Enough About You — Kevinbacon

Money seems to have a big role in our society; we can’t do much or get far if none is present. Money is valuable in different ways, even when it can’t be seen physically. In today’s society we must have faith in the government and in the banking system that is responsible for handling the money in a proper manner; if not, then people would have to hide all their money under mattresses or around the house. I have no clue what happens in the banks, or how they take care of the money. I always thought money was simple; we either have some or we don’t—that’s it. However, being introduced to this assignment, the Yap Fei, US gold, French francs, Brazilian cruzeros, and debit accounts now seem similar. The transfer of one’s money can’t actually be seen. When getting paid, cash isn’t handed out, and a physical check is not received, the money’s all directly transferred to a bank account, and one just has to trust that they have been paid.

Rebuttal — Kevinbacon

The Other End of the Barrel: The Side That Sees Correlation Between Gun Laws and Crime Rates

Sometimes it is not so easy to see the other side of an argument. In the case of correlation between gun laws and crime rates, there is another broad side that a light should be shown on. This side beleives t of those who are in favor of gun laws and believe that if implemented correctly, they can reduce crime rates. In the article, “The Research is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives” the author, German Lopez, makes the claim that it is useful to look at the effects gun control policies have had on foreign countries. He uses Britain and Australia as examples. The results in these countries showed that gun murders and homicides might have decreased, but more people were being killed by other weapons such as knives and by blunt force trauma. The amount of mass shootings and killings in these nations was low compared to America’s. These gun laws might have stopped killings from guns, but individuals are still being killed by different means. This leads to the conclusion that foreign gun laws shouldn’t influence what Americas policy should be. Lopez also makes the claim that more guns lead to more deaths. Common sense allows us to assume the fact that if there are more guns present in a nation, then there will be more gun deaths. The US has the highest rate of gun ownership at 88.8 guns per 100 people. With more guns leaves more room for accidents along with a higher chance of crime. Since America has such an infatuation with firearms there are more possibilities for crimes and homicides. Being such a different style country from others who have guns, such as Australia and Britain, gun policies might prove useful in deterring crime and homicide rates resulting from firearms. However, it is difficult to test if these policies would work because the government is very strict when it comes to enforcing them.

In Brazil, researchers put much confidence in the positive results from gun control measures. New policies have been perceived as beneficial towards reducing the violence toll in Brazil. According to the article, “Reductions In Firearm-Related Mortality and Hospitalizations in Brazil After Gun Control,” firearm related mortality declined 8 percent from 2003 to 2004. More than a decade’s time had passed since an improvement like this had occurred. About 5,563 firearm related deaths had been avoided from these new legislations in 2004. The article advocates for these policies passed in the early 2000’s and provides evidence and data associated with the research. Brazil has one of the highest homicide rates and about one person is murdered every twelve minutes (Souza, Macinko, Alencar, Malta, Neto, 507). About 90% of all homicides that occur in the age group of 15-44 are carried out with a gun (Souza, 507). The homicide numbers in Brazil double those of the United States. However, this shows that Brazil is in a different situation than the U.S. The crime rates cannot be compared between the two nations, therefor gun laws would have completely different outcomes in both places. There is a higher amount of overall crime in Brazil than there is in the U.S. In addition more murders are carried out with a firearm in Brazil. This signifies that they have a much larger gun problem than the U.S does. The results of these gun laws might have proved successful in Brazil, but the outcome of these policies in the U.S would most likely be totally different due to cultural and societal differences.

 

References:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/4/16418754/gun-control-washington-post.  The research is clear: Gun control saves lives. Lopez, G, 4 October 2017. 30 October 2018.

“Reductions in Firearm-Related Mortality and Hospitalizations in Brazil After Gun Control.” UpDate: International Report. Maria de Fátima Marinho de Souza, James Macinko, Airlane Pereira Alencar, Deborah Carvalho Malta, and Otaliba Libânio de Morais Neto, March/April 2007. 15 October 2018.

Robust Verbs – Kevinbacon

Vancouver faces a difficult problem because of heroin addicts committing heinous crimes such as, breaking and entering, and stealing. These addicts will go to immeasurable lengths to obtain heroin. Many normal aspects of life such as jobs, interactions, and relationships become huge challenges to these users. The city of Vancouver has developed a method to combat the negative effects brought on by a surplus of heroin users. The “free heroin for addicts” program provides free, clean heroin to anyone who needs it. The result is less users on the streets which reduces the crime rate. The drawback is this program only focuses on lowering crime rate, not saving heroin users from their deadly addiction.

