Gun statistics

These seem to be useful for anyone interested in the current gun debate, pro or con.


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26 responses to “Gun statistics

  1. Anonymous

    They fail to point out that gun violence is concentrated among urban black males and Hispanics. If you remove them Americans, rural Americans in particular, are an amazingly well armed and peaceful bunch. If you remove suicides as well as the gangbangers, Americans are uniquely well-armed and more peaceful than their counterparts in other “developed” countries, and commit far fewer violent crimes of any kind. If you include the gangbangers, Americans still commit fewer violent crimes than their developed nation counterparts. The politically incorrect truth is that urban black males at 4% of the population commit nearly three quarters of the violent gun crimes.

  2. David Smith

    The charts look good, but bother me a bit. Partly because it is just so easy to present nice clear numbers that are just plain wrong.

    England is a quick example. Do they allow handguns? No. Is their handgun murder rate lower than ours? Yes. Is their murder rate lower than ours? Yes.

    Sounds good so far.

    What is the general crime rate (especially violent crime rate and very especially “hot entry” crimes) in England? 400% greater than ours.

    Now ask yourself: Do you trust a pretty graph just because it looks good and might (repeat that: might) be correct?

    • Oh I know that – I posted some interesting statistics on violent crime in England just a few days ago. But the numbers are interesting – using the same statistic I cited before, check out Switzerland’s gun ownership – third in the world, and those are mostly fully-automatic “assault rifles” yet one of the lowest murder rates. It’s not the number of guns, but who’s using them. And that makes it a people problem, not a gun problem.

    • Anonymous


      A chart further down the page clears up the apparent contradiction. Three countries with handgun bans: Belarus, Luxembourg and Russia, have substantially higher murder rates per 100,000 people than some other European countries with no ban: Poland, Belgium, France, Germany, Finland and Norway.

  3. Inagua

    Anonymous – What is the source of the assertion that “urban black males at 4% of the population commit nearly three quarters of the violent gun crimes?”

    I strongly suspect that it is true, but I have never seen anyone so politically incorrect as to study this or report on it. Certainly the compiler of these charts only hinted at the racial component of gun crime. First, American gun numbers were compared to gun numbers in only extremely white countries, and second the charts showed that gun crime in America was most prevalent in places like Detroit, Newark, Baltimore, and New Orleans.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Inagua
      Here is a start.

      While the figure cited above is for all gun crime, here are some citations beginning with homicide.

      Depending on time period selected, in the modern era, African Americans as a total percentage of the U.S. population have basically stayed around 12.9%, +/- a few tenths of a percentage. US Census Bureau.

      The percentage of African American males 15 – 40 is about 4%, again +/- a couple of tenths. They account for the majority of violent crime. The 15 – 18 cohort of African American males account for the “child victims of gun violence,” meme.

      In New York City with a ~13% African American population, of the murders committed between 2003 – 2011, 61% of perpetrators were African American, 29% were Hispanic, whites 7%, Asians 3%. 80% of perpetrators were under age 44. This from the New York Times.

      From the US DoJ for the period 1976 – 2005, African Americans as a percentage of homicide perpetrators, varied from slightly above 50% to almost 60%

      If you add in other violent crimes, armed robbery, assault, etc., young African American males just really dominate the numbers.

      Urban black Chicago has Newtown scale killings monthly.

      It’s not pretty.

      There is no honesty in the “open gun dialog” proposed by the American left. It’s a lecture, and it’s a profoundly dishonest polemic.

      • David Smith

        You think it’s ugly?

        Normalize the statistics (I’ll wait) and then tell me what you think.

        Hint: It’s uglier (sp)

      • Inagua

        Anonymous – Nice work. Thanks.

      • David Smith

        Since I don’t have absolutely correct numbers, let’s use the most generous from above: 13%, 50%.

        Normalize those numbers (divide 50% by 13%) you get 3.8.

        Normalize everyone else (divide 50% by 87%) you get .57.

        Divide 3.8 by .57 and you get the politically incorrect statistic that blacks (no particular group in this simple analysis) are 6.6 times more likely per capita to commit homicide.

        For those who don’t know, the above is just getting per capita adjustment for differences in percent of population. Leaving it out is one of the common ways of generating “statistics” that look good but are essentially (although not mathematically) wrong in your favor.

