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Cherry-picking
By anthony canales | Published October 25, 2013

bandini mountain

Recent comments by Attorney General Eric Holder bring up the contention that so-called "active shooter" events are increasing in frequency in recent years.

Coverage by Mother Jones in in February and April of this year is seemingly a basis for the Attorney General's claim.

Furthermore, one study from Dr. J. Pete Blair at Texas State University is specifically claimed by Mother Jones as corroboration of their own "investigative" efforts.

Using criteria partly emanating from definitions obtained from the New York Police Department, and other descriptions used by the media itself, Dr. Blair's research claims almost a three-fold increase in active shooter events in 2009, and more than that in 2010, as demonstrated in Figure 1 below.

ASE Chart 2000 to 2010 Bandini Mountain

Oddly though, Dr. Blair's definition of active shooter events excludes gang shootings as part of the criteria. On Page 3, Blair states:

"...An active shooter event involves one or more persons engaged in killing or attempting to kill multiple people in an area (or areas) occupied by multiple unrelated individuals. At least one of the victims must be unrelated to the shooter. The primary motive appears to be mass murder; that is the shooting is not a by-product of an attempt to commit another crime. While many gang-related shootings could fall with-in this category, gang-related shootings were excluded from this study because gang related shootings are not considered to be active shooter events by the police (NYPD, 2011)..."

This exclusion in and of itself is odd, in that the primary import of Dr. Blair's paper is to address increasing law enforcement training and equipment needs in the face of these active shooter situations.

Yet it is clear that the NYPD is using the very methods and equipment noted in an an NPR article for dealing with gang confrontations as Dr. Blair is recommending for what amounts to a much smaller subset of these kinds of shootings.

In essence, Dr. Blair and the guys and gals at Mother Jones would overlook the pet rhinoceros in the living room, that being the vastly larger number of gang killings noted in such cities as New York and Chicago.

The "cherry-picking" of data in support of a gun control agenda is not new. In California, proponents of a ban on lead ammunition withheld data on alternative sources of environmental lead affecting condors to help effect a ban slated for 2019.

But with the failure of gun control in the liberal-dominated urban centers, the only way for the ban-guns crowd to succeed is to sell suburban voters on the fear of firearms without bringing up the urban track record.

It will take vigilance on the part of gunowners-cum-voters to be able to debunk the arguments of those who would misuse statistics in such a "creative" manner to enact gun bans. But in reality, all they will need is a sense of smell sensitive enough to know when they are being presented with a mountain of bandini.