 

Causal — Kevinbacon

Gun Laws: A Hit or Miss on Mortality and Crime Rates

As humans we are always looking for the fastest and easiest solutions to our problems, when its possible to do so. This human characteristic pertains to the case of gun control. Anti-gun activists believe that with more gun laws and stricter policies, crime rates, murders, and homicides, where a gun was the weapon, will decrease. However these individuals have failed to see that there is no correlation between gun laws and crime. Gun policies such as not being able to own a rifle or handgun, and restrictions on the amount of weapons one can own do not stop crime. They fail to improve society and by no means put an end to violent crimes, murders, and homicides.

Gun laws do not affect affect mortality and crime rates. Not every single crime that happens in the world is recorded. It is near impossible to do so, and this means many crimes go unreported. Imagine the sheer amount of murders, and homicides that occur out of the public’s knowledge. There is a a chance the murder weapon was a gun, and there is also a chance that it was not a gun. How do we know that a stricter gun law has decreased the mortality rate of some nation? Even if the numbers look like they are in favor of the gun law, not all the data is there. There is a chance that countless crimes went unrecorded.

In the article Police Tactic: Keeping Crime Reports Off the Books, not recording crimes is actually a strategy used to keep the recorded crime rates down. This makes the data look better than it actually is. In addition, other reason for police not reporting every crime can be, “to avoid the dull task of preparing reports; others may fear discipline for errors in paperwork. Sometimes officers run out of time because they are directed to another job” (Baker, Goldstein, 2011). This article was published by the New York Times and applies to the N.Y.P.D. The amount of unreported crimes has seen a decrease, and has dropped from 4.4 percent in 2000 to about 1.5 percent in 2011 (Baker, Goldstein, 2011). Even though this rate is dropping it still is present in today’s world. This also is just crime that is reported to police. There is almost definitely more crime that occurs “underground” that law enforcement is not even aware of. So how can we account for all the murders and homicides caused by guns? The simple answer is we can’t.

Implementing stricter policies wouldn’t affect those who carry out unknown crimes. If the police do not know about the crime committed, why would it matter if the suspect followed the gun laws in use. Disregard to these gun laws comes in it’s strongest form when we look at another underground aspect. This is the underground gun market. Just like bootlegging alcohol during prohibition, the underground gun market was established under the circumstances that made it harder to legally own a weapon. Gun laws do not pertain to these markets, and the weapons distributed in them are unregistered. Across America the vast majority of criminals do not purchase their weapons through a legal process (Cook, Ludwig, Venkatesh, Braga, 2005).

Since gun laws are aimed at making society safer by decreasing the availability of guns, they could almost be considered useless when the criminals committing crimes are buying guns illegally. If more guns resulted in more crime then the United States would have the highest suicide rate and a higher homicide rate (Jacobs, 2002). However this correlation does not exist. Millions of households around the U.S own firearms, this is more than most countries in the world. However, our crime rates are not as high as some of these other nations. This trend shows there is no need for strict gun laws, where they would have no effect on a country where most of the population is responsible with their firearms. There is no relation between gun laws and crime rates, because the crime rates are not dependent on the amount of weapons in circulation, instead they rely on the mental states of who obtains them.

If there had to be any correlation between gun control and violent crimes, interestingly enough, it would be that less gun control causes an increase in crime rate. This notion is pretty counter-intuitive but it is clearly seen in some European nations. Many countries in Europe have very strict gun policies, however the crime rates do not match up as one would think they should. The Harvard study Gun Control is Counterproductive shines light on the fact that countries with strict gun laws witness higher murder rates than those who’s laws are less strict. This study focused on nine European nations with the lowest gun ownership rates (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000). These nations had a combined murder rate that was about 3 times greater than nine other nations with the greatest ownership rate of firearms (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000) (Harvard Study: Gun Control is Counterproductive, 2018). Now murders and crimes committed throughout the world are not only carried out with the use of firearms. People are killed by knives, and countless other weapons. Crime rates can also be a bit shaky and inaccurate due to countless factors. This study should not prove that gun ownership decreases crime or on other end, increases it. However it should highlight the fact that gun control is ineffective at preventing murder. It is counterproductive and does not benefit society (Harvard Study: Gun Control is Counter Productive).

