Gun Control: “Know the facts”

Some books get turned into movies, some books get turned into ads they put on side of busses.

Gun control: "Know The Facts" bus advertising campaign against idiocy in gun ownership.

Facts and information from the book, “Private Guns, Public Health” will be used as the basis for a public ad campaign in the state of Washtington run by Washington Ceasefire:

There are estimated to be about 6.5 million guns in Washington State alone — about one per resident — and approximately 40% of homes in this state have guns. Many homeowners acquire guns for what they see as a means of protection against intruders, though the facts show that the risks of home gun ownership far outweigh the benefits. One of the Know the Facts ads educates the public that when there is a gun in the home, there is a 22x greater chance of killing a family member or a friend than an intruder.

In one of the largest studies on the topic covering three cities — Galveston, Memphis and Seattle — there were only 13 legally justified acts of self-defense out of a total of 626 fatal and non-fatal shootings in residences. The survey was taken in 1994, and several subsequent studies validate the findings. According to ‘Private Guns, Public Health,” there has never been a study demonstrating that a gun in the home can meaningfully deter or thwart burglaries or home invasion.

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25 Responses to Gun Control: “Know the facts”

  1. unbound says:

    Be careful here. The NRA is notoriously allergic to facts that don’t line up with their talking points. They prefer their spun stats if numbers are required, but strongly favor ambiguous sentiments about the safety of having that gun handy to kill all those bad guys wearing the black cowboy hats…

  2. Raging Bee says:

    …but strongly favor ambiguous sentiments about the safety of having that gun handy to kill all those bad guys wearing the black cowboy hats…

    …not to mention those even scarier guys wearing the black SKIN.

  3. astro says:

    Also, how many of the 13 were known antagonists?

  4. Dan-o says:

    I will have to reply later as I have been on a extended vacation and today we are a gun range shooting targets. My 9 year old is a fantastic shooter but my 5yr old is still learning gun safety basics. He can’t wait to move to 22s from bb guns but that will come soon enough. It’s funny how stats always seem to talk about the idiots rather than a son and father teaching him about the great outdoors, huntIng and fishing. I guess they would rather talk about the ones that justify the darwin effect. Sent via iPhone so plz excuse typos.

  5. Donovan says:

    If you think people might break into your house to hold you hostage, only to kill you later, after they get the helicopter, but you’ll thwart them like John Maclain, diving across your living room blasting both barrels into the eastern European that’s organized the heist of your Elvis dishware collection, you need mental help, not a gun.

    One of the Know the Facts ads educates the public that when there is a gun in the home, there is a 22x greater chance of killing a family member or a friend than an intruder.

    I had wondered about just this. It seemed I heard ten stories of an accidental shooting for every one I heard of a violent crime being stopped by a gun toting home owner. Now I see I was wrong. I heard 22 for every one.

  6. kyoseki says:

    For a campaign calling itself “know the facts” there’s a remarkable lack of sources specified on their website.

    Does anyone know EXACTLY which studies they’re referencing? Or is it all a campaign to get us to buy the book?

  7. kyoseki says:

    Aha, never mind, found it.

  8. jg29a says:

    I think I need a hell of a lot more specific facts than what they’re giving. What percentage of those shootings are by meth users, frequently high, paranoid and overconfident from chronic use, whose friends also do stupid shit? How many people buy a gun in part because they’re schizophrenic and imagine some kind of threat? If it’s a lot, and if I’m not mentally ill, than the overall statistic might tell me very little about my chances of harming a loved one versus thwarting a serious crime.

  9. gwen says:

    Working in a large city trauma hospital, those stats line up with what I saw there. I can’t even recall getting a patient in who’d been shot to defend a home, etc. I can’t even recall reading about a case to that effect in my major metropolitan area. It happens so infrequently, that it tends to make big news. On the other hand, people shot accidentally, or shooting family members are so commonplace as to be ho hum unless a small child is involved…

  10. jg29a says:

    To clarify my question:

    On what basis can we dismiss the hypothesis that the subset of gun owners (or people currently on the fence) who are going to respond to these ads in the desired way already have substantially lower gun death and injury rates than the overall population, for reasons such as personal lifestyle, type of acquaintances and mental health?

  11. Raging Bee says:

    It’s funny how stats always seem to talk about the idiots rather than a son and father teaching him about the great outdoors…

    What would you have us do — ignore the idiots so as not to make you feel uneasy and defensive?

    And if you’re not one of those idiots, why do you get so defensive when we talk about them? Are you embarrassed because you’re too close to the idiots in some way? Like maybe you’re a member of the organization that uses your dues to champion the itiots’ cause?

    If talking about the idiots makes you defensive, even though you’re not one of said idiots, maybe you should consider changing your position.

    And why is it so important for you to encourage children aged NINE and even FIVE to use guns? My parents had better things to offer me at that age-range…like, you know, BOOKS.

  12. Raging Bee says:

    I think I need a hell of a lot more specific facts than what they’re giving.

    Well, Gwen added some facts from her own experience. Care to comment on those facts? Or are you just going to keep on “clarifying your question” every time you get an answer?

