Riboflavin slanders flowbark - in a gun thread!

So where’s the slander? Damn, I was all stoked up, too.

Can’t slander in a thread, it’s not allowed by the law.

Slander is spoken. Libel is written or broadcast. Both are species of defamation.

Yeah, and his comments really weren’t that libelous either.

This is really incredible. I posted the thing, but it apparently got dropped out. Good thing I saved it. Here’s the post:
Riboflavin slanders flowbark - in a gun thread!

I recognize that most of you will be shocked to learn that Riboflavin had the absolute gall to suggest that flowbark may not have been 100% accurate in his postings.

Furthermore, you may be surprised to learn that the gun thread that flowbark wandered into has not exactly been the embodiment of dispassionate analysis. (I’m shocked, shocked!)

More seriously, though, 'ol Ribo has asserted that a number of “lies” have been written in the gun thread. Indeed, one of these supposed “lies” was allegedly posted by (gasp) yours truly.

Furthermore, Riboflavin has submitted the following observation to flowbark for his consideration:

Well, I didn’t see any rolleyes there. And while we’re on the subject of honesty, oh Riboflavin of the many opinions, when pray tell did I make that statement? Au contraire, I believe that Anthracite, ExTank and Erislover comport themselves with the highest levels of integrity. (Ok, maybe the 2nd highest :wink: ). And yet all of them, on balance at least, are gun control opponents.

Now I did say the following:
Funny how your interpretation of the evidence always seems to point in the same direction. Evidence is never mixed; gun control advocates are always wrong. I wonder who the honest analyst is.

But that, dear Riboflavin, was directed at you in particular and not all gun control opponents in general. I did imply that overstatement was endemic among gun control opponents in SDMB threads (to which ExTank gave some fair and interesting responses), but that’s a different issue than honesty. (And I said that as a response to Anthracite’s gun thread observations.)

Indeed, as I stated on page 2, “But let’s accentuate the positive. On the whole I agreed with Anthracite’s methodological observations. Indeed, I extended them, methinks. And ExTank’s post (2041084, p.1) seemed fair-minded. (Although I didn’t look at the latter’s link).

To which I might add that Demise seems to be a decent chap, notwithstanding the fact that I brushed off some of his comments. (Sorry). We will see how that conversation develops.

The thread in question can be found here.

Now I have some questions for Ribo:

When you reported what I said earlier, did you tell a lie, a “lie”, or something else? If the last, what?

Upon reflection, do you want to retract that statement? If not, why not?

If your answers are a) a “misunderstanding” and b) “Why yes, flowbark, I am forced to agree with you on this narrow procedural point”, then we’re all good.

I should end by noting that Ribo has said that he doesn’t have time for any long posts before tomorrow.

Please continue with your regularly scheduled flaming.

It’s getting late in flowbark-land. It is unlikely that I will be able to post for another, um, 17 hours or so. Approximately. Or thereabouts.

Thanks. I try to be civil as long as people aren’t making insulting generalizations about gun-rights advocates or gun owners. Since neither you nor quixotic seem to be guilty of such, there is no problem.

My whole point with the Tec-9 thing was to demonstrate how gun-control advocates demonize characteristics of certain weapons to make it easier for those type of weapons to be banned or restricted. People without an opinion or much knowledge might not support you if you say “let’s get rid of all handguns!”, but are more likely to support you if you say “look at this evil assault weapon, lets get rid of it!”

Yup, it’s the old *Saturday Night Special[i/] ploy: Let’s ban the ugly and/or cheap handguns (like the junky TEC-9) and make America a safer place.

Personally, I’d rather see criminals armed with shoddy, unreliable SNS’s rather than the more reliable, accurate, and expensive Berettas, Glocks, et. al. (NOT that I want to see criminals armed at all!! But hey, this is the real world…)

I wouldn’t take it too personal, flowbark; most of us gun control opponnents aren’t unilateral opponents, but get unliateral hostility, obfuscation and outright intellectual density in gun control debates. After a while, we reach a “saturation point” and need to step back and take a breather, as we get more and more nasty towards even the reasonable and intelligent.

In defense of those proposing further gun restrictions, there is typically only a very small handfull of people who seem to be deliberately yanking our collective chains and torquing up the rhetoric, driving reason and civility right off the road and into the ditch. And like bulls having a red flag waved under our noses, we react badly.

Note for the record: I am one of the worst offender in that regard. But I’ve had a breather of late from gun control debates, so can approach another with some semblance of a clean slate. It helped that the recent one started by Sparculees remaind (relatively) rational throughout. An altogether welcome change from the norm.

And, since this is the Pit: you no good, dirty, rotten, gun grabbin’ so-and-so, I curse your name!

Certain appearances must be maintained, after all. Nothing personal, you understand.

