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December 27, 2012


A high capacity magazine full of sobriety and common sense on gun crime

The American Thinker has an article called “Murder by Numbers” up, and it is full of data showing the irrelevance of “gun control” as a major national issue.

First and foremost,

Today’s murder rate is essentially at a low point of the past century. The murder rate in 2011 was lower than it was in 1911.

And the trend is downward. Whatever we’ve been doing over the last 20-30 years seems to be working, more or less. The murder rate has been cut by more than half since 1980: from 10.7 to 4.7.

There’s evidence that removing the most violent (people, not weapons) from among us is a decisive factor:

We can only speculate on what might be behind this trend, but I will point out a few interesting facts.

• From 1980 to 2000 our prison population more than quadrupled.

• From the 1980s to 2000, the number of prisoner executions more than quadrupled.

• From 1986 to 2006, the number of states adopting “shall issue” Concealed Carry permits nearly quadrupled.

And there’s lots more, all linked to primary sources, shooting holes in gun control talking points:

While the most recent murder rate is fairly low for the United States, we often hear that other countries like Australia, Japan and the UK have much lower murder rates. If we want to compare countries, we should not “cherry pick.” Let’s look at all countries. The United Nations collects such data. Out of 206 countries, the US ranks 103 - smack in the middle…

...You might guess that the Congo (30.8) or Uganda (36.3) would have higher murder rates than us. But would you have guessed Jamaica (40.9), Saint Lucia (25.2), Brazil (21.0), Greenland (19.2) and Costa Rica (10.0) do too?

Here is the list of European countries whose most recent murder rates exceeded the U.S.‘s.

• Greenland (19.2)
• Russia (10.2)
• Moldova (7.5)
• Lithuania (6.6)
• Ukraine (5.2)
• Estonia (5.2)
• Belarus (4.9)

And there are some inconvenient truths:

In over 52% of the murders in the US in 2011 in which the race of the murderer was known, the murderer was black. Over half of the victims of murder were also black. But blacks are only 13.6% of the population. Put all that together, and the murder rate in the US for non-blacks was more like 2.6 per 100,000 in 2011.

As Peter Baldwin put it in his book, The Narcissism of Minor Differences, “Take out the black underclass from the statistics, and even American murder rates fall to European levels.”

Then there’s a telling bit of U.S. Government research that nobody bothers to report:

Yes, you can look for trends, but the Centers for Disease Control already did that for you. During 2000-02, a CDC task force “conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury.” Here was their conclusion.

“The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.”

Anyway, the piece is loaded.  Go give it a read.

 

 


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13 comments

[off topic comment deleted; our commenting protocol does not allow commenters to complain about the topics about which we choose to post; feel free to argue against the thesis of the post in accordance with your desire for gun control, but commenting off-topic about our choice of blog topic will get you banned in a heartbeat; this is a warning]

[1] Posted by JuliaMarks on 12-27-2012 at 01:43 PM · [top]

Thanks for posting this excellent piece.  Take that, you knee jerk gun grabbers out there!

[2] Posted by evan miller on 12-27-2012 at 03:25 PM · [top]

Guns don’t kill people. Black people kill people.

[3] Posted by obadiahslope on 12-27-2012 at 11:33 PM · [top]

#3 I think it fair to say that the handgun violence stats in the U.S. are skewed by the problems within the Black community (which is also disproportionately represented among the victims).

That’s important because it probably wouldn’t be impacted by an “assault weapon” ban, mental health policy or even handgun laws (which wouldn’t get at the proliferation of such weapons already in the community).

[4] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 12-27-2012 at 11:47 PM · [top]

<sarcasm>I don’t see what facts have to do with this conversation. They’re just obscuring the truth.</sarcasm>

[5] Posted by paradoxymoron on 12-27-2012 at 11:59 PM · [top]

It is interesting that tackling the issues in the Black community has not made it to any of the lists (that I have seen) of how to reduce gun violence in your society.

[6] Posted by obadiahslope on 12-28-2012 at 03:19 AM · [top]

Hi obadiahslope,

I understand what you mean in #3 but the way you phrased it comes off quite like you might be suggesting that there is some inherent racial quality that causes African Americans to kill people. I know you were demonstrating the absurdity of the gun control crowd’s belief that guns are inherently evil…but I am afraid people reading it will get the wrong idea so I am going to delete the comment.

Matt

[7] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-28-2012 at 08:39 AM · [top]

Matt, it is your website, so feel free to censor me but i think you have misunderstood my point. I think the author of the article that Timothy Fountain cited, in pointing out that African American gun deaths are disproportionately high, suggests that there maybe something about their communities that leads to that. I would not suggest that it is an inherent racial factor. It might be that the US is a racist society.

[8] Posted by obadiahslope on 12-28-2012 at 12:12 PM · [top]

I know you wouldn’t suggest that and I know you don’t think that obadiahslope…I’m just worried about the average passerby who reads the comment.

[9] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-28-2012 at 12:52 PM · [top]

Actually, now that we’ve had this exchange, I think I’ll leave it alone. You’ve clarified your point above.

[10] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-28-2012 at 01:02 PM · [top]

Matt,

Thankyou. I appreciate the opportunity to comment on your site.

[11] Posted by obadiahslope on 12-28-2012 at 01:05 PM · [top]

There isn’t any case that I know of where gun control actually reduced violent crime.  Indeed, the violent crime rate in the UK is 4-5 times what it is here.  Countries with relatively high firearms ownership rates (e.g. Serbia) have murder rates lower than places like the UK.  Others with nice, low ownership rates (like Brazil and Jamaica) have murder rates that are multiples of ours.

Conclusion:  There is no correlation between firearms ownership and murder or violence rates.  No correlation, no causation.

For a full treatment of the topic, I highly recommend David Kopel’s “The Samurai, the Mountie and the Cowboy.”

[12] Posted by Jeffersonian on 12-29-2012 at 02:05 PM · [top]

Gun control advocates are generally not so interested in the “gun” part of the equation as in the “control” part. While there are exceptions to almost every rule, many gun control advocates also advocate for more government control of society. They are not swayed by statistics, or by the truth for that matter. The only issue with them is what will move society toward a more controlled one. They oppose freedom in favor of control. Any time there is a tragedy such as happend at Sandy Hook Elementary School, they clamor for the government to control us more. Any time there is a natural disaster, they call for more government programs to prevent the damage in the future. These are all seductions. There is evil in the world, and so long as society refuses to acknowlege that fact, society will continue to suffer from an undiagnosed cause. When we finally admit that evil exists and that evil causes hurt and heartbreak, then maybe we can begin to return to the source of fighting evil, which is is most definitely not the government, but the church.

[13] Posted by Immortalitas Equestris on 1-4-2013 at 09:18 AM · [top]

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