Talk:Firearms policy in the United Kingdom

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References[edit]

American style lobbying[edit]

The stats have been updated. The role of UK shooting organisations does not involve active political opposition. Gun politics is the wrong name for this article. Gun policy, gun laws or gun control. But I can see all every article about a country say 'Gun Politics'. This is done to match the US lobbying technique to "teach the controversy". Change the name of every other country's gun control article, and leave the US to their own machinations. 120.136.34.176 (talk) 07:12, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Yep. Seems like a very US-centric debate being forced on all the other articles. Second Quantization (talk) 16:21, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Air rifle legislation in Scotland[edit]

The "Scotland" section devotes most of it's detail to the proposed legislation regarding air rifles in Scotland, including a lengthy quote from the originator of a petition against the proposal. Obviously some mention is needed, but I feel that it is currently unduly balanced against those opposing the petition, and that this level of detail about one petition is possibly too great for this general article covering the entire history of the subject. Thryduulf (talk) 21:19, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Seems pretty balanced to me, also the regional government made a fundamental mistake in the white paper with their describing an air weapon as a 'firearm', an air pistol or rifle is only a 'firearm' if it is involved in a crime, describing them as 'firearms' by the regional government suggests bias, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:23, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
Lots of things in the UK are "firearms", if they fall outside the narrower definition of something else. An air weapon that's over the power limits to be accepted as an air weapon (in the legal sense) is treated as a firearm. You can quite commonly have an air rifle (especially for pest control) that's something like a pre-charged rifle or carbine and have to hold it on a FAC. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:00, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Gun politics in the United Kingdom. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 06:43, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

What Happened To The Pro and Anti Shooting Lobby List?[edit]

Why was this deleted? Such a list is notable. Twobells (talk) 20:08, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Unsupportable claims[edit]

Twobells has introduced the following text:

Many members of the public increasingly own sporting rifles and shotguns [1] while legally-held gun-related crime is down.[2] However, illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years. [3]

In short, this makes three claims:

1) Legal firearms ownership is widespread ("many") and increasing
2) "legally-held gun-related crime is down"
3) Use of illegally-held guns is rising

I would suggest that these claims are either misleading or factually inaccurate.

For the first the cited Telegraph article claims:

"In fact, gun ownership is at record levels. Some 1.2 million pick up a gun on a fairly regular basis today, more than ever before."

The UK population is 64,511,000 so 1.2 million is a mere 1.9%. This does not constitute "many." There is no historic usage data stated, but we can take the number of Firearms Certificates (FAC) and Shotgun Certificates (SGC) on issue as a proxy:

1995 = 141,700 & 653,800
1996 = 141,900 & 638,000
1997 = 133,600 & 623,100
1998 = 131,900 & 627,600
1999 = 132,300 & 625,700
2000 = 125,400 & 602,500
2001 = 119,600 & 577,200
2002 = 117,700 & 559,000
2002/03 = 118,600 & 561,800
2003/04 = 122,100 & 569,900
2004/05 = 126,400 & 572,400
2005/06 = 127,900 & 563,600
2006/07 = N/A & N/A
2007/08 = 128,528 & 549,207
2008/09 = 138,728 & 574,946
2009/10 = 141,775 & 580,653
2010/11 = 141,840 & 564,269
2011/12 = 143,166 & 562,696
2012/13 = 147,695 & 570,726
2012/14 = 151,413 & 582,923
2014/15 = 153,603 & 582,494

This shows that the number of FACs has not significantly increased, especially when one takes the increasing population into account, and while the number of SGCs has show a greater increase, it is modest and linear. In this context the claim that, "Many members of the public increasingly own sporting rifles and shotguns," is highly misleading.

For the second claim - that "legally-held gun-related crime is down" - the cited 2012 Huffington Post article does not actually directly refer to the use of licensed firearms in crime in the UK at all, and in fact does not refer to any UK data beyond the fact that homicides commited with firearms were down to 51, which I believe refers to the most recent (at the time) figure for England & Wales.

Lastly, the third claim - that use of illegally-held guns is rising - cites a paywalled Times piece that cannot be easily checked, but the preview suggests focuses on urban crime, and notes that, "the number of occasions when a firearm was discharged in London leapt to 352, an increase of 16.5 per cent compared with the previous 12 months." In other words, a very low number which is prone to extreme year-on-year fluctuations, and one based on only one geographical area at that. In fact, the number of crimes involving non-air weapons and air weapons for the past 24 years has been:

1992 = 7,243 + 6,098 = 13,341
1993 = 7,730 + 6,337 = 14,067
1994 = 6,002 + 7,165 = 13,167
1995 = 5,866 + 7,568 = 13,434
1996 = 6,063 + 7,813 = 13,876
1997 = 4,904 + 7,506 = 12,410
1997/98 = 4,903 + 7,902 = 12,805
1998/99 = 5,209 + 8,665 = 13,874
1999/00 = 6,843 + 10,103 = 16,946
2000/01 = 7,471 + 10,227 = 17,698
2001/02 = 10,024 + 12,377 = 22,401
2002/03 = 10,248 + 13,822 = 24,070
2003/04 = 10,338 + 13,756 = 24,094
2004/05 = 11,069 + 11,824 = 22,893
2005/06 = 11,088 + 10,438 = 21,526
2006/07 = 9,645 + 8,836 = 18,481
2007/08 = 9,865 + 7,478 = 17,343
2008/09 = 8,199 + 6,041 = 14,240
2009/10 = 8,082 + 4,931 = 13,013
2010/11 = 7,040 + 4,295 = 11,335
2011/12 = 6,022 + 3,510 = 9,532
2012/13 = 5,158 + 2,977 = 8,135
2013/14 = 4,842 + 2,867 = 7,709

In other words, almost totally consistent falls in the use of non-air weapons since the high of 2005/06, and consistent falls in the use of air weapons since the high of 2002/03. In this context, a claim that "illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years" cannot be regarded as anything other than utterly false. I am therefore reverting Twobell's edits. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:00, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

