Superimpose These Maps. What Does That Tell You? Gun Control by Robert Farago | Feb 08, 2016 | 88 comments facebook twitter linkedin email Correlation does not equal causation, but if the antis can do it . . . Courtesy thefederalistpapers.org [h/t mister3d] comments Vv ind says: February 8, 2016 at 10:06 I wish the major US cities (Chiraq, bmore, etc) were detailed better Reply O-Hebi says: February 8, 2016 at 13:45 Bodymore, Murderland… Get your nicknames correct, lol… Reply Joe R. says: February 8, 2016 at 10:08 The Dark Red in the Western Hemisphere has worked too hard lately, in too few places, to keep people from Fing each other up. The Darker colors are where the “refugees” are flooding to right now. Arm-up B1tches. Reply Peldrigal says: February 8, 2016 at 10:09 Violence is a cultural phenomenon with deep roots that cannot be easily explained by any single reason. Reply Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says: February 8, 2016 at 12:41 True, but lack of violence can stem from the violent getting shot or facing a real risk of it. Reply Chadwick P. says: February 8, 2016 at 13:05 Exactly. That Gadsden flag might let someone know there’s candy in your house but it also lets them know if you’re home they better be bullet proof. Reply PeterW says: February 8, 2016 at 13:45 No it is not cultural, it is genetic. People are violent by nature. And it does have a single reason and cause. You can find the back story in Genesis 3, with the first selfish killing (murder) in Genesis 4:8. We haven’t change a bit. Did God really say we were to LOVE each other? But we know better… Reply Cliff H says: February 8, 2016 at 15:54 Love. Kill. Murder. Translation of ancient and archaic languages into accurate and precise modern concepts is highly subjective. There is not a whole lot of “Love thy neighbor as thyself” in the Old Testament. Reply RockOnHellChild says: February 8, 2016 at 16:01 Negative, ghost rider. Violence (aggression) is a behavior, and all behavior is functional (i.e., all behavior simply services a function or purpose for the organism.) The function or purpose for a certain behavior can be genetic, personally reinforcing/punishing, socially reinforcing/punishing, or learned. We are all byproducts of our genetic endowments AND our life experiences. Dismissing culture as a major contributor in who people are and how people behavior would be woefully ignorant, at best. Reply The Old Coach says: February 8, 2016 at 17:52 “It is genetic”. Truer than you know. “A Troublesome Inheritance” by Nicholas Wade. Required Reading. Reply Mk10108 says: February 8, 2016 at 14:25 There’s an element of truth violence is cultural. One can say overall women are treated better in the US than the Middle East. Reason…our culture of democracy culls or shames violent behavior. Gandhi & MLK are examples of moral high ground suceeding. Equally does not exist in the Middle East in either government or socially. A large portion of violence in the US is imported in the form of illegal immigration where murder, rape and assault is part of the cultural norm. Reply 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 10:11 Is this another example of correlation equals causation? Nothing more at work here than the presence of firearms? All other influences have been discarded as statistically trivial? Reply Joe R. says: February 8, 2016 at 10:24 Right, don’t discount that there’s a lotta POS going on. Those POS don’t like guns, because they have greater difficulty being POS. DON’T LET YOUR COUNTRY GO ANTI-GUN POS. Yes, I’m speaking directly to you blue state POS(D) mfrs out there. Reply 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 10:43 Two things here….you are uncomfortable with information that does not comfort your assumptions; I was actually looking to have RF verify that the comparison was valid. Reply Joe R. says: February 8, 2016 at 11:23 I’m sticking with my answer 2A. If it hits too close to home, and it makes you uncomfortable, think about changing your moniker to “2Asawesome”, and you might not be hunted in the next civil war. I can’t say enough what an evil pile of POS anti-gun people are, they are predominantly liberal_progressive_communist (D) (go figure). If you need a map, it’s only because you haven’t been paying attention. 