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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lies about guns
Coming from a large, very Republican extended family like I do, I am often subjected to right-wing propaganda email forwards that get passed along like the common cold in a college dormitory, and much more often than not I can quickly debunk it as lies, lies, vicious lies, using verifiable online data as below. Sometimes I ReplyAll with the truth; other times, like today, when it's just not a good idea to pick a fight with my family, I blog it. So in case you all happen to see the same right wing lies as I do as this nasty virus flies around the interwebs, I have your response ready to go. (And let me point out as a disclaimer to the 2nd Amendment Rightwingnuts that I in fact own 3 guns myself.)

Here's the original email from the Right Wing Scheme Machine, complete with annoying fonts:

FACTS TO PONDER:
(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
(B) Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.
(C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health Human Services.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Now think about this:
Guns:
(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000.
(Yes, that's 80 million..)
(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.
(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .000188.
Statistics courtesy of FBI

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

So, statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Remember, "Guns don't kill people, doctors do."

FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT
ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.
We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!!!!!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Out of concern for the public at large, I have withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention.


Sounds pretty convincing, eh? (Not to mention hi-lar-i-ous. Yawn.) What with their "actual data" provided by the FBI and HHS? WOW!
But here is The Truth, which will otherwise languish in my Drafts folder b/c I'm tired of fighting with my relatives about politics, so I share it with you:
Actually, that number could be pretty high (probably because it's made up BS). According to the CDC, there were only 762 accidental firearm deaths in 2002, only about half what this email suggests. Even if you include the firearm deaths of "unknown intent," the number only goes up to 1005, and only 1305 if you include all the stupid criminals shot by cops.

On the other hand, there were 11,829 firearm homicides that year.

Compare that with the 2,843 deaths caused by adverse effects of medical care, ALL medical care, INCLUDING side effects of prescription drugs, and suddenly, I want to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights on whoever makes up this bogus propaganda.

You can download the data for yourself at http://webapp.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate.html

The moral of this story is, IF SOMEONE HAS TO SHOUT SOMETHING AT YOU, THEY'RE PROBABLY TRYING TO SELL YOU SOME CRAP.


Honestly, the blatant lies coming out of these fascist weirdos makes blood squirt out of my eyes. They know that if they just repeat the lies over and over and over again, morons will believe it unquestioningly. I say we just start making stuff up and sending it out. Isn't that the takeaway Kate and I got from the "Worldview" workshop at GPS2006? I saw all these examples of right-wing lies being "effective messages," so screw it, I say we play their game. *GRRRR*

Just for kicks, I looked into the data a little bit more.

Death rate per 100,000
Gun violence:
    White - 2.21
    Black - 15.55
Medical care:
    White - 0.93
    Black - 1.60
Total deaths:
    Gun violence, white - 5,185 (population 234.5M)
    Gun violence, black - 6,285 (population 37.7M)
    Gun violence, all - 11,829 (population 288.0M)

So, it's bad enough that black people apparently get 70% crappier health care, but they're 7 times as likely to be killed with a gun. (And I didn't include cop guns.) I hesitated even to blog this last bit, because I know it will only serve as the worst kind of "You see???" justification of racism amongst the "They got what they deserved for not leaving New Orleans" crowd. And maybe Pat Robertson has a few theories about that as well....
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posted by Aerodad at 1/14/2006 05:11:00 PM

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