Lies, Damned Lies And Statistics - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

Lies, Damned Lies And Statistics

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014 1:01 pm

The only person who should be “ashamed” is the recent letter writer (6/30/14) trying to promote the latest illogic bandied about by pro-gun extremists saying that the statistic 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook is inflated. He’s obviously one of those supporting their latest campaign,”It’s not a school shooting when someone goes and shoots a specific person on campus. It’s a shooting that happens to take place at school.” Sure.

Of course that tally threatens the pro-gun extremists, as does the number of women killed by guns during domestic violence. And we all know about gun nuts fighting back. Some news organizations have followed this flawed reasoning and reported that only 15 of these rampages should be called school shootings. Not included are guns accidentally firing in school hallways, suicides by students after threats to other students, and other deeply traumatizing incidents. But as headline-grabbing as school shootings are, the under-reported daily target and toll of gun violence is women. More American women have been murdered by their intimate partners using guns since 2001 (6,410) than U.S. troops have been killed in combat (5,315) in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Center for American Progress reports. 

And despite the letter writer’s convoluted final assertion, I am really not trying to take his guns away. In Laura Cutilletto, attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence own words, “Several states last year closed the private sale loophole. That is the biggest priority of our movement.” 

But I’m still left wondering how many school shooting incidents are acceptable. But hey, they’re only numbers, right? Except they are not. They are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, friends, neighbors. I’ve always supported sensible gun limits largely as a result of my upbringing. My dad a career military officer and Korea and Vietnam vet, said we never had guns in our house because they were most likely to be used on someone in the house. That stat is one that hasn’t changed. But I became actively supportive of the gun control movement when my brother, a staunch GOP conservative and NRA member held at gunpoint with his own shotgun, was murdered by an ex-felon with an unreported stolen gun. And despite that, I am only arguing for reasonable limits, as there are on most of our rights. You can’t yell “bomb” in the airport or sacrifice a sheep in your front yard, despite the First Amendment.

The pro-gun extremists have had several successes recently, getting a bill passed in Indiana allowing people to keep guns in their cars on school grounds. And in Georgia, my birth state, business owners and churches are grappling with the new “Safe Carry Protection Act,” that allows guns in bars (firearms and alcohol always a good mix), houses of worship, unrestricted areas of airports, schools and colleges, that went into effect this week. Obviously statistics mean nothing to Georgia legislators, multiple studies found states with the laxest gun laws have the most gun-related violence, including murder. Thank goodness some states have some sense New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Colorado have now join California and Rhode Island in requiring a background check for all gun sales. Three of those states now also require gun owners to report lost and stolen weapons. And four states that previously banned military assault-style weapons have tightened those laws. And as far as I can see, the pro-gun extremist crazies toting their weapons into the toy aisles in Target and Chipotles are doing far more for the gun control than quibbling over the body count in the school yards.

I know that this letter will have no effect on the recent letter writer and his ilk. But I will keep supporting organizations that support reasonable Second Amendment limits and recent legislation proposed in California to restrict gun sales to the mentally ill. Such a bill would have prevented the recent Santa Barbara shooting, also not technically a “school” shooting since it took place off campus even though the shooter and the victims were students. And I will try to identify flawed pro-gun extremist reasoning and “lies, damned lies and statistics,” when and where I find them.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Anthony Alan posted at 10:40 am on Fri, Jul 18, 2014.

    Anthony Alan Posts: 1

    How would the stolen gun being reported have changed anything in your brothers murder? Do you think that that the person who stole the firearm, once knowing that the police now know it was stolen would have turned it back in?

    He was a felon who could not legally own a firearm to begin with. He already broke numerous laws and didn't care about breaking more. People who buy guns on the street, know they are stolen. So what do they care.

    I am glad you support reasonable gun laws like the new one in California. But guess what? There was already a law to prevent the mentally ill from purchasing a firearm in California! Its on the purchase application form!

    The new law is just a repeat of an already existing law.

    Your problem and some legislators is, there are over 10,000 gun laws already on the books in this country. Most of them are duplicates and many are simply not enforced.

    Regarding your school shooting numbers, so a gang related shooting that start blocks away and drives by a school and shots are fired there, on a Sunday evening, should be classified as a "school" shooting simple because a shot was fired outside the school.

    Then we should register and license all baseball bats and knives because they kill more people than guns do.

    Don't bother to reply, yea I know guns are only made to kill people, knives and bats are not.

    BTW, the "new" California law would not have prevented the Santa Barbara killings. It may have stopped the shooting part but you fail to mention that he stabbed 3 people to death (knife) and killed another by running him over with his car.

    All those that were shot were off campus and not even in student apartments. But lest still call it a "school shooting."

    And again let me remind you, the gun purchase application form has boxes to check if you have been treated for any mental illness. I guess he just checked no. Are we surprised that he lied?

    Talk about lies, damned lies and the facts you fail to mention.

  • MarcinColorado posted at 3:10 pm on Thu, Jul 17, 2014.

    MarcinColorado Posts: 1

    I won't bother pointing out how full of (censored apparently, gotta love the first amendment) your arguments are because I am sure you have a LOT of that coming in your imediate future. I just wanted to say that your brother was an idiot. How exactly dose one lose his shotgun in a self defense situation? If he had a brain in his head his story would have been a self defense use of a gun and not a murder. But what do I know im just a country bumpkin "pro-gun extremist".

    P.S. your dad was an idiot too. Must run in the family. If you don't like my name calling just remember you started it.