GIGO (or, Dishonest Numbers Lead to Bad Analysis)
15 Oct 2015, The Internet, WashingtonPost.com
The Washington Post released an article today, Guns in America: For every criminal killed in self-defense, 34 innocent people die
In it, author Christopher Ingraham tells us how the low number of Defensive Gun Uses (DGU) is exceeded by the number of "innocents" murdered with a firearm.
Because the only way to defend yourself against an aggressor is to kill them?
And the gun people are the extremists???? This is intellectual dishonesty at it's finest.
Their supporting numbers are totally valid. About 8000 people are murdered with a gun every year, and about 200-300 criminals are killed by non-criminals every year. Add in accidents, suicides, and Law Enforcement shootings and you get around 32,000 dead each year.
But for the purposes of our discussion lets stick to criminal use.This does indeed work out to about 1 criminal dead at the hands of a non-criminal for every 34 total murders.
Of course, something we wold like to know is how many off those "innocents" were really innocent. If a drug dealer kills a member of a rip crew (people who rob dealers), is it self-defense? Murder? Is anyone in that situation "innocent"?
There are also about 120,000 successful non-firearm violent crimes committed, plus burglaries and thefts.
But, ignoring these glaring ommissions, we'll posit that their numbers are, more or less, valid for this exercise.
It's their conclusion which is off base, predicated on the extremist philosophy that if you didn't kill your aggressor, you didn't defend yourself.
As can be seen in this blog, many Defensive Gun Uses (DGU) are non-fatal. A DGU can be anything from shooting and killing your assailant to simply warding them off without a shot fired.
There are, according to the Obama Administration-commissioned CDC/NIM study in 2013, at least 500,000 DGUs in America every year (at the low end, some of the data said it could be in the millions).
500,000 is, according to the people opposed to your rights, is ridiculously high. So, let's trim that down and say that 25% of this low-end number actually happened. That would be 125,000 DGUs annually.
Applying the same basic math that they used with our artificially reduced number of DGUs, we see a strange shift in the numbers:
For every murder there are 15 DGUs. [DGUs/Murders by firearm]
For every violent crime in America, including murder, there is ALMOST 1 DGU (.97, to be precise) [DGUs/Violent Crimes]
Heck, using our artificially-reduced numbers, for every single firearms-related death in America (ballpark: 32,000) there are 4 DGUs. and if we use the high-end numbers, there are 32 DGU. [DGU/Ballpark Total Firearms Deaths]
Of course, all of these numbers are a smokescreen used by both sides to hide behind the fact that America doesn't have a "gun violence" problem so much as it has a "violence and irresponsibility problem" and reducing it to a simple numbers game will screw EVERYONE.