or 'Email from Gary Mauser over an internet exchange'
On a message board I frequent, I've debated past counting an anti who's primary tactic is repeating arguments even after I've refuted it in another thread, red herrings, and ad hominems. He does come up w/ some excellent sounding statistics but, as is usual in stat wars, counter ones can easily be brought up.
In this most current exchange, he (CH) claimed a correlation between strong firearm laws/ownership and low crime levels. I countered w/ the Mauser/Kates paper stating that , at best, the correlation (not causality)is towards more private ownership and lower crime. CH first blatantly dismissed the paper because "Gary Mauser makes a ton of money from the gun lobby". This point was made several years ago in another debate. He couldn't prove it then either so I emailed Mr. Mauser w/ it and several other questions. Here was his response:
" How? Please let me know?"
His next tactic was to try and get me to claim I read all 107 pages and found it 100% absolutely perfect. There was no way I was going to fall for this obvious ploy so I strung him along asking him to refute the article. Now this is the important part folks. After about 3 more pages of Ad Hominems and Red Herrings, he finally pointed out an error in the paper. Mauser/Kates stated that the murder rate in Luxembourg was 9 times that of Germany. CH pointed to several sources that this wasn't true and nearly messed himself in glee over me "getting caught with my pants down.
So what did I do? Did I leave in shame? Attempt to get him banned for being mean? Start insulting his mother? Nope. I emailed Mr. Mauser again:
In your recent paper w/ Mr. Kates, on page 7, you have listed Luxembourg as having 10x the murder rate of Germany and 30% higher than the US. I have seen the 9/100K number listed before but it doesn't correspond to the .9 as listed on page 28 of the UN Crime Survey.
This discrepancy has been pointed out and used to dismiss the entire paper in a debate I am involved in. Could you help me as to where your data came from?
Mr. Mauser had the audacity to respond:
Thanks for pointing this out.
As it says in our paper, the homicide rates for this table were derived from the Canadian Department of Justice. This statistic comes from Homicide in Canada, 2002, where it does report [p 3] that the Luxembourg homicide rate is 9.01, not 0.9. The Canadian Department of Justice reports their source for this stat as Interpol. I guess the decimal got misplaced by someone in this translation. Interpol is notorious.
Our general point is still valid. Despite the differing percentages of gun owners in the two countries, the homicide rates do not reflect this. Germany has many gun owners, while Luxembourg has banned guns. Nevertheless, Luxembourg's homicide rate is not appreciably smaller than Germany's [0.92 or 1.11, depending upon the year].
The report itself is located here.
So w/ all the claims of dishonesty and "gun nuts" running w/ faulty data and meme's, it turns out that the information came from that disreputable source, the Canadian DOJ. I'm ashamed of myself for daring to use a source like that.
How many times has your average anti contacted the author of the many anti-gun reports and discussed w/ them the errors in it? How many times have those authors admitted to the error and explained where it came from?
Note this in case it's pointed out again.
Edit: For those interested , here's the thread: