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Matt Hughes and his statistical funhouse.

Do I read Matt Hughes’ blog very much? No, I try to avoid the infuriating and often asinine comments made in his abortion of a journal. Personally, catching up with ol’ Matt is about as appealing as getting a deep tissue massage with sandpaper gloves. Still, it’s a pretty fucking useful tool if you just want to get all riled up about something.

It’s no surprise to anyone that Matt and I are on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Matt loves everything that I don’t. He loves his fuel deficient Truck, his Savior, and his big fucking guns. So wasn’t really that shocked when I tuned in to read this interesting nugget:

The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
Accidental deaths caused by Physicians per year are 120,000.
Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
Statistics courtesy of U.S. Dept of Health Human Services.

Now think about this:

The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000. Yes, that’s 80 million.
The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.
The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is .000188.
Statistics courtesy of FBI.

So, statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

To be fair, the quote isn’t from Matt. It’s actually from a shitty website that looked to have been designed in 1998. And I’m sure that he really has nothing against doctors, since one undoubtedly has to put him back together anytime he steps into the ring with GSP.

These statistics seemed pretty fucking bogus to me, especially considering the outrageous claim that errors made by physicians are actually responsible for 120,000 deaths a year. So I did something Matt’s never heard of: I did a little research. Turns out, unsurprisingly, that the majority of these deaths were actually cased by two main factors: Drug reactions, and infections incurred during a hospital stay. Only about 2000 of those were caused by something I would qualify as negligent; mainly improper surgery.

The numbers are pretty fucking misleading, and when you think about it, what the hell do they mean by “accidental deaths caused by physicians”? If a patient walks in and your doctor is unable to properly diagnose your mysterious illness, is he responsible for you croaking? I’m pretty fucking sure it was whatever infection of disease you had in the first place that did you in. That’s not to say there aren’t a few of those deaths that are caused by a really shitty, I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing moron MD.

Ok, let’s move on to the juicy stuff: guns. The number of deaths due to accidental shootings are about 1,500 in a given year. Sure, that doesn’t sound like much, especially considering how many fucking guns are out there. The only problem is that 75% of those deaths are young males between the ages of 14-25. Suddenly, that number doesn’t seem so hot, does it? And if we really want to be fair, we can’t only take accidental deaths into consideration, because the numbers really do get big when you’re talking about the actual purpose of a firearm: to kill something you want dead. Let’s consider that in 2006, of the nearly 15,000 murders, a full 10,177 of them were with a firearm. Not fucking surprisingly, 88% of those were with a handgun.

Is that to say I’m going to tell 80 million Americans that they can’t carry around their precious firearms? No. Personally, if you want to kill each other, that’s your fucking business. But at the same time, don’t turn around and pat yourselves on the back over the fact that about 1000 kids a year kill themselves by playing around with Dad’s carelessly hidden pistol. Gun safety only works if the gun owner is responsible, and considering how many fucking gun owning dumb-asses there are out there, I’m surprised it’s not more. You’ll also find that although there are a lot of victims of drive by shootings, there really aren’t that many victims of drive by physicians. You go to a doctor because you’re sick. If you don’t come back, that’s life. No one put a gun to your head.

  • charles

    Jake, don’t you have you’re own blog for stuff like this?

  • lionel

    In france where I live, you can walk the streets without fearing that some wacko pulls a piece on you. There are still knives, gang and stuff, but handgun are severely restricted…

  • Teufel

    I’m more worried about the people who’ll try to shoot me on purpose, not the ones who’ll do it “by accident.”

  • Higgz

    I’ve have 3 friends who are nurses and work at hospitals that can verify the fact that mistakes get made all the time. Someone grabs the wrong chart and administers a drug that you’re allergic to. Or that they get the charts mixed up and perform the wrong surgery. A Doctor gets sidetracked with another patient and forgets to tell a nurse to start you on a medicine and BAM you’re a goner. How about a Doctor who coughs on his hands before coming in to treat your wound. Sure they put gloves on, with the same hands they just coughed on.

    The real research should be done by how many medical accidents happen and factor in the amount of registered Doctors AND Nurses because the nurses do most of the work and are more likely to kill you. I’m sure those numbers wouldn’t be in Hughes’ favor.

