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Old April 17, 2009, 04:27 PM   #2
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Join Date: July 22, 2006
Posts: 2,459
Between 1992 and 1998, the violent crime rate in states which kept strict CCW laws fell by an average of 30%. The violent crime rate for the states that had weak CCW laws during this same time saw their violent crime rates drop by only 15%. Nationally, violent crime declined by 25% during that same period.
On this one, you're going to want a list of the states. And you're going to want to analyze that list to identify any other variables that could have caused this discrepancy. To do it right will require a bit of statistical analysis, but hypothetically you could show that either A) the variance among both populations is such that the difference in means isn't necessarily significant or B) that there is an equally strong or stronger correlation with another key variable besides CCW laws.

From 1996 to 2000, Texas concealed handgun license holders were arrested for weapon-related offenses at a rate 81 percent higher than that of the general population of Texas, aged 21 and older. These weapon-related offenses include arrests for 279 assaults or aggravated
assaults with a deadly weapon, 671 unlawfully carrying a weapon, and 172 deadly conduct/discharge firearm.
Couple points here. One, permitholders are arrested at a rate 81% higher for weapon-related offenses...but how much higher is the rate at which they carry? If permitholders carry at, say, a 5000% higher rate than non-permitholders, they're obviously going to potentially expose themselves to weapon charges at a vastly higher rate.

Tying into that, you'll note that the 80% figure is for "weapon-related offenses," whereas for the violent offenses (assaults, deadly conduct, etc.) they give absolute numbers rather than rates. They also mention arrests, not convictions. Basically it's entirely possible that many of that 81% are more akin to "paperwork violations," which while non-trivial aren't necessarily a danger to public safety.

Basically I see a lot of potential for cherrypicking in that paragraph. A classic example of such statistical cherrypicking is the old "you're more likely to be killed by your own gun than defend yourself" line, which almost always includes suicides. In this case the burden would be on you to investigate these numbers further, and determine if there might be some statistical shenanigans going on.

In both instances, however, you have to try and remain objective...accept the idea that they may be correct. At that point your argument needs to be centered around how significant these dangers actually are, and if there are other positive effects that may outweigh them for a net benefit (or insignificant net harm).
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