2A - Decipher This 'Stand Your Ground' Study and Homicides

2A - Decipher This 'Stand Your Ground' Study and Homicides

This is a discussion on 2A - Decipher This 'Stand Your Ground' Study and Homicides within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Stand Your Ground laws and homicides by Andrew Gelman on June 27, 2012 in Judicial, Law The Monkey Cage, Blog Personally, I'm still working through ...

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Thread: 2A - Decipher This 'Stand Your Ground' Study and Homicides

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    2A - Decipher This 'Stand Your Ground' Study and Homicides

    Stand Your Ground laws and homicides
    by Andrew Gelman on June 27, 2012 in Judicial, Law
    The Monkey Cage, Blog

    Personally, I'm still working through the numbers and graphs - been a long day and the post (origional at The Monkey Blog) is dated, I have not seen it.

    From the Post.....

    .........The controversies surrounding Stand Your Ground laws have recently captured the nationís attention. Since 2005, eighteen states have passed laws extending the right to self-defense with no duty to retreat to any place a person has a legal right to be, and several additional states are debating the adoption of similar legislation.

    ...snip.....


    Our results indicate that Stand Your Ground laws are associated with a significant increase in the number of homicides among whites, especially white males. According to our estimates, between 4.4 and 7.4 additional white males are killed each month as a result of these laws.We find no evidence to suggest that these laws increase homicides among blacks. Our results are robust to a number of specifications and unlikely to be driven entirely by the killings of assailants. Taken together, our findings raise serious doubts against the argument that Stand Your Ground laws make America safer.

    My Comment Here: The MSM (media including FNC) don't find it newsworthy to report on miniority on minority violence. But alas, this is a 'Funded Study' so the numbers used at the raw data must represent every race, color and creed (said with just... a touch... of sarcasm). Read the Blog Comments. I also agree that the 'Seasonal Effect' skews the data and ..... (you be the judge).

    ... From a policy standpoint, I guess itís no surprise that Stand Your Ground laws could be associated with an increase in homicide. After all, these laws arenít really enacted as a homicide-control measure, right? Itís more the opposite, that they legalize certain violence that used to be criminal. I could imagine Stand Your Ground decreasing homicide in some sort of deterrence effect, but that would seem to me to be a bit of a bank-shot of an effect, hoping that legalizing some acts of violence would decrease others. Itís possible but I wouldnít bet on it. To put it another way, even if Stand Your Ground laws really did increase homicides, I could imagine people still supporting the laws on the grounds that some of these homicides were justifiable. I suppose that would be the next stage of research but it would take a lot more effort as it would have to investigate the story of each homicide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    Taken together, our findings raise serious doubts against the argument that Stand Your Ground laws make America safer..
    False conclusion

    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    itís no surprise that Stand Your Ground laws could be associated with an increase in homicide. After all, these laws arenít really enacted as a homicide-control measure, right? Itís more the opposite, that they legalize certain violence that used to be criminal. I could imagine Stand Your Ground decreasing homicide in some sort of deterrence effect, but that would seem to me to be a bit of a bank-shot of an effect, hoping that legalizing some acts of violence would decrease others. Itís possible but I wouldnít bet on it. To put it another way, even if Stand Your Ground laws really did increase homicides, I could imagine people still supporting the laws on the grounds that some of these homicides were justifiable. I suppose that would be the next stage of research but it would take a lot more effort as it would have to investigate the story of each homicide.
    Agreed. I do not regard a decrease in homicides as the yardstick SYG laws should be measured. Let's keep the law abiding citizens upright and functioning for their loved ones and society. I expect to see a shift in homicides from felonious to justifiable. BGs cease to count when they pull out a weapon to commit a crime.

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    Our results indicate that Stand Your Ground laws are associated with a significant increase in the number of homicides among whites, especially white males. According to our estimates, between 4.4 and 7.4 additional white males are killed each month as a result of these laws.