    I’m not siding with Hughes on this, I’m just saying that your opinion of “something I would qualify as negligent” isn’t really worth a damn. I don’t know about Canada, but here in America mistakes happen all the time. At least in the places my 3 friends work at.

  • Ram

    Nicely worded, Jake. I’m a huge 2nd-amendment guy in the heart of Texas. As a community, gun rights supporters’ biggest enemy is the sheer amount of doucheness by some idiot gun owners. The nutjob contingent is almost nil, but the loudmouths are shooting us in the foot, so to speak.

    Fun with numbers is as easy to play as MMAth, and most who choose to play that game are the gun rights equivalents of mouth-breathing Sherdoggers…

  • Drew

    You’re overlooking something kind of important. How many of those murders are committed with a gun registered to the owner? I would bet the majority of them are committed by individuals that got hold of a gun illegally. No gun owner in the United States in their right mind would murder someone with his own gun. Every legal gun is registered with the government. If you are going to shoot someone with your gun you might as well leave your drivers license with the guy you shot and save the police a little time.

    The issue is cracking down on illegal fire arms… not the all gun owners.

    Note: Im from manhattan. So I want to make it clear I am not a gun owner and even if I wanted to be it is pretty much impossible for anyone to get a gun here in the first place.

  • ninjitsu

    To look at this from another perspective, doctors are dealing with sick and injured people on a daily basis. A surgeon in an emergency room sees a hell of a lot of people in a year — they might save a few thousand lives, and accidentally kill “0.171”.

    Take all of the doctors away, and think about the number of illness-related deaths there would be in the US. Then think about the number of gun-related deaths if you took away all of the guns…

    A better comparison would be (number of people who die due to doctor / number of people who see a doctor) to (number of people who die due to gun / number of people who use guns). I’m willing to bet the latter would be larger!

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    I’m all for gun rights. So as long as they are registered with the government and there are standards to ensure that dumb asses don’t become handgun owners. Even if you train in MMA, Krav Maga or whatever, being unarmed can only protect you so much against armed aggressor(s). Sometimes you need Gun Fu to save your or somebody else’s life.

  • RoB

    you think those numbers are bad, you should read some of the ridiculous statistics from the liberal left.

  • penxv

    These days… the practice of medicine is all about covering your ass and dealing drugs… sad to say. There is a surprising amount of apathetic, bored, and incompetent doctors working in big hospitals. Politics plays as much of a role in the career of a doctor as ability does.

    And when it gets nationalized the practice of medicine will be solely about dealing drugs as there will no longer be a need to cover their own asses.

  • garth

    xavier, that WAS bashing Matt Hughes. Hughes believes all that rightwing idiocy. And if that “it takes a retard to shoot yourself” is what you actually believe, you haven’t thought too hard about it have you?

  • Jemaleddin

    “I would bet the majority of them are committed by individuals that got hold of a gun illegally. No gun owner in the United States in their right mind would murder someone with his own gun.”

    I’ll take that bet. Why? Because people don’t usually shoot somebody when they’re in their right mind. I’d bet that for all the talk about stolen guns that the NRA likes to spread around, the vast majority of shootings involve the registered owner of the gun in question.

    I also wish that people would stop talking about handguns and self defense. Handguns are terrible for self defense! If you actually want to shoot an intruder, you’re much better off using a shotgun with a nice wide spread: you’ll almost always hit the person, and you won’t have any bullets going through a wall and taking out your toddlers. Handguns are offensive weapons, designed to be small enough to conceal.

  • Fightlinker is Wrong

    Fightlinker puts out story about Strikeforce being on tonight. Jake puts out good story bagging gun nuts.

    If Fightlinker and Jake were siamese twins (as their voices would lead you to believe) then I would cut through fightlinkers shitty liver to save Jake.

  • kentyman

    So, statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

    What are the numbers on lives saved by guns vs. lives saved by doctors? When I had appendicitis, not having a doctor would’ve been significantly more “dangerous” than not having a gun…

    That’s not me arguing against guns, that’s me arguing against drawing illogical conclusions.

  • adc

    Retarded logic. Let’s get in the game:

    Doctors heal x number of people. Guns heal 0 people. Therefor doctors heal infinity times more people than guns do, that’s a big number right?

  • kentyman

    Doctors heal infinity times X more people! Even bigger! :-P