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Post Reply U.S shootings article, misreading or misleading?
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24 / M / Texas
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Posted 1/28/16
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gun-deaths-since-jfk-assassination_us_56a903c6e4b0f6b7d54485c4?


Here's what PolitiFact discovered:

From the Revolutionary War through December 2014, 1.2 million Americans have died in military conflicts, according to the Congressional Research Service.
A 2012 report by a Binghamton University historian estimated a 20 percent higher death toll from the Civil War, which would push total deaths in military conflicts to 1.4 million.
By contrast, domestic gun deaths from 1968 to 2014 add up to nearly 1.5 million.
Some 63 percent of those gun deaths were suicides, and 33 percent were homicides.
PolitiFact could not find data for gun deaths before 1968. Add in the missing years, and the total number of firearm fatalities since JFK's death would surely be higher than 1.5 million.

So yes, more Americans have died from gunfire within their own country in the last half-century or so than died in all the wars the U.S. has ever fought.


Now, anyone can look to the side and see I am from Texas, so may just assume I am some gun totting redneck. I am not questioning whether we need stricter gun laws or looser gun laws, nothing that political today.

But... Am I misreading this article, or is it completely misleading?

Straight up it says 63% of these shootings were suicide, and only 33% were homicides.

So only 495,000 were people being murdered, and the rest was someone killing themselves? Does that even count as a shooting if you off yourself with a gun? If gun laws were super strict, wouldn't you, I dunno, jump through all the hoops and buy a gun anyways, or commit suicide in the literally dozens of other ways?

I mean if the article said gun deaths in the US, I could understand. But it says shootings. That seems to imply shootings like the mass shootings we have going on now. Friend posted this on Facebook and as I read through the article, that was the first thing I noticed. It seems like counting suicides just makes the number illegitimate to me, and stands more to say we have a toooooon of people committing suicide, we should try to help them, and not gun violence is out of control, we kill more of our own citizens then enemies in war. When that isn't even close to being true, using the same numbers they are using.

Am I misreading this, or does this just seem a tad misleading?

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Posted 1/28/16
Misleading and skewing facts and statistics has never really been a problem for ideologues. After all, when they're called out... well, you probably already know the response.
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Posted 1/28/16
I don't see anything misleading they clearly state that 63% were suicides and they also say More Americans died from Gunfire and not were killed.
Seems pretty straight forward and not misleading at all.

I also find it alarming that you think 500000 Murders by gun plus whatever much is from before 1968 is not a reason for concern.
I do not care for the 63% who harmed no one but themselves but the 33% that killed cause its easy to get the most effective tool to do so well that i have to care about.
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Posted 1/28/16
I never said the 500,000 wasn't for concern either, you are putting words in my mouth.

I said, I feel like it is misleading, when they should have opened up with, 500,000 have been killed in homicides, and almost a million have committed suicide with guns.

Suicide by gun and homicide by gun are two completely different things when you are trying to use statistics like this to generate support for stricter gun laws.

I even stated I am not talking about stricter gun laws, whether I think it is right or wrong.

i am merely stating the statistics seem inflated. 500,000 gun related homicides is terrible, true. But it means to say that deaths by US shootings exceeds the deaths of every war the US has been involved in is a skewed statement, when in reality, it was mostly people killing themselves that make up that number.

Just seems misleading to me, but to each their own.
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Posted 1/28/16

Imperiex wrote:

I never said the 500,000 wasn't for concern either, you are putting words in my mouth.


Also never really a problem for ideologues. X3





Imperiex wrote:

i am merely stating the statistics seem inflated. 500,000 gun related homicides is terrible, true. But it means to say that deaths by US shootings exceeds the deaths of every war the US has been involved in is a skewed statement, when in reality, it was mostly people killing themselves that make up that number.

Just seems misleading to me, but to each their own.


I do completely agree, personally.

But those pushing for gun control don't really -have- statistics on their side, so what are they supposed to do, tell the truth? Be completely honest?

When talking about "gun deaths" in America, if you are advocating for gun control, it just doesn't make sense to count the suicides.

For some odd reason, the majority of people who argue for stricter gun control seem to have the notion that it does make sense. I haven't really figured out quite how they rationalize it, because I haven't really figured out if they actually rationalize a lot of things. Gun control advocates tend to "think" with their emotion more than logic.
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Posted 1/28/16 , edited 1/28/16
I just get tired of people skewing data for personal agendas and gain. We can talk about the legitimate issue of 500,000 gun related homicides, but that is for a different topic altogether, but the article should have opened with that. But that doesn't have the same flair as MILLIONS HAVE DIED TO GUNS MORE THEN ANY WAR THE US HAS BEEN IN THROUGHOUT HISTORY BLAAAAARGH PROPAGANDA BLARGH

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Posted 1/28/16
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

- Mark Twain
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Posted 1/28/16 , edited 1/28/16
Suicides are not murders. If you really want to kill yourself just drive 120 MPH straight into a brick wall (break safety bag), go jump head first off a tall building, inject bleach straight into your veins, tie a few cement blocks to yourself and jump off a bridge, pretend like you have a suicide vest and jump the white house fence, etc... Murder is not suicide and the anti-gun side has to pad their argument to get the emotional factor otherwise their argument doesn't hold water.

