Addressing Gun Violence One Bumper-Sticker Solution At A Time

hg_glock-4-pistol_aMost anyone who has taken a statistics class has heard the example of the incidence of rape rising when sales of ice cream increase. Does that mean rape is more likely to occur as ice cream sales rise? The evidence says yes.

But would banning ice cream sales result in a reduction in the number of rapes? Almost certainly not. Why? Because the correlation does not demonstrate the causation. Looked at another way, they have a shared cause, but there is no correlation. The cause in both cases is hotter temperatures. That is, rape is more likely to occur in warmer months, just as ice cream sales shoot up during the hot summer season. Banning the sale of ice cream to reduce rape makes about as much sense as banning guns to reduce violence.

We get bombarded with stats, figures and polling data every day. Much of this, particularly the polling data, is next to useless. But it doesn’t stop the media from fixating on often-times meaningless numbers to tell a story Chris Ingram – Irreverent View – Click To Read More...