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

NYT Fiction

Source states for guns, strict and lax gun control laws

Main Take-aways The “Iron Pipeline” doesn’t exist. Most guns that move from one state to another do so as part of normal human relocation, not trafficking. The time it takes for a gun to slip into criminal use is so long that the problem is local crime control and not interstate gun control. When it comes to gun control, nobody has ever accused the New York Times of honesty or accuracy. I won’t break their losing streak. In a recent bit of editorial effluvium and journalistic malpractice, the NYT penned perilous prose concerning the mythical “Iron Pipeline” of guns migrating into states with strict gun control from states without. The Gun Facts Project has already run the numbers and shown the Iron Pipeline to be both a con job as well as demonstrating the inverse is actually true. In brief, states with strict gun control laws are more likely to … Continue reading

Gangs and Guns

Street gang pentration and population in major cities around the world

America doesn’t have a gun problem, but it sure as heck has a gang problem. Quick Take-Aways America has an insanely high concentration of people in gangs – about 953% higher than other countries (see analysis warnings below). Thankfully these are confined mainly to a few really rank cities. American gang culture is not replicated elsewhere Nearly every study associated gang membership with violent crime (including gun homicides). The Silly Propaganda When the gun control industry starts complaining about American gun violence, they never mention gangs. When someone (like me) mentions gangs to gun control advocates, they dismiss gangs as a non-issue. As someone who has lived next door to Oakland, California I can attest that it is very much an issue (as it is in Barack Obama’s own Chicago). Yet it is very different in America. “European cities lack the strong gang traditions that exist in some large U.S. … Continue reading

Universal Isn’t

universal background checks for guns

Universal background checks aren’t and cannot be, which makes them a horrible ruse and a social abuse. How “universal” background checks are sold to the public Akin to the now completely discredited “gun show loophole” canard, “universal” background checks are sold as a crime prevention measure. Various gun control groups have made it their current cause because it polls well with voters … until voters are presented with the perspective about guns and violent crime. The idea being sold is that (a) every firearm transaction needs to be approved by the government using (b) a personal background check to assure the buyer isn’t a felon or other prohibited person. This allegedly will (c) reduce violence with guns. The problems, as you will shortly see, are that (1) the solution is nowhere close to being universal, (2) will have no impact on gun violence, (3) is ripe for governmental abuse and … Continue reading