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Author Topic: A taste of Universal Background Checks  (Read 29823 times)

sqlbullet

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Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
« Reply #100 on: March 04, 2020, 10:23:37 am »

Can someone please tell me what a person's income has to do with their morality? 


The data clearly shows that it income inequality does have something to do with morality.

http://www.ecineq.org/ecineq_paris19/papers_EcineqPSE/paper_122.pdf

https://siteresources.worldbank.org/DEC/Resources/Crime%26Inequality.pdf

Also, it isn't income that is the predictor.  It is income inequality.
Utah

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    coelacanth

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #101 on: March 04, 2020, 05:40:12 pm »
    Sorry.  Not buying it.  Morality, defined as a personal creed or deeply held conviction is not conditional.  A person's income, even when compared to someone else's income does not excuse immoral behavior, neither does it motivate immoral behavior in someone to who holds their own morality to be more important than their income. 

    Even in extreme circumstances a moral person does not seek an immoral solution as the first expedient.  Criminal behavior - specifically crime(s) committed with a gun or guns don't seem to be a problem stemming from people solidly grounded in traditional morality. 

    Its not that moral people can't be provoked - even to the point of violence - but they resort to it primarily as a last option.  That is the whole point of our argument that law abiding gun owners are not the problem in this current discussion.  They never have been. They never will be. 
    The law abiding citizen still retains enough faith in the system of government established here by our founders and also their fellow citizens who share that belief that they will not be a part of an anarchist mob if there is any other alternative. 

    Why that isn't part of this discussion seems very odd to me.

    My point in asking the question was to illustrate the elephant in room that nobody seems to want to discuss or even acknowledge. As far as I was able to determine, neither of the sources you listed even mentions the subject of personal morality - much less assign it any weight at all in their "studies". 

    So, the question stands.  Can you please tell me what a person's income has to do with their morality? 
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    Langenator

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #102 on: March 04, 2020, 05:41:57 pm »
    I've been meaning to try to add to this thread, but I keep running out of time to craft a worthwhile response, but here goes.  It's more lobbing grenades into the fray than I'd really like, but oh well:

    Really interesting article on gun ownership rates and firearm homicides: Everybody's lying about the link between gun ownership and homicide.  Basically, there is no statistical correlation, either at the state level in the U.S., or internationally.  (The whole website has several other very interesting articles on gun issues.  www.freakoutery.com)

    Where they did find strong correlation is on race and income inequality.  The single biggest predictor for a higher firearm homicide rate was an increase in the black population:  "For each 1 percentage point increase in proportion of Black population, firearm homicide rate increased by 5.2%"  The second largest was income inequality.

    Now, to circle back and touch on Booksmart's point that for the people who live in those dark red counties on the map, high levels of violence and violent crime ARE the reality of life in America:  definitely true.  Everyone's view of reality is heavily shaded by what happens immediately around them every day, and that's very different in Atlanta or Balitmore than it is in Lawrence, KS or Mountain Home, ID.

    But the big push for gun control isn't coming from the actual populations where the violence (gun and otherwise) actually happens.  The loudest voices for gun control are almost all rich (or at least well off), white liberals.  All lot of them live in those dark red counties, but they don't live in the actual neighborhoods within those counties where most of the violence happens.  Mike Bloomberg is the leading example of this, along with Andrew Cuomo, Chuck Shumer, Dianne Feinstein, and little Bobby Francis.  (I'll give Gabby Giffords and Sarah Brady at least some slack.  They at least have personal trauma to explain their positions.)

    I honestly think that without Bloomberg shovelling money at it, the gun control movement in the U.S. would be almost dead.

    And I think the race issue is also the biggest reason why it's so frustratingly difficult to have a rational discussion or debate about how to deal with crimes committed with guns in America.  The two sides are having different arguments.  The gun control side mostly uses mass shootings - spectacular, but statistically insignificant in the larger data set of firearm crimes - as their justification for their proposed bans/restrictions.  The pro-2A side points out that a vastly disproportionate amount of the firearms homicides and non-lethal shootings happen amongst certain easily defined, and largely geographically limited, segments of the population, and if you want to reduce violent crimes that use guns, you should worry about that.  And then get called racists.
    TexasFortuna Fortis Paratus

    coelacanth

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #103 on: March 04, 2020, 05:58:05 pm »


    I understand the inclination to pick and choose points about which to argue.  Its a long established debate tactic some of us learned way back in high school where we learned to score points based on how well we emphasized our ideas and talking points while minimizing or ignoring those of our opponents. 

    "The commonest weakness of our race is to rationalize our most selfish purposes."   Robert A. Heinlein, again.   

    You mean talking past each other?  Like that? ^   :hmm
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    LowKey

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #104 on: March 04, 2020, 10:24:25 pm »
    I'm mangle a line from the late Dr. Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer, "People* have the morals they can afford."