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 11:38 You speak of things without understanding, However, your attitude, thinking and language present the very picture of “gun nut” the anit-gun element believes is representative of all gun owners. Being disgusted with people who challenge your prejudices is the very behavior you accuse others of displaying. And jumping to unwarranted conclusions is the hallmark of the mindset you oppose so inadequately. Big E says: February 8, 2016 at 12:00 Speaking for myself- I can live with my ideals being ‘challenged’. I can not live with my God-given, constitutionally guaranteed rights being trampled. You want to take my property and punish me for the behavior of others- or for whatever reason? We are enemies. Couch it in whatever faux-intellectual crap makes you feel better. 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 12:33 You make the case for the gun control supporters. You are martinet in your viewpoint, allowing for no new information to enter. So let’s start with your favorite, incorrect slogan, “I can not live with my God-given, constitutionally guaranteed rights being trampled. ” – You are already living with it. Blustering will not change that reality. – All rights listed in, or derived from the US constitution ARE subject to change, modification, repeal. – There is no recognized forum for claims to natural law superseding Supreme Court decisions. – The only recourse to overturn SC decisions is through political activity, or armed insurrection. For the record, agents of the federal government have won every extra-political confrontation with citizens who attempted to assert gun rights trump the laws of the federal government. But you still do not understand why pro-gun supporters are not “winning” in the contest of ideas about guns in private hands. Chadwick P. says: February 8, 2016 at 13:09 Speaking of two things… Your idiocy has reminded me that libtards are hilarious to watch like one of those bad horror movies that nobody is afraid of and people just watch for a laugh. You have also reminded me that I am getting a little low on ammo. Oh well off to buy another 1000 rounds of 9MM. Have a nice day! 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 13:17 I generally (actually never before) transfer usable examples of “gun nuts” over to anti-gun websites, but this is just too good. What makes it startlingly attractive is that you have been given several clues that you are way off the reservation, but too close-minded to recognize it. The anti-gun supporters would be salivating that you will one day become a public spokesman for gun rights, just as proof the characterization of pro-gun advocates is correct. Lack of skill at analysis and logic is not a useful, much less valid, method of persuasion. Frankly, it is all too easy to conclude that your entire range of conversation about guns is limited to, “Just keep disagreeing with me and I’ll shoot you.” Only 1000rds? And I thought I was on the poor end of things. neiowa says: February 8, 2016 at 14:22 2Atroll – your village misses you. Please go and hurry home. 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 20:19 Reading is fundamental; analysis and understanding are lacking, 16V says: February 8, 2016 at 22:43 Hokey-effen-smokes guys. I do understand that perhaps one of you is hair-trigger reactionary, and not “getting” the play here. More than one? Egads, this is painfully obvious, not only that, but he has been at this for a while now. Who is not paying attention here? This is a guy who is trying to make you understand the other side, and their fallacious arguments. He works way harder than most of us do to actually make a point, and you should thank him. 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 23:05 This Bud’s for you. Klaus Beaudelaire says: February 8, 2016 at 12:42 “Correlation does not equal causation, but if the antis can do it . . . ” That brief statement posted with the article should answer your question about causation/correlation. I usually respond to the stupidity of the mangled notion “It’s only common sense. More guns = more deaths” with an equally invalid mathematical relationship: “If it takes a woman 9 months to give birth, we will assign 9 women to that task and complete the project in 1 month”. Reply 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 12:56 Two-fold goal here: identify the improper use of data on the part of pro-gun supporters is no different from what they decry from anti-gun supporters; just maybe RF had more information that would improve the validity of the conclusion. BTW, the 9 women/1 month rubric is alive and well in software projects. Works wonderfully if you are on a time and materials contract because that technique slows progress, requires inordinate error correction, and generally leads to bringing in another company to finish the job correctly. Reply Cliff H says: February 8, 2016 at 16:01 Sounds like a government project. Elephant – a