton of money and can drive it bankrupt or cause it to withdraw the product for no real reason.

        • Steve, last time I checked, carrying a gun wasn’t required within 24 hours of being born. And you call the taxpayer being on the hook financially for the time period between 1989 and 2013 for 2.5+ BILLION for vaccine damages compensation frivolous?

        • You insinuated that the only possible reason they, or anyone else could have immunity from liability is due to a defect in their product. You did this as a substitute for providing any real evidence for your claims.

          I’ve shown a counter example, an industry with similar immunity for good reasons. That’s all I needed to do. Your insinuation, unbacked by anything but your say-so, falls flat on its face.

        • @steve, you can make any impression or opinion of the facts I have presented, that is your right. People remain free to this point to make their own medically informed decisions, and if you choose to vaccinate yourself or your loved ones, that is your right. If you start telling others they don’t have the right to make their own informed medical decisions, you are crossing the line. Good day.

        • @steve, you can make any impression or opinion of the facts I have presented, that is your right.

          An ironic statement on your part because….

          If you start telling others they don’t have the right to make their own informed medical decisions, you are crossing the line. Good day.

          I NEVER said this. I did say you were full of it, and you just added one more data point to that effect.

  12. Uh yeah Illinois is a bad analogy. Very few CC in the city of Chicago proper. In a few years I’ll believe it. It certainly is in play in nearby Northwest Indiana where there are LOTS of CCers. AS far as the herd I have a brother who home schooled 10(really) kids and I know they didn’t get all their shots. I know in Illinois you can’t enroll your kid inschool without vaccination proof. With all the stupid irresponsible people around I hope we don’t get a repeat of another “eradicated” disease like smallpox…but it will probably show up in ISIS land.

  13. What I find interesting is that jennifer Aniston and celebrity vax deniers have been doing this for years, and we haven’t had massive measles breakouts before.

    Only 4 months ago, the ATF was babysitting and then flying our newest democratic voters to far flung cities around the country, and the biggest wave of new neighbors was welcomed by Governor Brown into the sanctuary state of CA.

    I’m sure its only a coincidence.

    I’m sure CDC would tell us the truth about a pandemic.

  14. One last comment on this thread, many here have asked for data and sources, yet seem unwilling or unable to produce it to support their own opinions. Very little in this world is black and white, and many things require a fair degree of critical thinking, which requires data and information from multiple sources. Asking for someone to perform research for you is lazy and disingenuous. If you are too lazy to research something that is important to you, and you are willing to soley depend on what the mass media tells you to form your ideas and opinions, then you hVe the right to remain stupid. Good day to this thread.

  15. The problem is the anti-gun states are also anti-vax states. CA, NY, CO have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. It is pretty much a blue state / blue neighborhood phenomenon. They worry about radically overstated risks and ignore the substantial benefits (and the science) with regard to both vaccines and guns.

    Not only do they not believe in herd immunity; they do not believe in math.

  16. While I do understand why people do not want to vaccinate, remember some people that had small pox and most had disfigured faces(and I assume, marks all over the body) My grandfather had it, but came out withont the marks. Many died. I also know and have known many people that were victims of polio, having very limited mobility with a short arm or leg. These vaccines were godsends.
    While I do not know about others, I am pretty sure I do not want to catch whatever the vaccine repressed.

    Yes, I got one for pnuemonia and I get a flu shot every year.


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