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charlesarthur : guns   23

Trueface raises $3.7m to recognise that gun, as it’s being pulled, in real time • Techcrunch
Mike Butcher:
<p>Trueface is a US-based computer vision company that turns camera data into so-called ‘actionable data’ using machine learning and AI by employing partners who can perform facial recognition, threat detection, age and ethnicity detection, license plate recognition, emotion analysis as well as object detection. That means, for instance, recognising a gun, as it’s pulled in a dime store. Yes folks, welcome to your brave new world.

The company has now raised $3.7m from Lavrock Ventures, Scout Ventures, and Advantage Ventures to scale the team growing partnerships and market share.

Trueface claims it can identify enterprises’ employees for access to a building, detect a weapon as it’s being wielded, or stop fraudulent spoofing attempts. Quite some claims.

However, it’s good enough for the US Air Force as it recently partnered with them to enhance base security.</p>

These could be famous last words which folk will laugh at in 20 years, but I think this is not going to go well.
Machinelearning  guns 
11 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Gun influencers on Instagram are a boon to gun companies • Vox
Kaitlyn Tiffany:
<p>three years ago, she moved to Michigan to be with her American husband, who’d recently retired from the military. Now they shoot guns together, and arrange assault-weapon-centric lingerie photo sessions for Matte and her clients. She makes good money for her part, doing sponsored posts for brands both firearm-related and not — assault rifles one day, teeth-whitening treatments the next. For $100 and some free products, Matte will post a “selfie and shoutout” on her Instagram grid; she gets paid thousands of dollars per month for recurring endorsements.

Matte’s feed is a mix of guns and rough-cut firewood and laser-cut underwear. She doesn’t let anyone shoot guns on her property because her yard is an unofficial foster home for wild deer, several of which she personally nurtured through infancy when their mother was hit by a car. She loves the president, hates the “free-for-all negativity” around him. She is extremely charming. Her platform, she tells me, is a place to preach love.

And because Facebook, and by extension the Facebook-owned Instagram, forbids retailers to run ads that promote the sale or use of firearms, her platform is also a place to market guns that can’t be easily marketed online.

Kyle Clouse, head of marketing at the gun safe company Liberty Safe, refers to influencers as “the goose laying the golden egg” for the firearms industry. Influencers skirt the rules and restrictions platforms impose on official businesses that want to advertise guns or gun-related services and accessories. </p>


Another end-run around carefully devised regulation. Why are guns banned from advertising on these networks? Because they don't want those ads.
guns  influencer  instagram 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
How 3D printing exposes the fallacy of federal gun laws • Wired
Antonio Garcia Martinez knows more about guns than you (probably) do, and is looking at the implications of 3D printed guns - where the importance isn't the 3D printed nature:
<p>You may have seen the weapon in 2010’s Academy Award for Best Picture winner, The Hurt Locker, where it’s used by US soldiers to eliminate Iraqi snipers from an astonishing distance. It fires a projectile the size of your thumb, and can kill a man from over a mile away. In spirit, the weapon is illegal in California. In actual fact, it’s legal with the right modifications that only slightly impact functionality. Gun regulation fails.

Why does this odd status quo exist?

Our current gun laws are a necessary compromise among pro- and anti-gun extremes, plus a large middle that wants some gun control but not an outright ban. The NRA zealot is placated by Democratic rhetoric around banning only “weapons of war” paired with the technical knowledge that they can tolerably dodge most Blue State gun laws via the modular technology described above. The pro-gun-control Blue Staters are placated because politicians are “doing something,” and thanks mostly to ignorance about how modern guns work, think their gun laws are actually stopping the distribution of firearms when they increasingly resemble security theater.

Defense Distributed’s ultimate goal is to kick the final, weak leg out from under this tenuous political agreement, and force a reckoning with the state of firearms technology. When the last-mile problem of untraceable, unregistered guns has finally been “solved,” even politicians can’t maintain the charade of effective gun control.</p>


Turns out that defining a "gun" isn't a trivial task, and it's now under pressure due to 3D printing fans Defense Distributed.
guns  3dprinting 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
The gun-law loophole that entices tycoons and criminals to play cop • Bloomberg Businessweek
Zachary Mider, with an amazing piece about a loophole that lets people sign up as police for tiny places - and then carry concealed weapons all around the US:
<p>In Oakley, a village of about 300, the police department charged $1,200 to become a cop. It tried to keep the names of some 150 volunteers confidential by saying they could be targeted by Islamic State jihadis. When a list of applicants became public a few years ago, it included out-of-town lawyers and businessmen, a pro football player and the musician Kid Rock.

