Monday, September 17, 2018

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli supposedly uttered the famous saying "There are two kinds of lies, damned lies and statistics". but it was popularized by Mark Twain.  And in less dramatic form, it is the subject of today's post, using  Shooting Holes in Agenda Journalism by John David Powell over at the American Thinker as a jumping off point.

Powell notes that while some of this type of journalism may indeed be "fake news," he wants to avoid the inevitable judgement of the story itself.  Such judgments tend to raise prejudices in people before they have read and digested the story.  Of course, what Powell should realize is that his article is "singing to the choir" and is unlikely to be read by a liberal or leftist of any stripe simply because of where he chose to publish it.  In any case, let's get into the article, shall we?
The Huffington Post ran such a piece last week called “Gun owners more likely to vote than non-gun owners.” Do not accuse me of journalism profiling, because I believe even the editors of the HuffPost would eagerly agree they have a decidedly leftward tilt in their views of events. So, yeah, the agenda was pretty clear, as was my need to lean way over to starboard while reading to keep from falling out of my chair.
So the article gives the agenda driven statistic that the USA has the highest percentage of the civilian population in the world owning guns, which is true, I am proud to say. It is estimated, and probably true that we own 90 guns for every 100 people. I also consider that statistic a good thing, but it can sound pretty scary if you are one of those with squirrels running around in your head (and the number of such people makes me somewhat scared.) So let's break those statistics down a little further.
About 29 percent of the USA population owns 100 percent of the guns. That comes to around 95 million Americans owning some type of firearm. Subtracting the youngsters from that total population of the US raises the ratio of adults who own at least one gun to nearly four out of ten. Put another way, about six out of ten adults do not own even one firearm.
But wait, there’s more. A Pew Charitable Trust study found three percent of those adults, or 7.3 million, individually own between eight and 140 guns, which means two percent of the entire USA population owns half of the guns in the country. That is a big difference from nine firearms for every 10 persons. Both numbers are correct, but one really tilts the scales to the left.
So, while you and I are being fed the 90 out of 100 statistic, the real statistic is that only 40% pf the population owns any sort of firearm, And we can assume that the size of the committed is around 5-8 million, as that is the membership of the NRA. and the truly committed, those who will call and write their Congress Critters is much smaller than that. So is it any wonder that Congress has not acted on HR 38, the bill to make concealed carry permits treated more as driver's licenses? Congress knows these statistics even if we do not.

Well, all that is interesting, and I would rather know the truth, even if it is depressing, than be fed a steady diet of happy sounding lies.  But there is more at stake here.  The founders placed into the Constitution, the highest law in the land, a provision that the government was not to infringe our right to keep and bear arms.  It didn't matter if a minority did so, and the right does not depend on a majority vote.  It was placed in the Constitution as a doomsday article.  But we are in danger of having a Supreme Court that "interprets" the right out of practical existence.  This is where getting Bret Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court is paramount.  If you haven't already, call, or write your Senators that you want Kavanaugh confirmed before the midterms.  Its important.

No comments:

Post a Comment