Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Carefully now...

You know how we like to make fun of the other side in the gun control debate for using massaged, dubious, or outright bogus statistics?

Gun-control wish-fulfillment types will lump toddlers and 18-y.o. drug dealing bangers together as "children killed by gun violence", put suicides in with homicides even though anybody serious enough to suck-start a Mossberg is serious enough to play kiss-the-locomotive or take a half-gainer off the nearest bridge, and mindlessly parrot Kellerman's "43 times more likely..." nonsense despite the fact that it's been more thoroughly debunked than the Ptolemaic system.

Thus it's especially saddening to see somebody on our side say "Oh, yeah? Well if gun control is so effective, how come a dozen people get murdered in Chicago every Saturday night?" or somesuch.

A dozen people every Saturday? Really? That doesn't make you think to yourself "Wow, twelve times fifty-two... That's a lot! Maybe I should use this giant system of interlinked computers in front of me to double check that number..."

Leave the questionable statistics to the other guys.


Armed Texan said...

The difference is that Chicago is working very hard to make our POMA* statistics correct.

*Pulled Out of My A$$.

Boat Guy said...

Point taken. Still, if logic and fact were sufficient we'da won this argument long before now.
We SHOULD hold ourselves to a higher standard, but it's still mud wrestling with a pig - or as I read recently, playing chess with a a pigeon; they just crap all over the board and knock the pieces over...

perlhaqr said...

8.134 a week, last year.

It's not a dozen every saturday, but it's still pretty goddamn crazy.

Tango said...


The above says 300 since Jan 1 (Article was posted Aug 1). Since we've had 31 weeks in the year so far, that's just over 9 murders a week. It doesn't say which implements were used in the murders, however.

Tango said...

According to the above link, 75% of homicides in 2005 took place with a firearm. If we push that to 2012, 31 weeks have us seeing approximately 225 firearm caused deaths.

Anonymous said...

Based on watching Chicago news (from back when I had that dirty habit), a dozen a weekend sounds right.

Wayne said...


504is the projected number, which is not quite 12x52, but it's in the infield.

Anonymous said...

It probably works out to twelve a week if you factor in the one week-end a month, right after welfare checks come out, as their "day off".

Tam said...


"504is the projected number, which is not quite 12x52, but it's in the infield."

So Chicagoans only kill each other on Saturdays, then? ;)

Robert Fowler said...

Check out Second City Cop.

He keeps a good tally on the shootings and other mischief. I think I read yesterday that last Saturday the were 2 dead and 10 wounded. What a screwed up place.

Rob K said...

We should be scrupulous with our use of statistics, `cause there's no need for us to fudge. The truth of the matter lies so squarely on our side.


Illinois had 8.7 murders per week on average in 2010, which works out to a little more than twice Indiana's rate of 3.8 murders per week. Illinois has not quite twice (1.97) Indiana's population. For 2010 Illinois' murder rate per 100K is 3.5; Indiana's is 3.0.

It's pretty obvious their gun control measures just don't help them.

cj said...

Slight correction..."Gun-control wish-fulfillment types will lump toddlers and 18-y.o. drug dealing bangers..."

According to GunFacts (with an FBI pointer to their stats):
"This “statistic” includes “children” up to age 19 or 24, depending on the source."

Stranger said...

Four dead and 24 wounded last Friday night to Monday morning, per the updated story at the Chicago Sun Times:


Chicago's Redeye keeps an Emanuel count that has been running about 13 percent (or 7/8ths of the total count) below reality. 305 was Redeye's number as of 7/31/12. The unofficial count was 345.

My guess is an official count of 480 and a real count of 550 for 2012. With the persistent loss of population, the rate's getting pretty high.


mikee said...

Murder rates in Chicago, like everywhere else in the US, are measures of some of the number of people shot, namely those who die, but they ignore those shot who survive, those who are shot at but missed, and those who run away before the shooting starts.

Good stats on criminal gun use should include AT LEAST the total number of people shot and hit by criminals, because very few of those shootings were meant to be anything other than murders.

Correct murder stats would include all criminal gun uses, from threats without shots fired all the way up to deaths.

Apropos of nothing at all, Chicago has excellent ERs and trauma centers. Where else (overseas military service aside) are surgeons getting the opportunities to learn how best to sew up those types of holes? Other than Philly, I mean.

Tango said...

Excellent Trauma Centers.

"Practice makes perfect"?

Blackwing1 said...

Tam, it's a well-known fact that 95% of all statistics used in an argument are made up on the spot.

Steve Skubinna said...

You shouldn't exaggerate. That's what gets everybody killed.

Stranger said...

Mikee, the problem is that only two thirds of homicides and a much smaller percentage of shootings are "solved by arrest." And an arrest is by no means an actual indication of guilt. In some jurisdictions a conviction is no indication of guilt.

So while every shooting incident should be properly identified and labeled, the data does not exist to do that. It's like the queries for "2011 homicides by country by month" I keep getting. There is no answer, because there is no data.


Murphy's Law said...

There's a reverse argument, too. Every year, the National Matches run at Camp Perry, Ohio for a month. Every day, thousands of shooters from around the world are there, each with at least one gun. No one ever gets shot at Camp Perry. Wonder why that is.

Steve Skubinna said...

Murphy, you could apply that question to a gun shop. Most of the staff and customers carrying, surrounded by guns, and how often is there a shootout?

The Brady Bunch always - ALWAYS! - screams that we'll be shooting each other over parking spaces if allowed to carry. How many parking lot shootouts happen in front of gun stores?

global village idiot said...

I take Lott's position. Arguing statistics is a sucker's game.

If I throw a statistic at a dedicated victim-disarmament activist, he or she will throw one back at me. It gets nowhere.

I have yet to get a satisfatory response (other than "Well, you're just a racist" which is as close to a forfeit as you'll get) to the following:

So you're okay with every criminal between State Line Road and the Mississippi River an
ironclad guarantee, backed by the full faith, credit and enforcement power of the State of Illinois, that their victims will be defenseless. You're for letting 75 year old men and women be at the mercy of 250-pound thugs. Is that really what you're okay with?

Hits 'em right in the wheelhouse.