Action-movie star Steven Seagal got a badge from Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West. So did at least five people linked to a civilian Navy unit in Virginia that became the focus of an unrelated corruption investigation, the Washington Post reported. According to 2016 testimony in the case, members of the Navy unit helped direct $14,000 worth of radio equipment to the sheriff’s office and used their shields to travel the country armed, including on commercial airlines. 

Neither West nor the former Oakley police chief responded to requests for comment.

To qualify for the concealed-carry perk, known as H.R. 218 after the House version of the bill, officers must be authorized to make arrests and carry a gun on duty. An unarmed dispatcher or records clerk doesn’t meet that standard. But in some states, volunteers can carry weapons and make arrests without completing the rigorous certification process required of most full-time cops. In these states, police chiefs and sheriffs can award the privileges to pretty much anyone they want.

That’s partly why nobody knows how big the badge market is. There’s little state or federal oversight, and some localities keep their volunteer rosters secret. 

“This is widespread and widely abused,” said David LaMontaine, a retired deputy sheriff and union official who pushed for state oversight of volunteers in Michigan. Now federal lawmakers, he said, should “close that loophole.”

The risks of policing with volunteers became national news in 2015, when a 73-year-old reservist and donor to the Tulsa, Oklahoma, sheriff’s office accidentally shot and killed an unarmed suspect during an arrest. The reservist was convicted of manslaughter, and the sheriff later pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor for covering up an internal report alleging preferential treatment for the donor.

Lake Arthur points to a different problem: men with badges who aren’t doing much police work at all.</p>

If you have a system, it will be abused. If the system lets you carry deadly weapons, its abuse will kill people.
Guns  america 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
The nine minutes that almost changed America • Buzzfeed
Kate Nocera and Lissandra Villa:
<p>At around 7:06 a.m., a man in a blue T-shirt approached the field and fired 62 7.62x39mm rounds through a lawfully purchased Century International Arms SKS-style semiautomatic assault rifle. The shooting was, Alexandria’s elected prosecutor concluded, “an act of terrorism” that was “fueled by rage against Republican legislators.” The day was one in a continuum of violent, surreal days over the past year, from mass shootings to Charlottesville.

You may love them, or you may disagree with almost everything they stand for, but that morning, the roughly two dozen people on that field just tried to stay alive. Those nine minutes were a near miss of modern American history, between the dark aftermath of a deadly, mass political assassination and our own reality, in which most people don’t think very often about June 14, 2017, the difference between everything changing and almost nothing changing at all.</p>


It's a remarkable retelling of the attack on the US congressional baseball team practice. They were very lucky in many ways, notably that there was a senior member there who had a security detail - who then engaged the shooter.

It's notable for its detail about the physical and medical effects of being shot (it's not like in the films), and the confusion of trying to work out where a shooter is. Also for this:
<p>Some of the players don’t want to talk about the man who opened fire on them, or even think he should be discussed. None say the shooting changed what they thought about gun control, except that if Washington had different gun laws and they could carry weapons, maybe some of them would have had guns in their cars.

But many lawmakers are mad, or frustrated, or saddened, at how quickly the story disappeared from the headlines given that the shooter, James T. Hodgkinson, targeted Republicans. The FBI concluded the shooting wasn’t politically motivated — suicide by cop, they told members after an investigation.</p>


So they're angry not about his ability to get a gun and almost kill them, but because they didn't stay in the headlines for longer? Talk about taking home the wrong lesson.
america  guns  politics 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
The myth that civilian gun ownership prevents tyranny • ThinkProgress
Casey Michel:
<p>In assessing data from 2008-2018, civilian gun ownership rates appear to have no influence on the strength of a country’s democracy.

For instance, five of the six countries with the greatest democratic improvements over the past decade are located among the bottom half of countries in terms of civilian arms rates. At the same time, six of the 11 countries with the greatest democratic backsliding have also been in the bottom half in terms of gun ownership rates. (For Freedom House, a lower score on its democracy index is better in terms of democratization; those with the highest scores are considered dictatorships.)

