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Rise in firearms related homicides after years of decline.

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by hso, Dec 14, 2018.

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  1. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Nov 2018 CBS headline: "gun deaths are on the rise" from an uptick in 2016 CDC stats
    Dec 2018 NYT headline: "murder rate on track for big drop" based on preliminary FBI 2018 crime stats
     
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    That argument gets picked apart too quickly. Weak rule of law, massively higher poverty rates, greater gap between the haves and have nots, MASSIVE gang and cartel presence in many countries with higher homicide rates and more restrictive gun laws throughout Central and South America are too different from the US to use without having the huge differences being pointed out. Our family is directly, not indirectly, familiar with Central America and the firearms/ammunition legal situation.
     
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  3. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Best response is "Of course we're concerned about an increase in homicides, but preventing that is not what the 2A is for."
     
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  4. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    The murder rates appear to have hit a bottom. I doubt they'll ever go much below 4 per 100,000. Once you reach this level each year they're just as likely to go up or down. Realistically the rates can't keep dropping for ever.

    The Ferguson effect was a definite contributor for the rise in 2015 and 2016.

    Also gang activity probably has a large impact on the murder rate. Even the CDC admits that over 50% of the murders each year is directly attributable to gang activity. Upticks in gang activity in a couple large cities will move the needle even though 99.9% of the country would be un-effected.

    I work in a large office and each time a shooting is in the news I hear people talking about how much more violent we are as a society and how gun killing have got out of control. I won't interject into someone else's conversation, but if I'm involved in the conversation I will point out that homicide rates were double what they are now for most of the 70's, 80's and into the 90's. Most people don't even believe this when you first tell them. The murder rate hasn't increased, it's the hyper focused attention that the media pays to these crimes that has changed.
     
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  5. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Which rather argues for changing the way we measure the statistic. There's a distinct difference for municipal populations less than a million and for those over three million. But, how to properly report that level of sophisticated mathematics will be complicated, particularly given the demonstrated mathematical skills of both the media and political classes.
     
  6. boom boom
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    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    One problem in comparing homicide statistics in particular is that ER trauma centers in major cities are much better than they were twenty years ago through training and experiences with all of these external wars.

    Thus, something that would have been a homicide would now be accounted as something like assault with a deadly weapon (many states have dropped attempted homicide as a crime). I would suggest looking at all violent crime rates as these have the highest likelihood of turning into someone being dead.

    Police jurisdictions are also playing around with the numbers a bit more on classifications of crime, means of death, etc. due to publicity.

    My suspicion is that crime is getting ready to escalate as states and the federal government release prisoners due to financial, political, and social pressure. Ten years in the future, we may be all wishing for good ole 2016 level crime rates.
     
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you meaning that attempted homicide is not a crime or are you trying to say that it is classified as some other crime? I'm also not sure what it would mean to the statistics since it would not have been counted as a homicide since no one was killed, but would have been classified as a violent crime as assault or conspiracy to commit murder if not attempted homicide.

    Folks, my point is that this information is important to us for two reasons. 1) murder rates for the past 2 years have changed from the downward trend and 2) we need to be ready to respond to the articles and comments on this and the UCR information that the murder rate looks to be on the rise again.

    The point was made that statistical variations when the murder rate gets to a low point may change the rate up and down around that low base rate so we need to look for trends over several and not just a couple of years just like we looked at the trend over decades of falling murder rates. "See! You gun nuts are killing more people!" should get the response, "The murder rate dropped over decades to this low level so you should expect to see fluctuations up AND DOWN from year to year. You'd expect to see temporary rises that then fall back to this new base level below 5 murders per 100,000 population. Nothing to panic over ... yet."
     
  8. boom boom
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    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry that I was not clear, commenting on the fly.

    Attempted homicide is no longer on the books as a crime anymore in most states and is handled under various crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon (this crime could be from threatening someone with a firearm to actually shooting them), aggravated assault, battery, etc. Thus, the severity of the attack may affect the sentence for the criminal such as someone nearly dying versus minor injuries, but it would not be counted as a potential murder nor would there be anyway to distinguish that particular crime in statistics.

