Tuesday, February 15, 2011

At home vs. at home

270,000 people have been killed at home by guns since September 2001, according to Doonesbury

PolitiFact, one of my favorite news critique sources, decided to Fact Check Doonesbury, rating the statement "mostly true".

The assessment of statistics, however, reveals what each of us ought to be asking every time we read numerical claims.
1.  Where did you get the data?
2.  What did you do with the raw data in order to arrive at your own number?  math, extrapolations, further assumptions, etc.
3.  How do you define your key words?
The reduction in Truth-o-Meter is due to the fact that most people would assume the statement meant "at or near my home".  Whereas Trudeau meant at home to be the opposite of abroad.

Pow - advocates of stricter gun laws see a huge number and embrace it as a supporting pillar of their dogma without asking if it's right.
Pow - advocates of looser gun laws see a huge number and immediately assume it's wrong because it doesn't support their dogma.

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