Friday, May 20, 2011

A textbook example of the "gun death" fallacy

From the "Lying with Statistics" chapter of a stats textbook (emphasis mine). 

Some other strange numerical comparisons appear in the articles shown in
Fig. 10.4. For example, it is sad that 13 children were being killed per day, but
it is not at all clear why this should be compared to the rate at which police
officers are shot. The comparison later in the article to Northern Ireland is more
reasonable (although it might be even more relevant to compare all violent deaths
rather than restrict to gunshots).
It would be more relevant to a rational person, not to the "gun death" fetishists.

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