Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gun Homicides are Down Because...

The latest Pew Research shows that Gun Homicides have been on a downward trajectory and are down nearly 50% since 1993.

The Question is: Why?

Gun Nuts and Shills for Weapon Manufactures claim it is because of the massive upsurge in weapons in the Country.

Of course, this is fallacious.

The number of laptops, PCs, Macs, Android devices, IPods, gaming systems has dramatically spiked since the 1970's, as well. The number of Micro-Breweries making craft beers has exploded in the last 20 years. The rate of church attendance and religious self-identification has dropped dramatically in the last 20 years.

I could argue the number of Internet diversions has allowed people to vent on-line and the ability to get their murderous rages out in first person shooter games has led to the decrease.

Or that because Americans now have a choice of finely crafted, tasty and quirky beers their soporific effect has stopped shootings.

Or that the abandonment of Christianity and adoption of Atheism is responsible for the drop in violence.

Because A, Therefore B.

Gun Maniacs also choose to base all comparisons against 1993 because 1993 had the highest number of recorded Gun Murders at 18,253. The figure in 2011 was 11,101.

Now, as a corollary let's simply not call the killing of a 2 year old by her 5 year old brother using a weapon specifically made for children and called "My First Rifle" a homicide.

Let's call the shooting of a 6 year old by her 13 year old brother a game of hide and seek and simply quote a neighbor, "I don't know how it went down but he shot his sister." See? Not Gun Violence.

Or let's call the Halloween Party shooting of a 9 year old dressed as a skunk by her adult cousin "an accident" and classify it simple assault and another gun violence data point vanishes and the downward trend continues.

Thus, by reclassifying these as Accidents or Negligent Discharges we can skew the numbers even more. Each shooting or killing is transferred allowing the "homicide rate" to drop 49%!!!!

When the total number of firearm fatalities is compared for 1993 and 2011 we see: 39,595 and 32,163. Recall that 1993 was the Peak Year with the highest recorded year for Gun Murders and suddenly that 49% drop trumpeted by Unrestricted Gun Violence Supporters is placed in the proper context.

The Pew Research paper also states that while the number of guns has increased to 310 Million the percentage of households owing weapons is the same (43%) as 1972. And importantly (according to data from a 2007 U.N. study) the U.S. firearm homicide rate and overall homicide rate are higher than those in Canada, Australia, Japan and in Western European and Scandinavian nations.

Thus, when put into context we see that Gun Deaths are cycling upwards from a low point in 1999.

The fact is what the NRA and Gun Owners of America apparently want is This.


Constitutional Insurgent said...

"The fact is what the NRA and Gun Owners of America apparently want is This."

Of course. Gun owners want increased crime and deaths by firearms. Makes perfect sense, as long as it's taken in the same context as the rest of the strawman narrative.

This is a good example of why we can't have mature discussions over firearms though. The only thing missing from this story is a Newtown parent waving a bloody shirt.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Well, I included that just for you CI so you could ignore the entire point of the article. It seems most who won't engage in a mature discussion, you seem to focus in on the emotional.

But, nonetheless, the NRA and other Gun Manufacture Lobby Groups have aggressively and repeatedly sought to neuter any legislation which keeps weapons out of the hands of criminals.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

Included that just for me did you?

Yeah, I'm not buying that. It's part and parcel of every other screed you pen about firearms, with accompanying invective and pejoratives.

If you wanted a mature discussion, you would have omitted those extraneous portions.

There's a kernel of truth to your last statement, but you leave out where gun control groups aggressively and repeatedly seek to neuter the law abiding, instead of the criminals.

Green Eagle said...

"Or that the abandonment of Christianity and adoption of Atheism is responsible for the drop in violence."

I think you've figured it out.

Grung_e_Gene said...

CI, in case you haven't notice (and please look through previous posts) you are the only ideological libertarian who comments on my blog. Especially gun posts.

However my invective, does the new NRA Supreme Leaders Jim Porter calling President Obama "Fake" and Eric Holder "rabidly un-american" mean he wants a mature conversation?

Constitutional Insurgent said...

To answer your last, nope. But I neither defend nor am a member of the NRA.

I read your blog, because, gun control aside, I generally have agreed with your positions and have enjoyed your take on them. I have found that on issues other than gun control, you seem to have thoughtful analysis to bring to the table.

