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Showing posts from March, 2013

Misuse of Australian and UK statistics in the US gun control debate

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Introduction

I wasn't going to write any more concerning gun control, but a friend posted a link on my Facebook page to a blog featuring the dreadful video below:



The blogger asks: "What happened to gun control successes in Australia?" My Facebook friend wanted me to respond and, so to avoid having to repeat it elsewhere, I thought I'd deal with here in a comprehensive way.

And at least this time I can't be accused of "meddling in US issues" - because the statistics being misused here are not US ones but rather those of my own country and of the UK!

So let's examine what this video actually shows:

Some US network (Fox, I imagine?) reporter asks a few very disgruntled gun owners in Australia about the 1996 gun restrictions, then quotes some Australian crime "statistics" to establish a "link" between these restrictions and the general increase in crime rate in Australia.

What's wrong with that?

Well I'll say this: The vid…

Wanting more

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Introduction

In my article "Banishing self-doubt" I discussed the importance of positive thinking. Yet we all know how hard it can be to attain (and maintain!) such a state of mind. How many of us feel a quiet sense of achievement and contentment in our lives (martial and otherwise!)?

Not enough, I suspect!

On the other hand, how many feel only a growing sense of despondency whenever we look in the mirror (metaphorical or literal)? I don't really have to answer that, now do I?

So in this article I want to deal more squarely with this:

What is it that keeps negativity at the fore of most people's minds (and positive thinking at the rear)? Why do so many people think so poorly about themselves that it is actually at complete odds with reality?1

Why do so many people seek reinforcement from motivational speeches, self-help books, sacred texts, counsellors, friends and family – even memes – but mostly to little or no avail? And what can we do to improve this situation?2