Correlations

Wayne J. Warf said:

I just wonder if this was a little fishing expedition by Tim. You
know, take a bunch of stats and run pairwise correlations on them and
see if any pop out significant at p<.05. Of course, doing this
without adjusting your significance levels skews the results tremendously,
but one wonders just the same. Was there an a priori hypothesis being
tested against the null or was it just “shotgun statistics”.

<sarcasm>
Yes, I sat up late at night trying to correlate things with gun
ownership. I tried the number of letters in the country’s name, the
number of medals won in the Olympics, height of the country’s head of
state, average bra size, dollar value of exports of stuffed koalas.
If any one of these was correlated I’d have the evidence I needed for
my GGI (Gun Grabber Illuminati) buddies. Then I had an idea!
Guns, like, fire these metal projectiles at quite brisk velocities.
If one of these projectiles were to strike a person, that person could
be injured, even killed. OK, the next step is a bit
far-fetched, but bear with me. Some depraved person might
deliberately cause one of these bullet things to strike someone in
order to murder them. Yeah, I know, that’s pretty ridiculous.
However, I was pretty desperate by then, so I looked up the homicide
statistics, just on the off chance.
</sarcasm>

The hypothesis that there is no correlation between homicide and gun
ownership is one that is advanced by pro-gun people in this news group
quite frequently whenever they mention Switzerland. I decided to put
it to the test.