December 2011 In Review

December brought my 2011 to an ambitious close as I covered gun statistics from the Denver Post, reviewed the speech-infringing campaign laws, and more. (See also my Year In Review through November.)

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Gun Statistics

When I read a set of gun-related statistics in a December 28 Denver Poststory, the reported claims didn’t seem right to me. So I started digging into the data and found very different figures. By the end of the day I had written two articles on the matter, the Denver Post had issued a correction to its online article, and Glenn Reynolds had linked to my main article through his Instapundit.

Largely because of the Instapundit link, my article, “Joey Bunch Misstates Gun Statistics in Denver Post,” got 13,446 page views (as of this writing).

Originally the Post reported the following: “More than 500 children in the United States die in gun accidents each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a 2007 report, which estimated 1.7 million children live in homes where guns are kept.”

But, I discovered, that single sentence contains three serious errors. First, in 2007, 112 minors (under age 18) died from unintentional shootings. Second, the “1.7 million” figure refers to the number of children who (based on unreliable survey data) live in homes where unlocked and loaded guns are kept. Third, there was no 2007 CDC report reporting those figures.

However, obviously it’s a very bad thing when anyone dies of unintentional gun fire (or any other hazard); I wrote about that general problem in a follow-up article, “The Tragedy of Fatal Hazards for Children.” I found, among other things, that children are more likely to die from drowning, falls, fire, poisoning, suffocation, or transportation than they are to die from unintentional gun fire.

Because of my write-up, I was invited on to the December 30 radio show for NRA News. I spent about ten minutes explaining the statistics and the positive trend lines in terms of reduced deaths due to unintentional gun fire.

My reporting even earned some praise from left-leaning blogger Jason Salzman, who wrote on his Twitter feed, “Some conservatives mindlessly slam The Post, but here’s an example from @ariarmstrong of how to complain constructively.” (Of course, I don’t consider myself a conservative, though I am friendly with many conservatives.)

Articles for The Objective Standard

I also coauthored an article for The Objective Standard, wrote a book review, and wrote four posts for the journal’s blog. (Of all the work listed in this write-up, I get paid directly only for my work for that journal, in addition to my work with Liberty In the Books).

Diana Hsieh and I wrote the following article:

The Assault on Abortion Rights Undermines All Our Liberties

I also submitted a book review on Andrew Bernstein’s Capitalist Solutions.

For the journal’s blog I wrote the following:

Contra Occupiers, Profits Embody Justice

To Protect Rights, Phase Out Payroll Tax Completely

Obama’s Osawatomie Shakedown: Critics’ Roundup

Newt Sides with Anti-Abortion Zealots

Op-Eds Published Elsewhere

On Denver 19 the Denver Post published my op-ed, “Tebowmania isn’t just for Christians.” On December 20 my op-ed was listed in the second spot for the paper’s “Top Opinion Stories.”

I also coauthored two articles for Grand Junction Free Press:

Gessler Emerges as the Free Speech Secretary of State

‘Twas the night before they occupied the North Pole

Campaign Laws Vs. Free Speech

On December 15, I spoke at a Secretary of State hearing on Colorado’s campaign laws. I also recorded the video testimony of others and published it on YouTube:

Campaign Finance Rules: Collected Testimony

I also wrote up extensive comments prior to the meeting:

Comments Regarding the Secretary of State’s Dec. 15 Campaign Finance Rule Hearing

Earlier in the month I gave a talk at Liberty On the Rocks about the campaign laws, along with Diana Hsieh:

Reviewing CO’s Campaign Laws

As mentioned, I coauthored an article on the matter for Grand Junction Free Press.

I was also quoted in the Durango Herald on the campaign laws: “I think it’s a travesty and a mockery of the First Amendment that Colorado citizens are being dragged into court for daring to engage in the political process.” (Diana Hsieh also was quoted by the AP on the matter.)

Also, Matt Arnold reported that an audio clip from my video of State Senator John Morse was used in a segment for 560 KLZ radio.

Social Media

I posted 442 Tweets on my Twitter feed (ending the month at 10,932 total Tweets), and I gained 51 new followers, moving from 1,168 to 1,219.

The “likes” on my Facebook page grew from 211 to 238.

On my YouTube channel, I posted eight videos, all about the campaign laws except for one about Ayn Rand’s We the Living. That brings my total to 173 videos. Following are two of the December offerings.

Other Major Blog posts

I posted 21 articles to the blog in December. The major ones include the following:

Nanny Statist Sullivan Arrested for Consensual Crimes: My commentary on Sullivan informed an article by Jacob Sullum for Reason magazine. Sullum also linked to my article in a Tweet, writing, “CO drug warrior accused of trading meth for sex also busted johns and opposed legal gambling.”

Paul-Johnson 2012: The Libertarians’ Best-Case Scenario

The Delusional Gary Johnson

What About Colorado’s Millions of Other Tax Scofflaws?

NRF Blames Banks for Harms of Federal Price Controls on Credit Cards

Officials Wage War on Colorado Businesses

Belated Apology to Littwin

Book Clubs

I moderated the December discussion for the Denver Liberty In the Books.(I also participated in a book club for Longmont Objectivism.)

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