*Originally posted by flowbark *

The most glaring ‘inaccuracy’ in your postings was your blatantly false claim that you had refuted my claim, since you cleverly used something other than what I had cited to claim that I was lying. Not only did you do this in a quick manner consistent with a short mistake, you went and posted a whole table of data. You then went on with your “Put up or…” nonsense despite the fact that I had given a specific cite that (AFAIK) wasn’t online, and offered to point you to summary information on the study which was reported in newspapers, since I didn’t have the original (it later turned out that the data in question was online, rendering this to a certain degree moot).

For example, Flowbark’s incredibly dishonest use of a completely different set of data than what I cited to attempt to claim that I was wrong. While it’s possible that said use was an honest mistake, the obvious amount of time that went into the post and his reaction to being called on it afterward cause me to really doubt that it was a mistake.

In the very statement you yourself quoted when you decided to go to the pit.

Now I did say the following:

Well, there you go, oh great font of wisdom.

Really? Where, exactly, does that statement of yours or any of the other text in the original post does it say that it was directed “at [me] in particular and not all gun control opponents in general”? Oh, wait, you made a general statement asserting that anyone who has not seen and has never been shown a shred of evidence which actually suppports imposition of gun control is not honest. Certainly, you ended with a rhetorical question, but I hope that your alleged honesty will prevent you from claiming that it was a genuine question rather than a rhetorical one.

I’ll answer them as completely and thouroughly as you’ve been answering mine. (What’s the difference between a Tek-9 and a handgun again Flowy?)

Sorry, Former Tank, but I simply can’t consider a guy who attempted to claim that I was wrong by claiming that something other than what I had cited was my cite, then went on to defend his use of the incorrect data rather than apologizing, conceeding the point, or just dropping it.

  1. I’m setting aside the Tec 9 debate (started on p.3 of the thread) until we get some underlying facts straight. For reference, however, I’ll give the quote that Riboflavin appears to find objectionable (and Demise has asked some fair questions about) "Interesting table. Note that Finland, showcased by myself on page 1, has gun ownership rates of 23-50%. I don’t know whether they allow Tek-9’s and handguns, though. "

The point being that Finland appears to have high gun ownership rates and low violence. Earlier I had linked to a site which purported to compare gun laws in different countries. Nobody seems to want to get a handle on the restrictiveness of Finland gun controls, which after all is the central point that I was making.

  1. Riboflavin has chosen not to retract his claim that I “earlier stated that you believe that one can only be honest if they support ‘gun control.’” I maintain that I said no such thing. And, for the record, I believe that honesty and support for gun control are separate issues. Let me set this aside for later, though.

  2. Now we turn to page 1, where Riboflavin maintains I made my alleged “lie”. 'Ol Ribo doesn’t believe much in substantiation, so I’ll have to reconstruct events as best I can.

Riboflavin claimed: “And, of course, you could always move to a country with even less legal access to firearms like the UK or Aus - of course, you’d best put your wallet where you can easily hand it over, lube up the appropriate orifices, and make sure your medical insurance is paid up since you’re significantly more likely to be the victim of a violent crime there.

Eris asked whether that was really true. Max Torque helpfully cited the “2000 International Crime Victim Survey” which rated,“Australia #1 and England and Wales #2 on the list of “countries where you’re most likely to become a crime victim”. Annual rate: 58 out of every 100 citizens. America is tied for fifth place, behind the Netherlands and Sweden.” A good, factual, nonhysterical answer.

Now that was pretty surprising -and a reversal of trends as far as I knew- so I thought it might be interesting to check out.

Then came flowbark’s infamous post.

Underneath the heading, “Results from the International Crime Survey: Quick Statistical Analysis”, I wrote the following:

Short story: The US is more dangerous.

Long story: Hey, the analysis took 15 minutes.

Ribo takes issue with statement #1 (Short story). He thinks it’s a lie. I maintain it’s a summary of the data I found with google. You know, just look at the heading above it. And I included to the table to show the basis of my claims. There were about a dozen countries listed, IIRC, but only four others covered the same survey years as the US.

Again, I was summarizing what data I found. Furthermore I stated what I did step by bloody step. You can reproduce my results by first going to google, then linking to the site.

What I didn’t know was that Max may or may not have quoted the wrong study. There was no 2000 data on the website I visited: the relevant data was at the “2000 International Crime Victimisation survey” site. Note the nonAmerican spelling of victimization.

Now I (and others?) had requested the data from Ribo a couple of times. Finally, Sparculees referred me to an article in the Guardian, which provided me with some helpful keywords (“victimisation”, in particular). (Thanks, Sparc) I then summarized the study on page 3.

Ribo has never taken issue with my summaries, as far as I can tell. (Which is surprising, because 15 minute efforts tend to be somewhat inaccurate). What he didn’t like was when I suggested that my first crack at the data was at variance with his claim. But he didn’t bother to provide additional substantiation.

