Thursday, December 20, 2012

Politifact Fact Checks - Sort of

Received this link in my email today:  PolitiFact Fact Checks on Gun Control and Gun Violence

My first reaction was "put on the hip waders; the BS is gonna be deep".  After all, when they start talking Gun Violence and Gun Homicide, you know they're only concerned about the instrument and not the crime or its victims.  It didn't disappoint. 

So I wrote back to the emailer:   Ooooh!  Can I play? 

"We do not have any limitation on the number of guns and bullets we can buy. (True)"  Why would any restriction on the number of guns or bullets that a law-abiding individual can buy matter?  Do you know professional competitive shooters (yes, there are such folks) will burn one to two thousand rounds of ammunition in a week just practicing?  How does restricting law abiding people help anyone?  (to be pedantic, Politi-Fact is sounding stupid here: the bullet is the portion of a cartridge that leaves the barrel.  The correct term in not how many bullets one has, but how many cartridges or rounds of ammunition)

"The U.S. gun homicide rate is 20 times the combined rate of other western nations. (Mostly True)" Why does the "gun homicide" or "gun violence" matter?  It's okay to bludgeon someone to death?  Knife attack?  Poison?  Something like 2 million people were killed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994.  Do you know what the most common weapon was?  A machete.  A few cents worth of scrap steel.  A friend of mine who has worked in China recently says dismembered bodies (hacked up with blades of some sort) are common occurrences - but it's not gun homicide so that's OK?  In terms of actual homicide rate, which is what we should care about, the US is 108th place, not "20 times the combined rate of other western nations."  Wiki statistics, plotted by Sean Sorrentino at

What's important in the case of something like the Newtown massacre is whether you make anything better by changing the existing thousands of laws.  An Assault Weapon Ban?  The 1994 AWB, which banned magazines over 30 rounds, was in effect when Columbine High was attacked by those two psychos - who had written their state representatives to oppose Coloado's concealed carry law.  Why should a new AWB be any more effective?  I have read a lot of sources on this and not one, from UC Berkeley to the FBI, says the 1994 AWB had any effect on crime.  Some sources say crime went down when it expired, although since violent crime has been in nationwide decline since concealed carry started to spread across the country in the early 1990s, I think it may just be part of that trend. 

I did more, but I'm sure you can, too...
Not scary.  Just (1) it won't help the situation (2) criminals won't obey it (3) honest people will be under armed if they really need one (4) nobody knows what an "assault rifle" or "military style weapon" is (5) about 10 million legal owners will be inconvenienced.  For starters. 

1 comment:

drjim said...

Well, you know and I know that they only thing these new laws will do, will be to make it harder for a law-abiding citizen to defend themselves.
Criminals, by definition, don't give a flyin' leap about the law, and it will have NO impact on criminal activity involving firearms.

As a wise person wrote once" Gun control *isn't* about GUNS. It's about CONTROL"!

And as we all know, "The 2nd Amendment is NOT about duck hunting".