According to them, and to these vast collections of statistics, there is a direct correlation between gun ownership and gun accidents. To that I say, well, of course there is. Isn’t that kind of a pointless statement? For instance, wouldn’t it also be much more likely for someone to have a fireplace accident in the home if there is, indeed, a fireplace located somewhere inside?As anyone who's studied statistics knows, correlation does not equal causation. Just because the numbers show that variable 'A' and variable 'B' seem to be related does not prove that 'A' causes 'B', or that 'B' causes 'A'.
The thing that a lot of people seem to overlook with these statistics is that guns don’t automatically equal violence. Period. To believe that extreme, you may also have to believe that alcohol automatically leads to alcoholism and that a sweet tooth automatically yields gluttony. Preposterous, right? There are just too many factors, circumstances, experiences, values, and decisions involved for it to be “that easy.”
Now, the argument over our rights should not depend on statistics. Rights are rights, regardless of how distasteful someone else might find them. I don't begrudge our opponents' right to own and use computers and the Internet, even though they use them to attack my rights; indeed, a computer and the Internet is precisely how I engage and resist!*
But because our opponents do invoke statistics, and because statistics is a language politicians and bureaucrats understand, we must be able to present the other side — the one our opponents would just as soon remain unstated. Or, as Professor Aaron Levenstein says (also quoted by Ms. Alcazar), "Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital." (There. You got a two-fer QOTD today. You're welcome!)
Forgive the innuendo, but we should be prepared to rip the coverings off and reveal the whole truth in all its beautiful glory!
* - It's been said, most notably after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, that the only proper answer to calls for restricting free speech is more free speech. I'd argue this principle applies to other rights, as well.