Homicide Rate At 51 Year Low

If you listened to politicians or the media, you wouldn't know that homicide rates are at a level unseen since 1963.

crime tape

In a recent post that I’ve been meaning to write about for some time, Tyler Durden notes that the U.S. homicide rate is at its lowest rate in more than 50 years:

Homicide Rate

As Durden hints, you wouldn’t know this to be true if you listened to the politicians and the media, both of which tend to sensationalize isolated incidents for purposes that have little to do with making sure the public is properly informed.

For politicians, there’s an interest in creating the idea that crime, and especially serious crime like homicide, is increasing because it plays into other issues that said politicians wish to exploit. On the right, this includes claims that increased immigration has led to increased serious crime notwithstanding the fact that we can plainly see here that this simply isn’t the case. In more recent years, it’s been argued by many conservatives that concerns about police brutality and discriminatory treatment of African-Americans has led to an increase in crime due to the fact that cops are afraid to do their jobs. Again, this is something that simply isn’t true and isn’t supported by the evidence. From the left, we’re told that the presence of guns in our society is making for a more dangerous world, but this is not supported by the evidence. Not only are the number of mass shootings being grossly misrepresented, but overall crime rates and, most importantly, the homicide rate, is lower than it has been since the Kennedy assassination. This at the same time, as Durden points out, that the number of guns in the country has increased significantly:

Guns Manufactured

Even as the number of guns in the country has increased significantly, the homicide rate has decreased significantly, a fact which should cause any claim that more guns make society more dangerous to be laughed out of the room.

On the media’s side the motives for exaggerating crime are plain to see. Especially at the local news level, coverage of random acts of violence that make them appear as if they aren’t random is what drives ratings. The old news addage that “if it bleeds it leads” was based in an apt description of local news broadcasts in most parts of the country, where far more attention is paid to violent crime and bad news than nearly any other form of local news, in no small part because such stories are easier to cover than stories about municipal corruption or other, arguably more important topics. If one follows this nightly television coverage, one quickly comes to believe that the world is a far more dangerous place than it actually is when, in reality, many major cities such as New York City and others are experiencing dips in the crime rate unseen in decades. Since that not nearly as lurid, it’s something that rarely gets coverage in the media.

In any event, when a politician or a news reporter tells you that we’ve got a ‘crime problem’ it’s worth keeping in mind that they both have incentives to fabricate and exaggerate and that it might be worth checking out the truth for yourself.

FILED UNDER: General
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. alkali says:

    Even as the number of guns in the country has increased significantly, the homicide rate has decreased significantly, a fact which should cause any claim that more guns make society more dangerous to be laughed out of the room.

    If you do comparisons across countries (e.g., US and Europe/Japan) or even across states in the US (e.g., New York and Louisiana) it is quite clear that more guns are linked with greater danger. Whether that correlation should drive public policy is a different question, but the correlation is quite real.

  2. An Interested Party says:

    Ironic that someone using the alias Tyler Durden would be writing about violence…intentional, no doubt…

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Well, the homicide rate may be down nationally but it’s not down here in Chicago. In 2015 the homicide rate was 18.6 per 100,000 population. This year it’s running at 50% higher than that. If the present pattern continues, we’ll have had murders at a rate in Chicago we haven’t seen since the 1990s.

    It’s difficult to explain that based on guns or politics. The only real explanation I can see is gang activity and gang activity is a result of a combination of economics and attendant social problems.

  4. Jack says:

    More than 60 people were shot in Chicago alone over the last weekend and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson expressed guarded optimism that the city saw a marked decline in violence for the holiday weekend, historically among the most violent in Chicago. Apparently only 60 shootings is something to crow about in Chicago.

    Eliminate Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, New Orleans, Baltimore, and most of NJ from the equation and US homicide numbers are right at the Euro/Japan numbers. These subtractions are of course gang related violence and black on black crime which no one wants to discuss and some refuse to even acknowledge.

    As far as mass shootings go, the fact remains that police kill more people in a given year ~1050, than those killed in a mass shootings over multiple years.

  5. jewelbomb says:

    @Jack:

    These subtractions are of course gang related violence and black on black crime which no one wants to discuss and some refuse to even acknowledge.

    What are you talking about? Who refuses to acknowledge it? Who refuses to discuss it? It’s been all over the news for years. President Obama has addressed it numerous times. Al Sharpton moved to Chicago back in 2013 to draw attention to the problem. Spike Lee made a film about it last year. All kinds of best-selling rap records have addressed black-on-black violence.

