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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Fun With Guns

A while back I posted some stats illustrating just how much more dangerous doctors are than guns. For anyone out there who might have thought I was serious I'm sure that the misunderstanding was due to you being unable to physically see the protrusion of my cheek caused by my tongue. Although I have no idea how widespread this particular misperception is, I do know for a fact that one person thinks I was serious and took me (indirectly) to task for it. Ken (being a verb, apparently) replied to all of this with a mathematical tour de force proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that gun nuts are, in fact, nuts (and stupid too). The reason I'm dedicating valuable* electronic space to this issue is that Ken not only accused gun lovers of using questionable mathematics, but he also employed them himself.

Ken points out that some bad assumptions were made to come up with the stats I quoted. I agree completely. Of course, I still firmly believe that the Natural Right of all Americans to "keep and bear arms" is rightly recognized by the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. Regardless, here's how Ken goes to show that guns are literally 11.6 times as dangerous as doctors:

Of course, if we want to figure out which is more likely to kill you, we don't need to do all this dividing by the number of people crap.

Guns deaths 2002 (all intents): 30,242
Medical care deaths 2002 (all intents): 2596

30242 / 2596 = 11.6

So if you're an average American, you're about 11 times more likely to die from a gun than from receiving health care.
I responded to him in his comments, but I'll reiterate here. First of all, who is this mythical "average American" of whom you speak? I have yet to meet him (or her?). Does anyone out there believe that any particular person is 11.6 times more likely to be killed by a gun than by a medical mistake? Just to illustrate the absurdity of such an assertion, consider two people: a south central LA gang member vs. someone with multiple medical problems. Which of them is more likely to be killed by a gun? A medical mistake?

Ok, so obviously those are extreme examples...but at least there are real people fitting those descriptions, in stark contrast to the aforementioned mythical "average American". Even this side of extreme-example-land, it seems painfully obvious that some of us are more likely to be killed by one or the other having very little to do with the 11.6-fold figure.

In any case, I hope that I've cleared up any (possibly intentional) misunderstandings that might have arisen from my wanton, tongue-in-cheek and unregulated use of a gun...statistic.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled gun nut activities...

Wooooooo!!! [Bang! Bang!]


*cough-yeah right-cough


The Verb has just written yet another mathematical tour de force in response to the above humble post. Judging from his post, I apparently attacked the very validity of probability itself. You be the judge, jury and executioner.


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