Statistics are a problem for the Individualist trying to combat the creeping march of Collectivism. They have an air of authority about them in that they were conducted by professors, grad students and staffers at prestigious institutions. That the results are almost unilaterally in favor of Collectivist policy is just a side effect of understanding the Truth. Data will be gathered from a number of sources, most of which start with the government; which, of course, has no vested interest in the outcome whatsoever. Often times the architects of the study will claim to be surprised by the Truth. The Left will tell you that statistics prove the Truth, and denying it is only further proof of Individualist insanity.
Worship of Statistics is actually a giveaway of Left-wing outlook. Take a look at this piece.
The conclusion of the study (coincidentally released not long after the Zimmerman/Trayvon incident) was that Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine Laws increase crime in aggregate. It further postulates that more cases of lethal force in self-defense occur, which should just be common sense. There are many flaws with the methodology of the study, however.
1. Violent crime in America has been declining since the 90s.
2. The decline actually accelerated shortly after Castle and Stand Your Ground laws were passed in many states, during the 2005-2006 period.
The study claims to account for these facts, and they at least have the intellectual honesty to admit they exist. So in a period of accelerating decline of violent crimes, they claim to have the ability to separate what crimes are related to Stand Your Ground cases, and argue for an increase in crime (or, rather, a decrease in the decrease). That’s absolute lunacy. But the news media outlets take them seriously and cite the study for a variety of anti-gun and self-defense hit pieces.
There’s a deeper issue here, though. And that is the worship of statistics in the first place. Even if the study were perfectly correct, would an individual person be more likely to survive a violent attack if not paralyzed by thoughts of legal entanglements? Stand Your Ground is not a license to murder, it’s merely a legal device designed to remove the Duty to Retreat and put the burden of proof on the State, not the defendant. So the individual is liable to be better off AS an individual, even if society as a whole were to suffer more justifiable homocides, which would increase the overall homicide rate.
There is a further assertion that non-justified homicides were “increasing” (decreasing less than author thinks they ought to be). However, they omitted who was being murdered more. Was it the defenders? Or was it the criminals themselves? The study doesn’t tell us.
But, clearly, we should all be using Chrome or Firefox now, because:
The worship of statistics is part of the Collectivist mindset. Despite heartwarming rhetorical tales about struggling mothers and sob stories about people who take too much Oxycodone and are shamed by it, it’s always about the aggregate, never what is best for the individual. The Altar of Studies is just another way they are telling you “you don’t really matter, all that matters is our graph, and if you die, take comfort knowing that we’re taking credit for lowering homocide rates.”