Joe Nocera (courtesy foreignpolicyjournal.com)

I’ve blogged Joe Nocera’s The Gun Report before. The same basic bitch still applies: his “report” is a thinly disguised piece of anti-gun agitprop. The New York Times column is as devoid of context as a half-naked Las Vegas showgirl in full-feathered regalia prancing near the printing press at a bible factory. Nocera’s “simple” list of people who’ve been shot (with links to source stories) leaves one with the impression that all firearms-related injuries and deaths are the same. The point of the polemic: overwhelm reason with sheer weight of numbers. Of course, the incidents cited are most decidedly not much of a muchness. As NYT reader Eric from New Jersey points out . . .

….road rage incident ….

….a convicted felon ….

….wounded inside the Paradise Sheesha Lounge, a hookah bar….

….SOB’s, a nightclub….

….episode of vandalism ….

….shot him in self defense.

….was intoxicated and not cooperating.

….tried to rob ….

….shooting resulted from a gambling argument.

What’s the bet that the New York Times liberals didn’t read any of the stories included in his report? What’s the bet Nocera didn’t even surf the web to get the stories; that he assigned the task to some rich kid interning at The Grey Lady on his way to a cushy job in PR? I’d bet an expensive dinner on it.

Nocera’s been doing this column for nearasdammit a year now. He’s just as willfully pig-ignorant about firearms as he was when he started. Check the intro:

This week, the Missouri state legislature came close to passing a law that would have let residents own a machine gun, and call for the arrest of federal agents if they tried to take it away.

Hey Joe, Missouri residents can own a machine gun right now. Also, please note that hundreds of Missourians have access to machine guns. Sure, they’re police, but police are civilians (and residents) too.

Joe would say that’s OK. That’s different. Cops are trained and restrained. Unlike left-leaning journalists who can’t be bothered to write more than two paragraphs about guns or fact-check his own work. And wouldn’t dream of amending it when a pro-gun reader points out his mistakes.

You want context? There it is.

Recommended For You

24 Responses to Joe Nocera’s “Gun Report”: Lazy Journalism, Lazy Thinking

  1. Do you seriously expect accuracy, knowledge or fairness to creep into anything you might read in the New York Times? The only valid reason for reading that feculent fountain of progressivism is to follow Sun Tzu’s counsel regarding knowing your enemy.

        • What is uncanny is Nocera could run the EXACT same column, and instead of gun deaths, only report on vaccine deaths or hospital accident deaths and come to the conclusion– with his exact same rational –that vaccines and hospitals are the worse things in the world.

          Nocera’s work is junk science. He is exactly using the FLAT EARTH anti vaccine nut logic and rhetoric.

          EXACLY like the anti vaccine nuts he REFUSES to consider and count the estimates of defensive gun uses and crimes prevented. He says only documented cases where a gun is fired count as defensive use

          OK, can Mr. Nocera NAME us people saved by vaccines? Seriously, they are a range of estimates — and gun defensive uses are as well. In both cases the positive estimate of crimes prevented by guns or lives saved by vaccines are WAY WAY higher than the cost (innocent persons harmed).

          I wrote to Mr. Nocera when he started his blog and asked him to consider
          a) defensive gun uses
          b) applying the over 20 estimates by police departments on how many murder victims are actually criminals. It is in fact 85 to 90% criminals whoj are the victims of gun murder.
          3) putting a caveat on the suicide numbers shown in the studies — including by gun control advocates — indicate that firearms presents elevates suicide risk by only 3%to 5%.
          I got no response.

          Here are the FACTS:
          Gun deaths: 30,000
          Suicides:19,000
          *Suicides actually attributed to increase risk due to gun presence: 600 to 950
          Gun murder: 10500
          *Gun murder of non criminals: About 1,500

          As far as I am concerned that is about 2,000 to 2,500 deaths that matter. Not 30,000.”
          Observations:
          -By Nocera including suicide as “violent death” he is unwittingly positing that unarmed Japan and S. Korea are more violent than the US, and that most of Scandinavia is equivalently violent.
          – If a 60 year old with stage five cancer decides to use his firearm to prevent months of suffering, and the bankruptcy of his family HOW is that a social ill of any kind?
          – I think gun owners deeply care about the 2,000 to 2,500 innocent person harmed by gun availability. Those are the only LEGITIMATE numbers for non criminal murder victims and suicides that could not have occur absent a gun. Increased criminal punishment for murder and increased program for at-risk suicidal persons is something I bet 99% of gun owners fully support.

    • “Feculent fountain of progressivism…” describes the NYT perfectly.

      As a longtime word nerd, it’s not often I get surprised by a new adjective — let alone one as awesome as “feculent.” I’m gonna have to put that one in my personal lexicon.

