Or, how to stretch statistics to make a mole hill look like a mountain. One recent number that I've been hearing of late from the gun-control advocates is something along the lines of "In states that require background checks for all handgun sales: The rate of women murdered by an intimate partner with a gun in 2010 was 38% lower than in other states, while the rate of those murdered by other means was nearly identical". This was from the signed testimony by Penny Okamota and Elise Gautier of Cease Fire, Oregon. Where did this number come from? Their written testimony points to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, supra note 4, citing U.S. Department Justice, FBI, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2011. Ok, I don't see where they get their numbers from on the FBI page, but it sure looks and sounds official. So I keep sleuthing as I'm determined to understand what "38%" really means. I finally find my answer under a digital rock in the farther reaches of the internet wasteland in a Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Gun Laws and Violence Against Women report. There's the 38%, on page 3. So how do they get such a huge drop? Surely it must be the background checks in place, as they claim it is... let's see. The data is collected from 2010. For non-firearm homicides, it is "nearly identical", per Cease Fire's own testimony. (3.08 vs 3.54, no background check vs background check states). For firearm homicides, there is a 38% decrease from 5.09 to 3.17... out of every 1,000,000 females in the population. Wait, what? Backing up for a second... Did I just say out of 1,000,000 (one million)? Yes I did. Or rather the MAIG report did. Check out the y-axis of the last graph of the report. To put that in perspective, a typical paperclip is ~1 millimeter (mm) thick. Perfectly stack 5 paperclips. Now make another stack next to it with 3 paperclips. Now make a final stack with 1,000,000 paperclips next to the first two stacks. I hope you have a ladder because that's about a 0.62 mile high stack! Or around 3,200 ft, where people jump out of planes to go skydiving! To an engineer, statistician, machinists, carpenter, filing up the car with gas, etc, that also could easily be considered "nearly identical", don't you think? I sure wish I knew which states they choose for this latest "fact". I'd like to see if it holds true for 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012. Or maybe 2010 just gave them the roll of the dice numbers they needed to make their point. Note: the MAIG report does mention other statistics, but I choose to focus on the "Background checks" portion of it as that is what's currently in the legislature. Needless to say, most of those other homicides in the report happen in situations that already have a history of either domestic abuse, gang or drug activity, or other than domestic abuse criminal records (something around 60-85%).