Global Gun Deaths

Nobody asked but …

Recently the Appeal to Authority Logic Fallacy has been foisted off on readers of publications, on the Web and off.  Google “global gun deaths.”  This looks like an annual proclamation — global gun deaths at 250,000.  The latest flurry of stories stem from a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  Through some sleight of mind, the compilers leave out direct explication of war-related deaths.

As flawed as the study itself is (read the methodology), its focus is a distraction as well.  Do a Google search for the latest global traffic fatalities — 5 times greater.  Do another for worldwide death by heart disease — over 70 times greater; by alcohol — 13 times greater; and by cancer — more than 35 times greater.  Shall we ban vehicles, internal organs, booze, and carcinogens?

There is a reason for the proverbial ranking of statistics as worse than damned lies.  They are, by definition, cherry-picked to make a case for a pre-conceived notion.

There are no gunshot death statistics, of any real use.  If there are X number of gunshot deaths, then there are X number of heartbreaking and tragic stories.  X is too big whatever it is.

That’s the perspective we need.  And while you are at it, check out the Wikipedia article, “Modern wars with greater than 25,000 deaths … .”

Our problem is not guns, it is people believing they should kill one another.

— Kilgore Forelle

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