The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Disaggregating Data on ‘Gun Violence’

Posted on | April 9, 2023 | 1 Comment

One of the things that liberals love to do is to discuss trends without examining the relevant context. Suppose we’re talking about childhood poverty, and the liberal wishes you to be concerned about an increase in this problem. Would it be helpful to know how the data are different between, say, single-parent households and married-parent households? Or how would the data look if we broke it down by race, or by immigration status of the parents? Isn’t it likely that some significant part of the trend in childhood poverty is caused by an enormous influx of impoverished Latin American immigrants, many of them here illegally? Yet even among immigrants, aren’t children less likely to grow up in poverty if they’re living in a two-parent married family household?

On this issue, as on so many other issues, you cannot understand what’s happening and why it’s happening if you do not disaggregate the data, breaking it down by demographic categories. A remarkable example of this was provided by Steve Sailer on the recent increase in homicide among teenagers:

This is absolutely breathtaking. Despite the fact that blacks are 14% of the U.S. population, they accounted for seven times as many teenagers killed by gun violence in 2021, and nearly all of the increase in homicides in the 15-19 age group between 2019 and 2021. Sailer was able to extract this information from the CDC database, and perhaps others (including Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell) could have done the same thing, if they had tried, but of course, they didn’t try. Because they don’t care. They just want to scare people with a number about a trend, without providing the context necessary to understand the trend.




One Response to “Disaggregating Data on ‘Gun Violence’”

  1. Liberalism and Reality: Complete strangers - The DaleyGator
    April 9th, 2023 @ 3:14 pm

    […] Other McCain looks at the Lefts disconnect with context, and thus with […]