More gun laws and stricter policies would not help the world’s problem with murder and crime. This is not a viable solution. Instead these ideas would just create more anger and irritability from the side that is pro-gun. This is just fuel for the fire of the debate between pro-gun and anti-gun activists. As unfair as it is, only one side can win this argument. One side will be right, and seeing that gun laws are counterproductive and also upset millions of gun owners, there shouldn’t be more of these laws enacted. Taking a step back from these laws, means that the anti-gun activist side ultimately loses in the game of gun control.

References

Cook, P. J., Ludwig, J., Venkatesh, S. A., & Braga, A. A. (2005, November 07). Underground Gun Markets. Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://www.nber.org/papers/w11737

GOLDSTEIN, A. B. (2011, December 30). N.Y.P.D. Leaves Offenses Unrecorded to Keep Crime Rates Down. Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/nyregion/nypd-leaves-offenses-unrecorded-to-keep-crime-rates-down.html

Jacobs, J. B. (2002). Can Gun Control Work? Retrieved October 21, 2018, from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dpzN711aYlQC&oi=fnd&pg=PR15&dq=why gun control doesn’t work&ots=atIgrSsxHS&sig=aaEDwMulkkBHYhINAg6IBlNV6v8#v=onepage&q=why gun control doesn’t work&f=false

Harvard Study: Gun Control Is Counterproductive. (2018). Retrieved November 4, 2018, from https://www.theacru.org/2007/05/08/harvard_study_gun_control_is_counterproductive/

 

 

 

Open Strong — Kevinbacon

How do we as a society know that an increase in firearm ownership causes more crime? There has yet to be a proven correlation between the two that is based on enough substantial evidence. Guns are certainly deadly, and in the wrong hands can cause a great deal of harm. However where is the proof that suggests a larger quantity of firearms causes the crime rates to raise. If police officers and military personal carried more weapons would there be more crime? In this situation there would be a greater presence of guns but the effects might not be negative.

Is it logical for one to make a claim without enough evidence? This is exactly what anti-gun supporters do. The main idea that is circulating around this community is that more guns equal more violence. However there is no solid evidence that backs up this claim. Violence and crime rates are hard to track down and record. Humans are incapable of  recording everything that occurs. Comparing gun ownership to crime rates is like comparing the amount of shop-rites in the U.S to obesity levels. Yes food may be more readily available, but that doesn’t effect one’s self control and actions which would lead to obesity.

Definition — Kevinbacon

Concept: The most logical way to compare gun control to crime rates.

In today’s world gun control has been flooding the news and media. Many anti-gun activists would argue that more guns equals more crime, while the other side, pro-gun individuals, support the notion that there is no correlation between gun ownership and crime rates. This issue, however, may not be as black and white as it seems. The relationship between guns and crime rates isn’t a negative or positive linear relationship. Determining the correlation is the tricky part because one must ask themselves, are crime rates accurately recorded? Places like the United States, the UK, Australia, and Brazil are all nations that have been dealing with gun control and gun issues. While there are countless studies that display numbers that show some type of correlation between guns and violence, these numbers are faulty. In large countries like these, it is impossible to record all the crimes that occur, and how each was committed. This leaves much room for error when calculating a correlation. If not all the crimes are recorded due to human error, then how could we possibly link more or less guns to more or less crimes. These instances happen each day and we will never know the extent of every single crime that has occurred.

There have been countless research efforts to prove the viability of gun control in countries where the crime rates may be high. Brazil, a very populated country in South America has a very high homicide rate, and has been dealing with gun control for quite some time. A study was conducted in Brazil to show the effects of multiple new gun control laws on homicide rates. These new laws passed in October 2003 aimed to regulate the amount of firearms coming into the country, make owning unregistered guns illegal, made carrying firearms outside of homes and businesses illegal, enforced background checks, and made the minimum age to buy a gun 25 (Souza, Macinko,
Alencar, Malta, Neto, 575-576). The experiment was conducted by using a linear time-series regression model to record the data.

 To analyze the impact of the legislation on
firearm mortality, we used a linear time-series
regression approach to model the best-fitting
mortality line based on the historical time series
built from observations from each of
Brazil’s twenty-seven federative units
(twenty-six states and the federal district) for
each six-month period between 1996 and 2004
(18 observations for all 27 federative units =
486 total observations). The equation of this
line was used to predict values and 95 percent
confidence intervals for 2004/2005. Predicted
values were then compared with observed values
for the same period.11 We analyzed city-specific
rates using the same approach, but we
used only the capital city of each state as the
unit of analysis.