      PeterC wins the internet today.

  2. These imbeciles can’t tell a Glock from a 1911, you think they can read and think critically? The intelligence and education the Times brings to the table lies somewhere on the scale between slime mold and the dump I took this morning, with the fecal matter being slightly higher.

  3. Gee another Liberal from New York,HUH ,go figure.They ALL do that cause they’re ignorant about firearms and there is a couple of Key words they have’t figured out .They are ,are you ready,’Reading and Learning’But every time you call them to the carpet and ask,”so what is your background with fire arms? You get the ‘deer eye in the headlight stare’ Cause they don’t have one then I will say ” we’ll I guess that make me the expert in this conversation,doesn’t ? it.cause if an expert witness was to be called ,I would be picked over you,wouldn’t I? Shuts em up every time.
    Now if they continue ; So can we change the topic to nuclear science,cause I don’t know anything about that and I would like to give you my opinion,is that Ok? They leave the table.It’s like bug repellant,try it!

  4. Joe might as well be listing all the people who died yesterday choking on a bit of vegetable. Just as relevant. Much larger number. But both of his readers find lists of deaths by gun somehow exciting. I can only suggest that he throw in deaths by kicking to death. It probably would appeal to the same two readers, and add some perspective.

  5. Did you notice how he listed the deaths of people by gunshot since newtown with that slate counter. Don’t know how accurate it is, looked at the link. It’s only 8,006. I;m assuming suicides are removed from that number. That seems really low. I know we have a few more months until the newtown shooting date, but it seems like gun deaths are staying down consistently over the last few years, even with a increasing population. It’s nice to know the numbers support our side once again, instead of the typical “guns kill 50,000 people a year” shtick.

    • Derrick,

      The murder rate (where the attacker used a firearm for their weapon) has been steadily declining since 1993; the rate is now on par with the early 1970s and continues to decline.

      According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, law enforcement agencies in the United States reported about 9,000 murders (where the attacker used a firearm) in the latest year that data is available.

      When you learn that something like 80% or more of the murder victims were criminals who were engaging in illegal activity when they were murdered, the numbers actually make a lot of sense. That means that there were about 1,800 citizens who were murder victims last year when the murder weapon was a firearm. If those were distributed evenly across all 50 states (which was not the case but it gives us some sense of scale), about 36 citizens in each state are murder victims every year at the hands of an attacker who used a firearm.

      The present number of about 8,000 murders so far in 2013, with about 3 months to go, sounds quite reasonable to me. Keep in mind that murders do not occur evenly throughout the year. There are a lot more murders in warm weather months than cold weather months. Given that two of the three remaining months (until the anniversary of Sandy Hook School shooting) are cold weather months, I imagine we will end the year just a little bit ahead of where we are now.

      • Oh i knew/know that the murder rate was going down for a long time, but it does and has varied slightly up and down from year to year since about 1993, with an overall trend of going down. It’s just refreshing to see that the gun deaths go down despite all the supposed horrors of concealed carry becoming prevalent across the country, and gun ownership uncontrolled(oh the horror), while population goes up. I just get tired of the proggies screaming about how many people die from guns each year when the number is so miniscule. Sometimes I just like to remind myself that it’s part of the price we pay for having freedom. But I appreciate the effort. Keep it up big dog.

        • up and down on the gross numbers, but when you factor in population growth the number per capita is pretty steady down.

          That is occurring as gun ownership has gone up

  6. “… as devoid of context as a half-naked Las Vegas showgirl in full-feathered regalia prancing near the printing press at a bible factory.” — Mr. Farago

    That has to be one of best word pictures that I have ever heard.

  7. Nocera hasn’t been the same since he was kidnapped from Providence by aliens. No kidding, I think the man is completely insane.

  8. Should read today’s post:
    http://nocera.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/the-gun-report-september-13-2013/

    “Gun owners in Chicago, where more than 1,000 people were shot in the first six months of this year, no longer have to register their firearms with the local authorities, in accordance with a new state law that will make Illinois the last in the nation to allow people to carry concealed weapons in public.”

    Wow… 1000 people. I’m glad they now have concealed carry so criminals won’t have the confidence to make those pop shots off at unarmed helpless citizens. Anyways, the criminal’s guns aren’t registered, why is it beneficial to have the law abiding register theirs?

    It seems to Nocera there is no such thing as law abiding and criminal. There are just guns and people who carry them. People who carry guns must be criminals or criminal types (because they have a gun) and we need to register these guns so we can better track this activity, despite it’s effectiveness, or cost to taxpayers.

  9. I can tell by the photo that he’s a cat lover. In fact, he may actually be a large cat. A fat, numb-brained, grinning Cheshire cat.

    I’m waiting for him to vanish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *