Dear Anti Gunners: Engage Brain Before Spouting Stats

Caught this sucker on Twitter:

And the crowd goes wild! Fireworks go bang and the people feel safe…. until the do the math and realize that something is fishy with that statistic.

Felons attempting to buy guns at gun stores are violating 18 U.S.c. §§ 92 which is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or up to a $250,000 fine. That means the following:

  • 500,000 indictments for violation of 18 U.S.c. §§ 92.
  • Up to 5 million years of prison time if all were found guilty.
  • Up to 125 billion dollars in fines.

Call me crazy, but those numbers would be outstanding and worthy of the front page of any newspaper or leading story in the 6 O’clock news. Have you heard anything like that? Nope. And you won’t because the dirty little secret is that the NICS check is notorious for giving false positives. In 2009, NICS issued 71,010 initial denials and when all was said and done only 77 cases were presented for prosecution. That is 0.1 percent of the initial denials or in plain English, 99.9 percent of the denials were wrong.

So, if you are going to throw stats out there to support your point of view, make sure they are logical and not propaganda tools for shock value. You might get shocked back.

9 Replies to “Dear Anti Gunners: Engage Brain Before Spouting Stats”

  1. Man, you weren’t kidding! Top Hissy Fit they are having. Is this the first time they are realizing Gun Folks have been giving away guns for Cancer Research? A bit behind the times, aren’t they?




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  2. Also I think everybody knows at least one person who had to contest a NICS denial at a shop.

    Ask the dude behind the counter and he’ll note that it happens all the time somebody will be denied, and later leave with a gun 100% legally.

    NICS sucks, and they’re quoting how shitty it is as a reason to keep it!

    This is how smart they are!




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    1. I once got denied. According to the person on the other side of the phone line, I was a felon being sought for murder. The gun shop owner said that he knew me and knew I might be a tad of an asshole but not quite a murderer and to please run the #SS again. It came back clean. 🙂




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  3. . In 2009, NICS issued 71,010 initial denials and when all was said and done only 77 cases were presented for prosecution. That is 0.1 percent of the initial denials or in plain English, 99.9 percent of the denials were wrong.

    It is picking a nit but you are confusing two issues in that sentence. The Number of denials is higher than the number of cases presented for prosecution.

    There are many reasons why a prosecutor would not bring a case; mostly relating to the likelihood of winning the case.

    A better statement is found in the article
    Of the rest, 2,291 covered cases where initial reviews indicated that the person should have been denied buying a gun. But the government admits that upon further review another 572 of these referrals were found “not [to be] a prohibited person,” leaving about 4,154 cases.

    That implies an initial false positive rate of roughly 94.2 percent.




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  4. But wait! Of those 77 cases that were prosecuted, only 32 resulted in convictions or plea deals. Something seriously wrong with those numbers, one way or another.
    Bottom line – criminals don’t generally buy their guns somewhere that they would have to get an NCIS check done.




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  5. I am in federal law enforcement in a fairly large city with a decent crime rate. I also work closely with the federal court system. In my 23 years on the job I have NEVER seen ONE NICS prosecution!!




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