  6. anonymous says:

    The crime statistics are only available through 2014. If there is a Ferguson effect, it will show up in 2015 numbers.

  7. ltmcdies says:

    @jewelbomb: Jack refuse to acknowledge that many are attempting to deal with the problem..but it’s a big problem without easy solutions.

  8. Jack says:
  9. Jack says:

    Mods, please release my comment.

  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    The explanation I’ve found most compelling is the lead-crime hypothesis: that the primary cause of violent behavior is chronic exposure to low levels of lead during childhood, and that the jump and decline in violent crime we saw from the 60s through the 90s was the introduction and then banning of leaded gasoline.

    The biggest advantage of this theory is that, unlike most of the other alternate explanations, it explains the initial jump and not just the later decline. It also explains why the decline in violent crime has occurred internationally and not just in the US.

  11. Pch101 says:

    (M)edical data and other surveys in the U.S. show a rising number of serious injuries from assaults with guns and knives. The estimated number of people wounded seriously enough by gunshots to require a hospital stay, rather than treatment and release, rose 47% to 30,759 in 2011 from 20,844 in 2001, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program. The CDC estimates showed the number of people injured in serious stabbings rose to 23,550 from 22,047 over the same period.

    Mortality rates of gunshot victims, meanwhile, have fallen, according to research performed for The Wall Street Journal by the Howard-Hopkins Surgical Outcomes Research Center, a joint venture between Howard University and Johns Hopkins University. In 2010, 13.96% of U.S. shooting victims died, almost two percentage points lower than in 2007.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324712504578131360684277812

    There’s more to violence than just homicides.

  12. jewelbomb says:

    @Jack: Don’t be dense. Each of those articles is concerned primarily with rhetoric — how the issue is being framed by the media and politicians. They are concerned with how the phrase “Black-on’black crime” is used to deflect and distract from other issues. None of those articles asserts that gang violence doesn’t exist or that it isn’t a problem that needs to be dealt with.

  13. barbintheboonies says:

    It may be down, but it is still out of control.

  14. Slugger says:

    I believe that teenage pregnancy and abortion rates show a similar trend. However, saying that the sky isn’t falling is not considered a useful line by our leadership class.
    What’s happening to the annual deficits? Number of federal employees? Price of gasoline? DowJones?
    OMG! We are not living through the worst times ever! Our country is not about to collapse! Barbarian hordes are not about to rape our women nor steal our horses!

  15. Jack says:

    @jewelbomb:

    Quote

    One of the biggest rebuttals to Black Lives Matter is this cliché myth of black on black crime.

    And another

    Despite the intense national obsession with it, however, we haven’t yet come to grips with the fact that it never really existed in the first place.

  16. Andre Kenji says:

    Black on Black crime is a ludicrous idea. It would be so ridiculous White on White crime. There is a lot of crime happening in lower income neighborhoods where there are lots of Black people living(That´s exactly what´s happening in neighborhoods where lots of lower income minorities lives, in ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD) – that does not mean that cops killing Blacks is acceptable, that does not mean that´s only the problem of Blacks.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    First, IIRC there are about 300,000,000 guns in this country. Whether that number is increasing at 1% per year or 5% per year, any effect would take some time for whatever effect to accumulate.

    Second, the relevant number would probably be gun owners, not number of guns. While the number of guns is increasing, it seems to represent fewer people buying more guns each.

  18. Pch101 says:

    @gVOR08:

    The percentage game itself is flawed.

    The gun problem is a function of marginal cost. If access to guns is difficult and limited, society has a homicide and violent crime rate of X. If that society has easy access to guns, then it has a crime rate of X + Y.

    The goal is to solve for Y. The percentage of guns that are abused in the process of producing Y is irrelevant; Y is inherently undesirable and we should not want it, regardless of the number of guns that got us there. (We don’t want X, either, but there is always going to be some level of violence and it is unrealistic to expect it to drop to 0.)

    In a given year, there are about 480,000 deaths in the US caused by tobacco, and about 264 billion cigarettes sold. Imagine if someone argued with a straight face that tobacco deaths are inconsequential and tobacco is a safe product because the percentage of deaths is equal to only 0.0002% of the number of cigarettes sold. Yet this is precisely the sort of argument that gun nuts make, which would suggest that they aren’t particularly good at understanding statistics.

  19. Rafer Janders says:

    Even as the number of guns in the country has increased significantly, the homicide rate has decreased significantly, a fact which should cause any claim that more guns make society more dangerous to be laughed out of the room.