mouse built to government specs. rswartze says: February 8, 2016 at 13:45 No, but it does lend weight to the corollary: High gun ownership is not likely a cause of high rates of homocide. So the ‘easy access to guns causes mass-shootings’ gets broken down. Reply 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 20:17 But the Holy Grail (more guns leads to less crime) remains elusive. There may actually be no valid way to identify a causal relationship. Reply Pseudo says: February 9, 2016 at 10:38 That’s a problem with all social science analysis. It’s very difficult to prove anything definitively. What I always say when discussing gun ownership rates with people is that while you cannot with statistical confidence say that more guns make a people safer, you CAN say that if the converse is true, that more guns make a people LESS safe, we can definitely conclude that that effect must be very small compared to the other variables controlling gun violence. Guns are clearly not required to have low homicide rates (Japan) and they clearly do not guarantee low homicide rates (Uraguay). Additionally, high ownership clearly does not preclude low homicide rates (A significant percentage of the high gun ownership countries on the map above). That suggests that gun ownership rate is probably not as important a determining factor in homicide rate as either the staunchest pros or antis claim it to be. 2Asux says: February 9, 2016 at 11:47 Gets it. Matt in TX says: February 8, 2016 at 15:10 do not feed the painfully obvious troll. Reply 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 20:21 The lack of careful consideration by people on this blog is the disappointing result. Being unable to accurately identify trolls is probably the cause. Reply 16V says: February 8, 2016 at 22:56 I applaud your dedication to the cause. While I also appreciate your treating people as smarter/more thoughtful than they often are, c’mon man. Remember Carlin’s old saw about thinking how stupid the average person is, and realizing half are more stupid than that… Even if they are smart enough, they are reactionary (gun blog), and just don’t think it through (or read the entirety of your posts). Rock on Quixote, (not that I’m always popular myself). 2Asux says: February 8, 2016 at 23:14 Thanx for the notes. There have been some successes. I do think a goodly number of people here are smarter than they believe, but are self-conditioned to respond without consideration. It is curious that so many have knee-jerk come-backs of the sort they really hate coming from the usual suspects. 16V says: February 9, 2016 at 00:58 I shan’t offer that you stop. It’s a different metric than I employ, but like I said, keep it up if there’s some success. I’ve seen you had some, so I can’t argue the results. Nor would I. Mine’s hardly always (ever?) successful either, but whatever gets butts in the seats and such. Keep the faith… (which has nothing to do with magical sky-daddies, and all to do with human nature). 2Asux says: February 9, 2016 at 01:13 “Shan’t”; I like it. Rare that someones knows the word and proper usage. We keep trying. Don’t have the answers, but figure with enough people looking at it differently, someone will come up with something effective. RockOnHellChild says: February 8, 2016 at 10:13 People near the equator like to kill each other…??? Reply Joe R. says: February 8, 2016 at 10:28 Or, do they just need-killing more than most. Hmmmm. . . Nothing of hugely human societal advancing ANYTHING ever came from anyplace where the average temperature was above 78°. Just sayin. Reply 505markf says: February 8, 2016 at 10:36 Watch it, buck-o. New Mexico gave the world the green chile. And a crap ton of lizards. If none of you recognize the enduring value and life-changing aspects of locally grown, fire-roasted chiles, I pity you. And we have full open carry, which TX does not. Just sayin’. Reply Joe R. says: February 8, 2016 at 11:32 Yes, both NM, and TX, and all the little green chilis. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. But, correct me if I’m wrong, neither of those states (no states in the U.S. [sorry Puerto Rico]) have an average temperature of over 78°. JTPhilly says: February 8, 2016 at 10:45 Gotta be the global warming. Reply Stuki Moi says: February 9, 2016 at 19:19 More like, have learned that they need to kill each other to survive. No cold, harsh climate to outsource the nasty jobs to. Reply CGinTX says: February 8, 2016 at 10:18 India is a garden spot of gun-free, murder-free bliss, along with Vietnam and much of northern Africa? Correlation = Causation when it’s something you agree with? Reply Covington Gun Sales says: February 8, 2016 at 10:18 Who is living in Greenland to be murdered??? Reply pyratemime says: February 8, 2016 at 11:08 Having lived in Greenland for a year yes there are some people there that could improve the environment by becoming fertilizer. Reply jwtaylor says: February 8, 2016 at 10:20 It tells me that firearms ownership, on a very large scale, has little correlation to murder rate. It also reminds me that Africa is a massive continent. Reply John Thomas says: February 8, 2016 at 10:36 Equirectangular projection. meh. Reply Stinkeye says: February 8, 2016 at 11:06 Africa is over 20% larger than all of North America. That’s pretty big, no matter how you draw the map. Reply Pseudo says: February 9, 2016 at 10:40 Biiiiiingo. Reply LarryinTX says: February 8, 2016 at 10:22 Just real quick, it tells me that Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Egypt have no guns and no crime. Since I don’t believe that, I doubt the usefulness of the whole report. Reply Xanthro says: February 8, 2016 at 10:37 Vietnam and Egypt have homicide rates below 4. Laos and Cambodia have homicide rates above 5. The data is not reflecting crime rates, but homicide rates. Reply LarryinTX says: February 8, 2016 at 11:16 It also reflects no firearm ownership. Where did all the guns go? And what makes you think any figures on homicide are anywhere near accurate? Because I don’t believe them, like I said! Apparently the numbers these maps are based on come from the country, whatever it cares to say without any verification. Even then, the homicide map seems to show all 4 countries in the “0-5” category. Reply The Phantom says: February 8, 2016 at 12:25 Righto! The Newnited Nations needs to draft an international standard for reporting murders so we can have meaningful murder maps that illustrate what our founding fathers understood and that facts & common sense corroberate. Now if we can all agree on some common sense laws regarding a national register of gun ownership so we can get a good number on guns we will make all sorts of pretty maps on Googleearth and you can zoom in on any house and get details. 98.6730009816% of Americans support this. On the non-sarcastic side I doubt Mexico is anything but green after the government confiscations of civilian arms in the past several years although if you count the guns possesed by the drug cartels it could be accurate. Folks are fast and furious in old Mexico. C.S. says: February 8, 2016 at 10:27 LEGAL Gun Ownership Reply John L. says: February 8, 2016 at 10:34 1. It’s safer to live in a culture with strong roots in Greco/Roman, Bhuddist or Hindu civilizations; and 2. Americans have a lot of guns. Intersection: I prefer to live in North America. But that’s just me; YMMV. Reply other chris says: February 8, 2016 at 10:40 Guns=/= crime. Yep. We’ve known that. But it can’t be stated enough. We need to restate basic concepts now and again. New viewers need to have these fundamental concepts refreshed. Reply SR says: February 8, 2016 at 10:44 It’s not right to compare the U.S. with other countries. The situation in Texas is different than in California or New York. I’m guessing California and New York are similar to gun free countries, however the numbers may not show it due to differences in reporting and classifying crime. Reply ThomasR says: February 8, 2016 at 10:47 How many of these cultures/countries allow for the carrying if a firearm without need of a permit or license by the general populace? Those that can are citizens, those that can’t are subjects; servants to their masters. By the historical definition of those that are free versus being a peasant, peon and outright slave; over six billion people on this planet are still living in the darkness of abject servitude; including millions in the US of A. Reply Kendahl says: February 8, 2016 at 11:01 Correlation does not imply causation, but causation must result in correlation. Reply int19h says: February 8, 2016 at 22:52 >> causation must result in correlation Not necessarily – causation can be masked by a different causative link that affects the same variable in the opposite direction. Reply 16V says: February 8, 2016 at 23:02 Exactamundo. The suicide rate in the US is 18.5 (per 100K). The suicide rate where it’s almost impossible to get a gun (legally) is 18.5 in Japan, and South Korea? 28.9. Societal norms and genetics are the areas to be looked at. The tools available mean absolutely jack-squat. Reply HolmiumST says: February 8, 2016 at 11:04 Just a sidenote, the homicide rates of China and Indonesia are unrealisticly low and both countries are famous for manipulating hard data. They are more likely to be yellow on homicide instead of green and it makes Asia a lot more yellowish. Reply wes says: February 8, 2016 at 11:37 The map makers probably didnt want to go there. Reply Sam I Am says: February 8, 2016 at 11:39 That might go over a few heads. Reply ColdNorth says: February 8, 2016 at 11:11 Canada will try to do better, but there’s only so many SKS and SVTs that we can buy. If anyone else would like to surplus a large number of semi-automatic rifles, please let us know. Reply Anon in CT says: February 8, 2016 at 11:39 While Canada has a lot of guns (relative to the rest of the non-American world), armed self-defense against two-legged animals is essentially outlawed. Never mind that carry is verbotten to everyone but ON DUTY police officers and the guys who guard armored trucks – if you are able to use your firearm to defend your home in a timely manner, that’s prima facie evidence that you were in violation of the firearms storage laws, especially if you use a restricted weapon. Reply ColdNorth says: February 8, 2016 at 19:19 While carrying outside the home is difficult at best, there are more exceptions to home use than that. When a firearm is not in storage, it is considered to be either in transit or in use. In use can cover many things- cleaning it, shooting it at a designated area, or even just admiring it at home. Legally, you can have your shotgun out just to look at it- this is considered “in use”. Now, you can’t load it, but you could have ammo nearby, or loaded in a magazine (provided the magazine is not inserted in the firearm). In the event that you used your “in use” firearm to defend your home, you would face charges, but in many cases would win the case. For example, Basis Parasiris even shot a police officer during a raid (he didn’t know they were police), and won the case. I am not saying this is ideal, but it isn’t quite as bad as some areas. Reply Mmmtacos says: February 8, 2016 at 11:18 An astute piece of advice I read here before was that no, correlation does not prove causation. But it can DISPROVE it. Does more guns equal less crime? We can’t say that for certain, in spite of strong evidence. We can conclude that the opposite is definitely not true, however. Reply Ian in Transit says: February 8, 2016 at 11:43 Superimpose the two maps and you see that they were rendered using different projections. The first one is definitely a cylindrical projection, likely Mercator. The second is pseudocylindrical, Mollweide or an Eckert of some kind. Reply Sam I Am says: February 8, 2016 at 11:44 Well……that changes everything, don’t you think? 🙂 Reply Ian in Transit says: February 8, 2016 at 11:52 I made maps for 13 years. It was my nerdy way of pointing out that correlation does not equal causation no matter how its drawn. Good data though. The weak minded are often more receptive to colorful pictures instead of the data that drives them. Reply Sam I Am says: February 8, 2016 at 11:55 To continue down the nerdy path, RF’s posting recommended “superimposing”, which is quite different from stacking one above the other (or side-by-side). Overlaying (superimposing) the two charts without translucent colors would obliterate the comparison. Ian in Transit says: February 8, 2016 at 12:20 “Superimposing” was a confusing term here. I usually associate it with my mother in law’s visits. neiowa says: February 8, 2016 at 14:26 “The weak minded are often more receptive to colorful pictures ” True – that BS “Blue state” fiction sure confuses a lot of watermelons. fishydude says: February 8, 2016 at 12:15 Factors not included in the maps: The biggy is simple. Reporting of murders in country stats. Most countries, outside the US and maybe Canada, do no accurately report murder stats. It has been reported that multiple homicide events in the UK are reported as a single murder, and then only if the murderer is convicted. So a mass suicide bombing is not counted as murder because the bomber killed himself and can’t be convicted. It is highly doubtful that any country in the middle east, north Africa, or south American reports accurately, nor does China or Russia. Despite this, the correlation if pretty glaring. If one were to create a map of college campuses in NC, and then overlaid a map of violent crimes, there would be a huge overlap because criminal know that campuses are mandate GFZ’s in NC. Reply JasonM says: February 8, 2016 at 12:18 It tells me that moving to subsaharan Africa is a bad idea. Reply Ralph says: February 8, 2016 at 12:23 I wonder if someone will be so kind as to correlate murders with the presence of mosques. Reply