Richard Craver

Musings about this world, and the world to come.

“…Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics…” – Mark Twain

Written By: richardwcraver - Dec• 19•15

So here’s how it started, I was Twitter surfing. The same as web surfing, except I read a tweet from someone I follow, ended up on their feed and saw a tweet from someone they follow and away I go reading tweets from people I don’t know. Being a life long K.O.O.K. (Keeper Of Odd Knowledge) I often see headlines that make the B.S. detector go off. This particular retweet screamed of gun violence and came from someone who’s handle I will not publish, because I’m not singling her out, and because unfortunately she has been played by the media as have so many others.

The original post came from someone who is alleged to be a TV reporter and has a decent following for a local news guy. It was a retweet of a Washington Post article complete with a graphical portrayal, whose source of was a Reddit community post which referenced a page on shootingtracker.com . The sources cited are local news affiliates.

Reading down into the Washington Post article is this gem, “The reddit tracker defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people, including the gunman, are killed or injured by gunfire. The Mass Shooting Tracker is different from other shooting databases in that it uses a broader definition of mass shooting — the old FBI definition focused on four or more people killed as part of a single shooting.”

Also in shootingtracker’s help page is this paragraph, “Over the past three years both ShootingTracker.com and Gun Violence Archive have had a singular mission of providing unbiased, raw statistics, all with verified sourcing to inform society of the number of Mass Shootings that occur in the United States each year, no matter the cause or intent of the toll of victims. To that end, both ShootingTracker.com and Gun Violence Archive have put considerable effort to insure accurate, timely information. ”

So basically we have:

1- A special interest group, which is actually very biased, reports ‘facts’ with disregard as to whether the shooting is self-defense, police involved or otherwise justifiable; along with using a ‘broader definition’ with disregard for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Statistics. Reading between the lines, anyone shot is a ‘victim’ regardless whether it as a self-defense shooting and they were in fact the perpetrator of the violent incident. (AKA robber, rapist, home invader, etc.)

2 – This information is picked up by the Washington Post, which though not quite a supermarket tabloid, is far from an investigative journalism body.

3 – The headline looks hot, so a ‘reporter’ at WJXT retweets it.

4 – And it is spread through the Twittersphere as truth.

I will give one more link, it is to GunFacts.info . And yes this is a pro-gun site, however I believe you will find the reporting factual without manipulation and it has foot noted sourcing.

I am unashamedly pro-gun, although I have a wish list, I don’t own many. I am also a firm believer that evil doesn’t reside in a firearm of any kind, it’s just a tool like the computer I am typing on. The inherent good or evil resides in the person using the tool whether it is a handgun, rifle, knife, fork, rock or pointy stick.

All loss of innocent life is tragic, their spilled blood will be accounted for by their killers come the judgement day. Whether you are pro-gun or anti-gun will not be determined by this article, but hopefully the reader will be able to discern actual facts to make a decision.

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