Thursday, June 3, 2010

Always Check Your Sources.

In a recent 'debate' (and I use the word loosely) on Huffpo, a commenter made the claim that Michigan had a higher violent crime rate than DC. Obviously that was quickly shown wrong by a look at the FBI UCR. The commenter then moved the goalposts and claimed that MI 'used' to have a higher violent crime rate than DC. It took awhile but this individual finally showed his 'source'. Wikipedia.

I'll give him credit. It DOES show MI as having a higher violent crime rate than DC in 2004. It also shows the state having a murder rate of 6776.4 / 100,000 equaling over 685,000 murders that year. Nevermind the murder rate of 2887.6 for Hawaii.

Did anyone else hear about a nuclear war and not tell me about it?

Again a cursory glance at (aside from a little commons sense) shows that someone 'fat-fingered' the keyboard.

So let this be a lesson for 'our side' as well. Always double check your information. Getting a number from Billy-Joe-Bob's blog doesn't necessarily mean it's accurate. Even getting a number/cite from the NRA/SAF/Etc. may not be good enough. Go to the source. Read the original documentation. When you're quoted a number from the other side, get the source and trace it down. Not only does this ensure your accuracy and make your argument stronger but you might be able to find where they misquoted, took information out of context, or just flat out made things up.

This is just another way we win.

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Linoge said...

I screwed this up earlier this week, admitted my error, and corrected it.

In fact, I would be willing to wager that the vast majority of pro-rights activists throughout our side of the blogosphere would do exactly the same thing, if presented the facts disproving their post.

As usual, lying and misdirection appears to be the standard tactic of those who would strip us of those rights. I wonder why that is?

Sevesteen said...

One of many reasons I tend to believe pro-gun statistics more than anti is that pro-gun are far more likely to point to the original source, and fairly often the source is not a pro-gun group.