jwtaylor says: February 8, 2016 at 16:28 That looked interesting, and it is possible to do in this country, but not in others. So, using Wikipedia, I looked at the murder rate of countries with the majority of their population as Muslim vs. countries with other religions as the majority. What I came away with was, central and south America are still really dangerous compared to the rest of the world and its probably not the fault of Catholicism. Because of Africa, there are a lot of countries with primarily Muslim populations that have a high murder rate. Because of Central and South America, the same can be said of countries with a high Catholic population. Now, the big outlier for me is how war, including civil wars, account in those numbers, which I think would skew the numbers dramatically toward more murders in Muslim countries. Reply the ruester says: February 8, 2016 at 12:29 About India; it is often said by grabbers that england has less than half the murder rate as the US. Of course, you would be viciously shamed for pointing out that we are not even in the top 100 countries for murder, with barely veiled racist allusions to “3rd world” nations, and so forth. But, when it is pointed out to a brit that their island paradise has twice the murder as 3rd world India, suddenly the race is on to excuse themselves, usually with a tornado of SJW nonsense; “cultural differences” this, “social contracts” that. Insisting that they are murdering monsters who need to follow India’s lead is, oddly enough, insulting to them. Reply Former Water Walker says: February 8, 2016 at 12:38 I’ll second “what’s up with Greenland”? This map also reveals the good ole’ USA ain’t so bad-as I watch the local Chiraq “news”… Reply docduracoat says: February 8, 2016 at 12:45 I love maps! I even collect them. I would point out that both Yemen and Somalia have no laws against gun ownership. Both allow anyone to have any weapon, including RPG’s, tanks and artillery. Yemen is at war and people are being killed daily. (Maybe killed in war is not defines as “homide” on the map) Somalia has Al Shabab and they are killing people daily, along with clan violence and pirates, yet it is listed as green. I call bullshit on the data here Reply Ian in Transit says: February 8, 2016 at 14:37 That’s one of the problems with broad comparisons like this. As some have detailed above what is reported and documented as “murder” varies from country to country, if its reported at all. Those in power don’t report ethnic cleansing because those being cleansed didn’t count in the first place. Here in the USA people try to lump police shootings and self defense in with all “gun death” statistics. Reply uncommon_sense says: February 8, 2016 at 14:20 These two maps tell us that many places have high violent crime rates in spite of having low firearm ownership/availability rates … and that many places have low violent crime rates in spite of having high firearm ownership/availability rates. Reply Desert Dave says: February 8, 2016 at 14:46 There are other correlations as well. Race and culture pop into mind. Simone Bolivar, who spent his life throwing the Spaniards out of South America, commented that countries in the south could never live in the harmony of North America due to the cultural, religious and racial diversity of the south. The books 1491 and 1493 have some amazing data on who colonized the South American states and you will see the correlation of color on the maps between South America and Africa, and Chicago for example. The northern countries get too little sun to be sane and just knock each other off for the heck of it! Reply Mo-tard says: February 8, 2016 at 15:30 I believe “Joe R.” is a lefty troll. Reply int19h says: February 8, 2016 at 22:56 I find it extremely dubious that most of Africa is really “green” wrt firearm numbers. More likely it has more than Europe, but they’re all unregistered and illegal. I mean, seriously, this map shows green for Somalia – yeah, right? So most likely this shows the number of registered / estimated legal guns. In which case the map is easily turned around – “look, in places where you have to register your guns and most people do so, crime is low”. The homicide map just shows why it’s really nice to live in a rich, stable country. The correlation between the two, if it exists, is largely dwarfed by other economic and social factors. Reply Yellow Devil says: February 9, 2016 at 11:52 I believe intentional homicides in places like Iraq and Somalia (even discounting the current conflicts) should be much redder than it currently shows. 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