That article suffers deeply from many of the same bait and switch tactics that the Vox critique does. The instances are too numerous to count. I’ll just grab one, for illustrative purposes.

In 2013, American gun-related deaths included 21,175 suicides, 11,208 homicides and 505 deaths caused by an accidental discharge. That same year in Japan, a country with one-third America’s population, guns were involved in only 13 deaths.

This the exact same bait and switch as Vox pulls with suicide, by inferring false counterfactuals. The article lumps gun suicides in the US in with “gun deaths” while inferring that those suicides would not happen in a gun free America, and then ignoring the overall suicide rate of Japan.

Japan’s published suicide rates are not reliable, because over the last decade their police have been pressured into mischaracterizing suicides as “accidents” in order to cook their numbers, but when they didn’t practice this, their rates were similar to South Korea’s. SK’s suicide rate alone is more than the combined suicide and homicide rate in the US, by all methods, including guns and non-guns.

Where the NYT article is true, is that violence itself is cultural. Where it fails, is its implication that the US culture is in some way related to the Swiss culture, when it’s clearly not. Where it fails even further, is when it implies that anything at all could be reasonably done about gun proliferation in the United States. There is absolutely nothing that can change our guns/capita number, mathematically speaking.

Conscientious objector to the culture war. I think a lot. mirror: www.freakoutery.com writer at: www.opensourcedefense.org beggar at: www.patreon.com/bjcampbell

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store