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GETTING IN THE POOL — 12 Comments

  1. I believe the NHTSA data may be interpreted as “cell phones cause more deaths than guns”. Who needs to talk and drive? Or walk for that matter.

  2. Great article by a Doctor showing an abundance of common sense.

    The gun issue could also be compared to the continued rise of “Driving while Impaired” accidents/fatalities, be they from alcohol, drugs or the use of electronic devices while behind the wheel.

    Yet I don’t see the outrage from the public to ban cars because of the actions of the few.

    Bottom line is common sense and training.

  3. A bit off point (accidental vs. intentional, but how often goes a guy armed with a four-foot pool take out 54 people? I have guns. I believe in concealed carry and self defense. But at some point, we don’t need to all be rambos.

    • No, Herbert, being a porcupine, not a Rambo, is what most of us do. We go about our business, not bothering anyone.

      But, if need be, we will respond to a threat as needed.

    • Rambo should be everyone’s role model. In the movies, Rambo never starts a fight, but he always end them to the detriment of the bad guys. We should all be like Rambo as he never bothers anyone and just wants to be left alone, but if you mess with him – watch out!

    • NO ONE I know (and I knew a few dozens who like guns a lot and have plenty of them and use them) does anything to promote the “Rambo Syndrome”. Remember Rambo is a fictional film character, and NOT reality. He is even less reality than the sickoes who get a gun and go shoot up some place. WHY do you hold that fictistionis character up as an example? How many people do you know who emulate Yosemite Sam, or Wile E Coyote?

    • Herbert Glenn Nesmith,

      You make a good point, that pools are not used as offensive weapons. However, water can be used as a weapon. In NYC, two police officers were assaulted (humiliated) with water. I could hold someone underwater in order to drown him. When a submarine torpedoes a ship, it is using water to drown the crew.

      What’s wrong with wanting to be a hero, a Rambo or a John Wayne? Heroes have noble characteristics, worthy of imitation. In the modern era, the only problem is that would-be heroes need to be careful not to step outside the bounds of the Law. We need more hero imitation, not less.

      Good news. The fifth Rambo movie comes to theatres on September 20th. Can’t wait!

  4. A 4 ft pool filled with ammonium nitrate fertilizer, diesel fuel, road flares, an igniter, a battery and an alarm clock, Mr. Nesmith.

  5. The zeal for firearms-prohibition is driven by left-wing ideology and the overwhelming desire to disarm the American People as a prelude to the total seizure of political power by the radical American Left. Therefore, as the linked story on child fatalities (by drowning) indicates, deaths by firearms are exaggerated in importance while deaths due to other, more statistically deadly causes, are downplayed and ignored.

    There are numerous examples of this behavior especially in media coverage. For example, medical errors may be the third most common cause of death in the USA. They outnumber firearms-related fatalities by a factor of about 10 to 1. Yet, the demand for firearms-prohibition measures, by the left and their media allies, outnumber the calls for medical-care improvements by at least 100,000 to 1.

    In a similar vein, the left likes to push a false narrative that the USA is the only country that experiences mass-murders and that our (in their words) permissive firearms laws are the cause of it all. Yet, mass-murders occur in other countries all the time and, certainly, firearms are not the only means employed. For example, consider this story:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Animation_arson_attack

    I had to link to the Wikipedia article for this incident because the regular media coverage of this event is almost non-existent in the USA. Why is that? Simple, this event undercuts the Prohibition narrative that the Anti-American Media constantly pushes. Therefore, they are deliberately suppressing coverage of this mass-murder in Japan. Under their narrative, Japan is a “dream country” with strong firearm-prohibition measures already in-place. Therefore, to admit that a mass-murderer still found a way, despite Japan’s firearms laws, to murder and injure large numbers of people is unthinkable. It is much easier for the media to just suppress this incident and leave the American people ignorant about it.

    To quote Mark Twain: “If you don’t read the newspapers, you are uninformed. If you do read them, you are misinformed.”

