Hillary's B.S. Per-Capita Gun Stat

The B.S. in the title of this post could refer to Bernie Sanders, as my Hillary-supporting Facebook friends like to write. But I live in stats-world, so when I heard this latest per-capita gun stat humdinger from Hillary, the B.S. was my bullshit-stat detectors, which pegged out at a level I only usually see from creationists and climate change deniers:

"Most of the guns that are used in crimes and violence and killings in New York come from out of state. And the state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont." -- Hillary Clinton

Per-capita guns? What the hell kind of bullshit stat is that?

Let's say I live next to a house and next to an apartment high rise. There's one lunatic in the house with a gun. There are one hundred lunatics in the apartment building with guns among 1,000 residents. What's the bigger threat to me, the house or the apartment building?

Obviously, the apartment building, right? If I am shot, it is a hundred times more likely to have been by someone who lives in the apartment building than the house. The 900 other people without guns don't factor into my worries. There could be 9 million more people in that apartment building; that won't reduce the 100 lunatics any.

But Hillary's "per-capita gun stat" is designed to make the lone lunatic in the house scarier than the hundred lunatics in the apartment building. After all, per-capita, 100% of the people in the house are lunatics with a gun, while only 10% of the people in the apartments are lunatics with a gun.

WaPo dug up the actual numbers (look for yourself). For New York, in 2014, of the top 15 states with the most guns used in crimes traced back to state of origin, Vermont came in 14th, only ahead of California. There were 4,008 guns from those Top 15 states, Vermont's share was 55 of them, about 1.4%.

Besides New York (1,397 or 34.9%), the most guns came from Virginia (395 or 9.9%). Regionally, most guns came from the South - Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, & Florida (1,699 or 42.4%).

So well over three-out-of-four (77.2%) guns used in crimes in New York come from New York or the South, but Hillary wants you to get all worked up about the 1.4% that came from Bernie's home state, so she can score political points painting Bernie as some raving gun nut.

Bernie, the guy who gets a D- from the NRA.

Hillary needs to make this gun control distinction with Bernie because it is the only position on which she is to the left of him, albeit just barely. This may be a good strategy in a New York Democratic Primary, but it is a lousy general election strategy.

Her attack trying to link Bernie Sanders to the massacre at Sandy Hook has already backfired on her horribly...

... because even liberal Bill Maher and the panel on his show this weekend remarked on the absurdity of suing gun manufacturers because someone misuses their product for its intended purpose.

If Hillary is nominated and takes that idea for a stroll anywhere outside a liberal metropolitan area, she's just increasing GOP voter turnout.

Hillary is getting increasingly desperate. The feeling that, like 2008, she just can't close the deal, is building. She's damaging her African-American support with a terrible joke about "CP Time" and her husband's terrible defense of her "super predators... that must be brought to heel" line to Black Lives Matter activists. She's got to face Bernie in Brooklyn Thursday and he's taken off the kid gloves (too late, I fear) and is starting to hammer Hillary on her lack of good foreign policy judgment, global promotion of fracking, and her Wall Street ties.

Trying to scare the people of New York about 55 guns from Vermont isn't helping Hillary's cause. She may still win New York, but anything short of a double-digit win isn't going to stop the erosion of her inevitability.