Reducing Rampages

Stopping madmen with guns is – statistically speaking – best solved by people, not police, and people with guns. Rampage killings (which include all the common varieties of incidents where a lot of people are murdered, be it mass public shootings, active shooter events, spree killings, etc.) are what scares voters. Most people know and avoid rough neighborhoods. They also choose friends and mates wisely. This keeps mayhem low, evidenced by the fact most gun crime is isolated in a tiny number of towns with big city gang infestations. It is the random odds of dying in a rampage shooting that spooks folks. One fellow decided to see what keeps the most people alive in such incidents, and discovered citizens – especially armed citizens – are the most effective, and vastly more so than cops (see the section below on methodology, data quality, etc.). Survival is the objective The researcher … Continue reading

Obama Bunko

Speaking to a conclave of top cops, Barack Obama decided to promote gun control (it should be noted this was an international association of primarily politically appointed chiefs, so their opinion does not reflect that of the average patrol officer). In his talk, Obama made several rather insane proclamations. My job is to stomp on his sound bites. 60% of Crime Guns (In Chicago) Come From Out Of State Obama’s gambit was to claim that states with strict gun control laws suffer from guns imported from states with more relaxed laws. We handily disproved this was that case, but also showed that strict states are more likely to import crime guns from other strict states … by a two-to-one ratio. More to the point, in his home state of Illinois, a full 84% of recovered crime guns came from Illinois and another 3% came from states with strict gun control … Continue reading

Kids, Cops and Guns

Children and guns - homicides by assailant trend

A talk radio host called me for some show prep. He had a guest coming on who planned on making the claim that in 2010 guns killed more children under age five than cops. She was right, but wrong at the same time. Indeed, in the year 2010, more Americans under age five died from bullets than police did. But this scary statistic was designed to scare, not to illuminate. When you look at two issues, the perspective gets very clear very quickly. Population Murdered Accidental Children (CDC) 54 25 Police (Officer Down) 59 2 Children (% pop) 0.0003% 0.0001% Police (% pop) 0.0131% 0.0004% Difference % pop  49:1  4:1 Foremost, there are a lot more kids than cops. In 2010, we had about 44 times as many crumb crushers than active duty officers (U.S. Census Bureau and the FBI Crime in the United States tally for 2009). Comparing these … Continue reading

Ammo Ban Asininities

Leave it to a politician to hide behind cops (must have been out of children to use as shields). Today the administration employed regulations to ban a popular type of ammunition for a very popular type of rifle, namely “green tip” rounds for AR-15s. Their excuse claim was that it would save the lives of police officers. Having grown-up with cops and having married into a cop family, I found this as provocative as it was craven. In the last year tallied by the National law Enforcement Officers Memorial, 50 cops were shot dead in 2014. That’s 50 too many, but that is lower than the childhood accidental firearm death rate (69 in the last available year’s data). According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (the same people tasked with banning AR-15 ammo), of all recovered crime guns, 19% were rifles, and some undefined subset of those … Continue reading

Cops Killed By Guns

Police shooting deaths over time

Headlines are misleading things … by design. Case in point: Bloomberg news feeds (yes, the same Bloomberg who is funding the resurgent gun control industry) issued the headline “56% Increase in Gun Fatalities Leads Rise in Police Deaths.” The associated article begins with “U.S. law-enforcement deaths rose to the highest in three years, led by a 56 percent increase in the number killed by gunfire …” and then proceeds to tie the trend to recent racial tensions. What the article doesn’t say is that over the past decade, the number of cops being shot on the job is declining and that 2013 was a low outlier year that distorts 2014’s “increase” The source for the data is the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, and I’ll assume they are reasonably meticulous in their gathering of on-the-job police fatality counts. Thankfully, they post the numbers they have gathered over the past decade … Continue reading