Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If A, then E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y.

Do they not teach logic in college anymore? Over at CNN.com, David Frum strained and grunted at his keyboard, and the following plopped out:
At the same time, people hesitate to own guns themselves because they recognize that keeping a gun in the house is a dangerous thing to do. A gun in the house minimally doubles the risk that a household member will kill himself or herself. (Some studies put the increase in suicide risk as high as 10 times.) An American is 50% more likely to be shot dead by his or her own hand than to be shot dead by a criminal assailant.
Post hoc, ergo propter hockey, to steal a line from Florence King.

Did you know that people who own motorcycles are vastly more likely to belong to biker gangs than people who don't? Sensible Americans stay out of Yamaha dealerships, because they know that buying a motorcycle makes them a thousand times more likely to find themselves kneeling on the floor in a drunken stupor, wearing motor oil crusted denim while a bunch of color-flying barbarians stand in a half-circle and pee on them.

27 comments:

Joseph said...

kneeling on the floor in a drunken stupor, wearing motor oil crusted denim while a bunch of color-flying barbarians stand in a half-circle and pee on them.

Uh, what biker movies are you watching?

og said...

Quick! Someone tell Frum what his penis is likely to make him do and hand him a knife!

Matt said...

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.

Using Frum's logic you could say ...

Being born results in a 100% chance of dying.

The Jack said...

So... he's saying that suicide or accident is more likely than violent attack via the same tool?

Let's see "gun death" due to accidents is quite low statistically, and can be controlled for by obeying the safety rules.

As for suicide that's also something a person can avoid by conscious choice.

What's a bit harder is "choosing" not to be hit up by a criminal assailant.

But yeah, guns make things more dangerous.

It's like how parachuters would be a lot safer off if they didn't buy those nasty parachutes.

staghounds said...

It's taught, but in the icky, uncool Math department.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I'd point and shout, "Metrocon!" but he hasn't been the con for half a decade at least.

Hmmm...

point METROSQUISH!

Better.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Og should get an Internet.

Weer'd Beard said...

"Uh, what biker movies are you watching?"

Since Tam's a book worm, I suspect its more on the line of Dr. Hunter Stockton Thompson's debut best seller "Hell's Angels", which does describe all of the above...of course Thompson was well known, and fairly open about playing things VERY fast and loose with facts.

Stuart the Viking said...

Correction.... Having a gun does not make someone 50% more likely to commit sucide. It makes them 50% more likely to use a gun WHEN they commit suicide. Taking the gun out of the equasion wouldn't appreciably change the suicide rate (other than maybe a few more failures). Someone who truely is ready to "check out" is going to find a way. Those who aren't really committed to the idea don't use something as deadly as a gun, they go for something stupid like scarfing down the entire medicine cabinet.

s

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"Do they not teach logic in college anymore?"

Only as an elective, except for certain majors (philosophy, and, as staghounds mentions, math). Depending on class enrollment and department size, it may not be available for non-majors at all.

It should be required in high school, but I guess that's just another good example of how our educational system is failing us.

Anonymous said...

"An American is 50% more likely to be shot dead by his or her own hand than to be shot dead by a criminal assailant."

Well, the problem is obvious, as is the solution.

HAND CONTROL!!!

Only the government is smart enough to use hands. Hands can only be licensed for the elite few who have proper training and whom we like. Yours may not be out of your pockets at any time.

Goatroper

Matt said...

If you decide to kill yourself, and you have a gun, you'll probably shoot yourself. Which will make a hell of a mess, annoy some paramedics, and grieve your family. But the mess, the paramedics, and the grieving family are going to all happen anyway, since you've decided to be a dick and kill yourself, so let's put them aside for now.

If you decide to kill yourself, but you _don't_ have a gun, you're going to need to use some other method. Annoyingly, an awful lot of popular gun-alternatives for those wishing to buy an express ticket to the hereafter not only involve the absolutely inevitable mess, paramedics, and grief, but also massive amounts of pain and inconvenience inflicted upon COMPLETE STRANGERS, who have done NOTHING to you, and DON'T DESERVED TO BE PUNISHED just because you're tired of life.

You could, for example, throw yourself in front of a train, and thereby potentially reduce an entire city's traffic grid to utter chaos for HOURS while folks clean up after you. Or you could jump off an overpass, accomplishing much the same objective while also probably giving lifetimes worth of nightmares to dozens of kids riding in nearby cars. Or a building. Buildings are always fun...make sure a bunch of people just trying to do their jobs have to evacuate, and then they'll all get to watch you go *splat*, along with the folks just out doing their shopping or whatever.

No, no...compared to that, I'm in FAVOR of people committing suicide with guns!

