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Sen. Jackson needs help with statistics

Posted: February 17, 2013 - 12:07am  |  Updated: February 17, 2013 - 8:37am

Ol’ Brother Bill really nailed ’em last week.

In an online video, state Sen. Bill Jackson raised the dander of liberals with a speech from the well of the Georgia Senate in which he primarily was arguing against more gun laws.

He won’t get any disagreement from me there; thinking that more gun laws will stop gun crime is the sort of nonsense that made Chicago the most dangerous city in America.

But Jackson got a little overwrought during the speech and wandered into territory that, unfortunately, is the kind of thing that gets such a fine Southern gentleman branded a member of the Tin Foil Hat Society.

“They killin’ people with frying pans!” Jackson intones in the video making the rounds via social media courtesy of the left-leaning group Better Georgia. “They killin’ people with hammers! There was more murders with hammers last year that there was with shotguns, pistols and AK-47s!” (See it here: http://vimeo.com/59504314).

That’s a pretty provocative claim, so perhaps we should check to see if it’s true. Otherwise, liberals might start a clamor for hammer-registration laws, threatening our construction industry.

Granted, the FBI crime statistics for 2012 haven’t been released yet, so we can’t definitively say it isn’t true that more people were murdered last year with hammers than “with shotguns, pistols and AK-47s.”

But it’s reasonable to extrapolate from 2011 crime statistics. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, there were 12,664 murders that year. While firearms of all types were used in most (8,583) of those murders, Jackson specifically referenced “shotguns, pistols and AK-47s,” so we’d have to assume he means a smaller number than the total.

With just shotguns (356) and pistols (6,220) as the weapon, 6,576 people were murder victims in 2011. Rifles accounted for 323, but of course not all rifles are AK-47s (except to liberals), so we have to exclude that number in checking Jackson’s figures.

Then again, we don’t know exactly how many hammers were used that year in murders, either; they’re included (along with frying pans) in the “blunt objects” category, used as the weapon in 496 murders.

So: In 2011, 6,220 people were killed with shotguns and pistols, not counting AK-47s, while 496 were killed with blunt objects, which includes hammers. While we can’t say for sure without the 2012 FBI stats, which theoretically could reflect a massive surge in tool-related homicides, we can establish that more people in 2011 were not, in fact, killed with hammers than with “shotguns, pistols and AK-47s.”

Now, if Sen. Jackson wants to use accurate numbers, he would be 100 percent correct – based on the 2011 statistics – to say more people that year were killed with blunt objects, including hammers and frying pans, than with AK-47s. He could even say blunt objects were used to kill more people than all rifles, including AK-47s.

Considering how the left seems hell-bent on outlawing scary-looking rifles, that’s not a bad argument to make.

By the way: 728 people in 2011 were murdered with “personal weapons,” meaning they were beaten, strangled or kicked to death. I hope the liberals don’t get hold of that statistic or they might propose banning fists.

I don’t know about you, but anyone trying to take away my fists will have to get past my assault hammer first.

 

(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. Email barry.paschal@newstimesonline.com, or call (706) 868-1222, ext. 106. Follow at www.twitter.com/barrypaschal.)

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