Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Is it really guns?

A colleague of mine has recently posted this piece of creative journalism, the author is quit selective as to which comments he allows to be visible, so I'll be publishing my response right here:

Before getting to the real matter, he expresses his discontentment towards the mainstream media, who are -according to him- instilling an unjustified xenophobia into the American public. I don't know how you feel about that, but I felt rather insulted, and if you've got a functioning brain, you should too!
Oh well, you'd think he'd have insulted your intelligence badly enough by then? Read on ...

"We have more guns stolen from their owners---about 300,000 annually--than many countries have gun owners. [Take a minute to get your head around THAT]! In Great Britain, Australia, and Japan, where gun ownership is severely restricted, no more than a few dozen people are killed each year by handguns. In the United States, where private citizens own a quarter-billion guns, around 15,000 are killed, 18,000 commit suicide, and another 1,500 die accidentally from firearms."

Where to start? Let's ignore the fact that he's citing countries that are quite a bit smaller in terms of population than the US, what bothers me is that he doesn't manage to stick to the point in a single paragraph, or even be remotely clear about what he means.
15 000 are killed! Wait, killed ... does than include those 1.500 accidents? It can't include the suicides (most of which are on their second try, check the recommended reading if you wish), does it include people killed in self defense, criminals killed by police officers, criminals killed in violent confrontation with other criminals (gang warfare is not a pretty picture, don't get caught in there) ... ?
Makes you wonder, I bet those "couple of dozen gun deaths in the other countries" is a manipulated figure too, I'd check it out, but it's too vague to even guess where that came from.

"American children are twelve times more likely to die from gun injuries than are youngsters in other industrialized nations.

Other nations ... which ones? Afraid to say which one?
Maybe you mean the UK? No, I guess not then. Also, if you've read through the gun facts, you'll know that those American children are predominantly over 18 years of age and involved in violent crime, or emotionally abandoned victims of suicide.

The rest of the post basically revolves around the idea: "no school shootings without guns"
Well, back in the day when you could order a gun in from a sears catalogue or just pick one up from a local shop (or gas station) without fingerprinting, background check or waiting period, there weren't any school shootings to speak of, so go bark up another tree.

"You probably also don't remember that the vast bulk of the school shooters emerge in rural areas where gun ownership and the gun nut culture more generally is widespread."

Gun nut culture? ... oh well, let's consult the Brady campaign about this shall we:
That's a map listing a great deal of high profile killings ... Littleton Colorado was pretty rural yes, but not too many other school shooting around, are there? Looks like a wide gaping void in just those places where my so called "gun nut culture" is the strongest. No sorry, once again, you've got things backwards.
I'm citing the Brady campaign here to back me up, go figure how far you are from the truth.

Facing by a person who refers to me as a racist, violent gun extremist is one thing, but this same person denies me the right to respond to his blog directly, yet he claims I'm the one who shies from facts and freedom of speech.
Well Mister


Anonymous said...

.... *Slowly claps*

Consider the comment deletion a complement.

You owned the other blogger, and he didn't want people to think he didn't know what he was talking about.

miron said...

Completely and 100% true. People really need to show their figures on these things, otherwise they lose all credibility and have to resort on how the article looks and sounds to regain it.
I also like how he completely covered his page in obscure political cartoons.