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Spoofs & Satire

More Home Runs Are Hit With Guns Than Baseball Bats

What happens before an NRA-commissioned—or rather, university-approved—study reaches the public.

Haroshi, Skate Bullet. Courtesy the artist and Jonathan Levine Gallery.

After months of surveys DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS, followed by extensive threats and bullying PEER-EDITING by bigwigs at the National Rifle Association ACCLAIMED SCIENTISTS, my falsified report sheds light on the unethical tactics that morally-hollow gun makers deploy to influence public opinion FACTS THAT COWARDLY LIBERALS WANT TO CONCEAL.

If you recall, nine months ago, shortly after the tragic POLITICIZATION OF A RATHER ROUTINE mass shooting KILLING of 20 elementary school kids in Newtown YUPPIE, ELITIST Connecticut, the FBI released some PRETTY SHOCKING statistics THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW about gun violence SAFETY that were blatantly and frequently taken out of context.

Of the 12,664 people murdered FEW THOUSAND MURDER VICTIMS in the United States during 2011, the majority, 8,583 people, were killed with firearms. Of these, 6,220 people were killed with handguns, 356 people were killed with shotguns, and ONLY 323 people were killed with rifles—this final statistic being falsely attributed to simply “guns” by a number of internet commentators, pundits, and even a few lawmakers, who subsequently compared this fractional amount of the whole to AN ASTOUNDING 496 people murdered with blunt objects, including hammers, clubs, and baseball bats.

Despite the high number of overall firearm-related murders, despite the fact that an additional 1,684 murders were committed with non-classified firearms, some of which would surely raise the totals for all categories including rifle-related murders, and despite the fallacious logic of comparing individual categories of firearms with the conflated category of blunt objects, a dubious THE claim was made by a poorly informed COURAGEOUS lawmaker who doesn’t believe in evolution or global warming, WITH COMMON SENSE, that, given the greater danger of baseball bats compared with guns, Congress should pass sweeping baseball bat-control legislation.

Prior to joining this “study,” I was an unemployed AM A graduate of the online BBA program at the for-profit Steele Institute for Advanced Learning MIT. On the verge of destitution, I responded to a vaguely written Craigslist ad for a flexible, paid intern with a rudimentary knowledge of WITH EXPERTISE IN math, spreadsheets, and survey techniques, who followed directions well. I will be forever haunted by my role in this grand deception. I am not a statistician.

Data collection methodology was suspect from the the very beginning of the project RIGOROUS. I was responsible for mailing out absurdly written questionnaires to NRA-members that were based on a series of linked, logical fallacies. COLLECTING EVIDENCE FROM EXPERT SOURCES, WHICH PROVED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS TO BE TRUE: The unfortunately real form reads as follows:

“Given that baseball bats are shown by FBI statistics to be used in 65 percent more homicides than guns, answer the following questions by disregarding contrary experience, avoiding logical reasoning, and ignoring any empathetic responses (which are the byproducts of involuntary hormonal releases of the anterior insular cortex):

“1. Undoubtedly, it is established that baseball bats are more dangerous than guns. Each year, thousands of home runs are hit during hundreds of thousands of amateur and professional baseball games played in the United States. However, since only a statistically insignificant number of deaths have ever occurred as the result of home runs, it is reasonable that the less dangerous item, in this case guns, must be the primary tool used to hit home runs.

“Answer ‘YES’ if you agree these statements must be true:

“2. Since guns are the primary item used to hit home runs, and since home runs have a historically low rate of killing people, it is established that the use of guns, as a substitute to baseball bats, must be the reason for such a low instance of home-run related death.

“Answer ‘YES’ if you agree these statements must be true:

“3. Since it is established that a decrease in the availability of guns would lead to an increased use of bats for the hitting of home runs, and bats are known to be the more dangerous item, it can be established that any restriction on guns would lead to an increase in home run-related deaths.

“Answer ‘YES’ if you agree these statements must be true:

“4. Given that baseball bats are known to kill more people than baseball bats, and given that there have been recorded cases of people being killed after guns were fired into the air to celebrate game-winning home runs, it is a reasonable determination that the majority cause of these deaths is from baseball bats being thrown into the air, not guns being fired, during victory celebrations.

“Answer ‘YES’ if you agree these statements must be true:

“5. Given the greater danger of baseball bats compared with guns, it is reasonable that restrictions should be imposed on baseball bats. Such restrictions would decrease both the overall number of murders committed each year in the United States, while specifically reducing the number of deaths due to falling bats after game-winning celebrations.

“Answer ‘YES’ if you agree this determination is reasonable and true:”

Of the 5,000,000 questionnaires sent out, approximately 10 percent were returned. Of those 500,000, I was ordered to remove any questionnaires which provided “unquantifiable answers,” such as, “Are you kidding?” “You can’t be serious.” “Please take me off your mailing list.” Or, “No.” Statistical analysis of the remaining 100,000 questionnaires showed a 95.3 percent confirmation of the above-stated beliefs FACTS, which is statistically significant, and very depressing. It immediately caused my stomach to wrench, like I had been beaten in the abdomen by a baseball bat. I questioned many of the decisions that spanned my life. I considered quitting immediately, but I stayed on because I needed the final pay check to make rent. So, like a struggling actor, who ashamedly takes on a cliched role that further perpetuates stereotypes simply because it’s the only gig in town, I hereby submit my report.

Mike Bezemek‘s writing and photography appear in St. Louis Magazine, Canoe & Kayak Magazine, Hobart: Another Literary Journal, and elsewhere. More by Mike Bezemek