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The Mystery of the Missing Crime Data

Corporate media spins "news" of declining criminal use of firearms to hide the truth.

by
Howard Nemerov

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May 16, 2013 - 12:00 am
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Many corporate media outlets have been reporting on the new Department of Justice (DOJ) report titled “Firearm Violence, 1993-2011,” which reports that shooting homicides have declined dramatically during the last two decades.

Many outlets published an Associated Press report that drew attention away from the possibility that firearms ownership might reduce crime:

Though researchers differ over all the reasons why gun violence has declined, many attribute it to the aging of the baby boomers. The crime rate was higher in the 1960s and 1970s when many in that large generation were teenagers, an age when higher proportions of people commit crimes.

Crime rates dropped in the early 1980s as that generation aged, rose in the latter part of that decade as the use of crack cocaine grew, then dropped again in the 1990s as the nation’s economy improved, analysts say.

But they never explain why violent crime hasn’t surged in recent years due to the faltering economy, but instead continued declining. Baby boomers grew up to parent the Echo Boom, estimated to be a similar-sized generation. This group is now old enough to behave dangerously, but violent crime continued decreasing. Drug addiction trended from crack cocaine to methamphetamine, but violent crime continued dropping.

The following graph shows how the shooting murder rate declined 49%, despite an estimated 32% increase in the civilian firearms inventory*:

To derogate this “more guns, less homicide” trend, media outlets like New York Times cite the General Social Survey from the University of Chicago (Illinois), stating: “The gun ownership rate has fallen across a broad cross section of households since the early 1970s.” But media ignore their own reports showing an increase in new gun owners.

Gun ownership is even growing in Illinois, where state police are “swamped” by a “huge backlog of applications for Firearms Owner Identification cards,” which are required for legal gun ownership there. CBS reports: “Every month since December has seen a record number of Illinois residents applying for FOID cards.”

Corporate media accurately reported the declines: between 1993 and 2011, firearms homicide deaths declined 39%, and the rate (per 100,000 population) decreased 49%. During this time, the number of right-to-carry (RTC) states — where law-abiding citizens can carry concealed handguns in public – increased from 17 to 40. The drop in homicides probably indicates that concealed carry puts attackers at a disadvantage. FBI crime data supports this premise: Between 2001 and 2011, RTC states averaged a 38% lower homicide rate than carry-restricted states.

Media ignored the DOJ report when it showed that the number of homicides at school “declined over time.” The following graph shows the long-term trend for ages 5-18. (Of course, the 2012 Sandy Hook mass murder alters the existing trend, but one year is insufficient to declare a new trend.)

The following table — based upon data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) — shows that between 1993 and 2010, the 5-18 age group experienced greater declines in shooting victimization than the rest of the population. (The DOJ authors used the CDC database, too.)

Corporate media couldn’t resist including gun-control rhetoric:

Gun control supporters said the numbers have declined but remain too high, with U.S. rates of gun killings remaining far greater than most other nations.

According to United Nations data, the U.S. has the 92nd highest homicide rate, compared to most other nations.

The DOJ authors noted: “From 1993 to 2010, males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24 had the highest rates of firearm homicide.” The Associated Press report included a variation on the race-related message:

Fifty-five percent of gun homicide victims in 2010 were black, far beyond their 13 percent share of the population.

Since 1994, FBI data show that 50% of all murderers are black, far beyond their population share. The following graph shows that black attackers have accounted for a larger percentage of all murders over time, averaging over 50% since 2003.

The FBI reports that between 2000 and 2011, black attackers murdered 92% of black victims. A small percentage of the total population is over-represented for both attackers and victims.

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Top Rated Comments   
That's the important thing that I always try to make anti-2A types understand, and every once in a while an honest one will concede the point.

I think that when we're talking about infringing upon people's rights, especially a right that's enumerated in the Constitution in black and white, the burden of proof rests on the one seeking to LIMIT freedom.

So it's not up to us to prove that wider gun ownership lowers crime. No, the proper terms of the debate should be for the banners to prove that gun ownership CAUSES crime, and they absolutely cannot do that with any honest data.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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Believe it or no, I've heard people claim that the credit for declining crime rates should go to legalized abortion. Their logic is that with fewer people being born, there will naturally be fewer criminals. To me, this sounds like burning down your house because the toilet is clogged.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually it's because the toilet has a chance of getting clogged one day, regardless of whether it actually occurs.

