BREAKING: Levitz offers good sound advice!

THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2018

Let's recall what he thought at first:
Eric Levitz is offering good sound advice about mass shootings in schools.

We shouldn't exaggerate their frequency, he says in this New York magazine post. We'd call that good sound advice.

Levitz points to the bad effects which may result from a moral panic about the frequency of such events. Indeed, consider where things currently stand:

Very few people are sufficently disturbed to want to commit a mass shooting at all, let alone at a school. If our detection systems would stop failing so often, we'd be able to stop a good number of such disturbed people before they commit such an act.

But because we feel we can't get a handle on this kind of problem, we're now talking about "hardening" all our schools and arming the teachers inside them. We're talking about massive changes in our longstanding public school culture because we can't find a better way to stop these fairly rare events before they actually happen.

This doesn't exactly make sense. But bad decisions often result from ill-considered moral panics.

Levitz is offering good sound advice (and information) concerning the frequency of these events. Still, as we read his piece, we thought about what he said he believed at the start.

The last time around, Levitz cited the bad information which started to flow in the wake of the Parkland shootings. Especially on MSNBC, we were told, again and again, that this was the eighteenth school shooting this year alone—in just the first six weeks of the year!

To its credit, the Washington Post ran an analysis piece to show how bogus that statistic was. Levitz said this about that:
LEVITZ (2/22/18): In the wake of the Parkland shooting, progressive activists and commentators (including this one) repeatedly claimed that there had been 18 school shootings since the start of this year. When the Washington Post looked into that statistic—and found that it included a suicide in the parking lot of a long-closed elementary school, and that there had only been five incidents that resemble the popular understanding of a “school shooting”—some progressives mocked the paper for its callous pedantry.

This sort of response struck me as defensible
—until the victims at CNN’s town hall began using the supposed ubiquity of school shootings as a justification for policies other than gun control.
According to Levitz, progressive activists had been saying that there had been eighteen school shootings this year. As it turned out, the actual number was, at the most, five.

For the record, there had been no previous mass school shooting this year. A very large misconception was being bruited about.

People had been saying eighteen; the actual number was (at most) five. But when the Washington Post corrected the record, "some progressives mocked the paper for its callous pedantry"—and Levitz thought this reaction was defensible, until he realized that such exaggerations could produce a moral panic with undesirable policy outcomes!

How about this? How about agreeing that we won't repeat bogus, false or grossly misleading statistics at all? Also, that we won't name-call newspapers which correct bogus claims?

How about agreeing that progressives should just go ahead and tell the truth? Should avoid misleading the public?

Granted, that would kill a whole lot of fun. But how about maybe growing up? How about not acting like children, as we humans are wont to do?

How about making accurate claims? Making accurate statements, full stop? As a basic rule of the road, is that too much to ask?

55 comments:

  1. Hi. Mao Chang Ji here.
    "How about making accurate claims? Making accurate statements, full stop? As a basic rule of the road, is that too much to ask?"

    Ha, Bob. You know lib-zombies aren't capable of telling the truth. Trump is though.

    ReplyDelete
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  2. "The nonprofit [Gun Violence Archive] defines a school shooting as an episode on the property of an elementary school, secondary school or college campus. Another defining characteristic is timing — shootings must occur during school hours or during extracurricular activities.
    Only episodes in which people were injured or killed by gunfire are included. "

    There were 18 school shootings by this definition. Mass shootings are a subset of "school shootings."

    Would you like to argue that the non-mass shootings do not represent a problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "There were 18 school shootings by this definition."

      source pls.


      The original 18 claim didn't come from Gun Violence Archive.

      These are the 18 from the original source: (Everytown for Gun Safety)




      Firearm attacks during school hours: 7 (incidents resulting in injuries or deaths: 5)

      22 January: Italy High School, Italy, Texas – A 16-year-old student opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun in the school cafeteria, wounding another student.

      22 January: NET Charter High School, Gentilly, Louisiana – An unknown person fired shots at students from a vehicle in the school parking lot. One person was injured (though not by gunfire).

      23 January: Marshall County High School, Benton, Kentucky – A 15-year-old student opened fire with a handgun on school grounds, killing two and injuring 18.

      25 January: Murphy High School, Mobile, Alabama – A student fired a handgun into the air during a fight with another student. No injuries were reported.

      26 January: Dearborn High School, Dearborn, Michigan – Shots were fired during a fight in the school parking lot. No injuries were reported.