    What should be laughed out of the room is the supposed logic behind this claim. While the number of guns has increased significantly, the number of gun owners has not — rather, what we see is a few individuals owning ever larger and larger arsenals.

    In other words, instead of, for example, having five guys in a group of ten each owning one gun for a total of five guns, now we have three guys in a group of ten each owning 10 guns each for a total of 30 guns. Many more guns in the second group, but the probability of encountering a gun owner is actually lower.

  20. Jack says:

    @Pch101: The point made in the OP was that crime rates have gone down despite the drastic increase in guns.

    To use your X, Y example. Both X and Y have decreased.

  21. Ratufa says:

    Mark Kleiman has a good take on the politics of crime, along with some proposals to reduce it. Unfortunately, his proposals are, for the most part, political non-starters.

    http://democracyjournal.org/magazine/28/smart-on-crime/?page=all

  22. Hal_10000 says:

    If you do comparisons across countries (e.g., US and Europe/Japan) or even across states in the US (e.g., New York and Louisiana) it is quite clear that more guns are linked with greater danger.

    No it doesn’t. It’s only if you narrow it specifically to gun deaths. If you include all homicides and suicides, the correlation gets very weak or vanishes.

    There’s more to violence than just homicides.

    I would be dubious of that study. The only thing we measure reliably are crimes — homicides, assaults — and both of those are way down. How are gun injuries (and knife injuries) soaring when the crime rate is falling? Our trauma techniques have improved but they have not improved that dramatically.

    What they’re most likely seeing is an increase in reporting of non-fatal gun and knife injuries (something they acknowledge in the article) which are only now beginning to be reported consistently by hospitals. There is no national database of weapons injuries like there is for crime.

  23. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: You are being sexist.

    Some polling suggests that there is a 77 percent increase between 2004 and 2011 in the number of women who own firearms.

    Now we have three guys and 2 gals in a group of ten with guns.

  24. Raoul says:

    While the number of guns has gun up while crime has come down does not correlate that gun ownership is a function of the other. In fact the use of such statistic makes one question anything the author posted and anybody who reposted those numbers, Simply stated, the number of guns has gone up because gun owners keep buying guns. Considering that a person can use one (maybe two) guns at a time, owning seven guns has zero effect on crime deterrence. Recently I saw a statistic that is more valid, though there is no point data on how it correlates to crime. The number of households with guns has slowly come down over the long term.

  25. Pch101 says:

    @Jack:

    When I noted that some folks aren’t good at statistics, I was talking about guys like you.

    The marginal cost concept obviously flew above your head, otherwise you wouldn’t have made the comment that you did.

  26. Jack says:

    @Pch101: Blah, blah, blah…

    The statistics plainly show that crime has decreased. Period. It hasn’t increased as the number of guns have increased.

    Thus the gun grabbers no longer have a leg to stand on when they want to blame guns for crime.

  27. Jen says:

    @Jack: You’re making a logic leap here:

    The statistics plainly show that crime has decreased. Period. It hasn’t increased as the number of guns have increased.

    Correct.

    Thus the gun grabbers no longer have a leg to stand on when they want to blame guns for crime.

    Incorrect. There is still crime, and much of that is conducted with guns. Just because overall crime has gone down does not mean that guns are not still implicated in the crimes that are committed.

  28. Pch101 says:

    @Jack:

    I’m sure that you’ve been accused of being many things, and that being bright is not one of them.

    There is more crime with guns than there would be without them. That’s all that matters.

  29. Jack says:

    @Jen: True. But if gun control worked, as sooooo many have suggested, wouldn’t Chicago be like Mayberry instead of Mogadishu?

  30. Jack says:

    @Pch101:

    There is more crime with guns than there would be without them. That’s all that matters.

    That’s like saying there is more crime with knives/bats/rocks than there would be without them. That’s utterly stupid.

    There’s more falls when a person has stairs in their home than those who live in single story houses. There’s more car accidents by people that own a car than those that do not. There’s more instances of carpel tunnel among those that use a computer than those that don’t. And yet, we do not blame stairs, cars, or computers.

    We have a crime problem, yes. But it’s a problem that has been dropping drastically.

    What else happened between 1990 and the present? States passed shall issue permit laws. Between 1990 and the present shall issue went from 8 to 32 states while unrestricted carry went from 1 to 10 states. I’d call that a negative correlation…you know, for the statistically illiterate.

