Saturday, June 09, 2007

More of the Dolt

I found this piece over at the usual suspect's place since he/she/ it has been trolling me, and of course, he/she/it has it all wrong, again.

Jade seems to think that quoting noted gun hater David Hemenway (Laugh!), who questions the work of Gary Kleck on his "methodologies" is a great way of refuting his arguments about the number of justifiable uses of force by citizens. I couldn't care any less about what is being argued here, whether it be "defensive uses" and/or how many times these "DGU's" result in "gun deaths", since I tend to discredit these "studies" out of hand. My experience tells me that very few of these "studies" have any merit at all, and are stacked before the "testing" for a certain outcome. This is because of a notable lack of the application of the scientific method. Conclusions can not be considered reliable in these cases, and considering how most of these studies get funded, they are nothing more than partisan hack jobs for a predictable talking point. Nothing more.

Jade's supposed "proof" lies in quoting yet another statistical piece known as the FBI Uniform Crime Report. The pertinent part of his/her/its argument is in Table 14, and shows the number of justified homicides by citizens that the FBI claims have occured.

Well, I really have a hard time believing this number is accurate. I mean, fewer than 300 per year for the good guys? I was expecting something along the lines of a couple thousand, but to see a paltry 192 for the last year of complete numbers left me thinking that we need more practice folks. Well, I'm a sporting sort of guy, so, for the sake of argument, let's allow it to stand on its own, for just one minute.

Next, just for fun, let's look at another catagory, and it just so happens to be conveniently placed right next to the former table that we just reviewed. Its title is, Justifiable Homicide by Weapon, Law Enforcement, and the numbers aren't looking so good for Jade's argument, either, as it seems that the long arm of the law is only marginally higher in its efficacy in summary on-site executions of cretins. Again, too bad, since I really like reading about how the bad guys got whacked, but, I'll just have to take what I can get.

Actually, when considering that run-ins with hoodlums is kinda, ya know, part of the job description and all, I would have thought that the number woulda been quite a bit higher for the cops. I'm really reconsidering my position about letting the cops have guns, at all, since, well, the numbers tend to prove that the cops don't really need them either, right? (Snark alert)

Good apples to apples comparison is always a good thing, I think, and yet another reason as to why looking at what are obviously cooked numbers (Hint for the Clueless on this, they ALL are.) is an extremely poor method for the basis of any argument. ANY statistician worth his salary will tell you exactly the same thing.

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