      31 January: Lincoln High School, Philadelphia – A fight during a basketball game resulted in the shooting death of a 32-year-old man outside the school.

      14 February: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida – A 19-year-old former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 and injuring 14.

      Firearm attacks NOT occurring during school hours: 2 (incidents resulting in injuries or deaths: 2)

      20 January: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina – A 21-year-old was shot and killed during a fight at a party on school grounds.

      5 February: – Oxon Hill High School, Oxon Hill, Maryland – A student was shot and injured in the school parking lot during an attempted robbery.

      Shots fired during school hours, unknown reason: 2 (no injuries)

      10 January: California State University, San Bernardino, California – Bullets were fired through a window, with no suspects or motive identified.

      8 February: Metropolitan High School, New York, NY – A student fired a gun into the floor of a classroom.

      Unintentional gunfire during school hours: 3 (incidents resulting in injuries or deaths: 1)

      10 January: Grayson College, Denison, Texas – A student fired a weapon belonging to an adviser, believing it wasn’t loaded. No injuries were reported.

      1 February: Salvador B. Castro Middle School, Los Angeles – A semi-automatic handgun brought to school by a 12-year-old student accidentally went off. Four students were injured.

      5 February: Harmony Learning Center, Maplewood, Minnesota – A third-grader pressed the trigger of a law enforcement officer’s handgun. The weapon went off but no one was injured.

      Suicide attempts during school hours: 1 (resulting in death)

      10 January: Coronado Elementary School, Sierra Vista, Arizona – A middle school student shot himself in the bathroom of the school and was pronounced dead at the scene.

      Stray bullets hitting school buildings during school hours: 1 (no injuries)

      4 January: New Start High School, near Seattle – Bullets fired by an unidentified shooter entered an administrative office. No injuries were reported.

      Stray bullets hitting school buildings NOT occurring during school hours: 1 (no injuries)

      15 January: Wiley College, Marshall, Texas – Gunshots fired from a vehicle in the parking lot of a college dorm entered through a window, but did not injure residents.

      Delete
    2. Is anyone arguing that having stray bullets come in the windows of a college dorm is not a serious incident? It too will terrorize kids and make a place of learning feel unsafe.

      Delete
    3. 4:17 You're wrong. Nine of the 18 involved no deaths and no gunshot injuries. Two were suicides, with no other injuries (including the one at a closed school).Three were unintentional (although one caused injuries).

      Delete
    4. Doesn't it seem ghoulish to any of you to be counting up the deaths this way and arguing because some of the situations didn't involve any?

      Delete
    5. Not being a young child, no it does not seem ghoulish.

      Delete
    6. Voting Republican seems ghoulish.

      Delete
  3. "How about making accurate claims? Making accurate statements, full stop?"

    Too exhausting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See the comment above. The number "18 school shootings" is correct.

      Delete
    2. Or, @4:21, did you mean it was too exhausting for Somerby to make accurate claims?

      Delete
    3. 4:22 actually, it's not correct. There were not 18 school shootings by that definition It's wrong.

      Delete
    4. People are arguing that the 18 stat is wrong and misleading because it is defined as “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds.”

      Delete
  4. "This sort of response struck me as defensible—until the victims at CNN’s town hall began using the supposed ubiquity of school shootings as a justification for policies other than gun control."

    Ha-ha, brilliant. For the purpose of gun control there were 18 shootings, but if it's used to justify something I don't like - at most five.

    Liberal sage par excellence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but where did Levitz go to school and when did he get his degree? Somerby forgot to do due diligence and inform us.

      Delete
    2. well, doublethink about maths was invented by your Kremlin bosses, 'Mao'

      Delete
    3. That right there is the essence of kikery.

      Delete
    4. Although I knew mao had sockpuppets, I didn't realize the mutt-mongrel commenter (1:36PM) was one of them.

      Delete
  5. "Also, that we won't name-call newspapers which correct bogus claims?"

    No, name-calling newspapers is left to Somerby and only Somerby.
    By now, Somerby has pretty much ripped the Post and Times apart as being completely and utterly untrustworthy. But now, he says we mustn't name-call? Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "But because we feel we can't get a handle on this kind of problem, we're now talking about "hardening" all our schools and arming the teachers inside them. We're talking about massive changes in our longstanding public school culture because we can't find a better way to stop these fairly rare events before they actually happen.

