Friday, October 30, 2015

October, 2015, Part 3, By The Numbers: What Americans Want and What Politicians Deliver (Or Really Care About)

This is the third post among a few days worth of discussion of “by the numbers.” We do this theme occasionally where we look at the reality of the numbers in the world and not the lies, deceptions, and spin of the American political class. I used to work for a boss whose favorite quote was: “There is nothing more devastating to an opinion than the correct number.” By looking at the statistics, trends, and numbers in our world we can cut through the politicians’ smoke screen to truly understand what is going on and hopefully, remedy the issues of the day.

The numbers we will look at this week will often have a common thread running almost through all of them: the views, positions, and opinions of the majority of Americans are often the exact opposite of the views and related actions that our politicians own. Since we are supposed to be living in a representative government system one would hope that the laws, rules, and government functions that our politicians oversee reflect the thinking, hopes, and views of the American citizenry.

As the numbers will usually show, that is nowhere close to reality, which I think reflects two underlying negative trends:
  1. American politicians vote and act for their own personal interests first, Americans’ interests and well being being of secondary consideration. If a politician’s actions can get them more votes or more campaign cash for their perpetual reelection campaigns, than that is their priority, usually not the priorities of their constituents.
  2. Second, I personally believe that today’s American politicians take care of their special interest friends and financiers first and foremost, and the interests of those special interest friends (e.g.unions, corporations, lobbyists, etc.) are usually not in alignment with what the majority of Americans have as their priorities.
Keep these two possibilities in mind as we go “by the numbers” for the next few days and try to show the major disconnect between what Americans want and what politicians are doing:

1) We have already shown this week that surveys of Americans show that they are more in favor of the Second Amendment than those that are not. This reality of the numbers puts them in direct opposition to people like Obama and Hillary Clinton who would confiscate every law abiding citizens’ guns tomorrow if they could weasel out a way to do it.

But if the following chart and its load of numbers from the Federalist  Papers website is to be believed, as published in an article by Brittany Soares, the crime numbers over time prove that the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms plays a major factor in keeping down violent crime rates:

Historical numbers are pretty clear: more gun control equals more murders simply because murderers and criminals do not obey laws including gun control laws. That is why they are called criminals.

Ms. Soares summarizes these chart numbers very nicely: “Year after year, stories of law-abiding citizens defending themselves and others with legal weapons continue to undercut the arguments of the anti-gun left. Areas that have seen gun regulations loosened continue to see lower murder rates. It turns out that if decent people have the right to defend themselves against violence, they will. Who knew, right?

That’s why it’s so important that those who believe in limited government be willing to stand up for the primacy of the “boisterous sea of liberty” while acknowledging that it does indeed have its waves. Because a free and armed citizenry is not only the cause for gun crime, it is also the solution to it.”

2)The city of Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. Thus, if Obama and Clinton were correct, than the numbers would show that Chicago is a crime free Shangrila. However, the latest crime numbers from that city would prove them totally wrong, as recently reported by Breitbart:

- In September, 2015, there were 59 murders and 362 gunshot victims in the city.

- This was the city’s deadliest month since 2002 despite stricter gun control laws passed over time.

- The last two weekend of the month witnessed more than 50 people shot each weekend.

- This compares to 40 people shot each weekend in the previous month of August in the city.

- As a result Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy laid out the police to attack illegal guns, including a new program that assigns a dedicated detective to gun cases who will track the “origin and flow” of the firearms involved.
But wait a minute! Isn’t it illegal to have a gun in Chicago? Why do the police have to put together a special program to go after “illegal guns?” Could it be that guns are not the root causes of Chicago’s never ending violence? Consider the words of people on the streets trying to make a difference there. Tio Hardiman leads a non-profit that works to prevent minor dust ups from turning into mass shootings: “They’re killing babies, shooting mothers, shooting kids… The mentality is, ‘If I don’t like myself there’s no way I’m gonna like you.’”Local community organizer Askari Ali has a similar opinion: “They don’t appreciate life because they feel like their life not shit. So they got no problem taking your life.”Both Ali and Hardiman suggest a number of actions that attack the root causes of the Chicago violence, none of which involve stricter gun control because frankly, the gun controls cannot get much stiffer in Chicago and we see that that resulted in. Their suggestions include:
  • Jobs programs for adults and youth.
  • Community centers.
  • Street level intervention programs to speak to youngsters in their language about violence and drugs.
  • Provide hope.
The numbers say that gun control is not working in Chicago, maybe we should give the local experts on the street the tools to try their ideas? How much worse could it get?3) One last set of numbers for today. The following graphic and the numbers on it comes from the Federalist Papers website. I do not know if the numbers are credible but other stories and numbers from the Federalist Papers have proven correct so there is little reason to think these are not credible numbers.Plus, these numbers are totally consistent with some of the surveys and statistics we have been discussing this week in our “by the numbers” discussions. Banning guns does not reduce or eliminate violent crime. In fact, as Chicago has shown as have other cities and countries have shown that have instituted stringent gun control laws and bans, the exact opposite happens: crime goes up because criminals, by definition do not obey laws, leaving law abiding citizens defenseless in the face of armed criminals:

More numbers tomorrow.

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