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Suicide is, of course, the ultimate selfish act.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, the Kellerman Fallacy! Our beloved scrupulous academics at New England Journal of Medicine popularized this particular line of manure so many years ago. Using this same line of reasoning, the only measure of firearm efficacy in (law abiding) civilian hands, is deceased malefactors. Therefore, any use of a firearm that does not result in the demise of the assailant is of no value (except to the wielder of that firearm, who avoided any injury to anyone. Since such a person, by definition[lacking their own bodyguard or personal protection detail] is a proletarian, they are therefore not worthy of consideration and are themselves of no value).

BTW, is this the same CNN that today cited the Aurora Horror's apartment as being full of, and I now quote, "homemade IEDs"? Would that be different from store bought IEDs? Or am I missing something? (1d10ts!)

DirtCrashr said...

Yamaha riders do WHAT???? Is there some secret "Fight Club" for V-Max riders or something?

Randy said...

Like many of those here, I was struck by the stat that somebody who lives in a house where a gun is stored is two to ten times more likely to kill themselves. I followed the link and they do mean ANY suicide, not just killed by the evil stored gun. Not wanting to register for it, I didn't look at the study where that came from. But it made me wonder. Assuming it's true (a BIG assumption) are there other common items that increase the likelyhood of suicide? If I read of a study that said people with televisions in their house are twice as likely to kill themselves I would probably say that makes sense. Does it mean we should regulate TVs? I seem to remember hearing that people who own dogs are LESS likely to commit suicide. Clearly we should pass a law that requires dog ownership. Makes as much sense to me.

Sigivald said...

An American is 50% more likely to be shot dead by his or her own hand than to be shot dead by a criminal assailant.

Nice sleight of hand there, Mr. Frum.

Suicides are plainly caused by having a gun, I guess? Because there's no substitution of methods, and after the Ropey-No-Killy Act of 2010, it's the only method left that can work, right?

I invite him to check suicide rates vs. methods around the world and in gun-available vs. non-available areas, and then try and tell me with a straight face that that argument holds a drop of water.

(I've had a friend commit suicide with a gun. Turns out he was suicidal, and if it hadn't been a gun, it'd have been a rope.

Which I've had another friend commit suicide by.

Somehow, I don't think we should have a mental health check at the hardware store...)

ToddG said...

premiss A: Americans have an x% chance to be killed with a firearm

premiss B: according to Frum, if I own a gun (0.6*x) is the odds I'll be killed "by my own hand" and (0.4*x) is the odds I'll be killed by someone else with a gun.

Conclusion: If I both own a gun and avoid killing myself with it, the likelihood I'll be killed by someone else with a gun is 60% less than the average American.

:cool:

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason to follow the BBC series Top Gear is that you learn such great additions to the language, such as "girl's blouse", as in "David Frum is a big girl's blouse."

Mike James

DirtCrashr said...

Is that a Big Girl or...?

hooper said...

I can play this game...

If gun owners are so much more likely to kill themselves with guns, then they are less likely to kill themselves with knives and medicines.

So the non gun-owning population are more dangerous to themselves with such things. Therefore, there should be tighter controls on knives and medicines for non gun owners than for gun owners.

ToddG said...

hooper is on to something!

If gun owners are so much more likely to kill themselves, then they are less likely to grow up and need Social Security. So the gun owners shouldn't have to pay as much FICA.

If gun owners are much more likely to die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds, then they are less likely to die in automobile accidents. So gun owners should pay less for auto insurance.

Who else has one?

Billll said...

Ah the legendary "crash and burn" in which the first person to pass out drunk at the weekend bash is sprinkled with lighter fluid, ignited, then extinguished with recycled beer from his mates.

Nothing says bonding like your bro's willingness to put you out while you're lying there burning.

48 years of riding bikes and I've never seen or reliably heard of this happening. Of course I may have fallen in with the wrong crowds...

Will said...

That may have something to do with your bros not being able to reliably piss on the floor, let alone a smaller target, when the group reaches the point of falling down drunk!

TinCan Assassin said...

Sensible Americans stay out of Yamaha dealerships, because they know that buying a motorcycle makes them a thousand times more likely to find themselves kneeling on the floor in a drunken stupor, wearing motor oil crusted denim while a bunch of color-flying barbarians stand in a half-circle and pee on them.

That sounds like something from college...

Wraith said...

Quick! Someone tell Frum what his penis is likely to make him do and hand him a knife!

Og FTW. You, sir, will never buy your own beer when I'm around. :D

Grumpy Old Fart said...

Post hoc, ergo propter hockey

My cat had four paws.
My cat is dead.
Socrates is dead.
Therefore Socrates must have had four paws.