Australian Gun Laws – Did they Work? (spolier: yes they did)

University of Sydney academic Professor Simon Chapman is the lead author of a study that has examined the impact of the late 1990’s tightening of Australian gun laws. The Liberal government of the time (for ‘liberal’ read ‘conservative’) enacted tougher gun laws in response to the Port Arthur mass shooting in Tasmania. Australia’s gun laws did not become as strict as the UK’s and the emphasis was on  guns that could be used in mass shootings and a general reduction in gun availability.

So what happened? The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association here: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2530362 [abstract is directly avaialble but I think it is possible to get the full article by a free sign-up]

There is also an editorial in the same edition of the journal here: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2530361

What is most clear from the current study is that Australia’s NFA coincided with an elimination of mass killings with firearms. It is difficult to pinpoint precisely which aspect of the policy contributed to this success, but the substantial reduction in the population’s exposure to semiautomatic long guns capable of accepting large-capacity magazines (LCMs) for ammunition is likely to have been key. Examinations of fatal mass shootings in the United States have found that when assault weapons or pistols with LCMs are used in these shootings, the number of victims shot is about 2.5 times higher than in mass shootings with other firearms.7,8

The study is particularly interesting because it aims to disentangle the effect of the gun law changes from other brother shifts – for example  the trend in many developing nations of declines in homicide that occurred anyway. It also shows that the laws had an impact on suicide and importantly, shows that banning some kinds of weapons does not just lead to shift to still-legal weapons with no resulting decline in mass-killings or suicides. Instead a selective ban and gun buy-back schemes does seem to have resulted in a net reduction in deaths.

From a Guardian news article on the study:

The lead author of the study, Professor Simon Chapman, said a similar study had been conducted 10 years ago, and that the researchers had repeated it to see if gun-related deaths were continuing to decline, finding that they had.

“I’ve calculated that for every person in Australia shot in a massacre, 139 [people] are shot through firearm-related suicide or homicides, so they are much more common,” Chapman said.

“We found that homicide and suicide firearms deaths had been falling before the reforms, but the rate of the fall accelerated for both of them after the reforms. We’ve shown that a major policy intervention designed to stop mass shootings has had an effect on other gun-related deaths as well.”

He said the researchers had chosen to publish the results in an American medical journal not just because the title was a prestigious one, but also because the findings would have a greater impact.

However, he does not believe the findings will have an impact on gun ownership laws in the US.

“The US is a good example of where evidence is going to take longer to prevail over fear and ideology,” he said.

“When people like [Republican candidate] Donald Trump talk about gun violence, he’s essentially not talking about the facts or the evidence, he’s talking about ideology and saying people want the right to protect themselves and their homes.

“The irony is the person you have to protect yourself most from in a home is the person who owns the gun.”

Chapman said more than half of those who had conducted mass shootings in Australia and New Zealand had been licensed gun holders.

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47 comments

  1. iamzenu

    Evidence doesn’t count for much I am afraid. It is the lesson I have finally learned. It particularly doesn’t count with the radical right which is why the demonize experts and science. Denial and delusion is pretty common.

    This is just how human brains evolved. They didn’t evolve as truth finding machines. The evolved as a means of advancing a Point of View whether that POV is right or wrong.

    Now some brains are marked for openness. Generally these are liberals. There brains look different and they process information differently. Some brains are more receptive to fear and motivation. Often these are conservatives.

    But all brains operate to preserve a POV, it’s just less noticeable with liberals because they are more open. We are not so smart.

    Did you know that MRIs can predict (to a statistical significant degree), a persons conservative or liberal orientation just by looking at the brain. There are peer reviewed papers on it.

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  2. iamzenu

    You don’t have to be convinced. You simply have to read the studies. This one is kind of fun. Look at the third name. It’s Colin Firth who commissioned the study as kind of a lark.

    http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(11)00289-2
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3092984/
    http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-13661538

    You can see it in psychopath research as well. MRI studies are very clear that parts of the brain we might call the paralimbic system has a difference in grey matter density. It is often a condition from birth.

