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Back in 2002, the Department of Justice released an updated survey on guns and cons. Firearms Use by Offenders was based on face-to-face interviews with 18,326 state and federal prisoners who’d used a firearm in a crime. It remains the only reliable source of information on the type, source and use of guns by convicted criminals. This website has cited the survey many times. If nothing else, it exposes the myth of the “gun show loophole.” Less than one percent of respondents obtained a firearms at a gun show.

Houston’s ABC13.com has attempted to replicate the DOJ gun study, albeit using a statistically irrelevant methodology. “We sent out questionnaires to convicted murderers within a three-hour drive of Houston who’d used a gun,” reporter Ted Oberg told TTAG. “We received 22 completed questionnaires.” A fact that Mr. Oberg’s published/broadcast report somehow fails to mention. [Note: the Houston survey was restricted to felons convicted of murder. The DOJ study interviewed cons who’d used a gun for any offense.]

screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-8-52-28-amThe ABC13 survey has some curious results. The answer “it was stolen” to “where did you get the gun?” doesn’t necessarily mean “I stole the gun.” I think it’s safe to surmise that the guns “bought on the street” were also boosted. Doesn’t that mean that 88 percent of the guns the 22 killers used to take their victims’ life were stolen?

By the same token, the 13 percent “gun store” response doesn’t account for “straw purchases” (guns obtained by sending someone with a clean record into a gun store). While technically not “stolen” or “bought on the street,” guns purchased by a surrogate are illegally sourced.

Where’s “bought at a gun show or online” in this? Right where it was in the DOJ study. Nowhere. [Call me a hopeless pedant, but those numbers add up to 101.]

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The plethora of ex-police fo-tays in the wild — not to mention their popularity in rap music — didn’t seem to influence the Texas killers’ caliber choice. If, indeed, they made a conscious choice from the three alternatives listed (which at least add up to 100 percent). Assuming the reporter meant .40 rather than 40mm.

The fact that all 22 murderers used a handgun to violate at least one of the Ten Commandments is hardly a surprise. The “weapons of war on our streets” gun control hyperbole is just that. The vast majority of criminals opt for a weapon with maximum concealability. FYI here are the DOJ stats on the same question of firearm type.

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Speaking of non-surprises, check out this ABC13.com stat re: the incidence of prohibited persons amongst the survey population, and the distinct lack of respondents who possessed a license to carry.

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A full 10 percent of the 22 killers (2.2?) could have purchased a gun legally. (Not that they did, but they could have.) Does that mean the FBI background check system can’t prohibit a full 10 percent of killers from obtaining firearm? It does. Actually, that statement’s true for 100 percent of these murderers.

Here’s the kicker, drawn from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office database, rather than Houston murderers.

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What does that tell you about the efficacy of gun control laws?

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49 Responses to Houston Killer Survey Reveals Type, Source of Guns Used to Murder

  1. But if we just did away with the 2nd Amendment and gave up all of our guns, there’d be no guns to steal! Then we could all live in a peaceful utopian paradise where everyone resolves their differences by expressing their ‘feelings’.

      • At least the world would be safe to express our feelings by raping and pillaging. No need to worry about grandma and her .38 or those damsels packing LCPs in their garters.

    • You would have to disarm the world. If by some chance all guns were eradicated in the US a yuge black market would open up. Fully automatic AKs from Africa and the Mid East would flow across the Atlantic and stream across our non existent southern boarder. Australia is already experiencing this with biker gangs importing illegal guns into Australia.

      • You’d start seeing organized raids on police and national guard armories again. Not to mention all the abandoned factories and equipment scattered around the country which could easily turn into a serious underground manufacturing ring. They think the garage and basement operations providing the bikies down under with SMGs are a huge issue? Wait until a handful of out of work machinists start turning out similarly simple designs at a skilled professional rate.

      • You’re out of your mind. They banned drugs and there’s never been a black market for them.

  2. It would seem the “gun store” option would also include straw sales. Despite the claim that these folks would never ask a relative to purchase a gun for them, I note there was nothing said about asking a girlfriend to do the same (as has been done in many highly-publicized cases).

    I note the linked article shows another instance of the dreaded “40mm handgun” showing up on the streets (in fairness, it looks like they took that straight off one of the survey forms, where it was recorded in the same way).

