Skip to comments.
Here Are 8 Stubborn Facts on Gun Violence in America
The Daily Signal ^
| March 14, 2018
| John G. Malcolm
Posted on 03/15/2018 1:52:06 PM PDT by Heartlander
Here Are 8 Stubborn Facts on Gun Violence in America
In the wake of the tragic murder of 17 innocent students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students, educators, politicians, and activists are searching for solutions to prevent future school shootings.
As emotions morph from grief to anger to resolve, it is vitally important to supply facts so that policymakers and professionals can fashion solutions based on objective data rather than well-intended but misguided emotional fixes.
Are there ways to reduce gun violence and school shootings? Yes, but only after objectively assessing the facts and working collaboratively to fashion commonsense solutions.
Here are eight stubborn facts to keep in mind about gun violence in America:
- Violent crime is down and has been on the decline for decades.
- The principal public safety concerns with respect to guns are suicides and illegally owned handguns, not mass shootings.
- A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.
- Gun-related murders are carried out by a predictable pool of people.
- Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.
- There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.
- Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.
- Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.
Each of these facts is firmly based on empirical data. Heres a deeper look.
1. America is relatively safe, and the trend is toward becoming safer.
- According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, violent crime has been declining steadily since the early 1990s.
- The 2011 homicide rate was almost half of the rate in 1991, and according to the Pew Research Center, the 2013 gun-related death rate was half of the rate in 1993.
- The number of nonfatal firearm crimes committed in 2011 was one-sixth the number committed in 1993.
- In the past few years, there have been minor increases in certain types of violent crimes, mainly in large metropolitan areas. However, these increases are nowhere near those seen in the 1990s and are largely related to gang activity.
- It should be remembered that it takes at least three to five years of data to show true trend lines. It appears that the collective homicide toll for Americas 50 largest cities decreased modestly in 2017 after two consecutive years of increases.
2. The principal public safety concerns are suicides and illegally owned handguns.
- According to the Pew Research Center, almost two-thirds of Americas annual gun deaths are suicides. Since 1981, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began publishing data, gun suicides have outnumbered gun homicides. In 2010 alone, 19,392 Americans used guns to kill themselves.
- Most gun-related crimes are carried out with illegally owned firearmsas much as 80 percent according to some estimates.
- The FBIs Uniform Crime Reports prove that the overwhelming majority of gun-related homicides are perpetrated with handguns, with rifles of any kind accounting for less than 3 percent of gun-related homicides. In 2013, 5,782 murders were committed by killers who used a handgun, compared to 285 committed by killers who used a rifle. The same holds true for 2012 (6,404 to 298); 2011 (6,251 to 332); 2010 (6,115 to 367); and 2009 (6,501 to 351).
- More people are stabbed to death every year than are murdered with rifles.
- A person is more likely to be bludgeoned to death with a blunt object or beaten to death with hands and feet than to be murdered with a rifle.
3. A small number of factors significantly increase the likelihood that a person will be a victim of a gun-related homicide.
- Where do you live? Murders in the United States are very concentrated. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, over 50 percent of murders occur in 2 percent of the nations 3,142 counties. Moreover, gun-related homicides are heavily concentrated in certain neighborhoods within those counties: 54 percent of U.S. counties had zero murders in 2014.
- Who is your partner? According to a recent scholarly article in the Hastings Law Journal, people recently or currently involved in an abusive intimate relationship are much more likely to be victims of gun-related homicide than is the rest of the population, especially if the abuser possesses firearms.
- Are you in a gang? According to the Department of Justices National Gang Center, particularly in urban areas, significant percentages of gun-related homicides (15 percent to 33 percent) are linked with gang and drug activity. Gang-related homicides are more likely to involve firearms than non-gang-related homicides are.
- Are you a male between 15 and 34? The majority of standard gun murder victims are men between the ages of 15 and 34. Although black men make up roughly 7 percent of the population, they account for almost two-thirds of gun murder victims every year.
- Women and children are more likely to be the victims of mass shootings and homicide-suicide shootings than they are to be the victims of a typical gun-related homicide.
4. The perpetration of gun-related murders is often carried out by predictable people.
5. Higher rates of gun ownership are not associated with higher rates of violent crime.
- Switzerland and Israel have much higher gun ownership rates than the United States but experience far fewer homicides and have much lower violent crime rates than many European nations with strict gun control laws.
- While some will argue that the guns carried by Swiss and Israeli citizens are technically owned by the government in most cases, this does little to negate the fact that many citizens in those countries have ready access to firearms.
- Canada is ranked 12th in the world for the number of civilian-owned guns per capita and reports one of the worlds lower homicide ratesbut even then, some provinces have higher homicide rates than U.S. states with less restrictive laws and higher rates of gun ownership have.
- Although many gun control advocates have noted that right to carry states tend to experience slight increases in violent crime, other studies have noted the opposite effect.
