Gun control, statistics, & media click-bait.

Hmmm, so okay. I read Leah Libresco’s opinion piece because of her chops and because of its catchy title. “I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.“¹

Leah Libresco is a statistician and I have invested mightily in statistics and big data these last few years in the form of college tuition for Frood.² With great interest I wondered what Ms. Libresco & her cohorts at FiveThirtyEight had uncovered in the three (3) months of analysis on the 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States.

Her conclusion that the majority of gun deaths need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis reads like an NRA apologetic-not-apologetic explainer. And I wonder at the analysis that took three months for very smart people to reach a fairly obvious conclusion, but whatevs.

Or perhaps Ms. Libresco can be given a pass for having insufficient data. Since 1996, the CDC has suspended research on gun violence since federal monies cannot be used to “advocate for or promote gun control.” Academia holds hush-hush meetings to discuss a public health problem of the same magnitude as hypertension and liver disease²  while the NRA actively puts its dollars in the pockets of pols to ensure its role as silencer for an open discussion of gun violence as a public health problem.

Meanwhile, data on gun violence for the last 21 years has gone missing. On purpose.

Or perhaps Ms. Libresco, in concert with the Washington Post and the New Hampshire Union Leader took advantage of the Las Vegas shooting to publish a paper that diverts the discussion of assault weaponry and gun control back to singular deaths due to gun violence.  Nice redirection away from the issue at hand. I hope the click-bait traffic was worth it.  You had our attention.

Yes, we’re keen on the methods that can be used to curb individual gun deaths and violence, but after the bullets raining down from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino by a lone gunman armed with assault rifles and bump stock boosters, the questions we need answered look like “Isn’t it a bit too easy to procure weapons of mass destruction posing as ‘guns’?” and “Isn’t there something we could do to make it least as hard to obtain firearms and firearm swag as it is to obtain a driver’s license or buy a car?”


It is not legal for me to operate my car without insurance. Sure I can drive my car as long as I don’t get caught, but woe is me if I do.  Could the insurance industry help us out here? Perhaps gun owners need to have additional insurance to carry a gun.

I’m sending up a flare, but insurance isn’t mentioned in the 2nd amendment. Since gun violence and mass shootings are a tax on all of us, it would seem that gun owners should carry insurance to hold against the possibility of running a red-light so to speak. Accidentally breaking the law. Shooting the wrong dude. Shooting oneself in the foot.

My taxes pay for gun owners right to carry in the form of the 33,000 lives lost to gun deaths every year. Why do I have to subsidize your right to bear arms?*

Insurance to cover gun ownership. Hmmm, we’re back to statistics with dollars.

I just might be able to get behind that.


In answer to the question: Was the Las Vegas shooting the worst in US history?  the Washington Post unhelpfully posts a video with information on the East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917 and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. The implication is that these events are analogous to, and possibly worse than Sandy Hook, the Pulse nightclub, the Las Vegas Rte 91 Harvest Festival shootings and all the other mass shootings. Ugh.

Shame on you Washington Post! Just stop. Just.stop.it.

These two events and the deaths cited were not due to an individual lone gunman acting alone using rapid fire assault weapons. The East St. Louis Race Riots and the Wounded Knee Massacre were clashes between groups of people.


¹Libresco, Leah. “I used to think gun control was the answer; my research told me otherwise.” New Hampshire Union Leader. 07 October 2017 11:13 PM. Web. 10 October 2017.

² Frood. Not her real name but she knows where her towel is.

² Schatz, Bryan. “Congress Gutted Researchers’ Ability to Study Gun Violence. Now They’re Fighting Back.” Mother Jones. 20 January 2017. Web. 10 October 2017.

*This is a similar argument to the mens and religious organizations who don’t want to pay for birth control for women. It’s a stoopid argument, but I’m willing to put it forth for gun control if it would get some traction and action.  Just sayin.’