Logical fallacy

I across an article on Dallas Blog today, The Concealed Handgun Law: Ten Years Later, that jumped right out at me as having some very bogus logic in it. To wit:

…the statistics continue to prove my point. Since the passage of the Concealed Handgun Law, the FBI Uniform Crime Report shows an 18% drop in handgun murders, down from 838 in 1995 to 688 in 1994.

The conclusion made is that the passage of the law caused the drop in handgun murders in Texas. This is a classic example of the Post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy. It says that because A occurred before B, A must have caused B. Merely stating the statistic does not prove the conclusion. In 1995 the New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup. The handgun murder rate in Texas dropped after 1995. Therefore, the Devils’ Stanley Cup victory must have caused the drop in the handgun murder rate.In addition, if the statistic is considered proof, then when considered in context it actually proves the opposite of what the author contends. He states that there was an 18% drop in handgun murders in Texas, a change that he attributes to the passage of the concealed handgun law. However using his own sources, the 1995 FBI Uniform Crime Report, and the 2004 FBI Uniform Crime Report, we can see that nationwide there was a 35% drop in handgun murders (from 11,198 to 7,265) over the same period. Assuming that the other 49 states did not pass concealed handgun laws the same year, then the author’s logic would have to lead me to conclude that the law must have actually caused the rate in Texas to go up relative to other states.

I think the evidence presented is not conclusive enough to ascribe the drop in handgun murders in Texas over the last 10 years to the concealed handgun law.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Logical fallacy

  1. nob says:

    “The conclusion made” is yours and yours alone, dimwit. He merely stated a statistic within the time period when his critics _predicted_ the oppposite trend. You’ve done some reading; let’s work on comprehension. Go sign up for some philosophy classes at your local junior college – as soon as you finish high school.

  2. radial says:

    Indeed, let’s work on comprehension.

    First let’s work on comprehension of the original post. You don’t even have to go back to it if you don’t want to, since the relevant part is cited in my post. See the part where he says “The statistics continue to prove my point” and then goes on to cite various crime statistics? That sure sounds like a conclusion to me. It wasn’t that he “merely stated a statistic,” he stated the statistic and said it proved his point. I pointed out that it did not in fact prove his point at all.

    Then let’s move on to the comprehension of my post. In particular the part where I point out that the “evidence” he cites is taken out of context and when viewed in context may be evidence that his critics’ prediction you mention was right. His point was that the handgun murder rate in Texas went down after the law was passed. But when you look at the big picture, the handgun murder rate in Texas went down less than it did in other states that did not have concealed handgun laws. To me that points to there being some other factor that drove the handgun murder rate down everywhere (demographics? better law enforcement? I don’t know) and the influence of the concealed handgun law is ambiguous.

  3. rog says:

    when I read the report, I only interpreted the obvious.
    The predictions by naysayers was that there would be “blood in the streets,” and hand gun fatalities would increase. However, the crime reports are proof that hand gun fatalities actually decreased. Thus, supporting the author of the concealed hand gun law.

  4. Josh says:

    HAHA, Well why dont you also do a check on Floridas hangun murder rates since the CCW law was implemented, as well as the other states with these licenses and crime rates in general since their implementation, and you will find very similar results…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s