Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.
How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.
If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 26th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.
This was originally posted on March 26, 2013 on my old blog.
Better Yet, Just Shut Up
Have you seen the claim circulating the internet that baseball bats kill more Americans every year than firearms? Yup, just go to any site that is promoted by right-wing gun nuts (or the NRA) to read statistics like 11,000 Americans were killed by baseball bats in 2010 compared with only 8,775 gun deaths. “Don’t ban guns,” they say, “ban baseball bats!”
Never mind that the FBI keeps no specific statistics for baseball bat homicides. This is just another myth being passed around on the internet and social media by those who claim to be true American patriots defending the Second Amendment.
Have you seen the statistic being touted by right-wing sources and the NRA about how hammers and knives kill more Americans than guns? Or that hammers kill half again as many Americans each year as rifles and that knives kill twice as many.
That statistic on more hammer (and other blunt objects) deaths than rifle deaths is interesting — and technically accurate. But you need to take a closer look at how the NRA spins things.
According to the FBI, there were, in fact, “only” 323 deaths by assault rifles in 2011. But what about the other 8,240 deaths by handguns and other firearms? Are those victims any less dead because they were killed by handguns rather than by rifles?
What the eye-catching, clever graphic above doesn’t tell you is that, while 496 people were killed by blunt objects, such as hammers and baseball bats, 8,583 were killed by firearms in the same year, firearms including rifles and handguns.
The FBI’s data on homicides shows quite clearly that firearms account for more than two-thirds of the homicides in the U.S. The same FBI database reports that only slightly more than 13% of homicides were committed with knives or other cutting instruments, while under 4% were done with blunt objects, including baseball bats, clubs, and hammers!
As was noted in snopes.com, in any debate about gun control, someone will inevitably make the argument that “X kills more people than guns do,” where X is anything other than guns. Sure people die from cancer, heart disease, and all kinds of health matters, and even from medical malpractice. People die in car accidents, plane crashes, from poisoning, and choking. They die from old age.
But when it comes to homicides, the fact is that in America, the probability of being murdered by a gun is more than double that of being killed by all other weapons combined. And “all other weapons” includes knives, baseball bats, hammers, poison, fire, pushing someone out of a window, cars, hands and feet, explosives, drownings, narcotics, strangulation, asphyxiation, and “other” causes or method.
And these gun death statistics don’t include the more than 19,000 Americans who committed suicide with firearms in 2011. Half of all suicides in the U.S. are committed with guns.
So before you publicly quote and pass along “statistics” claiming that more people die from hammers, baseball bats, and knives than from guns, check your sources. Stop being a tool for the NRA.
Or better yet, just shut up.