I really don't see why people go through the trouble of getting a gun for suicide. Seems like a hassle when you want to die and end it all.
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Posted 1/28/16
It is only a relevant distinction if availability/presence of guns was in no way correlated with suicide deaths. The statistics I have seen suggest that there is some degree of correlation so I don't think you really need to make that distinction.
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Posted 1/28/16 , edited 1/28/16
Not taking a side here, but I will note that even at the 33%, that's

500,000 gun-homicides since 1968, and
1,400,000 military deaths since 1775-ish

It took us 50 years to get a third of what took our military 240 to accomplish. Even if they were misleading, they have no small point. But, I think if misrepresentation was their goal, they could still have accurately said 1.5 million gun-related deaths, and not mention that 2/3 were suicides. But, they flat out state the numbers and are straight up about the fact that they couldn't find anything before 1968. I actually think this is fine. Also, Huffington Post blows. Literally only read it when it's linked by others.

Edit: Actually, if I'm being real, the more revolting aspect is that war deaths are literally compatible with the amount of death as a result of insanity or depravity (suicide and homicide). Our country is literally keeping up with the lowest-regarded part of our society. State-sanctioned violence is actually the interesting offender in this statistic, to me at least.

Edit 2: Actually, 1.4 mil is deaths of US soldiers. Kills is (google tells me) 10's of millions. Now that I think about it, that's actually so obvious it hurts.
Posted 1/28/16
Is Huffington Post trustworthy? Some of it seems blog-errific.
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Posted 1/28/16 , edited 1/28/16
Same, only read it cause a friend was talking about it. And the numbers are still big regardless if you count suicides or not, and that is an issue in of itself.

I am just curious why suicides are counted like that. If you were getting statistics for fatal knife attacks, are you going to count homicides, and people that cut their wrists to kill themselves? It just seems like a dishonest tactic to inflate numbers for shock value, in trying to get a bigger rise from people then the numbers would otherwise.

I dunno, it was just the thing I got from reading it. If you do not read the full article, and I know a lot of people that don't, you wouldn't catch suicides making up well over half off that number. My friend made that mistake too, and it served its purpose. Shock value.

Again that is not to say 500,000 means nothing, it does. But there was no reason to inflate it to 1,500,000 people, when the beginning of the article insinuates this is about gun violence, not just plain gun related deaths regardless of the intent and the laws in effect.


sundin13 wrote:

It is only a relevant distinction if availability/presence of guns was in no way correlated with suicide deaths. The statistics I have seen suggest that there is some degree of correlation so I don't think you really need to make that distinction.


In 2014 Japanese suicide was 70 per day. In the US currently it is 117 per day, and 50% is by gun. Bad, I know. But with Japan's numbers so high, makes me ask. I haven't been there, do Japanese have easy access to guns too? Just seems like it was a dishonest attempt, to me, to inflate numbers for shock value. Maybe it wasn't, maybe it was an honest mistake, and it was written in such a way you could construe it that way like I have.

Dunno, why i was curious to see if I was the only one to get that vibe.



PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Is Huffington Post trustworthy? Some of it seems blog-errific.


Hit the head on the nail. But Huff wasn't the one to show these statistics, it is from a group doing these statistics, I dunno if they had anything to do with the "research" or not.
Posted 1/28/16

Imperiex wrote:

Same, only read it cause a friend was talking about it. And the numbers are still big regardless if you count suicides or not, and that is an issue in of itself.

I am just curious why suicides are counted like that. If you were getting statistics for fatal knife attacks, are you going to count homicides, and people that cut their wrists to kill themselves? It just seems like a dishonest tactic to inflate numbers for shock value, in trying to get a bigger rise from people then the numbers would otherwise.

I dunno, it was just the thing I got from reading it. If you do not read the full article, and I know a lot of people that don't, you wouldn't catch suicides making up well over half off that number. My friend made that mistake too, and it served its purpose. Shock value.

Again that is not to say 500,000 means nothing, it does. But there was no reason to inflate it to 1,500,000 people, when the beginning of the article insinuates this is about gun violence, not just plain gun related deaths regardless of the intent and the laws in effect.


sundin13 wrote:

It is only a relevant distinction if availability/presence of guns was in no way correlated with suicide deaths. The statistics I have seen suggest that there is some degree of correlation so I don't think you really need to make that distinction.


In 2014 Japanese suicide was 70 per day. In the US currently it is 117 per day, and 50% is by gun. Bad, I know. But with Japan's numbers so high, makes me ask. I haven't been there, do Japanese have easy access to guns too? Just seems like it was a dishonest attempt, to me, to inflate numbers for shock value. Maybe it wasn't, maybe it was an honest mistake, and it was written in such a way you could construe it that way like I have.

Dunno, why i was curious to see if I was the only one to get that vibe.



It's an East Asian country with a castrated military, so no.
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Posted 1/28/16
Yeah, I already knew the answer to it. What I was pointing out is suicide can be abnormally high, regardless if guns are like candy, or have high strict laws in place. That wasn't a jab at gun laws mind you, that was just stating that suicide by gun shouldn't be counted as gun violence, at least in my mind, to prove we need stricter gun laws. Just stick with the 500,000 homicides, that is a plenty big number in of itself and a legitimate issue,
Posted 1/28/16

Imperiex wrote:

Yeah, I already knew the answer to it. What I was pointing out is suicide can be abnormally high, regardless if guns are like candy, or have high strict laws in place. That wasn't a jab at gun laws mind you, that was just stating that suicide by gun shouldn't be counted as gun violence, at least in my mind, to prove we need stricter gun laws. Just stick with the 500,000 homicides, that is a plenty big number in of itself and a legitimate issue,


This could also prove our mental health system is crap, or we need better checks. I mean, from my experience, a great deal of suicidal people purposely display their symptoms as a cry for help.
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