    This doesn't exactly make sense. But bad decisions often result from ill-considered moral panics."

    Actually, no one is calling for teachers to be armed and schools hardened except Trump, who is now also attacking the video game industry. There is no "moral panic" supporting any of these ridiculous suggestions.

    But Somerby loves the term "moral panic," because one of his ancestors was in Salem and married Rev Hale, or some such.

    The "moral panic" is around the real stats that gun deaths are TOO HIGH, no matter what they are, because they are preventable, especially the ones involving toddlers shooting themselves or others, and the ones in which people kill themselves and/or others in acts of suicide. There are too many gun deaths. If saying that evokes a moral panic, more power to us all!

    Somerby's complaints about moral panic are beginning to strike me as pretty immoral.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember when I was a kid, I bought a soft covered book with several Fearless Fosdick stories. In one of them, someone had poisoned a can of beans. Fearless Fosdick went around shooting everyone he saw who was about to eat a can of beans.

      Delete
  7. Are there other problems with gun violence besides school shootings? Say, shootings at concerts, movie theaters, work places, or just everyday gun violence? We have very high incidences of these. Why leave all of those out of the debate?

    ReplyDelete
  8. So what the f* is the "correct" number of shootings? It depends on the criteria you are using. The point is that 18 is correct, given a particular definition of a shooting. You can use 5, of "at most five" if you are using a different definition. Neither one is incorrect, if the definition is clearly stated. Is either number acceptable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The point is here that the media's use of it after Parkland was wrong and misleading. We all know that now. Let's move on.

      Delete
    2. It isn't misleading to say there were 18 school shootings, based on the Everytown definitions.

      Delete
    3. @6:21, this is the second post in which Somerby has pointed out this "misleading" statistic. How many more will there be? Talk to Somerby about moving on.

      Delete
    4. 6:37

      That's true. But it's also true to say that Everytown's definitions of school shootings are misleading when they are compared to the Parkland Massacre.

      Delete
  9. Somerby will lead liberals out of their dark night of the soul and back to ascendancy with posts like this one.

    ReplyDelete
  10. For school shootings:

    Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund counts 18 incidents this year so far.

    Gun Violence Archive lists 9 incidents so far, with 26 deaths and 38 injuries.

    Mass shootings show up as a subset of both.

    The two groups use different criteria for their calculations. How does that make either one or both wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why don't you read what he has written here and then read the link to the article he has provided and then read the links to articles that that writer has linked to and then you will understand. It's pretty cut-and-dry. It's wrong to say there's 18 school shootings after the Parkland Massacre when the 18 figure includes stray bullets that hit schools and don't cause any injuries and suicides and incidents that don't remotely compare to the Parkland Massacre, the issue under discussion that prompted the false statistic. What's the mystery? Are you truly that daft?

      Delete

  11. بشري ساره لاهالي الخبر والدمام فقد تم افتتاح فرع الشركه الجديد الخاص بتقديم خدمات تنظيف المكيفات بمدينتي الخبر والدمام وذلك حرصا من الشركه علي توفير جميع الخدمات التي يحتاج اليها كل اهالي المنطقه ، ولطلب الخدمه فالخبر ستجدونها علي المتصفح تحت اسم
    شركة تنظيف مكيفات اسبيليت بالخبر
    هذا بالنسبه لاهالي الخبر ، اما ان كنت عزيزي العميل من اهالي مدينة الدمام فسوف تجد الخدمه علي المتصفح تحت اسم
    شركة تنظيف مكيفات اسبيليت بالدمام
    بهذا عزيزي العميل نكون قد استطعنا بعون الله وفضله توفير الخدمه خدمة تنظيف المكيفات لاكبر مدينتين بالمنطقه الشرقيه وفي الايام المقبله باذن الله سوف نعمل علي توفير الخدمه في جميع المدن بالمطقة الشرقيه لذا عزيزي العميل نود ان نطمئنك فلا تقلق ولا تحتار فشركة شام هي افضل اختيار .

    ReplyDelete
  12. There have only been 5 school shootings this year that happened during school hours and resulted in any physical injury.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that should shut up those precocious Parkland kids.

