Fox Butterfield, is that you?

James Taranto has moved on from his daily online Best of the Web column and his recurring documentation of New York Timesthink under the catchphrase “Fox Butterfield, is that you?” Butterfield was the Times reporter endlessly befuddled by, or indignant over, high incarceration rates coupled with low crime rates. Invoking Butterfield, Taranto noted cases of reported contradiction where correlation was more like it.

CBS Minnesota affiliate WCCO introduces Pat Kessler’s story on gun ownership with this classic of the genre: “More people are carrying guns than ever before, but the crime rate remains relatively low.” Kessler himself reports: “Minnesota’s violent crime rate hit a 50-year low in 2016, according to the FBI. And in 2017, the state set a new record for firearms background checks.”

Shocker! John Lott wrote a whole book on the subject. It’s called More Guns, Less Crime.


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