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