    • This is a significant fact! With all the problems the world is experiencing with the assorted varieties of undead, it has to be noted that when you’re killed with a 40mm, you *STAY* dead.

    • No, it’s not lost on Bloomberg and his elitist cronies at all.

      That’s why they all have armed security guards.

  3. Thank you Nine, I was gonna say, Is nobody going to mention the fact that apparently 11% of murderers in the Houston area use grenade launchers in the commission of their crimes?

  4. 22respondents means NOTHING. Zip. Buppkiss. Nada. I remember when I still talked about guns(at the gym)how many guys said their gun was stolen. And yes I HAVE witnessed a straw purchase…

    • Not necessarily — it depends on the size of the population which is being sampled. If N, the total population, is not significantly larger than n, the sample size, then n is significant, e.g. if the total murderers they sent the questionnaire to happened to be something like 30, so N=30, then n=22 is respectable.

      The problem is that nowhere did they indicate how many were sent out, only how many were answered. For that matter, I didn’t see any recognition that convicted murderers may be likely to decide to give erroneous replies just because.

      I got a kick out of the admission/recognition that there was nothing scientific about the poll yet the writer goes ahead and discusses the results as though they meant something.

    • It’s easier to tax the crap out of countries and boss their citizens around when they are defenseless. Look at Venezuela.

    • Thanks for the link, I was still looking up the OLD 21st century Agenda 21. I see the “New & Improved” Agenda 2030 violates our Constitution even better, but not as much as our pResident already does.

  5. No matter how you slice it, both reports highlight the importance of keeping firearms secured while not under your control. If you must leave your handgun in a vehicle please get a locking box, it will at least slow down a thief.
    IIRC there was a survey that showed thieves like prowling the parking lots of “Gun Free” zones because they know there is a good chance a law abiding CCW left their gun in the vehicle.

    • My car door is locked – is that not enough? I don’t want my gun AND my locked box stolen. What if they steal my gun AND my locked box AND my car?

      and…

      Why do I have to be responsible for their actions???

      • I was always under the impression that “locked boxes” were specified only to delay YOU from accessing YOUR firearm, criminals wouldn’t concern themselves with destruction of a $25-$50 box, but you, being required to purchase one, value it much more.

      • You mean like taking seriously that as an inherent inalienable personal right carrying the defense weapon of one;s choice trumps artificial rights such as property? That sounds like a good idea.

        See, if we all manned up and admitted that a government-granted “title” to a place doesn’t mean we can infringe on someone else’s right to self-defense, then it becomes very, very obvious that no government can.

    • Want to know what really slows down a thief?

      Putting him in prison.

      Want to know how to make him even slower?

      Kill him, put him in the ground and call it done.

      Taking action against criminals tends to reduce criminal activity in ways that taking action against inanimate objects will not.

  6. Drugs are illegal. There is no black market for drugs. There also will be no black market for guns. The DEA’s war on drugs was a complete success and not just a ploy to create continuous federal jobs on the taxpayer’s dime. There are no drugs in the US, no cartel, no drug trafficking routes. Also, like drugs, gun’s can’t be manufactured without three hundred thousand dollar equipment in a factory setting.

    (insert laughing here)

    • I know.

      And we’ve had laws against prostitution since wives have been angry at their men for getting sex when the wives didn’t want to put out…. and that’s been, what, 5,000 years ago?

  7. Noteworthy & usefull look into the crime world. No great masterminds or comic book super villians. Nor are they gun picky. Cheap & goes bang is more important when selecting.

  8. “[Call me a hopeless pedant, but those numbers add up to 101.]”

    If journalists could do basic arithmetic, they would have got a real degree in college instead of wasting their time on “communication studies”.

    • No so fast: due to the rues on rounding, it’s possible to total subpopulations to more than 100% of the population.

      Though more likely it’s that journalists round when they shouldn’t and do it wrong.

  9. How many voted for Barry or would if they could? How many voted for Barry illegally several times in one day?
    Maybe we need to close the voting loophole with proper identification.

    • “Proper identification” for voting would have to be something that couldn’t be lost or stolen. Personally, I like the idea of thumb scans; the trick would be converting without leaving out any eligible voters (which is one of the BIG problems with the current systems for requiring voter ID).

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