"Canadian Press: liars. And incompetent ones at that." - Bob Tarantino
The federal Conservative government has rejected Ontario's call for a ban on handguns. ... [Stockwell] Day argued that other countries where handguns have been banned have seen the numbers of gun crimes increase. "In jurisdictions that have eliminated or tried to eliminate, to ban handguns – the United Kingdom, Ireland, other jurisdictions – in fact crime with guns has unfortunately gone up," Day said. Day's statements, however, don't appear to match with the facts. There was a 16 per cent drop in the number of firearms offences in the United Kingdom in 2006 compared with the previous year, according to figures from Britain's Home Office.
I remember thinking to myself, "Elementary logic suggests that you compared years after the ban and years prior to the ban in order to reach any meaningful comparison. Wonder how CP could so badly botch that?" *
Turns out, there was more to it. Bob Tarantino - one of my favorites - absolutely guts the CP on the usage of that stat to call Minister Day a liar or an incompetent.
Here is the UK Home Office page from which the Canadian Press seems to be getting their statistics. And here is what it says:
In the year ending 31 March 2005 provisional figures show a:
- 16% reduction in the use of handguns
If you go to that website, and look three lines down from the piece I quoted, you will see the following:
Despite these figures, the number of overall offences involving firearms has been increasing each year since 1997/98.
Go read the rest. Tarantino got on a roll because I'm not sure if you noticed it, but the CP report compared 2005 numbers with 2006, yet that stat Bob found came from only the first quarter of 2005, least of all 2006.
* - I must admit I also wondered if Day might have been playing fast and loose with the facts, because frankly, I'm having difficulty buying many of the arguments coming from the federal government lately. That being said, I think Day's been a solid cabinet performer and that he was probably correct on this one as the increase in handgun violence had been pretty well established in the past.