Bowling for baloney

by Jayson 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • Jayson

    Just a site that all should check out if ya got the time.

  • Stephanus

    A good, succinct article on why Moore is not to be trusted.

    Here's another interesting piece:

  • Simon

    That article is really playing to the gallery ... "Mr.Moore is naturally a big hit among the French"

    Perhaps the film makes some points that are uncomfortable to face so it's easier to attack him instead for his views?

    Tell me, can you explain the problem that America has with guns? Is it something wrong with American society that makes so many want to manage to blow each others brains out?

    Maybe "shooting the messenger" is an improvement ... maybe not.

  • WildHorses
    Tell me, can you explain the problem that America has with guns? Is it something wrong with American society that makes so many want to manage to blow each others brains out?

    I bet if the whole world did away with ALL types of weapons, there wouldn't be so much fear in the world today. People would have to fight it out the old fashioned way. With their fist.

    I hate guns myself. Will not allow them in my house.

  • Jayson

    Simon I am a newbie in the NRA so learning what it is really all about is interesting. Yours is not a totally unfair question; Accept that you fall into the trap that owning a gun makes you kill or rob a bank. I have several guns and yet have no desire to kill or rob anyone. People think that if you have a gun you are safe. HA! Give me my boxer and my home alarm & 911 over my .45 any day. Under 21 feet a knife can be more lethal.

    ( Of course I like having all options)

    There are several things that guns are used for besides blowing brains out FYI. Guns are not even really needed for genocide. Rawanda proved that.

    In reading about an interview between a Constitutionalist scholar and an Israeli scholar (All get the article if you wish) the Israeli asked "why Americans are so obsessed with owning guns?" (The American began to go into the rants that Americans go into over guncontrol) The Israel then said "I mean if you are going somewhere that you think is dangerous then why not go down to the Armory and get an uzi." As I read the article I though OH YA RIGHT! But then I though wait a minute Americans really are often to individualistic. My rights my ownership Vs the common good. The real problem problem is more so lack of responsiblity for ones actions than anything else; holding one responsible for their actions. We blame everyone and everything accept the person who does the wrong. Mea Culpa? never. "It was the institution, it was society it was because my father breast fed me; whatever but it was not my fault!"

    Anytime that crime is not answered for be it with guns, knives, fists, even white collar crime, the criminals just get more bold. Having a gun, or god forbid using it is a huge responsiblity.[If you use it] Chances are you will be sued; And probably tried too. But if your life is at stake you will be alive to be sued and tried.

    Simon I will say that where CCP's are "Shall issue" crime is much lower than States that are "may issue" or "no issue." If you do not know how to use a gun you should stay away from them. If they scare you then leave it alone. But Micheal Moore exploites that fear. He distorts the facts to the points of lies. People state that his movie and books "check out" when even he admits himself that he is a liar. "How can comedy be a lie." says Micheal Moore. And then people who follow his lead and make it up as you gp get upset because they are not taken seriously. His propaganda is believed by Americans and foriengers as truthful when it is a total fabrication. It makes the divide that much deeper; It is wrong. More and more his ilk are considered worthy of merit, Scholarly even. They are a joke to anyone who will actually look up the facts. But propagandists hate facts. Hating is so much easier.

  • Simon

    Isn't that the point he was making? Guns don't kill people, people do.

    The problem is, there are other countries that have similar gun-ownership levels but far lower gun crime.

    Therefore, it points to some real inherent problem and flaw with American society and not the gun-ownership per-se.

    Whatever way he has chosen to highlight that and make people think about it, the end result is they are thinking about it which must be better than just carrying on regardless.

  • Abaddon

    I've run through this discussion on numerous occasions. I used to think that logically there was no way round the more guns = more murders equation, on the basis that in the UK we have less guns and less murders, and it seemed silly to specukate that there is something 'American' about a high murder rate.

    Turns out I was wrong;

    Historically, America has had a high homicide rate and England a low one. In a comparison of New York and London over a 200-year period, during most of which both populations had unrestricted access to firearms, historian Eric Monkkonen found New York’s homicide rate consistently about five times London’s. Monkkonen pointed out that even without guns, "the United States would still be out of step, just as it has been for two hundred years."

    Information on the original material is here;

    So, essentially speaking there is proof that availability of guns is not connected to the murder rate, and that the murder rate is a cultural artifact rather than a consequence of legislation.

    Now quite why Americans seem, on the fact of it, to kill each other five times as often as the British (and most Europeans for that matter), is another question.

    I pass; I have nothing that stands up to detailed scrutiny as a reason, only bland generalisations about 'new/frontier societies' taking an awful long time to convert to 'old/established societies', or quips about more religious societies taking the eye for eye thing REALLY seriously.

    Today these murders are heavily grouped by race, but the group that currently is 'most likely to murder' is different to what it was 100 years ago, and the difference in murder rates (between the USA and Europe) is the same.

    To me this means that the social conditions that lead to one group (or groups) being disproportionately representated in the stats as murderers 100 years ago are just being felt by another social group, and they are now the ones being disproportionately represented in the stats.

    That's interesting.

    But the base reason why US citizens kill each other so often escapes me...

    ... anyone got bright ideas?

  • funkyderek
    Perhaps the film makes some points that are uncomfortable to face so it's easier to attack him instead for his views?

    But he's not being attacked for his views. He's being attacked for his dishonesty. He has distorted the truth and fabricated "facts" to support his views.

