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View Diary: The Math of the Gun Lottery (30 comments)

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  •  something not mentioned here (1+ / 0-)
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    is that in most "lotteries" the number of "mega-winners" doesn't change with the number of tickets.  The "size" of the purse may (and there's no way to analogize that to "mass killings"), but the number doesn't.

    So if you cut the number of guns in half (buybacks, confiscation, whatever) the number of mass killings doesn't change at all.  By your analogy, anyway.

    Not sure that ls what you intended, but that's what is.

    It's quite likely that if the number of guns was reduced gun accidents would fall . . . probably in near-direct proportion.  And if that reduced the number of households with guns (rather than just the number of guns per household) there might be fewer "impulse" shootings (in multi-gun households the "impluse" would just grab whatever different gun was available).  But would cutting the total number of guns in half (or eliminating "assault rifles" completely) proportionately reduce gun crime?  No, probably not at all, unless the deliberate effort was made to specifically go after guns possessed and used by criminals (with assault rifles being . . . uncommon . . . in that catagory).

    It's a safe bet that cutting the number of cars in half would not have a proportional effect on the number of "drive-by" shootings.  Analogize that to guns . . .

    "Math" is good . . . knowing how to apply it to "real world" situations makes it better.  Applying it incorrectly, as done in this diary, leads to "fail" . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:14:44 AM PST

    •  Your lottery math is dead wrong (0+ / 0-)

      For any given lottery, mega or not, the number of winners, in the long run, is DIRECTLY correlated with the number of tickets sold.

      Most mega-jackpots wind up getting split between multiple winners, because the number of potential winners increases directly with the number of tickets sold.

      They wind up becoming "mega-jackpots" via the same math that any given coin flipper can well flip five heads in a row. With lotteries, a few weeks may go by without winner, but it is equally likely to have multiple winners in any given week.

      The point here is that many tiny elements, not one single "magic cause," directly dictate the odds of gun violence, from the one-off murder to the mass killing. The countries with less gun violence invariably have multiple conditions which reduce the probability of multiple "tiny causes."

      Mister Beagle "The real world is tri-color."

      by MisterBeagle on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 10:11:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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