      Delete
  13. Off-topic, but any of you who want to make believe Trump voters were turned on by something other than his bigotry, I'd love for you to make the case. (Really make the case, not just make believe there is some other reason, because calling out Trump voters for their bigotry makes you sad.)
    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon 10:22, there were millions who voted for Trump. I don't, and you don't, know what turned on every single one of them. I would posit that those African-American voters who voted for Trump, people whose big thing is paying lower taxes, anti-abortion advocates, religious fundamentalists, might very well have been motivated by something other than "bigotry." Believe it or not, the identity politics that has overtaken us is often far-fetched and propagandistic, which also turns a lot of people off to Dems.

      Delete
    2. Why do Democrats always get tagged with the "identity politics" label having a negative connotation? All politicians practice identity politics, they just differ on which identities they are promoting. When Marco Rubio says he stands with the NRA, no one labels him as practicing identity politics. You have allowed the GOP mighty Wurlitzer to define the Democratic Party. Enough of this bullshit.

      Delete
    3. AC/ MA,
      Good posit. Being anti-abortion, for instance, might be a deal-breaker. But why would someone against abortion vote for a guy who pays for abortions?

      Similarly, why would a religious fundamentalist, vote for a guy who grabs women by the pussy?
      --------
      "Believe it or not, the identity politics that has overtaken us is often far-fetched and propagandistic, which also turns a lot of people off to Dems."

      I don't believe that. Thanks.

      Delete
    4. Speaking of only Dems who play identity politics, have you seen Georgia's Republican-led state legislature is calling out businesses (like Delta Airlines, for instance) for "attacking Conservatives"? They are saying the NRA are Conservatives.
      Fortunately, they don't play "identity politics". LOL

      Delete
    5. "people whose big thing is paying lower taxes"

      I can't believe I forgot about this group of people. Especially after all their cries for the government to protect them.

      Delete
    6. 'religious fundamentalists, might very well have been motivated by something other than "bigotry."'

      Are you really implying that the religion of fundamentalists isn't "bigotry"? Try to pay attention, please.

      Delete
    7. "But why would someone against abortion vote for a guy who pays for abortions?

      Similarly, why would a religious fundamentalist, vote for a guy who grabs women by the pussy? "

      Perhaps that's because they're smarter than lib-zombies (not a high bar, I admit) and they realize that they're voting for a political program, not for canonization of a saint.

      Delete
    8. Anon 1:10 - evidently, they don't know or don't care that he pays for abortions (I hadn't heard that) - he does appoint guys like Gorsach to the courts, etc. To be honest, there are millions of people and you'd have to sit down with them to see why they vote for Trump or Clinton - I don't think most people get into it very deeply.

      Delete
    9. Mao - I would suggest that Trump voters aren't any smarter than lib-zombie Clinton voters, maybe less so. There are a lot of them on both sides, with varying views. I'm not aware of a scientific way to measure. I doubt that many Trump voters voted for him because of Trump's espousal of your political program, whatever that is - or if this is the reason they voted for him, that means they are that smart, because the program might be a bad one for them. I agree though that the criteria should be what the pol's policies are; what are the chances the policies will be put in effect? what are the likely consequences if they are put in effect, good or bad. These issues can't be analyzed intelligently in this context. As for grabbing pussy, seems in the late 90's most of the discussion was swallowed up by the dem president's indiscretions with a young female employee. Part of human nature I guess, not zombie takeover.

      Delete
    10. Perhaps that's because they're smarter than lib-zombies ...


      No, actually it's because they're fucking idiots. If you are opposed to abortions you don't vote for politicians whose avowed policy is to destroy the premier organization that works to prevent unwanted pregnancies, Planned Parenthood.

      Delete
    11. Liberals and progressives had to vote for a corporate lawyer who didn't really care about holding bank's feet to the fire. Didn't care at all about Universal Health Care and especially, didn't care at all about unions. Just paid lip-service to it in the weakest of ways. A Democrat who doesn't care about about unions! Yet we all had to vote for her because she was the lesser of two evils. There's only two candidates. The two party, two candidate system compromises us all.

      Delete
    12. Waahh! THAT woman beat my Bernie fair and square in the primaries and I still can't get over it and try to do something positive for the next election.

      Where's YOUR 3rd-party platform, ace?

      Delete
    13. I voted for her in the primaries and the general election. Just pointing out that the lack of choice brings with it big compromises.

      I hope a third-party candidate can come along. We need a Macron!

      Delete
  14. How about that we won’t ignore the shootings that have taken place, as Bill O-,I mean Bob, wants to.

    ReplyDelete


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