Model this: more guns, less homicide!

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9 Responses to Model this: more guns, less homicide!

  1. Kathy H says:

    There are lies, damn lies, and then statistics.

  2. Craig says:

    Enrique, you should really rethink your motivation to post a chart like this in a blog titled “Prior Probability” that purports to advance Bayesian statistics. Was this just a challenge to your readers to poke holes in the premise (a la “How Many Mistakes Can You Find In This Picture” puzzles) or do you really subscribe to this? I hope it was the former.

    • As good bayesians, we are obligated to consider new evidence and update our priors in light of such evidence. (In fairness, the chart excludes the leading cause of death by firearms, which is suicide.)

      • Craig says:

        So one wonders how many fewer suicides (as well as homicides) there might be if guns didn’t make it so quick and easy. Saying that most gun deaths are suicides makes what point exactly? This country is sloshing in guns. They are a problem not a solution.

      • But by that logic, we should knives, cars, and other dangerous things!

      • Craig says:

        I am not going to continue to argue against false equivalencies and slippery slope arguments, which seem to be the substance of your stance on this issue, Enrique. Enjoy.

      • Fair enough, and I certainly understand your frustration with me. To provide some context, I have to confess that my legal world-view was highly influenced by my torts professor (and mentor) Guido Calabresi. He not only introduced me to the Coase Theorem, which posits that all conflicts are “reciprocal in nature” (a point I will elaborate on in a future blog post); Calabresi also posed a fascinating question: in any given social problem (such as car accidents or gun deaths), who is the “cheaper cost avoider”? That is, who can avoid or reduce the risk of harms at the lowest cost? It turns out that, sometimes, it’s the victim!!! (That’s why we have laws, Calabresi would argue, that restrict our freedoms by requiring us to wear seat belts or purchase cars with air bags.)

      • Also, to my credit, I am certainly willing to consider a repeal or a revision of the Second Amendment (!), so long as the States get to decide their own policies (either for gun rights or for gun control) however they wish.

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