Guns are a contentious issue. There’s no real debate about that, at least, but when it comes to firearms, it looks like there is for just about everything else.
Which is the world we live in.
It doesn’t help that the media is extremely biased and routinely tries to provide cover for the gun control side of the argument.
In Illinois, a reporter for Illinois Newsroom–which is “powered” by the state’s public media company–tried to do so in the most clunky and contradictory way humanly possible.
In an exclusive interview with Illinois Public Media, Republican Regan Deering, the 13th congressional district candidate, made this claim: “I do think that unfortunately, a lot of the communities that are experiencing gun violence across the country do have very strict gun laws on the books.”
“Correlation is not causation,” Dr. John Jackson, a visiting professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, said in response to Deering’s statement.
I don’t disagree with that last statement. I’ve said as much a number of times on this very site, as a matter of fact.
However, I want you to remember this part, because three paragraphs later, in defending Illinois gun laws, the author wrote:
Here are the facts: Chicago prohibits the sale, possession, and use of assault weapons. In Illinois, ghost guns, which do not have identification numbers are banned. And gun owners must carry a firearm owner ID card.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mississippi has the highest gun death rate per 100,000 people, and the NRA notes that the state has no restrictions on purchasing or carrying guns or rifles.
This is after literally quoting someone saying that correlation doesn’t equal causation. It’s right there, for crying out loud, yet the writer managed to completely miss that he, too, was touting correlation as causation.
And yeah, it really does matter, because there is a lot more going on in Mississippi than a lack of gun control laws.
For example, Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation. Its poverty rate of 18.8 percent is well above Illinois’ rate of 12.2 percent, for example. Further, Illinois’ median household income is $68,428 compared to Mississippi’s $46,511.
The link between poverty and crime is pretty well established, after all and crime rates likely have more of an impact on “gun violence” than lawful gun ownership ever could. You know because it’s crime.
This is why we shouldn’t act as if correlation equals causation.
Yet the author here does, even as he quotes an expert in his second paragraph explaining that correlation doesn’t.
Honestly, it’s so hamfisted that I’m amazed literally anyone could have missed it. Not just the writer, either, but I assume this went through some kind of editing, and no one saw this?
Of course, confirmation bias is a thing. Since it confirmed what they already believe, there was no reason to consider that maybe they’d screwed something up.
Yet this is the double standard we often see with pro-gun voices. His correlation is inherently wrong yet theirs cannot be questioned.
Sorry, I don’t play that game.