“In America, more preschoolers are shot dead each year (82 in 2013) than police officers are in the line of duty (27 in 2013), according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI.”
This quote is from an article, written by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, published on Oct 3, 2015 and has since been making the rounds on social media. On its face, this seems like just one more indictment against guns in America, especially after the shooting in Roseburg, Oregon on Oct 1, 2015. While the loss of any life is heartbreaking, the loss of innocent children is the particularly hard to accept; which makes it a great way to lie with numbers and use empathy to gain support of the public.
If those numbers don’t seem dubious to you, then don’t worry, you’re not the only one politifact.com, “is an independent fact-checking journalism website aimed at bringing you the truth in politics.” They examined this claim by Mr. Kristof and rated it “mostly true” Their basis for “mostly” is them being overly conservative, the claim made by Mr. Kristof is true. The numbers are correct, numbers don’t lie.
Unfortunately people do, you see it all the time all over the Internet. People will post “facts” that are best disingenuous, and at worst, completely fabricated. The most dangerous types of “fact” are the ones that are born from real data, but are then represented in a way that distorts the true meaning.
As a critical consumer of information, use the knowledge you have accumulated in this class to point out as many possible flaws with this statement. Think of the ways you would lie with statistics to further an agenda. Now keep in mind, for the sake of this assignment, the numbers reported are correct, but that does not mean they represent the whole picture or that the quote is meaningful in a way beyond comparing two numbers.
Your response should be 400-750 words, in APA format, 12pt font, 1″ margins, Cover page (abstract not required), references page, etc.
This assignment has a minimum of five (5) required sources. While the linked articles can count as sources, this means you need to find additional sources to add detail and support to your answers. Look for real world examples in the news, peer reviewed journals, etc.
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