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Conservative Twitter gets angry when Neil deGrasse Tyson tweets out gun statistics

NDT mixes it up with the pro-gun crowd.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an incredibly popular Twitter user and often offends conservatives with his beliefs on religion and evolution. Imagine how they felt when he tweeted gun statistics this past Monday.

According to Tyson, the number Americans killed by terrorism since 2001 is equal to the number of Americans killed by household firearms in just five weeks — a disturbing statistic which did not sit well with gun advocates.

Most of the responses simply tried to draw attention away from the gun statistics, and point to other fatality numbers that were higher than Tyson’s statistics. One user shared a picture that compared automatic rifle deaths to medical malpractice cases, concluding that you are more likely to die from Obamacare than a gun.

https://twitter.com/AdamStiles7/status/663928191480786944

Many of the statistics posted were cherry-picked and misleading, and cited shady statistics that only looked at deaths from a certain type of gun — some only used the number of shotgun deaths, while totally ignoring deaths caused by handguns, which are by far the most prevalent. One of the most repeated statistics is that “hammers kill more than guns,” a statement that is easily debunked.

Tyson tweeted two more gun violence comparisons in addition to terrorism comparison:

[Raw Story] Featured image via Flickr

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Johnson

    November 11, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I don’t know who Neil deGrasse Tyson is, but he certainly made some points!

  2. Naughty Stuff

    November 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Lol, those #’s are B.S.. No wonder he doesn’t provide any supporting evidence.

  3. Naughty Stuff

    November 11, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    “Many of the statistics posted were cherry-picked and misleading, and cited shady statistics that only looked at deaths from a certain type of gun — some only used the number of shotgun deaths, while totally ignoring deaths caused by handguns, which are by far the most prevalent. One of the most repeated statistics is that “hammers kill more than guns,” a statement that is easily debunked.”
    You mean just like you just cherry picked your numbers and statements that don’t exist.
    One of the most repeated statements is hammers kill more than Assault riffles, not all guns you morons. Lmao, you complain about us eh?

  4. Charlie McKeon Jr

    November 11, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    The statistics about deaths from long guns are accurate. Where officers report to the FBI the type of gun after a death from gunshot wounds from an attack nine times of ten it’s a handgun.However, that more persons die from other causes is NO ARGUMENT against regulation. No one argues we should do nothing about deaths from car accidents because more persons die from cancer. Furthermore, unlike assault rifles and handguns the designs of hammers, knives, cars, and medical care are NOT to turn a healthy person into a corpse.

  5. sotwr9

    November 11, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Go NDG! The stats that compare the US with other countries are also irrefutable. The NRA is an accessory to thousands of avoidable deaths per year.

  6. Steve Johnson

    November 12, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Today is not the day; and this is not the approach you want to take.

    First of all, STFU about guns! If you don’t want one, don’t buy one. The majority of Americans own one or more firearms; and the overwhelming majority of those people never commit a crime with them.

    Second, don’t post this idiocy on Veterans Day and make comparisons about the death toll. This is a vain attempt to co-opt the discussion about Veterans with inane statistics and blather about how guns kill. Yes, people get killed sometimes when they get shot. Sometimes those people are the enemy – and the shooter is someone protecting your stupid a$$. Worse yet, sometimes the people that went over to those other countries and killed people experienced something you should hope to never have to experience.

    This is SOOO wrong!!

    Signed,

    A Combat Veteran

  7. Landon

    November 12, 2015 at 3:39 am

    It’s a good thing that Neil’s statistics are grossly inaccurate.

  8. J Hill

    November 12, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I have found that most of the statistics provided by both sides of the argument are cherry picked. I have yet to see concise, accurate figures that tell the story without hyperbole. Neither side has impressed me.

  9. Holly Louise

    November 12, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    It would be helpful if he actually provided his references to support the statement. Otherwise is serves no purpose but to provoke. I like pure science without politics smeared all over it, personally.

  10. Jack Nixon

    November 13, 2015 at 12:54 am

    The Gun Violence Archive, an anti-firearms website, says that so far in 2015 there have been 11,427 deaths from firearms. This number was “verified” by their methods today.

    NDT made that post on 11/9/15. Five weeks prior to 11/9/15 was 10/5/15. With 11,427 deaths from firearms by the end of the tenth month in 2015, if 3400 deaths were during that five week period, then that would leave 8027 firearms deaths for the remaining 39 weeks. That would mean an average 209 firearms deaths per week.

    For there to have been 3400 deaths from firearms during the five week period indicated, the rate would have to bump up to an average 680 deaths per week. This would be a sudden and sharp 325% increase in firearms violence.