  13. Greg Laden says:

    jg29a: On the internet, the blue test is often a link you can click on by positioning the mouse cursor over it and pressing a mouse button. The link to the source of all the info, with all the facts you will need, was provided in the original post.

  14. jg29a says:

    I utilized an older technology, wherein I construct a sentence punctuated with one of these (?) and you, if so inclined, respond with another sentence punctuated with one of these (.).

    You’re right, I haven’t ordered the book. Neither have I doubted its conclusions. What I did do was visit the Cease Fire site, read their press releases, and find that the facts they choose to cite give me next to no information that would actually be relevant if I were a mentally healthy, generally responsible person debating keeping a gun in the home. Instead, they seem ready and willing to make the dubious move of lumping gun suicide together with accidents, without spelling this out clearly for each statistic they cite. This reminds me of TV ads decade or so ago, where a scary number of “children killed by guns” was juxtaposed with a little boy talking about accidentally shooting his brother after playing with Daddy’s gun — of course, the statistic in question was actually dominated by suicides among older teenage males. We all ought to be able to see that that kind of juxtaposition is bullshit, just as people who are committed to reason, independent of our views on gun ownership in general.

    By no means am I denying the results of academic research suggesting that civilian gun ownership is on balance a bad thing. I’m simply asking for statistics better than those in the summary you quote, i.e. facts that are more relevant to the people they’re likely to appeal to and the decisions they want such people to make.

    It’s not about gun politics for me, but a much more visceral reaction to how we treat statistics. This group gives every indication of prioritizing scary numbers over numbers that are most relevant to the specific situation of its audience. If I have to order the book and find the relevant information myself, then it sure seems the group isn’t doing its job responsibly.

  15. Greg Laden says:

    Good point, but the number of accidents is so low compared to suicides that I doubt much changes, though I’ve not looked at the site.

  16. Greg Laden says:

    And, the bus-facts are from the book, not the site. You need to buy the book. Just click on the link above and then hit “add to cart” then “checkout”

  17. kyoseki says:

    I’m not a big fan of having to buy something just to learn something that “everyone” thinks I should know.

    To me, that just sounds like marketing, but maybe I’m just cynical and jaded.

    Does anyone know where the “22x more likely” figure comes from?

  18. Greg Laden says:

    Libraries sometimes have books

  19. The smart thing is to frame this as a pro-safety campaign, not an anti-gun one. The stupid thing is put the word ‘ceasefire’ in your campaign’s name, which makes it easy to spin it as just another liberal pinko hippie peacenik thing. They should’ve called their organization something like “Washingtonians for Responsible Gun Ownership”.

    • Dan-o says:

      Bee, typically the kids who learn from books never get first hand experience which is a shame. I read both to & with my kids every night in case you thought they were missing out on reading. In terms of family activities how about camping, fishing, hiking, hockey, baseball, soccer, cub scouts, RC car racing, biking, in-line skating, church, bible time, atving, hunting & target shooting. I agree with a pro safety campaign. This would seem to me the best way to appeal to largest group. I also don’t need to hear some activist telling me guns are unsafe when they have never held or shot a gun in their life. Guns are not dangerous. Only the people who use them improperly make them dangerous. You could kill somesomeone with a pencil or pocket knife yet we do not hear people saying we need fewer pocket knives or rather more pocket knife laws. As it is I already have to remember to place my pocket knife in my suitcase when flying otherwise I am considered a criminal and I am talking about a small single blade knife. Pocket knife carrying stems back to be scouting days and being prepared.

  20. Azkyroth says:

    You could kill somesomeone with a pencil or pocket knife yet we do not hear people saying we need fewer pocket knives or rather more pocket knife laws.

    Could you accidentally kill someone standing twenty feet away on the other side of a wall with a pencil or a pocket knife?

  21. Azkyroth says:

    Also, are 10,000 people killed with pencils or pocket knives annually?

    Also, do pencils and pocketknifes have functions other than putting a piece of metal through something else at lethal velocity and boosting the ego of their owners?

    Because if not then there’s no fucking comparison, now is there?

    • Dan-o says:

      So you ate saying there are 10,000 idiots I understand. Perhaps you should try fixing them before the gun. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Fix the people and the problem will solve itself. Cheers!

      P.S. cheers is Christian code for God Bless.

  22. M'thew says:

    Perhaps you should try fixing them before the gun. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Fix the people and the problem will solve itself.

    Oh no, not again. “Pocket knives don’t kill people, people kill people”.

    Considering it’s a lot more difficult to kill somebody with a pocket knife, perhaps we should start exchanging guns for pocket knives? Would save a few lives (several thousand, maybe).

    But have you ever wondered why other countries, with strict gun laws, have fewer gun related deaths in their statistics? Do you think the people there have been “fixed”? Oh, perhaps we outside of the US of A are smarter than you USians after all…

  23. Greg Laden says:

    Do you think the people there have been “fixed”?

    Actually, that might account for a certain percentage of the statistics!

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