Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hospitals to Waive Bills of Shooting Victims

Children's Hospital of Colorado has announced that it will cover all costs of medical treatment for the victims of Friday's shooting.

The hospital will completely cover the uninsured victims, and will cover all co pays for those who are insured.

HealthOne, which owns the Medical Center of Aurora and Swedish Medical Center, followed with their own announcement.

They will be limiting or completely covering all costs for the victims that they treated, depending on the individual's situation.

Victims face a long recovery after the initial medical treatment.

Various charities have started taking money for the victims, and over two million dollars has been raised already.

On Thursday, Parker Adventist Hospital joined them by pledging to cover all costs not covered by insurance.

Denver Health pledged to pay seventy percent of costs that insurance didn't cover.

Does Research and Statistics Support Gun Control?

Author’s note: I reached out to a respected expert on gun control statistics, Dr. Gary Kleck, professor of criminology at Florida State University. He was kind enough to send me The Great American Gun Debate: What Research Has to Say from The Criminal Justice System, 10th edition, Edited by George F. Cole and Marc G. Gertz. Wadsworth. (Published January 2012), I highly recommend reading it. He also sent me a copy of National Vital Statistics Reports Volume 60, Number 3 which is the final report for 2009 which he says “provides the most recent final mortality data, showing numbers of deaths from all causes, with separate counts for gun deaths.”

In the wake of the Colorado theater shootings, many people have called for stricter gun control laws, while others stand by the second amendment right to own and possess guns. Those who want stricter control believe it will prevent deaths, many gun advocates state guns help prevent injury and death. I was interested to find out more information in two areas, the first being the comparison of guns used for violence versus gun use for protection and secondly, mortality rates related to gunshot wounds as compared to mortality rates by other mechanisms.

"Perhaps what is most striking about the patterns of gun ownership in the US is that ownership is generally highest in those groups where violence is lowest." (Kleck 1997, Chapter 3). "It is well known that guns are used in many violent crimes in the US. [However] The best available evidence indicates that guns are used by victims in self-protection considerably more often than crimes are committed by offenders using guns. For example, victims used guns defensively about 2.0-2.5 million times in 1993, compared to fewer than 600,000 violent crimes committed by offenders with guns (Kleck and Gertz 1995)."

"Defensive gun use is effective in preventing injury to the victim and property loss. Research based on interviews with large nationally representative samples of crime victims consistently indicates that those who use guns during crime incidents are less likely to be injured or lose property than those who either adopt other resistance strategies or do not resist at all. These effects are usually produced without shooting the gun or wounding a criminal - only 24 per cent of gun defenders even fired the gun (including warning shots), only l6 per cent tried to shoot the perpetrator, and at most 8 per cent wounded the offender (evidence summarized in Kleck and Kates 2001, Chapter 7)."

"There is also evidence indicating that some criminals may be deterred from making some criminal attempts in the first place by the prospect of victim gun use against them. Criminals interviewed in prison indicate that they have refrained from committing crimes because they believed a potential victim might have a gun, and crime rates have dropped substantially after highly publicized instances of prospective victims arming themselves or being trained in gun use, or victims using guns against criminals. (research summarized in Kleck and Kates 2001, Chapter 7)."

Information I had not even considered, "that when criminal aggressors possess guns in a crime incident, they are substantially less likely to attack and injure their victims in the first place. At least nineteen studies have found that offenders possessing guns are less likely to injure their victims than offenders with other weapons or no weapons. The explanation appears to be that possession of a lethal weapon enables aggressors to intimidate victims without actually attacking them, in crimes where the offender’s goal is not to kill the victim." Kleck 2011

Many gun control proponents state that having stricter gun control laws that restrict who can purchase guns will prevent criminals from obtaining guns. Studies show that most criminals do not obtain their guns from a conventional retail dealer of guns.

Eight four percent, of 943 felon handgun owners surveyed,
did not purchase the gun from a conventional retailer.

Another question that has surfaced is: why do people focus more on gun injury related deaths? Why guns when more people have died from poisoning and motor vehicle accidents individually and followed closely by falls? There are restrictions on some types of poisons, but that didn’t prevent 41,592 deaths by poison in 2009. There are even less restrictions on motor vehicles which caused 34,485 deaths in 2009. Both of these cause more deaths than guns. All of these can be used by in the commission of murder.