You suggest? Take it up with the various authors but please do not revert from some sort of WP:POV position. I just cite the legitimate sources and the facts and statistics contained therein. Twobells (talk) 16:40, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
The sources you cite simply do not support your interpretation of what they are saying. Nick Cooper (talk) 12:54, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
I suggest you re-read the articles Nick, they state exactly that. Look, you must stop employing WP:NOR on Wikipedia, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:02, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
[4] [5] Here are a couple more citations for you. Look, I have plenty more legitimately-sourced citations if you want them Nick. I believe strongly in showing good faith but why are you consistently trying to revert and remove legitimate citations relating to UK gun crime? Remember the G36? You reverted those citations too, for years after the assault rifle was in general use in the UK among British police forces, why? Twobells (talk) 16:45, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
No, you were reverted on that point because you repeatedly tried to claim that semi-automatic carbines are "machine guns" or "assault rifles," which by definition they are not. Nick Cooper (talk) 12:54, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
No, I have never suggested that the G36 is a 'machine gun', you are confusing me with someone else, I stated that the G36 is an assault rifle which it is again supported by the overwhelming evidence that you consistently ignore. With respect Nick, your pov agenda driven by WP:NOR has no place on Wikipedia, best wishes. Twobells (talk) 16:05, 12 December 2015 (UTC) Twobells (talk)
No, you will not revert credibily sourced citations, that is against best Wikipedia policy and Nick you should and do know better, stop chancing it. Your WP:OR has no place on Wikipedia, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:32, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Pointing out that published statistics refute your synthesis of news reports is not original research. Less than 2% of the population regularly using firearms does not constitute "many," and the report does not support your claim of a substantial increase in ownership, which is not borne out by the SGC and FAC statistics. You cannot extrapolate a recent increase in a low base rate of urban gun crime to claim that, "illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years," when the published national figures on firearms crime show the exact opposite, i.e. consistent falls over the last decade. In short, stop misrepresenting or just plain lying to pursue your own agenda. Nick Cooper (talk) 12:54, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Nick, you are constantly having to retreat to WP:NOR in your defence, the authors citations I added state the statisistics clearly and these authors come to their conclusions which the citations support, yet you have taken the same stats and come to another conclusion and promote that personal research in this article which is blatant WP:NOR, reverting edits that include legitimate citations that clearly with no sophistry, state the facts, to then go on and state that I am 'lying' when all I am doing is following best wiki practice by including relevant numerous citations from legitimate sources is beneath you, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:09, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
No, your citations do nothing of the sort. You are, of course, free to quote from each the exact text which you believe supports your three claims, and particularly the emphasised parts i.e.
1) Many members of the public increasingly own sporting rifles and shotguns
2) while legally-held gun-related crime is down
3) illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years
Nick Cooper (talk) 16:21, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
All editors are free to read the articles which support the authors conclusions, what you not are permitted to do is employ WP:NOR to further your agenda. Also, Nick you need to calm down, the link you are directing people to is an empty .xml template. http://s4.postimg.org/eoe5lhm4t/your_Link.png. Also, what it you that deleted the pro and anti-gun organisations? In closing I see you have edit warred here before so I will be referring your actions to administration, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:31, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
I'll take that as an acknowledgement by you that you cannot quote the text in the articles that support your bogus claims.
The link is http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/crime-stats/crime-statistics/focus-on-violent-crime-and-sexual-offences--2013-14/rft-appendix-tables.xls If you can't open that, it's time you got a new PC. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:30, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
I beg your pardon? I have just spent the last ten minutes since I wrote the above arranging arbitration, yet you again, assume some soft of bad faith, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:50, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Also, I am trying to help you with this table and this is what editors get when they click on your link: http://s11.postimg.org/h3nm81637/hislinkg.png Edit, you seem to be trying to post this link, correct: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-376027 ? I am using Excel 2016 and your link just resolves to a blank .xml template. Twobells (talk) 16:58, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
No, that's the page the link to the spreadsheet appears on. The other link is direct to the spreadsheet itself. Nick Cooper (talk) 17:04, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
In fact, gun ownership is at record levels. Some 1.2 million pick up a gun on a fairly regular basis today, more than ever before. [6]
Gun deaths last year in the UK at 51 were down by 18 percent , yet private gun ownership continues to grow with 1.8 million legally held [7]
Gun crime is increasing in urban areas across the country, prompting fears of a resurgence in gang activity.
[8] Twobells (talk) 10:02, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
You claimed that, "Many members of the public increasingly own sporting rifles and shotguns." As already stated, 1.2 million is 1.9% of the population, and thus does not constitute "many" as would be commonly understood. Shooting remains a pastime practiced by a very small minority of the population, regardless of whether or not it has increased recently (a small minority that has increased from an even smaller minority is still a small minority). The cited source does not specify what the number of practitioners has increased from and certainly the claim that there has been a significant increase in the ownership of "sporting rifles" is not supported by the number of FACs on issue.
You claimed that, "legally-held gun-related crime is down." The originally cited January 2012 Huffington Post article stated: "Gun deaths last year in the UK at 51 were down by 18 percent..." This does not correlate with either of the three previous reporting years numbers of firearms homicides, or the subsequent one, i.e.:
2008/09 = 39
2009/10 = 39
2010/11 = 58
2011/12 = 42
Regardless of this anomaly, the number of homicides commited with firearms being at a low does not support the much higher level claim that, "legally-held gun-related crime is down." The HP article makes no mention of any other firearms crime statistics, and certainly none relating to "legally-held" firearms.
You claimed that, "illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years." As already stated, the number of crimes involving both non-air weapons and air weapons - and the combined total - have been falling consistently over the last decade. In terms of "the last few years," the actual numbers for the last five have been:
Year Non-air weapons Air weapons Total
2009/10 8,082 4,931 13,013
2010/11 7,040 4,295 11,335
2011/12 6,022 3,510 9,532
2012/13 5,158 2,977 8,135
2013/14 4,842 2,867 7,709
The cited September 2015 Times article is paywalled, and so cannot be read in full, but in the visible preview states:
"Gun crime is increasing in urban areas across the country, prompting fears of a resurgence in gang activity. Statistics reveal that gun crime overall, including possession of a firearm, increased by 12 per cent in the capital in the year to September. However, the number of occasions when a firearm was discharged in London leapt to 352, an increase of 16.5 per cent compared with the previous 12 months."
From this it is clear that the article in dealing with urban firearms crimes, which are prone to severe fluctuations due to the low base line. Given that the national figures have been consistently and demonstrably falling for more than five years, for you to say that "illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years" is, to be frank, a complete lie. It is also dishonest of you to claim that the cite source corroborates your lie. Nick Cooper (talk) 20:30, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
You are attmepting to use sophistry along with WP:NOR to argue your case when the citations from legitimate sources clearly state the case, however, this is not enough for you Nick, you take statistics that franky are only part of the picture then use original research to make your claim, a claim you then introduce into a Wikipedia article which is completely unacceptable. All my edits include the actual quotes from the articles cited yet you seemingly cannot accept the authors conclusion, as well as clearly having an inability to accept that the statistics are only part of the picture, increasingly, authors cite that much gun crime is not reported as such including, incredibly the possession of a firearm. [9]
On the contrary, you are making claims that are simply not supported by the citations you have applied to them (and which in some cases are clearly refuted by authoritative sources), either because you don't understand what you are reading, or because you hope readers will accept your misleading/factually inaccurate claims without checking further.
This matter is really very simple:
1) The Daily Telegraph report does not support your original claim that, "Many members of the public increasingly own sporting rifles and shotguns." The report does not mention ownership, only that, "Some 1.2 million pick up a gun on a fairly regular basis." 1.2 million is less than 2% of the population of the UK population; <2% is not "many." The article's claim that, "gun ownership is at record levels," is false given that the number of Firearms Certificates and Shotgun Certificates on issue were:
1968 = 216,300
1971 = 190,600 + 715,500
1974 = 185,900 + 767,000
1979 = 169,600 + 782,100
1980 = 168,000 + 781,900
1981 = 164,900 + 785,200
1982 = 162,700 + 780,600
1983 = 159,800 + 783,400
1984 = 160,300 + 798,400
1985 = 160,400 + 819,300
1986 = 160,300 + 841,000
1987 = 159,000 + 861,300
1988 = 155,400 + 882,000
1989 = 149,400 + 865,100
1990 = 142,500 + 802,300
1991 = 138,600 + 724,600
1992 = 136,800 + 689,200
1993 = 138,400 + 681,100
1994 = 140,200 + 670,000
1995 = 141,700 + 653,800
1996 = 141,900 + 638,000
1997 = 133,600 + 623,100
1998 = 131,900 + 627,600
1999 = 132,300 + 625,700
2000 = 125,400 + 602,500
2001 = 119,600 + 577,200
2002 = 117,700 + 559,000
2002/03 = 118,600 + 561,800
2003/04 = 122,100 + 569,900
2004/05 = 126,400 + 572,400
2005/06 = 127,900 + 563,600
2006/07 = N/A + N/A
2007/08 = 128,528 + 549,207
2008/09 = 138,728 + 574,946
2009/10 = 141,775 + 580,653
2010/11 = 141,347 + 564,269
2011/12 = 141,820 + 562,696
2012/13 = 146,426 + 570,726
2012/14 = 151,413 & 582,923
2014/15 = 153,603 & 582,494
In other words, the current number of FAC is lower than it was at any point prior to 1990, and the number of SGCs is lower than it was at any point prior to 2002. How, then, can anyone reasonably claim that, "gun ownership is at record levels"? Certainly your amended text of, "Increasing numbers of the public own firearms in the UK," is misleading in the context of the low numbers overall.
2) The Huffington Post article does not support your claim that, "legally-held gun-related crime is down." It makes no mention of any UK crime statistics beyond a low for "gun deaths," likely meaning homicides, most of which are not committed with legally-held firearms, anyway. I see that you have not attempted to amend this claim, nor provide citations to corroborate it.
3) The paywalled Times article does not support your claim that, "illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years." ONS figures quoted above show that this is categorically not the case, with overall numbers of firearms crime falling consistently over the last decade.
I see that you have now tried to deflect this point by questioning the recording of firearms crime in general. As I believe has been pointed out to you previously, it is the case that possession offences have never been included in the overall numbers for firearms-enabled crime, because by definition they generally only count crimes in which firearms are used. Even if possession offences amounting to 60% are not included now (although some clearly are tabulated in the HO/ONS returns), they were not included ten years ago, or twenty years ago, or thirty years ago. Their supposed none inclusion does not affect the reported number of firearms-enabled crimes, and so it is highly misleading to highlight the (non-)issue in the lead as you have.
I would note as an aside that the old Telegraph article you have cited dates from 2008, when Labour was in power, and quotes Tory MP Dominic Grieve, who presumably forgot all about the matter completely when he subsequently became Attorney General. Clearly the issue was merely being used as a stick to beat the then-current administration. In addition his complaint that the Home Office should be relieved of responsibility for the compilation of statistics is now redundant, given that it actually happened several years ago. Nick Cooper (talk) 10:37, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't think you quite understand what WP:OR is Nick, you cannot hypothesize using your own Original Research claiming you know what a government minister was thinking then claim that as 'fact', Wikipedia is only interested in the citations and the sources state exactly that which I have written, just because you make an assumption from your WP:OR does not mean you can then claim ownership of the article and state your supposition as fact. You keep citing the government statistics but the journalists and authors cited in the sources have far more up to date information and they have legitimate concerns that the state is not telling the whole story, again, born out by the citations. Every single citation bears out what I have written, it is straight-forward, does not rely on WP:OR nor hypothesis, regards.Twobells (talk) 10:01, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
You clearly did not understand the meaning of "I would note as an aside..." That Grieve's comments were clearly politically motivated is an adiditonal point that does not invalidate the reason for removing your misleading text in the first place.
On the other hand, you trying to hand-wave away the national figures for firearms-enabled crime does not wash. Those up to 2013/14 are the most recent full-year figures available; the 2014/15 ones will be available early next year. You simply cannot extrapolate a shift in the first six months of the year in the low base line of urban firearm-enabled crime to claim that, "illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years," given that the national figures show consistent falls over the last decade. National firearms-enabled crime has categorically not been "rising" in any way, shape, or form - and certainly not "considerably" - "in the last few years." That the reality is the complete opposite is a fact, and you have absolutely no compelling evidence that even remotely suggests otherwise. In 2013/14 such crimes were at a lower level than they were than in any of the previous twenty-two years. This despite the fact that crimes are counted now that would not have been counted under the rules in use prior to the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard, which first affected figures for 2001/02.
Contrary to your insistance, the citations you have provided do now corroborate what you are claiming. While you have been asked more than once to quote the exact text from the articles which corroborates you claims, you have failed to do so. Nick Cooper (talk) 12:18, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
With respect, you continue time and again to employ WP:OR in your defence of the indefensible which is to remove uncontencious referenced material, again, you are hypothesizing what a government minister might be thinking then employing that in your argument as to why these clearly neutral referenced material should be removed, seemingly, you just don't get it. Essentially, what you are doing is consistantly employing WP:OR in your attempts to revert non-contencious referenced material, that is not a valid defence for reverting these edits. You claim that it is me that 'hand-wave away national figures' when it the considered opinion of the authors and journalists, not mine and that brings us again to the crux of the matter, in that you are conflating MY edits with their well-researched articles. Again, I have to remind you that each of the the edits reflect exactly what the sources state, which is:
1: members of the public increasingly own firearms
2: legally-held gun-related crime is down
3: illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years and that the national statistics do not reflect actual gun crime rates, regards.Twobells (talk) 11:20, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
I repeat, with added emphasis: "You clearly did not understand the meaning of "I would note as an aside..." That Grieve's comments were clearly politically motivated is an adiditonal point that does not invalidate the reason for removing your misleading text in the first place."
You only introduced the quote attributed to Grieve part way through this process. You were wrong before you did that, and remain wrong now, regardless of the quote.
1) Firearms ownership remains the preserve of a tiny minority of the population.
2) Your cited source does not say that, and you have failed to quote the bit you think does, despite requests.
3) Your cited source reports a recent spike in urban firearms crime based on interim mid-year figures. It does not say firearms crime as a whole - "illegally-held" or otherwise - is rising, and you have failed to quote the bit you think does, despite requests.
The figures for firearms-enabled crime as a whole show that it has been falling steadily and consiutently over the last decade. Fact. Nick Cooper (talk) 10:45, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
You still don't get it do you? Essentially, you are hypthocising what a government minister may or may not be thinking and further what his agenda is, supposedly, all in order to keep non-contentcious edits off the article, Wikipedia is only interested in the source material as reflected by the citations nothing else. Twobells (talk) 16:49, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, are you seriously trying to suggest that the only reason I have reverted your couterfactual edits is because of what I think the motivations were of a then-shadow minister, which you didn't even introduce until several days into the process?! Look, whatever Grieve did or didn't say is completely immaterial and has no bearing whatsoever on the lack of validity in what you have been trying to claim. And, not to overdo the point, your sourecs don't actually say what you claim they are saying. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:54, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
No matter how many times you try to say it or attempt to confuse the issue which is the fact that you reverted non-contentious, reliably-sourced, referenced material for reasons only known to yourself. The sources reflect my edits to the letter, however, you have hypothicized from the source material to make your own conclusions which any editor reading this talk page may see for themselves, regards.Twobells (talk) 11:06, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Farndale, Nigel (9 August 2012). "UK gun owners". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Ehrlich, Dan (17 January 2012). "UK Gun Ownership Up, Deaths Down Offering Stark Comparison with US Figures". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Hamilton, Fiona (29 September 2015). "'Sharp rise in urban gun crime fuels fears of gang resurgence". The Times. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  4. ^ http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/crime/article4356366.ece
  5. ^ http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/gun-crime-manchester-salford-rise-9723072
  6. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/9446474/UK-gun-owners.html
  7. ^ Gun deaths last year in the UK at 51 were down by 18 percent , yet private gun ownership continues to grow with 1.8 million legally held
  8. ^ http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/crime/article4570455.ece
  9. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/3222063/Gun-crime-60pc-higher-than-official-figures.html
Then it is truly amazing that multiple editors have looked at your claims and your sources, and have all come to the conclusion that you're wrong. Nick Cooper (talk) 11:08, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
What's truly amazing is, in the light of recent data how wrong they were. Twobells (talk) 11:07, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

