Saturday, February 20, 2010

Who Can Relax This Way?

New York Times editorial "Who Can Relax This Way?" (February 19th, 2010) flaunts its ignorance and gives no data for its contentious claim. Specifically, the Times claims that the practice of open carry is dangerous. Open carry is the practice of wielding a firearm in an open and unconcealed manner, such as a waist holster.

Open Carry, which last year invited its members to holster up outside President Obama’s speaking sites, said it would not be deterred. Unfortunately, more than two dozen states also have allowed themselves to be bullied by the gun lobby into adopting similarly dangerous law.

Under normal circumstances, the New York Times is sophisticated enough to use data, while providing phenomenally poor analysis to make its point. In this article, it fails to do even amateurish statistical analysis. Corrections notes that there is no evidence of any increase in crime due to open carry, though legal in half of the United States.

Indeed, given that it is not a topic in academia, while being widespread as a potential practice, one might bayesian update that it has little effect (otherwise it would be a topic). This gives further evidence of partisan malpractice at the Times.


  1. that's from an editorial

  2. Corrections would note that a large proportion of our analysis comes from editorials. We would further note that we labelled the article as an editorial in the fourth word of our post, as is custom.

    Corrections sees your point as orthogonal to our own, and utterly irrelevant. The New York Times is a chronic abuser of data (see archives). It has the faculties to probe data, but clearly lacks the capacity to actually analyze it. To that end, it has a consistent leftward and ill-informed bent.

    Corrections suggests the only newspaper that competently probes data, in our view, is the Wall Street Journal, which is unabashedly conservative in its opinion page, but keeps it out of the news section. The New York Times does no such thing.