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GeneticsDave said:
No, that's cool, go check out one of his books at the library and see what you think. They were WAY too boring for me - too much statistics and not enough argument in my mind.
That's impossible. There's no such thing as too much statistics, and arguments are never as meaningful as hard numbers.

:D
 

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GeneticsDave said:
I hate statistics. I like numbers, but not stats - I just remember obtaining a number set and working it in stats, depending on what theories (? term) you used, you could get many different conclusions. It seemed to me that stats was a way to manipulate numbers to say what you wanted, not the truth. But that's just my opinion and limited experience.
It does seem that way at first. It takes a lot of experience and education to learn which hypothesis, distribution and approach to apply to a particular situation. There IS a right answer, however, and professionals (like Mr. Lott) don't get into disagreements over the right way to perform a given calculation. Statistics are often manipulated, but such manipulations do not stand up to expert scrutiny.

I'm no expert, personally, but I do know enough to tell correct from incorrect usage. In any case, you rarely find really bad statistics in publications by serious academics.
 

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eddified said:
So here's an argument based on (hypothetical) statistics. Assuming the statistics are complete and true and not twisted in any way, I don't think I would buy into this argument. (But then again, there might be something to it). Would YOU buy into this argument based on statistics? The opposing argument (based on reason) would run along the lines of "well, even if such a world meant less total deaths, we still need guns because they are a great EQUALIZER. Granny can still protect her home when Mr. Criminal comes in the night with a knife."
Well, I think the premise is pretty unbelievable, in multiple ways. Ignoring that, assuming it were true, assuming the stats said that eliminating all guns would substantially reduce violent death and injury, and assuming there were some way to destroy all projectile-throwing devices, ensure that none could ever be made again, and yet not hinder in any way any other part of our technological civilization, and if we ignore all non-violent uses of guns, then yes, I'd support the removal of all guns, and suggest that Granny put bars on the windows, etc.

In reality, I think the equalizing effect of guns is such that a gun-less world would be more violent, not less. I don't have any numbers to support that, of course. Reason must do where statistics cannot reach :)
 
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