Look at Fiji and Ethiopia, for instance. In 2008, both had identical Freedom House scores, with nearly identical civilian arms ownership rates (Fiji has 0.5 guns per 100 civilians, while Ethiopia has 0.4). But a decade later, Fiji was far freer, boasting democracy scores comparable to Colombia and Montenegro, whereas Ethiopia was suffering under a far bloodier regime than it is now, scoring worse than dictatorships like Kazakhstan and Belarus.</p>


Ten years seems quite a short timespan for such a study. You could probably take it over 100 years and see much the same results, though. But it gives the lie to the US suggestion that you need people to have guns so they can fight off the government:
<p>The Second Amendment did little to prevent American governments from creating internment camps for Americans of Japanese descent or from enacting Jim Crow laws, repeatedly calling the country’s claims to liberal democracy into question. “White supremacists are absolutely correct in pointing to the Second Amendment as having been created for their supremacy in perpetuity, so that what they regarded as ‘tyranny’ was and is any deviance by government from that arrangement,” Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, the author of Loaded, a recent history of the Second Amendment, told ThinkProgress.</p>
guns  tyranny 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Google and Facebook adopt water gun emoji, leaving Microsoft holding the pistol • The Verge
Thuy Ong:
<p>Google is the latest company to ditch the pistol with a new emoji update for Android users. The switch to a bright orange and yellow water gun, rolling out now, mimics changes made by Apple, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Samsung over the last few years. That leaves Microsoft as the only major platform with the realistic handgun emoji. True, Facebook still uses it, but a spokesperson for the company confirmed to Emojipedia that it would also be replacing its gun emoji with a toy water gun. The Verge has reached out to Microsoft for comment.

The move makes Google’s gun emoji correspond with other platforms. So, if a friend sends the playful water pistol from an iPhone, it will now look similar on an Android device or in a tweet without any unintended miscommunication.

<img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/R4kbs-NmogSATKBhxJ4qxMRT1tk=/0x0:1200x850/1520x0/filters:focal(0x0:1200x850)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/10715051/DblEn82X4AA9KZd.jpg" width="100%" />
<em>Image: Emojipedia</em>

Ironically, Microsoft initially displayed the gun emoji as a toy, but changed it to a revolver in 2016 as part of its emoji redesign project. With Google’s (and Facebook’s) latest move, Microsoft’s gun emoji puts it at philosophical odds with the other giant tech companies based in the US where gun violence is a major concern. As we previously noted, in 2016 Apple successfully pushed to remove the rifle icon from the standardized collection of emoji.</p>


The update is that Microsoft has now joined in the disarmament. Control language, control what you think. Emoji is, in case you hadn't noticed, a language.
emoji  guns 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
Woman opens fire at YouTube headquarters, wounding four before taking her own life • LA Times
James Queally, Benjamin Oreskes, Richard Winton, Tracey Lien and Angel Jennings:
<p>A woman opened fire at the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., wounding four people before taking her own life, authorities said.

San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini told reporters Tuesday afternoon that one person, believed to be the shooter, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Four other people were taken to area hospitals for medical treatment, according to Barberini.

Lisa Kim, a spokeswoman for Stanford Medical Center, said at least four patients from the shooting were expected to be admitted at the medical center.

"We do not know their conditions," she said…

…At least two people were reportedly struck by gunfire, according to a law enforcement source who was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident. The shooter was described as a woman. So far authorities do not believe this was an act of terrorism and appears instead to have been a case of domestic or workplace violence — although the investigation has just begun.</p>


Domestic abuse and deadly weapons: a toxic combination. But those on all sides will use this incident to make points that aren't justified by the facts. (This is what was known at 2200GMT.)
youtube  shooting  guns 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
New York passes bill to restrict guns for domestic abusers • The Hill
John Bowden -:
<p>New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Democrat) on Saturday announced the passage of legislation that would strip all firearms from New Yorkers convicted of domestic violence, updating a previous law that prohibited abusers from owning handguns.

In a press release on the governor's website, Cuomo said the law, which passed the state Assembly by 85-32 and Senate by 41-19 this week, will make the state "safer and stronger."

"New York is once again leading the way to prevent gun violence, and with this common sense reform, break the inextricable link between gun violence and domestic violence," Cuomo said.