  31. grumpy realist says:

    @Dave Schuler: One analysis I read in the Tribune postulated that it’s the fragmentation of gangs that’s causing all the problem. Whereas it used to be the gangs were larger and controlled larger areas, with shootings mainly occurring in turf battles at the edges, we now have mini-gangs squabbling over much smaller patches. Basically, everything is getting fought over in turf battles.

  32. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. And Chicago is weird, weird, weird. We have you-don’t-and-to-live-there neighborhoods right smack up against upper-class neighborhoods and the line between them doesn’t budge.

  33. Jack says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Basically, everything is getting fought over in turf battles.

    You’d think all these gang members wouldn’t have time to get into scuffles…with unemployment below 5% and all.

  34. Pch101 says:

    There is more crime with guns than there would be without them. That’s all that matters.

  35. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Kevin Drum’s done lot to publicize the lead hypothesis. Correlation isn’t causation, but the correlations are pretty impressive. Not just between leaded gasoline consumption and crime rate 18 or so years later, but also geographically and internationally. Crime rate follows traffic density, freeways converge in inner cities. Other countries see the same effect offset a few years tracking when they banned lead. Pretty credible.

  36. Gavrilo says:

    @jewelbomb:

    I actually do think it gets ignored, or at least downplayed. Especially in comparisons with other countries. According to Nate Silver, the black homicide rate is wildly disproportionate to the white homicide rate. It’s a rate that is only seen in the under developed countries. If we removed that demographic subset, the homicide rate in the U.S. is not such an outlier compared to other countries, even countries with very strict gun restrictions. If we really wanted to reduce gun murders in the U.S., we’d be more effective if we focused more on the black communities.

  37. PJ says:

    @gVOR08:

    Second, the relevant number would probably be gun owners, not number of guns. While the number of guns is increasing, it seems to represent fewer people buying more guns each.

    This.

    The average gun owner now owns 8 guns — double what it used to be

    America has more guns in fewer hands than ever before​

    Gun ownership is declining.
    The number of guns in the average gun-owning household is going up.

  38. steve s says:

    Poison people in inner cities for decades, then lock them up when they have behavior problems and call them thugs and predators.

    It wasn’t knowingly racist, but the effect sure as shit was.

  39. Jc says:

    “Even as the number of guns in the country has increased significantly, the homicide rate has decreased significantly, a fact which should cause any claim that more guns make society more dangerous to be laughed out of the room.”

    Strange thing about this though is percentage of homes with at least one firearm has been pretty much the same from 1970-2015. about 41%. So it basically means the same people are just buying a ton more guns and putting them under their bed in fear they will be taken away. I would think if someone had one gun in their house now has ten guns in their house that I would deem that house a little more dangerous. I don’t know, maybe just me.

    Trying to tie gun ownership/sales/laws to something that was likely the cause of many, many different factors is foolish. There is no one silver bullet to the drop in crime, but their are many ideas like more guns, legalized abortion, lead reduction, more incarcerations, larger police forces, better technology, death penalty, crack boom ending…there are so many theories, but its not one thing on a note card.

  40. Loviatar says:

    Another stovepiped right wing meme from our Libertarian host. From Zero Hedge no less.

    Zero Hedge is a batshit insane Austrian school finance blog run by two pseudonymous founders who post articles under the name “Tyler Durden,” after the character from Fight Club.

    Tyler wants, per Austrian school ideas, to lead a catastrophic market crash in order to destroy banking institutions and bring back “real” free market capitalism.

    The site posts nearly indecipherable analyses of multiple seemingly unrelated subjects to point towards a consistent theme of economic collapse any day now.

    Tyler moves away from the format of long lists to write insanely dense volumes filled with (often contradicting) jargon that makes one wonder if the writers even know what the words actually mean.

    The site first appeared in early 2009, meaning that (given Tyler’s habit of taking a shit on each and every positive data point), anyone listening to him from the beginning missed the entire 2009-2014 rally in the equities market.

    Also, I see it has pulled in our host’s fellow traveler in Libertarian fantasies. Now tell me what has Jack said in this thread that if cleaned up a little you could not imagine Doug saying.

  41. Jc says:

    @Loviatar: If you are saying Jack = Doug, then you should be the one writing for Zero Hedge while moonlighting at InfoWars

  42. Loviatar says:

    @Jc:

    If you are saying Jack = Doug

    Of course not. I’m just pointing out the similarity of their thought process.

  43. Pch101 says:

    @Loviatar:

    I’m pretty sure that there isn’t a thought process over at Zero Hedge. (Zero Brains is more like it.)

    You’re overreaching. You may as well compare me with Pol Pot because we’re both on the left.

