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 →
There must be an election coming. The current California governor is making presidential maneuvers and the New York Times appears to be propping up his (inaccurate) statements about guns. I lived in that politician’s home turf for 22 years, during his political rise, so I have a deeper than average interest – and knowledge – of what the reality is, and in which alternate reality the politician resides. Main Take-aways California’s gun homicide rate is exactly the national average. Their overall suicide rate is rising, but is 29% lower that national averages, which bends the curve on gun suicide rates. For mass public shootings, California has 17% more incidents and 60% more deaths than the national average. The New York Times agitprop In a rather choice bit of partisan hackery, the New York Times (NYT) makes the following assertions about California and guns.
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.
“What is the use of having sentencing guidelines if judges don’t follow them?” This is a common refrain from people of a “law and order” mindset, which included most of America in the early 1990s after the country endured a multi-decade, stratospheric climb in violent crime. To summarize this and related positions, the public believed that “locking up violent predators for extended periods works.” A recent report sheds a little more light on the subject and may well certify the notion. موقع بايير Take-aways: Firearm homicides increase when referrals for federal gun crimes decrease. Likewise, reducing the number of people charged with gun crimes is associated with an increase in firearm homicides. Reducing sentencing for gun crimes is associated with an increase in firearm homicides. This might be via a political shift that led to changes in referring, charging and sentencing for gun crimes and the associated higher penalties. Get-Tough …Continue reading →
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.
Are red flag laws effective, or should politicians be flagged for being offsides? Take-aways Too few data points for statistical robustness Largely irrelevant to homicides Barely effective on suicides For suicides, “studies” thus far count only “firearm deaths” instead of all forms of suicides, which is a grave methodology error Trade-off between a few lives saved and significant due process questions is out of balance Wave Your Flag “Red Flag Laws” (RFL herein) are all the rage these days, with many states enacting or considering them. However, the relative newness of RFLs makes analyzing their effectiveness a little tricky. Before 2016, only two states – Connecticut and Indiana – had RFLs. To see before-and-after effects of any law, you need a little runway (we at the Gun Facts project think ±5 years is sufficient). Most states with RFLs have less than three years of experience with these laws. So, with …Continue reading →
Whenever you see breathless reporting of the same core story across multiple media outlets, odds are there is more to the tale. In this case, the recently recirculating headlines noting that “Gun deaths at highest level in 40 years, CDC says” and “More than 100 people killed every day in the US as gun deaths spiral to highest level in 40 years.” Naturally, we at the Gun Facts project had to dig below the headlines to see what the heck was going on. The big take-aways Firearm suicides are up, but in the key group, the rate of suffocation suicides is growing fastest Homicides are up, but astoundingly so for young blacks The upward trends started at different times and for different reasons First, let’s take the long view As is well known – because this has been rehashed more often than the corned beef at the local diner – …Continue reading →
You can get an average citizen to cross their eyes in brain damaging confusion by telling them that “gun deaths” is a meaningless statistic. And it is, though members of the gun control industry continue to use the hollow phrase, and some members of the media never question its meaning or validity. It doesn’t stand up to domestic or international scrutiny. Since it is the job of the Gun Facts project to eradicate bad information, let’s spend a few electrons today killing off the “gun deaths” charade. What in the heck is a “gun death”? This is not a caustic question. In the realm of people dying by catching bullets, there are a number of categories concerning such deaths. And many of these categories are made up of sub categories. And for each of the categories, there are ways of achieving the same result (a dead person) without a using …Continue reading →
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 →
“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 →