Crossing Trends

While spelunking some data on the modes of gun deaths, I decided to have a look at some smaller instances, namely how often people die accidentally from gunshots, and the number of justifiable (perhaps even meritorious) homicides. Most readers already know that accidental gun deaths have been in sharp decline for several decades, despite the number of firearms in circulation skyrocketing. This is a curious situation, and one that goes directly against claims by the gun control industry. With concealed carry a fact of daily life in 42 states, one might also think justifiable homicides have gone up. They have, but only slightly. But this too also goes against the claims of gun control advocates, who maintain that concealed carry does not prevent crime (we’ll ignore the whole deterrence effect issue, which is likely contributory to the multi-decade drop in violent crime in America). Though the number of incidents for … 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

Number Nuts

What economists and criminologists think about gun control

When both economists and criminologists think that concealed carry either decreases or does not change homicide rates, we may have scientific consensus. Main take-aways: Survey of economists and criminologists Only surveyed those who have published in peer reviewed publications Only surveyed those who studied empirical data Scientific consensus is that: Guns prevent crime more than cause it “Gun free” zones are dangerous Guns do not change suicide risk CCW licensees are very law abiding CCWs decrease or do not change homicide rates Studying People Who Study Guns Both economist and criminologists study crime. They take different views of it, the former examining crime as a rational response to risk and opportunity, and the latter from a legalistic and bureaucratic process. This caused economist John Lott and criminologist Gary Mauser to team-up and survey their peers on a small set of gun related issues. The goal was to see if there … Continue reading

Auditing Australia

Australia homicide rate before and after gun ban

“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

Female Fibs

Homicide Rates of Females by Race and Age

Driving a political wedge between wives and their husbands is a pretty lame notion. But leave it to a Michael Bloomberg apparatchik and an activist media outlet to give it a try. In one other their growingly desperate newsletters, The Trace (a agitprop pump delivering unfiltered intellectual effluvium from Bloomberg’s lips) flaunted a story about how women were in immediate peril from husbands and boyfriends and guns. Using scary sounding numbers, devoid of perspective and comparison, the article attempted to make women believe a man she knew with a gun was her mortal enemy. That would be your hubby. Starting with the leading premise The Trace used as their data source a set of spreadsheets architected by the Associated Press, an organization who drags journalism down the wrong side of the bell curve. Long known for providing an anti-gun skew, the AP doubled down by segregating data from the FBI’s … Continue reading

Missouri Misstep

Missouri Homicide Rate - before and after repeal of permit-to-purchase

Hokum requires a bit of magic. A popular con circulating in the gun control debates is that when the state of Missouri repealed their law requiring a permit to buy a handgun, that homicide shot up. Sadly, nobody told the FBI and the folks there who run the Universal Crime Reporting database. Sadly, too, few reporters have found the online portal to this data, otherwise the meme might never have lived longer than the Bloomberg School of Public Health press release. So how did this formerly illustrious school pump forth this effluvium when the raw numbers do not support the claim? It all comes down to math. In the press release for the study, they note that they too pulled data from the FBI crime database. But they also note that “the analyses controlled for changes in policing, incarceration, burglaries, unemployment, poverty, and other state laws adopted during the study … 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

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

Newsom’s Nuisance

evil gavin newsom california

Nobody has ever accused California’s Lieutenant Governor of being well informed. Sadly, he insists on proving it. Emboldened by presidential politicians strutting for gun control, Gavin Newsom is supporting a public ballot initiative to bring Californians four new forms of gun control. [EDITOR: It is noted that Newsom is running for Governor] Clear in his proposal is an utter lack of understanding about the nature of crime, violence and guns. Without exception, the proposals will: Do nothing to address the common and recurring forms of gun violence. Possibly push illegal activities to more underground means. Harass and legally imperil legitimate gun owners and hobbyist. So what doesn’t Gavin understand about gun policy? Nearly everything (and this opinion comes from someone who has lived in and around San Francisco for 20 years and watched Newsom’s dementia up close)? His proposals may be ignorant, but the method of announcing his support was … Continue reading

Cali Crossroads

Are gangs on the run in Los Angeles? No, but their violence may be abating, and it has nothing to do with gun control. The state of California (a.k.a. the State of Emergency) recently published a pair of decadal crime reports. Buried in the data is evidence that despite a backward-thinking mania, California has enjoyed a drop in violence without an increase in gun control. At first blush, the decline appears to be uniquely tied to Los Angeles County, and to a brace of 1993 era laws that targeted criminals. The big take away is that from 2005 through 2012 (the latest date for which we can compare Cali stats against the rest of the nation) California violent crime has shrunk impressively. Part of this is due to the fact that the rest of America is not the violent cesspool known as L.A.! SoCal can only improve, edging ever closer … Continue reading