    Again, you don’t have to be “convinced by the brain difference stuff”. Just understand the differences. How you interpret the information is up to you. But not all brains are the same and some are broken.

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  3. thephantom182

    I wouldn’t put too much faith in that paper, Camestros. First, it was published in JAMA, a journal with the integrity or a two dollar hooker. Second, go check to see who -paid- for it. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Third, it doesn’t mean anything that the death rate by gunshot in Australia as a whole changes. The factors driving homicide and suicide are LOCAL, not national. Parts of Sydney have high incidence of death by shooting every year compared to other parts. Some places in Australia have -never- had a shooting.

    What’s the difference? Will that difference be shown in a -national- study?

    No, the gun ban did not make a difference by taking guns out of the hands of likely offenders. If any difference was made, it was by the increasing tendency of officials to go after people legitimately defending themselves and their own property. That difference will be seen presently in increased robbery, rape and casual drug use statistics.

    Try not to be a sucker.

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    • camestrosfelapton

      If money has distorted the results in some way then DEMONSTRATE THE ACTUAL ERRORS statistical or methodological.
      Local variation? Sure, so what? Lical variations in cigarette smoking too, doesn’t change whether smoking is a contributory factor in some cancers.
      Why a NATIONAL study? Because it was a NATIONAL (i.e. federal) policy. Study looks at the national impact of a national policy

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      • thephantom182

        “Lical variations in cigarette smoking too, doesn’t change whether smoking is a contributory factor in some cancers.”

        No, but it does mean that you can’t discover that smoking contributes to cancer from national studies, duh.

        Consider a study that compares annual rates of smoking to annual death rates from lung cancer in two countries. Country A is worse than country B. What has been proven about smoking? Hint, this is an exam question in study design.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        No but it does show that aggregating data can still demonstrate broad effects. Otherwise no statistical study would be possible at all. After all you could then object that every street in an area was different in some regard and then that each house was different and then that each individual was different and then that each part of an individual was different and different overtime and so on and so on. Yes, differences allow for some capacity for doubt and error but pretending this is a simple binary would render all inquiry impossible. You are applying a kind of selective scepticism to results you really don’t want to know.
        More relevantly, as I pointed out and which you ignored – this was a national policy, it is the national effect that is in question: what happened to a nation as a consequence. A study should be tailored to the question at hand, as this one was.

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      • thephantom182

        “No but it does show that aggregating data can still demonstrate broad effects.”

        In this case the study I posit shows zero useful information. Because the people doing the smoking are not the people doing the dying, they are two different groups. The correlation is extremely weak at best, and useless for drawing any conclusion at all.

        “Otherwise no statistical study would be possible at all.”

        Statistical studies work by correlation. They are useful for generating a testable hypothesis, they cannot test hypotheses on their own. For a test you must have an experiment. Because correlation does not show causation.

        On the issue of guns, Rudy Giuliani’s Broken Windows policy was enacted and run only in New York City. It was so successful that it changed the national murder rate several percent while Giuliani was mayor.

        Did the NYC policy change anything at all in Chicago or anywhere else in the USA? No. But the national murder rate changed. That is because the national murder rate is a meaningless number, fluctuations in which convey no useful information regarding crime.

        Conversely, did the National Assault Weapon Ban, which happened during the same period, have any affect on crime in NYC? No. Assault rifles were not used in crime, number one, number two they were already illegal in NYC.

        But did the national murder rate change? Yes! Does it mean the Assault Weapon Ban worked? No. But I can show you a whole flock of papers trying to prove that it did. All of them bullshit.

        Use your brain, sir. Use those logical muscles for something other than posing.

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      • iamzenu

        In our county these studies are feared. CDC I think last did a study on gun violence in 1996 and the Republicans stripped funding from them in retaliation. The “Dickey Amendment” blocks funding for CDC research on gun violence. The American Medical Association has labeled gun violence a health crisis and is lobbying to overturn the amendment but I don’t expect any movement.

