February 1, 2013
TOM MAGUIRE ON “PUBLIC HEALTH” JIGGERY-POKERY AT THE TIMES:
The NY Times is now fretting that focusing on the link between mental health and gun violence may not be “fair”. What is striking is that when the Times opines on “gun violence” and the need for policies including an assault weapons ban and a limit on magazine capacity, they cite 30,000 gun deaths a year; that figure is based on roughly 19,000 firearm suicides and 11,000 firearm homicides.
Yet now, where the topic is mental illness and access to guns, the emphasis is exclusively on homicides; in fact, the word “suicide” does not appear in their article.
Yes, it is a puzzling use of statistics – the link between magazine capacity and suicide is tenuous at best, but one might imagine that the links between mental illness, suicide and access to guns are much stronger.
But its TimesWorld, so there may be a subtle agenda at play, and maybe “gun violence” is not their real concern.