Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some things to think about

This post is completely unrelated to travel, Rachel, school or pretty much any other topic on this blog, but I've been doing a lot of thinking about the recent Connecticut shooting. Many of you probably already know my views and thoughts on the situation but regardless of what I think, it's time that all Americans really sit down and think about this problem. Many of my European friends approached me attempting to understand the shocking (to them and to me) pro-gun reactions of their American friends on facebook, and I also attempted to explain how different the culture is in the US and how deep rooted our gun culture is (even the fact that gun ownership is mentioned in our constitution). Although I am fully convinced that the situation is far more complex than just stricter gun control, I really, really want to encourage anyone reading this post to do some serious research on the varying viewpoints in this debate. I've found a lot of statistics that suggest that guns could play a large role in the problem. So if you're reading this, would you please take a moment to read the articles I'm posting below and challenge yourself? Be skeptical, read different viewpoints, find statistics, question the statistics, think about the big picture, and think about the world. As a former engineer/person who can't get numbers out of my head, I like numbers. I believe they can prove hypotheses, and often tell stories better than words. However, numbers are also very dangerous. It is far too easy to collect data and make correlations between unrelated variables, or skew statistics or only present partial numbers. Lastly, if you have some well researched, well written, and solidly argued resources for either side of the debate; I would also be delighted to read them.  What I do not want to read are rude, ignorant, and angry comments.

Some statistics

The case of Switzerland

Weapons continuum 

Why gun control is not enough

Swiss gun culture

More on the cases of Switzerland and Isreal there is an interesting research paper linked to this article and I am going to try and get my hands on it through University permissions.

Facts on guns in the US I would suggest also reading the links that the author has posted to do some fact checking. 

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