Who is more likely to shoot you, an NRA member or a member of the Crips? The primary difference between these two groups is culture. NRA members tend to be law-and-order types, whereas Crips (or members of any garden variety American street gang) are rather indifferent or openly hostile to laws. It is the adherence to a social norm – in this case, obeying or not obeying the law – that influences one’s probability to act violently, which in tern means using a gun to commit unilateral violence (e.g., not self-defense). We saw this in one study that details the propensity of people in poor and crime-ridden neighborhoods to get and use guns for criminal activities. But what cultural norms influence such behavior? We found a cross-national survey of culture and wanted to see if we could map similarities between nations concerning culture, violence and guns. The Main Take-Aways Gun …Continue reading →
Does not having a father in the home increase the odds of committing a homicide? It appears so, though there are a few factors that complicate things. But leave it to say that fatherless homes might be manufacturing more murders. Major Take-aways Both homicide and firearm homicide rates are well associated with fatherless homes. This matches with nonmarital birth rates by some demographics. A Bit-o-Background Any number of studies have focused on race, urbanization, and poverty as contributing factors to young men murdering. For decades criminologists have noted that the odds of being a murder victim or perpetrator is vastly higher if you are poor, live in a metropolitan area, and are black. Many people openly speculate that part of the puzzle might be the disruption of traditional family structures within the inner cities.
When it comes to gun violence, it’s tough to beat street gangs. They have made a sport of it. But the spooky question has been, “How much gun violence is gang violence?” Thanks to a little triangulation on our part, we think it is amplissimum. Major Take-aways Gangs likely constitute 85% of firearm homicides in the US. There is a close correlation between metropolitan gang-age homicides and estimates of gang populations by degrees of urbanization. The Data Dearth For all the great scorekeeping the FBI does, when it comes to murder, they have understandable gaps. Every year the FBI reports on the circumstances that led to a homicide, in their Expanded Homicide Tables. There are two rows of data that list what police were absolutely certain were gang related murders.
One aspect of inner-city violence with guns From crime statistics and criminology studies we know that: Gun violence is a huge problem in poor, inner-city neighborhoods. The prime gang recruitment ages are between 14 and 19. Gun carrying, almost always done illegally, is common. An open question is “what drives these bad decisions, to associate with street gangs, acquire guns illegally, and to use them?” Here is one element worth noting: that emotionally callous kids are more prone to gun play than others. What is “callousness”? Both the dictionary and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders defines this. The dictionary definition is more straightforward and says to be callous is to be “insensitive, indifferent, unsympathetic”. The DSM has a special specifier identifying people with “limited prosocial emotions”. Same thing, different wording. A new study studied if callous kids were (a) more likely to carry a gun and …Continue reading →
After reading a recent study published in Pediatrics, I would caution parents about allowing a member pediatrician to treat their child. Looks risky. That may be an unfair jab, but once again we see doctors – too often funded by activist groups – doing criminology research and producing deformed analytical offspring. Worse yet, many in the media picked up on the inaccurate conclusions to pen woefully inaccurate headlines: ABC: Child gun deaths lower in states with stricter gun laws TIME: Fewer American Kids Die in States With Tougher Gun Laws U.S. News: Tough State Gun Laws Help Keep Kids Safe CNN: Children in states with strict gun laws are less likely to die None of which was (a) what the study said and (b) any reflection of reality outside the alleged minds of news editors. The study, such as it is I won’t waste too much time reviewing the layered …Continue reading →
A congressman I met in my teens told me, “If someone mentions kids when debating politics, they are hiding behind children.” It took time before the utter cynicism reality of his thinking manifested itself in my life. But at least nine times in ten when a politico says, “It’s for the children,” it is really for the operative’s ideology. So, when I saw the following blurb from the propaganda wing of a policy group, I had to document the realities. Intermixing terms and deviants “Gun deaths among school-age children have increased in the last decade. A study published Thursday in the American Journal of Medicine found that 38,942 kids aged 5 to 18 were fatally shot in the U.S. between 1999 and 2017. The authors noted a steep rise among black children beginning in 2013. The study’s lead researcher put the toll in perspective: ‘In 2017, there were 144 police …Continue reading →
What you name something is very important. One might look upon their congressman and say “politician”. Someone else might look upon the same representative and say “insufferable, deranged, syphilitic git”. Both might be accurate. Important then is the “School Shooting Database” hosted by the Federal Government as part of the Department of Homeland Defense. The phrase “school shooting” creates in the mind of the reader some very specific notions. For the average American, it means mass homicide events like Parkland, Sandy Hook and Columbine. It does not mean a stray bullet from a inter-gang confrontation two blocks away at two in the morning. Honest Disclosure, Noble Purpose, Clumsy Word Use Per the project’s web site, “The K-12 School Shooting Database research project is a widely inclusive database that documents each and every instance a gun is brandished, is fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of …Continue reading →
When 85% of your study’s data comes from 6% of the states, two of which are known as being anti-gun, you have a poor study and an even worse credibility score. Critique 85% of reporting law enforcement agencies come from just three states (6% of states). 51% of reporting law enforcement agencies come from just California. A mere 1,053 agencies participated (there are over 3,000 counties in the U.S. – multiply by the number of city agencies). Background First, let’s take NBC to task. The Trace is openly backed by Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire politician with a messianic quest to enact gun control laws. For a news organization to collaborate with an established front group calls NBC’s objectivity into question, though many people doubted their objectivity to begin with. “Every news organization has propagandist tendencies, except for MSNBC, which is a propaganda organization with news tendencies.” — Guy Smith What the Trace …Continue reading →
The fastest way to destroy a brand is to do the opposite of the brand’s claim. Scientific American’s brand is now hopelessly corrupted by publishing the most unscientific of screeds. A recent piece in Scientific American titled “More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows” is a case study in the anti-science of cherry-picked data. Were I in a more charitable mood, I might assume the author, Melinda Moyer, of merely suffering from acute confirmation bias syndrome. However, the oversights were so vast and so egregious that I cannot bring myself to believe such. Hers was likely not a sloppily written article, but rather adroit agitprop. My initial clue that Scientific American had devolved into a propaganda rag came in the first paragraph that wasn’t literary fluff (the same tired, suicide saturated misstatement about “guns took more than 36,000 U.S. lives …”). The next was when she cited … …Continue reading →
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 →