Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lies, damned lies and statistics

Ah, at last, some perspective.
This post’s title is part of a quote often attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, but according to this source ( is the work of Mr. Leonard H. Courtney. The quote is often used by people who don't trust numbers that are crunched by someone with an axe to grind.
So, we are now getting some news about the horrific crime in Connecticut, at a primary school, just yesterday.  The article is here (,0,4744013.story)
Now, as I said, some perspective.
"On Saturday, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver said all the victims at the school were killed up close with a rifle and were shot more than once. All six adults killed at the school were women. Of the 20 children, eight were boys and 12 were girls. All the children were 6 or 7 years old.
The tragedy plunged Newtown into mourning and added the picturesque New England community of handsome colonial homes, red-brick sidewalks and 27,000 people to the grim map of towns where mass shootings in recent years have periodically reignited the national debate over gun control but led to little change."*
gives us some numbers to work with.
The gunzloonz over at mikeb's place, chief among them, Greg Camp, Orlin Sellers, TS and Frail Liberty are very consistent about one thing. They constantly tell us that there are very few gun owners that commit crimes, statistically speaking. The numbers of massaceres, spousal/S.O. shootings, "accidental discharges" and the rest of the cases that involve people being shot, many of them killed by guns are, according to them, statistically insignificant.
I suppose that they're right. I mean, it was ONLY 28 people who died. More people than that die of natural causes, every single day in a lot of states, not just Connecticut, so there’s nothing special about 28 people dying in one day in the state of Connecticut.
And the guy who did the shooting only shot most of the kids 3-7 times, with an AR-15 (or some variant thereof) according to CT's Chief M.E. Hey, it couldabeen a lot worse. He coulda used a .308 or something that woulda just turned those little kids into humanburger. I mean HUGE fuckin' exit wounds**! And it was only a semi-automatic weapon--NOT A GODDAMNED ASSAULT RIFLE OR MACHINE GUN!--shooting puny little .223 rounds***. So, all those crybaby liebral parents of theirs will get most of their kids' bodies back in big enough chunks to put in a casket. Just imagine what he might have done with his AR converted to full auto with one of them kits you can buy off the internet—wowza! They coulda put them tykes' remains into a Happy Meal box!
There are, according to the news report, about 27,000 people in Newtowne, CT. It is pretty easy to do the math. 27,000 people in the town--27 dead people (we won't count Mr. Lanza, cuz he wasn't murdered). So, it's a measly 1 person per thousand that was killed--that's .001 if you're one of them "stats" geeks.

UPDATE:  That's about 100/100K--a wee bit higher than average for the U.S. killed by teh gunz rate.
Let me type that number, again, .001.  That is a ridiculously small number. And yet the anti-gun people are screeching about the time being NOW to do something about guns.  C’mon, get a grip.
Do you know how many kids drown in bathtubs, every year? Huh, do ya? Well, it’s more than 18, that’s for damn sure.
Do you know what your blood alcohol level’s gotta be to get your license to drive a car yanked (and driving is a privilege not A RIGHT!)?  I didn’t think so.  Well, it’s gotta be at least .01 or more everyplace in the the U.S.  Compare that to .001 and let me know how you want your .0099 change. 
Do you know how many MurKKKan heeroez were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Well, I don’t either, but it was a LOT.
So, now that we have some perspective and know that you’re less likely to die in a Connecticut middle school than you are if you go to Iraq, drink about 8 “40’s” of Budweiser and take the TransAm out for a run or, hey, even take a damned bath****? Well, don’t you feel like a real idiot for sayin’ “Guns are the problem”?
If only that poor woman, Ms. Lanza had had a gun of her own when her deranged son went on his rampage she coulda shot him, before he killed all of those other people. Furthermore…wait, what’s that? She DID have teh gunz and she got shot anyway? So, her gunz musta been locked up somewhere that only she had the ability to open with a key or a combination lock? Right, ummm, apparently not.  Well, who’s gonna expect that their own child would bust a cap on ‘em with their own piece; I mean that prolly happens like, NEVER.  No wait, I know… um, she, she had the gunz out and was just checking to make sure that they were all workin’ okay and her kid (he was a college graduate, prolly from oneathem commieliebral colleges) and had been exposed to allathat anti-gunz rhetoric that they make them teach there. So, he finally saw some gunz and he just SNAPPED, ‘cuz he was never taught how to use teh gunz when he was a babee and now he’s dead because of it.  GODDAMN COMMIE GUNZGRABBERZ!!
Pardon me, I got a little carried away there, but it just overcooks my grits when some friggin’ antigunz sumbitch starts just makin’ shit up to make gunzloonz look bad.
*            Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. Not while Wayne LaPierre is being his selfless self at the helm of the NRA—the only organization keepin’ MurKKKa FREE!
**          Mr. Lanza apparently did shoot his mother in the face to the extent that authorities could not easily identify her.
***        Greg Camp who is the resident arms aficionado, weapons historian, armorer, ballistics expert and human behaviorist (although he does not trust anyathem damned mental health professionals) assures me that the  AR-configured rifle and the many similar weapons that its design influenced is just a carbine, shooting a .22 caliber slug (source: It is not, per Mr. Camp, a “Main Battle Rifle” or “Assault Rifle”.
****     I had some stats from John Lott and Gary Kleck but the dog ate them.


Kevin Wood said...

All due respect to Mr. Camp's supposed expertise, but I'd love to have a few sips of the cactus juice he's been slugging back. The AR-15 is the civilian model of the M-16. It is chambered for the .223 cal / 5.56mm Nato standard bullet. The difference between an M-16 and an AR-15 is that the M-16 (and its descendent, the M-4, the current 'main battle rifle' of the U.S. armed forces)can be fired 'full auto' like a machine gun, while the AR-15 can only be fired as a semi-automatic (only fires as fast as you pull the trigger).

Of course that only makes a difference to the person firing the weapon. Those on the receiving end still get the same sized holes blown in them.

A .223/5.56mm bullet is the same diameter as the little ol' .22 cal plinking popgun that lots of people grew up with. The .22 cal (long rifle, long or short cartridge) is one of the most common calibers of firearm and very useful for keeping the gopher population at bay. You can definitely kill a person with a .22 cal. Hit men love them for execution style murders because they are so common as to be anonymous. But the .22 cal is not intended as a human-killing round. The .223cal/5.56mm on the other hand, is standard high-power military ammo and is intended to be accurate, light enough to carry in large amounts, and high-powered enough to blow softball-to-melon-sized gobbets of flesh out of the human torso.
Any argument that the AR-15 is not a military-style weapon or that it is not designed primarily for shooting people is absolute bullshit.

democommie said...

Dear Kevin:

Have you ever thought of having a radio show in early AM/Drive Time. I thought about having one, but "Morning Commie" isn't as catch as "Morning Wood".

Mr. Camp puts me in mind of the joke that ends with:

"If you scare the shit out of a gunzloon, all that's left is a bandolier and a belt buckle.".