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Darren Wolfe writes [via]

It’s easy to use gun rights haters research against them. At least it is with Robert Muggah, coauthor of “We Need Better Data for a Serious Gun Control Debate.” An article in which he advocates gun control, despite the fact that he claims there isn’t enough good data on the subject to even have a debate about it. A tad biased, wouldn’t you agree?  Could that be why gun rights advocates don’t want such people doing research on crime and violence? But I digress . . .

On October 8, 2014 he gave a talk at TEDGlobal 2014: South! in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil titled “How To Protect Fast-Growing Cities From Failing”:

In his talk, he says a number of things that make it clear that guns aren’t the drivers of a high murder rate. Most importantly, he directly contradicts the major gun rights haters’ argument when Dr. Muggah says, “…when it comes to cities, the conversation is dominated by the North, that is, North America, Western Europe, Australia and Japan, where violence is actually at historic lows.” He then drives home the point with:

What’s more, we’re seeing a dramatic reduction in homicide. Manuel Eisner and others have shown that, for centuries, we’ve seen this incredible drop in murder, especially in the West. Most Northern cities today are 100 times safer than they were just 100 years ago.

These two facts — the decline in armed conflict and the decline in murder — are amongst the most extraordinary, if unheralded, accomplishments of human history, and we should be really excited, right?

That drop in murder rates includes the United States with all its guns. The slide from his presentation above clearly shows the US to be in the same low murder rate category as western Europe. So much for the lie that the US is a very dangerous place!

Dr. Muggah goes on to talk about social and demographic factors that that drive violence, all the while making the gun rights advocates’ case for us. Not once does he say that the availability of guns is the cause of the violence. He ends his talk with this:

There is nothing inevitable about lethal violence, and we can make our cities safer. Folks, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to drop homicidal violence in half within our lifetime. So I have just one question: What are we waiting for?

Yes, gun rights haters, what are you waiting for to stop worshiping the false god of gun control and start facing the real causes of the violence problem?

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  1. I don’t know what a gin rights hater is, but they might make a good designated driver.

    • Gin (or jinn) should be kept in their bottle and only let out occasionally to grant 3 wishes that are very carefully worded. They should not have any rights but might be allowed some lefts under very carefully controlled circumstances

    • Got to be careful when poking a finger at TED. As a TEDster myself, I find the scope of the presented arguments well within the tolerance of current social expectations.

      My fear is that fellow gun affincianados and 2A supporters will attack one side of what should be a rational argument providing a logical even if indefensible line of reasoning. Protecting gun rights in today’s changing climate requires a softer touch. Any error in logic or social graces by either side can be spun into a deadly web.

      One man’s garbage is another potential presidential candidate’s treasure. Or so they say.

      • TED talks have gone so outside their original purview of “Technology, Entertainment, Design” as to have absolutely nothing to do with the original premise.

        Most are now social engineering, and ‘feelz’….

        • +100

          TED has become just another area being taken over by leftist ideology.

          “The Left destroys everything that it touches. “….Dennis Prager

        • TED talks would fit very well in the world of 1984. All politics are left, not just center left.
          I have been watching for a very long time. I call myself a fan. But the only firearm ever brought on the stage was brought by a Dutch army general. And he was in full uniform. He was defending guns.

  2. With a name like “Muggah”, I can see why he wouldn’t want to be around armed citizens.
    But the answer to his question, “How to protect fast-growing cities from failing?” is simple:
    prevent progressives from holding office.

  3. There is a great way to drown these people out. Bring newbies to the range. I brought 2 more today. I try to bring 10 new shooters every year. Turned 5 antigunners to the middle of the road. Also, there are 4 new gun owners thanks to my efforts.

  4. Apparently this d—– teaches in Brazil and is completely oblivious to the problems in Brazil because of gun control.

  5. I’m guessing when he says “better data”, he doesn’t mean “more accurate data”, he just means “data” that will confirm his already-reached conclusion. Not that he would admit that.

    • When he says “we need better data” I bet he means “give me more govt grant money” to keep him living like he’s accustomed to. The kind of gated community living where violence only occurs on the news.

    • Or perhaps he’s so confident he’s right he thinks the data will show that to be the case, once collected.

      Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to over-confidence in one’s own premises.

      • Could be. In general, I try to follow that little maxim about malice vs. stupidity or ignorance.

  6. we have the opportunity of a lifetime to drop homicidal violence in half within our lifetime

    I think we already have.

  7. I have to agree that more data is needed.

    The FBI UCR/NIBRS do not even delineate arrests between felons and non felons. I had to scrap my masters thesis that felons commit most gun crimes because there is no data. Prosecutors, DPS, TDCJ all told me they don’t track those statistics.

    Personally I think the Dems/antis don’t want any data collected as it would show most people who commit violent crimes with firearms are, felons, gang members, or drug addicts who are prohibited, because it would prove them wrong. Not the other way around.

    • Sorry; not buying it.

      You had to scrap your Master’s Thesis because you did not want to DO THE WORK to collect the data? Your adviser allowed you to give up this easily?

      The data is there, even if it has not been collated by FBI in the UCR for you with a bow on it. Every single felony arrest case file has a criminal history attached to it. Every conviction recorded in public court has at least the ability to cross reference that person to their criminal history.

      Do the work. Pick a major city, call the PD crime stats person, tell ’em what data you need and how it’s sorted. They can help you. Whether they WILL or not is another question. Keep calling til you find one that will. That will give you the raw numbers you will then have to process/analyze.

      That’s what differentiates a Master’s Thesis from a high school term paper.

      • You know what has been quashed? all the data and studies on “VPH” (victim precipitated homicide).

        In fact the data indicate that, if you are not a criminal, your risk of being murdered in the US is significantly lower than non criminal homicide victimization risk in either Canada or Australia.

        In fact prior criminals with illegal guns appear to be on the order of 90% of shooting assaults and murders — and accidents in the home. With fact as a control, remaining gun owning homes, that is to say all but a tiny fraction are safer than homes with no guns at all.

        But no matter how much of that data on criminality is collected, the gun control lobby and their subsidized researchers at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, already have proven they wont include in their research. They insist that all victimization be randomized and that glaring massive elevated risk factor of prior criminality always be excluded, in fact VPH studies were specifically vilified in left wing academia.

        and the really politically incorrect “inconvenient truth that comes out of looking at prior criminality — : the risk factor for murder by knife, gun , bludgeoning, and for assault and serious injure of children is all directly and clearly correlated to any criminal domiciled in the home or in a relationship with the mother.

        The anti second amendment lobby wants doctors to ask if there is a gun in the home. Can you imagine having doctors ask about the REAL risk factor: “Are there any fathers, older male siblings or person the mother is dating with an arrest record living in or with access to the home??”

        It is nw poltically incorrect

        • ” They insist that all victimization be randomized and that glaring massive elevated risk factor of prior criminality always be excluded, in fact VPH studies were specifically vilified in left wing academia.”

          All the more reason for us to stop letting them set the agenda, the terms of the debate and control of the “conversation.”

          Data is data. Cognitive dissonance is a thing. If we keep pointing out the flaws in their research, people will catch on.

          It’s a slow process though, and one at which we are very much behind the proverbial eight ball. They control the old media, the schools and have huge support in subliminal ‘programming’ through tv, movies and ‘pop culture.’

          Yet our message is getting out. We are gaining ground…new shooters every year. Can’t stop the signal. The data tells its own story, and that cannot be quashed. People can see with their own two eyes what is going on, and when they try to square what they see with what they are being told, they see the lie.

      • Called major cities and state. Friends wife works in the court in a major county, friends a judge, friends work for DPS in Austin, they all said the don’t track felon arrests.

        Advisor said do something else. He did not want me to get data thru surveys or anything that needsore than cursory approval.

        Crime stats sections are not keeping the data neither are prosecutors. Which is bs because the record is run when arrested, presentensing investigation, and inmate classification.

        I would have done work but he didn’t want me to.

        • “Called major cities and state. Friends wife works in the court in a major county, friends a judge, friends work for DPS in Austin, they all said the don’t track felon arrests. “

          That’s a load of crap. Someone is taking the path of least resistance in an answer like that. I think you were sold a bill of goods offered by bureaucrats that did not want to “help.”