- Higher rates of concealed carry permit holders are even more strongly associated with reduction in violent crime than are right-to-carry states. The probable reason for this is that right-to-carry studies often include open carry states, which have not been shown to correlate with more people actually carrying or even owning firearms. Rates of concealed carry permit holders are better indicators of the number of people who actually possess and carry firearms within a given population.
- Further, as with most correlations, there are many other factors that can account for increases in concealed carry permitsincluding the fact that people who live in already dangerous neighborhoods seek out means of self-defense. The Huffington Post noted that the rate of concealed carry permit requests in Chicago has soared in recent years after the city loosened restrictions, in large part, according to the Chicago Tribune, because law-abiding residents are increasingly worried about rising rates of violent crime in the city.
- The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than it is among African-Americans, but the murder rate among African-Americans is significantly higher than the rate among whites.
- Similarly, the rate of gun ownership is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but urban areas experience higher murder rates.
6. There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.
- The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ironically makes this clear with its ratings for states based on gun laws. Gun freedom states that score poorly, like New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, and Oregon, have some of the lowest homicide rates. Conversely, gun control-loving states that received high scores, like Maryland and Illinois, experience some of the nations highest homicide rates.
- The Crime Prevention Research Center notes that, if anything, the data indicate that countries with high rates of gun ownership tend to have lower homicide ratesbut this is only a correlation, and many factors do not necessarily support a conclusion that high rates of gun ownership cause the low rates of homicide.
- Homicide and firearm homicide rates in Great Britain spiked in the years immediately following the imposition of severe gun control measures, despite the fact that most developed countries continued to experience a downward trend in these rates. This is also pointed out by noted criminologist John Lott in his book The War on Guns.
- Similarly, Irelands homicide rates spiked in the years immediately following the countrys 1972 gun confiscation legislation.
- Australias National Firearms Act appears to have had little effect on suicide and homicide rates, which were falling before the law was enacted and continued to decline at a statistically unremarkable rate compared to worldwide trends.
- According to research compiled by Lott and highlighted in his book The War on Guns, Australias armed and unarmed robbery rates both increased markedly in the five years immediately following the National Firearms Act, despite the general downward trend experienced by other developed countries.
- Great Britain has some of the strictest gun control laws in the developed world, but the violent crime rate for homicide, rape, burglary, and aggravated assault is much higher than that in the U.S. Further, approximately 60 percent of burglaries in Great Britain occur while residents are home, compared to just 13 percent in the U.S., and British burglars admit to targeting occupied residences because they are more likely to find wallets and purses.
- It is difficult to compare homicide and firearm-related murder rates across international borders because countries use different methods to determine which deaths count for purposes of violent crime. For example, since 1967, Great Britain has excluded from its homicide counts any case that does not result in a conviction, that was the result of dangerous driving, or in which the person was determined to have acted in self-defense. All of these factors are counted as homicides in the United States.
7. Legally owned firearms are used for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes or suicide.
- In 2013, President Barack Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess existing research on gun violence. The report, compiled by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, found (among other things) that firearms are used defensively hundreds of thousands of times every year.
- According to the CDC, self-defense can be an important crime deterrent. Recent CDC reports acknowledge that studies directly assessing the effect of actual defensive uses of guns have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.
- Semi-automatic rifles (such as the AR-15) are commonly used as self-defense weapons in the homes of law-abiding citizens because they are easier to control than handguns, are more versatile than handguns, and offer the advantage of up to 30 rounds of protection. Even Vox has published stories defending the use of the AR-15.
- AR-15s have been used to save lives on many occasions, including:
- Oswego, Illinois (2018)A man with an AR-15 intervened to stop a neighbors knife attack and cited the larger weapons intimidation factor as a reason why the attacker dropped the knife.
- Catawba County, North Carolina (2018)A 17-year-old successfully fought off three armed attackers with his AR-15.
- Houston, Texas (2017)A homeowner survived a drive-by shooting by defending himself with his AR-15.
- Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (2017)A homeowners son killed three would-be burglars with an AR-15 (the man was later deemed to have acted in justifiable self-defense).
- Ferguson, Missouri (2014)African-American men protected a white mans store from rioters by standing outside armed with AR-15s.
- Texas (2013)A 15-year-old boy used an AR-15 during a home invasion to save both his life and that of his 12-year-old sister.
- Rochester, New York (2013)Home intruders fled after facing an AR-15.
8. Concealed carry permit holders are not the problem, but they may be part of the solution.
- Lott found that, as a group, concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding people in the United States. The rate at which they commit crimes generally and firearm crimes specifically is between one-sixth and one-tenth of that recorded for police officers, who are themselves committing crimes at a fraction of the rate of the general population.
- Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates dropped 16 percent and violent crime rates dropped 18 percent, even though the percentage of adults with concealed carry permits rose by 190 percent.
- Regression estimates show a significant association between increased permit ownership and a drop in murder and violent crime rates. Each percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate.