  6. In the day and age where data seem to matter less, this approach of providing information that others can relate to makes sense. You are tapping in to the lived experiences of others and not relying on their ability to understand unfamiliar/abstract legal concepts or relate to “things that have never happened to me, nor will likely ever happen to me.”

    In addition to the humorous idea of banning swimming pools, what about kitchen knives? According to a study in the Journal of Emergency Medicine (2013), kitchen knives accounted for about 50,000 injuries per year between 1990-2008. Prescription medication? How many deaths per year are due to overdose or misuse (including prescription errors)? Should we ban medicine? Should we protest those “evil doctors?”

    If data do not matter then how do we address the “80% in the middle?”

    Since the days of Burrhus Frederic Skinner we have known that people’s behavior is a function of the events that precede and follow it. Those antecedent events and maintaining consequences (of behavior) might be proximal or distal in time. We can expect people’s behavior to change to the extent that they have direct exposure to situations that set the occasion for a behavior of interest (e.g., buying a gun, bearing arms in public) and that the behavior of interest has been reinforced by some outcome (e.g., saving one’s life, social approval, etc.). Shooting behavior is shaped by the presentation of a target plus a cue that occasions firing (the behavior of interest) which is followed by a consequence- such as impact on target and instructor feedback. To the extent that the impact on target is accurate and the instructor consistently provides reinforcement for success (or immediate error correction) shooting behavior improves.

    Lacking such direct exposure to the conditions that set the occasion for gun ownership and bearing arms in public, which might be the case for many of those “80 percenters” Mas referred to, folks might be persuaded by “following advice” or “suggestions” from pro-gun folks (and anti-gun people, too). However, most individuals only “follow advice” if the advice is similar to that given in the past to them by the same (or familiar) individuals which has resulted in favorable outcomes. Behavior that reflects “following advice” is one example of “rule-governed behavior.” It is behavior that occurs (or is learned) by following rules- it does not require a person to have direct exposure to specific environmental conditions that set the occasion for the behavior of interest. To the extent that folks do not have direct exposure to conditions that set the occasion for gun ownership, then we rely on perhaps a weaker form of persuasion.

    Our “advice” to others in the 80% category- in short, to support the Second Amendment- should indeed include experiences that most of them can relate to- and the fire extinguisher example is an excellent one. Even better if the “advice” to have emergency rescue equipment comes from an individual another person trusts- or it is made clear to folks that the “advice” comes from an expert. In these cases we increase the likelihood of changing someone’s behavior.

    And yet behavior is complicated. Think about how many people do not smoke because they have been told by trusted sources that, “it is bad for you.” And yet, we all know people who still smoke despite the evidence or medical advice that says smoking carries health risks. Neither group may have directly experienced the (potential) harmful effects of smoking- but one group decided not to smoke, and one group did. Advice/rules can govern behavior but it is no guarantee. People might choose to smoke because when they do- it has maintaining consequences (physical, feel-good effects or social effects, etc.) that over-ride advice not to smoke. Our learning history matters- it is a complicated history, and it accounts for the observed individual differences in behavior.

    The same lessons can be applied to political persuasion. The vast majority of people in this country will never need a firearm for self-defense. This is a good thing; however, there are those of us that still decide to carry and do not want fellow citizens voting for gun banners. Why do those of us who never directly experienced a life-threatening event, who do not hunt, or do not have jobs that require firearms still choose to keep and bear arms? What were the experiences that shaped our behavior, including our opinions on the matter (verbal behavior)? There is no one answer: all of us have likely had different combinations of experiences that determined our behavior. Just bear in mind that giving advice to the unconvinced and other verbal persuasion tactics are limited in effectiveness to the extent that strong maintaining consequences are available for being “anti-gun.”

    For the fight ahead, we must at the very least have effective ways to persuade- and drawing upon analogies people can relate to through their lived experiences seems the way to go. We might not be “trustworthy” sources of advice for many in the 80% group but we can tap in to those common “lived experiences.” Behavioral theory and research support the approach Mas presented above and elsewhere in his other writings. Our side should take note and use this knowledge to our advantage- especially when statistics/data are ignored or twisted for political gain.