Skip to comments.Is Gun Violence Soaring in America?
Posted on 12/10/2012 7:11:00 AM PST by marktwain
An article published in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday reported that while the number of homicides has decreased over the last decade (2001-2011) due to improvements in medical technology, the number of people treated for gunshot wounds increased by almost half.
Here is an excerpt from the WSJ article:
After a steady decline through the 1990s, the annual number of homicides zigzagged before resuming a decline in 2007, falling from 16,929 that year to an estimated 14,722 in 2010, according to FBI crime data.
At the same time, medical data and other surveys in the U.S. show a rising number of serious injuries from assaults with guns and knives. The estimated number of people wounded seriously enough by gunshots to require a hospital stay, rather than treatment and release, rose 47% to 30,759 in 2011 from 20,844 in 2001, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program. The CDC estimates showed the number of people injured in serious stabbings rose to 23,550 from 22,047 over the same period.
The rather glaring implication here is that (as the authors of the article outright suggest in its title) gun violence is soaring in America (the actual title is, In Medical Triumph, Homicides Fall Despite Soaring Gun Violence).
But is this true? Is gun violence really soaring in America?
Well, the article itself cast doubt about the claim in subsequent paragraphs:
Criminologists say they are cautious about using such medical statistics to draw conclusions because of year-to-year inconsistencies in the number of medical institutions reporting data. The FBI collects annual homicide and aggravated assault statistics but doesn't have reliable numbers for gun and knife attacks.
Jens Ludwig, a law professor and the director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, said he was leery of any number beyond reported homicides.
"Homicide is the one thing we're measuring well," he said. "Everything else is subject to much more uncertainty," including varying numbers of emergency departments contributing data, as well as differences in how injuries are classified.
So, can we trust those numbers? The short answer is no. In his own analysis of the data, Kent Scheidegger, the Legal Director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, said the following about the WSJ article:
It is certainly a very good thing that doctors are able to save more shooting victims, but take the "soaring gun violence" part with a grain of salt. Aggravated assaults per capita are down 16% from 2007 to 2011, according to the FBI's UCR, and down 24% from 2001 to 2011. Did assaults with guns really soar while aggravated assaults overall were dropping? I'll join Prof. Ludwig in the leery section.
To iterate Scheidegger point, one should be highly skeptical of those numbers. In addition to the national drop in aggravated assaults over the past decade, there are regional studies like the one conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University professor Thomas R. Baker that indicate the exact opposite is true.
As Guns.com has noted before, Baker examined crime data and gun sales in Virginia from 2006 to 2011 and what he found was a negative relationship between gun sales, which increased 73 percent over those five years and gun-related violent crimes, which fell by 24 percent over the same period (when adjusted for population growth, those numbers are a 63 percent increase in sales and a 27 percent reduction in crime).
So, again, there is significant reason to doubt those numbers.
Nevertheless, you can expect that gun control advocates will be referencing this WSJ article and spouting the CDC numbers in the weeks to come. Just know that like many of the claims they often make, there is a lack of hard evidence behind it.
Also, shame on the WSJ for lazy journalism. It goes without saying, but a publication shouldnt draw a conclusion that has the semblance of being factual based on numbers that are inherently unreliable.
complete and utter bravo sierra
Only certain tribes are irresponsible with guns.
” the number of people treated for gunshot wounds increased by almost half.”
Exactly! The reason is that Americans have decided criminals have no right to act criminally, and now are shooting those criminals.
When the herd of Urban Ferals has been extirpated, shootings will drop off sharply.
Until then, wrap thyself in the 2nd Amendment.
All violent deaths are homicides, including all of the bad guys that get shot even by police. The only statistic that would count is the one that the homicide is considered a murder or manslaughter by a firearm.
As if they mattered to those intent on disarming America.
Gun violence, now there is an interesting way with words, giving guns, physical, mental, and moral carte blanche, as if they had fully functional means of doing harm without human intervention.
So in the final analysis if Christ the Lord had returned for a millennial reign the progressives might have a point, but as long as the adversary, to the power of God is still active there will be a need for man to protect himself, family, friends, nation, culture, way of life, religion, rights, property, from intervention, by might from those on the left hand of God.
Gun violence could potentially SOAR, with perhaps millions of rounds of Hollow Point bullets, now in the bad guys hands.
What also isn’t being talked about recently are gangsters.
A big percentage of gun homicides are by gang bangers against other gang bangers. Such homicides are somewhat easier to track because they prefer head shots. Yet those numbers are dwarfed by gang gun attacks, for the odd reason that they are generally awful shots.
“The FBI tells us that there are now 1.4 million gang members involved in the 33,000 different gangs that are active inside the United States. The number of gang members in the U.S. has increased by 40 percent since 2009.”
So a 40% increase in just three years? It should be a bloodbath.
I could not decipher if the majority of gunshot victims were justified shootings. If, as I suspect, the ones getting shot were committing a crime, then there is no problem.
I live in a part of the country where there’s a lot of guns. In my old hometown of La Crosse, Wisconsin with a population that has held steady at around 50 thousand since I was kid fifty years ago, they’ve had about one or two murders a year since the year 2000. And a number of those murders didn’t involve firearms. Like I said, this is an area armed to the teeth. But most people around here don’t think it’s a good idea to go blasting people for no good reason.
Lazy, my ass.
More like activist.
Only where guns are illegal.
It will increase dramatically once the SHTF and the rioting feral “walking dead” come out of those urban areas to take from those that don’t want to give.
And be gunned down by those who are defending their property.
'Is Gun Violence Soaring in America?'No. Next question?
America doesn't have a: 'Gun Violence' problem.
It's urban areas have a: 'Criminal Violence' problem.
And oddly enough, all those urban areas are all run and controlled by ..... ta-da ..... Democrats!
Oh-oh .... I said 'urban areas'.
pMSNBC says that's 'Racist Code' and a 'Dog Whistle'. (don't ask, I have no idea either)
Here come the softening-up talking points so they can introduce their little gun control schemes.
This is the only transparency you will EVER see from these f***ing POS dems.
Just looked outside to see if any of my guns were violently soaring about. They were not.