According to: National Vital Statistics Reports Volume 60, Number 3 December 29, 2011Deaths: Final Data for 2009 (Table 18) in 2009, a total of 177,154 deaths were classified as injury related Four major mechanisms of injury in 2009— poisoning, motor-vehicle traffic, firearm, and fall— accounted for 75.1 percent of all injury deaths.

Number of Deaths 2009
Motor-vehicle traffic
17.7 %
14.4 %

Why then are guns singled out as needing restriction or banned? Could it be, perhaps, a matter of politics? Though there are gun proponents and gun control advocates on both ends of the political spectrum, it seems as though it is mostly the liberals and progressives that want gun control and the conservatives and moderates that defend the second Amendment right to bear arms. That this topic has become entrenched in people’s political belief system, it is difficult, but not impossible, for people’s minds to be changed on the topic of gun control.

Research shows that gun control will not help prevent gun related crimes, nor will it prevent people from obtaining guns. In fact, stricter gun control would cause an increase in crime, increase gun related crime, and victim injury/death.

Thank you Dr. Kleck!


Kleck, Gary. 1997. Targeting Guns: Firearms and their Control. N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter.

Kleck, Gary, and Marc Gertz. 1995. “Armed resistance to crime: the prevalence and nature of self-defense with a gun.” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 86:150-187.

Kleck, Gary, and Don B. Kates. 2001. Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus.

Additional Reading:

· Archer, Dane, and Rosemary Gartner. 1984. Violence and Crime in Cross-National Perspective. New Haven: Yale University Press.

· Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 2011. Information available at Brady website at .

· Britt, Chester, III, Gary Kleck, and David J. Bordua. 1996a. “A reassessment of the D.C. gun law: some cautionary notes on the use of interrupted time series designs for policy impact assessment.” Law & Society Review 30:361-380.

· Bruce-Briggs, Barry. 1976. “The great American gun war.” The Public Interest 45:37-62.

· Cook, Philip J., and Jens Ludwig. 1997. Guns in America. Summary Report. Washington, D.C.: Police Foundation.

· DMI (Decision-Making-Information). 1979. Attitudes of the American Electorate Toward Gun Control. Santa Ana, Calif.: Decision-Making-Information.

· Killias, Martin. 1990. “Gun ownership and violent crime: the Swiss experience in international perspective.” Security Journal 1:169-174.

· Kleck, Gary. 1991. Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter.

· Kleck, Gary. 2009. “The myth of big-time gun trafficking and overinterpretation of gun tracing data.” UCLA Law Review 56:1233-1294.

· Kleck, Gary, and E. Britt Patterson. 1993. “The impact of gun control and gun ownership levels on violence rates.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 9:249-288.

· Kopel, David. 1992. The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus.

· Lindgren, James, and Justin Lee Heather. 2002. “Counting guns in early America.” William and Mary Law Review 43(5):1777-1842.

· Lizotte, Alan J., and David J. Bordua. 1980. “Firearms ownership for sport and protection: two divergent models.” American Sociological Review 45:229-44.

· Lott, John, and David B. M. Mustard. 1997. “Crime, deterrence and right-to-carry concealed handguns.” Journal of Legal Studies 26:1-68.

· Ludwig, Jens, and Philip J. Cook. 2000. “Homicide and suicide rates associated with implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.” Journal of the American Medical Association 284(5):585-591.

· Magaddino, Joseph P., and Marshall H. Medoff. 1984. “An empirical analysis of federal and state firearm control laws.” Pp. 225-58 in Firearms and Violence: Issues of Public Policy, edited by Don B. Kates, Jr. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger.

· National Rifle Association. 2011. Information available at NRA website at .

· Newton, George D., and Franklin Zimring. 1969. Firearms and Violence in American Life. A Staff Report to the National Commission on the Causes and prevention of Violence.

· Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

· PRNewswire. 2010. Statement of Kristen Rand, Violence Policy Center Legislative Director, June 28, 2010. NY: PR Newswire Association LLC.

· Stinchcombe, Arthur, Rebecca Adams, Carol A. Heimer, Kim Lane, Scheppele, Tom W. Smith, D. Garth Taylor. 1980. Crime and Punishment — Changing Attitudes in America. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

· United Nations. 1997. Draft - United Nations International Study on Firearm Regulation. Vienna: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division, United Nations Office at Vienna.

· U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. 1980. State Laws and Published Ordinances, Firearms – 1980. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Treasury.