  4. Anonymous

    So while the problem in the U.S. is murders via handgun, mostly in the inner-city, drug/gang-related, committed by young African-American and Latino males, we’re going to go after assault weapons to appease a small group of people who, while understandably full of anger and outrage, probably can’t be troubled to turn off the emotion for one second and look at the data. Why am I not surprised? A quote in today’s New Canaan Patch, from a mother of one of the Newtown victims sums it up pretty well: “”There is no perspective more meaningful in this process (of enacting new gun control laws) than that of a parent who has lost a child.” I wish I could agree.

  5. Artie

    One of the charts / factoids that I found interesting was that only 11 states require a permit to purchase or possess a firearm. Surprisingly, of the states with the highest gun-related deaths, none require a permit (MD, FL, MI, LA, NV). Oh, wait – maybe that isn’t surprising at all!

    I, honestly, didn’t know that only 11 states require permits. I grew up in NY, and now live in NJ – I knew that both of those states require permits, but let’s also be honest – how difficult is it for someone to drive to PA, or DE to buy a gun when they live so close?

    Here is where I think we have an opportunity to change. I would think that most of the gun owners who come on this site are in the metropolitan NY area and have a permit for their weapons. Until recently, I didn’t realize what went into getting a permit. While I think that continued education for gun owners would be a good idea, I think that getting the other 39 states on-board with requiring the same type of training that we require is job #1.

    I am willing to bet that a lot of people would be satisfied knowing that gun owners have undergone a modicum of training in firearm safety, etc. – I would. I think that a federal requirement that gun owners be licensed wouldn’t seem all that unreasonable to most people. If the president suggested such a thing (since it is the federal government that gives the right to bear arms) – what would gun owners think?

    (If there is no compromise, I have a feeling that the government will start taxing gun and ammunition sales at a very high rate, pricing people out of gun use, if not ownership.)

    • Anonymous

      Correction: According to the Constitution, the federal government does not grant the right to bear arms. The people are in possession of that right preceding the existence of a federal government. The Constitution merely states that the right “shall not be infringed,” by the government. The right existed before the government and cannot be abrogated by the government. .

      • Artie

        I believe the Constitution sets the rules for the Republic, you, I assume think that it is part of common law. Fine. I think that The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is a federal provision.

        What do you think about the rest of my statement?

    • Anonymous

      Why would the good thinking folks of Wyoming, Texas, or rural Pennsylvania agree to have their rights arbitrarily defined by some random person from metropolitan New York?

      • Artie

        I didn’t realize that my location had anything to do with it. I’m not trying to define a right, I’m trying to find a middle ground for everyone to agree on. What are you trying to do?

        I guess the question I ask myself is, “What right is more important, my right to safety from violence across my country, or my right to own a firearm across my country?” My initial thought is that my right to safety trumps my right to own a gun without any training, etc…

        Don’t people in Wyoming, Texas and rural Pennsylvania (why not urban PA, I’m not sure) have licenses for other things? Does my needing a license to drive a vehicle lessen my rights to drive? I don’t think that it does.

        • And how is your “right” to safety ensured by limiting gun ownership to criminals? How does your perception of safety trump my right of self-defense?

          • Artie

            As I said, my initial thought leans toward my safety.

            Doesn’t anyone think of anyone but themselves any more? I’m getting sick of juvenile answers like, “We’ll I need a 30 bullet clip for my pistol because, well, I want it and its my right as a citizen.” (That particular quote is not from this site, to be fair about the people here)

            I don’t think that licensing guns is out of the question. CF, you have no trouble with it in CT, why would it bother you in PA?

            I struggle with the question of whose right trumps whose. My right to safety from untrained guns doesn’t hurt you. My right to a gun without training might very well hurt someone.

          • Artie, I had no problem with licensing gun owners until the legislators started passing laws to confiscate all guns. The only guns that they’ll know about to confiscate are those who obey the law and register. So why would anyone voluntarily do that?

          • Artie

            Confiscating guns? I haven’t seen that.

          • Then you’re not reading these posts and the links therein.

          • Artie

            Hard to keep up with it all, it’s true. One might think that gun confiscation might have made one of the big newspapers or possibly the tv news.

          • One might think that, if one had never read a big newspaper or tv news.

  6. D

    Freakonomics addresses this a bit when they discuss the connection between increased abortion and decreased crime…

    Wish the discussion was more honest. This new law for NY is a travesty. Tramples on our second amendment rights while making no one safer.

    • Anonymous

      I was thinking about the Freakonomics item as I was reading these comments. I am glad someone posted it as it makes total sense.