Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Repeat, Guns Are Bad News for Women

The Violence Policy Center came out with a report entitled, When Men Murder Women; An Analysis of 2007 Homicide Data. This information perfectly supports what I presented in my post entitled Guns and Women but has come to be known as "guns are bad news for women."

Opening remarks on page 1.

One federal study on homicide among intimate partners found that female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined, concluding that “the figures demonstrate the importance of reducing access to firearms in households affected by IPV [intimate partner violence].

From page 8.

In 2007, the homicide rate among female victims murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents nationally was 1.30 per 100,000. For that year, Louisiana ranked first as the state with the highest homicide rate among female victims killed by male offenders in single victim/single offender incidents. Its rate of 2.53 per 100,000 was nearly double the national average. Louisiana was followed by Alaska (2.44 per 100,000) and Wyoming (2.33 per 100,000).

There's a table providing a more extensive listing, but you already know what it looks like. How can the pro-gun crowd deny the connection between lax gun laws, the prevalence of guns in the home and gun violence? And these statistics practically eliminate the gangs and drug killings. These are about normal gun owners who kill their female partners, you know the guys I've always been saying should never have had guns in the first place.

What's your opinion? Is this entire study suspect because it comes from the VPC folks? Is there another way to explain why states like Louisiana and Oklahoma have so much more lethal domestic violence than New Jersey and New York? Please tell us.

Feel free to leave a comment.


  1. You answered your own question. You said the statistics practically eliminate the gangs and drug killings and they are about normal gun owners.

    Well, considering a state like Oklahoma easily has 10 times as many normal guns owners as New Jersey, it's obvious they're going to have a higher rate of crimes committed by normal gun owners.

    Now if Oklahoma were like New Jersey where it's nearly impossible for normal gun owners to exist, then you'd see much lower numbers.

  2. Exaactly, AztecRed. I couldn't have said it better myself to prove gun control laws work. The folks in Oklahoma and Louisiana are basically more or less the same as the folks in New Jersey - people are people, but the laws and the gun availability make the difference.

  3. MikeB302000 is bad for the anti-gun movement!

    Keep it up, Mikey!

  4. mikeb, have you even read the study? While it does make some attempts to insinuate that guns are causing all of this death, actually, what it says (not my opinion) is that women are in danger when there is violence in the home. Some facts you should have picked up on when you read it:

    1) 51% of the homicides were with firearms. This is actually a lower percentage than murders in general. Which also means an almost equal number were without firearms. So, that would make a strong case that violent men can use any weapon (even their fists) to kill.

    2) And these statistics practically eliminate the gangs and drug killings. They do no such thing. There is nothing in the study that shows any correction for gangs or drugs. It only looks at men killing women. To say that it eliminates all gang or drug connections would mean that you are hypothesizing that gang members and drug dealers/addicts don't have spouses or girlfriends.

    3) The disparity between black homicides and white homicides is humongous! If you watch Hollywood too much you might believe that the majority of homicides are black offenders killing white victims. Interracial homicides are the exception, they rarely happen. 85-95% of all homicides are intra-racial (offender and victim of the same race). This report shows the same thing. What is disheartening is that the black homicide rate is 3 times the rate of white women. (For men it is even worse, about 10 times). The white homicide rate in the US is equal to the homicide rates of most western European countries (which are not a very ethnically diverse bunch), regardless of whether their gun laws are strict or not. So there is something in the black culture in the US that is driving homicides (both firearm and others - blacks account for 50% of homicide victims in the US, while only making up 11% of the population). Even with firearms, blacks use firearms to commit homicide at a rate 33% higher than the rest of the population. And yet, the "gun culture" is blamed on the middle class white males. It is almost as if guns have nothing to do with it?

    4) In the appendixes with specific information for the 10 highest states (all lax gun states), you had Alaska and Wyoming which had a significantly less % of firearms homicides (12% and 33% respectively) than the national average. Coincidentally, they are two of the most ethnically homogeneous states in the country.

    5) In Appendix 1, Utah (44th), Nebraska (45th), and New Hampshire (46th) (states with lax gun laws) are all below such gun havens as California, Massachusetts, and New York. Even regulation happy Maryland (16th) is ahead of trigger happy Texas (18th).

    Basically, this report shows nothing more than what is already known:
    1) Around half of homicides against women involve a firearm.
    2) Blacks have a much higher rate of homicide than whites.
    3) There is no correlation between states amount of gun control and what ranking they have in firearm violence (or just violence).

