now this is interesting

One of the favorite tactics of anti-rights cultists is to loudly point to the differences in murder rates between the United States and once-Great Britain, and proclaim that the latter’s significantly lower murder rate is due to their draconian and oppressive "gun control"… despite the complete and utter lack of any evidence of causality (see "correlation != causation").

This is all good and well… except for the small detail that none of the released murder statistics from once-Great Britain are accurate.

Bold claim, I know, but Rick lays out the reasoning for it:

The shortest version is this. We count and report crimes based on initial data. The Brits count and report crimes based on the outcome of the investigation and trial. Yep, that says what I meant it to say.

I had known for a while that most of the crime stats coming out of once-Great Britain counted crimes cleared, not crimes reported; in other words, the people tallying up crimes in the Old Country only care if the perpetrator is found and then found innocent or guilty, and if there was no perpetrator, then there could not have been a crime, right? I did not, however, know that same mathematical hijink extended to murders as well.

Unfortunately, given the flawed and untrustworthy data coming out of that increasingly totalitarian state, there is no way to accurately determine once-Great Britain’s actual crime rate, but as Rick explains, the real numbers – to whit, the actual number of people in that country who died through not-natural means and who did not commit suicide – are at least double what the once-Great British claim they are.

Double. At least.

And this is why one should always demand to see the source data, and specifically how it was gathered. People can claim all manner of anything they desire in "studies", but when your study is built off data that is intentionally and knowingly miscollected… well, the entire study is meaningless. And when that source data is off by a factor of at least two? "Meaningless" is being far too generous.

I guess once-Great Britain will have a murder rate higher than ours sooner than I expected

(Found by way of The Smallest Minority.)

lies, damned lies, and statistics

Regular readers will know that I am fond of dorking around with numbers and seeing what presenting them in different ways can show us.  Invariably, this graphic came to my attention (specifically when FarmDad posted a link in Gunblogger Conspiracy to a Facebook post about it): 

fbistatisticsforgunviolence2012votingpattern

A few things bugged me about that graphic right off.  First, where did the numbers come from?  I did not know the FBI published information on a county-by-county basis, and I would love to see it myself.  Second, what is “high” and what is “low”?  Third, are we talking about rates, or raw numbers?  Fourth, how does north bumfrak Maine have anywhere near the same numbers – rate or raw – as Chicago? 

Then Awelowynt hit on the answer; look at this map: 

2004 county election map

And then look at the left map in the first image. 

They are functionally identical. 

So what is that second image?  Only the 2004 election results on a county-by-county basis.  Unsurprisingly, counties who voted Democrat in 2004 also voted Democrat in 2012.  Shocker, I know. 

Gos-se like this really pisses me off.  In the end, it does not matter, because human rights are not subject to statistical approval, but the numbers already support our side; we do not have to go out of our way to make up complete nonsense, pass it off as fact, and then have it cut out from underneath us once people start paying attention.  Doing so only undermines your credibility, and gives “gun control” extremists even more dirt with which to besmirch the average firearm owner. 

Stop it.  Fabricating nonsense out of whole cloth is the bailiwick of the anti-rights cultists; given that we are defending human rights, it is incumbent upon us to stick to the facts, and raise ourselves above such ultimately useless endeavors. 

2012, in review

It is that time of the year again… Just like all the previous posts like this one, I am using Google Analytics data, with the same warning that its numbers do not match the numbers generated by other statistics engines. Likewise, we will compare numbers against last year.

Absolute Unique Visitors: 94,843 (35% increase)

Visits: 174,805 (9% increase)

Peak Daily Visitors: 1,549 (23JAN12) (27% decrease)

Average Daily Visitors: 478.92 (9% increase)

Pageviews: 244,249 (not tracked previously)

Total Posts: 512 (46% decrease)

And speaking of discrepancies, StatCounter shows 203,477 unique visitors, 273,178 visits/pageloads (they do not appear to differentiate), a peak of 1,964 on the same day, and an average of 746 visits a day. On the other hand, WordPress’ stat engine shows 280,000 pageviews total and a peak of 2,187 views on 23JAN.

