The New York Times had a story yesterday touting a new study by "a leading liberal group that supports toughened gun control," the Center for American Progress, that claims firearm related deaths in states with "weaker laws" are more than three times as high as in those states with "tougher restrictions."
Mark Twain (among others), is noted for a saying he attributed to the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." This comes to mind when you look at the study and its list of states on page 21 and find that Illinois is listed among the ten states with the lowest rate of firearm related deaths (it actually has the lowest according to the study). Chicago is in Illinois and it already has almost 600 murders committed with a firearm, and there is still a little over two months left in the year. Chicago has some of the strictest firearms laws in the nation even after Heller and McDonald and it hasn't stopped criminals from getting a firearm. Maybe rather than look at Illinois as a whole, they should look at areas within those states and see what the murder rate is in Chicago and a comparable city in a pro-rights state, then make a comparison.
If the NRA paid for or did a similar study to prove states with few restrictions on firearms ownership are safer than states with many restrictions, the New York Times would say it is just propaganda funded by the "gun lobby" (actually, the gun ban lobby already does that with studies conducted by people like John Lott). But the Times treats this study as gospel and uses it to promote ballot initiatives in California, Nevada, Washington and Maine.