  44. Jack says:

    @Jc:

    So it basically means the same people are just buying a ton more guns and putting them under their bed in fear they will be taken away

    Has the population stagnated during that period or grown? A quick search reveals that the population has grown from 209,485,xxx to 342,111,xxx from 1970 to present. So, with a little math…and carry the 1, we get a growth in population of 132,626,xxx. So, by definition, 41% of those people, or ~54,000,000 would be new gun owners.

    54 million new gun owners, and I am among that population, over the last 46 years.

    http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/us-population/

    http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/us-population/

  45. bill says:

    @Dave Schuler:
    1- chicago is where obama calls “home”, and is a chronically democrat stronghold.
    2- rahm was awarded a “mayorship” there despite not actually being a resident, and he hasn’t made anything better (unless you’re a gang member). he’s also an “obama-ite”.
    3- reporting on “black/black” violence has been deemed “racist” by the pc crowd.
    4- the guns used are mainly illegal and illegally possessed by criminals- but the cops ca’t take them away as they’d be violating the 4th.
    5- blacks don’t take to the streets protesting if a black guy kills another black guy. heck, if a black cop kills an unarmed black guy i’d doubt they would either…..
    6- the gangs, drugs, turf wars are all just fine and dandy- but not the guns.

    i don’t make the rules.

  46. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Well you guys can keep beating up Doug if you want to, but frankly, I’m relieved to know that the only gun deaths that matter in the country are homicides and that homicide is the only factor that makes guns dangerous. Whew! What a load of my mind!

  47. gVOR08 says:

    @Jack: Doug’s chart is for homicide RATE, homicides per 100,000 population, not number of homicides. Percent gun ownership is number of households owning guns per hundred households. Both numbers are “normalized” for population. Population growth per se does not increase either number. So your point is? What point @Jc: made are you arguing with?

  48. Jc says:

    @Jack: Wow Jack, so all the children get included as well. okay. in 1973 there were $74.1 Million households and 52% of them had at least one gun. In 2014 there were 124.5 Million households and 32% of them had at least one gun. That is 38.6 Million in 1973 and 39.8 Million in 2014 a whole 1.3 Million more households over 41 years. Meanwhile Doug’s graph above shows about 128 Million new guns in the U.S. since just 1994, so whatever, yes, basically the same people are just buying a lot more guns.

  49. gVOR08 says:

    @gVOR08: But thank you. I hadn’t caught that this was Zero Hedge until I saw @Loviatar: just now. And without your comment I’d have missed that Durden is comparing rate of homicide to absolute number of guns. A basic innumerate error. Could explain why he’s Austrian School.

  50. grumpy realist says:

    @Jack: Considering that most of these people a) don’t have degrees, and b) have criminal backgrounds I really really doubt they’re in the pipeline to get hired by corporations…. so I really don’t understand what you think the official employment level has to do with this.

    Their getting into the drug market? No problem.

    It might be interesting to see what would happen in more decently-paid jobs were available for people at all education levels. How many of the guys in gangs have ended up there because a) they were pulled in at an early age and were never provided with a decent alternative?

  51. stonetools says:

    Even as the number of guns in the country has increased significantly, the homicide rate has decreased significantly, a fact which should cause any claim that more guns make society more dangerous to be laughed out of the room.

    Only if you are in the mathematical dunce room. Here in the “we respect social science and math” room, we find it perfectly easy to reconcile a falling homicide rate with the argument that 30, 000 homicides a year is too high in a modern country and that it would be much lower with sensible gun safety laws-and we have actual data like every other modern, industrialized country to look at. I don’t know who this Tyler fellow is, but he is the perfect cherry picker of statistics favorable to the gun rights cause. Why don’t you find an actual social scientist, Doug, to argue your gun rights point and not Random Guy On the Internet.

    Here is an actual peer reviewed, scientific study from the Harvard School of Public Health, by two guys who put their real names to their conclusions:

    1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide (literature review)

    Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the U.S., where there are more guns, both men and women are at a higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

    Hepburn, Lisa; Hemenway, David. Firearm availability and homicide: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal. 2004; 9:417-40.

    2. Across high-income nations, more guns = more homicide

    We analyzed the relationship between homicide and gun availability using data from 26 developed countries from the early 1990s. We found that across developed countries, where guns are more available, there are more homicides. These results often hold even when the United States is excluded.

    Hemenway, David; Miller, Matthew. Firearm availability and homicide rates across 26 high income countries. Journal of Trauma. 2000; 49:985-88.