    Thus, trauma center survivors', who previously could not be saved, are no longer counted as homicides. The violence level is the same but medical treatment has decreased the death rate and thus the number of murders.

    https://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/ar...uppressed-improved-emergency-medical-response

    https://cumberlink.com/news/local/c...cle_cce34ad3-334b-51d3-a58f-be8a15c98513.html

    https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/02/the-bleeding-of-chicago/554141/

    As most cases are settled by plea bargaining in major cities, I suspect that the real violent crime rates in most major jurisdictions did not drop as much as the UCR seems to indicate. It is clear from some subsequent newsworthy cases that often the police or prosecutors have downgraded violent crimes to misdemeanors, some of which are incidental to the most severe offense. Roughly 1/2 of all violent crimes, including severe ones are not reported to the police (via the National Criminal Victimization Survey series) which has remained roughly constant since 1995 or so.

    I think that these issues also indicate why urban Democrats are more adamant about extending gun control as constituents in urban areas, especially in crime ridden areas, are seeing a lot of people being shot (but surviving that). Key money quote from the citylab article on Chicago, "The narrative they tell is a slightly different one: As murders trended down overall (after 1990's), the number of shootings has been holding relatively steady—and even scaling up."

    The Chicago article indicates that the murder rate spikes when trauma centers were shut down. That finding is suggested in other research since the first article linking trauma care to murder rates was originally was published. Not sure if John Lott has addressed this in his research either.
     
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  9. boom boom
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    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    Network analysis indicates that much of the violence in major cities is driven by a relatively small number of people. One of the keys to reducing that is stripping the anonymity of these individuals and making them a priority of police attention.

    http://www.governing.com/topics/pub...social-media-transforms-chicago-policing.html

    Gangs also facilitate gaining illegal firearms
    https://www.thetrace.org/rounds/chicago-illegal-gun-study-network-analysis/

    Thus, much of the violent crime problem in urban areas is related to gangs and gang violence in major cities.
     
  10. SKILCZ

    SKILCZ Member

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    Regardless, that doesn't change the fact that gun ownership and violent crime were trending in opposite directions for decades. Anti-gun advocates will try to blame guns, but the opposite trend for decades suggests otherwise, as do the studies showing that gun control laws don't reduce violent crime. Crime rates have always fluctuated and will always fluctuate. There are many variables in play here.
     
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  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    The point is we can't just ignore the data and stick our heads in the sand. We have to counter this new information.
     
  12. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    How do you suggest we "counter" this new information?
     
  13. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Acknowledge the change over the past couple of reports, but point out that a 20 year overall decline in homicide rates while firearms ownership increased has always been a "jagged" path instead of a smooth declining curve so while we are concerned that there's been a rise over the past couple of years the change may be temporary leading to continued decline or it may represent a trend toward slower decline...a leveling out.

    There are additional facts around the increases. They're related to specific local increases in a handful of cities. Removing these cities from the rates shows continued decline in the rest of the country. Those local violent crime statistics should be the focus and not a national campaign.
     
  14. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    I'm curious what the response of many here would be if there was a "trend", say over the course of 20 years, of an increase in firearms homicides. Would you change your mind about gun laws and firearms ownership?
     
  15. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Bearcreek,

    Clear data has shown that there's no correlation between firearms ownership, restrictions and homicide rates (other than someone that uses a firearm to commit a murder obviously had possession of a firearm at the time) so that idea would be difficult to kick around except as a very theoretical one.
     
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  16. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    By itself? No. The firearm homicide trend would need to track against the overall homicide trend and anti-gun laws.

    If firearms homicides are up and so are homicides overall (by a similar percentage) then guns aren't the issue (which is what I currently believe).

    If firearms homicides are up and anti-gun laws are also up then the anti-gun laws clearly aren't working (which is what I currently believe).

    Etc.
     
  17. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    Just a thought, given that new laws are driven in part by moral panics (and some legit fears) after horrific events, the absolute number of such if increasing, will drive politics.

    What I mean, it that if there is an increasing number of high causalities rampages, that is what will determine legislative actions as compared to homicide rates that may be drive by gun crimes in drug related or poverty stricken areas. The threat seen to general public at a school, public place, house of worship, mall, or entertainment events has produced the state bans that we see.

    Donald :"Bump" Banner is a prime example of such. If two drug gangs shot each other up with bump stocks, he wouldn't have acted.

    hso is correct that a general rise is troublesome but folks decide things on vivid events and that is more a risk, IMHO.

    There is also a rise in gun suicides, esp. among lower SES white males - that is very troublesome. That is tied, it is thought, to the specific economic problems of that group. Goes along with increased meth and opioid abuse.
     
  18. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    Exactly, which is one reason why the "2nd Amendment/gun community" or whatever we want to call it needs to stop focusing so much on violent crime rates. Firearms ownership by itself does not increase or decrease violent crime. It's irrelevant. I constantly hear and see gun people posting statistics and talking about how we should have guns because it makes us safer and we need to be able to defend ourselves from home invaders and armed robbers. I hear and see people trying to justify larger than 8 or 10 or 15 round magazines because we need them to defend our homes. The raw statistics don't support that notion. It doesn't matter if more guns in civilian hands equal more or less crime. The purpose of the 2A is to keep the government in a constant state of fear of the people. Having the ability to defend against civilian threats is just a nice side benefit. Even if gun ownership was unquestionably shown to increase violent crime rates it wouldn't change the critical importance of civilian ownership of military pattern firearms.
     
  19. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a good point. The common thread of is '5 enough' and the mocking of those who argue that you need to carry more because of the 3,3,3 'rule' shows that even the gun world undercuts the need for higher capacity weaponry. Mas Ayoob makes the case why SD cases show that higher cap guns are useful (https://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2019/01/9-ar-15-cases/ - hey, mentions me) but is that convincing to the general public. An interesting article on the politics of a 70% tax rate on the rich and how such may fit with public opinion as compared to its actual effect shows why getting into the statistical weeds may not help (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/a...-behind-ocasio-cortezs-70-percent-tax/581497/). No - we are not discussing AOC, it is the principles of persuasion in the article that are important.

    In a counterfactual, if the Las Vegas shooter had used not a bump stock but some of the hundred round AR mags - guess what Donald would have had the BATFE declare some kind of WMD or destructive device and ban.

    I think Bearcreek has it correct. Unfortunately, the major firearms organization is either incapable or doesn't want to make that point. I've been told their marketing research demonstrates that defense against tyranny doesn't sell that well. Wine does, I guess.
     
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  20. Browning

    Browning Member

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    Actually it's safer now compared to the 1960's to late 1990's.

    IMG_7843.PNG IMG_7844.PNG

    https://www.thetrace.org/2018/04/highest-murder-rates-us-cities-list/

    Likely reasons for the uptick in violent crime in some cities?

    • Demographics.
    • Ferguson Effect (if it's not in the middle, upper middle class and affluent parts of town perhaps there's a decreased willingness towards proactive policing).
    • Increased drug use and sales in some areas.
    • Lack of employment opportunities.
    • Lack of resources for the treatment of mental illness.
    • Poverty.
    • More single parent households (supervision and life planning).

    Stay out of those areas and your probability of getting struck by lightening decreases.

    However overall on a national scale it's safer now than it was though. Part of that is because of better EMS and emergency department policies and treatment as well as medical advances.
     
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  21. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    This chart illustrates some of what I was talking about. If you listen to many people and to at least one big organization in the "firearms community", higher firearms ownership rates and more lax gun laws make for lower violent crime rates. Based on that, a look at this chart would perhaps make one think that St. Louis is in a state with very strict gun laws and Stockton is in a state with fewer gun laws, for example. The truth of the matter is, it doesn't matter. More guns do not equal less crime, neither do they equal more.
     
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  22. Gridley

    Gridley Member

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    While I don't entirely disagree, local laws have at least as much impact as state laws. There are a number of highly anti-gun cities in what would otherwise be highly pro-gun states.

    I do agree that population density, gang activity, etc., are correlated much more strongly with violent crime (including crimes involving firearms) then the legal environment.
     
  23. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

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    I disagree with that. The vast majority of states, including all of what would normally be considered "gun friendly" states, have strong preemption laws which make local regulation null and void. In fact, all of the states other than CA and NJ, that are represented by the cities on that chart have complete state preemption of firearms law. There are certainly cities within those states that attempt to violate state law by regulating firearms, but they do not, by any stretch of the imagination, have the same impact with their illegal regulations that the state does with it's unconstitutional but legal ones.
     
  24. Browning

    Browning Member

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    Even in the anti-gun states the gangs and criminals still get them.

    -Theft
    -Underground gun trade (they know somedude selling one)

    Guns in Mexico are highly restricted and the gangs and cartels and vigilantes fighting them still get them from the military, police, neighboring countries in conflict, import them from Russia, China, Africa, the Middle East and a little less than 20% come over the border from the US.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  25. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope, not one teensy bit. We're as foolish in swallowing pop media scare tactics as the people we make fun of.
     
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