The law forces convicted domestic abusers to turn in rifles, shotguns, and any other firearms they were not previously prohibited from owning under a law passed after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that barred abusers from owning pistols or revolvers.

In his press release, Cuomo faulted the federal government for not doing more to protect citizens from gun violence.</p>

One to watch for the effects on deaths by gun in the state. Domestic abuse is a key indicator for whether someone will kill with a gun.
Guns  laws  domestic  abuse  newyork 
april 2018 by charlesarthur
The five arguments you need to know about the gun control debate • Medium
StrategyCamp with five arguments on why the US needs gun control; this is part of No.4 (countering the "it's just people with mental health problems who are to blame"):
<p>the majority of mass-shootings involve a male with a history of domestic violence. And frequently, their female counterparts and family members are listed amongst the casualties. And legally, beating your wife is a crime, not a mental health issue.

Similarly, more Americans are killed every year in the United States by white male right-wing extremists than by any other type of organized terror group. Racism is also not considered a mental health issue — however, a strong argument can be made that participation in a white extremist group or organization should prevent an individual from possession of a firearm.

It seems only fair. The NRA and the GOP have been very comfortable restricting the Second Amendment rights of black people based on identity.

For example, both were very active in passing gun possession restriction in response to the Black Panthers asserting their Second Amendment right to self-defense. Conservatives denied Martlin Luther King, Jr. a firearm after he applied for one following the bombing of his home. They also have had no problem standing by silently as black and brown people are gunned down by police officers for nothing more than giving the impression that they are exercising their Second Amendment rights.
Rather than allowing the Gun Party to clear a pathway for white terrorist organizations and their affiliates to continue to committing mass murders while criminalizing people of color and scapegoating people with disabilities, we need to call bullshit on this Jim Crow song and dance.

The problem isn’t people with mental health issues. It’s guns. We need people to control guns. We don’t need to use guns as an excuse to control people.</p>
Guns  america 
march 2018 by charlesarthur
What critics don't understand about gun culture • The Atlantic
David French on how people go from non-gun owners to full-time gun carriers:
<p>Next, you realize that you want that sense of safety to travel with you. So you sign up for a concealed-carry permit class. You gather one night with friends and neighbors and spend the next eight hours combining a self-defense class with a dash of world-view training. And when you carry your weapon, you don’t feel intimidated, you feel empowered. In a way that’s tough to explain, the fact that you’re so much less dependent on the state for your personal security and safety makes you feel more “free” than you’ve ever felt before.  

And as your worldview changes, you expand your knowledge. You learn that people defend themselves with guns all the time, usually without pulling the trigger. You share the stories and your own experience with your friends, and soon they walk into gun stores. They start their own journey into America’s “gun culture.”

At the end of this process, your life has changed for the better. Your community has expanded to include people you truly like, who’ve perhaps helped you through a tough time in your life, and you treasure these relationships. You feel a sense of burning conviction that you, your family, and your community are safer and freer because you own and carry a gun.

It’s a myth that gun owners despise regulation. Instead, they tend to believe that government regulation should have two purposes—deny guns to the dangerous while protecting rights of access for the law-abiding. The formula is simple: Criminals and the dangerously mentally ill make our nation more violent. Law-abiding gun owners save and protect lives.

Thus the overwhelming support for background checks, the insistence from gun-rights supporters that the government enforce existing laws and lock up violent offenders, and the openness to solutions—like so-called “gun violence restraining orders” that specifically target troubled individuals for intervention.</p>

Stephen King (the writer) says, in one of his writing rules, that "nobody ever thinks of themselves as the bad guy". Gun ownership, as described here, is one of those slippery slopes, where you're always doing completely rational things. Just one more step. But seen from outside, it's just a descent into madness, with each step slightly more crazy than the next.

You're never the bad guy, though.
Guns  america 
march 2018 by charlesarthur
A new, huge review of gun research has bad news for the NRA • Vox
German Lopez:
<p>RAND’s report does not come out in favor of more or less gun control. Instead, the team compiled the best research that’s available so far into <a href="https://www.rand.org/research/gun-policy/analysis.html">charts and in-depth evaluations</a> — the result of a review of dozens of studies, focused on 13 policies and eight outcomes. Here are the overall findings, which only included studies that met RAND’s rigorous standards:

<img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/HabUF1Baj2FJKNsdd1jIkj44FRg=/1400x0/filters:no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/10328631/POLICIES_AND_OUTCOMES_CHART.png" width="100%" />

The RAND report emphasizes that much of the research on gun policy is still in its infancy. You can see that in the chart above in all the white and gray space — we still don’t have answers to a lot of important questions when it comes to gun policy, including the effects on defensive gun use, hunting and recreation, and police shootings.