It's your house....I can just not comment.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Wow, CI that's an incredibly nice comment! Seriously, don't leave.

I freely admit Guns evoke an emotional response from me. I do think some of my points are correct/reasonable.

Anyway I do appreciate your input.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

I meant it, and concede that the gun issue provokes equal emotion in me.

I need to temper my own reactions with a mandatory 'cooling off' period [gun issue pun].

I am intrigued by the possibility that a decrease in adherence to organized religion could have played a role in the statistics; I'm not well armed [I can't stop myself!] on that particular aspect, but it's an interesting road to go down.

toma said...

Is this a private fight, or can anyone join in?

I'd bet that part of the drop in gun deaths has to do with the increased criminal incarceration rate. There's also an interesting theory about the dispersal of lead (in paint, etc.) in lower income neighborhoods being responsible for a great deal of crime, mostly in the past. That cause is being eliminated from the environment.

What you don't see in the statistics is the previously non-criminal law-abiding citizen homicide rate. I'm betting that it's either stayed the same or gone up as the numbers of guns in America continues to rise . .

Green Eagle said...

The close correlation between lead in the air from unleaded gas and violent crime is really striking. Thanks to Toma for bringing this issue up. I hope you will not mind my providing a link to the Mother Jones article where I first saw this information- it's fascinating:

Grung_e_Gene said...

toma and Green Eagle,

I agree that getting the Lead Out (a CI inspired Gun Pun) has been more important to any drops in violence and gun violence.

After all lead plumbing contributed more to the downfall of the Roman Empire than Germans, Taxes, chritianity and Bureaucratic misadministration.

toma said...

Don't forget the buttsecks. That too. Not regarding anything, mind you, just remember it.

Chicken Hammer said...

Gun crime is down. The last line of Grung's blog post is not just bullshit but also inflammatory. Gun crime is down. The facts are the facts; emotion still runs rampant.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Ah yes. Chicken Hammer makes an appearance with another misleading comment. "Gun Crime is Down"

Once again CH must change the topic, Homicide to Crime, in order to frame the argument for himself to win. It's not the first time you've done this.

Be that as it may. Why is Gun Crime down?

State your arguments.

My position is that Crime is down due to reduced pollutions (e.g. Lead), the decrease in religious affiliation (i.e. Christianity) and improved Policing tactics and training.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

I'm not seeing where Chicken Hammer was incorrect. The BJS report states that homicide a gun crime] is down 39%, and non-fatal gun crime is down 69%.

For the reasons why, don't think they'll be known for quite some time. Pollutants and religion can be purely incidental.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Chicken Hammer has chosen to change words seemingly in order to either buttress his argument. Because he's done it in the past it is my belief he is arguing in bad faith.

Also to claim that the Gun Homicide Rate is down from the Peak Year of 1993 as opposed to 1999 when Gun Deaths were under 30,000.

And it is my supposition that many of the "accidental" shootings which result in no or lesser charges are duplicitous category cheating.

Kind of like labeling Hundreds of Thousands of Dead Iraqis "Collateral Damage" and thus washing away the fact they are dead.

The fact for 20 years, since 1993, Gun Deaths are always around 30,000.

Dead is Dead. I'm sure if the parents of Aurora High Schooler shot yesterday will be relieved if he dies because it was only an ND instead of gangland murder.

ChickenHammer said...

I'm not changing the argument. I refuse to argue in bad faith. The fact is that gun violence and gun deaths are down.

I cannot explain how gun ownership is up and gun violence and gun deaths are down. I read the statistics; I don't try to explain them. The facts are the facts.

the yellow fringe said...

Gun deaths are down partly due to better ER treatment. Lets face it, the NRA has trained our ambulance crews and emergency room doctors to better and faster treat gunshot wounds. It wasn't a grant. They did it by repeating the exercise hundreds of thousands of times every year.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Chicken Hammer,

Very well, I accept you post that you were not arguing in bad faith. I must have incorrectly inferred that you would proclaim any gun death decrease was a direct result of the increased amount of guns in the country.

Yellow Fringe,

Yes! Thank you for reminding me and everyone else about the medical advances, which are saving a significant number of people who would have died in past decades. At some point I forgot to include that most salient point.