        Again, this is about preserving a POV. There is very little truth seeking that occurs. Studies would not be well received. You see similar things on Climate Change. Heck, in my state you have state boards trying to undermine teaching evolution. As I said in the my first post in my first sentence, evidence doesn’t count for much.

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      • thephantom182

        “As I said in the my first post in my first sentence, evidence doesn’t count for much.”

        I was living in the USA when the CDC was blocked from pursuing gun “research”. The CDC was using federal funds meant for disease prevention and control to pursue a partisan political agenda, and the papers they were funding were the worst possible form of evidence-free propaganda. Please see Wintemute, Kellerman and Reay for examples, they were the lead authors on a lot of it. Don’t you dare complain to me about “evidence” without reading that bullshit they published first. If you want a reading list I’ll be happy to provide a bibliography.

        A paper is not in and of itself evidence of anything at all. You have to READ the paper and understand the ideas being presented, then decide if the authors are A) competent and B) honest. Kellerman particularly was publicly called to account by the US Congress for failure to make his government funded CDC paid for data available to other researchers. Beyond misleading study design and improper study population selection, his group went to the trouble of fudging their data. They got caught, and these days Kellerman spends his time publishing studies on Bicycle helmets.

        Please see again my link to the NAS meta-analysis study where they find there is NO EVIDENCE to support the idea that banning guns will reduce criminal activity.

        And in case you ever wonder why conservative types like myself get pissy about things like this, its because I went to school a fuck of a long time to learn how to analyze a scientific study. I have a BA and an MSc, and a license to practice. It really burns my thrusters to have people who don’t even know what a relative risk calculation is come along and tell me I’m ignoring the evidence.

        The part that’s hard to get your head around here is the fact that people use medical journals to deliberately lie, for politics. Once you accept that rather confronting truth, the rest is fairly straightforward.

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  4. thephantom182

    “Study looks at the national impact of a national policy.”

    If the factors affecting the issue are intensely local, can there even be a national impact from a national policy? No, there can’t. Because geographically limited problem not found nationally.

    You’re supposed to be a smart boy. Get your head outside the box for two seconds and think about the fucking study. CAN THEY PROVE THEIR CLAIMS with the data they present? Go look at the claims and the data, I believe you will find a lot of talk without much to back it up. Does the study design actually do what they claim it does? Go read it and get back to me.

    I very much doubt that it does, and I say that because I read every fucking paper printed on the subject in JAMA from 1960 to 2001. They were -all- horseshit. I’m not talking arguable problems, I’m talking deliberate malfeasance. Utter, hilarious horseshit. In the entire medical literature of that time period, out of a couple of hundred papers, I found SIX (6) that met even the most basic requirements of a scientific paper. So did the National Academy of Science in a meta analysis. http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=10881 That NAS panel was packed with anti-gun scientists by the way, they undersold it bigtime.

    This is what I can’t stand about the gun debate. You guys pretend every study is the received wisdom of the gods. On any other subject you’d argue forever and nitpick the thing to bits, but because its about guns “the science is settled!” and I’m meant to shut up.

    Don’t. Be. A. Sucker.

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    • camestrosfelapton

      //If the factors affecting the issue are intensely local, can there even be a national impact from a national policy? No, there can’t. Because geographically limited problem not found nationally. //

      Yes. You can check that with basic arithmetic is you are unsure. Imagine a country split into 5 regions. The average incidence of issue Y across this country is 0.2 units. However when broken down by region (which conveniently for this example have equal numbers of people) the figures look like this: 0,0,1,0,0 units respectively per region. Now implement a policy aimed at reducing the incidence of issue Y. The policy makes ZERO difference in 4 out of the five regions because the incidence of issue Y was already zero. However, the effect in one region cuts the incidence in half from 1 to 0.5 units.