Top Referring Sites:

1. Say Uncle (no change)
2. Weer’d World (+1)
3. Gun Blog Black List (+7)
4. Sharp as a Marble (+1)
5. Days of our Trailers (-1)
6. PJ Media (new)
7. Gun Free Zone (new)
8. The Gun Wire (new)
9. Everyday, No Days Off (no change)
10. Alphecca (new)

Top Keywords:

1. walls of the city (no change)
2. gunsamerica (new)
3. 9mm luger (no change)
4. little bear holsters (new)
5. lucy lawless (new)
6. renee wyatt divorce (new)
7. the truth about guns (new)
8. spartacus (-2)
9. firefly alignment chart (+1)
10. linoge (-8)

Top Posts:

1. the truth about the truth about guns and robert farago
2. cz-75 magazines in a baby eagle / jericho 941 – a review
3. a criminal perspective
4. gunsmoke lied. twice.
5. graphics matter, year the fourth
6. exile machine’s hammerhead ar-15 rifle grip
7. you are your own first responder
8. gun control demotivator
9. the inconsistency of gun control
10. and this is why you wear eye protection at the range

All said, it was a somewhat quiet yet for "walls of the city"; apparently my posting dropped by almost half, but, conversely, my readership picked up between 10 and 35%, depending on which statistic you think "counts". I guess this means I put more value in my individual posts, or just that I have larger archives for more people to go digging through.

Speaking of archives, three of my top-ten posts are not from this year, and two are from 2010. Interesting.

The two big traffic bumps this year occurred when Instapundit linked to my post about how Florida concealed carriers are more law-abiding than Mayors Against Illegal Guns members and when I exposed the fetid pile of waste that lurks beneath the surface of The Truth About Guns. I am not entirely sure what, exactly, that says about what you folks like to read, but I suppose it says something.

And as for the search terms people use to find this site… well, I have nothing positive to say.

the truth has quite the impact

Well, yesterday evening marked the end of the first week our "the truth about the truth about guns and robert farago" post had been online, and here are some interesting statistics for you.

It is the most-commented post on this site (with 67 comments thus far).

It is the sixth-most-visited page on my site (not counting the main page) since February 2010 (when I installed JetPack which tracks these kinds of things):

ttagnotoriety

It remains on the front page for Google, Bing, and Yahoo searches for "the truth about guns" and "the truth about guns robert farago", oftentimes directly beneath the site in question itself.

It was Reddited, featured on a Something Awful Forums topic (which I cannot read without paying money, so will not bother linking to), and linked to by more weblogs than I was able to keep track of. Thank you all for your support.

Even looking past the raw numbers, however, I had no fewer than 25 people comment here or elsewhere or email me directly expressing their surprise, disappointment, and/or outright disgust at the behavior or Robert Farago and the rest of the editorial and writer staff at The Truth About Guns. I dare say the story has reached "viral" status – at some rather influential organizations and groups, at that – and will unquestionably spread from this humble start.

So, again, to all of you who linked to that post, commented at it or at any of the posts which linked to it, or otherwise spread the word about the snake in the gunblogger weeds: thank you. I rather hate that it was necessary to write such a post, but now that it was, I rather hope as many people find out about it as possibly can.

i guess this is a case where babble can be good

A fellow Knoxville blogger has gotten a gig at a parenting blogging site, and examined the benefits and dangers of keeping firearms in the house, complete with a helping handful of statistics from yours truly – statistics that are, I would point out, properly cited and sourced. In any case, I am not one to tell another person that they should or should not do something, but if you are considering purchasing firearms (and thus keeping them under your roof), please give his post a read.

graphics matter, year the fourth, updated, again

Thank God for my helpful readers.

Last time around, thanks to commenter TS, we were able to integrate importation numbers into the "graphics matter" series of posts, which only served to perforate the "more guns = more deaths" hypothesis even worse. Unfortunately, though, Shooting Industry Magazine rearranged their site sufficiently that some data was apparently lost, and I had to drop the 1981-1985 section of the graph due to not being able to adequately source my numbers; I will leave the wholesale fabrication of statistics to the "gun control" extremists.

shootingindustrymagazinefirearmproductionThis time around, Hoplophobic Healer reminded me that the WayBack Machine does exist, and after digging around its guts for a few minutes, I was able to find this archived page documenting firearm production from 1982 until 2001 (said page screencaptured to the right, just in case it tries to disappear too). Unfortunately, the Shooting Industry Magazine did not track imports that far back, but at least we have domestic production numbers again, and based on that, I have decided to go ahead and add the 1981-1985 section back to the graph.

