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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,107274,00.html

Friday, January 02, 2004 By John R. Lott Jr.

People fear guns. Yet, while guns make it easier for bad things to happen, they also make it easier for people to protect themselves.

With the avalanche of horrific news stories about guns over the years, it's no wonder people find it hard to believe that, according to surveys (one I conducted for 2002 for my book, "The Bias Against Guns," and three earlier academic surveys by different researchers published in such journals as the Journal of Criminal Justice) there are about two million defensive gun uses each year; guns are used defensively four times more frequently than they are to commit crimes.
The rebuttal to this claim always is: If these events were really happening, wouldn't we hear about them on the news? Many people tell me that they have never heard of an incident of defensive gun use. There is a good reason for their confusion. In 2001, the three major television networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- ran 190,000 words' worth of gun-crime stories on their morning and evening national news broadcasts. But they ran not a single story mentioning a private citizen using a gun to stop a crime.
The print media was almost as biased: The New York Times ran 50,745 words on contemporaneous gun crimes, but only one short, 163-word story on a retired police officer who used his gun to stop a robbery. For USA Today, the tally was 5,660 words on gun crimes versus zero on defensive uses.
Just take some of the 18 defensive gun uses that I found covered by newspapers around the country during the first 10 days of December <http://www.keepandbeararms.com/opsd/default.asp>:
-- Little Rock, Ark: After the assailant attacked him and his son-in-law with a poker, a 64-year-old minister shot a man dead on church grounds. The attacker had engaged in a string of assaults in an apparent drug-induced frenzy.
-- Corpus Christi, Texas: A woman shot to death her ex-husband, who had broken into her house. The woman had a restraining order against the ex-husband.
-- Tampa Bay, Fla.: A 71-year-old man, Melvin Spaulding, shot 20-year-old James Moore in the arm as Moore and two friends were beating up his neighbor, 63-year-old George Lowe. Spaulding had a concealed weapons permit.
--Bellevue, Wash.: A man shot a pit bull that lunged to within a foot of him and his family. Police said the man's family had been repeatedly menaced in the past by the dog.
-- Jonesboro, Ga.: A father out walking with his 11-year-old daughter was attacked by an armed robber. The police say the father shot the attacker in self-defense and will not face charges.
-- Houston, Texas: Andrea McNabb shot two of the three men who tried to rob her plumbing business on the afternoon of Dec. 1.
-- Philadelphia, Pa: A pharmacy manager fatally shot one robber and wounded another after the robbers threatened to kill workers at the store. The wounded robber escaped.
Part of the reason defensive gun use isn't covered in the media may be simple news judgment. If a news editor faces two stories, one with a dead body on the ground and another where a woman brandished a gun and the attacker ran away, no shots fired, almost anyone would pick the first story as more newsworthy. In 2002, some 90 percent of the time when people used guns defensively, they stopped the criminals simply by brandishing the gun.
But that doesn't explain all the disparity in coverage. It doesn't, for example, explain why, in some heavily covered public middle and high school shootings, the media mentioned in only 1 percent or fewer of their stories that the attacks were stopped when citizens used guns to stop the attacks.
The unbalanced reporting is probably greatest in cases where children die from accidental gunshots fired by another child. Most people have seen the public-service ads showing the voices or pictures of children between the ages of four and eight, never over the age of eight, and the impression is that there is an epidemic of accidental deaths involving small children. The exaggerated media attention given these particularly tragic deaths makes these claims believable.
The debate over laws requiring that people lock up their guns in their home usually concentrates on the deaths of these younger children. The trigger and barrel locks mandated by these laws are often only considered reliable for preventing the access to guns by children under age 7.
The truth is that in 1999, for children whose ages correspond with the public service ads, 31 children under the age of 10 died from an accidental gunshot and only six of these cases appear to have involved another child under 10 as the culprit. Nor was this year unusual. Between 1995 and 1999, only five to nine cases a year involved a child wounding or killing another child with a gun. For children under 15, there were a total of 81 accidental gun deaths of all types in 1999. Any death is tragic, but it should be noted that more children under five drowned in bathtubs or plastic water buckets than from guns.
The gun deaths are covered extensively as well as prominently, with individual cases getting up to 88 separate news stories. In contrast, when children use guns to save lives, the event might at most get one brief mention in a small local paper. Yet these events do occur.
--In February, 2002, the South Bend, Indiana Tribune reported the story of an 11-year-old boy who shot and killed a man holding a box cutter to his grandmother's neck. Trained to use a firearm, the boy killed the assailant in one shot, even though the man was using his grandmother as a shield.
--In May, 2001 in Louisianna, a 12-year-old girl shot and killed her mother's abusive ex-boyfriend after he broke into their home and began choking her mother. The story appeared in the New Orleans Advocate.
--In January, 2001, in Angie, Louisianna, a 13 year-old boy stopped for burglars from entering his home by firing the family's shotgun, wounding one robber and scaring off the other three. The four men were planning on attacking the boy's mother--an 85-pound terminal cancer patient--in order to steal her pain medication.
As a couple of reporters told me, journalists are uncomfortable printing such positive gun stories because they worry that it will encourage children to get access to guns. The whole process snowballs, however, because the exaggeration of the risks--along with lack of coverage of the benefits--cements the perceived risks more and more firmly in newspaper editors and reporters minds. This makes them ever more reluctant to publish such stories.
While all this coverage affects the overall gun-control debate, it also directly shapes perceptions of proposed legislation. Take the upcoming debate over renewing the so-called assault-weapons ban. This past summer CNN repeatedly showed a news segment that starts off with a machine gun firing and claims that the guns covered by the ban do much more damage than other guns. CNN later attempted to clarify the segment by saying that the real problem was with the ammunition used in these guns. But neither of these points is true. The law does not deal at all with machine guns (though the pictures of machine guns sure are compelling)--and the "assault weapons" fire the same bullets at the same rate, and accomplish the exact same thing, as other semi-automatic guns not covered by the ban.
The unbalanced presentation dominates not just the media but also government reports and polling. Studies by the Justice and Treasury Departments have long evaluated just the cost guns impose on society. Every year, Treasury puts out a report on the top 10 guns used in crime, and each report serves as the basis for dozens of news stories. But why not also provide a report--at least once--on the top 10 guns used defensively? Similarly, numerous government reports estimate the cost of injuries from guns, but none measures the number of injuries prevented when guns are used defensively.
National polls further reinforce these biased perceptions. Not one of the national polls (as far as I was able to find) gave respondents an option to mention that gun control might actually be harmful. Probably the least biased polls still give respondents just two choices: supporting "tougher gun-control legislation to help in the fight against gun crime" or "better enforcement of current laws." Yet, both options ultimately imply that gun control is good.
But if we really want to save lives, we need to address the whole truth about guns--including the costs of not owning guns. We never, for example, hear about the families who couldn't defend themselves and were harmed because they didn't have guns.
Discussing only the costs of guns and not their benefits poses the real threat to public safety as people make mistakes on how best to defend themselves and their families.
John R. Lott, Jr., a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "The Bias Against Guns" (Regnery 2003).
 