Ah well, life goes on…

Now, let’s take flowbark’s words in context. Here’s the full post, from p. 2.

Re: the sentence that begins with, “funny”. Does anybody besides Riboflavin believe that I was referring to all gun advocates? Just to clarify, that sentence was intended to refer only to you, Ribo.

It was written in a heated fashion, I admit: the point was that given that my posts are a heck of a lot more balanced than yours, your tendency to say that others are providing lies is… well, eyebrow raising.

Apologies to Demise et al if I bow out of the debate while I get this matter straightened out.

Let’s try an experiment.

Try typing “international crime survey” into google. At the top of the page you can link to, “the International Crime Victim Survey” at http://rulj287.leidenuniv.nl/group/jfcr/www/icvs/

That will provide you with data through about 1995. The 2000 data will not be there.

Now try typing “2000 international crime victimisation survey” Don’t forget the year (and spell “victimization” as “victimisation”).

On the 6th link down (Key Publications) you can get the 2000 data at http://www.unicri.it/Key%20publications.htm . At least that’s what I did.

Thank you, Sparc for providing me with the Guardian link. The extra keywords (and details) were helpful.

FWIW, it appears that I went to the correct website on page 1, but that ICVS had not yet updated their tables with the latest data. (Hey, gang, it’s only been 15 months.) The 2nd link, which gives the 2000 report, comes from the UN.

LOL! Yeah, you know, in America we have Explorers and SUVs!

No, moron, I find it a good example of your ignorance. While I object to your ignorance as much as I do anyone’s, I don’t know that I’d call the quote objectionable.

Nope, wrong as usual. The one I find illustrative is “I don’t know whether they allow Tek-9’s and handguns.” You know, the one that looks an awful lot like you’re preforming the typical hoplophobe bit of listing a ‘scary gun’ despite not knowing what it
is, since a tek-9 is, in fact, a handgun.

[snip - big bunch o quoting which clearly shows flowbark attempting to refute my statement with a different set of data than I cited, like I’ve said all along. Speaking of handguns, the data he used is, amusingly enough, the data from before the British handgun ban.]

I have better things to do than work the calculations backwards on your ‘15 minute summary’.

As I’ve pointed out to you ad nauseum, I cited the 2000 ICVS in my original post but didn’t have a link to it, and paper cite is a cite, regardless of what blathering you do about it.

LOL! Now that was the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Tell us about your ‘balanced’ Crime Victim Punishment… er, Gun Owner Responsability plan again!

Sorry if the truth causes your eyebrows to raise.

Ok, first let’s take a look at what Ribo has not done.

  1. He apparently still maintains that when I said, “Funny how your interpretation of the evidence always points in the same direction”, I was referring to all gun advocates and not to him in particular. Oookay. All I can recommend is that readers refer to the context of that statement, conveniently reproduced above.

  2. He continues to claim that the phrase: “Short story: The US is more dangerous”, when sandwiched between, “Results from the International Crime Survey: Quick Statistical Analysis” and “Long story: Hey, the analysis took 15 minutes.” is a lie. It’s a lie neither because it fails to summarize the data properly, nor because the data was cherry-picked from the website.

No, it is a lie because the website, of the original study did not contain the 2000 data. Note that at the time I didn’t know even whether this 2000 report existed, never mind whether it was based on data from 2000, 1995 or whenever. (Oh, and guess what: reports that use data that is 5 years old are released all the time, although those are typically not the initial reports.)

Now Sparcules was able to find a link with a newspaper review of the 2000 data pretty quickly. With that, I was able to find the 2000 report. Which I dutifully summarized. You’re welcome. Riboflavin apparently isn’t interested in taking a look at this original report either.

Sorry if you’re afraid that it might rock your world 'bud.

  1. Note to the fatuous: the previous sentence was directed at Riboflavin in particular and not all gun advocates in general. Indeed, I have perceived a rather healthy curiosity among a fair number of posters in that GD thread.

  2. Just to clarify: when I typed those words “short story”, I was summarizing what I found. I felt that the reader could scan down and see my more detailed summary below. I admit that I was disappointed that my data seemed to conflict with the strenuous tones in earlier posts, but figured that the gun advocates could clarify matters, if necessary.

I did not expect to have my honesty impinged.

  1. Factual record:
    Here are the references to that 2000 study on p.1, excluding flowbark’s post.

Ribo: And, of course, you could always move to a country with even less legal access to firearms like the UK or Aus - of course, you’d best put your wallet where you can easily hand it over, lube up the appropriate orifices, and make sure your medical insurance is paid up since you’re significantly more likely to be the victim of a violent crime there.

Eris: Is this really true?

