Friday, March 30, 2018

Say what?

The Economist takes a look at gun ownership in Switzerland--which has evidently fallen drastically since they ended mandatory conscription in the army--and comes to the conclusion that more gun control would work in the U.S., too.  One wee little problem comes at the end of the article, where they make this claim:

The rate of gun homicides in 2015, 0.2 per 100,000 people, was roughly half the level of the late 1990s.  In contrast, America's figure was 4.0, and over the same period it has barely budged.

For the record, the U.S. firearm homicide rate dropped by about half from 1993 to 2016 as many states enacted shall issue concealed carry laws and otherwise reduced firearm restrictions.  It is quite shocking to see none less than The Economist using such an easily disproven statistic, and it's not a good sign for journalism in general.   Apparently the reality that about ten thousand people make it to the next year alive who otherwise would not have is of little significance to this journal.

It is also worth noting that, with a population currently of around 8.7 million souls, Switzerland's huge reduction in gun deaths amounts to only 16 lives per year, and the statistical shift is only barely statistically significant.  Those are 16 important lives each year, but let's keep these things in perspective.  Plus, their suicide rate is apparently 40% higher than ours. 

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