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Good info, but to the Libs it makes no difference for their judgement. The media always focuses on the negative rather than positive. Just like shootouts and car chases makes for a good movie, or conversation, the media likes to hype things up a bit for their ratings, etc. I always used to say that if Patrick Purdy wanted to kill more people he could have just drove his pick up truck through the school yard, but then no one ever tries to ban cars, right?! I had a Sociology professor who used to say "the 20th century had an invention that killed more people than all the wars in this century combined, it is not a firearm, but the automobile!" Certainly, I have nothing against either car or firearm, but when it comes time for blaming an inanimate object that is reliant on man to use it for right or wrong, invariably, the gun will be blamed despite the fact anything else including a baseball bat can be used for evil! Perhaps the antis would like everything including baseball bats registered with a serial number and that will somehow magically stop murders! YA RIGHT! :bonkers: :yawn:
 

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Keep in mind that guns were one of the few things designed solely to kill things. I'd like to own a gun though, like the S&W 50 cal handgun, I'd keep 2 blanks and 3 500 grain rounds in it.. the blanks are to scare the piss out of people like the jackass who swerved towards me and my friends when we were playing hacky sack on the side of the road. The real bullets... well you already know what they're for.
 

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davesdeville said:
Keep in mind that guns were one of the few things designed solely to kill things. I'd like to own a gun though, like the S&W 50 cal handgun, I'd keep 2 blanks and 3 500 grain rounds in it.. the blanks are to scare the piss out of people like the jackass who swerved towards me and my friends when we were playing hacky sack on the side of the road. The real bullets... well you already know what they're for.
I'm well aware of that, but you missed my point entirely. That is, even though guns may have a specific function, they DO NOT kill as many people as the automobile, period! Yet suprisingly, the car does NOT get blamed, so how can anyone put a blame on firearms!? That was the point I was making. Cars were not designed "to kill people" yet they do so every minute of every day. When I compiled data for University reports it was actually knives that took more lives. There is something wrong with the previous sentence, oh ya, knives don't kill, guns don't kill, cars don't kill, PEOPLE KILL!
 

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Although the media has an important place in our world, I can't help but think of the song "Dirt Laundry" Joe Walsh sang. Something like this "she talked about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye". The editors, reports, etc and forced to sensationalize everything to make ratings.

If everyone is worried about things that kill people they should outlaw cigarettes.

Furthermore although drugs have been illegal for years, one can buy them on just about any street corner.

So as the saying goes, "when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have them".
 

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VH-1 showed feuds between stars the other day and they had the one where Rosie O'Donnell jumped all over Tom Selleck about guns. Gee, I wonder what her bodyguard uses to protect her.
 

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El Dobro said:
VH-1 showed feuds between stars the other day and they had the one where Rosie O'Donnell jumped all over Tom Selleck about guns. Gee, I wonder what her bodyguard uses to protect her.
Rosie O'Donnell need protection? from what ? the ugly police.
 

