Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Common Facebook Postings: Are we going to ban hands and feet?

Maybe, I'm the only one.  But I have a lot of Facebook friends who like to post political stuff from various groups or sites that they follow/like on Facebook. Sometimes I comment on them and then unfollow because 9.9 times out of 10, they will comment without any facts backing them up.  Or if it is about taxes, I guarantee they will only focus on talking about income taxes.  Sorry, another story for another time. 



I'm sure you've seen this picture.  PolitiFact looked at the claim made on this picture. They found that the claim was true.  Or to put it more accurately, minus a small typo on the number of people murdered with hands or feet and only saying clubs or hammers, it was factually correct.  Here's the FBI stats. 

Now.  I will tell you what I disagree with in this post. 

1. Clubs or Hammers?  The FBI lists the category as blunt objects which includes clubs or hammers.  It could include any blunt object.  Another variaton of this picture lists hammers and bats or just hammers as the blunt object category.  It's catchy to say that, but it is incorrect.  Not a really important point but could a blunt object also be a firearm? I mean if somebody beats you with a gun, as opposed to shooting, what category does that fall in?  Oh well. You're comparing a bigger category than just hammers or just bats to just rifles.

2.  You're comparing apples and bananas.  I hate the phrase apples and oranges.  Sorry. But this relates to the first point.  We're comparing a broad category to a smaller category.  How many people are killed by switchblades compared to rifles?  Or how about just hammers?  Or how about baseball bats?  We don't know.  But we do know that the number of people killed by knives (of all kinds) compared to each category of gun, rifle, shotgun, handgun, other guns, and firearm not stated.  It would be a better comparison to compare knives to guns.  Knives: 1694.  Firearms: 8583.  Hmmm....scoreboard?

3. Handguns dwarf all of the other categories.  Handguns had 6220.  Of a total of 12664.  Shotguns had 356, rifles had 323, other guns were 97.  Finally, firearms, not stated, are almost as deadly as knives with a murder toll of 1587.  Which brings me to an important question.

4. What the hell are firearms not stated?  I guess, they could be any firearms.   

5. The death toll of a weapon doesn't necessarily relate to how dangerous the weapon is.  For instance, 0 people were killed by nuclear weapons last year.  Does that mean that they are any less dangerous than any of the weapons listed by the FBI?  I would assume, you're saying no.  Or how about biological weapons?  0 people, according to the FBI.  But again, we don't think that they're less dangerous because they're not killing people.  But, all of a sudden, when guns are involved we ignore how we treat more dangerous weapons and rely on a flawed argument. 

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