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Gun Control Proponents Telling Half Truths, Says Politifact

More half-truths being peddled by the antis are being exposed by fact checkers. This time it’s Lori Haas of the Coalition to Stop Gun Ownership. The claimed that in states with bans on private transfers, 49% fewer women are shot and killed. The actual number is 38% fewer, but the experts that Politifact spoke with cautioned against cause and effect. For instance, Gary Kleck pointed out:

“States do not randomly pass gun laws — those that pass gun laws are different in many ways from those that do not,” Kleck, who has studied the impact of background checks on homicide rates, said in an email. “For obvious political reasons, it’s easier to enact stricter gun laws in states with fewer gun-owning voters. Thus, states that extended background checks to private gun transfers had lower gun ownership rates even before those laws were passed. Likewise, states with stricter gun laws are more urban, less likely to be Southern or Western (and thus culturally different), more politically liberal etc. You can’t isolate the effect of a gun law without controlling for other violence-related factors.”

I would think the proper study to do is an interrupted time-series analysis, where you measure the rate before and after the law was passed. Now we have new laws in Delaware, Washington, and Colorado. I’d bet good money that it will have almost no effect on the crime rates in those states, outside of broader trends. Criminals either buy guns on the streets, or they use straw buyers. Banning private sales won’t affect either.

6 Responses to “Gun Control Proponents Telling Half Truths, Says Politifact”

  1. Alpheus says:

    There’s another issue that I couldn’t help but notice was completely ignored: the focus on women “shot and killed”. What happens to the numbers when we include things like death by clubbing, stabbing, strangulation, or drowning?

    As an example, there was a recent high-profile case in Utah, where a doctor was convicted of drugging and drowning his wife. (In this case he actually encouraged his wife to have plastic surgery she didn’t want, and then gave her doses of medication beyond what she should have had, and then made sure she “accidentally” drowned in a bathtub.) Had this death occurred in a State that was examined, this death wouldn’t have counted!

    Depending on how the numbers pan out, this is likely another classic “Any death but gun death is Ok by me!” study.

    • Brad says:

      That’s a good question. The overall numbers for weapons and murder are pretty well known, but how does that data break down by gender? It wouldn’t surprise me if the numbers for women are extremely skewed compared to the total averages.

      Seeing as our enemies seem hyper focused on pushing gun-control in terms of the interest of women (perhaps in coordination with a Hillary 2016 campaign theme?), we need to have ready access to the gender data so we can more effectively rebut some of the agitprop from the anti-gunners.

      • HSR47 says:

        They’re trying to phrase the question in terms of “gun deaths” and I think the answer is to investigate to what degree, if any, rephrasing it in terms of “actual deaths disregarding implement” changes the picture.

        The way to win is to quickly counterclaim that examination of said crime rates without regard to the tool used shows that areas with broad/heavy-handed (read: unconstitutional) arms control laws actually have HIGHER death rates, not lower. THEN make the emotional point that our opponents DON’T actually care about lives or women, they just care about guns.

        They think that they can win if they make us look like heartless bastards, and the best response is to prove that THEY are the cold, heartless bastards.

  2. Brad says:

    Can we split the enemy by pointing out the irrelevance of background checks for private party transfers of longarms?

    I don’t mean we should throw pistol owners under the bus, like a Fudd would do, but as a media tool to scramble the ‘crime control’ claims of the background check proponents.

    Heck, if the anti-gunners get away with just making stuff up, we should try some of our own WAG too. I think it is perfectly reasonable to claim that more than 90% of all private party transfers are to someone who already owns a firearm. Making a background check on such a person completely pointless.

    • Alpheus says:

      I think it would be best if we could come up with solid numbers, rather than make them up from thin air: I’ve noticed a trend that the Media is actually occasionally fact-checking anti-gun statistics. What would happen to our cause, if we started doing the same thing?

      But it would be nice to know such things, though. It would go a long way in keeping things in perspective!

      • HSR47 says:

        I agree: Occasionally, the media fact-checks our opponents and decides that the results are newsworthy. Given that the media tends to be almost wholly in the tank for the other side, we should always assume that they will fact-check every claim we make, and that they will use any false claim/made-up statistic against us.

        Our opponent merely needs to not piss off too many reporters to get away with their lies and half-truths; We, on the other hand, MUST be squeaky-clean 100% of the time to avoid being figuratively crucified.

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