False comparison circulating on internet between Iraq and DC

Several people have sent me the following:

Interesting thought for the day:

If you consider that there have been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000.

The rate in Washington D.C. (among others) is 80.6 per 100,000.

That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in our nation's capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: We should immediately pull out of Washington, D.C.

Just so everyone knows, this discussion has both a major math error and another incorrect fact. If you were to use the numbers presented above, the annual death rate for soldiers would be 720 per 100,000, a rate 12 times higher than the 60 listed. I think that they may have accidentally figured out the monthly rate. In addition, the murder rate in DC is high, but it is 40 per 100,000, not 80. In any case, their conclusion is only made possible by making both errors.

Of course, none of my comments on this take away from what we are doing to help out the Iraqis.

Thanks to Chris DeMuth, Bob Lott and others who have emailed this claim to me.


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