AR-15s: Mostly Harmless

AR-15 and Violence - infographic

The AR-15, allegedly the most popular consumer rifle in the United States, has become the poster child of the gun control industry. But from a homicide statistics standpoint, they are mostly harmless. Main Take-aways AR-15s constitute maybe 4% of all American firearms. AR-15s are used in 0.4% of firearm homicides, maximum. Just How Many AR-15s Are We Talking About? There is no doubt the AR-15 is a popular rifle. The firearm industry notes this. Users note this. Even the gun control industry notes this. Knowing how many are out there is crucial for understanding if they are a problem or not. The AR-15 has been around since 1959, but the last eight years has seen a significant increase in its popularity. And no wonder. The rifle is lightweight, meaning anyone can shoot it (YouTube has a bunch of videos of tiny young girls firing them). They don’t recoil much due … Continue reading

Trace, Stolen Guns, Ineptitude

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

Gun Death Trends – 1999 through 2016

With fresh data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) causing the predictable odd media reporting, I wanted to post a mini-blog showing what is and what isn’t interesting about the numbers. Raw changes Foremost, take the chart at the right with a grain or three of salt. The changes are important, but the scale is misleading. Of note, … Continue reading

Stanford Stumble

Chart showing violent crime rates between U.S. Michigan and Detroit

’m having doubts about Stanford University. My wife died in their care, and now they are supporting some suspect researchers who like to mathematically model non-lucid, if not outright insane, crime stats. Quick Take-Aways Paper claims right-to-carry (RTC) laws increase violent crime by 13–15 percent. Uses mathematical modeling to “predict” what crimes rates would have been without RTC. Serious methodology flaws. The usual suspects The paper in question (“Right-To-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Controls Analysis”) received some press notice, but not as much as I would have expected given the paper’s outsized conclusions. Perhaps reporters are getting smarter about the quality, or lack thereof, of some gun policy research. The list of sins in this paper are … Continue reading

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

Suppressed Insights

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

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

Booze, Bullets and Bunk

everytown panic guns in bars

When propagandists panic, they show their own paranoia. I was forwarded an email from Michael Bloomberg’s agitprop organization, Everytown. In this email, they stated with authentic dismay and dread that in some states you can order a beer in a bar while having a holstered sidearm (providing you have a concealed carry license, a.k.a. CCW). Sane people – which evidently excludes folks working for Bloomberg – would ask “Is this a problem?” Phrased more fully, “Do CCW holders enjoying an adult beverage in their corner watering hole cause problems?” The answer is no. In fact, stats show it might actually abate violence. Shots and Glasses In our Non-Brady Scorecard project (buy a copy for just 99¢ at Amazon), we reviewed both pro- and anti-gun control laws, including allowing CCW holders to pack heat in pubs. Not many states allow this, but enough have had the law in place to at … Continue reading

New York Inanity

  Prioritize New York! You are getting things mighty backwards. Two recent news stories show how lackadaisical thinking harms public policy. The first was the state’s Attorney general bragging that he had eliminated the plague of realistic-looking toy guns. The other headline was that half of the shootings and 40% of the 300 homicides in New York City alone thus far this year were gang related. Keep in mind that NYC homicides are up over 5% this year (this despite the so-called SAFE Act of 2013, which enacted a wealth of new gun control laws … which appear to be doing nothing). Ponder that. It is likely that toy guns resulted in zero deaths, yet gangs resulted in at least 120, not to mention the non-fatal stabbings, shootings, beatings and other pastimes gangs enjoy. With 375 different street gangs and a rising homicide rate, gangs would be an obvious priority … Continue reading