    For example:

    Forbes reports that an early scene in "Bowling" in which Mr. Moore tries to demonstrate how easy it is to obtain guns in America was staged. He goes to a small bank in Traverse City, Mich., that offers various inducements to open an account and claims "I put $1,000 in a long-term account, they did the background check, and, within an hour, I walked out with my new Weatherby," a rifle.

    But Jan Jacobson, the bank employee who worked with Mr. Moore on his account, says that only happened because Mr. Moore's film company had worked for a month to stage the scene. "What happened at the bank was a prearranged thing," she says. The gun was brought from a gun dealer in another city, where it would normally have to be picked up. "Typically, you're looking at a week to 10 days waiting period," she says. Ms. Jacobson feels used: "He just portrayed us as backward hicks."

    That is deliberate dishonesty. Whether or not you agree with banks giving away guns, the fact remains that Moore deliberately misrepresented the reality of the situation in order to support his claims. To me, his political views are irrelevant. If he's making a documentary, he should be presenting facts, not making up statistics and using dishonest stunts to bolster a weak argument.
  • ThiChi

    Simon, enjoy!

    Arbitrary Comparisons Between Countries

    The U.S. has a high gun murder rate, whereas a country like England with strict gun controls has almost no gun murders and a very low murder rate. Doesn't this show that gun control is effective in reducing murder rates? Not exactly. Prior to having any gun controls, England already had a homicide rate much lower than the United States (Guns, Murders, and the Constitution: A Realistic Assessment of Gun Control, Don B. Kates Jr.). Japan is another country typically cited (see Japanese Gun Control, by David B. Kopel). (Briefly discussing the difference in homicide rates between England and the U.S. is Clayton Cramer's, Variations in California Murder Rates: Does Gun Availability Cause High Murder Rates?)

    Gun control opponents can play similar games. The Swiss with 7 million people have hundreds of thousands of fully-automatic rifles in their homes (see GunCite's "Swiss Gun Laws") and the Israelis, until recently, have had easy access to guns (brief summary of Israeli firearms regulations here). Both countries have low homicide rates. Likewise this doesn't mean more guns less crime.

    The U.S. has a higher non-gun murder rate than many European country's total murder rates. On the other hand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Mexico have non-gun murder rates in excess of our total murder rate.

    Incidentally in 13th century Europe, several studies have estimated homicide rates in major cities to be around 60 per 100,000. (Even back then, the equivalent of coroners, kept records.)

    There are many, many factors, some much more prominent than gun availability that influence homicide rates and crime in general. (See this excerpt from 1997 FBI Uniform Crime Report and GunCite's "Is Gun Ownership Correlated with Violent Deaths?")

    Due to the many confounding factors that arise when attempting international comparisons, this approach would appear to hold little promise for determining the influence of gun levels (or handgun availability) on violence rates.

    International Homicide Rate Table (Death rates are per 100,000)

    CountryYearPopulationTotal HomicideFirearm HomicideNon-Gun Homicide% Households With Guns
    South Africa199541,465,00075.3026.6048.70n/a
    Estonia 19941,499,25728.218.0720.14n/a
    Brazil1993160,737,00019.0410.58 8.46n/a
    Taiwan 1199621,979,4448.120.977.15n/a
    N. Ireland19941,641,7116.095.240.858.4
    United States 21999272,691,0005.703.721.9839.0
    Finland 319945,088,3333.240.862.3823.2
    Slovenia 1994 1,989,477 2.010.351.66n/a
    South Korea199444,453,1791.620.041.58n/a
    New Zealand19933,458,8501.470.171.3022.3
    England/Wales 4199751,429,0001.410.111.304.7
    Switzerland 519947,021,000 1.320.580.7427.2
    Germany 6199481,338,0931.170.220.958.9
    France 199457,915,4501.120.440.6822.6
    CountryYearPopulationTotal HomicideFirearm HomicideNon-Gun Homicide% Households With Guns


    1. Number of homicides: Ministry of Interior, National Police Administration (link not always active), Taiwan.

      Population: As of April 1999, Government Information Office, Taiwan.

      Gun Homicides: Central News Agency, Taipei, November 23, 1997.

    2. Total homicide rate and firearm homicide rates are from FBI Uniform Crime Report(1999).

    3. The United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulation reports Finland's gun ownership rate at 50% of households.

    4. Total homicides and gun homicides: Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1997.

      Population: 52.2 million in mid-1997, Office for National Statistics Monitor, press release.

    5. Percent households with guns includes all army personnel.

    6. Percent households with guns excludes East Germany.


    Homicide data for Colombia, Philippines, and South Africa are from the United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulation .

    Population figures for Colombia, Philippines, and South Africa are estimates based on UN data.

    Data for the remainder of the countries, except as noted above: International Journal of Epidemiology 1998:27:216.

    Column "% Households With Firearms": Can Med Assoc J, Killias, M (1993), except United States (Gallup [2000] and Harris [2001] polls.)

    Argentina, Brazil, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Mexico, Mauritius, Slovenia, Portugal, and South Korea are classified as upper-middle-income countries by the World Bank. GunCite does not know the classification for Colombia, South Africa and the Philippines. The remainder are considered high-income countries.

  • Simon

    The other obvious comparison is Canada where there is apparently similar gun ownership levels and quite similar societies but Canada doesn't have anywhere near the level of gun-crime.

    "Oh Canada, Oh Canada ..."

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