    I think I’ll go with the conclusions of actual scientists in the field over Random Internet Guy, the way I go with the conclusions of doctors over faith healers on cancer and biologists over young earth creationists on evolution. You should too, Doug. Just sayin’.

  52. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Where guns used in crimes come from

    At the state level, more guns typically means more crime and more death, researchers have consistently found. So some states have enacted stricter laws to limit gun purchases and to keep firearms from falling into the wrong hands. But these efforts can be undermined by the free flow of guns across state borders, some of it legal, some of it not.

    Data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms underscores this point: In 2014, ATF traced the source of over 170,000 guns used in crimes in the U.S. And well over a quarter of them — 28 percent — were used to commit crimes in a state other than the one they were purchased in. The map below shows which states these border-crossing crime guns came from.

    From the NYT:


    In California, some gun smugglers use FedEx. In Chicago, smugglers drive just across the state line into Indiana, buy a gun and drive back. In Orlando, Fla., smugglers have been known to fill a $500 car with guns and send it on a ship to crime rings in Puerto Rico.

    In response to mass shootings in the last few years, more than 20 states, including some of the nation’s biggest, have passed new laws restricting how people can buy and carry guns. Yet the effect of those laws has been significantly diluted by a thriving underground market for firearms brought from states with few restrictions.

    It’s not a mystery, Jack, why there are lots of guns and gun homicides in Chicago and DC. They get the guns from Virginia and Indiana.
    Now that’s tough for you to understand because your gun cult ideology depends on you not understanding it. But the evidence and science is there.

  53. stonetools says:

    @gVOR08:

    But thank you. I hadn’t caught that this was Zero Hedge until I saw @Loviatar: just now. And without your comment I’d have missed that Durden is comparing rate of homicide to absolute number of guns. A basic innumerate error. Could explain why he’s Austrian School.

    While I don’t agree with Loviathar that Doug is similar to Jack, he is right in that they do pull their information from the same libertarian sources, so they both tend to be grossly wrong on gun control and economic issues. The difference is that Doug usually just posts this stuff, and doesn’t respond when it’s debunked. Jack, however, fights on and gets in his little ad hominems. Jack tends to be more entertaining while Doug tends to be a bit more above it all , trying to be a true pundit. But they both do tend to be wrong in the same way.

  54. Eric Florack says:

    I know that in a very small space above this post, there is strident complaints about supposed police misconduct with regards to minority shootings.

    The study was done not long ago, and I’m afraid I don’t have the link to hand at the moment, this suggested that if you remove Black and Hispanic gun crime from America’s statistics, we actually have lower gun crime ratings then do Australia New Zealand and Great Britain where most guns are outright banned.

    One cannot help but wonder if there is a correlation between the number of violent deaths driving and police reacting the way they’ve been reacting lately. Stronger enforcement, however regrettable, is perhaps having the effect of lowering the violent crime rate.

    I do not suggest a racial correlation, but a cultural one.

  55. Loviatar says:

    Eric Florack says:

    I do not suggest a racial correlation, but a cultural one.

    And we now have input from the racist.

    Good job with the post Doug.

  56. Pch101 says:

    At this rate, we may actually get some of these right-wingers to admit that they’re fixated on guns because they’re afraid of the Nee-grows. After all, the colored folks ain’t real Americans and they should not be included in the “normal” population.

    The South rides again, even if the old mare is pretty lame and passes far more gas than it should.

  57. Eric Florack says:

    @Loviatar: apparently somebody’s got a reading comprehension problem

    Are you really suggesting that it’s an unreasonable question?

  58. Eric Florack says:

    @Pch101: you might want to look into the gun rights issue with regards to blacks immediately following the Civil War. Gun rights were extended to blacks to allow them to protect themselves from White supremacists among others. The more you dive into that situation the more I suspect you will find that your coming here was well out of line

  59. Pch101 says:

    It is clear as day that men commit the vast majority of homicides. One must conclude that we should take away the guns from men and allow only women to have them.

  60. gVOR08 says:

    @Pch101: Yours is a satirical, and apt, response to Florack. But you know, it’s not really a bad idea.Maybe we could get the states to pass laws that should they ever re-institute their militia, only women could serve. The Feds should be able to drive that by promising funding only for female hypothetical militias. Then the Supremes could bring back that inconvenient “well regulated militia” thing,

  61. al-Ameda says:

    The media doesn’t communicate the “things are fine” or “things have greatly improved” stories very well at all – no sizzle.

