Stupid Spam

I often receive spam chain messages, you know, the type. They always say you will die if you don’t send it to all your friends or similar text causing them to arrive in my inbox. They always take some partial fact or something out of context and try to push people’s buttons.

This most recent one was anti Justice Kagan and pro NRA neither of which I agree with. I happen to think Ms Kagan will make a good justice and think everyone would be better off if there were no NRA.

Things have been going well recently for the NRA. The actual ruling against Chicago may not be too bad since it only allows a gun within your own home. Even I might not be able to entirely disagree with that. The idea of allowing everyone to carry or even continue to allow those that do carry firearms worries me. I am possibly a little extreme in that I’d also like to not allow the police to carry a firearm or a taser either. Obviously they aren’t any more qualified in their use than John Q. Public. Not having guns seems to work in England. When the police need them they can get them. Now if we really need a militia, that the constitution does allow to carry firearms, then form and regulate them. Seems to me the National Guard replaced the militia many years ago. Just what is the difference in a rogue militia and a gang of thugs? They don’t seem to be helping in Africa, Afghanistan or Iraq!

The second amendment to the US constitution: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

If you want the second part you need the first part, regulation. Regulation apparently isn’t infringing per the amendment.

Since guns are banned in England references are often made as to how bad it is there or how it got worse since guns were outlawed. There are also claims that knife attacks increase. The facts don’t support the claims.

US gun homicide deaths are three times those in the UK, same for death by knives. Total deaths by gun (accident, homicide, suicide, etc) in the US are 36 times those of Britain. Reducing the availability of guns should reduce gun deaths. There is no real assurance that knife deaths will rise as a consequence. Most murders are a consequence of the availability of a weapon, not premeditation. A knife has a very limited range, about 3 feet. A bullet from a gun has a very much larger range. Mass murderers tend to choose a gun over a knife.

It’s hard to do direct comparisons but it can be determined that you are less likely to be murdered in the UK by a gun or a knife. If you are murdered there it is almost assuredly by a knife. But you are eight times more likely to be killed in the US by knife than in the UK. It is true there has been a recent rise in knife deaths in the UK, especially in Glasgow, but the new total is used in these comparisons and is still 1/8th that of the US. One problem in comparing is classifications, fire arms/handguns and knives/sharp objects.

Statistics are easy to misuse. The spam messages and the above prove Mark Twain was correct when he said “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”  Use common sense.

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