      Now what happens to our NATIONAL figures. The national average goes from 0.2 to 0.1 units.

      So yes, national studies can reveal national effects even if those effects play out differently in different regions. Is that ALWAYS the case? No. A policy might exacerbate something in one region and reduce it in another (think for example of economic policies such as changing interest rates). However, IN THIS CASE that does not appear to be what has happened.

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      • thephantom182

        “However, IN THIS CASE that does not appear to be what has happened.”

        But you can’t tell, because aggregation removes the information you need to find out what happened to the hot areas with the murders.

        You’re also imputing causation in a study that in principle can’t show causation, only correlation. A very -weak- correlation. You have no idea if the change was because of the gun law, or the Sidney cops got a new police dog and it lifted moral. You can’t, because the study design forbids it.

        See? Use the brain.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        Wow, you are missing the point big time AND moving the goalpost and you aren’t even missing the point in the direction you moved the goalposts.

        The correlation/causation thing – sorry but that is just silly. We test hypotheses and use studies to see if a hypothesis is false. ‘Causation’ is demonstrated by a hypothesis surviving such tests. Causation arises out of the model which we are applying and which shapes the inquiry we then conduct. No single study proves the model, rather it is the repeated correspondence between the model on the one hand and reality on the other. ALL the evidence comes into play when considering whether the model is true – including the likely mechanism in play.

        The game you are playing is what I call selective ignorance. It is a way of attempting to be fallaciously sceptical by pretending that everything else we know has to be ignored when considering what a particular study says. It is a standard play for climate change denialists.

        It is something I can only respect from somebody who can hold to it consistently and hence is sceptical about everything. That is clearly not you – indeed you are often quite credulous about proposition on which you have very limited evidence.

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      • thephantom182

        “We test hypotheses and use studies to see if a hypothesis is false. ‘Causation’ is demonstrated by a hypothesis surviving such tests.”

        No, causation is proven by a double blind experiment. That’s the only level of evidence that’s considered good enough for medical practices, and even that leads to mistakes. For example, the use of hormone replacement therapy for post-menopausal women turns out to be a really bad idea. Leads to heart failure. That didn’t show up in the initial testing for the drugs, because they weren’t looking for it. Similarly the VIOXX studies. Then there is actual malfeasance like the Kyoto heart study, where they fucked with the data. These are famous failures of medical research where people’s lives were at stake, where they were using proper study design and double-blinding. How much worse is the level of evidence you are talking about?

        The truth about gun control is that it does nothing. There is no reputable study that shows it working. The study you are talking about in this post is evidence of nothing at all, due to the mass of uncontrolled confounding factors. I can’t help it if you find this inconvenient for ideological reasons, the fact remains.

        An example of a -useful- study is the Framingham Heart Study. Please compare and contrast the Framingham study design with the design of your JAMA article. On your own time of course, I don’t expect a dissertation.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        “No, causation is proven by a double blind experiment.”

        Oh gosh, why don’t you demand a placebo controlled double-blind study while you are it. I’d love to see you provide such a thing for, say, special-relativity – or will you claim that physics is just a set of vague unproven correlations?

        Vast swathes of science does not have double-blind studies and nor is it the only form of study recognized in medicine. It *is* a very effective approach for comparison of specific medical interventions, but the idea that it is the only sound methodology in science is absurd and illiterate.

        Really Phantom, there are plenty of good books you can read on this and learn about scientific methodology.

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      • iamzenu

        The Phantom said: “The truth about gun control is that it does nothing.” It is similar to his conviction that MRI studies of the brain are nonsense.

        That’s his POV. Further evidence on the subject will increase his belief that his POV is correct.. To win an argument with a conservative it is better to lead with a values argument rather than a fact argument. Or simply say thank you for your opinion and don’t argue.

        Dr. Leon Festinger begins his book: “A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.” (“When Prophecy Fails”, Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter, Henry W. Riecken, 1956). Look up “Seekers, cult, Chicago” for a great example of “motivated reasoning”.

