Byrdmouse is a devoted husband and father that says what's on his mind even if no one else agrees with him.

In fact, especially if no one else agrees with him

Number Guns

A few weeks back I saw an email that said it was from an interesting letter in the Australian Shooter Magazine. Then it proceeded to tell these statistics.

If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq Theater of operations during the past 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers. 

The firearm death rate in Washington, DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period. That means you are about 25 per cent more likely to be shot and killed in the US capital which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the U..S., than you are in Iraq . 

Conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington .

 Now one thing this article depends on is not being read by someone who loves numbers. To begin with, the final "evidence" says that one would be 25% more likely to be shot in Washington, D.C. when the reality of the numbers is 34% (60 + 34% of 60 = 80.4) rather than a mere quarter. But it goes much deeper, because a rate of 60 deaths per hundred thousand would be only 96 deaths--60 for the first 100,000 plus 60% of the number 60 (36). By my calculations, 1320 is to 100,000 as 2112 is to 160,000, so  the rate of firearm deaths in our capital is 6% as much per 100k as the firearm rate in Iraq.

A further note would be that of the 2112 deaths in Iraq, a large number of them were by something other than firearm, improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, etc. Even if we assume that the original number of 60 per 100k takes only the firearm deaths into account, the number of troops listed as 160,000 is not the total number of troops that have been there for the last 22 months. None of the troops are supposed to be there longer than one year, though I've heard that tour will be shortening soon. Several units have deployed and re-deployed, the numbers have been higher at times.

Numbers are a wonderful thing, but they are also easy to misuse and mislead. In this case it is especially misleading. We have a term, illiteracy, for not being able to read, we need a term for not being able to do math, ilnumeracy perhaps. The ilnumeracy of the media at large is ridiculous. The one thing they did get right though, is the fact that Washington, D.C. is the source of a lot of problems for our country.



Updated to correct the spelling of illiteracy. Is that as oxymoronic as misspelling misspell?


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