Meaningless Statistics And Reports

Worthless reports and statistics are showing how hollow once great institutions have deteriorated.

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Benjamin Disraeli

As time goes on, I’ve learned the wisdom of Mr. Disraeli’s famous statement. Part of maturing is learning to not to immediately trust what is put out by media or academic sources. Some may call that cynicism, but I don’t. It’s called maturing.

Last month I posted this meme on my Facebook page, implying Democrats are more violent than non-Democrats.

Facebook meme

Within an hour a got a response from a liberal I know, showing a “report” that says Red states have more “gun violence” than Blue states. Not the first red herring I’ve seen from this person, will likely not be the last. But let’s go with this.

First, we need a definition of what we are talking about. From the American Association of Family Physicians:

…Gun violence includes homicide, violent crime, attempted suicide, suicide, and unintentional death and injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 38,000 deaths from firearms (including suicides) occurred in the United States in 2016, and nearly 85,000 injuries from firearms occurred in 2015. That’s an average of 105 deaths and more than 230 injuries from firearms each day.

Gun violence should be considered a public health issue, not a political one—an epidemic that needs to be addressed with research and evidence-based strategies that can reduce morbidity and mortality. Gun violence affects people of all ages and races. Family physicians care for victims of gun violence and their families every day…

Granted, the meme could be better phrased, such as “gun crime would drop by 90%”. Liberals have deliberately confused the discussion of gun crime and violence by calling deaths from firearms a “disease” and grouping criminal homicides, suicides, accidents, etc. into one term, “gun violence.” For ages gun crime was exactly that, criminal acts committed with a firearm (e.g., murder, aggravated assault, etc.). Now an accidental shooting is part of a medical “epidemic.”

“Trust the science.” Anyone hear that one recently?

The linked source is from Forbes magazine, with a link from the Journal of the American Medical Association Surgeons. Some of the stats, and some clarification on them:

Louisiana had a firearm mortality rate of 29.1 and voted for Trump.

Yes, Louisiana has a high firearm “mortality rate” and the state voted for President Trump in 2020. The state had 544 murders in 2021. However, New Orleans (D) had 218 murders (as well as 465 non-fatal shootings), Baton Rouge (D) had 149, and Shreveport (D) 86 (as of two weeks before the new year). Those are 453 murders in a state that voted red, but the murders are from the three largest Democratic cities. A total of 453 murders, 83% of the criminal homicides.

The JAMA report singles out Mississippi with “a firearm mortality rate of 33.9.” Yes, but looking deeper into the numbers, of a state with a population of 2.9 million, it had 194 murders. Of these murders, 152 (78%) came from the capital of Jackson MS, a Democratic stronghold.

Conversely, JAMA says New Jersey is a safer state with 262 murders, and it voted blue (and has since 1992). Again, look a little deeper at the numbers. The largest city, Newark, had 54, Jersey City had 23, and Paterson 28. Over 40% of the state’s gun murders are from three deep blue cities in a deep blue state.

Put another way, if you wanted to find a safe place for your family, would you try downtown Newark NJ or downtown Gulfport MS?

The points of this? One, stats can be worse than damned lies. Any set of numbers can be arranged to give you the results you want to. A voter poll commissioned by one campaign is often (if it’s meant for public disclosure) weighed to collect more voters from the candidate. A push poll is not there to reflect the public’s opinion, but to influence it.

Another example, reports have come out saying “gun violence” is the leading cause of death of children in America. They are looking from age 1 to 19. Those are not children, as 18–19-year-old are adults in every state in the union, and 17 is classified as adults in certain states (e.g., Texas). I searched multiple sites but could not get a breakdown by age, but I will speculate the overwhelming majority are teenagers in big cities involved with gangs and other criminal acts.

Next this shows how once respectable institutions like the American Medical Association have lost their soul and are not to be trusted. Their conduct during the Covid pandemic is to say the least deplorable, but it was corrupt long time before that. Any group that says children can decide to mutilate their bodies as “gender affirming health care” and pedophiles are “minor attracted persons” has lost all credibility.

Unfortunately, many of the other major institutions are losing the trust of the American people. From Legal Insurrection, a recent Gallop poll on faith in institutions:

I have to say I’m impressed Congress is almost at two digits. I am disturbed at how the military has fallen, but after the abuse of the Obama and Biden years, I’m not shocked. Too many of my fellow vets are telling their friends and family members to not join, which limits pool of talented young men and women in the service.

Finally, reports, surveys, etc. on the mainstream press are to be at best taken with a brick of salt, but realistically assumed to be lies. Another truism I’ve learned over the years, it’s awfully difficult to re-earn trust. For groups like the AMA, the problem is they don’t care.

Michael A. Thiac is a retired Army intelligence officer, with over 23 years experience, including serving in the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the Middle East. He is also a retired police patrol sergeant, with over 22 years’ service, and over ten year’s experience in field training of newly assigned officers. He has been published at The American Thinker,, and on his personal blog, A Cop’s Watch.

Opinions expressed are his alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of current or former employers.

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