The Gun Death Fallacy

By Elijah [The Inside Edge] - Recently, a tragedy took place in Omaha, Nebraska where He Who Shall Not Be Named shot and killed 8 people in another massacre at a "Gun Free Zone". I was moved almost to tears by the tragedy but that quickly turned to anger as predictably the scum of the earth came out of the mud and unashamedly began to exploit the families' and the nations' grief and shock. Predictably this took the form for a call for gun control.

This issue is a wide ranging one but for this particular post I want to focus on one particular argument advanced by the gun-grabbers that comes up time and time again, and predictably is false. I call it the Gun Death Fallacy.

The argument is of the form "If one population has a higher number of gun deaths than another it follows that guns are the problem and that society is more unsafe". This on the surface appears to be correct, right? If more people are dying by guns then there must be a problem with them right? However a proper examination will conclude it is selective statistics and therefore does not reflect the underlying truth.

To begin let us consider two populations of equal size A & B having 100,000 people in each. This is for simplicity's sake so we don't work with proportions. Secondly, human nature being as it is, suppose both populations have a homicide problem. Suppose A has 140 gun deaths per year while B has 78. Now it appears that A has a more homicides per year. However let's look at Total Homicides. A has 210 while B has 379. Now the picture changes doesn't it. Clearly population B has the bigger problem, not population A.

PopulationTotal NumberNumber of gun deaths per yearNumber of homicides per year

Hence, the entire argument is a fallacy, because more gun deaths could occur while the overall homicide rate is lower. Thus the argument is false and should not be used.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments containing Chinese characters will not be published as I do not understand them