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December 30, 2008
The politics of crime statistics
A new study by criminologists at Northeastern University in Boston, finds that since 2000 there has been a 40% increase in shooting deaths among black males between the ages of 14-17.
One should always be cautious when attempting to draw conclusions from statistics or the latest "study." Especially in an era when virtually every study or "lump" is "leavened" with the politics of blame or a priori ideology. Too often, the Right and the Left tend to politicize statistics involving tragedy and reduce the unfortunate victims to little more than an afterthought to political gain. For example, the Left is often quick to view the statistics of violent crime in light of socio-economic disparities and not as individual moral choices made by perpetrators. More often than not, the prescribed solutions involve more spending, more programs, more shifting of blame, and more restrictions placed on law abiding citizens - usually in the form of demonizing gun ownership.