Charting Homicides

Homicide Rate per Gun Ownership Rate - international - map

At the Gun Facts project, we like to add perspective. This is the opposite of what various gun control groups do, which is to mask perspective. That perspective stuff can be inconvenient. What is the measure One claim by the gun control industry is that more guns leads to more murder. Over the years we have demonstrated that, on an international level, there is no statistical correlation between gun ownership rates and homicides. Some of our charts have become quite popular with the media as they vividly show your odds of death are significantly higher outside of America. But we were never happy with the measurements. Homicide rates are too abstract. We wanted a better way to display the chance of being murdered against the chance that someone you met owned a gun. In this very brief spasm of charting, for each country that reported them, we took the homicide rates (odds of being … Continue reading

Leaden Assumptions

Range_shooter

“If you cannot ban guns, then make shooting very expensive.” That is not an exact quote from any of the gun control industry organizations, but a sentiment stated by many therein and a few people who should know better. In an ongoing attempt to find ways of making owning arms unaffordable, parts of the gun control industry have targeted shooting itself. Since nearly all common bullets are made of lead, and since lead in sufficient quantities can be dangerous to the health of people, there has been a concerted effort to ban lead bullets. But, since bullets are “arms” and cannot be banned, and since there is little evidence that casual shooting causes people’s exposure to lead to be dangerous (aside from being shot), a move is afoot to do the next best thing, make recreational shooting illegal or expensive. Home on the range Number of Studies BLL 31 > … Continue reading

Guest Blog: The Truth Behind the Myths of Purchasing Firearms

gun show sales

Barack Obama’s careless statement that “it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable,” is just one example of misleading rhetoric about purchasing a firearm in the United States. Sadly, it has become quite the common misconception that guns are easy to purchase, perhaps too easy, which is why so many criminals are armed with them. Unfortunately, this huge misunderstanding of the actual laws and regulations–which have been in place for years–has tainted the public’s perception of the true process that’s required of every gun manufacturer in order to avoid penalties. The half-truths and blatant lies about gun sales and how criminals obtain firearms in the first place have either zero basis or are being partially reported to skew the public’s view of gun facts. It is unfortunate that the public has been so misled about the truth behind … Continue reading

Constitutional Carry Certainty

arizona constitutional carry firearm homicides vs. surrounding states

Back in 1988, when Florida became the first large state to enact shall-issue concealed carry, there was a great deal of uncertainty about the outcome. But their post-passage lack of bloodshed led to all but a handful of backwards thinking states (talking to you California) to pass similar legislation. The same thing might be happening with permitless carry (a.k.a. constitutional carry), where the whole concealed carry licensing process is jettisoned. I got curious about the criminological realities of permitless carry when a Gun Facts fan emailed to ask what we knew about the subject, which was nearly nothing. The reason is that aside from one outlier state, this is a new phenomenon and statistics are limited at best. But curiosity is a demon, and we had to take a peek. After a little number crunching, our extremely preliminary investigation concludes that permitless carry at very least causes no mayhem. The … Continue reading

Suppressed Insights

9mm-with-suppressor

I wonder if I can buy a suppressor for the car stereo the teenaged kid across the street has. As best as I can tell, he not only has the loudest sound system since Woodstock, but he also possesses the worst taste in music of any human. It is a terrible combination. Which brings us to the suddenly erupting debate over suppressors for firearms. Since I am not a firearms enthusiast, but as someone who dabbles in music, technology, engineering and other forms of mayhem, the rush to modify the regulatory and tax burden for obtaining firearm suppressors is interesting. The propaganda backlash is sadly amusing. A bit of background Back in the early 20th century, when America had massive social upheavals – from bathtub gin to communist agitators – fear drove the creation of the National Firearms Act (NFA), America’s first federal brush with gun control. Knowing that the … Continue reading

