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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

Bio

May 16, 2013 - 12:00 am
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Gun control and race appear to interrelate in another manner ignored by corporate media. In 2001, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence began publishing an annual report card, evaluating states on their gun-control laws. From 2001 through 2005, Brady assigned an “A” grade to states with the most gun control; “F” graded states had the least. After a 2006 hiatus, Brady returned with annual scorecards, rating states on a 100 point system. States with the most gun control had the highest scores. Brady replaced the earlier 5-grade quintiles with an equivalent star system, allowing consistency in comparing all of Brady’s annual reports. (Four stars equals an “A”; zero stars an “F.”)

Spearman rank correlation is a calculation used to see if two groups of values interrelate. For example, if homicide rates generally decrease as Brady scores decrease, this is a positive correlation: less gun control, less murder. The table below contains the results after collating Brady scores with CDC state-level homicide rates. Eight years out of nine, black homicide rates showed this positive correlation: blacks were safer in states with the least gun control. Whites, on the other hand, were safer in states with the most gun control.

One of gun control’s advertised benefits is that criminals will commit fewer crimes with firearms. However, after collating Brady scores with CDC firearms homicide rates, the following table shows even stronger correlations for blacks and whites. Blacks living in states with the least gun control were less likely to be shot to death. Between 2001 and 2008, whites were safer in states with the most gun control.

Another gun-control argument is that firearms availability equates with more violence committed with them. But the following table shows that for black victims, the percentage of murders involving guns was lower in states with the least gun control; for whites, the percent of murders committed with guns was generally higher.

All three tables show that blacks living in pro-gun control states suffer more homicide and more firearms homicide.

The DOJ reported that “the rate of firearm homicides for blacks declined by 51% … compared to a 48% decline for whites.” Since 23 states enacted right-to-carry during this time frame, raising the total to 40, more blacks now live in RTC states, where they average a 24% lower homicide rate — and 27% lower shooting homicide rate — than blacks living in carry-restricted states.

States with less gun control — Brady’s “worst” states — have higher gun-ownership rates as well as being RTC states, where citizens are far more likely to carry handguns in public.

Yet blacks in these states are the safest.

The terms “firearm violence” and “gun violence” are misnomers that should be removed from public discourse. The attempt to link firearms with violence in people’s minds is misleading at best, and tragically irresponsible at worst. Why does corporate media persist in:

  • Using the black community to turn gun ownership into a pseudo-civil rights issue in order to promote gun control, when in fact the opposite is true: Blacks and law-abiding gun ownership equals greater safety?
  • Misreporting government data in order to promote gun control, when the very data they cite shows gun control is failed policy?

(Note: This report cites numerous Excel workbooks containing source data from the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. International Trade Commission, and U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was impractical to include links to all the data from these sources within the format of an online special report.)

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Former civilian disarmament supporter and medical researcher Howard Nemerov investigates the civil liberty of self-defense and examines the issue of gun control, resulting in his book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? He appears frequently on NRA News as their “unofficial” analyst and was published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics with David Kopel and Carlisle Moody.

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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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