    So, I repeat. Guns are not bad news for women. Violent men are bad news for women. So how about we start taking care of the problem (violent men) rather than pretending that gun control is going to help.

    mikeb, how about you provide your thoughts on the vast differences in rates of violence between whites and blacks. Include in that any solutions you think would help bring black violence rates down to comparable white violence rates.

  5. "Is this entire study suspect because it comes from the VPC folks?"

    Absolutely it is. The VPC has ZERO credibility.

  6. Reputo, Your masterful spinning skills and subjective way of looking at things is amazing. I looked at the report, believe it or not, and agreed with the opening statement about its content:

    "the figures demonstrate the importance of reducing access to firearms in households affected by IPV [intimate partner violence]."

  7. You call presentation of a factual and supported argument "Spinning"?

    What is it you do to an issue, Mike?

  8. Reputo, Your masterful spinning skills and subjective way of looking at things is amazing.

    Point out one of my statements above that is incorrect or not supported by the facts in the report you presented. Just one.

    "the figures demonstrate the importance of reducing access to firearms in households affected by IPV [intimate partner violence]."

    Wrong. The figures demonstrate the importance of reducing the access of violent men to women in households affected by IPV. Taking away their guns only prevents them from shooting their victim, it doesn't stop the violence (or death) any.

  9. Where are you more likely to be stampeded by elephants? Africa or Delaware?.....

  10. Reading through it now. It's an extremely disjointed report, apparently attempting to draw conclusions from a lot of correlational data (rather than causational) while mixing in a large amount of 'Well duh' information that is common knowledge (e.g. "women are far more likely to be the victims of violent crimes committed by intimate partners than men", or that "women face the greatest threat from someone they know").

    The list of state information is virtually useless as it seems to be more a listing of data and not included to actually support any hypothesis.

    As for your question about the correlation between lax gun laws and violence...I can't comment since I don't know the topic well, and this report doesn't address it well.

    Digging into the data on Alaska though (which I'd really suggest not using too strongly since, like Wyoming, each has such a low population that any given year might spike or dip since a single murder sways the numbers so heavily)...IF you want to use it, I see that with Alaska's 'lax laws', only 12.5% of their murders used a firearm? But really, this information isn't that useful or insightful in the current's just easy to cherry pick data to suit arguments.

    As for my version of the study I'd like to see (in addition to what's shown in this report):
    An analysis of the murder rates including and cross referencing (for both perpetrators and victims):
    Longer time period of the study (one year just isn't enough...a single good EMT could save someone's life in Alaska and sway the numbers for the year)
    Number of attempted murders in the demographic
    Education levels
    Criminal records (including acquittals or pleas)
    Local other crime rates (let's say violent, property, and drug)
    Whether drugs/alcohol were involved

    I'm sure with more time, I could come up with more variables to examine, but simply looking at guns is an example of fishing. You need to expand the study to examine other variables, get enough data to run an actual statistical analysis (something so lacking in most pro- or anti- gun "studies"), and give people some actual data to chew on.

  11. Also good to note, the FBI page on their Uniform Crime Reports has a caution on the using the information to create a ranking (which the VPC does) because it "provide no insight into the many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction." For instance while New Orleans may be the murder "capital" of the US, its overall violent crime rate is actually about average for large cities. Plus, the FBI reports are highly dependent on the reporting of information from Law Enforcement Agencies. Looking at most of the recent ones, Minnesota, Illinois and Florida seem to be big offenders in not reporting their information appropriately. Might that skew the ranking? I don't know but Illinois came in 47th on the VPC ranking

    Naturally, the FBI, who actual deal with crime year in and year out, have a list of factors that are known to affect crime:
    "Population density and degree of urbanization.
    Variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration.
    Stability of the population with respect to residents’ mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors.
    Modes of transportation and highway system.
    Economic conditions, including median income, poverty level, and job availability.
    Cultural factors and educational, recreational, and religious characteristics.
    Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness.
    Effective strength of law enforcement agencies.
    Administrative and investigative emphases of law enforcement.
    Policies of other components of the criminal justice system (i.e., prosecutorial, judicial, correctional, and probational).
    Citizens’ attitudes toward crime.
    Crime reporting practices of the citizenry."

    Interesting? Firearms don't even make their list.

  12. But the FBI is in the pocket of the Evil gun lobby, Reputo!

  13. Weer'd - Yup, FBI data is dismissed as irrelevant yet MikeB will use the VPC of all places to back up his lies.