But you're right, I've also heard abortion cited as a primary reason -- especially, I've read, because the abortion rate of blacks (48.2 per 1000) is triple the abortion rate of the rest of the population (14.4 per 1000).

http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0101.pdf
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We were founded on principals.Things put in place to protect people(family/friends).When those began breaking down,is when things began decaying,or no longer working.LIz Lets get back&fight for freedoms.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is same as England suppressing crime data to cover up how it has exploded since both guns were banned and the "youth" were put on a high pedestal and beyond reproach. Even then it can't be completely hidden. New York City has done the same, as some whistleblowers have revealed (and one of them was arrested and thrown into a mental hospital by Bloomberg's minions).

Liberals promise safety and security if the people only disarm. Since it never works out that way, they have to lie and cover up the truth of higher crime rates lest the people eventually wake up and threaten their stranglehold on power.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Haven't those of us who notice these things, or care about them, realised that statistics from government agencie as reported to the public via the establishment Media are always suspect?

Not just in false reporting of the data, but interpretation of those data. And of course to get the point they want across, changing the columns into which uncomfortable data are placed. Or simply changing the criteria for what constitutes the information. Changing the definition of what is crime and what crime or whatever.

We have experience enough to know exactly how trustworthy are the Media and OUR government?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."
-- Rudyard Kipling, 1919

(And yes, it was considered politically incorrect back then!)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This administration, along with their complicit propaganda machine (MSM) have goals to achieve. By making it impossible to defend yourself, you have no place else to turn but to "Big Brother/Big Sister". You will be defended in relation to how much "noise" you generate, i.e. bash the government, you're on your own. Lick their boots, they will try to work you in.

The ultimate goal total control.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Blacks living in states with the least gun control were less likely to be shot to death." Do you think Chicago Mayor Emanuel cares? He and his fellow Democrat mayors ignore the statistics and tout gun control as a solution to the high homicide rates in predominately black areas of their cities. How's that working out for you, mayor? The federal court is forcing Illinois to adopt a concealed carry law. Any bets on which way the homicide statistics in Chicago will go when the victims at least have some opportunity to arm themselves?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since DC had to start allowing handgun ownership, homicide dropped. I'm working on the data and will hopefully report about it here. Of course, it appears that with all the expense required to own a gun in DC, most of the owners are in the white upper class areas of town. Gun control is racist, once again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As much as I would like to attribute the DC crime drop to more guns there is no evidence that there actually are many more legal owners in the Distrrict. As far as know there is only 1, a Washington Times Reporter. The process is long and onerous and not many people are willing to give a go.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Correlation and causation, I know. However, the registration data is available. For starters:

Paul Duggan, Since D.C.’s handgun ban ended, well-heeled residents have become armed, Washington Post, February 8, 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/07/AR2011020706450.html

“In the 2½ years since the U.S. Supreme Court ended the District's handgun ban, hundreds of residents in Washington's safest, most well-to-do neighborhoods have armed themselves, registering far more guns than people in poorer, crime-plagued areas of the city, according to D.C. police data.”

The point is that gun banners always rant about more guns means more violence and more death. That's never been borne out by any complete dataset. The best they can claim is that some datasets indicate what you said: more guns isn't proven to lower crime. Other datasets correlate higher gun ownership with less crime.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only most reliable data comes from national statistics for violent crimes with guns involved which a ten year data set model and you can then use a per capita data measure at any YTY avg point or the ten year point. States local or regional data is most often used to manipulate data for special interest purposes -- state and local law enforcement allocations and political special interest groups, etc. The least accurate data source is the FBI sampling published data for the reason that is included in most of their reporting.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's the important thing that I always try to make anti-2A types understand, and every once in a while an honest one will concede the point.

I think that when we're talking about infringing upon people's rights, especially a right that's enumerated in the Constitution in black and white, the burden of proof rests on the one seeking to LIMIT freedom.

So it's not up to us to prove that wider gun ownership lowers crime. No, the proper terms of the debate should be for the banners to prove that gun ownership CAUSES crime, and they absolutely cannot do that with any honest data.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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