Comments on my debate with Adam Winkler on KPCC last week

The audio of the show discussing the Seal Beach shooting in California is available here starting at the 47:15 minute mark.

Email that I sent to Winkler after our discussion.
1) During your last comment on the show you stated (19 minutes into audio): "One point that I would like to comment on. . . . We are assuming that no one in Seal Beach had a gun, it is almost like this is the only guy in Seal Beach with a gun. But with 280 million guns in America, I think that it is unlikely that there was no one else with a gun. I bet that there was someone else there with a gun who just didn't want to use it."
In Orange County, there are only 551 people with concealed handgun permits out of an adult population of 2.26 million, a rate of 0.02 percent.  Those with permits were mainly judges, prosecutors, and wealthy businessmen.
The issue isn't whether a law-abiding citizen in an apartment or a house a couple blocks away had a gun. Did someone near by had a gun and they chose not to use it? I suspect that a Beauty Salon is not likely to be a place where the manager had a gun on premises. Besides referencing the number of guns in the US, do you have any other direct evidence on your claim?
2) There is no work that actually shows that adding a "few more years of data" to the right to carry law data set changes the results. I assume that you are referring to the 2003 paper by Ayres and Donohue where they used data from 1977 to 1997. I realize that their paper acts as if my research up to that point had only dealt with data up to 1992, but that isn't accurate. My second edition of MGLC (2000) used data from 1977 to 1996. Even though they never discuss what I did in that book, I gave them my data and they added one year to the data set. It is pretty easy to show as a technical point that they just added one year, but that one year onto twenty years of data is not what changed their results.
3) It is not just my research on the one side of the debate. This is from the third edition of MGLC (http://johnrlott.tripod.com/surveyofrtcliterature.pdf).
Winkler's response.
Thanks for the feedback, John. I love that your work has become such a part of our common knowledge that callers cite your studies without even knowing they are yours.

I always assume there are far more guns around than people usually believe -- though maybe the people with those guns wouldn't use them in this kind of situation.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Capt A said...

More than anything, it seemed like the show host was biased by how she was steering the conversation to try to agree with her own opinion. Thumbs down to Pat Morrison, but not surprising given that it is an NPR station.

Ms. Morrison's ignorance of training courses not teaching head shots is incorrect.....showing not only does she not know of what she speaks, she also hasn't done much research on armed citizens who get training (which are the vast majority with only the degree of training varying).

The question 'if someone in the salon had been carrying a gun, would the death toll be as high' is purely one of speculation that can never be answered with certainty.

The better question is 'would you have a better chance at survival if anyone nearby had a gun?' Whether that person had training or not, whether it was concealed or not, whether a head shot was necessary or not, is all minutia that has only minor relevance.

10 out of 10 dead people agree that they would like to have had a better chance at survival. Given that only a citizen with a gun could have stopped those murders, it doesn't take a lot of brains to figure out that a little chance at stopping those murders is better than none at all.

10/21/2011 6:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home