Saturday, August 15, 2015

More Police Killed in States With Higher Levels of Gun Ownership

Mother Jones

Police officers working in states with higher rates of private gun ownership are significantly more likely to be killed on the job than officers working in states with low levels of gun ownership, according to a new study on occupational homicides.
The study, published by the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday, analyzed FBI data focusing on the number of law enforcement officials that were killed between 1996 to 2010. During that period, 716 out of the total 782 police killings were found to be carried out by the use of firearms. Handguns were responsible for 515 of all the homicides. 
"If we're interested in protecting police officers, we need to look at what’s killing them, and what's killing them is guns,” the study's lead author David Swedler of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health noted in an academic news release.
A firearm present in a domestic violence situation also increases the likelihood of an officer being killed.
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Montana recorded both the highest levels of gun ownership and police killings. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island had the lowest levels for both.


  1. If you take a look at this chart from the FBI's website, you'll see that over the past several years, the number of officers killed have been fairly constant, even with record numbers of new firearms being sold every year. There are some years where the numbers increase, and the most recent year, 2013, the number dropped almost fifty percent.
    And you can also look to several states with high percentages of gun ownership and find low numbers of gun homicides. One example of this is North Dakota, which ranks tenth in the percentage of gun ownership, yet has only lost one officer to homicide in the past nine years, while California, which ranks forty second out of fifty has lost forty four officers during the same period.
    Also keep in mind that police chiefs are normally appointed by the mayor, and are expected to support his boss in regards to philosophy. For example, you aren't likely going to hear the U.S. attorney General public ally disagree with his boss, the President in the area of gun policy. Another example of this would be the Mayor of Chicago and its Police Superintendent.
    Sheriffs are a different animal in this regard since they are elected officials. An example of a philosophical disconnect on this issue is the Police Chief of Milwaukee, who is anti-gun, and the very well known pro-gun Sheriff of the county which encompasses the city. If the populace supported strict gun laws, then why would they elect a pro-gun Sheriff?

    1. That's good dishonest gobblygook SS.
      Now explain why some politicians stand on guns has anything to do with police kill rates.

    2. Great comparison SS! HA HA HA HA
      Lets see, what is California's population compared to North Dakota's population?

    3. Anon, I'm shocked! You actually made a cogent point (sort of) along with your standard maniacal laugh track.
      How about this then. One state each from the good list and the bad list. Alaska and Rhode Island. Alaska, population about 750k and RI about a million. Over the past nine years, Alaska lost two police officers and Rhode Island 1.
      And of course, you need to pay to see the stats for the other forty states since they only listed the ten stated that totally fell in line with their outcome.

    4. I'm shocked you are such a liar! How about this, you stop lying and using ridiculous, dishonest comparisons, which you ALWAYS do.

  2. Uh, Mike, I hate to tell you this, but this is not a study on overall murder rate. It's the murder of police rate, and extremely small subset of overall murder rate (about 50 a year, and decreasing).

    And given that your very next post is about how police are wrongly killing citizens at a rate 20 times greater, maybe some of these are legitimate self-defense?

  3. Cops aren't even in the Top 10 list of most dangerous occupations. Perhaps if cops didn't go around behaving like a knight errant, looking for trouble, they'd find themselves living longer.

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  4. Say--if you want to cut down on the number of cops being on the receiving end of gunfire, maybe you should advocate disarming Obama's minions.