    The “homicide rate at 51 year low” story belies the constant fear and crime mongering that is on local news every day throughout the country. In fact, if there is no local homicide to report, it’s very likely they’ll show some footage from a homicide crime elsewhere in the country.

    In many ways this is very similar to the illegal immigration story. Since the great recession of 2008-09 net illegal immigration is virtually zero, yet to listen to the national “debate” you’d think that millions of illegal immigrants from Central America and Mexico were streaming unimpeded across our southern border.

    The sad fact is that about half our voters do not care about facts.

  62. Eric Florack says:

    @gVOR08: you don’t honestly believe that I’m suggesting that we remove guns from the hands of minorities, do you?

  63. Monala says:

    To add some data to the black-on-black crime discussion, it is indeed true that the vast majority of crime, including violent crime, is intra-racial (black on black, white on white, etc.). The objection to the BonB discussion is because people generally don’t talk about white-on-white crime as a reason to ignore whatever concerns white people have about law enforcement. This Politfat article written following the George Zimmerman case makes that point well.

    Even more interesting is a Bureau of Justice Statistics paper linked in the Politfact article under the words “historical data.” On pages 11-14 of the PDF, it discusses racial trends in violent crime since 1980. Homicide rates have fallen in all racial groups over that time, including African-Americans, whose homicide rate today is less than half of what it was at its peak in the early 1990s. Also interesting is that AAs are under-represented, compared to their homicide rate, in certain types of violent crimes: sex-related, murder of the elderly, and workplace violence. (Also in crimes with multiple victims) White people, on the other hand, are over-represented in these types of homicides. Where black people are over-represented is in drug and gang related violence.

    Since drug and gang-related violence is so closely linked to economic conditions, it would seem that black violence is due in large part to disproportionate rates of poverty, which are the result of long-term discrimination. In other words, it ain’t culture, it’s the economy, stupid (and specifically, how economic conditions disproportionately impact AAs negatively). Now let’s try to explain why white people disproportionately kill their sexual partners, their elderly, and their co-workers…

  64. Pch101 says:

    @Monala:

    Homicide victimization rates correlate with poverty. Poor people both white and black are victimized at roughly equal rates, but a higher proportion of the black population is poor.

    If conservatives gave a rat’s backside about crime, then they would try to protect blacks, as the data makes clear that blacks are disproportionately victimized by crime. But those right-wingers are obviously only interested in demonizing blacks, not in helping them.

  65. Eric Florack says:

    @Monala: all of which would seem to suggest cultural correlations in all the areas you mention

  66. Eric Florack says:

    @Monala: all of which would seem to suggest cultural correlations in all the areas you mention

    @Pch101: but if the crime rates are dropping as is being suggested in the other article it would seem protection #is# being afforded them.

  67. Tyrell says:

    There are some lessons in there somewhere.

  68. Pch101 says:

    I know that right-wingers are pathologically unable to understand this concept but the issue is not that the crime rate is falling but that it is higher than it would be without guns.

    While it’s nice that the F student has become a D student, a D student still isn’t an A student and that improvement doesn’t earn one a place on the honor roll.

    And you only show off your D student credentials when you fail to comprehend that improvements in trauma care for gunshot victims don’t earn you bragging rights in the crime improvement department.

  69. Visitor says:

    This post is wrong. Crime is NOT currently at a 51-year low. That was true in 2014, but not any longer. Murder rates have risen about 15% since then, rising in 2015 and 2016, according to the preliminary data (some claim this is a “Ferguson effect,” but that is unproven, especially given the geographic distribution of the increase):

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/07/05/fact-checking-politifacts-fact-check-of-trumps-crime-is-rising-claim/

  70. Loviatar says:

    @Pch101:

    I would change you analogy a little.

    While it’s nice that the F student has become a D student, if he wasn’t smoking meth, he could possibly be a B or A student.

    For those slow on the uptake, in this analogy: guns = meth

  71. Pch101 says:

    @Loviatar:

    What kind of patriot would heap scorn upon our proud history of drug abuse?

  72. Loviatar says:

    @Pch101:

    You’re correct, instead of slandering the good name of drug abuse I should have changed it to;

    While it’s nice that the F student has become a D student, if he wasn’t watching FOX news, he could possibly be a B or A student.

