Brady Campaign admits that Assault weapons are rarely used in violent crime.

Alternate title: More Fun with Math.

What? You mean the Brady campaign DIDN’T admit that, even though that’s the only obvious conclusion that can be drawn from their own study?

The first thing I noticed when looking over the study is that they use only raw numbers and anecdotes, not overall statistics. It’s almost like they’re trying to overstate their case or something.

Also notable, they don’t mention any numbers from when the “ban” was in effect with which to draw comparisons. Hmmm. I wonder: did they not bother to gather those numbers, or did they just choose not to provide them? I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t provide them. I mean, it’s not possible that those numbers would have shot their whole premise down in flames now is it? Surely the Brady Campaign wouldn’t leave out pertinent facts in an effort to create a misleading impression…

[/sarcasm]

At any rate, I decided to take a deeper look at the numbers that they DID provide.

Assuming that their numbers are correct (hardly a given, they admittedly used press reports…which are notoriously unreliable in identifying firearms types…not to mention the fact that the anti-freedom forces have been known to conjure numbers out of thin air from time to time):

According to the CDC (via Wisqars) there were 35,481 homicides in 2004 and 2005 (the last year for which data is available. The Bradys counted incidents from September of 2004 through October of 2008. Versus getting too fancy with the math, we’ll just use that as an average and estimate the total number of homicides over that four year period to be 4 times the annual average of those listed by CDC for 2004 and 2005. That equals a total number of homicides over that four year period of 70,962.

The Brady’s number of deaths by “assault weapon” during that time is 163. That means that (again, assuming that the Brady’s numbers are correct), .23% of all homicides since the expiration of the misnamed “AWB” were committed by effected firearms.

How about cops? Well, according to the FBI uniform crime reports, there were 217 Police Officers “feloniously” killed from 2004 to 2007. Again, we’ll just use that four year total as an estimate covering the four years of the Brady report…and employing some basic math, inaptly named “assault weapons” have been used in .69% of Police Officer homicides.

Hey, we’d better ban them. Forget about the millions of law abiding citizens that use them for home protection, target shooting, hunting (yes, hunting) and competition: we MIGHT…assuming that the ban is 100% effective and that perpetrators don’t just choose another weapon…reduce the overall homicide rate by just over TWO TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT and the Police Officer homicide rate by less than SEVEN TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT.

Finally, you’ll notice that their injury numbers are only slightly higher than their death numbers. That’s strange. Again, according the the CDC Via Wisqars, non-fatal violent assaults are HUGELY more common than fatal violent assaults. During the same period that we estimated 70,962 homicides, there were some 6.6 MILLION non-fatal assaults. Even if you limit it to firearms related assaults (which I don’t believe is valid…violent crime is violent crime regardless of the tool used), there were over 195 thousand incidents during the period.

That means that the incidence of non-fatal firearms assaults involving what are considered “assault weapons” by the Brady Campaign amounts to no more than statistical noise, relatively speaking.

I’m sorry…explain to me again why these firearms are such an egregious threat?

[Update] Both Uncle and Caleb have commented on different aspects of this report. [/Update]

***NOTE: I left a comment similar to this post on a media article regarding the issue. I made a mistake on that comment in that I counted all homicides in 2004 rather than just the ones from September to December…the period covered by the Brady report. As a result, my numbers here are slightly different. The point is no less valid even with the corrected numbers.***

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