CPRC in the Orange County Register: Should Facebook be depending on [California] PolitiFact to filter ‘reputable’ articles?

13 Jan , 2017  

Dr. John Lott had an op-ed in the Orange County Register on California Politifact’s biases on the gun control issue.  The piece started this way:

. . . Take a couple of PolitiFact California’s two most recent evaluations concerning gun violence.

• “Since the Sandy Hook tragedy, more than seven children per day have died from gun violence” (California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, December 14th, 2016). PolitiFact rated this statement as “mostly true.”

Here, PolitiFact is defining 18 and 19-year-olds as “children.” Among 17, 18 and 19-year-olds, about 80 percent of gun deaths are the result of violent crime. Many of these deaths result from activity by gangs, which isn’t something that will simply disappear as a result of gun control. Stopping drug gangs from getting guns is as difficult as stopping them from obtaining drugs.

PolitiFact also doesn’t seem to understand the difference between homicides and murders. From 2013 to 2015, juvenile homicides outnumbered juvenile murders by 573.

Even PolitiFact concedes that suicides probably shouldn’t be included in Rep. Speier’s gun violence death toll. This is one reason why it didn’t label this as “completely” true. Eliminating suicides and justifiable homicides reduces total juvenile deaths to 1,885 from 2013-2015, or about 1.7 per day in the U.S. This is a far cry from Speier’s purported number of “more than seven.”

If we aren’t counting teenagers as children, the number of 2013-2015 firearm deaths (including suicides) falls still further to 692. This comes to 0.63 deaths per day.

But the larger problem is the assumption that these troubling numbers illustrate the need for gun control. Unfortunately, gun laws disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals. This makes life easier for criminals and causes an increase in the number of deaths. . . .

The entire piece is available here.

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