Unscientific American

The fastest way to destroy a brand is to do the opposite of the brand’s claim. Scientific American’s brand is now hopelessly corrupted by publishing the most unscientific of screeds. A recent piece in Scientific American titled “More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows” is a case study in the anti-science of cherry-picked data. Were I in a more charitable mood, I might assume the author, Melinda Moyer, of merely suffering from acute confirmation bias syndrome. However, the oversights were so vast and so egregious that I cannot bring myself to believe such. Hers was likely not a sloppily written article, but rather adroit agitprop. My initial clue that Scientific American had devolved into a propaganda rag came in the first paragraph that wasn’t literary fluff (the same tired, suicide saturated misstatement about “guns took more than 36,000 U.S. lives …”). The next was when she cited … … Continue reading

Charting Homicides

Homicide Rate per Gun Ownership Rate - international - map

At the Gun Facts project, we like to add perspective. This is the opposite of what various gun control groups do, which is to mask perspective. That perspective stuff can be inconvenient. What is the measure One claim by the gun control industry is that more guns leads to more murder. Over the years we have demonstrated that, on an international level, there is no statistical correlation between gun ownership rates and homicides. Some of our charts have become quite popular with the media as they vividly show your odds of death are significantly higher outside of America. But we were never happy with the measurements. Homicide rates are too abstract. We wanted a better way to display the chance of being murdered against the chance that someone you met owned a gun. In this very brief spasm of charting, for each country that reported them, we took the homicide rates (odds of being … Continue reading

Physician Perspective

Compare deaths from medical mistakes and guns

Next time your doctor asks you about guns, remind him that doctors are vastly more deadly. Once in a while, an amusing perspective on guns and gore comes about. After debunking gun control myths, providing perspective is the Gun Facts Project’s second mission and our greatest joy. Perspective is valuable, and once people have a perspective about guns, crime, violence, danger and self-defense, their attitudes toward many things change. Especially about politicians. And now, a change of attitude about their family quack. The Unamusing News Recently, Johns Hopkins – the same institute that contains the ever anti-gun Bloomberg School of Public Health – published a report estimating that 250,000 people are mistakenly killed by the healthcare system. This quarter of a million former humans constitutes nearly 10% of all Americans who croaked last year. Now, this isn’t to say that your personal doctor is a careless and indifferent lout who … Continue reading

Female Fibs

Homicide Rates of Females by Race and Age

Driving a political wedge between wives and their husbands is a pretty lame notion. But leave it to a Michael Bloomberg apparatchik and an activist media outlet to give it a try. In one other their growingly desperate newsletters, The Trace (a agitprop pump delivering unfiltered intellectual effluvium from Bloomberg’s lips) flaunted a story about how women were in immediate peril from husbands and boyfriends and guns. Using scary sounding numbers, devoid of perspective and comparison, the article attempted to make women believe a man she knew with a gun was her mortal enemy. That would be your hubby. Starting with the leading premise The Trace used as their data source a set of spreadsheets architected by the Associated Press, an organization who drags journalism down the wrong side of the bell curve. Long known for providing an anti-gun skew, the AP doubled down by segregating data from the FBI’s … Continue reading

Gangs and Guns

Street gang pentration and population in major cities around the world

America doesn’t have a gun problem, but it sure as heck has a gang problem. Quick Take-Aways America has an insanely high concentration of people in gangs – about 953% higher than other countries (see analysis warnings below). Thankfully these are confined mainly to a few really rank cities. American gang culture is not replicated elsewhere Nearly every study associated gang membership with violent crime (including gun homicides). The Silly Propaganda When the gun control industry starts complaining about American gun violence, they never mention gangs. When someone (like me) mentions gangs to gun control advocates, they dismiss gangs as a non-issue. As someone who has lived next door to Oakland, California I can attest that it is very much an issue (as it is in Barack Obama’s own Chicago). Yet it is very different in America. “European cities lack the strong gang traditions that exist in some large U.S. … Continue reading