For reference, the 1981 year was chosen for the lower bound of this graph simply because WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports do not go any farther back. I know there are sources that do go farther back, but then you run into the question of whether or not they track their information the same way WISQARS does, and that just throws this whole graphic into question. (And, yes, I am well aware that WISQARS changed how they code their data between 1998 and 1999, but if you look into the explanations of what all they changed and why, none of it really affects the numbers we are looking at.)

So enough of this jibber-jabber, right? As with before, all previous disclaimers, details, and other important stuff still apply, including using the Shooting Industry Magazine as a source again. Now, on with the show:

americanpopulationfirearmsdeaths2009-3

I am again going to dispense with the acres of text, and instead consolidate it all down to this disclaimer: you CAN compare the correlation coefficients in this dataset to the correlation coefficients in the previous 1981-2009 datasets, but NOT the 1986-2009 one I put up last week. Y’know, just to make things more confusing. Things, of course, did change with the re-inclusion of those five years, which is why I always maintain that more data is more better:

The raw number of firearms in America correlated to the raw number of firearm-related fatalities with a coefficient of -0.41741, which is a little stronger than before including the firearm importation numbers.

The rate of firearm ownership in America correlated to the rate of firearm-related fatalities with a coefficient of -0.80373, which is significantly stronger than before.

In other words, what I said before only continues to hold true: the hypothesis "more guns = more deaths" cannot be true in the fame of reference of American society over the past almost-three decades.

Again, unlike the anti-rights cultists who are currently weeping into their bourbon at the sight of those numbers, I am more than happy to show my work – after all, if I did not, I would never have you kind people to thank for filling in the holes I made.

graphics matter, year the fourth, updated

[Please disregard this post, and instead reference this updated version, which has more data.]

No, unfortunately, the FBI has not released a finalized version of their 2011 Uniform Crime Report (it is scheduled for September), so I cannot update the second half of this post series, but commenter TS brought up a very valid point on the 2009 update for the CDC side of this post: what about firearms imported into America? I actually had that conversation in email with Howard Nemerov last year, but neither of us could figure out a single, consistent source of numbers for that particular statistic, so we never really got anywhere.

However, TS thankfully pointed me towards the Firearms Commerce in the United States, Annual Statistical Update which tracks production and import numbers from 1986 all the way up to 2011, and I had exactly what I needed.

Or, well, most of what I needed. As I mentioned previously, the Shooting Industry Magazine’s U.S. Firearm Industry Report has vanished from their site, and with it went all of my firearm production data from 1981 to 1986. I have searched high and low for such information elsewhere on the ‘net, and I have contacted SIM to absolutely no avail, and I have since concluded that if I cannot adequately source the data, I cannot really present that data as factual, so I have dropped 1981, ’82, ’83, ’84, and ’85 from the "Graphics Matter" dataset. I do not really want to do this (as I have always maintained, more data is more better), but if I cannot adequately source my numbers, I am no better than the "gun control" extremists whose arguments I am destroying with these posts.

So, without further ado, the newly-updated pretty picture:

americanpopulationfirearmsdeaths2009-2

As you can see, if you compare this one against the previous version (and remember that this one only covers from 1986-forward, not 1981-forward), the slope of the "Number of Firearms" line is significantly steeper, which also means the downwards slopes of the "Firearm-Related Deaths per 100,000,000 People" and "Firearm-Related Deaths per 100,000,000 Firearms" are actually noticeable. The quicker folks amongst you are already putting together what that might mean.

I am going to dispense with the acres of text the previous posts are known for (except to say that all of the important stuff in them is applicable here as well), and get to the stuff you really want to hear about… right after this important disclaimer: you CANNOT compare the correlation coefficients in this dataset to any of the coefficients in any of the previous datasets. By lopping off those five years at the beginning, we change the playing field, and the coefficient numbers are no longer comparable (which is why I really did not want to do what I did); however, I dare say these current numbers speak for themselves.

So, with that said, the raw number of firearms in America correlates to the raw number of firearm-related fatalities in America with a Pearson coefficient of -0.63966, an arguably strong, negative correlation.

The rate of firearm ownership in America correlates to the rate of firearm-related fatalities in America with a Pearson coefficient of -0.86207, an inarguably strong, negative correlation.

At this point, it would be safe to say that the hypothesis "more guns = more deaths" cannot be true when that hypothesis is applied to American society.

If you want to check my math and see what else I omitted, the file is available here, and please, do, check it. I never would have had the opportunity to add into the importation numbers if TS had not checked my work, and I am sure there are other little details I am missing somewhere.