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Old 28-10-2008, 00:29   #61
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"I'll explain and I'll use small words..."(1)

In examining the Google news results, I checked more than 10 pages, each of which had 10 primary results matching the regular expression
"pellet gun"(2). This found 512 articles at the time (the number found is determined statistically, and is not strictly accurate), of which fully 452 were *unique* articles. Of those 100+ article titles I examined, 7 were not reporting about crimes/injuries committed with pellet guns; that is, more than 90% were about crimes, injuries, and deaths. This seemed absurdly high, since news.google only tracks 3-4 weeks worth of articles.

So I tried something a bit larger, taking in all articles about guns which also included the words pellet or bb(3). Fully 30% of the articles were not about crimes, injuries, or deaths. But there were 1700+ unique articles found, covering a mere 3.5 weeks of time.

Now it's possible you have very different experiences with French-style double doors, or glass cupboard doors, but let me assure you they are extremely fashionable in current construction, renovations, and restorations. And while I expect there *has* been an increase in injuries related to them simply because they've been such a boom interior design element over the past 30 years or so in north america, as someone who has actually used the US CDC mortality and mobidity data(4), I can't say as how I've read anything mentioning the use of glass in homes, let alone in doors and cabinetry, as a particular risk factor. (An exception to this is windows and toddlers in two or more story buildings, but this is not about the glass.)

When I grew up we knew a lot more about injuries from sliding doors and slamming car doors than from french doors. The damn french doors wouldn't stay closed in a light breeze, let alone withstanding the impact of a pre-schooler, but we weren't allowed to play in the parlour anyway. But I understand they're much better now.

Which may explain why searches for news about french doors have zero reports of injury. Mind you, I'm baffled at the idea of a "french door refrigerator" (a french door has glass for most of its length, so does this mean a glass-fronted fridge? even its inaccurate popular use - paired doors without a central post - would seem inappropriate for an icebox.) A few reports of break-ins via these doors, however, and one interesting story about MRIs and injuries.

But that was all 44 articles about french doors that Google found(5). I wasn't able to be so thorough with the thousands of articles about stuffed, plushy animals. So I worked a number of search angles to locate injuries, deaths, warnings, etc. (as an aside here, I am truly saddened by Jennifer Hudson's tragedies, but they certainly clotted things up in these searches.) Instead I had to do a sample, sorted by the most recent 50 of each of a half-dozen search expressions... but the result was the same: zero results for teddy bears killing kids.(6)

Now I do statistics a fair bit. I understand a fair bit about google, too. And I know way too much about urban myths and framing. News coverage is not the best proxy measure for actual injuries, but it's far better than google hits because it is time delimited. And it doesn't care about urban myths - it reports them all the same.

With my personal expertise and the night's examination of news reports I'm fairly confident I can state that pellet/bb guns are comparatively more dangerous than stuffed toys, but that the reporting measure is too insensitive to draw any logical conclusions, since there are infinitely more reports about the weapons than the toys.

Now to say all that in simpler english: there's a buttload of extremely recent crimes, injuries and deaths related to pellet/bb guns in the news. There's none for stuffed toys, despite the millions of them. The vast majority of this news is from the USA. I can't say there aren't any injuries and deaths from stuffed toys extremely recently based on this data, but it's likely the risk compared with injury or death from the guns is vanishingly small. To say otherwise is moronic.



Footnotes:
1. The Princess Bride is a comedy, widely quoted to provide relief or to emphasize absurdity due to its inciteful social commentary. (The word inciteful is a pun on the words insight and incite.)
2. This search can be performed with this link to news.google.
3. The regular expression is "pellet | bb gun", and can be performed with this link to news.google.
4. Our area of expertise is actually population-based adolescent health, and you should know that adolescents are remarkably robust as a group with the exception of accidental injury and death. Which is why we've used the compiled data from the MMWR.
5. This search can be performed with this link to news.google.
6. I could give you all my searches, but it would be better to explain my methodology - I examined 50 articles for each search because if any article were found it would indicate the time-ordered random sample had 2% likelihood of finding the desired needle in the haystack of stuffed toy articles. This could then be compared with the total number of pellet/bb gun injury/crime articles over the same period of time and come up with a reasonable proxy comparison of risk. However, after 6 searches came up with zero returns the only thing which can be concluded is that 3.5 weeks is too limited a period of time to develop any reasonably stable model of injury by stuffed toy.
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Old 28-10-2008, 00:52   #62
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Yes, and how many involved deaths from them?
I almost missed your question. In the 100 articles I examined, 27 of them covered a human death. However, there were only 2 actual deaths of humans. There's a woman with a pellet in the throat in "guarded" condition; the boy who had chest surgery to remove a pellet, the dead guy shot by a police officer because he had a bb gun, the college student who had a pellet removed from under his eye, another guy killed by a police officer when brandishing a pellet gun, a cat had surgery to remove a pellet and someone's dog was killed by another, another person shot by police for being stupid with a pellet gun, another dog killed by pellet gun, another kitten shot. But only two deaths from being shot by the pellet/bb gun.
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Old 28-10-2008, 04:25   #63
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All very fascinating. Do we think we can move back to the original subject of the thread? This one is really veering off course.

Thanks
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Old 02-09-2010, 13:47   #64
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I'd be very careful taking an airgun to another country

An air rifle is definitely a weapon. I have them for varmit control on my property, gophers and digger squirrels for the same reasons mentioned in an earlier post.

In many countries air weapons are tightly regulated. But, often this is a function of the power or muzzle energy of the weapon. Muzzle energy is a function of projectile mass and velocity. I know in many locals there is a big difference in the law between a weapon rated at or below 12 fpe (foot pound energy, ~16.3 joules) and those with higher power. You see this in the marketing of many air guns, there are distinctly different versions of the same gun, depending on the regulations in the market place. This power rating allows for .177 target weapons used in competition such as 10m target, and it still has enough energy for some hunting. I know people who hunt and eat the rabbit, squirrel, birds they take with 12fpe air guns.

