Report from Lala land

The 2012 peace index is out. All you need to know about it is here:

“The USPI is the first national peace index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Similar in concept to the Global Peace Index (GPI), it uses “the absence of violence” as the definition of peace.
The starting point in creating the USPI was to imagine a perfectly peaceful state. In such a state there would be no direct violence, and thus no homicide and no violent crime. In addition, there would be no need for state violence against its citizens and therefore no need for the state to devote resources to violence containment. Thus, there would be no police employees and no incarceration. Finally, in a perfectly peaceful state, citizens would have no need to own firearms for the purpose of self-defense, and therefore there would be no ownership of small arms.”

Built on a rock solid theoretical foundation like that it’s no wonder the report is chock full of knee slappers like this:

“There were also slight reductions in the number of police employees and the number of firearm suicides as a percentage of total suicides, which suggests a fall in gun ownership.”

Then there’s this:

“Such a hypothetical state is aspirational rather than realistic, and as such the USPI scores reflect no moral judgement on the appropriate level of police employment, incarceration, or firearm ownership.”

They give higher scores (“bad”) to having more firearms. Seems like a moral judgement to me. I wonder where they get the firearms number? Hmmmm…

“There is no reliable state level data on small arms availability, small arms ownership, or small arms sales in the U.S. An accurate measure of gun prevalence cannot be calculated from administrative records alone. For this reason many studies on gun prevalence use a quantitative proxy. The proxy used in the USPI is firearm suicides as
a percentage of total suicides (FS/S). As this indicator varied significantly from year to year for some states, a five year moving average was used in order to smooth out the variance. More detail on why this proxy was chosen is supplied in Appendix B to this report.”

Oh, I see. Let me translate that: “Guns are bad, Mkay? So we’re just going to assume that the number of suicides by gun is some sort of proxy for the number of firearms owned. AND since those numbers made our statistics look stupid we’re going to massage them a little to make them less stupid looking.”

Of course their explanation for the five year average proves this is complete crap since by their own admission “this indicator varied significantly from year to year”.

Here’s a clue for you IEP: Firearms ownership isn’t dropping. In fact it’s just the opposite.

Your study is crap, your theory is crap and you are made of fail.

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5 Responses to Report from Lala land

  1. Pingback: SayUncle » About that peace index

  2. Tam says:

    There were also slight reductions in the number of police employees and the number of firearm suicides as a percentage of total suicides, which suggests a fall in gun ownership.

    Really? Really?

    This “study” was obviously conducted by people completely cut off from all communication with the outside world…

  3. alan says:

    Yes, academics.

  4. Some Guy says:

    It’s stupid to equate firearms ownership rates with violence, but I don’t see how they’re wrong comparing the rate of suicide by firearms versus all suicides to get a proxy for firearms ownership rate. Not an exact number, but all things being equal, you would think people kill themselves with firearms at a roughly approximate rate, so a difference in that number may be due to differences in gun ownership.

    That said, the entire exercise is pathetic, they rated the U.S. as LESS peaceful than Egypt and Greece. Also, Cuba.

  5. Tam says:

    Yes, academics.

    Heh. 🙂

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