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gothicaleigh said:
Anyone see Bowling For Columbine?

Excellent movie and it brings up some interesting points...
:worship: I personally think it's the second best documentary I have ever seen (4 Little Girls by Spike Lee being the best). Bowling forever changed my attitude toward politics, big business, and the mass media.
 

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beemer2k said:
:worship: I personally think it's the second best documentary I have ever seen (4 Little Girls by Spike Lee being the best). Bowling forever changed my attitude toward politics, big business, and the mass media.
...
You're ****ing kidding, right? Bowling for columbine is NOT a documentary. In fact, it's full of falacies (sp?).
http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html
 

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The point of the movie is that there is something wrong about the way our news media glorifies violence, attributing to our nation's own violence problems.

Sounds truthful enough to me. So he stepped on the NRA's toes in the process... <shrugs>
 

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gothicaleigh said:
The point of the movie is that there is something wrong about the way our news media glorifies violence, attributing to our nation's own violence problems.

Sounds truthful enough to me. So he stepped on the NRA's toes in the process... <shrugs>

So it's ok to spew false statements in the process of trying to prove something?
 

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Sinister Angel said:
...
You're ****ing kidding, right? Bowling for columbine is NOT a documentary. In fact, it's full of falacies (sp?).
http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html
An interesting article. I can honestly say I didn't know 90% of that information. That said, it still doesn't change the message. It would be too time consuming to respond to all the points he made regarding the reliability of Moore's information. But just to give you an idea, I was picking apart some of the arguements as I was reading them. Taking dramatic license with certain aspects of a film does not necessarily make said aspects false. He used dramatic license to "goose" the audience toward the final scene. So what? It doesn't change the message. I can say that I don't like the way Moore seems to find only one person to demonize in each of his films. It works for the confrontation aspect of the story, but kind of cheapens the whole experience by oversimplifying. I know Charleton Heston is not the problem (I loved Ben Hur). I know the NRA isn't the problem. I know Lockheed Martin isn't the problem. But they are all dancers at a party with the same host. And it's argueable that just being at that party is wrong. Anyway, that's the message I pulled from the film.

BTW, fallacies has two "L"s
 

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beemer2k said:
An interesting article. I can honestly say I didn't know 90% of that information. That said, it still doesn't change the message. It would be too time consuming to respond to all the points he made regarding the reliability of Moore's information. But just to give you an idea, I was picking apart some of the arguements as I was reading them. Taking dramatic license with certain aspects of a film does not necessarily make said aspects false. He used dramatic license to "goose" the audience toward the final scene. So what? It doesn't change the message. I can say that I don't like the way Moore seems to find only one person to demonize in each of his films. It works for the confrontation aspect of the story, but kind of cheapens the whole experience by oversimplifying. I know Charleton Heston is not the problem (I loved Ben Hur). I know the NRA isn't the problem. I know Lockheed Martin isn't the problem. But they are all dancers at a party with the same host. And it's argueable that just being at that party is wrong. Anyway, that's the message I pulled from the film.

BTW, fallacies has two "L"s

But to state this as a documentary with "artistic license" is just wrong.

Watch a movie called "Requiem for a dream" sometime. It definately is artistic, but it does not claim to be a documentary at all, even though what the movie shows is probably a good depiction of what the life of a drug junkie might be.

Lets review what I said in that last paragraph.

Artistic, but definately no documentary, although it probably gives a good insight into bad life of a drug junkie. It doesn't claim to be a documentary though.

Lets look at Moore. Claims it to be a documentary, which it isn't. He really isn't very artistic about it, and he lies. Bowling for columbine = shit.
 

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Sinister Angel said:
But to state this as a documentary with "artistic license" is just wrong.

Watch a movie called "Requiem for a dream" sometime. It definately is artistic, but it does not claim to be a documentary at all, even though what the movie shows is probably a good depiction of what the life of a drug junkie might be.

Lets review what I said in that last paragraph.

Artistic, but definately no documentary, although it probably gives a good insight into bad life of a drug junkie. It doesn't claim to be a documentary though.

Lets look at Moore. Claims it to be a documentary, which it isn't. He really isn't very artistic about it, and he lies. Bowling for columbine = shit.
I own "Requiem for a Dream". Great movie. But drawing a parallel between that and "Bowling" is silly. A better parallel would be to compare "Amadeus" and "Bowling". In "Amadeus", the director uses dramatic license to push the story, but it doesn't make the facts of his life and death untrue. So see that movie sometime. If your problem with the movie is just the fact that it is called a documentary, then fine, it's not a documentary. It's kind of like saying that a Taurus SHO isn't an American car because of the Yamaha engine, but if you want it that bad, I'll give you that point. I'm not gonna fight over semantics - it's a waste of my time. Oh, by the way, you don't need to remind me to review what you write. I listen to everyone here very carefully. Perhaps your opinion of the movie and the man who made it is blocking the message you should be getting from it... but that's just my dimestore psychology. Your serve. :lildevil:
 
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