Max Torque: Yup. The 2000 International Crime Victim Survey, sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Justice, rates Australia #1 and England and Wales #2 on the list of “countries where you’re most likely to become a crime victim”. Annual rate: 58 out of every 100 citizens. America is tied for fifth place, behind the Netherlands and Sweden.

Ribo: The ‘crime vicitm’ number MaxTorque referred to is, in fact, the number of violent crime victims. See the 2000 International Crime Victims Survey if you don’t believe me. You can also simply look directly at the statistics from the British Home Office and those from the US DOJ, which show the same trend.

and *The ICVS number Max quoted is, in fact, the number for violent crime victims and not just crime victims as he stated. *

No links from Ribo. Just (cited) claims. Hey, that’s ok. But the Straight Dope is dedicated to fighting ignorance and I would say that a reasonable place to launch that particular battle would be at the ICVS website. Which is where I went. The 2000 data was only found later at the UN website (with the help of Sparc’s link and google.)

  1. In the (further) interest of fighting ignorance, I should report that Australia and England/Wales are at the top of the “total victimization” list as well as the “selected contact crime” list. (The latter list refers to robbery, sexual assault and assault with force. The former included bicycle theft, motor vehical theft, etc.)

The 58 out of 100 figure refers to the number of criminal incidents per 100 people (nonviolent as well as violent crime). The corresponding US number is 43. (The average was 38). Contact crime figures range from 1-4% for most countries, quite a bit lower.

I don’t know whether Ribo believed that the 58/100 referred to violent crime. There is some ambiguity in his post. If he believed that, he would certainly be justified in posting his first characterization.

Let me clarify. I find it objectionable that when I attempt to track down your cite, you refer to my work as a lie, presumably intentional. Especially in a forum dedicated to fighting ignorance.

You may choose not to offer further substantiation for your claims. And I wouldn’t have objected if you had simply responded, “I’m quoting from the 2000 survey data.” Instead you called my effort a lie and left it at that, at least until I pushed for a clarification.

Such behavior, such accusations, are dishonorable IMO.

And no, I don’t “just drop” accusations of dishonesty. Pal. (I do, however, accept retractions.)

I suppose that I am lucky that my behavior is not the least bit incredulous -after all I only found the 2000 ICVS data (at the UN website), as outlined above. (I sure hope that there is no 2000 ICVS data at the ICVS website, but if there is… hey, I said up front it was a quick look.)

  1. Ribo: *LOL! Yeah, you know, in America we have Explorers and SUVs! *
    Now it gets complicated.

a) I should say that I have never pretended to have expertise in this area. I do not claim omniscience; I merely aspire to fight ignorance.

b) I have noted that the underlying point (Finnish vs. US laws) has not been addressed.

c) BUT: Actually, the analogy would be, “in America we have Expeditions and SUVs!” Expeditions being an example of an SUV and more notoriously an example of a true gas-guzzler, getting 10 miles to the gallon or so.

d) In this context, the Tec 9 is an example of a semi-automatic firearm that reportedly can be easily converted into an automatic. That was the characteristic I had in mind. And that is a large part of what made the weapon notorious. It was certainly not thought of as notorious due to its ease of concealment, to my knowledge. It was also an example of an (alleged) assault weapon that was made illegal in the US.

So let me restate: I don’t know how Finnish law handles weapons that can be easily concealed or weapons that can be easily converted (with a kit) to become automatics.

To those who claim that the Tec 9 is difficult to convert to an automatic: hey, we can discuss that.

e) At the same time, I had no idea what the Tec 9 looked like. Ok, actually that’s not quite accurate. I confess that I thought it looked like one of the boxy machine guns that certain crooks used on Miami Vice. (Q: So what are those things?) So the links that Demise posted were helpful.

f) And finally, I was amused by what replaced the Tec 9. What a wimpy looking gun! (While that Tec 9 is one baaaaad looking machine.)

g) Also, I confess I was unaware of the cosmetic controversies associated with the Tec 9. (Interesting). And obviously, I didn’t know how to spell it. (Tec 9: a banned weapon. Tek 9: a rap band. Tek World: Let’s not discuss that.)

  1. I was heartened to actually see Ribo actually concede a point on page 3 of the GD thread. Maybe these posts are having an infinitesimal salutatory effect.

I should also note that the relative safety from violence of the US vis a vis the rest of the industrialized world is still up in the air.

The ICVS study, as far as I can tell, consisted of a survey of about 2000 people per country. Useful. Interesting. But not likely to shed light on the sort of incidents affecting 1 in 10000 or 1 in 20000, such as homicide.

I regret that this tangent has prevented a fuller airing of these issues. Why bother hunting down evidence if you are going to smeared?

Ribo seems to believe that if I expend a certain amount of effort in putting together a table, that that constitutes evidence of deception. I don’t see how that follows. I posted the table because I was summarizing mixed evidence, and I wanted to show the basis for my conclusions.