Either way, going to a country different from your own with any weapon would be stupid without doing good and proper research and declaring the weapon upon entry! Not declaring and having it found in a search would be a really quick way to ruin a cruise!

I'm going to go a little astray here and add some more about the reality of these guns being weapons. I do not have any of the big bore customs, but there are air guns made at .25, .38, 9mm and even larger bores that carry enough energy to hunt big game!

I have a single shot "tuned" .22 that shoots a 21 grain pellet at about 900 feet per second muzzle velocity. If the calculator I used is correct, this is 37.7 foot pounds energy at the muzzle. This is actually a scary amount of force. The definition is the energy transferred on applying a force of 1 pound-force (lbf) through a displacement of 1 foot. By that definition, drop a 1 pound block from 37.7 feet...don't let it hit your foot!

I treat my air guns as full weapons, firearm or not. This .22 will do the task that I acquired it for at 70 and even 100 yards. It punches holes in 3/4" plywood and fractures the back of 1" car decking ply at 30 yards.

Firearm no, weapon yes. Regulations are funny though. I got into the air gun because my state will allow me to target towards the road at the edge of my property with an airgun, but not a firearm. Regardless of that, I know that I must treat this as if it was a firearm since the carry is nearly the same as a 22 caliber short.

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Old 02-09-2010, 13:53   #65
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OOOOPS - Sorry for resurrecting an old dead thread...my bad!

I looked at month and date, but the year failed to register in my pea brain!
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Old 02-09-2010, 14:35   #66
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A friend introduced me to his high power air rifle over the weekend and I was amazed at the power. So I was wondering if an air gun would be considered a fire arm outside of the US??
My thoughts on this as follows. BTW, I'm NOT any sort of legal expert.

Depends on where you are, meaning which country. Re sailing the oceans, touching port here and there, if you have any sort of voyage plan, might be worth while checking with representatives of whichever foreign countries/ports you are thinking of landfalls at. You might also try getting something in writing, for instance on embassy of consular letterhead.
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Old 02-09-2010, 14:46   #67
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OOOOPS - Sorry for resurrecting an old dead thread...my bad!

I looked at month and date, but the year failed to register in my pea brain!


Do you have to declare a Pea shooter?
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Old 02-09-2010, 18:50   #68
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If someone posted this already, I apologize. I started reading and kept hitting utter misinformation.
Yes, airguns can be classed as firearms very easliy in many countries. In Canada, if it shoots over 500 fps, it is a firearm and must be on your card. Most of Europe uses a joules energy measurement to decide if it is a pellet rifle or a firearm.
The comment about just making people mad shooting them with toys made me skip to the end.
I hunt deer with a 50 caliber muzzleloading airgun that the third man standing back might be in trouble if it was used for self defense. 250 grain conical at over 800 fps. My 22 shoots a 21 grain pellet at a little over 900 fps. My 36 round ball gun shoots a .350 ball at about 800.
They are not toys, and are very much capable of killing grown men at range. All three of them.
They are also illegal to even possess in some countries.
They are not cheap, or cheap to operate, but they are serious firepower. All of mine require loading the next projectile, but there are multiple multishot models in up to 50 caliber.
Do a search for Quackenbush Airguns. Pyramid Airguns is another good educational site.
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Old 02-09-2010, 19:48   #69
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Air rifles and pistols are controlled over here in NSW AUSTRALIA. I still remember as a kid doing some target shooting down the backyard of a mate. This unmarked car pulled up and a guy started giving us some grief. No way was my mate going to give up his prised high powered air gun, so he basically told this fellow exactly where he could go in no uncertain terms. Next minute out comes the police badge and it was where are your parents? Luckily my mate was also an Australian archery champion and he had set up a half decent shooting range, so we got off with a warning.

Since gun laws have become much tighter and they are definitely restricted firearms requiring a licence, individual registration and appropriate storage etc….,,,,,
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:57   #70
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Do you have to declare a Pea shooter?
If you told a member of officialdom within the mainland UK that it's purpose was as a weapon (whether only for use against Pirates, Martians or Terrorists) then a chance of prosecution. But they might just confiscate it. Of course if it was part of your religion or part of your national dress then it can be as big as you like. as long as neither of those are indigenous to the UK. and you've got a bit of a suntan.......... you might even qualify for a grant..........

Down here they would probably simply enjoy the joke especially if you said it was for use against Guernseymen
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:25   #71
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If you told a member of officialdom within the mainland UK that it's purpose was as a weapon (whether only for use against Pirates, Martians or Terrorists) then a chance of prosecution
Veyr very few countries allow the justifucation of personal protection to be used to carry firearms. Thats was the countries police forces are paid to do.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:23   #72
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Veyr very few countries allow the justifucation of personal protection to be used to carry firearms. Thats was the countries police forces are paid to do.
Unfortunately the police are powerless to prevent a crime. They can only clean up the mess afterward.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:01   #73
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Veyr very few countries allow the justifucation of personal protection to be used to carry firearms. Thats was the countries police forces are paid to do.
Then they should all be fired, since they fail at their job.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:14   #74
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I do not care about real guns, air guns, but would consider paint gun. It would hot hurt (in short distance may hurt), but will leave mark on intruder.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:20   #75
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Where I am at in the US firearms discharge is prohibited, (unless a life threatening emergency). But we use air rifles for varmits routinely. Mostly the noise factor. Air rifles even larger powered ones just make a loud pop, but a small caliber firearm can be heard for miles.
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