Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hoist On Their Own Stats

There's a lot of hand-wringing in the paper over the recent shooting; make no mistake, it is a tragedy, all the more so in that the perp remains at large. In today's paper, it reached a new level of drama, taking over nearly all the front page.

In one corner, a USA Toduh-style graphic, a histogram, asks "How Can Indianapolis Stop Gun Violence? Experts wish they could give an easy answer, but there isn't one." The graphic shows homicides per year, with a line to show how many involved firearms[1]:
2006: 150 (124 shot)
2007: 124 (86)
2008: 123 (91)
2009: 106 (77)
2010: 74 (61) [to date]
...A note tells us "homicides" include police-action shootings[2], accidental deaths and self-defense.

Class, can anyone tell me what the trend line of this escalating spiral of death might be? All of you? Yes, that's right: down. The murder rate in Indianapolis is decreasing.

I'm not sure how the experts have missed this; certainly it never occurred to Our Fine Local Newspaper[3] to correlate the downward trend they appear to have overlooked with the improvements in our gun laws, like lifetime carry permits and the "gun in your car" law. And of course, in the article itself, they're referring to "gun violence"[1, again] as the problem, even while admitting what's needed are "multifaceted approaches that address the root causes, beyond calls by some groups for stronger gun-control laws..." [emphasis mine]. Gee, y'mean criminals ignore gun laws? Who'd'a thunk? And crime has causes more complex than simply access to the tools with which to commit 'em? Stunning insight!

Indiana has made it easier for the law-abiding individual to obtain and carry firearms. Murders are trending down. The paper can't see the connection and wants to Do Something. $DIETY help us all.
1. So much nicer and more preferable to be beaten to death with a croquet mallet or brickbat?

2. It's macabre of me but the phrase always has me wondering if that means the victim was shot in Vietnam?

3. Layout and design outsourced to Louisville.


Old Grouch said...

It's called "Never let accurate reporting get in the way of promoting the agenda." Gannnett is institutionally in favor of firearms restrictions, ergo all Gannett coverage will spin that way.

The fact that they included police action and self-defense shootings (both quite different from either setting out to kill someone or engaging in crime with murder as your backup plan) in their "homicide" figures demonstrates how egregious is their spin. (I'm surprised they didn't include deaths in traffic accidents where there was a gun within 50 feet of the car.)

Anonymous said...

Police-action shootings transpire in Korea.

International-war-against-communist-aggression shootings occur in Viet Nam. It's this whole other country.

Shootin' Buddy

Ian Argent said...

Police actions and self-defense shootings are both examples of homicides. Justifiable in almost all cases, of course

Chuck Pergiel said...

I ran across a page of gun death statistics and I was surprised at how many there were. What was more surprising was the majority were due to suicide.

idahohunter said...

Recently I heard a 911 call from a woman hiding somewhere in the building while the shootings were taking place. She was told to stay where she was, and wait for the police to come. Good advice. BUT, I cant't help but wonder if she might have felt safer, if she had been holding a pistol. I would have.