Editor Employing WP:OR To Justify Contentious Edits[edit]

Editor User:Nick Cooper is employing WP:OR to justify his supposition about the facts pertaining to UK gun deaths, the rise of firearm ownership and the reduction of legally-held gun crime. He repeatedly reverts sources to favour his political agenda which seemingly in insistent on denying the readership from accessing legitimate citations. I bring to both his and other editors attention WP:V and ask that he read the policy and finally understand its implications. Nick Copper refuses to accept that authors and journalists have considerable concerns with the government statistics showing evidence that they are not reflecting the actual correct gun-related crime. Every attempt I have made to improve the article to reflect these and other pertinent facts have been reverted by this editor who seems to be on some sort of political crusade. I have come across him before when he has reverted harmless citations regarding firearms in the UK that do not favour his position, he also has history in edit warring this article. I have tried to show good faith yet time and again he has reverted straight-forward edits to favour his position. Twobells (talk) 10:13, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

The onus is on you to achieve consensus for the edits you propose. They are disputed, and not just by Nick Cooper. I think your edits are a novel synthesis from published sources, and I also think very strongly that even if these comments do belong in the article, they do not belong in the lede. And before you accuse me of anything, I will point out that my father was a shooting instructor and I have personally fired small bore and full bore rifles and pistols, at one point being a member of a couple of a rifle club. Guy (Help!) 11:30, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
You think my edits are 'novel synthesis from published sources'? How can you claim that when the sources explitictly state the conclusions in their articles? You are trying to suggest that the conclusions are mine when they are not, that would make it easy for you then to suggest 'contention' irrespective of the fact that its not my conconclusions. Also, I do not need consensus with non-contentious referenced material, it is my belief you are using 'contention' to 'game the system' and prevent entirely legitimate referenced material being added. Further, that you are arguing in favour of removing these edits irrespective of the referenced material is telling. Finally, the fact that you shot a firearm once or twice tells me what exactly?. I cover defence, specialising in small arms, what does that tell you? Twobells (talk) 23:58, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
Twobells, that some possession offences are not included in the figures for firearms-enabled crimes does not fundamentally undermine those figures, because such offences have never been included in them. The most that can be said is that if including them would raise the current figures by 60%, then it follows that they would have similarly raised the figures ten, twenty, thirty, etc. years ago, as well. The figures have fallen over the last decade because there is now only 32% of the firearms-enabled crime that there was in 2003/04, and inclusion of the "missing" possession offences would not have changed that in any meaningful sense. If they should be 60% higher "now" - i.e. 12,334 rather than 7,709 - they would have been 60% higher in 2003/04 - i.e. 38,550 rather than 24,094 - and so we would have seen a decline regardless.
I would also note that there is no breakdown available in the published figures to differentiate between crimes committed with legally-held weapons, as opposed to illegally-held ones. It is therefore misleading for you to try to suggest that the former have been falling and the latter rising. Even the sub-categories of those firearms that are either generally legally-held (e.g. long-barrelled shotguns or rifles), or illegally-held (e.g. handguns or fully-automatic firearms), show either the opposite to what you claim, or a static trend. Nick Cooper (talk) 12:29, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I have been away with little time to access Wikipedia. The fact is that you cannot remove non-contentious, referenced material that multiple authors and journalists agree on. This is not my synth as suggested by you, but the considered opinion of the journalists concerned. Once again I am not trying to mislead anyone, all I am doing is reflecting the referenced material which concludes that:
1: Legal firearms ownership is increasing
2: legally-held gun-related crime is down
3: Use of illegally-held guns is rising
Those three statements are reflected by the sources following their research. You, however, then use WP:OR revert completely uncontentious edits which is unacceptable. Twobells (talk) 23:58, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
How many times do we need to point out that you are engaging in novel synthesis before you realise that is what you are doing and drop it? Guy (Help!) 14:10, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
For the umpteenth time....
1: SGC and FAC holders are a tiny percentage of the population. Recent rising numbers are modest - especially when taking account the ever increasing population - but more importantly are much lower than they have been historically. More people actually have diabetes than own firearms in the UK.
2 & 3: Your cited sources do not say what you claim, and you have failed to produce any others that shows either to be the case. The breakdown of firearms-enabled crimes by weapon type does not support your claims.
Nick Cooper (talk) 15:03, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

Misplaced RfC[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Requests for comment are for soliciting feedback on editorial changes, not for casting vague aspersions of editor misconduct. (non-admin closure) Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 15:52, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

A disruptive editor who already has some 3RR history on this article repeatedly removes legitimate edits which include credible sources and worse, employs WP:NOR to defend his position. The editor concerned repeatedly claims that 'the stats support him' then edits the article with WP:NOR to support his claim. I have tried to show good faith, be reasonable and polite, however, he has now gone on to claim I am a 'liar', so at this point, I believe there may be some sort of political agenda involved, best wishes. Twobells (talk) 16:44, 12 December 2015 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Also, RfCs should go in their own thread. Don't just stick them at the top of the page. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 15:52, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

Interesting, so Ivanvector, when I need WP:RFC, requesting outside comment concerning disputes, policies, guidelines and/or article content the WP:RFC actually is not: requesting outside input concerning disputes, policies, guidelines or article content., rather it is according to you: 'Requests for comment are for soliciting feedback on editorial changes,' I see....seems you've closed down a legitimate rfc for reasons known only to you. Twobells (talk) 00:14, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

RfC: should we add this content about gun crime?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Consensus was that the phrase under discussion was not supported by the references provided. It should be noted that the editor who wanted to include this phrase has voluntarily withdrawn from the discussion [1] although it is only fair to point out that a Sword of Damocles was hung above him. As Twobells will not - or cannot - further engage in the discussion it should be closed in fairness to him. Consensus may change, however, and Twobells is always welcome - indeed invited - to reopen discussion in the near future. (non-admin closure) Keri (talk) 20:21, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

Some time ago, user Twobells added this passage:

Members of the public increasingly own sporting rifles and shotguns[1] while legally-held gun-related crime is down.[2] However, illegally-held firearm crime has risen quite considerably in the last few years.[3]

References

  1. ^ Farndale, Nigel (9 August 2012). "UK gun owners". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Ehrlich, Dan (17 January 2012). "UK Gun Ownership Up, Deaths Down Offering Stark Comparison with US Figures". Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Hamilton, Fiona (29 September 2015). "'Sharp rise in urban gun crime fuels fears of gang resurgence". The Times. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 

Do the sources provided back up the claims made, and is this an acceptable passage to add to the article? For more background, please see Nick Cooper's analysis above and the subsequent discussion. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 18:04, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

