Left’s “Fact Sheet” on Maine Gun Deaths Excludes Facts


center-for-american-progressThe Center for American Progress – a leftist think tank with intimate ties to the White House– recently published a fact sheet about gun violence in Maine. The sheet is true propaganda that omits important contextual information about gun deaths in Maine in order to advance an ideological agenda — namely, that more than 90 percent of gun-related deaths in Maine are self-inflicted.

The Center states the following:

“In Maine, 113 people were killed in gun-related violence in 2010, or one every three days.”

True. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 113 Mainers died in firearm-related incidents. What the Left doesn’t want you to know is 95 of those deaths were suicides; only 13 were considered homicides. By ignoring vital contextual facts, the Left manipulates statistics to give the impression that murders by gun in Maine occur nearly 900 percent more than they actually do.

The Center adds:

“Gun deaths in Maine numbered 1,054 over ten years (2001-2010), just 653 less than the number of US combat deaths over the course of the war in Afghanistan.”

Source: Center for American Progress

Again, true. However, context is important. According to the CDC, 914 of Maine’s 1,054 firearm-related fatalities from 2001-2010 were suicides; only 110 were homicides (and 14 of those were “legal interventions,” i.e. criminals shot by cops). But again, the Left ignores the context to create the impression that gun-wielders are murdering Mainers nearly 1,000 percent more often than is actually the case.

While we’re poking around the CDC database, let’s look at other ways Mainers die and see if guns are really the problem. For starters, it’s worth noting that, according to CDC records, 118 people lost their lives to non-firearm related homicide in the state from 2001-2010. In that same period, 1,632 Mainers died from poisoning and 1,764 died motor vehicle traffic-related incidents.

In light of these facts, it would seem the Left might better direct its energies toward suicide prevention, poison control, and traffic regulation — if, that is, safety is really their aim. Not one of the gun-control bills  Maine Democrats are pushing – not magazine limits, not concealed carry regulations and not expanded background checks – would have prevented the vast, vast majority of Maine’s gun-related deaths. (No one needs thirty rounds to kill themselves.)

But then again, gun control is not about preventing violence or death; gun control is about control.

By S.E. Robinson
MaineWire Reporter

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  1. So help me here–semantics changes a factual document (which you admit) into “True Propaganda”? Probably need to rethink that.
    And exactly how is Suicide better than Murder? You would appear to claim it is almost desirable.
    Finally–no byline. The height of intellectual cowardice!
    Nice work Maine Wire! Proud of you!

  2. To Matt Sparrow, did you read the whole article? The byline was at the end… And I seriously doubt that S. E. Robinson’s intent was to imply that suicide is better than than murder, but the facts are, anyone seriously intending to commit suicide will find a way to do so, and if they did, it sure wouldn’t crop up in a death by gun statistic, so why weren’t they removed from The Center for American Progress? Ummm maybe because that wouldn’t fit into their agenda? American “Progress” is just another socialistic troll organization trying to sway unsuspecting, naive voters.

    Incorrectly attributing statistics to fit the anti-gun agenda is disingenuous at best. No matter which way it’s covered, death by homicidal gun incidents are just not that big in Maine, and may it ever remain so.

  3. Once you adjust for race and suicide, American and Canadian homicide rates are virtually identical. Someone post the data proving me wrong. Hey, there’s a first time for everything, right?

  4. The suicide rate in Maine is no different than that of any other place in the world, it just so happens that people shoot themselves instead. Would you prefer that they hang themselves?

  5. So don’t hide from the fact that Mainers ARE killing Mainers (even themselves) with Firearms at the rate of over a thousand a year both homicide AND suicide. I’ve attended to quite a few of them during my Law Enforcement career in Illinois – the presence of a firearm makes it quite enabling (and occasionally a bloody mess.) That’s not to say the presence of a gun brought about the suicide itself, but it certainly made it much easier for the person to commit the deed. And you rarely get to call a ‘Mulligan’ – though I’ve seen one or two try with some pretty disfiguring results.

    Statistically, having a gun around the house for ‘protection’ against an intruder is more likely to result in death or injury to the gun owner and his family than it is to an intruder. Ask Bangor Chief of Police Mark Hathaway for anecdotal evidence, or we find that ” Living in a home where there are guns increases the risk of homicide by 40 to 170% and the risk of suicide by 90 to 460%.
    ‘ – “Garen J. Wintemute, Guns, Fear, the Constitution, and the Public’s Health, 358 New England J. Med. 1421-1424 (April 3, 2008), at http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMp0800859.”

    I’m not “gunless’ – and don’t advocate that others disarm. But there ARE two sides to this story – have the wisdom to consider both.


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