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killing Trayvon - Page 186

post #2776 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crane's View Post

From here.... snip
It seems good old Dade County FLA has very good records concerning this.

/Quote
It would seem that you need to worry more about the criminals and LEOs...

Thanks for the link! That's interesting and obviously all of our chat is just food for thought/chat over "e-drinks." I dont' disagree in principle with anything you say.

To play Devil's Advocate, nevertheless we'd also have to factor in the particular local factors of Miami/Dade county to see if they carry over into other areas. What are the demographics for people who apply for permits, socio-economic status, etc. It's possible they have that already, but we'd need to know on a larger scale before we could pronounce the stats a success.

Secondly, the stats were only kept for incidents involving active use by permit holders. Of all the crimes in which people did nothing, or didn't have permits... are the stats the same? SO, basically that information above only shows us that CCW people aren't necessarily serving a negative/dangerous function compared to criminals, but it doesn't tell us whether they actually serve a socially USEFUL function compared to those who don't have such permits. That would be a different set of stats, one that unfortunately currently only rabidly anti-gun groups would calculate (and with very skewed methods!)

I think CCW, citizen gun holders, etc. ARE socially useful, and people should have the freedom to carry if they want without having random people bother them about it. BUT, I'd just like to see a set of stringent procedures to provide social assurance that IF one has a CCW, he knows what he's doing. I go to a doctor and feel fairly safe that he knows what he's doing, given social restrictions, licensures, etc. Same with a lawyer or so many other things. I'd also like to have SOME modicum of belief that if I'm ina restaurant and some random guy pulls a gun to "defend" me... he's not just some weekend hobbyist who plays video games and loves Clint Eastwood movies.
post #2777 of 6250
So I dug around for the original link on your info. The original link was for Clayton Cramer's webpage, I had a 404 error pulling up his webpage. I googled his name and this was the quick snippet that came up "Clayton E. Cramer is a historian, author, and software engineer. He played an important early role in documenting errors in the book Arming America by Michael A. Bellesiles, a book that was later proven to be based on fraudulent research."
post #2778 of 6250
Many of you have probably already read it, and though it has nothing to do with Gun Violence Stats, it's an important one about the role, value, and power of stats and reality. It basically shows that being literate in reading stats is enormously helpful in weeding through crappy research, obvious political agendas, or for giving yourself hope that you may not be going to die as quickly as some might tell you:

Stephen J. Gould's "The MEdian is not the Message"
http://people.umass.edu/biep540w/pdf/Stephen%20Jay%20Gould.pdf

I have to go to work, but just a few final thoughts on stats, research, and human "nature:"

(1) We can't assume a standard of rationality between all people. SO, what is a deterrent for one person may be an instigator for another. Trying to find a single factor that applies equally to a range of people is impossible.
(2) We can't assume "easy" categories. There are multiple types of criminal, just like multiple types of victim. One criminal may be purely in it for the money, another in it purely for the fun ("some just want to see the world burn.") One may realize everything he's doing and calculate his plans. The other may run on impulse. Yet a third may have a literal lesion/dysfunction in his brain chemistry making him unable to access parts that would make him socially fit (think about those grannies who have a stroke and suddenly curse like sailors. They have a problem with their brain, not that they're just angry/mean old ladies). Unfortunately none of these categories are comparable directly with each other and function (structurally) completely differently.
(3) Stats, social models, and economic formulae are often built upon foundations using EXACTLY such assumptions of (1) and (2). Given the extreme difficulty of creating valid and complex models of social interaction, often what we have has particular ideological slants. It's much "easier" and more lucrative (given ratings, funding opportunities, etc.) to make a statistical study that fits with a certain group over another. A close-to-unbiased study is often highly complicated, very expensive, and requires years of work using a huge range of variables. It's also often a career killer and a big fight
-(Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and perhaps one of the most influential academic economists/psychologists discussing human bias, nevertheless mentioned that he's almost never invited to do $$$ consulting or drafting any sort of real policy because his studies usually don't tell potential clients what they want to hear. As such, his actual research is quite limited, and the "famous" stuff we hear about is often third or fourth hand, and even then is difficult to grasp. Someone like Paul Krugman, on the other hand, gets HUGE $$$ consulting and drafting policy for corporations, governments, gets interviewed on TV shows, etc. Even though, in the field, nobody really reads or discusses Krugman... but Kahneman is absolutely essential... when was the last time you saw Kahneman on the Today Show or John Stewart??? ).