But the answers we do have point in one direction. On the gun control front, there’s moderate evidence that background checks reduce suicide and violent crime, limited evidence that prohibitions associated with mental illness reduce suicide, moderate evidence that those prohibitions reduce violent crime, and supportive evidence that child-access prevention laws reduce suicides and unintentional injuries and deaths.</p>

Data! What the argument is lacking so far. And here are the RAND conclusions, very briefly summarised, from its executive summary:
• Supportive evidence
-Child-access prevention laws may decrease suicide.
-Child-access prevention laws may decrease unintentional injuries and deaths.

• Moderate evidence
- Background checks may decrease suicide.
- Background checks may decrease violent crime.
- Prohibitions associated with mental illness may decrease violent crime.
- Stand-your-ground laws may increase violent crime.

• Limited evidence
- Bans on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines may increase the price of banned firearms.
- Concealed-carry laws may increase unintentional injuries and deaths.
- Concealed-carry laws may increase violent crime.
- Minimum age requirements may decrease suicide.
- Prohibitions associated with mental illness may decrease suicide.
us  guns  studies  data  nra 
march 2018 by charlesarthur
Entertainment Software Association: White House has not invited it or any member company to meet Trump • Venturebeat
Jeff Grubb:
<p>If President Trump is going to meet with the gaming industry next week [ie this week, beginning 5 March], the gaming industry doesn’t know about it. The Entertainment Software Association, gaming’s biggest lobbying group, says that it had no knowledge of a meeting next week. During a question-and-answer session with the media, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced that Trump is meeting with the gaming industry next week, but she did not say who would attend that event.

“The ESA and our member companies have not received an invitation to meet with President Trump,” ESA media relations boss Dan Hewitt told GamesBeat in an email.

ESA member companies include Capcom, Epic Game, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Nintendo, and Microsoft. The ESA is also the primary point of contact between corporate game makers and Washington D.C. If the White House has not invited any of the companies in that group, then who did it invite?

I’ve reached out to the White House for a comment.

I reached out to Hewitt and the ESA as well as several major publishers after Sanders revealed the alleged meeting earlier today. A couple of companies said they didn’t have a comment at the time, which is odd. This is typically the kind of thing that every company would have prepared statements for. I expected to get back something simple like, “Johnny’s Big Game Conglomerate is looking forward to speaking with the president about the dynamic and rich world of gaming at the White House next week.”</p>

For the games industry, there's no benefit in turning up - since Trump will just want to use it to blame them for school shootings.

Unless of course one of them is able to ask "we sell these exact same games in Australia, the UK and elsewhere. They don't have school shootings. What's your explanation for that?"
Trump  videogames  guns 
march 2018 by charlesarthur
The pro-Trump media has met its match in the Parkland students • Buzzfeed
Charlie Warzel:
<p>factions of the mainstream media have proven time and again that they are unprepared for the pro-Trump media’s information war. Whether it’s Scott Pelley falling into a trap while interviewing pro-Trump personality Mike Cernovich, former New York Times public editor Liz Spayd taking the bait while being trolled on Twitter, or Megyn Kelly and NBC allowing Alex Jones to gin up outrage and scoop her on her own interview, the mainstream media has repeatedly failed to grasp the pro-Trump media’s new rules. It’s never quite understood that its online arm isn’t just an opposition force — it’s a parallel institution that insists on its own reality.

In the case of the Parkland students, however, the mold doesn’t fit. A look at the Twitter feeds of students like David Hogg shows that they are a remarkable foil for the pro-Trump media’s trolling tactics. Like the pro-Trump media, they, too, are an insurgent political force that’s native to the internet. And while they use legacy platforms like cable news to build awareness of their names and of their causes, much of the real work happens online.