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      • thephantom182

        “I’d love to see you provide such a thing for, say, special-relativity – or will you claim that physics is just a set of vague unproven correlations?”

        Physics is never considered proven. No physicist worth his slide rule thinks otherwise. You make a hypothesis and then invite everyone to prove it is incorrect. They try as hard as they can, and if it stands up to all that, then they grudgingly accept there’s maybe something to it. Then they go home and think up new ways to disprove it. That’s science.

        What you’re doing is politics.

        But this, this is interesting right here:

        “Iamzenu said: “The truth about gun control is that it does nothing.” It is similar to his conviction that MRI studies of the brain are nonsense.”

        What the hell is going on inside your brain, boy? Are you going to try to pretend I’m saying MRIs don’t work, or that they can’t be used in studies? I’m calling you out on your notion “Now some brains are marked for openness. Generally these are liberals. There brains look different and they process information differently. Some brains are more receptive to fear and motivation. Often these are conservatives.”

        Brain. Plasticity. Disproves. This. Theory. For fuck sakes, how old are you?

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      • camestrosfelapton

        “Physics is never considered proven”
        Ok but then demanding a higher standard for evidence on gun control pretty much demonstrates that NO evidence and no kind of study etc will change your mind about anything. Which us OK if you want to assert some kind of hyperscepticism – but you don’t.

        On other matters you assert dogmatic certainty – on much weaker evidence. All that points too is highly partisan and selective scepticism which you only role out when factual findings are inconvenient to you.

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      • thephantom182

        “Ok but then demanding a higher standard for evidence on gun control pretty much demonstrates that NO evidence and no kind of study etc will change your mind about anything.”

        I’m pointing out the glaring shortcomings of the paper you posted. They are obvious and many. It is no sort of reasonable evidence to base even a choice of restaurant on, much less a public policy. This paper is representative of a type that appears constantly in the medical literature, I have seen it dozens of times. Same flaws, same objections.

        Apparently I’m not allowed to do this, according to you. But Camestros, that’s what science IS. What you’re fighting for here is a public policy based on your opinion, because you’ve disallowed objecting to study design, method, data and stated claims not matching, and so forth.

        I’ve read a great many gun control studies. I find out of the many I read over the course of my PT schooling, six (6) met the minimum of a proper medical grade study. None of those found a positive effect on crime from gun control laws, four of them found a negative effect. All the rest were failures of peer review.

        You see, one of the problems with these study designs you seem to like is that they don’t admit there could be a positive, protective effect from possessing a firearm. What is being done, and what you are applauding, is like only looking at the death rate from a surgical procedure. “Appendectomies kill 1200 worldwide in 2015!!! When will the carnage end?!”

        People do die from appendectomies. They croak right there on the table. Should we ban the procedure? No? Why not?

        Or hip replacements. Did you know that having a hip replacement shortens your life by several years, and is strongly correlated with heart failure, osteoporosis, and mental decline/dementia? Yes! It’s a scandal, I tell you.

        If anything, saying the Orlando shooting was caused by “easy” access to guns is even more ridiculous than those two examples. Might as well say the Boston Marathon bombing was caused by easy access to guns, it is equally reasonable.

        The push for gun control ignores another very large problem. Governments killed more people than any other single cause in the 20th Century, and we are on track to beat that record in the 21st. So allowing a government to disarm its citizens does have a risk attached to it that people like yourself are very quick to minimize.

        Does disarming the populace bring sufficient crime reduction benefit to make it worth the risk, at both the personal level and the societal level? To determine that you’d have to look at the likelihood of being killed by a criminal. Outside certain well known locations, that risk closely approaches zero in Western nations like Canada and Oz. Hence my point above.

        In my well informed opinion, no. The benefit does not justify the risk. Not to mention the expense.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        NO, you are trying to point them out but you missed and instead went for a kind of universal skepticism that you don’t believe in. In the meantime you haven’t actually engaged with the paper in any substantive way.