In short, we can't say much with even a remote degree of probability or certainty. We're getting better, and research from the past 5 years in neuroscience, behavioral science, etc. is helping a lot. But, at this stage it is only showing us that most of what we've come to accept and have been told in these studies is grossly oversimplified.
post #2779 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

Let's face it, Americans love vigilante justice and it makes for good ratings.

What about this incident implies "vigilante justice?"

"A vigilante is a private individual (or (pl.) group of individuals) who undertakes law enforcement without legal authority. "Vigilante justice" is rationalized by the idea that adequate legal mechanisms for criminal punishment are either nonexistent or insufficient. Vigilantes typically see government as ineffective in enforcing the law; and such individuals often presume to justify their actions as fulfillment of the wishes of "the community".

I see no connection to the commonly accepted definition of vigilante justice and the actions that the old man took today. He responded to a situation where law enforcement was not neccesarily inadequate. He just happened to be at the right place at the right time to stop a crime from occuring.

How is that "vigilante justice?"
Edited by furo - 7/18/12 at 7:45pm
post #2780 of 6250
As the person that introduced that link I think ya'll are missing the fact that the guys in hoodies got shot by a white guy. Just saying.
post #2781 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post

What about this incident implies "vigilante justice?"
"Vigilante justice" is rationalized by the idea that adequate legal mechanisms for criminal punishment are either nonexistent or insufficient. Vigilantes typically see government as ineffective in enforcing the law; and such individuals often presume to justify their actions as fulfillment of the wishes of "the community".
I see no connection to the commonly accepted definition of vigilante justice and the actions that the old man took today. He responded to a situation where law enforcement was not neccesarily inadequate. He just happened to be at the right place at the right time to stop a crime from occuring.
How is that vigilante justice?

+1, Yes

Zimmerman's actions were much closer to a "vigilante justice" type of thing, than the old guy in the video.

I am witholding final judgement till the trial or final disposition of the Z case.

BTW: Zimmerman was on Hannity at 8:00 tonight, 7-18-12 I missed it, but will DVR the 10;00 repeat show. I don't think anyone can definitively tell anything from one TV interview with Z, but it might be interesting.
post #2782 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post

What about this incident implies "vigilante justice?"
"A vigilante is a private individual (or (pl.) group of individuals) who undertakes law enforcement without legal authority. "Vigilante justice" is rationalized by the idea that adequate legal mechanisms for criminal punishment are either nonexistent or insufficient. Vigilantes typically see government as ineffective in enforcing the law; and such individuals often presume to justify their actions as fulfillment of the wishes of "the community".
I see no connection to the commonly accepted definition of vigilante justice and the actions that the old man took today. He responded to a situation where law enforcement was not neccesarily inadequate. He just happened to be at the right place at the right time to stop a crime from occuring.
How is that "vigilante justice?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnoldh View Post

+1, Yes
Zimmerman's actions were much closer to a "vigilante justice" type of thing, than the old guy in the video.
I am witholding final judgement till the trial or final disposition of the Z case.
BTW: Zimmerman was on Hannity at 8:00 tonight, 7-18-12 I missed it, but will DVR the 10;00 repeat show. I don't think anyone can definitively tell anything from one TV interview with Z, but it might be interesting.

This makes sense; obviously I misused vigilante. Anyway, the point is still the same; insert whatever term you'd prefer for the old man in place of "vigilante." What I meant was that we don't tend to mind violence when it fits certain cultural/social parameters, even when it may have been completely unnecessary and potentially more dangerous than its non-violent alternative.

Both the old man's actions and my earlier use of "vigilante" imply use of force or violence in situations where it may not be the wisest or safest course. In the video, the Robbers so far hadn't actually harmed anybody; it appeared to me that so far they were just stealing shit, yelling, and smashing computers. While the natural reaction is, "well, what if the old did nothing and they started killing people?" the more logical reaction is how might they have reacted TO the old man shooting at them. Given that they hadn't killed anybody before the old man started shooting, it seems unlikely that they would have without provocation... which implies that the old man shooting added the potential for them to fire back.

Of the "categories" of potential criminal I outlined above, perhaps only one (a minority classification) would automatically kill bystanders... those mentally unstable. The others are just in it for the loot. Nevertheless, the number of categories who would potentially respond violently to being shot at increases. In this case, the robbers didn't shoot back, but instead ran... but again just "discursively analyzing" the situation in terms of probabilities and likelihood, the old man probably made the situation of bystander injury more likely, or at least more unpredictable/unstable.