· U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. 1998. ATF Annual Report, 1997. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Treasury.

· U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. 2000. Following the Gun. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Treasury.

· U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1996. Survey of State Procedures Related to Firearm Sales. Washington, D.C.: Department of Justice.

· U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2001. Firearm Use by Offenders. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

· U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. 2011. Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2008. U.S. Department of Justice. Available online at

· U.S. Congressional Research Service. 1994. “Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.”CRS Report for Congress number 94-14 GOV, dated January 6, 1994. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress.

· U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2011. Crime in the United States, 2009: Uniform Crime Reports. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available online at

· U.S. Library of Congress. 1981. Gun Control Laws in Foreign Countries. Law Library. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

· Vizzard, William J. 2000. Shots in the Dark: The Policy, Politics, and Symbolism of Gun Control. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

· Wright, James D., and Peter H. Rossi. 1986. Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons And Their Firearms. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

· Zimring, Franklin E. 1975. “Firearms and federal law: the Gun Control Act of 1968.” Journal of Legal Studies 4:133-98.

Kim Jong Un's Mystery Woman Revealed

Kim Jong Un's mystery woman has been revealed, her name is Ri Sol Ju.

Apparently Ri is not his girlfriend, she's actually his wife of three years.

The two also have at least one child together.

Ri is twenty-seven and is a graduate of the Kim Il Sung University graduate school.

It is unclear why North Korea chose now to release her identity.

Classic Stuff: Five to Buy From July

Most Dangerous Game/Gow The Headhunter [Blu-ray]Five great classic releases on DVD and Blu-ray that you shouldn’t miss from July.

The Most Dangerous Game is the thrilling and much remade tale of shipwreck survivors who become prey for an island madman, a Russian aristocrat who’s hunted everything and finds humans the most fun to track. The twist this time is that Joel McCrea is himself a big game hunter and knows how to fight back. It’s a clear good versus evil-- and still horrifying-- story that was filmed with much of the same crew and using the same sets as King Kong, including the costar, the beautiful Fay Wray. Disc Comes with documentary Gow the Headhunter, a booklet and lots of bonus features.

Columbia Pictures Pre-Code Collection DVDDangerous Game comes from that naughty, anything goes and decidedly adult phase of early filmdom before censorship clamped down, and whence also comes the five movie Columbia Pictures Pre-Code Collection from the TCM Vault. Arizona has John Wayne as a soldier who has to face the girl he jilted now that she’s the wife of his commanding officer. Ten Cents a Dance has Barbara Stanwyck as a dance hall girl stuck with a no-good man and the prospect of a great rich guy, but divorce was a big no-no back in this day. In Virtue, cabbie Pat O’Brien discovers that the sweet Carole Lombard he married used to be a prostitute. In Three Wise Girls Jean Harlow is a small town girl who wants to be a model, but has to face big city predators, pitfalls, desires and temptations. Shopworn sees Barbara Stanwyck falling for a high class dude whose mother frames her and gets her sent to prison. Joke’s on the upper crust though, when Barbara gets out and makes it big. Lots of extras in this set, including pictures and documents.

Singing in The Rain. This is a 60th-anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition of the popular musical, newly remastered and loaded with special features including loads of commentary from stars and experts, plus a documentary.

Two John Garfield noirs featuring meaty plots and Garfield’s always great acting. In Force of Evil Garfield is a mob lawyer involved in cornering the state lotteries and ends up on the opposite side of his brother whose honesty prevents him from playing along. This postwar picture of New York was a big favorite of and influence on Martin Scorsese. In Body and Soul Garfield plays a boxer who lets the wins go to his head.

In the sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, doctor Kevin McCarthy finds the paranoia of his small town patients hard to believe; they insist their friends and family are not at all normal or who they seem, and turns out there’s good reason for it, since the aliens are taking the form of the town’s denizens and replacing them. Directed by Don “Dirty Harry” Seigel, and widely taken as a metaphor for the insidiousness mind numbing and scary groupthink of collectivism and Communism, as witnessed and feared during the height of the Cold War. Also with Dana Wynter and Carolyn Jones, the first wife of TV king Aaron Spelling.

Not happy with any of those? In July there was also the western essential High Noon, Looney Tunes: Platinum Collection 1, and you can get way more precode action with the Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volumes 4 and 5.

Find me at the Speakeasy for more classic entertainment.