They use platforms like Twitter to call out and put pressure on politicians. They address prominent critics like Bill O’Reilly not with bland, carefully written statements, but by dunking on them, and they respond to misinformation in real-time with their own viral, emoji-laden posts. Rather than take the bait on the crisis actor narrative, they opted to have fun with the conspiracy theories by mocking them. “I’m thankful that there are people out there finding my doppelgangers for me. I’ve always wanted to have a party with a room full of people who look like me,” Emma Gonzalez, a Parkland student, told BuzzFeed News. By dismissing the conspiracies for what they are — a tired, rather boring page in the Infowars playbook — Gonzalez and her classmates have stripped them of their power. Before the pro-Trump media can finish its line of attack, the students, unfazed, have moved on, staying one step ahead of their political enemies and owning the story.</p>

It is fascinating to behold - and now that Twitter has verified a lot of those students, they are amassing huge followings. It is different this time. Wendy Grossman, an Overspill reader, suggests that US school shootings and gun control might be this new generation's Vietnam: "their lives are threatened by decisions made by 'the grown-ups', who are out of touch with the incoming change in society."
Guns  florida  vietnam 
february 2018 by charlesarthur
Here’s what it’s like at the headquarters of the teens working to stop mass shootings • Buzzfeed
Remy Smidt:
<p>behind the scenes, they’re also just kids — sitting in a circle on the floor in the home of one of their parents, eating a batch of baked pasta, tweeting at each other, and comparing which celebrity just shared their post. There’s laughter and tears, and “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers plays briefly, but it’s also remarkably businesslike. There’s work to do and a seemingly endless number of phone calls to answer.

<img src="https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2018-02/19/1/asset/buzzfeed-prod-fastlane-03/sub-buzz-8601-1519022330-3.jpg" width="100%" />
<em>Remy Smidt/BuzzFeed News</em>

“We slept enough to keep us going, but we’ve been nonstop all day, all night,” said Sofie Whitney, 18, a senior who estimated that she has spent 70% of the past 48 hours speaking with reporters. “This isn’t easy for us, but it’s something I need to do.”

Whitney told BuzzFeed News that “[she] wouldn’t like to return to school until the federal government starts making some progress.” Other student organizers have said the same thing. When asked how her parents might feel about this, Whitney responded, “I haven’t really discussed this with my parents, but I’ll deal with them.”

On Tuesday, the teens will travel to Tallahassee, Florida’s state capital, to push for a change in gun laws. On Wednesday night CNN will air a special town hall meeting with students and lawmakers. The teens are also planning the “March for Our Lives,” a nationwide March 24 demonstration that they hope will serve as the movement’s coming-out party.</p>

The Tuesday attempt (to get assault rifle sales stopped) failed. But these kids are close to voting age, and they're angry. There's a wind blowing: 20 years ago, same-sex marriage wasn't backed by a majority. Now, it is, quite apart from the legal side.

And guns are owned by a minority of Americans.
Guns  students  neveragain 
february 2018 by charlesarthur
Want to fix gun violence in America? Go local • The Guardian
Aliza Aufrichtig, Lois Beckett, Jan Diehm and Jamiles Lartey:
<p>Half of America's gun homicides in 2015 were clustered in just 127 cities and towns, according to a new geographic analysis by the Guardian, even though they contain less than a quarter of the nation’s population.

Even within those cities, violence is further concentrated in the tiny neighborhood areas that saw two or more gun homicide incidents in a single year.

<img src="https://interactive.guim.co.uk/atoms/2016/12/local-guns/v/1484059933/files/images/USmap-Artboard_2.png" width="100%" />

Four and a half million Americans live in areas of these cities with the highest numbers of gun homicide, which are marked by intense poverty, low levels of education, and racial segregation. Geographically, these neighborhood areas are small: a total of about 1,200 neighborhood census tracts, which, laid side by side, would fit into an area just 42 miles wide by 42 miles long.

The problem they face is devastating. Though these neighborhood areas contain just 1.5% of the country’s population, they saw 26% of America’s total gun homicides.

Gun control advocates say it is unacceptable that Americans overall are "25 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other developed countries". People who live in these neighborhood areas face an average gun homicide rate about 400 times higher than the rate across those high-income countries.</p>


Amazing piece of data journalism, digging down to the neighbourhood level: gun murder is a more common act where poverty, lack of education and racial segregation are high.
maps  crime  race  guns  america 
january 2018 by charlesarthur
The gun numbers: just 3% of American adults own a collective 133m firearms • The Guardian
Lois Beckett:
<p>surveys show that gun ownership in America is actually highly concentrated. Only 22 to 31% of Americans adults say they personally own a gun.

