Hysteria over “common events”

I like to take a look at various rantings of anti-rights cultists because it gives me blog fodder shows me what they are trying to scare people about in order to restrict our rights.

Southern Beale rants about this story and then rants more other accidents.  Let’s not even get into the issue of people assuming nothing is stored in an oven. ( — Hey family pipe down, I only burnt two pizza boxes you left in the oven. I mean seriously who does that???)

**** idiot **** gun loons. These people are irresponsible and should have their carry permit revoked and their gun taken away for a year, at least.

Who the **** sticks a magazine in the oven?

This is what makes me nuts about our gun “debate.” Tragedies like Newtown and Aurora are awful but they are rare. Far more common is **** like this:

I bleeped out her profanity because I try to run a PG-13 blog here. So let’s address her point about how common accidents really are.

I used the CDC WISQARs stats to pull up unintentional non-fatal injury reports. While it is possible that some firearm related injuries are unreported, it is safe to assume most are. It is the law after all. Hospitals and doctors are required to report gun shot injuries.

As always, I try to give every advantage to the antis. The highest number of firearm related injuries from 2001 to 2011 was in 2003  — 18,941. Using the population of the country in 2001 (the lowest) of 284,968,955 that gives us a whopping 0.006646% of the people injured by firearms.
To put it another way; less than One hundredth of one  percent of the country was injured by firearms. Okay…not everyone owns firearms; so 18,941 injuries with an estimated 80,000,000 gun owners gives us 0.0236% of GUN owners injured in a year.

Still not looking like a very common problem eh? How about we deal with only 20% of gun owners; after all probably not everyone uses/touches a firearm every day. 18,941 divided by 16,000,000 = 0.11838%. Now we are getting some place ! Just over at tenth of a percentage of let’s call them ‘active gun owners’ injured — IN A YEAR.

Still not good enough… how about going with just those who have a Concealed Handgun License — approximately 8,000,000 people. 18,941 divided by 8,000,000 equals  0.4735%
Still less than half a percent.

There is a reason for Southern Beale’s problem — same problem many antis have; logical fallacies

Misleading vividness is a term that can be applied to anecdotal evidence[1] describing an occurrence, even if it is an exceptional occurrence, with sufficient detail to permit hasty generalizations about the occurrence (e.g., to convince someone that the occurrence is a widespread problem). Although misleading vividness does little to support an argument logically, it can have a very strong psychological effect because of a cognitive heuristic called the availability heuristic.

At least she admitted that incidents like Sandy Hook are rare. Doesn’t stop her from calling for more gun control laws or punishing people for accidents though.

And to put that 18,941 accidental firearm injuries into perspective:

In 2002, there were 500,192 accidental poisoning injuries.
In 2011, there were 179,186 machinery related injuries.
In 2008, there were 400,032 fire/burn injuries.
In 2004, there were 490,112 pedal cyclist injuries.
And in 2003, there were a total of 29,237,747 injuries – meaning that firearm related injuries were 0.06478% of all injuries – less then one-tenth of a percent.

Does it sound like firearm related injuries are ‘common’ to you?


One Response to this post.

  1. Posted by Cormac on 21.02.13 at 05:15

    “Misleading Vividness”
    I like that.

    Just imagine how bad that oven incident would have been if one of the kids had decided to hide something in there…You got lucky, brother.