  73. RJ Miller says:

    @alkali:

    That’s completely false, according to studies that accurately measure gun ownership rates vs crime, account for other variables that influence murder rates, and take into account the possibility that high crime already existed which then led to an increase in gun purchases.

    https://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/82971996/216887532/name/Kleck_Journal+of+Criminal+Justice_2015.pdf

  74. RJ Miller says:

    @Pch101:

    Improvements in trauma care still don’t explain why stricter gun laws have failed to have any demonstrable effect on violent crime rates:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/10/06/zero-correlation-between-state-homicide-rate-and-state-gun-laws/

  75. Pch101 says:

    @RJ Miller:

    If you have to resort to citing a right-wing blog in order to “prove” a point, then the only thing that you’ve established is that your point wasn’t very good.

  76. Tyrell says:

    I am glad that you put these statistics up. I was of the view that this country is crawling with criminals and violent crime based on what I see on the news. I will try to get some more of these numbers that break down types of crimes and urban – rural. The leaders and the president seem to get concerned only when it is some sort of unusual or mass killing.
    One way that I think the justice system could break these cycles of criminals continually returning to crime is to bring back the old banishment method. When a criminal is released, they are not allowed to return to their old neighborhood or stomping grounds to resume a life of crime with their old cohorts. They must relocate somewhere’s else. This would give them a fresh start, a break with the past. It would be best if they were banished to another state.I am talking about violent career criminals, drug dealers, kidnappers, bank robbers, gang members; not parking violaters, pickpockets, or shoplifters.
    The news media seems to dwell on crime, the rioters, and the latest Washington scandals. They don’t show much of the good things going on.

  77. RJ Miller says:

    @Pch101:

    If you have to falsely claim a legal blog in the Washington Post is a “right-wing” source in order to pretend you’ve addressed the main fact of that post then the only thing that you’ve established is that your case isn’t very good.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/10/06/zero-correlation-between-state-homicide-rate-and-state-gun-laws/

    There’s no connection between state gun laws and respective violence rates. If that’s not the case then please point to a graph or spreadsheet indicating otherwise.

  78. Pch101 says:

    @RJ Miller:

    See, quoting the same right-wing blog twice only makes you appear to stubborn and out of ideas.

    Allow me to give you an example. Let’s suppose that I adore labor unions and want to prove how wonderful they are. I then do this by quoting a UAW blog and my favorite writer at — I’m making this one up — IHeartMarxism.ru.

    Would you first reaction be to think, “Whoa, that Pch dude sure is a smart fella with excellent research skills!” or would you respond by dismissing the point being made because the sources are clearly biased and can be expected to be anything but objective?

    Be smart about it next time. Don’t quote Volokh as a source if you wish to be taken seriously by anyone who isn’t on the hard right. Your refusal to look for better sources just confirms that you guys live in a media bubble of your own choosing and that you couldn’t research your way out of a wet paper bag. This might pass for intelligent over at WorldNetDaily, but not with the rest of us.

  79. RJ Miller says:

    @Pch101:

    Falsely labeling something “right-wing” because you disagree with it twice only makes you appear to stubborn and out of ideas.

    Allow me to give you an example. Let’s suppose that I adore labor unions and want to prove how wonderful they are. I then do this by quoting a UAW blog and my favorite writer at — I’m making this one up — IHeartMarxism.ru.

    Could that be any less relevant to what I did, which was cite a UCLA law professor that actually plotted the data for readers to see themselves?

    Would you first reaction be to think, “Whoa, that Pch dude sure is a smart fella with excellent research skills!” or would you respond by dismissing the point being made because the sources are clearly biased and can be expected to be anything but objective?

    I would respond by demonstrating the source is factually inaccurate if there are any errors. It’s a demonstrated fact that there is no correlation between state-level gun laws and respective homicide rates. Don’t get mad at Eugene Volokh for rightfully pointing this out, get mad at the Justice Department and the Brady Campaign for making it possible to point it out.

    Don’t quote Volokh as a source if you wish to be taken seriously by anyone who isn’t on the hard right.

    What you say about a UCLA law professor tells me more about your political slant than it does his.

    Your refusal to look for better sources just confirms that you guys live in a media bubble of your own choosing and that you couldn’t research your way out of a wet paper bag.

    I just thought I’d quote you there to let the irony of that statement speak for itself.

    Show me the errors in that article (which even contains instructions on how to check the same data for yourself) if you think it’s flawed.

  80. Pch101 says:

    @RJ Miller:

    So professors aren’t biased and don’t spin information to serve their agendas. Good to know, thanks for the tip.

    You be sure to remember that the next time that you take a potshot at Paul Krugman.

  81. Matt says:

    THAT CAN”T BE AS I”VE BEEN ASSURED THAT THE NRA IS FLOODING THE STREETS WITH SKS ASSAULT RIFLES TO DESTROY AMAREICA!!!