Kids, Carrying and Con Jobs

The media was lightly abuzz, echoing without critical review a study that said states with strict gun control laws had fewer kids carrying guns. As with all studies the media fails to study, there is far less here than meets the eye. The report itself has too many lapses to even consider it worthwhile, except perhaps as a case study in poor research methodology. The major defects to this study include: Raw data source and its collection are suspect. Major omissions of U.S. states and territories. Selection of specific years that ignore trends in juvenile gun misuse. Raw Data, Unintentionally Cooked Let’s ignore using the Brady Campaign Scorecard – unlike the authors of the study currently under my microscope – as the definition of good/strict gun control laws. We have repeatedly shown that Brady scores have no correlation to violent crime (while the Gun Facts Non-Brady Scorecard exposes a much … Continue reading

Universal Isn’t

universal background checks for guns

Universal background checks aren’t and cannot be, which makes them a horrible ruse and a social abuse. How “universal” background checks are sold to the public Akin to the now completely discredited “gun show loophole” canard, “universal” background checks are sold as a crime prevention measure. Various gun control groups have made it their current cause because it polls well with voters … until voters are presented with the perspective about guns and violent crime. The idea being sold is that (a) every firearm transaction needs to be approved by the government using (b) a personal background check to assure the buyer isn’t a felon or other prohibited person. This allegedly will (c) reduce violence with guns. The problems, as you will shortly see, are that (1) the solution is nowhere close to being universal, (2) will have no impact on gun violence, (3) is ripe for governmental abuse and … Continue reading

Kids, Cops and Guns

Children and guns - homicides by assailant trend

A talk radio host called me for some show prep. He had a guest coming on who planned on making the claim that in 2010 guns killed more children under age five than cops. She was right, but wrong at the same time. Indeed, in the year 2010, more Americans under age five died from bullets than police did. But this scary statistic was designed to scare, not to illuminate. When you look at two issues, the perspective gets very clear very quickly. Population Murdered Accidental Children (CDC) 54 25 Police (Officer Down) 59 2 Children (% pop) 0.0003% 0.0001% Police (% pop) 0.0131% 0.0004% Difference % pop  49:1  4:1 Foremost, there are a lot more kids than cops. In 2010, we had about 44 times as many crumb crushers than active duty officers (U.S. Census Bureau and the FBI Crime in the United States tally for 2009). Comparing these … Continue reading

VPC DGU Dupe

An acquaintance of mine once claimed that Josh Sugarmann, head of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), consumed copious amounts of military grade narcotics and had been doing so for some time. I found the statement offensive since it masked more likely organic sources for Sugarmann’s disconnect from reality. In the VPC’s latest con job they: Assumed all defensive gun use (DGU) results in death Compared criminal homicides with legal interventions (justifiable or even meritorious killings) Ignored all manner of non-lethal DGUs In an attempt to make American’s believe that guns have no rightful purpose in self-defense (something that recent polling indicates is going the opposite direction), the VPC contrasted criminal homicides with guns with self-defense shootings that only resulted in the attacker permanently halting their predatory practices. This willfully ignored: DGUs where the attacker is wounded. DGUs where a warning shot is fired. DGUs where the gun wasn’t fired (pointing … Continue reading

Suicide Women

bogus headlines women gun deaths

“86% of all women killed by firearms are U.S. women,” says a disturbingly biased medical journal article. Shame that the same research shows that the “problem” isn’t guns but mental health. “Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Fatality: Comparing the United States With Other High-Income Countries, 2003” is a somewhat outdated piece of gun control industry funded effluvium (the give-away was in the footnotes, one of which reads “David Hemenway received partial support from the Joyce Foundation”). Any study that begins with a conclusion – in this case the assumption that guns are a problem, and a unique problem in the United States – is instantly invalid. Had the authors studied what causes people to die, then slowly dug to discover which mode of demise were statistically important, the research would be allowed. This academic sanitary paper will not. What the gun control industry bought and published are a number of … Continue reading