Friday, November 06, 2015


Analysis of Two Data Points

The rapidly shrinking Washington Post has a silly editorial today about guns and knives. It looks at only two data points, a recent three person mass shooting in Colorado Springs and the four person mass stabbing in California by someone who under no circumstances was joining the intifada by cutting tools in Israel, how dare you think otherwise, islamaphobe!

That's it, two data points were examined to identify a trend or reality or something. Let's look at the stats. That is, let's look at a few years' worth of murder statistics in America to see how many murders are by knife and how many by firearm. Let's pay special attention to the use of rifles. Liberal gun haters (but I repeat myself) want to take away your right to choose which rifle you can keep and bear (and they did just that for 10 years with no beneficial results) and they want to limit your magazine size down from standard size because they are pro-reloading*.

In 2013, there were 12,253 murders in America of which 8,454 were by firearms of all types. That's way down since the peak in 1993 thanks largely to the spread of armed good citizens as unconstitutional restraints on bearing firearms in public were done away with across our great country. Of the murders weapon firearms used by 2013, only 285 were rifles for sure. 5,782 were murders by hand gun, just about 20 times more likely to be used to murder than rifles were used. In 1,956 of the murders, the type of firearm was unknown or not stated but the 20 to 1 ratio almost certainly applied so the probable number of rifles in that number is also very small.

So, how many murders in America were committed with knives (actually cutting instruments of any type, so hatchets and axes and I guess chain saws counted in that total)? 1,490. Oh, well that's a lot more than rifles, at least three times as many. So indeed let's leave knives alone and ban the carrying of cosmetically military (thus scary) rifles.

Here's WaPo's big finish.

Many factors contribute to violence. Investigations into these incidents will provide more information about the men who went on the attack in Colorado (a 33-year-old ) and California (an 18-year-old ) and specifically whether — as has been the case in so many tragedies — mental illness played a role. What should not get lost in that examination is the difference in damage that was done with a knife. That underscores once again the need for this country to follow the lead of other countries in limiting guns and controlling who has access to them.

But, as always, there is a problem with this so called solution. If the murder statute won't stop murderers, why would anyone believe a law about gun ownership would stop them? Gun regulations only disarm the law abiding to the detriment of everyone.

I'm all for not allowing dangerous crazy people to have either knives or guns, but the only way to enforce such a rational program is to lock up the dangerous crazy people in a mental institution where they can receive beneficial medical care and be looked after. We used to do that but short sighted liberals emptied out most of the looney bins in the 70s so there are plenty of non dangerous crazy people out on the streets now suffering lives no one would wish on a dog; and fewer, but still too many, dangerous crazy people walking around with guns or knives. Helping the crazy is not an actual priority with those in favor of banning gun ownership. Their priority seems to be disarming the law abiding.

Sounds pretty crazy to me.

* I mean changing out an empty magazine for a full one, not creating new cartridges from component parts. The liberals don't like people making their own bullets. We're recycling the empty cases. I though recycling was a good thing.


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