    What NDT tweeted was inaccurate hyperbole fictionally constructed from whole cloth and his own bias, and not “gun statistics”. As a scientist he should know better, and it’s unsurprising that this would anger people.

  11. George Snyder

    November 13, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    The two major factors in this equation are guns and people. Major factors. So which one are you going to restrict to lower the amount of adults and children who killed, not just die, but KILLED with guns. Keep in mind that there is a gun of some type for every man, woman and child in the United States. We could restrict the people, but you say know. We could restrict the guns but you say no to that as well. How about restricting the bullets so you can have you guns but when your bullets are gone……..?

  12. Sam Smith

    November 14, 2015 at 1:02 am

    The US State Dept. gives 33,636 as the 2013 total for American deaths by firearms on US soil. That’s an average of 647 per week. Which over five weeks gives 3,234 deaths. NDT statement is not only possible but is most likely accurate.

  13. Chris

    November 14, 2015 at 2:02 am

    I believe Dr Tyson mistakenly used the number of deaths + injuries for the 5-week period. Nobody’s perfect. Instead of nit-picking, maybe you should just look at the big picture? That is, the fact that almost four times as many Americans have died from guns in the US this year than have died from all acts of terrorism in the US since 2001.

  14. Chris

    November 14, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Are you as critical of the strawman arguments posted by conservatives?

  15. NachoKingP

    November 14, 2015 at 6:55 am

    You seem to be missing his point sir. Household firearms kill way more than terrorism or wars do. That fact is irrefutable.

  16. Richard

    November 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    It’s OK everyone, he got the timescale wrong. Make that 12 weeks. Doesn’t look as bad now.

  17. MB

    November 17, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Not sure about these numbers, but it is well known that gun violence peaks in warmer months. Perhaps your math is flawed by low incidence months Jan-Apr artificially lowering your weekly average?

    I would trust NDT over someone who uses your logic without considering other statistical trends that could affect the data.

    And what of NDT’s other stats?

  18. Sarah

    November 17, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Small problem with the numbers you’re citing there, Jack. As stated on the front page of the Gun Violence Archive website, the “numbers on this table reflect a subset of all information collected and will not add to 100% of incidents.”

    The FBI and CDC have final reports on gun violence (homicides and total deaths respectively) only as recently as 2013. Why? Because it takes more than a few days to accurately compile and analyze all of the information.

    Over the 10-year period between 2004 and 2013, the CDC reports approximately 30,000 (give or take a few thousand) firearms deaths in the USA each year. This works out to an average of about 575 per week or 2,875 over five weeks, which is pretty much in line with what Dr. Tyson stated. If anything, it suggests that his estimate was a bit conservative. (You can search WISQARS to verify those numbers for yourself.)

    So I have to ask – which scenario seems more plausible to you? That there has been a remarkable and inexplicable 55% decrease in firearms deaths from 2013 to 2015, following fairly consistent numbers with a slight upward trend over the previous decade? Or that the Gun Violence Archive is working from an incomplete dataset and that the actual numbers, when they’re released in a couple of years, will show a significantly higher rate than what they’re currently reporting?

  19. Kenshiro

    November 18, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Ok, going on statistics you yourself have provided the number of weeks rises to some 13. Doen’t really change anything does it?

  20. George Stair

    November 19, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    There are about 32,000 firearm deaths per year, so 3400 in five weeks is consistent. Maybe you are mixing firearm death numbers with homicide numbers.

  21. MF

    November 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    What you are saying assumes that’s an average every 5 weeks. He was referring to the PAST 5 weeks. Not sure what his sources are though. Regardless, how this…11,427 Americans have been killed by household guns YTD. 3400 Americans have been killed by terrorism since 2001.

    There’s a sick blindness in your country to many things, but this is amongst the worst an selfish of arguments. There’s no factual reasons behind the pro lobby other than “because I want it and I like it”. Willful, blinding ignorance.

    Your comment just perpetuates that by trying to find some distortion to the facts.

  22. Antonio Soto

    November 20, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    So what you’re saying is that almost 4 times as many Americans had been killed by firearms on domestic grounds in this past year then by terrorist attacks in the past 14 years. You know that sounds so much worse right?

  23. Mike

    November 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    According to the CDC, in 2014, 21,175 firearms deaths were suicides. There were 11, 208 firearm murders that year. So, almost 2/3 of the deaths were self inflicted. I feel it’s patently dishonest to include those deaths in firearm homicide statistics.

  24. BJM

    November 24, 2015 at 6:42 am

    GPA doesn’t include suicides until the end of the year when those numbers are reported. NDT appears to have extrapolated from the historical data set, which includes suicides, to make a point. The numbers are more than likely accurate, since there is historically only a slight variation, year over year and it’s almost always an upward adjustment. If anything, his numbers may be understated.

