Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another NRA Gunloon Myth Debunked By Facts

If Jonathan Clark Sullivan twitter-twatted it---it's always wrong.

The Economist:

Mercifully, such tragedies are becoming rarer. The number of firearms offences recorded by police is at its lowest level this millennium. Last year 39 people died from gunshots, down from 96 a decade earlier. This is not just because of better medicine; the number of people entering hospital accident and emergency departments with gunshot wounds has also dropped, from 1,370 in 2003 to 972 last year.Violence in general is dropping. But the fall in gun crime is especially steep (see chart). The number of offences involving guns dropped by 16% last year, whereas the number of crimes involving knives (which have only been properly recorded since 2010) fell by just 5%. The biggest improvements have been in places where gun crime once seemed uncontrollable. In both Manchester, once nicknamed “Gunchester,” and Nottingham, gun crime has fallen by almost half since 2006.Organised criminals are less likely to use guns. The number of armed robberies has fallen by around 45% since 2001, and bank robberies and post office hold-ups are now almost unheard of. “Serious armed robbery has become a dinosaur crime”, says Roger Matthews, a criminologist at the University of Kent. Modern armed robbers are amateurs, he says, usually badly equipped and often on drugs.


  1. And violent crime in the United States has been falling for the same period.

  2. No doubt, Greggy. But you're missing the point--again.

    Crime--especially violent crime--in the UK is a small fraction of what it is here. The Brits has 39 gun homicides last year. That's about the same number of are killed by guns each month in Tennessee. And the UK has a larger population than TN.

    1. Baby, that's your point. My point is that the trend in violent crime is downward in this country, and that trend's been going on while our gun laws have loosened and gun ownership has increased. Your radical solutions aren't needed.

    2. Shorter Greggy Camp: We like having more homicides.

    3. Greg, you seem to think the downward trend is BECAUSE of more guns. I think it's IN SPITE of them. In other words, the downward trend would be much greater, more people would avoid unnecessary gun violence if it weren't for all the guns.

    4. Mikeb, I'm making no such claim. The causes for the downward trends in violent crime are many and varied. Ownership and carry of firearms may have some influence in that, but I recognize the complexity in figuring out causation.

      But when you look at the increases in gun ownership and in carry licenses issued, what you'll see is that the gun control argument that more guns equals more crime are false. More of us have guns, and more of us are carrying guns, and yet the predictions of a bloodbath haven't come true. The evidence says that guns aren't the evil that your side insists them to be.

      This is one of the main reasons that your radical control measures aren't needed. If gun violence were spiralling out of control, you'd have one point in your favor. But it isn't. The number of violent crimes is steadily falling, and gun laws are steadily loosening. It's time for you to admit that so we can discuss effective ways to deal with the actual sources of violence in this country.

  3. The reason why people seem to think that the UK is a more violent country than the US is that the UK considers all offences against the person- right down to common assault- in Home Office statistics.

    The US FBI crime stats ignore anything less than assault with a deadly weapon.

    In effect, such a comparison isn't as much apples vs oranges as apples versus the entire fruit and veg section of Tesco's (Safeway).

  4. Laci The Dog said... The US FBI crime stats ignore anything less than assault with a deadly weapon.

    No. You should stick to crying about the Militia clause and Heller. The FBI counts ALL offenses where there is serious injury. According to my copy of the UCR handbook, page 25:

    The category Aggravated Assault—Hands, Fists, Feet, etc.—Aggravated Injury (4d) includes only the attacks using personal weapons such as hands, arms, feet, fists, and teeth, that result in serious or aggravated injury. Reporting agencies must consider the seriousness of the injury as the primary factor in establishing whether the assault is aggravated or simple. They must classify the assault as aggravated if the personal injury is serious, for example, there are broken bones, internal injuries, or stitches required. On the other hand, they must classify the offense as simple assault if the injuries are not serious (abrasions, minor lacerations, or contusions) and require no more than usual first-aid treatment.

  5. If I lived on that island, something I would never do, I'd be concerned about the crimes Britain's "Cult of the 5 Circles" are committing.
    Clearly, that is not a safe place to live.
    orlin sellers

  6. The truth of this story is that violent crime in the UK, while overall lower than the US has been trending upwards at an alarming rate since the implementation of gun control laws in 1968 and 1997:

    Yet violent crime in the US has trended down as gun rights have increased.

    1. FL, you're probably one of the first guys to scream "correlation does not equal causation," when it suits your biased opinion. Otherwise, correlation is just fine.

    2. No, I don't think I would scream it any faster that you - otherwise I would screamed in reaction to that Economist article.

      I am, however, usually one of the first to make sure the other side of the coin is understood. And in this case, the other side of that coin is that while numbers of firearms offenses has certainly dropped:

      1. They have not been eliminated despite some of the heaviest restrictions in the world

      2. Violent crime, you know they kind where people get seriously hurt or killed, has risen

      So, if the Economist is allowed to use correlation to prove it's point, why am I not allowed to use it to counter that point?

    3. Mike,

      You still haven't answered this question. Why the double standard?

      You are allowed to use an article from the Economist stocked full for correlation as evidence of your position yet I cannot use correlation to rebut it?

    4. Wait a minute, I thought I was accusing you of the double standard. How'd it get turned around on me?

    5. ??? What does that even mean? Yes, you were employing a double standard.