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Media Matters’ Matt Gertz recently posted a polemic protesting the lack of questions about gun control at the presidential debates. That may or may have had something to do with the fact that The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has been agitating for a gun control debate query even before the recent Romney romp. In the run-up to tomorrow’s contest, MM’s unleashed their in-house statistician (Bachelor’s of Arts in American Studies, minors in Sociology and Women’s Studies, and a certificate in Communications and Media Studies) to chart the historical dearth of firearms-related questions at the debates. Not included in the chart: the role of the pro-gun vote in scuppering Al Gore’s presidential aspirations. Or the fact that suicide accounts for most of the CDC’s “gun violence.” Or anything particularly relevant. What was that about lies, damned lies and inappropriate correlations?

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  1. Stats are worthless. They can be twisted and cherry picked to prove anything and they prove nothing. And for most people in america right now the economy is much more important than gun control or lack thereof.

    Probably very few people like me. I’m a 1 issue voter. Guns. But most people have other concerns that are as important or more important than guns.

    • Incomplete data is inconclusive and can be misleading. Having the whole picture — all the data– in order to check for errors, bad interpretations, or the statistical weirdness that can pop up through perfectly accurate statistical analysis is worthwhile. Time consuming and and pain in the posterior, but worthwhile.

      Unless you’re trying to manipulate the data to support a specific conclusion, in which case, complete data sucks.

      Turning off the nearly-a-Stats-minor mode in 3…2…1…

  2. So according to this chart, 13 minutes of presidential debate about gun control should save about 4,000 lives? Heck, if it works, I say go for it. If it’s that easy, we’d be nuts not to do it. Have that debate. Save some lives.

    On the other hand, gun violence deaths were trending down along with debate time for two election cycles…then started rising again after Bush and Gore spent 13 minutes debating it. Maybe they should just stay off the topic this time. We don’t want a bloodbath.

    • That was pretty much my impression of the chart as well.
      It sure looks like that big spike in “minutes” had the effect of reversing the downward trend in “deaths”, if we are expected to believe “correlation = causation”.

    • This reminds me a story about Bono:

      At a concert, between songs, he raises his hands to get silence from the audience. Once silence has fallen, he starts slowly clapping his hands. After some hand claps, he says to the audience: “Every time I clap my hands, a child dies in Africa.”

      From the back of a the audience: “Well stop clappin’ your hands then, you feckin’ evil bastard!”

  3. Let’s not even bother with statistics. Yes the AI loves them, and we pick them apart to truly understand them. Let’s just reference a quote by Sarah Brady herself.
    “Our main agenda is to have all guns banned. We must use whatever means possible. It doesn’t matter if you have to distort the facts or even lie. Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.”
    Sara Brady
    Chairman, Handgun Control Inc, to Senator Howard Metzenbaum
    The National Educator, January 1994, Page 3.

    Win at all costs.. Lie and make the public your useful idiots. Yeah that sounds about right…

  4. I’d love to see this mapped against drunk driving injuries, knife attacks, and poisonings just to see how the supposed problem compares

  5. Any organization associated with Soros and/or Bloomberg can be assumed to be dishonest, hostile and/or ignorant regarding guns. And in the case of Soros [and again, possibly Bloomberg] regarding democracy.

  6. I agree with jwm; for most Americans, gun rights or restrictions are not an important issue in this national election cycle. Only the gun ban folks want to make it an issue, and no one is taking the bait. Hardly surprising: the gun banners vote democratic, and having that debate can only harm Obama’s chances. Doh.If they hadn’t drunktheir own koolaide, maybe the Brady Bunch would have figured this out–Obama cerainly has.

  7. Please, let Obama call for gun control in a debate. Or even in an ad. The truth, of course, is that no Democrat in any competitive race wants to touch that subject.

    • The AWB is a plank in the Dem platform.
      I wonder if Obama or Romney will say a word about it in the remaining debates.

  8. “Bachelor’s of Arts in American Studies, minors in Sociology and Women’s Studies, and a certificate in Communications and Media Studies”

    In other words, an indoctrinated lemming.

    This is why higher education is now a failure outside the STEM areas. Any liberal arts program with the word “studies” in it is a flag to an employer that the person holding such a degree is a useless git…


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