Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fun w/ Numbers

I recently read this comment over on Huffpo: 
Gun fatalities have been on the rise– slowly but steadily every year since 2002, according to a National Institute of Justice survey. In 1975, 60 percent of the homicides in the U.S. were committed using a handgun. By 2005 that number had shot up to nearly 80 percent, with the rise in gang related gun killings even steeper. 
Well I responded that homicide rates are lower than they were in 1975 so that claim is7 years out of date.  The response:
I agree that homicide rates have slightly decreased, but not homcsides comitted by those using guns. Gun related deaths have risen.
 Slightly?  In 1975, homicide rates were 9.6/100k.  In 2010, they they were 4.8 and dropped even more in 2011.  Even using the outdated 2005 numbers it was 5.6.  But let's go on.
Number of murders 1975 :20510 2010: 14748   2005: 16740
According to the NIJ, the number of homicides by firearms in 1976: 11979 In 2005: 11346

So while the 'percentages' may be higher (from 64%-68%), the rate and number of homicides by firearms and total are lower than they were in 1975.

You may have noticed I used NIJ numbers from 1976, not 1975.  Let's compare what the linked article from 'Care2' says above (using Joyce Foundation puppet reports) compared to what the actual NIJ report says:
the percentage of homicides caused by firearms during the commission of a felony rose from about 60 percent to 77 percent from 1976 to 2005.
Not only did they get the year wrong, they didn't even use the right statistics.

So was this a deliberate attempt to skew the numbers or sloppy reporting?  Or both.

For more fun w/ numbers, take a look at Linoge's 'Graphics Matter' series. 

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1 comment:

Sailorcurt said...

So was this a deliberate attempt to skew the numbers or sloppy reporting? Or both.

Considering how often it happens (like, every time the anti-gunners create a new "report" based on a government study or statistics) I think the only logical conclusion is that it deliberate, intentional and an integral part of their strategy.