Target on Taradiddle

eric-schneiderman-2

New York’s attorney general produced a report on crime guns and their alleged rates of trafficking. I cannot say the report is flawed. Instead I must ask “Sweet Jesus, what kind of medications was he swallowing wholesale?!?!?” Major Take-Aways: Half of the crime guns had insufficient data to complete their analysis, so they ignored it. Most crime guns, by an overwhelming margin, still come from New York itself. The report claims that a full half of crime guns come from inside New York. In-state sourced crime guns exist despite New York having so-called “universal background checks“. No attempt was made to study guns that enter the state via normal human relocation, instead assuming such movements were intentional trafficking. Used an arbitrary and statistically inept scoring system to create a “trafficking index”. Demonstrated that their key indicator for trafficked guns accounted for a minority of recovered crime guns. Brushed-over the fact that the lion’s share of crime guns are recovered … Continue reading

The Other 1%

richmond-ca-homicides-before-after-ons

Some cities have targeted gang members and seen significant reduction in gun deaths. By treating the disease, they are rediscovering the cure. Major take-aways About 74% of inner-city homicides (and other violence) is caused by 1% of the population Motivating gangs to not kill works The motivation can be peer pressure, intervention or incarceration The never ending gang backstory Criminologists have long noted that gun violence tends to be a Big City problem. Subcultures within urban centers spawn violence committed for little good reason. This then creates a disproportionate number of homicides. But what we have also known all along is that even though America’s gang participation rate is huge compared to non-U.S. cities, the number of gang members in the general population is small. In one report (which we discuss in more detail below) gang members account for less than 1% of the population, though they are responsible for … Continue reading

Number Nuts

What economists and criminologists think about gun control

When both economists and criminologists think that concealed carry either decreases or does not change homicide rates, we may have scientific consensus. Main take-aways: Survey of economists and criminologists Only surveyed those who have published in peer reviewed publications Only surveyed those who studied empirical data Scientific consensus is that: Guns prevent crime more than cause it “Gun free” zones are dangerous Guns do not change suicide risk CCW licensees are very law abiding CCWs decrease or do not change homicide rates Studying People Who Study Guns Both economist and criminologists study crime. They take different views of it, the former examining crime as a rational response to risk and opportunity, and the latter from a legalistic and bureaucratic process. This caused economist John Lott and criminologist Gary Mauser to team-up and survey their peers on a small set of gun related issues. The goal was to see if there … Continue reading

Physician Perspective

Compare deaths from medical mistakes and guns

Next time your doctor asks you about guns, remind him that doctors are vastly more deadly. Once in a while, an amusing perspective on guns and gore comes about. After debunking gun control myths, providing perspective is the Gun Facts Project’s second mission and our greatest joy. Perspective is valuable, and once people have a perspective about guns, crime, violence, danger and self-defense, their attitudes toward many things change. Especially about politicians. And now, a change of attitude about their family quack. The Unamusing News Recently, Johns Hopkins – the same institute that contains the ever anti-gun Bloomberg School of Public Health – published a report estimating that 250,000 people are mistakenly killed by the healthcare system. This quarter of a million former humans constitutes nearly 10% of all Americans who croaked last year. Now, this isn’t to say that your personal doctor is a careless and indifferent lout who … Continue reading

Auditing Australia

Australia homicide rate before and after gun ban

“Australia,” said Hillary Clinton, “[is] a good example …” concerning gun control. But what precisely is it a good example of? Certainly not homicide. Major take-aways: 1996/97 gun ban and confiscation had no effect on homicides Ban may have led to increased sexual assaults Unarmed robbery fell faster than armed robbery, showing a disconnect The history and the current political claim In the wake of a mass shooting in Port Arthur, the Australian government orchestrated a “National Firearms Agreement” whereby all the states within Australia would enact tougher gun control (the various states within Oz largely had their own localized gun control regimes). The system banned all semi-automatic rifles, all semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and created a restrictive system of licensing and ownership which was nothing short of draconian (then again, what can you expect from a government that censors Internet content). The government was legally compelled to compensate people … Continue reading