Overall the results showed that homicides decreased 8.2 percent as compared to the 2003 levels. There are many inconsistencies with this study. First, this study only focuses on the crimes recorded. Who knows how many other “underground” crimes were committed during the 2003-2004 period. It is impossible to record every criminal activity. This would lead to many more variables playing into the outcome of the study. In addition city specific rates were calculated but only the capital city of each state was used as data inputs. This only covers the crime occurring in specific cities which naturally will be much higher than rural and suburban areas. This leads to an inaccurate representation of crime and gun correlation because it does not take into account the homicides of nearby places not located in the city. In addition, this study only takes into account homicide rates in Brazil. This is only one crime in a largely populated country. There are literally countless other crimes being committed that may or may not involve firearms. It is physically impossible to capture every crime, nonetheless every homicide that occurred.

The article Gun Control isn’t Crime Control written by John Stossel of ABC News, highlights one reason on how gun control isn’t crime control. This viewpoint does not have to do with the accuracy of recorded crimes, but the outcomes of having more or less guns, especially on school campuses. In the article Stossel argues, “After the 1997 shooting of 16 kids in Dunblane, England, the United Kingdom passed one of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, banning its citizens from owning almost all types of handguns… But this didn’t decrease the amount of gun-related crime in the U.K. In fact, gun-related crime has nearly doubled in the U.K. since the ban was enacted.” In this case there was no relation to gun control and gun-related crime. The crime rate still increased after the ban. The reasoning behind this is, criminals do not follow the law. What makes someone a criminal in the first place. If someone is going to rob a bank, they already have plans to break the law. This means they are definitely not going to consider the gun laws, especially if they need one to commit the crime. These strict gun laws only affect the law abiding citizens who wouldn’t commit a crime in the first place. There really is not an effective way to stop criminals from using weapons, even if a ban has been enacted. On the other hand, later in the article Stossel mentions, “A disgruntled student opened fire on the school’s campus, killing three and wounding more. The law school also prohibited guns on campus, but fortunately two students happened to have firearms in their cars. When the pair heard gunshots, they retrieved their weapons and trained them on the killer, helping restrain him until authorities arrived.” By breaking the school’s law and having their firearms on campus these two students restrained the shooter. Without their weapons handy who knows how many more lives this killer would have taken. Both parties, the shooter and the heroic students broke the law by having their firearms on campus. However this led to a positive effect which was ultimately stopping the killer. This strengthens the fact that crime rates cannot be correlated to gun control. Whether guns were allowed or not, the shooter still would of claimed three innocent lives and injured others. Maybe if guns were prohibited the shooter would have been stopped sooner, or maybe if the two other students took the law seriously they would not have had their weapons, so the shooter would not have been restrained as quickly. The main point of the article is summed up effectively at the end:

There’s no way to know whether Seung-Hui Cho’s murderous rampage could have been stopped in a similar way, but what’s certain is that strict gun control laws do not always have the effect that legislators intend. More guns (in the right hands) can stop crime, and fewer guns (in the wrong hands) can make for more crime. Gun control isn’t crime control.

There really is no way of knowing how guns affect crime rates. There are too many factors that flow into the crime rates, which make it close to impossible to record everything. Crimes occur in secret, and much of what happens doesn’t get leaked into the media or the public’s knowledge. There are millions of guns and gun owners out there and even more people committing crimes everyday. The number of unregistered guns and unaccounted murders, homicides, etc grows steadily each day. Also, crime can be stopped by more good people having guns, but less guns in the wrong hands can increase crime. There are still being crimes committed even if only a handful of criminals get their hands on weapons.

References

“Gun Control isn’t Crime Control.” ABC News. John Stossel, 26 April 2007. 15 October 2018.

“Reductions in Firearm-Related Mortality and Hospitalizations in Brazil After Gun Control.” UpDate: International Report. Maria de Fátima Marinho de Souza, James Macinko, Airlane Pereira Alencar, Deborah Carvalho Malta, and Otaliba Libânio de Morais Neto, March/April 2007. 15 October 2018.

Safer Saws—Kevinbacon

First source
In the article “SawStop Sues Bosch over new Reaxx Table Saw and its Flesh-Detection and Blade-Breaking Technology” SawStop and Stephen Gass both claimed,

“that Bosch, and their new ReaXX table saw, which also features flesh-detection and blade brake technology, is infringing on SawStop’s patented inventions.” This means that Bosch stole Gass’s idea for the safe stopping blade. They infringed (stole) on Gass’s patent.

The type of claim that is being made here from Gass and his company is an evaluative claim. This is true because this is an evaluation of a situation. Gass evaluated the actions of Bosch as infringing on his patent. Gass’s claim can be argued since there are two sides to this situation, those who think Bosch stole Gass’s idea and those who think Bosch did not copy the SawStop technology. This claim that Gass is making can be supported by his company’s expertise on the saw technology. I agree with this claim and I believe it makes sense to argue for it. In short, the big saw companies didn’t accept Gass’s technology and they turned him down. After having the opportunity to adopt the SawStop technology  they decided to make their own safe saws. Gass gave them the idea to make a safe saw, and they are indirectly using his ideas to make technology similar to his. They are exploiting his ideas and didn’t even give him a chance to market his saw to the world. It seems as if the larger saw companies are monopolizing the market, trying to force Gass out of business. Gass also had a patent for his technology.

Second source
In the article “Bosch Tools SawStop Lawsuit” multiple major tool manufactures claim many technical, practical, and financial problems with mandating the SawStop technology. These are some of the claims made:

  • “The additional cost to manufacturers to implement this technology is estimated to be between $150-$200 per product, an amount that will be passed on to the consumer.
  • Gass (SawStop) is asking for 8 percent licensing/royalties on the wholesale price of each saw sold, a figure that many manufacturers view as near-extortion and monopoly position. This fee would also be passed on to consumers.
  • “False positives” or “nuisance trips” produce downtime and expenses. False positives can trip on common materials such as moist wood (think freshly delivered pressure treated lumber).
  • A false trip mandates replacement of the brake mechanism which is an expensive piece (~$59)
  • A false trip mandates replacement of the saw blade, since it is unknown whether the carbide teeth may be jarred or broken loose – creating a hazard. As most pros know, blades can be upwards of $100 each”

These claims made by the power-tool industry are factual claims. They are factual because they use real world facts and data to support the fact that the implementation of the SawStop would lead to negative financial, practical, and technical effects. These factual claims are very persuasive, they show real prices and implications of the SawStop. For example, one of the points is a false trip of the machine costs the user $59 every time. The fact that there is a chance of a false trip leads to impracticable and expensive outcomes.

Third source
In the article “Table Saw Injury Lawyer” the lawyer makes the claim,

“Every year, there are over 40,000 table saw injuries, resulting in more than 4,000 amputations. Table saws cause more injuries than any other woodworking tool.”

This is a factual claim. The writer of the article answers the question of “How many people are injured?” The article pulls real information and facts and states that there are over 40,000 table saw accidents every year. These lead to over 4,000 amputations. These facts leads to the notion that table saws cause more injuries than any other power tool. I agree with this claim because table saws are deadly and with user error could most definitely result in over 40,000 injuries. This also seems like a lot of injuries so it would make saws the most deadly woodworking tool.

Fourth source
In the article “Power Tool Industry Defends Table Saw Safety as Disabling Injuries Increase” the author claims,

“The SawStop story is about an industry’s ability to resist a major safety advance that could, by now, have prevented countless disfiguring injuries, but might have been bad for business.”

This claim is an evaluative claim. The claim is evaluative because it claims that with the SawStop technology “countless disfiguring injuries” might have been prevented. It evaluates that with this technology users would be more safe and less fingers would have been chopped off. It also evaluates the fact that this technology might have been bad for business. This is due to the financial and technical implications that come with the SawStop saws. I agree with this claim because the SawStop has proven to be effective, but at the same time costly because false trips destroy the blade and the machine every time.

Fifth source
Chairman of the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, Inez M. Tenenbaum, makes the statement,

“I was moved by what I heard from the victims of these injuries, whose lives were changed forever, due to one split-second miscalculation while using a table saw. To these victims and to all of the other victims who have suffered life-altering injuries from table saws, I want you to know that your efforts to improve the safety of these tools have made a difference. Moreover, this agency, under my leadership, is firmly committed to exploring how to prevent these kinds of injuries from continuing to occur.”

This is an ethical/moral claim. It is ethical because Tenenbaum says he was moved by the victims of the saw injuries. He believes that it is ethically right to figure out a solution to stop these injuries from occurring. It is also moral because what he saw happened to the victims was horrible. It was not fair that these victims had to suffer due to bad safety conditions, that could be improved. This could also be considered a causal claim. It is causal because there is a cause and effect aspect to the statement. The cause is the fact that he was impacted by the victims of saw injuries, and the effect from this was the promise that his agency is firmly committed to figuring out how to prevent saw injuries from happening. This claim is reasonable because what the chairman saw moved him, and convinced him to help these severely injured people.