Note: an additional ref was added: Rogers, Simon (3 January 2012). "Gun ownership in England and Wales: get the figures in your police force". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2015.  Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 17:31, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Exclude as tendentious, a novel synthesis form published sources. Does Twobells even live in the UK? I do not recognise this claim at all. Guy (Help!) 18:10, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Exclude as unsupported by the sources. The first bit is innocuous but it's also vague, and doesn't belong in a lede anyway. Sure, "many" people own guns, because in absolutes there are a lot of people with guns, but as a proportion of the population they're quite small. The source does not use "many", as it happens. It does say that gun ownership is at a record high, and certainly ownership levels are increasing, so I think that it's probably fine if that bit is in the article somewhere, if it fits. However, the rest of the edit strings together disparate sources to draw a conclusion about the correlation of increased gun ownership with decreased gun crime, a correlation which the sources do not suggest implies causation; that is, the edit implies that more people owning guns reduces the rate of gun crime, but the sources do not back that up. I also have a problem with distinguishing between "legally-held" and "illegally-held" gun crimes, because the sources don't make that distinction. It probably could be made, but reliable sources haven't. And as a result of that, the second and third sources appear to be contradicting each other. Overall, I suggest it should not be added. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 18:19, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment I am happy to use the term 'increasing number of people own firearms in the UK'. Also, I am not implying anything, my job is to reflect the source material in a neutral manner which is what I have done, which is; UK gun ownership is increasing, UK legally-held gun crime is down and that illegal gun crime is up again as reflected by the source material, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:56, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
As discussed above, I think even the claim that numbers are growing is contentious, as that has to be put against the actual population size. The proportion of people with FACs is stable and the number of SGCs is not increasing fast. Both are very small compared with the population. So it's not many and it's not really increasing much either! I don't think there is a single clause in that sentence that is an unambiguously accurate representation of the facts. Guy (Help!) 18:44, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment I see, so you want to be the arbiter of what 'growing numbers' actually means rather than the journalists and authors as reflected by the source material? *cough WP:OR cough* Twobells (talk) 16:56, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Do you not think there is a contradiction between the claim of a "record high" in your source, and the fact that the Home Office statistics for FACs and SGCs show that both were much higher numerically (and there even greater in relation to population) prior to 1988 and 2000 respectively? How can we have the highest ownership now if there are less FACs and SGCs than there were historically? Nick Cooper (talk) 17:00, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
I just don't believe it, you are doing it again, employing original reseach is some sort of desperate attempt to keep non-contentcious referenced material off the article. Twobells (talk) 17:05, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Do you actually understand what OR is? It certainly isn't a pointing out that published statistics contradict a claim made in a newspaper article. Saying, "these published figures now are much lower than they were in the past," is not OR. What do you think is more likely, that the published statistics for FACs and SGCs covering almost fifty years are all somehow all completely wrong, or that a Telegraph journalist claiming, "gun ownership is at record levels," was simply wrong? Nick Cooper (talk) 17:13, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Believe it. You can stop using "non-contentcious" [sic] as well - if it were non-contentious, we wouldn't be talking about whether or not it should be included. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 17:15, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
The claim in the article that firearms owenership is at a "record high" can't be supported by the published statistics. Compared to the 2014/15 numbers, there were more Firearms Certificate holders in every year up to 1988, and more Shotgun Certificate Holders in every year up to 2000. We can't quote something that is demonstrably false. There may be a place in the article for a summary in long term trends is FACs and SGCs, but obviously we would have to avoid any suggestion that legal ownership of firearms is either widespread or increasing significantly above the growth of the population.
On the latter issue, using the 1971-2012 estimates here, and the 2014 estimate here, the percentage of the E&W population holding FACs & SGCs at five year intervals work out as:
1974 (49,467,900) = 0.38% & 1.55%
1979 (49,508,200) = 0.34% & 1.58%
1984 (49,713,100) = 0.32% & 1.61%
1989 (50,407,800) = 0.30% & 1.72%
1994 (51,116,200) = 0.27% & 1.31%
1999 (51,933,500) = 0.25% & 1.20%
2004/05 (53,152,000) = 0.24% & 1.08%
2009/10 (55,235,300) = 0.26% & 1.05%
2014/15 (57,400,000) = 0.27% & 1.01%
From this is looks like firearms ownership may merely be "recovering" after a lull, but remains very much a niche hobby. More surprisingly, shotgun ownership seems to be confined to an ever smaller percentage, and is clearly not even keeping pace with the population. Nick Cooper (talk) 10:14, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Include The use of WP:OR and WP:Synth by editor Nick Cooper to maintain the status quo irrespective of the fact that editors may not remove non-contentious referenced material even if it disagrees with the opinion of certain editors suggests that there may be WP:POV at play here. What do I wish to add? Simply that,
1: Legal firearms ownership is increasing
2: legally-held gun-related crime is down
3: Use of illegally-held guns is rising
The non-contentious source material reflects the edits that have been reverted.
Also, no editor has yet been able to prove their claim that the edits from the referenced material is WP:Synth, just saying so doesn't make it true.
Lets look at WP:SYNTH:
Do not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources The problem for the editors insisting on the referenced material not being added is this....the conclusions are those of the authors and journalists, not mine. Yes, there are multiple sources that reflect the citations but the conclusions are theirs, not mine. Do the sources explicitly state the conclusions? Yes.
The term 'tendentious' has been employed as camouflage to divert attention away from the removal of said reference material. An editor states that I am 'expressing or intending to promote a particular cause or point of view, especially a controversial one.' Wrong, the 'point of view' is the non-controversial position of the authors of the reference material, not mine. Further, that the referenced material is not controversial in any way whatsoever. For some reason neither editor Nick Cooper nor the recent arrival of editor JzG|Guy seem to accept that it is the opinion of the sources as reflected through the citations. In closing, editor Nick Cooper bases his arguments not on the source material but on his own evaulation of the official government statistics, the source material clearly shows that these journalists and authors have far more up to date statistics and further, that much gun-related crime is not being reported as such. Why this editor wishes to remove this non-contentcious material is unknown to me and while I try to promote a sense of good faith he has history on this article of reverting other editors work which makes me wonder whether there may be some sort of political agenda here I am unware of, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:28, 18 December 2015 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
  • Comment - Multiple editors have agreed that your sources do not support your claims. If, as you claim, "sources explicitly state the conclusions," then please quote the exact text which you think does so.
Would you also care to explain exactly what OR I have been engaged in? Drawing attention to the fact that published statistics flatly contradict your claims is not OR, and neither is simple tabulation of said statistics.
You claim on your user page to be a journalist, yet dogmatically continue to insist that your claims are "non-contentious." Given that all the published data shows that firearms-enabled crime has been consistently falling over the last decade, for you to insist that the opposite is the case is anything but "non-contentious."
You claim that, "journalists and authors have far more up to date statistics," but that appears to be nothing more than the current mid-year (2015/16) update showing some change in the pattern of urban firearms crime, which does not miraculously invalidate the statistics up to and including 2014/15.
You are also misrepresenting the validity of the statistics by claiming that, "much gun-related crime is not being reported as such." The statistics for firearms-enabled crime document exactly that, i.e. crimes in which firearms are used. That a certain number of offences involving the possession, trafficking, etc. of firearms are not included now means little, given that they have never been included previously. It is categorically not the case that such offences have been removed from the statistics, and that this somehow accounts for the massive fall in the number of firearms-enabled offences. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:50, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Trying to get personal is a primary sign that your position is weak and failing Nick. I am still waiting for even one of the 'multiple editors have agreed that the sources do not support the claims' editors to actually show here how the source material does not support the claims made by the authors. Also, I am still waiting for even one editor to show exactly where I have used WP:Synth in my edits, which clearly reflect the source material. Also, I am not going round and round in some sort of ludicrous circle with you Mr Cooper while you employ WP:OR. The edits clearly and with no confusions reflect the source material as listed so many times before here. Twobells (talk) 17:11, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
How is anyone supposed to show the absence of what you claim is in the sources, other than pointing out that it isn't there? You are the one claiming X, Y, and Z, but you have repeatedly failed to quote the text of your sources supposedly supporting them. Nick Cooper (talk) 17:18, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Beyond having already twice now quoted the exact text in the source material, it is not impossible and beyond the ability of each and every editor here to read the source material for themselves, it is not lengthy and straight forward in both premise and conclusion, to keep demanding that the cited material be laid out here for all to see is both time-wasting and unnecessary, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:25, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
The lines you have quoted are in error, do not support your interpretation, and misrepresent the long-twerm trend respectively. Just because someone managed to get them published doesn't make them immune to basic fact-checking. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:35, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Exclude - unsupported by, and synthesis of, the sources. Keri (talk) 15:53, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Please show where that is the case, saying it is so does not make it true, the question is, do the sources state the above, yes they do, clearly, regards. Twobells (talk) 16:12, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
We are not obliged to obtain your agreement that your edits violate policy. Guy (Help!) 17:39, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
It is possible to cherry pick select phrases from the sources you cite to superficially validate your argument. However, the sources in their entireity do not; nor do they validate the narrative that you present. This appears to be a case of putting the cart before the horse: you have created the narrative, and then looked for sources to support individual components of your argument. The first source, for example (the Telegraph article), is actually about the continuing problem of gun crime by firearms license-holders. As Drmargi states below, "if one source had presented the whole sequence of facts, it would potentially be acceptable" (my emphasis). I'm also disturbed by the ambiguity of "legally-held firearm crime" and "illegally-held firearm crime"; these figures are not, afaik, officially broken down, and not well defined by you or your sources. Example: Person X owns weapon Y perfectly legally until regulations change (as they did very recently; 2010 or thereabouts?); failure to surrender weapon Y immediately is now an "illegally held firearm crime". Keri (talk) 21:08, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Adding: I'm also concerned that you lack the basic understanding and competence to be discussing firearms legislation and crime in the UK when I note that a few weeks ago you asserted that "an air pistol or rifle is only a 'firearm' if it is involved in a crime, describing them as 'firearms' by the regional government suggests bias", when, in fact, an air rifle with a muzzle-energy limit exceeding 12ft/lbs or an air pistol with a muzzle-energy exceeding 6ft/lbs is classed as a firearm for the purposes of certification in the Firearms Act 1968. You may be editing out of your depth. Keri (talk) 23:48, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
With respect Keri, it is you who is out of their depth, I was not referring to air rifles that exceed 12ft/lb as that is considered under British law to be a firearm and requires a FAC. Moving on, you wrote It is possible to cherry pick select phrases from the sources you cite to superficially validate your argument. With respect, it is not my argument, rather the considered opinion of the authors and journalists who wrote the articles concerned as reflected by the source material. In closing, unless you can put forward a better premise I would suggest you argument no more than attempted sophistry and a blatant attempt to ignore the referenced material. Essentially, you do not like what the source material says ergo you feel you must challenge it by employing WP:OR. Twobells (talk) 16:25, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Hm, actually that's more smoke and mirrors from you. Your 3rd source article, for example, makes no distinction between legally-held and illegally-held "firearms" yet is being used to support your claim that "illegally-held firearm crime" has increased. It also comes with the disclaimer: "Some crime increases have been attributed to improved recording practices following the scandal that statistics were being manipulated to give the public a better impression of policing." That's a pretty blatant attempt to ignore referenced material if ever I saw one. Simply, your references do not say what you claim and think they say. Keri (talk) 16:51, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Now you are fitting me out for a black hat? Seriously Keri, that attitude does your position no favours. The 3rd source (The Times) is related to illegal gun crime, it is the second source http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/shocking-figures-reveal-extent-of-londons-gun-crime-9779349.html that refers to illegally-held gun crime, seemingly someone deleted that citation and it should have remained in the rfc regards.Twobells (talk) 17:32, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
The 3rd source is appended to the statement about rising illegally held firearm crime. And the Standard article states: "The figure for this year up to June — 127 — indicates the final total is on course to be the lowest for several years." Again: Your references do not say what you claim and think they say. Keri (talk) 19:06, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
The Times piece cherry-picks slight rises in two urban areas - and a "static" trend in another - but ignores the far larger falling trend in previous years for all three, and England & Wales in general. In that context it cannot be used to support your false claim that firearms crime in general is rising, because overall the opposite is the case.
The 2014 Standard piece fixates on a then-current three-year aggregate, again without pointing out the generally falling trend since 2002/03. Nick Cooper (talk) 18:20, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
It seems more the case that you are trying to retrofit imperfect sources to bolster you opinions, which are not supported by official published statistics. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:39, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Not at all, the referenced source material categorically and with clarity reflect the edits I made and unlike some here I do not consider that I am in a position to question non-contentious cited material on the grounds that it does not agree with my opinion, regards.Twobells (talk) 17:32, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
You continually saying it doesn't make it true. Firearms crime is falling, and has been consistently for the last decade. The overall trend in the main urban areas is also downwards. Nick Cooper (talk) 18:21, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Exclude as tendentious and as WP:SYNTH. A + B does not necessarily equal C. If one source had presented the whole sequence of facts, it would potentially be acceptable. But cobbled together as it is, this is simply lacks credibility, particularly in light of the other figures cited, as well as violating the standing policies noted. --Drmargi (talk) 20:44, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Modify: I would just cite the third article and write, "after years of decreasing gun violence, rates in urban areas increased sharply in 2015, fueling concerns over gang violence." That is justified by the source. The Huff Post piece is really about America. -Darouet (talk) 00:27, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
@Darouet: I'd like to see the 3rd source in its entirety, not just the paywalled first paragraph. Please copy me the text through my wikipedia-enabled email. Keri (talk) 01:09, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
@Keri: Not sure what the rules of posting material to talk page are - am hatting them below. We can remove if someone objects.
Article text

