Mother Jones Claims US Police Out of Control, Obfuscate that US Ranks behind Canada, Sweden, others in Cop Shootings per 100K

Mother Jones is angry at police in the United States, claiming “American police will be responsible for more killings than take place in most developed countries worldwide.”
While that is true, they intentionally obfuscate the fact that the United States is also drastically more populous that other developed nations. Not included in their list are India, Russia, or China. And those included are nations that don’t even come close to having half the populous of the United States.

When you break it down to gun killings per 100,000, the United States actually ranks behind Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, Finland, and the Netherlands:

Also intentionally left out? Homicides not committed by guns per 100,000. If you go to Mother Jones and look closely at their statistics, the first stats represent “total homicides,” then it changes to “gun homicides per 100,000.” It’s almost as if Mother Jones knows that if they include those stats, it would shatter their talk points further.

But why let facts get in the way of some good outrage culture?


Founder and editor of the Social Memo

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  1. Could you include a source for the gun killing stats?

    1. Same anon, I am a fool, disregard.

  2. I'm not sure what your point is. The claim they make is "At current rates, American police will be responsible for more killings than take place in most developed countries worldwide." When discussing statistics such as these, population size is a glaringly obvious factor. Not explicitly stating "but, the U.S. is much more populous," does not qualify as obfuscation.

    Furthermore, how could you claim that they are intentionally obfuscating the fact that these figures are dependent upon population size when they provide the per 100,000 individual graphic? I mean, you're accusing them of obfuscating facts, then using figures from their own article to "prove them wrong". You're basically saying, "Look at what they were hiding!" then citing the very article itself. That just flat out doesn't make any sense to me.

    In terms of switching from overall homicides to gun-specific homicides, I actually don't think they do. I think the graphs are just poorly labeled for space. And perhaps you didn't read the article closely. Here is the quote introducing the graphs:

    "In a recent analysis, Vocativ, an investigative and deep web news outlet, found that fatal police shootings in the United States outnumber all criminal GUN homicides in 30 other developed nations:" (emphasis my own). Both charts are depicting gun homicides only. Finally, these are not their statistics. These are not "their lists", and it's not up to them which countries have or have not been included in the study. There are a million factors involved in which of the world's 196 countries are involved in a global study, and Mother Jones's political agenda is not one of them.

    I personally find Mother Jones to be pretty shoddy and sensationalist, but this post of yours simply has no feet to stand on. I'm sorry, it just really bothered me.

  3. Are you seriously deleting comments that challenge you? Wow. That's trashy.

    1. Now one's back and the other is still gone, but my comment on deletion stays. This site is way too weird. I really enjoyed the majority of the content here, but clearly this place isn't one for discussion.

    2. I can explain that. We've had a huge influx of comments recently and my spam filter's been going crazy. It's been snagging things that haven't been spam, as well as things that are. For example, under my article about Ellen Pao saying that most people on Reddit don't care about what's been going on, one comment said, "She should resign," and it got marked as spam. Sometimes "spam" gets auto-deleted and sometimes it ends up in the spam folder; I was originally mass-deleting the comments in my spam folder to keep up with the swath of comments. So, unfortunately, I think I deleted your old comments, but took another look after reading your more recent ones and un-spammed the one on the Mother Jones article. Sorry for the confusion

    3. Oh, OK. I'm sorry then, Aurelius. I made an ugly assumption and it turns out that it was absolutely incorrect. Please accept my apologies for that. I shouldn't have assumed the worst. I posted about my comments being deleted in another article, too – the one about the Hasbro Jurassic World toy – so don't hesitate to wipe those.

      Thank you for following up on this. Good luck sorting out the spam-filter issues and I wish you well with your site.

    4. No problem. Please feel free to disagree with anything I've written in the future. Sometimes I need a kick in the butt to make sure I'm looking at things the right way