- Concealed carry permit holders are often the good guy with a gun, even though they rarely receive the attention of the national media. Concealed carry permit holders were credited with saving multiple lives in:
TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-20, 21-24 next last
This one’s going in the FR Favorites file for regularly quoting in the comments after the nonsense letters and articles in the local rag’s web pages.
posted on 03/15/2018 1:55:22 PM PDT
(It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
Since most firearms deaths are suicides the best way to decrease that number is to approve physician assisted suicide./sarc
posted on 03/15/2018 2:09:02 PM PDT
posted on 03/15/2018 2:10:41 PM PDT
(An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
posted on 03/15/2018 2:15:33 PM PDT
("Truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth.")
To: PROCON; DaveLoneRanger; carriage_hill
posted on 03/15/2018 2:18:29 PM PDT
(ANTIFA is full of Bolshevik.)
I disagree with #6:
“There is no clear relationship between strict gun control legislation and homicide or violent crime rates.”
This is because homicide and violent crime rates ARE HIGHEST in states and cities where strict gun control laws are in effect.
GUN CONTROL LAWS KILL PEOPLE!!
posted on 03/15/2018 2:29:28 PM PDT
(There is nothing feminine about feminism.)
posted on 03/15/2018 2:53:05 PM PDT
("...that all the donkeys were dead. I know nothing as to the fate of the less valuable animals.")
posted on 03/15/2018 2:55:19 PM PDT
BUT these are facts and reality. Gun control is not based on any factual attempt to decrease crime, but rather it is an article of the faith of liberalism/statism where any action that decreases the freedom of the general populace is good and anything that empowers the government's subjects is blasphemy. Democrats look at places like nazi Germany and see how the government was able to murder 6 million Jews and think "that's the kind of power I want". Get rid of the bitter clingers and others who don't worship the Obama/Clinton/Pelosi/Schumer/etc pantheon.
Most massholes, New Yorkers, San Francisco hipsters, etc would happily approve of a final solution to the gun owner problem as long as the government could Plunder the assets of its victims and distribute the largesse to them. Gun control advocates are not for the most part honestly looking for ways to reduce crime and violence, but rather looking to stick it to those who don't think like them. This makes them evil rather than misguided and makes them enemies (domestic rather than foreign)
posted on 03/15/2018 2:59:14 PM PDT
by from occupied ga
(Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
To: Heartlander; lightman; mylife; Joe Brower; MaxMax; Randy Larsen; waterhill; Envisioning; ...
RKBA Ping List
This Ping List is for all things pertaining to the 2nd Amendment.
FReepmail me if you want to be added to or deleted from the list.
More 2nd Amendment related articles on FR's Bang List.
posted on 03/15/2018 3:13:20 PM PDT
(Repeal the Gun-Free School Zone Act, Protect Our Children!)
posted on 03/15/2018 3:19:36 PM PDT
( Life is simpler, when you plow around the stump.)
And here are the FACTS surrounding the Second Amendment!
With the left again taking aim at the Second Amendment, the two short videos at the links will make crystal clear WHY the Founders inserted it so prominently in the Bill of Rights.
The video - probably a 4th generation burn of a DVD - though sketchy, is viewable. But IT’S THE AUDIO THAT’S IMPORTANT and makes this one another candidate for a background listen while doing computer housekeeping.
It’s also a fun one to send to any leftist anti-gunners in your orbit. While it almost certainly won’t cause them to change course, it contains HISTORICALLY VERIFIABLE FACTS that will make them go berserk and possibly even burst into flames. Facts nearly always have that effect on them. So fire up a leftist/statist (but I repeat myself) and share it!
If the fact filled first video fails to move them, the second, by Dr. Hupp, MAY move even the most critical thought challenged leftist at that all important EMOTIONAL & “FEELINGS” level for which they are so well known.
posted on 03/15/2018 4:12:58 PM PDT
by Dick Bachert
(Why are damn near ALL the SEX FIENDS Democrats?)
posted on 03/15/2018 4:13:10 PM PDT
(I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
To: Dick Bachert
Well, its been about a month since Feb 14; many more years since Columbine and Sandy Hook. If we cant just make all the guns disappear, what have any of these schools done differently to enhance security since then? Whats the back up plan? Are the parents still just packing their kids up and sending them right back in without demanding any changes?
posted on 03/15/2018 5:37:19 PM PDT
posted on 03/15/2018 5:52:35 PM PDT
(Truth -- the new hate speech.)
Lots of good info. Liberals are sick to death I know.
posted on 03/15/2018 6:29:32 PM PDT
(Keep a sharp lookout. The best is yet to come.)
posted on 03/15/2018 8:20:55 PM PDT
(I'm not too worried, I've read the book and know how it all ends...We win)
posted on 03/15/2018 8:36:49 PM PDT
by Big Red Badger
(UNSCANABLE in an IDIOCRACY!)
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-20, 21-24 next last
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson