Correlation vs. Causality

You know how the Brady Bunch love to claim how the “assault weapons” ban lowered gun related deaths? Well they determined this through statistics which can be nothing more than lying through numbers. How did they lie? Simple they used a correlation to determine causality. I saw this article on Says Uncle that shows the correlation between the “assault weapons” ban and various weapons used in homicides.

The data shows that after 1994 firearm related deaths did go down (actually it started in 1993). The Brady Bunch use this as definitive proof that the “assault weapons” ban worked. Too bad for them correlation doesn’t imply causality. If you hit the link and check out the graphs you’ll notices that deaths by stabbing and suffocation as well as a few others also started dropping in 1994. This would lead to two possible reasons when in relation to the “assault weapons” ban. The first explanation is if the ban worked for firearms than there must have been equal bans on stabbing weapons and objects used in suffocations. The other explanation is there is a reasons other than the Brady Bill that caused the drop.

The second explanation seems more likely considering after the ban sunset in 2004 there was no dramatic increase in firearm related deaths. This is why the definitions of correlation and causality are so important. The anti-gunners lie through knowingly using research (for them that constitutes a Google search) numbers incorrectly.