Sharp rise in urban gun crime fuels fears of gang resurgence BYLINE: Fiona Hamilton. SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 16. LENGTH: 608 words Gun crime is increasing in urban areas across the country, prompting fears of a resurgence in gang activity. Statistics reveal that gun crime overall, including possession of a firearm, increased by 12 per cent in the capital in the year to September. However, the number of occasions when a firearm was discharged in London leapt to 352, an increase of 16.5 per cent compared with the previous 12 months. The sharp rise follows several years of decline and the Metropolitan police said yesterday that the figures were "of considerable concern". The figures come as evidence emerged of rising gun crime in other urban areas. Data from the Office for National Statistics show that the use of firearms in the West Midlands increased by 8.2 per cent in 2013-14 compared with the previous year. In the same period, gun crime in Manchester rose by 2.6 per cent. In Merseyside the situation remained static, apart from one additional firearms incident, while in England and Wales generally there was a 5 per cent fall in gun crime. The rising incidence of gun crime in London has prompted fears that Scotland Yard has failed to get a grip on gang activity. The trend is in stark contrast to falling levels of firearms offences recorded since 2009. While gun crime levels are nowhere near their peak of 3,009 offences in 2008-09, the recent increase has raised questions about the approach to tackling gang crime. The Times revealed this year that youth stabbings in London had leapt by almost a quarter in 12 months, prompting the Metropolitan police to step up the use of stop-and search in crime-hit areas. Operation Shield, Boris Johnson's initiative to tackle gang crime across the capital, has been criticised. Under the initiative, all members of a gang would have faced punishment if one of them were to commit a violent offence. The scheme was rejected by two out of the three councils that piloted it. Joanne McCartney, the Labour spokeswoman for policing at City Hall, described the rise in gun crime as "extremely worrying" given that it coincided with an increase in stabbings, knife possession and serious youth violence and came "at a time where police budgets are being slashed". Alun Goode, the deputy head of safer communities in Hackney, east London, recently conceded that gangs were becoming more organised and that the drugs market was a "huge driver". A spokesman for the Met said: "Gun discharges are up by 50 incidents compared with the previous 12 months, and this is of considerable concern to us." A spokeswoman for the mayor's office for policing and crime, said that it was spending more than £12 million on projects to help disrupt gang culture. Analysis After years of decline in knife and gun crime, it is no wonder that a series of spikes in weapons offences and youth violence have raised eyebrows at Scotland Yard and City Hall (Fiona Hamilton writes). There are almost 200 gangs in London who are responsible for 40 per cent of shootings. Some officers have blamed the spike in crime on their reduced ability to stop and search young people since a crackdown was ordered by the home secretary. In response, the Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has increased stop and-search again in some areas, but while crime has increased in the year or so since, the correlation is not definitively made out by statistics. Some crime increases have been attributed to improved recording practices following the scandal that statistics were being manipulated to give the public a better impression of policing. However, police acknowledge that better recording is unlikely to have had a widespread impact on gun crime statistics.

@Darouet:, I do not think even that text can be supported. The Times article begins by highlighting, "Statistics reveal that gun crime overall, including possession of a firearm, increased by 12 per cent in the capital in the year to September." These appear to be figures supplied by the Metropolitan police, and are the only 2015 statistics mentioned, as the section that follows is clearly based entirely on the ONS release for 2013/14 (April-March financial year). While that release did show the stated increases in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, and a "static position" in Merseyside, numerically the increase in the aggregate for these areas only went from 1,097 in 2012/13 to 1,149 in 2013/14, i.e. an increase of just 52 overall. On conrast, in the same time period London saw a massive drop from 1,961 to 1,596 (i.e. -365). In fact, the long-term trend for all four regions has actually been:

Year London Region Greater Manchester Merseyside West Midlands Total
2001/02[1] 4,197 1,361 299 1,289 7,146
2002/03[2] 4,202 1,240 318 1,101 6,861
2003/04 3,891 1,275 483 1,138 6,787
2004/05 3,697 1,268 491 959 6,415
2005/06 3,884 1,200 485 946 6,515
2006/07[3] 3,331 993 410 979 5,713
2007/08 3,399 1,160 398 974 5,931
2008/09 3,090 827 352 985 5,254
2009/10 3,524 709 258 903 5,394
2010/11 2,748 504 226 912 4,390
2011/12 2,482 365 248 648 3,743
2012/13 1,961 387 211 499 3,058
2013/14 1,596 397 212 540 2,745

From the above it's clear that to fixate on the relatively minor changes between 2012/13 and 2013/14 as if there is some shocking and negative change in the overall trend is grossly misleading. For one thing, the increases for both Merseyside and West Midlands are dwarfed by the decreases of the previous year, while the increases of the last two years for Greater Manchester are only a tenth of the decreases in the previous two.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the article further claims that, "[London] gun crime levels are nowhere near their peak of 3,009 offences in 2008-09." Aside from the fact that the 2008/09 figure was actually 3,090 (we'll assume a typo on the journalist's part) the years either side of it were both significantly higher, with 2009/10 being the real peak in the years included in the ONS data table. Furthermore, earlier Home Office figures show that 2001/02-thru-2006/07 were also all higher than 2008/09, with the peak in the available range being 4,202 in 2002/03.

To be frank, I think the Times article represents a rather dishonest attempt to tease a bad story out of a situation that clearly does not merit it. Nick Cooper (talk) 12:24, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

It is also being used to support the statement that "illegally-held firearm crime" (my emphasis) has increased - but actually makes no mention of the status of the firearms used. For the purpose of crime recording by the police, "firearms" also includes electric stun guns and CS-gas/pepper gas dischargers, btw, making these figures even more ambiguous. Keri (talk) 13:21, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, for non-air weapons the "Other" category accounted for 9% of offences in 2013/14, with the vast majority (348 of 436) being CS or pepper spray, or stun guns. In addition, 24% were imitation firearms. Nick Cooper (talk) 14:20, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
@Nick Cooper and Keri: your comment helps me understand both your understanding of gun violence trends and also what this dispute is about (it was unclear to me why multiple people were so upset about two seemingly innocuous sentences). I should note that I was summoned by a bot, I have no strong feelings on this issue, and I am personally ambivalent about gun laws. Nick, while I understand where you're coming from and appreciate the data you've brought in, I don't know if the Times reporter is using modified or augmented sources, and this Evening Standard story suggests the Times reporter isn't off. You can see why someone might complain that you're engaged in original research, even if it's helpful. I would still support the addition of a sentence that is faithful to the Times article in the manner that I suggested above. This is because the statement appears to be technically accurate, relates to this article, and would be a compromise in this dispute. You could also consider a second sentence from the same source or from the Evening Standard article noting how police have tackled the problem and therefore making the addition even more relevant to "firearms policy." But, I will leave my comment and let you and others figure out a best way forward. -Darouet (talk) 20:58, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your efforts and for the LES link. The interesting part of the article for me was this: "Figures for the past 12 months show there were 349 gun discharges in London, compared to 303 in the same period the previous year, a rise of 15 per cent. Police say the increase has declined from 22 per cent earlier in the year and include reports of heard gunshots as well as ‘non-lethal’ gun shots from weapons such as airguns." (my emphasis). Confirms this is a non-event being hyped by the usual outlets, and that the figures are neither reliable nor indicative of an increase in "illegally-held firearm crime". Keri (talk) 21:38, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
The figures for 2006/07-thru-2013/14 are from the data tables supporting the Office of National Statistics report (i.e. this one) which the bulk of the Times article is clearly discussing. I do not believe that simply quoting these figures here counts as OR. What it does do is highlight the fact that the Times article is grossly misleading in focusing on some very minor changes between the last two years, while omitting the context of the previous six years. The article is also in error in that it identifies the wrong "peak year" for London. The Home Office published figures for the 2001/02-thru-2005/06 merely confirm the long term downwards trend, within which the slight fluctuations of the last year are absolutely dwarfed.
I think this really illustrates a very important issue, namely that we simply can't quote a source if it can so easily be shown to be wrong or deliberately misleading, no matter how reliable that source is normally held to be. As Keri says, we can't possibly use this to support Twobells's claim of an increase in criminal use of illegally-held firearms in general, and if we use it to claim a recent increase in urban firearms crime, it would be misleading to do so in the absence of the full context of previous years' figures, which show how small the "increase" actually is. Nick Cooper (talk) 00:19, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

References

I think that part of the problem is that you view the urban crime increase as trivial, and the reporters don't. Nevertheless, I don't have strong feelings about this. If it was a major issue, there would be many more newspaper articles to cite, and I haven't seen them. -Darouet (talk) 17:57, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm less inclined to think it trivial and more inclined to think it statistically negligible; as the LES article says, this number includes people hearing a bang and 'phoning it in as well as people shooting an air rifle (that are very, very difficult to own "illegally"). This is the usual nonsense of people justifying budgets and resources. Keri (talk) 19:11, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
No, I think that it is misleading to highlight slight increases that are much smaller that the decreases in preceeding years. The Times article states that the number of firearms crimes in the West Midlands increased by 41 in the last year, but not that it fell by 475 over the previous five years. Similarly, while Greater Manchester rose by ten, previously it dropped by 773. Merseyside went up by one after falling by 187. The journalist had to have looked at the data tables to determine the 2012/13 to 2013/14 changes (the exact changes are not noted in the main report), but they ignored those between 2007/08 to 2012/13 on the same worksheet. That is the issue here - cherry-picking "bad" statistics, while ignoring the bigger picture. All these areas have seen a marked falling trend in firearms crime over the last decade (as has England & Wales as a whole), so it is profounding misleading to hightlight a few minor increases in the last year. Nick Cooper (talk) 11:10, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Would Asking Authors For Clarification be WP:OR?[edit]