FTR, I'm not expressing my personal opinion about the man's actions; instead I'm just curious about how/where we culturally justify violence, and the fist-pumping reactions that seem to greet any use of force in situations like this. We don't get all excited over an armed-robbery where the guys came in, robbed, and left without bothering anybody, or say the victims used "sound judgment" or had "balls of steel" for laying quietly on the floor. I'm just curious why, because potentially it seems like they may be doing the smartest thing (again, I don't know, not having seen unbiased stats on it).
post #2783 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

While the natural reaction is, "well, what if the old did nothing and they started killing people?" the more logical reaction is how might they have reacted TO the old man shooting at them.

What? You saw exactly how they reacted. They ran like hell.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach 
Given that they hadn't killed anybody before the old man started shooting, it seems unlikely that they would have without provocation... which implies that the old man shooting added the potential for them to fire back.

Really? And what exactly prompts this conclusion? I don't understand how that is the logical reaction. Based on what we know:
a) amateurs in hoodies
b) one guy swinging a bat wildly
c) the fact that they are knocking over an internet cafe

Leads me to a much different "logical" conclusion - that these kids certainly do not expect to be shot at by an internet cafe customer. Had this been a bank where armed security guards are watching, that is a different story. In that instance, yes, I'd expect a gunfight to break out. But not here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rach 
Nevertheless, the number of categories who would potentially respond violently to being shot at increases.

I fail to see this. In fact, I'm guessing if you pulled stats on criminals that fit this mold (age, method of entry, target of choice, etc) they'd be very low on the scale of returning fire at anyone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach 
In this case, the robbers didn't shoot back, but instead ran... but again just "discursively analyzing" the situation in terms of probabilities and likelihood, the old man probably made the situation of bystander injury more likely, or at least more unpredictable/unstable.

Quite the contrary, he stabilized what already was an unpredictable scenario. He took the uncertainty out of the situation by preempting the impending violence. This logically follows, as opposed to your rationale.
post #2784 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post

What? You saw exactly how they reacted. They ran like hell.
Really? And what exactly prompts this conclusion? I don't understand how that is the logical reaction. Based on what we know:
a) amateurs in hoodies
b) one guy swinging a bat wildly
c) the fact that they are knocking over an internet cafe
Leads me to a much different "logical" conclusion - that these kids certainly do not expect to be shot at by an internet cafe customer. Had this been a bank where armed security guards are watching, that is a different story. In that instance, yes, I'd expect a gunfight to break out. But not here.
I fail to see this. In fact, I'm guessing if you pulled stats on criminals that fit this mold (age, method of entry, target of choice, etc) they'd be very low on the scale of returning fire at anyone.
Quite the contrary, he stabilized what already was an unpredictable scenario. He took the uncertainty out of the situation by preempting the impending violence. This logically follows, as opposed to your rationale.

All fair points. I'm satisfied with your response and think it makes sense, though my only curiosity following-up would be that if we agree that they probably weren't going to get violent (as you said, profile for criminals of this type probably they didn't expect a gunfight), then was the old man's shooting them really necessary at all? If we can say he didn't make the situation with the ROBBERS potentially more dangerous (i.e. the other bystanders were not in danger of being shot by them and his action removed any potential uncertainty in that regard), then (1) did he really need to shoot them and (2) was HE more potentially dangerous to the bystanders than even were the robbers?

Anyway, it's all interesting food for thought/devil's advocate. I just always become suspicious when people talk about "balls of steel" when things like this happen. It's not in every culture that this guy would be given fist-bumps on the interwebz (he might end up in jail in some places). I'm just interested in/curious how as a culture we react and construct these things. smile.gif
post #2785 of 6250
Why isn't everyone playing the What If game?

What if that old guy would have shot a little white girl in the head by mistake. Oh gawd, a field day for the anti gun people. The horror.
post #2786 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringusingoodale View Post

Why isn't everyone playing the What If game?
What if that old guy would have shot a little white girl in the head by mistake. Oh gawd, a field day for the anti gun people. The horror.

Why do you say "a little white girl"?

Wouldn't a "little black girl" have been just as good for anti gun people ( and maybe even better )?

What if, as the late, great, eminent Rodney King said, the old man had just said "People, I just want to say, can we all get along." ( instead of capping the perps, as some might term it ).
post #2787 of 6250

George Zimmerman, providentialist.
post #2788 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

George Zimmerman, providentialist.

Is that like a somnambulist?
post #2789 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post

Is that like a somnambulist?

Somnambulism seems like the better religious/moral defense, since we really do cede conscious agency when we go to sleep.

Also, being extremely drunk.
post #2790 of 6250
Quote:
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

George Zimmerman, providentialist.

I wish that he was dead along with Travyn.
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