  25. bellariggio

    November 24, 2015 at 9:03 am

    So, let me see if I understand your point: because those 3400 deaths via household firearm might have happened in 5 weeks and 1 day instead of exactly 5 weeks you’re ready to pretend the difference of 24 hours is the problems instead of the THOUSANDS OF DEAD PEOPLE? Seriously, what is broken in your brain that lets you think that way?

  26. Chris Nandor (Pudge)

    December 4, 2015 at 9:21 am

    The violent crime rate, including homicides, including homicides by guns, has massively decreased in the U.S. since the early 90s. It continues to drop.

    There is no evidence that any proposed solutions to gun violence in this country — universal background checks, magazine capacity limits, assault weapons bans, etc. — would have any effect on gun violence, let alone violence overall.

    Simply put: nothing you offer would reduce gun violence, and further, we are already reducing gun violence while increasing the numbers of guns.

    Those are the facts.

  27. NachoKingP

    December 6, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Why don’t you show some credible stats for those “facts”?

  28. KB

    December 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    The source is according to a statistical report by the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm). There is not a better study due to the ban on studying gun violence in the US. I agree with you MF there is no good reason for the pro gun lobby. They lobby because of profits, and citizens back them because they like their toys, and are willing to overlook tens of thousands of gun deaths a year.

  29. Chris Nandor

    January 12, 2016 at 9:56 am

    There is no ban on studying gun violence. Period. It’s a myth. The only ban is on *certain CDC funds* being used to *advocate gun control*, but not on researching gun violence.

  30. nachokingp

    January 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm

  31. Chris Nandor (Pudge)

    January 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    @nachokingp The article is incorrect. Literally no gun research is banned.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2015/01/14/why-the-cdc-still-isnt-researching-gun-violence-despite-the-ban-being-lifted-two-years-ago/

    This is what the law says: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

  32. nachokingp

    January 15, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Seems we have conflicting articles. You know, it’s funny. The NRA quote of “guns aren’t a disease” is true, but I certainly think guns can be an addiction, and addiction is a disease. Just my two cents.

  33. Chris Nandor (Pudge)

    January 15, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    @nachokingp Really? None of this is even controversial.

    “The violent crime rate, including homicides, including homicides by guns, has massively decreased in the U.S. since the early 90s. It continues to drop.”

    FBI stats show that the violent crime rate has decreased from 684.5 in 1995, to 365.5 in 2014. Murder has gone from 8.2 to 4.5.

    https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/table-1

    And from 1993-2011, firearm homicide rates dropped from about 7, to about 3.5.

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fv9311.pdf

    “There is no evidence that any proposed solutions to gun violence in this country — universal background checks, magazine capacity limits, assault weapons bans, etc. — would have any effect on gun violence, let alone violence overall.

    “Simply put: nothing you offer would reduce gun violence …”

    If you disagree with that … provide some evidence.

    “… and further, we are already reducing gun violence while increasing the numbers of guns.”

    I’ve already demonstrated we are reducing gun violence. By a ton. And as to increasing the number of guns, it’s a hard number to pin down, but all researchers I’ve seen agree that the number is increasing (even while the number of people who own guns is decreasing somewhat). An example:

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/07/dean-weingarten/how-many-guns-are-there-in-america/

  34. Chris Nandor (Pudge)

    January 15, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    @nachokingp By that logic, the CDC can study everything that you or someone else thinks is an “addiction.” It’s nonsense. The CDC has a job to do, and it is not to engage in social policy.

  35. nachokingp

    January 15, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Well, some things are most certainly addictive, and I’ve met quite a number of people who love chasing that high of shooting a gun. That’s not really in question, it most certainly is a high, and like any other kind of high, some people don’t want to stop getting it.

  36. Chris Nandor (Pudge)

    January 15, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    @nachokingp There is no such thing as an addictive gun. People have compulsions, and those compulsions can be attached to, literally, anything. TV, sex, eating vegetables, playing basketball, showering in the morning … anything and everything can be the object of an “addiction.”

    So didn’t address my point, which is that *anything* can be a “high,” so by your logic, the CDC can not only study *anything*, but also can advocate for controlling *anything.*

    And, certainly, that is beyond the proper purview of the CDC.

  37. nachokingp

    January 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I’m not going to continue this conversation only because I’m not going to engage in reducto ad absurdum about obvious things.

  38. Chris Nandor (Pudge)

    January 15, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    You’re trying to justify CDC spending on guns. I’m pointing out your argument doesn’t make sense, when carried to its necessary conclusion. Shrug.

    But, whatever. I’ve demonstrated there is no ban on gun research, and that gun violence is significantly decreasing while the number of guns is significantly increasing.

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