        In the meantime, Australia did introduce measures which really do appear to have impacted on some types of gun related deaths without in any way running the risk of turning into Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany.

        In the meantime…if we look at people killed by agents of the government, let’s ask which is more likely: a US citizen being killed by a police officer (or other law enforcement official) in the US or a UK citizen being killed by a police officer (or other law enforcement official) in the UK? That whole having guns as a prophylactic against judicial murder really, really isn’t working in the US now is it? Not even close. Heck, not even do-I-need-to-conduct-a-complex-study-to-identify-the-issue sort of way.

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      • KR

        -Phantom: given the overwhelming nature of government force nowadays (armored vehicles, SWAT teams as first resort, remote targeted missiles, drones, infrared imaging, hacking capabilities etc) do you really think the argument of “guns are necessary for self-defense against government tyranny” bears any relationship to actual material conditions? No, it does not.

        Does disarming the populace bring sufficient crime reduction benefit to make it worth the risk, at both the personal level and the societal level? To determine that you’d have to look at the likelihood of being killed by a criminal. Outside certain well known locations, that risk closely approaches zero in Western nations like Canada and Oz. Hence my point above.
        -Also: This point is exceedingly unclear. Are you claiming that Canada and Australia have such low crime rates that it is not cost effective to disarm citizens? While failing to make the connection that those two countries might actually HAVE “closely-approaching-zero” deadly crime rates BECAUSE of the relative lack of easily-availabile guns. I can’t quite make out your point there, but it seems like a politicized logic fail. I demand a double-blind study that will support my views and then I will pay to have a professional journal publish it for the SJW street cred! All generously paid for by your taxes, of course 🙂

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      • thephantom182

        “given the overwhelming nature of government force nowadays (armored vehicles, SWAT teams as first resort, remote targeted missiles, drones, infrared imaging, hacking capabilities etc) do you really think the argument of “guns are necessary for self-defense against government tyranny” bears any relationship to actual material conditions? No, it does not.”

        Do you have any evidence to support that contention, or is it just something somebody told you? Because the answer to your question is, how’s the Taliban doing? They’ve had their asses kicked by the Russians, Americans, Brits, Canadians, Germans, you name it. With drones. So you should -examine- your contention from a wider view, and look to see what happens when governments overstep. They do it all the time, and usually nothing good happens for anyone. Better they don’t get out of line in the first place, yes?

        “This point is exceedingly unclear. Are you claiming that Canada and Australia have such low crime rates that it is not cost effective to disarm citizens? While failing to make the connection that those two countries might actually HAVE “closely-approaching-zero” deadly crime rates BECAUSE of the relative lack of easily-availabile guns.”

        No, I’m saying “Outside certain well known locations, that risk closely approaches zero in Western nations like Canada and Oz.” If you look at a crime map that pinpoints where crimes occur, you see that certain locations in certain cities have most of the incidents. Chicago is famous for this. An area downtown is a forest fire of red incident dots, literally one block away the incidents drop off to a trickle. Look at a crime map of Toronto, a few neighborhoods have all the dots and the rest of town has very little. Look at the suburban and rural areas of Ontario, and there’s effectively zero incidents.

        Gun laws, and the availability of guns, have nothing whatsoever to do with that distribution. Please follow that thought a little.

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    • iamzenu

      Phantom said: Are you going to try to pretend I’m saying MRIs don’t work, or that they can’t be used in studies? I’m calling you out on your notion “Now some brains are marked for openness. Generally these are liberals. There brains look different and they process information differently. Some brains are more receptive to fear and motivation. Often these are conservatives.””

      To answer your question – no, I won’t pretend that.

      I said exactly… “Did you know that MRIs can predict (to a statistical significant degree), a persons conservative or liberal orientation just by looking at the brain. There are peer reviewed papers on it.”

      You responded:
      “…you’d be giggling at those MRI findings. They’re utter nonsense.”