    *Originally "Civilizations", IIRC.
    The data clearly shows that it income inequality does have something to do with morality.

    http://www.ecineq.org/ecineq_paris19/papers_EcineqPSE/paper_122.pdf

    https://siteresources.worldbank.org/DEC/Resources/Crime%26Inequality.pdf

    Also, it isn't income that is the predictor.  It is income inequality.

    coelacanth

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #105 on: March 04, 2020, 11:08:42 pm »
    The quote is, I believe , attributable to Larry Niven rather than Dr. Pournelle but with that duo it is likely attributable to both as part of the collaboration. It is an excellent book, btw.  I remain unaware of any situation involving two or more people in which moral behavior is not relevant.   
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    LowKey

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #106 on: March 05, 2020, 12:46:59 am »
    I'm not suggesting that morals are not important.
    I'm suggesting that not everyone shares the same  morals.
    Morals are cultural value.

    I suspect that many (not all) of the inhabitants of those high violence, heavy gang activity neighborhoods do not view themselves as part of the same culture to which you and I consider ourselves to belong.  I do not mean they view themselves as part of a sub-culture or counter culture but as belonging to an entirely different culture, one in which using violence as a first line solution is moral.

    To borrow a catchphrase from yet a different set of writers, "Local Custom".
    I'm not talking about moral relativity.  I'm saying it's as foreign to us as any in a third world country where rule of law has broken down.


    The quote is, I believe , attributable to Larry Niven rather than Dr. Pournelle but with that duo it is likely attributable to both as part of the collaboration. It is an excellent book, btw.  I remain unaware of any situation involving two or more people in which moral behavior is not relevant.
    « Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 01:00:34 am by LowKey »

    LowKey

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #107 on: March 05, 2020, 01:01:33 am »
    I'm not suggesting that morals are not important.
    I'm suggesting that not everyone shares the same  morals.
    Morals are cultural value.

    I suspect that many (not all) of the inhabitants of those high violence, heavy gang activity neighborhoods do not view themselves as part of the same culture to which you and I consider ourselves to belong.  I do not mean they view themselves as part of a sub-culture or counter culture but as belonging to an entirely different culture, one in which using violence as a first line solution is moral.

    To borrow a catchphrase from yet a different set of writers, "Local Custom".


    coelacanth

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #108 on: March 05, 2020, 01:38:50 am »
    I'm not suggesting that morals are not important.
    I'm suggesting that not everyone shares the same  morals.
    Morals are cultural value.

    I suspect that many (not all) of the inhabitants of those high violence, heavy gang activity neighborhoods do not view themselves as part of the same culture to which you and I consider ourselves to belong.  I do not mean they view themselves as part of a sub-culture or counter culture but as belonging to an entirely different culture, one in which using violence as a first line solution is moral.

    To borrow a catchphrase from yet a different set of writers, "Local Custom".
    I'm not talking about moral relativity.  I'm saying it's as foreign to us as any in a third world country where rule of law has broken down.


    That would be true - pretty much across the human spectrum.  Still, there is the principle of not pissing off the family, tribe, neighborhood or whatever group one belongs to or identifies with.   There are too many cliches to list describing the idea but that's because it is universally recognized.   

    You are correct in the observation that what appear to be diametrically opposed systems of values can exist simultaneously and in close proximity to one another but even across that divide certain behaviors - or the lack of them - can quickly become an identifying trait. 
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    booksmart

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #109 on: March 05, 2020, 09:37:07 am »

    But the big push for gun control isn't coming from the actual populations where the violence (gun and otherwise) actually happens.  The loudest voices for gun control are almost all rich (or at least well off), white liberals.  All lot of them live in those dark red counties, but they don't live in the actual neighborhoods within those counties where most of the violence happens.  Mike Bloomberg is the leading example of this, along with Andrew Cuomo, Chuck Shumer, Dianne Feinstein, and little Bobby Francis.  (I'll give Gabby Giffords and Sarah Brady at least some slack.  They at least have personal trauma to explain their positions.)

    *snippage*

    And I think the race issue is also the biggest reason why it's so frustratingly difficult to have a rational discussion or debate about how to deal with crimes committed with guns in America.  The two sides are having different arguments.  The gun control side mostly uses mass shootings - spectacular, but statistically insignificant in the larger data set of firearm crimes - as their justification for their proposed bans/restrictions.  The pro-2A side points out that a vastly disproportionate amount of the firearms homicides and non-lethal shootings happen amongst certain easily defined, and largely geographically limited, segments of the population, and if you want to reduce violent crimes that use guns, you should worry about that.  And then get called racists.


    Responding to quoted paragraph 1:

    If by loudest, you mean most easily heard because they have the means (both time and money) to access media and politics, I'd agree with that.  To an extent - I'm part of that. Yeah, I work downtown, but I live in the suburbs, I'm decently well off.  It would be a remarkable event for there to be a shooting in my neighborhood.  But they watch the news, and see the "if it bleeds it leads" news offered up every night (I listen to NPR... more national interest than local), and that's their touchstone with the rest of the city.

    Responding to quoted paragraph 2:

    I'd agree with this assessment as well.  But, regardless of the definition of mass shootings, it's hard to ignore that there has been an uptick in that trend over the past 20 years.