Rates of personal and household gun ownership appear to have declined over the past decades – roughly two-thirds of Americans today say they live in a gun-free household. By contrast, in the late 1970s, the majority of Americans said they lived in a household with guns.

Most of America’s gun owners have relatively modest collections, with the majority of gun owners having an average of just three guns, and nearly half owning just one or two, according to a 2015 survey by Harvard and Northeastern researchers, which gave the most in-depth estimate of Americans’ current patterns of gun ownerships.

But America’s gun super-owners, have amassed huge collections. Just 3% of American adults own a collective 133m firearms – half of America’s total gun stock. These owners have collections that range from eight to 140 guns, the 2015 study found. Their average collection: 17 guns each.

After the Las Vegas shooting, officials said the killer had 23 guns in his hotel room, and another 19 at home. Some Americans asked, shocked, why one person purchasing so many guns had not set off any red flags.

Part of the answer is that owning more than 40 guns is actually fairly common in the United States: there are an estimated 7.7 million super-owners, which might make it difficult to flag a mass shooter building an arsenal from enthusiastic collectors and gun enthusiasts piling up different kinds of guns for hunting different kinds of game, a selection of handguns for self-defense, and various accessories for the popular, customisable military-style rifles that enthusiasts have compared to lethal Lego sets for grown men.</p>


Easily overlooked that ownership isn't evenly distributed.
guns  america 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
How the AR-15 became mass shooters' weapon of choice • Rolling Stone
Tim Dickinson:
<p>The AR-15 assault rifle was engineered to create what one of its designers called "maximum wound effect." Its tiny bullets – needle-nosed and weighing less than four grams – travel nearly three times the speed of sound. As the bullet strikes the body, the payload of kinetic energy rips open a cavity inside the flesh – essentially inert space – which collapses back on itself, destroying inelastic tissue, including nerves, blood vessels and vital organs. "It's a perfect killing machine," says Dr. Peter Rhee, a leading trauma surgeon and retired captain with 24 years of active-duty service in the Navy.

Rhee is most famous at home for saving the life of Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords after she was shot point-blank in the head with a handgun fired by a mass shooter in 2011. "A handgun [wound] is simply a stabbing with a bullet," says Rhee. "It goes in like a nail." With the high-velocity rounds of the AR-15, he adds, "its as if you shot somebody with a Coke can."

Versions of the AR-15 have been the U.S. military's standard-issue assault rifle in every war since Vietnam. But only in the past dozen years have semi-automatic models become a fixture of American life. Gun-makers – emboldened by Congress and cloaked in the Second Amendment – have elevated the AR-15 into an avatar of civilian manhood, independence and patriotism. In the process, this off-patent combat rifle has become an infinitely customizable weapon platform that now accounts for nearly one in five guns sold in America.

The federal government has deemed them "semi-automatic assault rifles" with magazine capacities that serve "no sporting purpose." But the National Rifle Association now simply calls the AR-15 "America's Rifle."</p>


Fascinating; your long read for the day. Also, it's open source! The patent expired ages ago.
guns  ar15 
november 2017 by charlesarthur
The research is clear: gun control saves lives • Vox
German Lopez disagrees - using facts! - with that <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-used-to-think-gun-control-was-the-answer-my-research-told-me-otherwise/2017/10/03/d33edca6-a851-11e7-92d1-58c702d2d975_story.html">article by Leah Libresco about how gun control isn't the answer</a> (linked yesterday):
<p>The <a href="https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/gun-deaths-mass-shootings/">original article at FiveThirtyEight</a>, which Libresco again pointed me to in an email for her main source of data, cites a couple of real studies, but it only cherry-picked the more negative findings in the field. (Even then, one study cited found that Australia’s 1996 gun control law and buyback program was followed by a faster drop in gun deaths than would otherwise be expected; it’s just unclear whether the policy was the main cause.)

The rest of the article makes no attempt to raise any other actual empirical research, only citing a few statistics about the demographics of gun deaths.

That’s unfortunate, because there actually is a rich and growing body of evidence on guns. It’s not perfect by any means — this is a tough issue to study, for reasons I’ll get into below. But it’s fairly persuasive.