      So I am going to pretend you said MRI findings in peer reviewed papers about predicting a person being conservative or liberal (self declared as I recall) was nonsense. And then you gave me something not on point as a link.

      Brain plasticity doesn’t have anything to do with it. Identifying psychopathy in terms of psychological personality traits (see psychopathy checklist) and then using brain scans that show dysfunction and difference in grey matter density in the the paralimbic system doesn’t have anything to do with brain plasticity either.

      So MRIs and brain scans can be useful in predicting whether a person is liberal or conservative and can be useful in identifying dysfunction in those suffering from psychopathy. There is nothing particularly controversial here.

      On the other hand, if you have an opinion difference on liberal personalities being marked by “openness” and conservatives by “fear” (among other things for both), good for you. Have whatever opinion suits your fancy.

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      • thephantom182

        “Brain plasticity doesn’t have anything to do with it.”

        This is where being a layman and not widely read in neuroscience is getting you into trouble. The idea that an MRI can identify differences in -personality- as fine as a political orientation is laughable. Like, I’m laughing. Because as I said in the comments to the article I linked, which you apparently didn’t read, a human being can have HALF THEIR BRAIN removed, and retain their personality and consciousness. It is called a hemispherectomy, it is performed to treat certain types of epilepsy.

        Neurological rehab is my specialty. I’ve treated a lot of strokes and head injuries. Some people experience a shift in personality due to a comparatively small injury, others have massive damage and don’t change at all.

        You remember I said JAMA has the integrity of a two dollar hooker? They publish this kind of shit and call it “peer reviewed” too.

        Now, I will grant you that there’s a lot of authors out there who would -like- to be able to identify liberals and conservatives by a simple MRI scan. But there used to be people who thought you could do the same thing by measuring people’s heads. Phrenology, a dead art. You’re doing phrenology with an MRI machine.

        Good luck with that.

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      • Bonnie McDaniel

        From the article:

        However, Focus later reported that the man was armed with a blank weapon, and that people were only hurt by tear gas.

        Sounds like it proves precisely nothing.

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      • thephantom182

        Death toll is one, so far. No details forthcoming. Like a name. The longer they leave it the more likely that name is Mohamed.

        But my dear Camestros, what bearing does the body count have on the efficacy of the gun control laws? The guy showed up armed, and they killed him.

        Again, what is this incident evidence of?

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      • camestrosfelapton

        Are you seriously asking what bearing does the body count have on judging the effectiveness of measures designed to reduce deaths? Because I’m thinking maybe you missed the point some time ago.

        Liked by 2 people

      • thephantom182

        Bonnie McDaniel: “Sounds like it proves precisely nothing.”

        I must beg to differ, Ms. McDaniel. To my mind it proves exactly the same things as were proven by the Orlando atrocity.

        Incidentally the FBI released a statement today that they are finding no evidence Orlando shooter boy was gay. So that’s one theory down in flames.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        Wow, I thought it would be at least a day before you forgot that you’ve been arguing even statements in physics can’t be proven.
        So the incident in Germany proves that mumble-mumble-something-WAR also? Gosh.

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      • KR

        JFC Phantom, you actually trust an FBI statement on anything terror-related to be honest, factual and not politicized (a word you hurl at your opponents so quickly)? Even the most cursory examination of their track record on the truthfulness of public statements might give you pause before uncritical acceptance. Hint: it’s not stellar.

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      • thephantom182

        “Are you seriously asking what bearing does the body count have on judging the effectiveness of measures designed to reduce deaths?”

        Yes, I’m seriously asking that. Because “the effectiveness of measures designed to reduce deaths” in this German case, meaning gun control, was zero. Didn’t work. Guy showed up with a gun. Somebody died. Fail. (This is what happens when you only look at death rates, Camestros. Doesn’t seem reasonable, does it?)

        The cops showing up quick and killing his ass worked great though. Guns 1, gun control 0.

        KR said: “JFC Phantom, you actually trust an FBI statement on anything terror-related to be honest, factual and not politicized (a word you hurl at your opponents so quickly)?”

        Of course it’s politicized. Did you miss where the Attorney General redacted all mention of “terrorist”, “Muslim” and a few other things from the 911 transcript?

        But, I know that eventually it will all come out. Right now, the cops are saying he’s not gay. Other media outlets are saying there are people saying he is gay, of the two I chose the cops until there’s -evidence- to doubt them. When they lie they have to face consequences, when newsies lie it must be Thursday.

        This many days after the Sandy Hook school shooting, what did we know? Just that it was the NRA’s fault. Then, after all the inquests we all found out it wasn’t -really- the NRA’s fault, but that part didn’t really get mentioned in the news.

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      • iamzenu

        Interesting about death counts and body tolls. I was watching a documentary tonight on the Freedom Riders in 1961. At the time there were no federal civil rights legislation, so when blacks and whites road buses together into the south, they took their lives in their own hands. Segregation was a way of life in the south. When the Freedom Riders came to Alabama, the local police gave the KKK 15 minutes to do whatever they wanted to the freedom riders. They stomped and beat with clubs. And the riders adhered to their nonviolent code and just took it. At one point good Christians through a fire bomb into the back of the bus and tried to hold the door closed so they could “burn those N******* alive”. They backed off when they thought the gas tank would explode. And people got out. I thought to myself – what if they had AR15s with 70 shot clips.

        When southerners surrounded the church where freedom riders and Dr. Martin Luther King were worshiping inside, what if they had AR15s. It wouldn’t be rocks going through the window.

        Body counts matter. That’s why terrorist are turning more to guns and particularly to lethal guns. That’s why no one wants North Koreans to have a nuclear weapon.

        And there is a reason we have gun free zones – like airplanes and airports for example. And like the Republican National Convention for another example.

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      • KR

        Red herring, check.
        Confirmation bias, check.
        “Look over there a squirrel”, check
        Conflation of unlike things, check.
        Exaggeration and editorializing, check check.
        Assertion of facts not in evidence, check.

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      • thephantom182

        “And there is a reason we have gun free zones – like airplanes and airports for example. And like the Republican National Convention for another example.”

        And Pulse nightclub. That worked out great, right?

        Except those are not gun free zones. They are civilian disarmament zones. Cops have lots of guns, two each at the airport some days.

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      • Bonnie McDaniel

        @Camestros

        Just out of curiosity, why do you allow the Phantom to spout his nonsense here? It’s your blog, and of course I accept your decision on it, whatever it is. I’m just wondering, because I would have blocked him a long time ago. Life’s too short.

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  5. thephantom182

    “When southerners surrounded the church where freedom riders and Dr. Martin Luther King were worshiping inside, what if they had AR15s.”

    Dude, please. 1960’s, southern USA? Those good ol’ boys all had .3006 caliber repeating rifles available. M1 Garands were for sale at the hardware store, cheap. If they decided the ####ers wuz gonna die, they’d be dead. Reloading the rifle is not that big a chore that a good ol’ boy cain’t git ‘er dun.

    Funny how that’s not how it went down, huh? Amazing how the “easy availability of military style weapons” lead to… nothing.

    As well, the AR15 is not so affectionately known in some circles as a poodle shooter. As guns go, it’s pretty sucky. I prefer the FN-FAL or the M1, because they fire a decent sized round. It lets you know it went off when you pull the trigger. Sometimes with the .223 its hard to tell.

    By the way, AR15s come with 30 round clips. You can’t even google stuff like that? Dumbass.

    By the way, do you know what happens when you rip through two mags of .223 with an AR15? The barrel starts to glow red hot, and if you’re not careful the action will bind.

    The reason I mention it is that it is difficult to have an informed opinion when you don’t know anything about the subject.

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    • iamzenu

      AR 15 magazines vary in size. One can get 100 round magazines. Not sure that 70 is correct. There are magazines for 60. Hope that makes it better for you.

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