Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
- Published on Thursday, January 31, 2013
- Written by Web Editor
This morning's San Francisco Chronicle had a major headline: 20,000 in state own guns illegally. Being the contrarian I am, my immediate reaction was, "How do they know that?" Actually, in this case it was a real number based on a database of registered gun owners who had lost the right to own guns but whose guns had not been surrendered. However, it got me thinking about how easily we accept statistical data as fact. We forget that in many cases, the studies or research that produced those facts are often based on estimates, assumptions, and best guesses.