We seem to be at some sort of loggerheads here, with more than one editor clearly hypothesizing about the source material in an attempt to keep it off the article, would anyone mind if I actually asked the authors concerned to comment? Twobells (talk) 17:18, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Please give examples of such "hypothesizing" and how you think they somehow invalidate objections to your unsupportable claims? Nick Cooper (talk) 17:21, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
No, I am not going around in circles with you again, Nick, I have laid out my position above, that certain editors are hypothesizing is clear for all to see in the recent talk history and the rfc. Now, about my request for clarification from the authors which is what this section is actually about? regards. Twobells (talk) 17:25, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
We could ask, but we would not be able to use a clarification unless the clarification is published. Ivanvector 🍁 (talk) 17:35, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with that apart from the fact that they have already stated clearly and concisely the three things I want to add and that is:
In fact, legally-held gun ownership is increasing. Some 1.2 million pick up a gun on a fairly regular basis today, more than ever before. [1]
Deaths from legally-held guns in the UK are down [2]
Illegally-held gun crime is increasing in urban areas across the country[3] Twobells (talk) 15:57, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Except that:
1) Firearms ownership has been much higher historically; it remains the preserve of a very small percentage of the population. Shotgun ownership is declining relative to population.
2) Deaths from firearms are down. There is no breakdown - either in your source or elsewhere - to differentiate between legally-held and illegally-held firearms.
3) Gun crime in three urban areas has increased by a tiny amount in comparison to the falls of the previous years. Gun crime in London and England & Wales overall continues to fall year-on-year.
Nick Cooper (talk) 16:07, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Says the editor employing WP:OR to justify keeping reliablly-sourced referenced material off Wikipedia. Twobells (talk) 11:34, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Simple error-checking is not OR. Your sources either don't say what you think they say, or they contain fundamental errors. You are, of course, free to present official statistics that support your claims in the context you are making them. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:15, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Especially since at least one of the clearly has a dog in the fight. Guy (Help!) 17:38, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
So, no author with an interest or specializing in any subject cited on Wikipedia can be used as they have a 'dog in the fight'? Twobells (talk) 15:57, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes. You would be asking authors, none of whom are statisticians or specialists in firearms crime or legislation, to basically support your position and comment in Wikipedia - which is not a reliable source. They are free to publish new articles in reliable sources, however. Keri (talk) 00:37, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm, Once again, I am not asking them to support my position at all, these authors already have published their source material in reliable sources, the authors have already stated clearly what they meant yet, for reasons only known to the likes of Nick Cooper and Guy who seem to be hypothesizing WP:OR what the source material 'really means' (irrespective of what was actually written) that is not good enough. Also, I see that now you are desperately trying to move the goalposts by attacking the veracity of highly respected authors and journalists. No, I believe that well-known and respected authors and journalists should be enough and seemingly is enough for all other Wikipedia articles but for some on here that is not good enough for this one which can only mean one thing, bias. Twobells (talk) 15:57, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
The Telegraph article is mistaken in claiming that, "gun ownership is at record levels," given that the published FAC and SGC stats clearly show the numbers on issue where much higher between 1968 and 1988, and 1971 and 2000 respectively.
The Huffington Post piece says firearms homicides are at an all-time low; it does not differentiate between those commited with legally-held or illegally-held firearms.
The Times article cherry-picks recent very minor increases in firearms crime in three urban areas, and ignores the long-term much higher falling trend in those same areas, London, and England & Wales as a whole. Do you really think it is honest to highlight firearms crimes in the West Midlands increasing by 41 and not mentioning that they fell by 475 in the previous five years? Or that Greater Manchester went up by 10, having previously fallen by 773?
Pointing out blindingly obvious errors and/or partisan cherry-picking is not OR. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:20, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Errors as hypothesized by you. At this point, it looks increasingly likely that you will continue to employ WP:OR to justify your claims in support of removing non contentcious, referenced material. Twobells (talk) 11:40, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
I have highlighted where the errors occur. You are perfectly free to consult the Home Office and ONS releases yourself to confirm said errors. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:15, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I mind. Doing so is designed to intimidate. Editors are not required to dance to your tune. --Drmargi (talk) 03:32, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
I see, so attempting to find ways to balance the article is 'intimidating' while certain editors hypothesize what the authors 'really meant' rather than citing what they actually write is not expecting opposing editors to 'dance to their tune'? And that is the crux of the issue here, that Nick Cooper and Guy are hypothesizing what the authors meant while completely ignoring what they actually wrote, then when an editor like myself seek clarification for the sake of WP:Neutral that's 'intimidating'. Can you not see how biased a position that is? Twobells (talk) 15:57, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
In some cases your sources do not say what you are trying to claim they said, in others what they do say is either false or grossly misrepresents the situation. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:31, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
The non-contentious reliably-sourced referenced material reflect exactly what the I want to add, the fact that you retreat to hypothesizing about what the authors actually meant rather than what they actually wrote suggests you are on very shaky ground. Twobells (talk) 11:40, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
It has been repeatedly explained to you why you are wrong. You repeatedly claiming you are not is not going to get you anywhere. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:15, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

@Twobells: that would be unnecessary. I agree with you about the Times article, but would note that to make the addition of text accurately reflect the source, you would need to slightly alter the text, as mentioned by Nick Cooper. -Darouet (talk) 21:09, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

@Darouet: Hello, and thank you for taking your time to get involved. I have consistently stated that I am happy to alter the edit as long as the source material is reflected in the article, that is all I have ever asked, it is this dogmatic and frankly WP:POV clinging to the status quo, irrespective of the facts as supported by the citations that has created this disruption, regards. Twobells (talk) 15:57, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
The facts clearly show that firearms crime is at the lowest level it has ever been in over twenty years. Why you keep wanting to make out that it isn't is beyond me. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:31, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
That's funny, because these authors published reliably-sourced, non-contentious, referenced material saying otherwise and that is the crux of the matter, not hypothesizing about what the authors or the statistics 'really mean'. Essentially, what you, Keri and Guy are doing is saying that you all know better than the authors and journalists concerned and that you employed WP:OR to do prove it here for all to see on this talk page, best wishes. Twobells (talk) 17:03, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Where is your proof that firearms crime is not at the lowest level it has been in over twenty years? In 2013/14 there were 7,709 offences, lower than any previous year back to and including 1992, which had 13,341. In 2003/04 it peaked at 24,094, so has fallen by 68% since then.
Where is your proof that 153,603 FACs on issue in 2014/15 is somehow not a lower figure than the 155,400 on issue in 1988, or any year prior to that back to and including 216,300 in 1968?
Where is your proof that 582,494 SGCs on issue in 2014/15 is somehow not a lower figure than the 602,500 on issue in 2000, or any year prior to that back to and including 715,500 in 1971?
Where is your proof that the minor increases in firearms crime in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Merseyside are not dwarfed by the decreases in the same areas over the previous five - or eleven - years?
Some of your sources are clearly not "reliably-sourced" if they managed to find the most recent yearly change, yet not noticed the massive change in the opposite direction on the same Excel worksheet. Some of your interreptations of them can hardly be "non-contentious" when you are maintaining that the long-term trend in firearms crime is the exact opposite of what the official statistics show. Nick Cooper (talk) 17:19, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
With respect, I think you are getting confused, I have never said that I thought gun crime overall was on the increase, it is the position of the authors as reflected by the source material that illegally-held gun crime is up, legally-held gun crime is down and the numbers of people owning firearms in the UK is rising, thats it, regards. Twobells (talk) 17:42, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
That claim make no mathematical sense. Even so, where are the statistics that break down offences by the legal status of the firearm? Over the last decade handguns have consistently accounted for between 39 and 52% of non-air weapon offences. In 2003/04 it was 5,144 - the peak year in that range - and in 2013/14 it was 2,130 - the lowest year in the same range. That is clearly not rising by any possible interpretation. Likewise, even sawn-off shotguns has gone from 294 to 158 in the same time frame, again with each being the peak and lowest figure. Nick Cooper (talk) 18:34, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
There you go again, employing WP:OR to hypothesize what the authors meant when the facts laid out by the non-contentious referenced material clearly state exactly what they meant. In that:
legally-held gun crime is down
legally-held firearm ownership is up
gun crime with illegally-held firearms is on the rise.
Unlike others here, I am not hypothesizing what the authors 'actually meant', nor assign motivations to them, again like other editors here, I just wish to add the non-contentious,reliably-sourced, referenced material to the article and you are doing everything you can to stop that, regards. Twobells (talk) 11:47, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
To reiterate, your claims make no mathematical sense. The current number of firearms-enabled crimes stands at 7,709, the lowest it has been since the peak of 24,094 in 2003/04. Your claims that "legally-held gun crime is down" and "gun crime with illegally-held firearms is on the rise" could only possibly be true if in 2003/04 the vast majority of firearm-enabled crime was committed with legally-held firearms, and that now the opposite is true.
The actual breakdown of offences by firearm type between 2002/03 and 2013/14 (ONS release - link on page 3 to Table 3.02, sub-categories omitted barring shotguns) is:
Principal weapon 2002/03 2003/04 2004/053 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
Long-barrelled shotgun 361 424 306 375 360 365 381 330 406 305 288 227
Sawn-off shotgun 311 294 291 267 252 237 237 251 205 189 165 158
Handguns total 5,549 5,144 4,360 4,672 4,173 4,172 4,273 3,757 3,107 2,655 2,256 2,130
Rifles 52 48 54 71 69 71 89 67 74 56 43 54
Imitation firearms total 1,814 2,146 3,373 3,277 2,516 2,561 1,507 1,526 1,618 1,387 1,226 1,139
Unidentified firearms 1,431 1,356 1,500 1,362 1,276 1,325 953 1,368 958 834 724 698
Other firearms total 730 926 1,185 1,064 999 1,134 759 783 672 596 456 436
All firearms excluding air weapons 10,248 10,338 11,069 11,088 9,645 9,865 8,199 8,082 7,040 6,022 5,158 4,842
Air weapons 13,822 13,756 11,824 10,438 8,836 7,478 6,041 4,931 4,295 3,510 2,977 2,867
All firearms 24,070 24,094 22,893 21,526 18,481 17,343 14,240 13,013 11,335 9,532 8,135 7,709
Given that long-barrelled shotguns and rifles can be licensed, while handguns cannot, and that 70-95% of "Other firearms" are illegal CS or pepper spray, stun guns, machine guns, or disguised firearms, where is the evidence that "legally-held gun crime is down" and "gun crime with illegally-held firearms is on the rise"?
The only technically legal "firearms" that have seen marked falls are imitations and air weapons, but since you've never mentioned either of them at all, I presume that's not the point you're trying to push. So the question is, which are the legally-held firearms crimes that you think have been falling, and which are the illegally-held firearms crimes which you think are rising?
Figure 3.4 on page 7 of the same ONS release summarises in graph form the aggregates for shotguns, handguns, imitations, and - collectively - rifles, unidentified and other firearms. The overall falls could not be more clear. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:15, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Edit, It seems that what may have confused matters is that this source material was deleted from the rfc lede: [4], regards.Twobells (talk) 17:45, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Along with the OR you plucked form it, yes. These sources add nothing. Guy (Help!) 22:45, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
I see, the kettle calling the pot black? You are showing an incredible level of bias to dismiss these statistics as 'nothing'. Also, how is the addition of non-contentious, reliably-sourced, referenced material original research? My edits consist of just three sentences as reflected by the source material, in that:
legally-held gun crime is down
legally-held firearm ownership is up
gun crime with illegally-held firearms is on the rise.

Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). [5] [6][7] [8] [9]

regards. Twobells (talk) 11:50, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Can you just let us know how often we have to point out that you're wrong, before you accept it and bugger off? This is getting boring. Guy (Help!) 01:17, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Very nice, indeed, when you don't get your own way you resort to bad manners, I'm not going anywhere and I will do whatever necessary within the rules and good manners, while not being combative to ensure that this article reflects the non-contentious, reliably-sourced, referenced material in the New Year and not remain the farcical example of poor editing and bias the article currently is irrespective of attempts to WP:OWN by WP:HOLIC who when they cannot get their way using best wiki policy revert to WP:9STEPS which was utterly disgraceful. I have never have had to use other editors to force my position on an article and the fact that you did suggests you were always on dodgy ground, regards. Twobells (talk) 10:40, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
You can go on looking for error-filled and/or cherry-picked agenda-driven hack pieces all you like. They won't and can't change the reality reflected in the published official statitistics. Nick Cooper (talk) 10:45, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Like this one you mean? Yes, I agree. The statistics you keep referring to are are out-dated and do not tell even half the story as reflected by the non-contentious, reliably-sourced, referenced material, sorry Nick but that ain't gonna work, regards. Twobells (talk) 10:48, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
The statistics are up-to-date to 2013/14. We will have the 2014/15 figures in the Spring, and it seems highly unlikely that they will be markedly different from the year before. Certainly the chance that the massive declines of the previous decade can have been miraculously overturned in the course of the most recent year are nonexistant. You still can't accept that the cherry-picking in the Times article was based on the 2013/14 statistics, which regardless showed a national fall, as well as a steep fall in London - much larger than the minor increases in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, in fact.
The statistics document what they always have, i.e. the number of firearms-enabled crimes. It doesn't matter if certain possession or trafficking offences are omitted "now," because they have always been omitted. Frankly, detected possession and trafficking offences are a far better result than those same firearms ending up being used in crime, wouldn't you say? Nick Cooper (talk) 11:00, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
And how exactly did I "use other editors"? It's fairly self-evident that a number of other editors, independently and of their own volition, assessed the "quality" of your sources - and you interpretation of them - and came to exactly the same conclusion that I did about them. Nick Cooper (talk) 11:05, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, of course, on their own. Moving on, let me for the last time refer you to the word extrapolation which is what you are doing, you are inferring as fact, countering what respected authors and journalists have premised and stated in the non-contentious, reliably-sourced, referenced material for reasons only known to yourself then using that extrapolation to revert the source material. Now, I know you like the last word as reflected by the above talk history but I'm off to enjoy the holidays, see you in the New Year when I am sure we can collaborate on improving the article, regards. Twobells (talk) 11:09, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
You seem to be hinting at some of collusion, which apart from being untrue, is rather ironic, given your propensity to forum-shop for support for your counter-factual theories.
You're also resorting to your usual nonsense obfuscation. Your sources failed basic error-checking. Speculating as to why they made the errors they did, or cherry-picked the way they did, does not excuse their errors and cherry-picking. In short, we don't use sources that can be shown to be so obvious wrong or misleading.
I'm curious, though, as to why you keep banging on about "respected authors and journalists" when their work - accidentally or deliberately - pushes a view of the subject that runs contrary to the official statistics. Why are you so wedded to the idea of making the minuscule amount of firearms crime in the UK seem far worse than it really is? Are you in fact one of the "respected authors and journalists," or are you a firearms owner, disgruntled because you can no longer claim that the restrictions on ownership didn't stop the existing pre-Dunblane rise in firearms crime (I actually think there'e little connection between the two, either way - an opinion I believe is shared by Colin Greenwood)? (talk) 11:32, 24 December 2015 (UTC)~
Neither actually. Why is it when pet agenda's are examined the editors concerned always descend to baser instinct in a desperate attempt to defend the status quo? I try not to get personal with other editors when I defend my position and others should not either, hypothesizing on the motivations of editors and assuming the worse when they are trying to edit in good faith is extremely distasteful, which I believe reflects a desperate attempt to maintain the status quo irrespective of the reliable source material. All the reliable sources concerned use the latest statistics and the authors premise from there, they do not rely on for the most part old state figures that do not reflect the actual policing experience on the ground. Also, journalists are increasingly concerned that the police figures do not reflect the actual levels of gun crime in the UK, that needs to be in the article as well, however, again, that was also reverted out of hand. In closing, what we have here, is an editor hypothesizing then making personal calculations and using those figures as an excuse to remove the latest, referenced source material which is a farce. Twobells (talk) 14:32, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
Considering that you keep pushing an interpretation of the subject that is simply not supported by the published data, it is only natural that other editors will be curious as to your motivation for doing so.
Just for the sake of clarification, what are these "latest statistics" you keep referring to, given that the Times article is clearly based on a) then-current Metropolitan Police figures for London only, and b) the 2013-14 ONS release for England and Wales?
I see you continue to flog the dead horse of the statistics for firearms-enabled crime not including certain possession and trafficking offences. The latter have never been included in the former, and hence can have no effect on the long-term trend, the last decade of which obviously being relentlessly downwards. If they inflate the current total by around 60%, then obviously they would have inflated all previous years by the same degree. Nick Cooper (talk) 15:04, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
Within a few weeks authors will have access to the NABIS stats and will, I imagine be pouring over them with great interest, especially considering the very earliest data confirms the extremely low level of crime carried out with legally-held firearms and the rather alarming level of crime committed with illegally-held firearms. The data will include the number of captured illegal firearms in the UK, the crimes that were committed with them as well as incredibly low level of crimes committed with legally held firearms. More, there will be a number of articles about how HO ministers have consistently prevented mp's from having access to the NABIS data, how that was finally overturned and why they did it, I am sure you can come to your own conclusions as to why the state was so desperate to hide this data. I think, that for the sake of balance and notability, we will have to include the whys and wherefores, here on the article, regards. Twobells (talk) 23:26, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
As always, we wait for reliable independent sources. And if you try your synthesis again I will be looking for a topic ban. Guy (Help!) 00:05, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
Interesting, you have failed to accept previous 'reliable independent sources' before in your attempts to keep the article from neutrality and I don't expect your agenda to suddenly change now. Also, I suggest you read WP:SYNTHNOT, especially the section 'Synth Is Not A Catch-All', as for the rest I give it the attention it deserves, which is none.Twobells (talk) 15:10, 17 January 2016 (UTC)
No, it was rather the case that nobody accepted your cherry-picking of - in some places questionable - sources to further your own dodgy synthesis.
Your previous post is somewhat perplexing, as it suggests future disclosure of data that does not appear to have been publicly announced, so what sort of privileged position does that put you in? You are predicting a slew of "articles" you appear to approve of. How do you know? You also seem to be mainlining on the "shock revelation" that most firearms crime are not committed by licensed firearms owners, whereas I pointed out previously that the majority of such crimes are clearly carried out with illegally-held weapons, and always have been. Nick Cooper (talk) 15:48, 17 January 2016 (UTC)
Presumably the same NABIS who announced in 2015: "The number of offences involving firearms has been falling year-on-year since its peak in 2003/04 (when 24,094 offences were recorded) and the latest figure of 7,714 offences represents a fall of more than two-thirds (68%) since then." Keri (talk) 11:34, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. I look forward to Twobells attempting to use NABIS figures for what they want to claim, whilst simulateously denying NABIS's equal confirmation of the things they want to refute. Nick Cooper (talk) 15:37, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, it was rather the case that nobody accepted your cherry-picking of - in some places questionable - sources to further your own dodgy synthesis.

Hmm, you seem to argue that the edits were typical of confirmation bias, in that, a editor has taken a particular position. The problem with that analysis is that it is clearly flawed, in that, the edits concerned reflect the source material nothing more, no taking out of context, no 'cherry picking', no 'synth, purely a simple reflection of the source material, yet the editors listed above clearly employ terms like 'cherry picking' and 'synthesis' in their questionable attempts to keep material out of the article. With respect, I recommend you read WP:SYNNOT paying particular attention to [is not a catch-all] In closing, I see now that you intend to promote th idea that the sources are themselves 'dodgy', yet these sources have been considered legimiate and reliable of years with no question as to their reliability, which suggests, that the above editors are becoming increasingly desperate in their attempts to keep the article unbalanced, regards as always.Twobells (talk) 14:22, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

You have been informed on multiple occasions and in specific detail that either your sources to not support what you are claiming, or that published statistics do not support what your sources are saying. You can go round the houses all you want, but you can't change that reality. The ONS stats show that firearms-enabled crimes - overwhelmingly committed with what by definition are illegal firearms - has been falling massively and consistently over the last decade. There is no way currently of showing that crimes commited with legally-possessed firearms have fallen (or risen, for that matter), nor that shooting has suddenly become massively more popular pastime than at any other point in previous history. Nick Cooper (talk) 15:16, 19 January 2016 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/9446474/UK-gun-owners.html
  2. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dan-ehrlich/uk-gun-ownership-up-deaths-down_b_1209967.html
  3. ^ http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/crime/article4570455.ece
  4. ^ Bentham, Martin (7 October 2014). "1,400 shots fired and 29 dead: Shocking scale of London gun crime revealed". Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Hales, Lewis, Silverstone, Gavin, Chris, Daniel (2006). Gun crime:the market in and use of illegal firearms (PDF). Home Office. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Whitehead, Tom (18 September 2012). "Police should be routinely armed in wake of latest tragedy, say campaigners". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Farndale, Nigel (9 August 2012). "UK gun owners". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  8. ^ Hamilton, Fiona (29 September 2015). "'Sharp rise in urban gun crime fuels fears of gang resurgence". The Times. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  9. ^ Erlich, Dan (17 January 2012). "UK Gun Ownership Up, Deaths Down Offering Stark Comparison with US Figures". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 

Renaming The Article[edit]

C We need to revert the article and have a discussion, as there is a number of very active topical debates going on in the UK covering national and regional gun politics. Also, where was the consensus on this? It seems to have been done arbitrarily. There was a anti-American debate some months ago in the section 'American style lobbying' but that was purely venting. I am, however, open to renaming the article if we can come to some sort of agreement on the wording, regards. Twobells (talk) 23:52, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

or you could stop trying to push your POV. Guy (Help!) 00:03, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
By 'POV' you mean of course my attempts to bring the article back to neutrality.Twobells (talk) 15:07, 17 January 2016 (UTC)
By "neutrality" you mean, of course, your own idiosyncratic POV. Guy (Help!) 19:12, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
No, by 'POV' I mean my attempts to bring the article back to neutrality as reflected by the numerous citations, regards. Twobells (talk) 14:05, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
See m:MPOV. Guy (Help!) 11:37, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

