Thursday, July 17, 2008

Anti-gun Statistics Don't Always Stand Up to Scrutiny.

The death of any child is a tragedy, but if we want good public policy we need to look objectively at what is happening. Using Children for Political Ends by Howard Nemerov Lots of good stats. Things like calling all persons under the age of 20 "children." And missing the so-called Assault Weapons Ban.
Gun control organizations often insinuate that the assault weapons ban caused a decline in violent crime, but violent crime peaked in 1991 with an overall rate of 758.2 (per 100,000 population), while the murder rate peaked at 9.8. By 1994, when the 'assault weapons' ban went into effect, violent crime dropped 5.9% and murder decreased 8.2%.
And of course, the "ban" banned no weapons, and didn't even interrupt production, only changing a few features.

The Children's Defense Fund seems to have a strange way of prioritizing its activities. You see, CDF hates guns.
CDF's Programs page includes no child abuse/neglect initiative, even though over three times as many children were killed by abuse/neglect than by firearms.
So are they interested in children, or just focused on guns?
Between 1994 and 2005, the overall homicide rate for children decreased by 28.2%, but their firearms homicide rate dropped 54.5%. The overall child fatal injury rate decreased 26.6%, but the overall firearms fatal injury rate dropped 55.9%. The overall accidental injury rate for children dropped 28.1%, but the accidental firearms death rate decreased 61.4%. During this same time period, the firearms homicide rate for the entire U.S. population decreased 37.4% and the accidental fatal firearms injury rate dropped 48.1%, so children experienced a better-than-average decrease in firearms fatalities.
There are more statistics about all kinds of tragedy. The point is not to be ghoulish. The point is to understand exactly what is going on.

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