    An old article, but relevant:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2015/06/18/charleston-deaths-are-an-american-tragedy-mass-shootings-are-rising/#4f88bb0e787b (ignore the rhetoric, look at the stats).

    There has also been a shift in the favored weapon. Historically, it's been pistols, but lately the weapon of choice has been an AR.

    I still need to go through that Excel sheet from earlier. If work is slow enough today, I might get to it.

    sqlbullet

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #110 on: March 05, 2020, 10:11:30 am »
    Coelacanth,

    I am not sure what you are not buying.  I am not drawing conclusions or stating causing.  I am stating there is a statistical correlation between GINI and crime.  Like gravity, it is not up for debate.  It just is.

    I ran the numbers myself from Wikipedia data for GINI and intentional homicide rate.  R2 = 0.2297525413143427, equation of trend: f(x) = 0.621026905352047x-16.6630807543459

    This R2 value puts the correlation in the "gray" area, but that is largely due to the crime data set only including intentional homicide.  I didn't take the time to find a more broad, but well vetted, crime data set by country.  But I have no doubt the correlation grows stronger for less morally offensive crime.

    The questions of if the correlation represent causation, and they "what/why" of that causation if it exists become philosophical questions to debate.  The start of the debate is to acknowledge the reality of the correlation.
    Utah

    coelacanth

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #111 on: March 06, 2020, 01:08:35 am »
    Perhaps I'm not making myself clear.   :hmm   I don't think any discussion of crime statistics can ignore any significant factor and be taken seriously.  The studies you linked both focus on income inequality as a significant factor in explaining those levels of crime across the group(s) studied.  Fair enough but that was the purpose of the studies.  The theory was posited and the study was designed to assess that factor and I have no real doubt that they succeeded in that regard. 

    You say, given the correlation ( which I am not challenging ) it is entirely possible it would grow stronger for less severely punished or " morally offensive " crime.  I agree.  To me that speaks to individual morality playing a significant part in the actions that make up those statistics and that is my point.  I can't buy the premise that income inequality is the primary driver behind crime statistics.  I don't think there is any data supporting that which doesn't also completely ignore the question of individual morality.  Yes, I understand that such a thing is not easily quantifiable and anything that can't be reduced to numerical representations is considered suspect in some circles but to pretend it either doesn't exist or to assign it a zero value in some hypothetical hierarchy of causation is absurd on its face. 

    You are correct in your characterization of the question as being one that edges into a philosophical debate. My contention is that as the very beings that philosophical concepts describe why would we ignore that aspect of our nature when trying to explain something as significant as those homicide rates?  How can you even accurately describe the problem without acknowledging one of its most critical aspects?   :hmm

    "The start of the debate is to acknowledge the reality of the correlation."     Yup.  No doubt about it.  And as we are all aware, correlation is not always causation and failure to assess or acknowledge the full extent of a problem is the most frequently encountered obstacle to solving that problem.   
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    booksmart

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #112 on: March 06, 2020, 08:58:17 am »
    C, your morals become very malleable when you're either a) trying to score a fix, or b) nobody in your family has eaten in a day or three. 

    Granted, there is also option c), which is just "you're an a$$%$#."

    https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/Psychology-of-Crime-Why-do-people-become-criminals

    coelacanth

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #113 on: March 06, 2020, 11:42:46 pm »
    Nice article.  Long on theories - short on answers.  Individual morality is not actually mentioned - only inferred in one of the models.  Or so it seemed to me.  I don't necessarily disagree with what I found there but it seemed incomplete.   

    I think you can speak for your own morals but not someone else's.  Items a) and b) present problems which may or may not have acceptable solutions to the person experiencing them but they don't preclude acting morally even in that context.   Most of us are capable of doing things in extremis that we never imagined we could or would do but, again, acting morally in such a situation is not out of the question. 

    I assume option c) is something that is sometimes referred to as a "lack of moral fiber".   :hmm    Take a close look at this one .  .  . 

    https://www.abc6.com/disturbing-video-15-year-old-girl-robbed-and-beaten-in-brooklyn/

    Anything stand out to you? 
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    Plebian

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    Re: A taste of Universal Background Checks
    « Reply #114 on: March 07, 2020, 01:53:55 am »
    Are you implying inner city kids are less risk averse than rural kids?  Search youtube for "hold my beer" and tell me that again. lol

    I was referring to the US population as a whole, not inner city individuals specifically. The US is a nation of immigrants. So there was some self sorting behavior as individuals came here. The least risk averse would have taken the risk to get here. So I would make an assumption the normal curve for risk aversion in the US is likely flatter than compared to other countries.

    Just like the normal curves for human males is flatter than human females(a common mammal pattern). So if an individual is a genius. It is very likely a male. It is the same for severe mental conditions, most likely male. The average is still the same just more on the fringes. This same pattern holds for most things like height, weight etc etc

    You combine a flatter normal curve for risk aversion and some environmental stresses. It would be expected to see higher stats for risky behavior(violent or otherwise). Which might also explain some other oddities among the US population, STD transmission, drug use/abuse, starting businesses, gambling etc etc.
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