Tag: State of Washington Department of Health

You Can’t Handle the Truth, or Numbers


People are impressed by numbers, especially large numbers. Paraphrasing a quote attributed to Josef Stalin illustrates the large number quandary; One man’s death is a tragedy, millions of deaths are a merely a statistic.

Numbers can be manipulated for political purposes. When someone has driven to an empty school parking lot at 0230 hours and commits suicide by shooting themselves in the head there will be an advocacy group that will list that death as a school shooting. That death is a tragedy, but it should not be used to make the number of school shootings appear greater than they are.