Via The Gun Wire:
Freedom-hating-foreigner-given-voice-in-American-mass-media Piers Morgan was obsessing over Americans’ excessive freedom again on his show this week:
Politifact, a site with a wide reputation as the arbiter of the truth, or lack thereof, of statements made by politicians, pundits, and the like, gave its “ruling”:
Bloom said, “Americans are 20 times as likely to die from gun violence as citizens of other civilized countries.”
Her phrasing is imperfect (“civilized” countries versus “developed”), and depending on what countries you count you can reach a slightly different figure. But Bloom’s point is well-sourced and largely accurate. The United States has a much higher rate of the [sic] world’s most developed countries. We rate her statement Mostly True.
No, this is mostly a lie. It’s very interesting to me, that a site that has based its reputation on its honesty, and its assessments of others’ honesty, is willing to let this deception via statistical chicanery pass without comment. Politifact is putting its imprimatur of truth on what is essentially a lie.
Leftists always avoid proper context when they’re gun-grabbing. The proper comparison is rates of death attributed to violence, not guns. Then, after correcting for socioeconomic factors, demographics, and other important variables, we could see if our (relatively) liberal gun laws were driving up violence. They’re not. If we compare apples to apples, i.e., the white American population to the white populations of western Europe (or populations of overwhelmingly white western European countries), we see that violent death rates are quite similar, even when comparing with countries with draconian gun laws.
In 2006 the Department of Justice issued a report on violent felons in large urban counties. It covered the period from 1990 to 2002, and included the 75 most populous counties in the United States. The study accounted for over half of all the murders in the United States in the covered period.
Revealed in the study was a simple breakdown of the demographics of the murderers that is not commonly available. Murderers were divided into three groups. Blacks were the most numerous at 46%. Hispanics were next at 27 percent. Non-Hispanic whites were last at 23 percent.
While the study does not account for all murders in the period studied, it accounts for more than half and almost certainly slightly understates the percentages of Black murderers, because the latest FBI statistics (for 2010) show that when all the murders in the U.S are taken into account, the percentage of Black murderers is over 53 percent.
Where does that lead us? If we take the 23 percent figure for non-Hispanic whites to be representative for the entire population (remember, it is likely a good bit lower), then the number of murders committed by non-Hispanic and non-black people in the United States for 2010 would be 2989.
The population of non-Hispanic whites for 2010 was 196.8 million. Applying the 2989 murders to this population gives a murder rate of 1.52 per 100,000 population. We cannot get a more precise figure unless we have more demographic data than that given. Asian-Americans, for example, have historically had very low murder rates, but we do not have the data. The 1.52 per 100,000 murder rate is right in the middle of the murder rate of developed European countries. Add the Black and Hispanic numbers back into the mix and apply to the entire United States population, and the murder rate goes up to 4.8 per 100,000. Guns or gun control simply do not correlate to higher murder rates, particularly when you consider that non-Hispanic Whites own guns at much higher rates than do Blacks or Hispanics in the United States.
Leftists want to create an association between liberal gun laws and high violent death rates because they don’t like guns, and they’re upset about black and brown violent crime. Sorry, but we patriotic Americans can’t let you trample our rights, especially not based on a lie: America’s violent crime problem is a black and brown violent crime problem. White Americans living under liberal gun laws are no more likely to kill one another, or be killed, than western Europeans living under draconian gun laws are.
Politifact is giving grist for the mill to any conservative who doesn’t like their site, or its reputation as the arbiter of truth. The truth is, “gun homicide rate” is a useless statistic. Let’s leave aside the fact that it includes suicides, accidental shootings, and lawful self-defense homicides; the fact remains, aside from agenda-driven gun-grabbers and Constitution-haters, no one really cares if a homicide is committed with a gun, or with a knife, baseball bat, improvised bludgeon, household tool, or fists. Dead is dead, and limiting the conversation to only death by gun is tendentious and deceptive.
Of course, Politifact’s refusal to allow comments is probably exhibit A in how interested they are in truth, or fact-finding.
P.S., note that “Bloom” is a Jewish surname. Ever notice how often Jewish surnames are attached to freedom hating, Constition-hating, 2nd-Amendment-hating gun-grabbers? I do, but that’s a topic for another post.