Surly Curmudgeon

   The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
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    Monday, January 26, 2004

    Clumsy oaf

    Kudos to John Stossel for trying to bring some of the truth about guns to the major media. Unfortunately, his argument is a bit clumsy:

    America is notorious for its culture of gun violence. Guns sometimes do cause terrible harm, and many kids are killed every year in gun accidents. But public service announcements and news stories make it seem as if the accidents kill thousands of kids every year.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, fewer than 100 kids 15 and under are killed in gun accidents every year. Of course that's horrible, and I understand why demonstrators say we need more gun control.

    But guess what? The Centers for Disease Control recently completed a review of studies of various types of gun control: background checks, waiting periods, bans on certain guns and ammunition. It could not document that these rules have reduced violent crime.

    Notice how he starts off talking about accidents, and when the time comes to make his counterpoint, the subject switches to violent crime. Certainly, gun control has done little to mitigate either one, but this is a logical flaw that opens him up to counterattack for being intellectually dishonest. In all likelihood, it's an honest mistake, but if you're going to go public with this sort of thing, you should mind your P's and Q's.

    Posted by Tom, 1/26/2004 1:35:00 PM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...