    ...
    Taken together, our findings raise serious doubts against the argument that Stand Your Ground laws make America safer.
    Hm. They're calling a change of 52-88 additional deaths a 'significant' increase, out of ~60000 violent deaths/injuries annually (NCIPC WISQARS) in which a firearm was used. A change of 1/10th of 1% is 'significant'? Seems politically motivated to me. I'd have to see details of how the study was performed, but I'd think that a few dozen either way out of 60000 would easily fall within expected normal statistical variation.
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    Like any statistical study, you can make the number give you the outcome you want. Any killing, whether it is a murder or a SD shooting is a homicide. If your against stand your ground, the fact that there are more homicides proves your point that it makes the country less safe. If your for stand your ground, it is argued that since people are not required to submit to their attacked, they are fighting back with more BG's dying because of it. Thus stand your ground makes the country safer for the GG's.

    The unfortunate thing about statistical studies, is the paper they are printed on isn't even good for using as toilet paper, which is about all their studies are worth.
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    I would also like to see what the mean and standard deviation is on the number of homicides per year. I am willing to be that we will find the "increase" to be well within the normal statistical variation, meaning that this conclusion can not be drawn from the data.

    I too would expect to see a shift towards justifiable homicides. To just say "homicide" does not provide sufficient information. It also shows a bias of allowing criminals to commit crimes is preferable to giving them a justifiable dirt nap.

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    Apparently, ice cream also causes people to drown, since more people drown on days when more ice cream is consumed...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Hm. They're calling a change of 52-88 additional deaths a 'significant' increase, out of ~60000 violent deaths/injuries annually (NCIPC WISQARS) in which a firearm was used. A change of 1/10th of 1% is 'significant'? Seems politically motivated to me. I'd have to see details of how the study was performed, but I'd think that a few dozen either way out of 60000 would easily fall within expected normal statistical variation.
    I believe the standard "negligible" statistical deviation is considered to be three percent, but maybe that doesn't apply to all studies.

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    post hoc, ergo propter hoc?

    OK, a couple of points: "Significant" in this context means statistically significant - that is, probably (at least 95% sure) the differences are NOT due to chance variation. It does not mean significant in the social sense.

    Second, If you look at the FBI data Bureau of Justice Statistics Homicide trends in the U.S.: Justifiable Homicides the number of justifiable homicides has been going down as a trend and the number by Police has always been greater than those by citizens - at least up to 2005.

    The question is up or down compared to what?
    For example: Romneycare in Mass. was predicted to increase the number of patients seen in Emergency Departments and if you compared the number seen after the law was passed with the number seen before, the number of patients did, in fact, go up. However, and this is important, if you compared the number with changes in neighboring states that DID NOT have Romneycare, they went up over the same time period as well, and by the same amount. The first argument is called 'post hoc, ergo propter hoc' - after the fact, therefore because of the fact - reasoning and is VERY dangerous in statistical studies (whole books have been written on measuring change).

    I couldn't get a copy of the original paper so I really can't tell how the study was designed and I'm willing to bet that the people who picked up the abstract and reported the findings in the media a) didn't read it either and b) aren't qualified by training or experience to evaluate it either.

    More recent data that I've seen but can't find the reference to suggests that since 2005, the number of justifiable homicides has gone up among both citizens and police. That might be due to SYG or (esp in the case of police) something else entirely.

    I think it would be wise not to take this report too seriously until you have a chance to examine the data and methods.
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    Ok, there its an increase in homicides. So what? Is there an increase in murders?
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    You know, there is one person who has total unconditional access to software that will tell the truth about this, heck he may have already processed it an has the results. But it will be a cold day in hell before Bloomy lets that cat out of the bag. It would probably blow a hole in all the propaganda he puts out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorBob View Post
    I think it would be wise not to take this report too seriously until you have a chance to examine the data and methods.
    Fighting fair with Truth hasn't exactly produced the desired results. I can't recall the anti-2a group (or liberals in general) following the Marquess of Queensberry Rules and their approach seems to have worked just fine. In the Era of Soundbites perhaps we should follow the opponent's playbook: shout early, loud and often and not stop until the threat is neutralized. But then again I have been accused of being an advocate of the disproportional use of force (and sarcasm upon occasion).
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorBob View Post
    OK, a couple of points: "Significant" in this context means statistically significant - that is, probably (at least 95% sure) the differences are NOT due to chance variation. It does not mean significant in the social sense.
    Very likely. They believe they've found a 1/10th of 1% variation in the numbers of homicides of whites/caucasians (to an assumed 95% confidence level) that's explainable by the passage of SYG statutes across the country. No mention of unlawful homicides, murder. As you say, it's hard to take it seriously without seeing the study parameters.
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