Lies, damn lies, and liberal gun statistics

I have a dear friend with whom I have a ten-plus-year string of lengthy, well-thought-out email exchange going. Sometimes we simply write about events related to our own lives, but more often than not, we take on the major issues of the day. Most of the time, we share outlooks, but sometimes not. We refer to our current president as “45”, and we both consider him with equal repugnance. Though he considers himself a died-in-the-wool liberal, much of the time his stances sound like pure libertarianism to me. He’d never admit it, however.

The most recent exchange covered the NPR report citing the fallacy of the Government’s school shooting statistics:

Liberal do-gooders have been demonstrating about the whopping 235 school shootings on record in USA, according to a Dept of Education report.

Based on this, protestors make their foamcore placards and go on marches screaming this outrageous statistic as gospel. This leads to more NRA / 2nd Amendment arguments. Which leads to the Dept. of Education making plans to take education $ away from kids to finance arming teachers. A vicious circle, all based on gross misinformation.

Enter NPR. They decided to just call the 235 schools that had listed at least 1 school shooting. Surprise, surprise. Wrong wrong wrong. The total number is not 235. The actual number is closer to…

…11. Ooops.

My response:

I already knew that the liberal party line on the number was wrong. I like to think that whenever I hear these numbers, no matter their source, I become immediately skeptical.

The verifiable stat I like to cite is that my daughter will be hit by a car walking the 300 yards to school thousands of years before some shooter guns her down in her classroom. Kids that ride in cars with their parents are on death’s doorstep compared to the risk of getting shot in school. Hell, more kids die in high school athletic programs than get killed by guns.

Instead of making our sidewalks and streets as safe as possible, the school spends thousands of dollars on check-in systems. They stage shooter drills, watched on by an array of security cameras, and testing special locks while sending teachers to training sessions to deal with a problem that will never happen in Jenkintown.

Never mind the trust factor, these fake stats compel us to spend money better spent elsewhere. There’s a huge new industry of school safety that has sprung up around this hysteria, and you cannot reason with the mothers (yes, it’s almost universally the mothers) of these kids. They don’t care about the reality of the matter. No expense should be spared protecting little Skye and little Justin.

But as far as these marches and stats and demonstrations, I’m not swayed one bit. Yes, there are 300 million guns in this country, but the vast majority of them are in law abiding hands.

I know gun owners. They are about the most serious people I’ve ever met. I could give a rats ass how many they have or what type they own, because I know they are not part of the problem. Pennsylvania is a pretty free state when it comes to gun ownership, and your “progressive” types would have us think that it’s a powder keg here or a major bloodbath waiting to happen. Simply not the case. Never has been. Most of the people shot here are in the cities and are gunned down with an illegal hand-gun.

There will, however, be a blood bath if you try to take them away. I’m certain of that.

I’m a big believer of putting gun safety back on school curriculums. You typically fear the unknown, and this fear leads to hysteria and those crazy and dangerous stats that you have just cited. I have great disgust for people who take a position on an policy based only on the words of the opponents or the supporter. Most (although not all) gun-control advocates have never held a gun — maybe never saw one outside of a cop’s holster — must less fired one.

And no, I also do not give a shit about what other countries do. I don’t care about Canada or Australia or how England does it. The worst of the gun violence exists in our major cities — all Democratically controlled — and all with the strictest possible gun control laws. You remove those cities from the totals, and your averages drop to equal or below the rest of the Western world. Outside of the cities, the remainder of this country’s landmass is awash in guns, and the people who live in those areas are more likely to die by slipping in the shower than they are to be shot in anger by a law abiding citizen.