First Nabis-Related Article Out: UK Firearm Ownership On Rise & Highest Ever[edit]

Seems that firearms ownership is the highest it has ever been in the UK. Benjamin Zands piece for the BBC which includes a video segment called 'Secret Society' had access to the recently released NABIS data.[1] Still, I'm sure that certain editors will attempt to find ways to prevent inclusion.Twobells (talk) 10:42, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

Titled "The people who want the UK's gun laws relaxed". Which clearly establishes the context. Funny you didn't mention the title. Funny also that you are cherry picking one line from it which is missing the context already discussed multiple times above. It's almost as if, oh, I don't know, you are a gun advocate or something. Guy (Help!) 11:30, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
No, I just included the source and a link to the BBC, so I must be biased right? You seem to completely fail to understand the source material, the author states the figures as supplied by HMIC but that's not good enough for you, you need dream up agenda's. Again, just so sad.Twobells (talk) 11:36, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
You cherry-picked a single factoid in order to present your preferred spin, which is that gun ownership is common and rising. In fact it is rare and the year on year changes are basically noise. Now, one could make a case for including that source for something along the lines of "a small number of gun advocates in the UK would like gun laws relaxed, including allowing semi-automatic weapons, but others believe they should be tightened still further", which is a fair representation of what the source actually says, but to present this as a source about gun ownership reaching "record" levels is tendentious, for the reasons already discussed above and because this is mainly an article about the fringe gun advocacy community and it does not even pretend to contextualise that single item of data. I'd remind you that my father ran a rifle club and I learned to shoot while I was still at school: I have no problem with firearms per se, the issue is how one represents gun advocacy in the UK, and the clear lesson form this article and the other sources is that gun advocacy in the UK is a fringe position even within the community of gun owners. Guy (Help!) 11:42, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Seriously? You sound like the racist that says he has 'black friends' I don't care whether you shot a STG44 at your mothers teat or never touched a gun, the piece clearly states twice for relevance that in the UK firearms ownership is on the rise and that it is at the highest level ever, which is in keeping with all the other citations you refuse to countenance, that you want to keep that off the article starts to look bizarre to say the least.Twobells (talk) 11:44, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
The piece is not about levels of gun ownership, it is about gun advocates and why they are on the fringes of society - if anything it sends the opposite message to your edit, which implies growing acceptance of guns whereas the article clearly positions gun ownership as a target of suspicion, and also quotes views advocating further tightening of firearms law. It is also, as Nick pointed out, factually incorrect since licenses and permits are nowhere near the pre-1988 level. So once again, you are caught trying to crowbar gun advocacy into this article. Guy (Help!) 16:58, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
The article does not mention NABIS at all, only the HMIC. As noted below, the journalist has conflated two statistics in an ambiguous/misleading manner. There are more firearms than there have been since 1995 (the first year these data were reported), but the number of owners is not "the highest it has ever been in the UK" by any stretch of the imagination. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:26, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Where do you think that HMIC got their data? The award-winning BBC journalist is 'wrong' and you are right then, is that what you're saying Nick? Also, you seem to be demanding to set the terms of reference irrespective of the facts as reflected by the source material. There are two extremely relevant facts about Firearms Policy in the United Kingdom explicitly stated by the numerous cited, source materials: Firearms ownership is on the rise and that the number of Firearms in the UK is at the highest level since records began. None of the articles make any mention of '% of people in the UK', cats bouncing' or whatever else they can think up to stop such plainly uncontentious citations being added to said article. Twobells (talk) 13:58, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
The journalist has conflated two statistics. The number of firearms held is higher than it was in 1995; the combined number of FACs amd SGCs - as a proxy for firearms owners - is 70% of what it was in 1988. If there is any other measure of firearms owners, feel free to identify the relevant statistics. Nick Cooper (talk) 14:08, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
In answer to your question as to where HMIC got their figures, the report clearly states (page 16) that it uses Home Office figures for SGCs and FACs. NABIS is not mentioned anywhere in the HMIC report. Nick Cooper (talk) 19:17, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

Again with the "highest ever"[edit]

Twobells, you once again added the claim that firearms ownership is at its highest level. This has been discussed ad nauseam: the level is extremely low, and it is far form clear form the sources that this is in any way significant, especially since your source is an interview with gun advocates, which has massive red flags. As previously discussed when this was rejected before, the absolute number has to be viewed in the context of population as a whole, and also the lack of distinction between classes of firearm - plus the fact that this is likely to be "dead cat bounce" from a previous nosedive in ownership. Guy (Help!) 11:16, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

Oh please, your desperation to keep uncontentious, reliably-sourced material off the article is just so sad.The BBC article clearly states that the data supplied by HMIC shows that firearms ownership is highest it has ever been. No-one is saying that the UK is flooded with guns or that the % equates to the general population, just that the numbers are the highest they've ever been. and that firearm ownership is on the rise as supported by the data.'Dead cat bounce' you just make stuff up as you go along to keep being able to revert don't you? Where is your source material for that supposition?? Why are you so frightened of this I just don't understand. This is starting to come across as hysteria Guy. Twobells (talk) 11:29, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
In a piece titled "The people who want the UK's gun laws relaxed" we have a claim of absolute numbers, as previously discussed above (where the problems with this approach were clearly identified). The claim that it is "uncontentious" is blatantly false, as uncontentious things do not result in long-term attempts by advocates to crowbar them into articles. You know it is contentious, your statement above makes it absolutely plain that you not only know that but dare everybody who disagrees with you (i.e. everyone else who has expressed an opinion on this talk page) to find it so. Guy (Help!) 11:33, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Look, I don't care who disagrees with me, they are not the authors of the reliably sourced, entirely, uncontentious source material. You seem to be ideologically fixated on the sportsmen and women who are looking to relax the laws, not on the citations which clearly state that firearm ownership is on the rise and the highest its ever been. So odd and clearly not in keeping with Wiki best practice. Twobells (talk) 11:40, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
The issue is cherry-picking facts in order to misrepresent the source. This is not a source that says gun ownership is at record levels, it's a source which says that gun advocacy is fringe. Guy (Help!) 11:43, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
The source would not include these facts if they were not relevant would it? The author states that firearm ownership is on the rise and that ownership is the highest its ever been. I mean how many more reliably-sourced articles do you want before you stop this mad agenda? Seriously. Twobells (talk)
The source includes the fact that the person interviewed, owns a gun shop. And the claim of "highest ever" is clearly contradicted by official figures. And guess what? Your edit was still basically WP:SYN, and was still basically the same shit that got rejected last time you tried it. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the UK has low levels of gun ownership and (purely coincidentally, if you believe the NRA) also of firearms crime. Guy (Help!) 00:02, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
The article does not say "firearm ownership is on the rise and that ownership is the highest its ever been." Rather it says:
"In fact, there are currently more than 700,000 private gun owners in England and Wales and 1.8 million firearms - the most since records began - according to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)."
The wording and punctuation is ambiguous, but it is a fact that "the most since records began" refers to the "1.8 million firearms" and not the "700,000 private gun owners," and "since records began" means since 1995.
In 1995 653,800 Shotgun Certificates covered 1,325,800 Shotguns, and 141,700 Firearms Certificates covered 413,600 firearms. In 2014 582,923 Shotgun Certificates covered 1,329,37 shotguns, and 151,413 Firearms Certificates covered 507,867 firearms. In 1988, though, 882,00 SGCs and 155,400 FACs on issue, the latter covering 453,588. 1988 was the peak year for SGC, but for FACs it was 1968 with 216,300.
The bottom lines is that the number of people owning firearms is not the highest it has ever been by any stretch of the imagination, although the ratio of firearms to certificates is the highest it has been since 1995.Nick Cooper (talk) 11:02, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
So where is this HMIC and/or NABIS data? For such a contentious claim (which runs contrary to FAC and SGC statistics), we need the raw figures, not an interpretation through the prism of journalists/interested parties.
Even this BBC piece you are so joyfully linking to states that, "more than 700,000 private gun owners in England and Wales and 1.8 million firearms - the most since records began - according to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary " The number of owners obviously tallies with the total 736,097 of combined FACs and SGCs for 2014/15 quoted above, which is obviously a lot lower than the combined total of 1,037,400 in 1988. The "since records began" element clearly only means the number of firearms covered, which of course has only been collected since 1995.
Having checked, this is the HMIC report referred to in the article. It actually states:
What is the demand for firearm licences?
2.13. At the time of the publication of our report, the latest published Home Office data are for the year ending 31 March 2014. They indicate that there were:
• 151,413 section 1 firearm certificates on issue. This is an increase of 2.5 percent compared with March 2013;
• 507,867 section 1 firearms covered by these certificates. This is the highest number since these figures were first collected in 1995;
• 582,923 shotgun certificates on issue. This is an increase of 2.1 percent compared with March 2013;
• 1,329,376 shotguns covered by these certificates. This is a decrease of 0.3 percent compared with the previous year;
Nowhere does the report state that the number of owners is at a record high, because it self-evidently isn't Nick Cooper (talk) 12:43, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
You are back to your old tricks Nick, arguing with award-winning and highly respected journalists basing your arguments not on cited reliably-sourced material but on your own research. For a considerable period of time, both you and a number of other editors, with respect are plainly incompetent to edit this particular article, having consistently attempted to prevent the entry from being brought back to some semblance of balance. First you suggest the source material doesn't exist then when evidence is produced you then employ NPOV in an attempt to prevent the addition of anything that runs counter to your position, enough already. In closing, according to numerous, reliably-cited source material; firearm ownership is on the rise and the number of firearms owned is the highest since records began.
The journalist made an ambiguous and/or erroneous statement in error. Fact. Nick Cooper (talk) 14:09, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Produce legitimate, reliably-sourced material stating that this award-winning BBC journalist 'made an ambiguous and/or erroneous statement in error' and we talk further. Until then I see absolutely no problem in editing the article to reflect the stated fact supported by the data made on these numerous citations. Twobells (talk) 14:17, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Do you or do you not accept that "more than 700,000 private gun owners" in the article is a reference to the total number of both Shotgun and Firearms Certificates in 2014 of 734,336 as stated in the HMIC report that the article refers do?
  • Do you or do you accept that the total number of both Shotgun and Firearms Certificates in 1995 of 795,500 is 8% higher than the 2014 total of 734,336?
  • Do you or do you not accept that the total number of Certificates in 1988 of 1,037,400 is 41% higher than the 2014 total?
You say your claims are "supported by the data" - please identify what this data is, if it is not the SGC and FAC data already referenced. Nick Cooper (talk) 16:31, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
    • ^ Zand, Benjamin (23 February 2016). "Secret Society". BBC. Retrieved 23 February 2016.