David Burkhead: Irrelevant Statistic for Emotional Appeal

Pick a long enough period of time (they chose 46 years for the US) and the same kind of statement could be made about any country for any cause of death. Another meaningless appeal to emotion.

Also missing is noting that since a peak in 1992-3, violent crime of all types, including crimes committed using guns, has been _falling_, this despite more and more states going “shall issue”, more people getting licenses to carry, more states going “Constitutional carry” (not even requiring a license). Each of these changes is heralded with predictions of increased “gun violence” and “blood running in the streets” which, of course, never happens. But that doesn’t stop the same predictions from being trotted out again and again.

And, yes, they do include suicide deaths (more than half of deaths due to gunshot), where “gun laws” are truly irrelevant. Presence or absence of a gun has no bearing on whether a person is suicidal. At most it influences choice of method. In the US, firearms are a common means. In Japan (where, incidentally, the suicide rate is higher than our suicide and homicide rates combined) stepping in front of bullet trains is popular.

But it makes a nice appeal to emotion, if you read it fast and don’t think much about it, don’t it?


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