In fact, it’s so persuasive that it changed my mind. I was once skeptical of gun control; I doubted it would have any major impact on gun deaths (similar to the views I took on drugs). Then I looked at the actual empirical research and studies. My conclusion: Gun control likely saves lives, even if it won’t and can’t prevent all gun deaths.</p>


A confounding effect - which I think few of these studies grapple with, or slide past - is that gun ownership isn't evenly spread. Some people own a lot (as in, scores) of guns; other people own one, or none. This skews the apparently ownership rate up.

One point that does emerge clearly: fewer guns, fewer gun suicides - and fewer suicides. Guns are like cigarettes, only much faster-acting. (Thanks @papanic for the link.)
government  statistics  guns 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise • The Washington Post
Leah Libresco:
<p>the next-largest set of gun deaths — 1 in 5 — were young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides. These men were most likely to die at the hands of other young men, often related to gang loyalties or other street violence. And the last notable group of similar deaths was the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually as the result of domestic violence. Far more people were killed in these ways than in mass-shooting incidents, but few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.

By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don’t want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

Instead, I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions. Potential suicide victims, women menaced by their abusive partners and kids swept up in street vendettas are all in danger from guns, but they each require different protections.</p>


There's such lack of nuance in the gun debate; insights like this show how complex it is.
politics  statistics  guns 
october 2017 by charlesarthur
Inside the secret group for gun owners banned from Facebook • Forbes
Matt Drange (of the Forbes staff, rather than a "contributor"):
<p>His name is Chuck Rossi, and he’s a director of engineering at Facebook. He’s also one of the company’s most prominent gun enthusiasts, who, by his own account, has trained hundreds of fellow employees to shoot pistols. More recently, Rossi has taken on a new, unofficial, role: advocate for gun groups on Facebook.

For months, Rossi has harnessed his technical expertise and internal connections to help gun groups get reinstated after they were shut down for violating Facebook’s new ban on gun sales. This has put Rossi at the epicenter of a behind-the-scenes battle between gun enthusiasts and proponents of comprehensive background checks, who have been busy reporting to Facebook groups that appear to violate the company’s policy.

While Rossi’s stated purpose is to give the groups a chance to comply with the site’s rules and bring back those pages dedicated to conversations about guns rather than transactions, he has, perhaps unwittingly, undermined Facebook’s efforts to eliminate unregulated gun sales through the site. Some of the groups Rossi helped to reinstate have continued to be havens for gun sales. Many have taken the opportunity to move from “private,” which allows anyone to search for and request access to the page, to “secret,” an unlisted setting which makes it difficult for anyone not already a member to find the groups, let alone view the content in them.</p>


Underground gun sales <a href="https://twitter.com/monteiro/status/752724150658093057">continue to happen on Facebook</a>. I wouldn't be surprised if exactly the same happens in the UK.
facebook  guns 
july 2016 by charlesarthur
You cannot regulate guns unless you know how to use one • Medium
Yishan Wong:
<p>I am here to tell you the first thing you need to do if you want meaningful gun control legislation to be passed in America.

If you want to personally do something that will help, here it is:

You Must Learn How To Use a Gun

Sounds crazy, right?

Almost every gun control advocate I know hates guns and wants nothing to do with them. They are vaguely (or very) afraid of them, and believe that if they fire a gun or buy one, they will suddenly become a gun nut or turn evil.

That is nonsense. You need to understand guns intimately if you want to regulate them.

This kind of thinking is common sense when it comes to making laws about anything else, yet somehow it flies out the window when it comes to regulating something as simple and dangerous as guns.

Being a gun owner who doesn’t believe in the Second Amendment is really lonely. </p>


He makes a lot of excellent points; we decry legislators who try to regulate crypto without understanding it, yet think it's obvious whether you should legislate against hollow point bullets and AR-15s. I learnt a lot.
guns  regulation 
june 2016 by charlesarthur
Guns replaced with selfie sticks • Tumblr
For example: <br />
<img src="http://66.media.tumblr.com/a854926d13679a671f1538980599232d/tumblr_o27z6k4MXc1v6zj2no1_1280.png" width="100%" /><br />

Though the Schwarzenegger one that heads the site actually captures something about Arnie that had always been only implied.
selfie  guns 
may 2016 by charlesarthur

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