          Are they trying to make us believe that when they arrest someone for murder, rape or armed robbery, they don’t know if that person has a prior history for felony arrests or convictions?

          Have they never heard of NCIC? Do they not check for outstanding warrants on felony arrests? Do the prosecutors not know of past ‘bad behaviors’ they can use for impeachment if the defendant takes the stand at trial?

          Sorry, man. I’m just not buying it. I’ve been involved in major crime investigations and testified in them a BUNCH. I’ve been in court for pretrial motions where “Can we talk about the defendants past arrest record” was discussed, and been present when jurors were instructed how to use/not use such information when it was allowed.

          For them to suggest that a major city PD and court system doesn’t know if an arrestee / defendant has a ‘record’ is laughable. And insulting.

          The court records are public records. Shoot; you MIGHT even find enough data for an interesting thesis on that limited set of cases where the past history was discussed and recorded in court documents. One would have to read the case transcripts for this method.

  8. America is generally a pretty safe place with the exception of what goes on in/comes out of certain urban $#!+holes, which skews our stats. Same can be said for many other countries, including Brazil, where this fellow focuses his attention. I think some long-term quality time spent in bad urban neighborhoods/favelas could be much more enlightening for people like him than the time spent number-crunching and fart-sniffing in their comfortable (and safe) elite academic settings. They may just come to the same realizations of those of us who have already had that experience: cultural and individual failings are the real problems that need solving. Unfortunately, that sort of honesty makes some people uncomfortable.

    • 8% of the population that is black males 14-44 commit over 50% of all homicides, usually over something drug related. And committed against other blacks of the same demographic.

      Pull them out and our murder rates look like Western Europe.

      The USA is incredibly safe, and we owe that to the populace being (very generally) able to arm itself.

      • True, to a point, 16v, but guns are neutral. It is the people that have the cultural expectation to operate with in the law, and not to use the power that a firearm represents to dominate or control others that makes the difference. Our western/american culture is almost unique in having a mostly peaceful change of power through our elections as an example.

        What the progressives forget in their vicious attacks against our American Heritage is that a country of our size and population, with our prosperity, innovation, individual freedom, opportunity of individual advancement with an overall respect for the rule of law was not an accident. It was because of our culture that supports and defends these ideals. Which much of the rest of the world does not have.

        Which the progressives are doing their best to “change”, to our societal and cultural detriment.

        • Oh yes, the guns are neutral. If nothing else, the UK proves that quite handily. Take away the guns, and they swap to knives. Or they have guns and do things even ‘illegaler’.

  9. “Folks, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to drop homicidal violence in half within our lifetime.”

    We have already done that. 49% drop since 1993. So long as our lame duck president doesn’t wreck race relations further, it should continue to decline.

  10. I like TED talks in general as they all follow the same formula… Looking at a problem from 75000 feet. There is very little real substance to them, speaking in broad General terms of the given issue so that it is palatable by the audience.

    That said it is interesting to note his solutions are based on solving the problem at the SOCIETY level. This means the goal is to reduce violent death. But this ignores the very real deaths on the individual level, and the very real need and right to defend one’s life with a firearm. This is perhaps the greatest disconnect between policy makers and the people who experience these policies’ effects.

    Thank god we have the Bill of Rights… Perhaps if these southern cities had one of there own the tyranny of violence they experience now would never have been…

  11. What’s wrong with biased research? As long as we have access to the same data, we can question the methods, point out the flaws, etc. Not even Einstein got to escape scrutiny from his peers, his word was not taken as gospel. Think of a trial; two sides present very biased versions of events to a jury, even calling their own experts and counter-experts. If either story is absurd enough, the jury will actually feel insulted by it, and they will be biased toward the more reasonable one. This is what has happened with guns. The anti gun movement has presented the public with a case for gun control that is insulting in it’s stupidity, and we are winning because of it.

    • Look at what biased research has done with the Climate Change and Obamacare issues. Yes anyone can later go back and refute biased studies/research, but if the US Government uses that biased research to enact/codify new laws, regulations, taxes, and restrictions—–how long does it take to reverse? Obamacare and Global Warming were built on lies….. how quickly will we see reversals, and how many Billions of dollars will be wasted on these Leftist/Liberal agendas?

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