The Trace Sets Out to Prove Gun Ownership Makes You Less Safe

Brian Freskos (courtesy thetrace.org)

“Today marks the unfurling of The Trace’s most ambitious undertaking yet,” The Trace’s email blast boldly boasts, “a year-long investigation, created in partnership with more than a dozen NBC TV stations around the country, into the rising theft of firearms from American gun owners.” Their goal to prove that . . .

Americans buy guns for self-defense → carry those guns in public or keep them unsecured and at-the-ready → get robbed of those guns → arm the very criminals they fear.

“We have a society that has become so gun-centric,” former St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told us, “that the guns people buy for themselves get stolen, go into circulation, and make them less safe.”

So don’t keep and bear arms and you’ll be safer! Heck, we’ll all be safer. Well that’s one theory . . .

The Trace journalist collates stolen guns records (courtesy thetrace.org)

A theory that The Trace wants to promote with the help of the aforementioned NBC stations and “journalists, researchers, students, and concerned citizens.”

To that end, The Trace has published a guide to filing annoying records requests. Somehow I don’t think Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun agitpropmeisters will get legions of unpaid workers to do their heavy lifting for them. Literally.

Regardless, this stolen guns reporting is a clear case of blaming the victim. Big style. But what else would you expect from an organization that promotes civilian disarmament for the public good?

comments

  1. avatar rc says:

    Why do I know what conclusions they’ll draw are before they’ve even published them?

    IT MUST BE BECAUSE I’M PSYCHIC!!11!!!

    If you’ll excuse me, I’m investing 10 grand on lotto tonight…my prescience cannot last forever fellers!

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      That’s how real science works. You come up with the conclusion you want to prove, then you search for evidence to support it. That’s why they call it a conclusion, because you come up with it first.

      1. avatar Chris says:

        That’s not how science works. You form a hypothesis and run unbiased experiments which usually lead to more experiments. You continue to follow the data until the results of your experiments either conclusively prove or disprove your original hypothesis. You don’t JUST look for data to prove your hypothesis, you also look for data to disprove it as well.

    2. avatar Madcapp says:

      Having a lawn mower probably makes you less safe too, you can’t accidentally run over your foot if you don’t own one. Ban Lawnmowers, and bicycles too…just for good measure.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        In Australia 50% more people die from cycling accidents than from firearms. But the deaths from intentional self-harm are about 100x and 66x respectively.

        The raw numbers are from a Australian Bureau of Statistics study on the cause of 150,000 reported deaths in 2010-2011.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          Soooo too many bicycles or too much Fosters?

        2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

          The Aussies don’t drink Fosters. They export that garbage to Americans who don’t know any better.

    3. avatar Jean-Claude says:

      If you were psychic you’d only have to buy one lotto ticket.

      Just sayin’.

  2. avatar Jeff O. says:

    Are they saying that without guns my grandfather would have lived to 100 instead of 99 3/4?!

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Absent Russian and German firearms there would certainly be more grandfathers. Without all the American firearms where would be many fewer grandfathers in Eurp

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        neiowa wins the Intertubez for the day.

        The problem with this study propaganda from the The Trace is that they have arbitrarily and severely limited the scope of their study and data.

        Using the same method as The Trace, I can argue that nuclear bombs make us less safe because nuclear bombs have killed more than 2 million people (in Japan at the end of World War II) and saved only about 500,000 U.S. service men/women who would have died invading the Japanese mainland.

        These sorts of “studies” have two MAJOR flaws:
        (1) Lives of evil attackers are just as important as the lives of righteous victims, even though an evil attacker has forfeited his/her right to life once he/she begins taking the life of a righteous victim.
        (2) Countless injuries and lives saved are never anywhere even close to fully counted.

        If almost no one was armed in our nation:
        — How much would that embolden violent criminals to rape, maim, and murder and how many more injuries/deaths would violent criminals cause?
        — How much would that embolden local, state, and our federal government to steal, rape, maim, and murder the populace and how many more victims would that cause?
        — How much would that embolden foreign nations to roll the dice and attack the U.S. military and eventually the U.S. mainland?*
        — How many more injuries/deaths would animals cause?

        * Trivializing the U.S. military and enabling invasion of our mainland, while difficult and costly, is a lot simpler than it sounds. Think about it.

        1. avatar Chris says:

          Just look at the stats for violent home invasions while someone is home, They are astronomical in countries with strict gun laws. It’s because criminals want people at home to rob of their personal items they carry with them and in gun restricted locations those people at home are highly unlikely to be armed. In free societies criminals would rather break in when no one is present.

        2. avatar gerald m serlin says:

          To Chris.

          You must be insane. No burgler wants his victims to be present. That is why they try to sneak in and out, without being seen.

  3. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    I think they should go to Chirac and sell their ideas, maybe they would learn something……nah! Not a chance.

  4. avatar TrappedInCommiefornia says:

    And how many firearms does the .gov (all levels) “lose” per year? And how many did Obama and co. sell to the cartels?
    Nevermind, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    1. avatar Bubba Watson says:

      Don’t forget Slick Willie’s Chinese buddy who created the “Thumbhole Spoorter AK47” and imported 440,000 of them from China during the height of the ban. The Hypocrats cannot be trusted about anything.

      1. avatar Jean-Claude says:

        Ah yes, the good old days of Chinese imports. MAK-90s for $300. Cases of Chinese ammo for $75. SKS for less than $100.

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    Sorry but I’ll keep my gats…you lost me at “NBC”.😡

  6. avatar Eli2016 says:

    “….In partnership with more than a dozen NBC stations”. Yeah, okay I’ve read enough. Excuse me while i have a bowel movement.

  7. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    So I can’t have nice things because criminals will want to rob me of those nice things?

    Did I oversimplify it too much?

  8. avatar s says:

    I guess by their logic: If you killed all women, there would be no more rape.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      There would still be rape.

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        If we killed all men there would be even more abuse and sexual harassment because women are worse to each other on average than jerky douchebag guys are.

  9. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    Many criminals are gun owners…illegal gun owners…and they lead dangerous lives….
    And remember…600,000-1M abortions every year in the USA…a leading means of death and destruction
    I a pro-2A and pro-choice…because why be a hypocrite on either side…

  10. avatar Ing says:

    They might as well set out to prove that rapists rape because women provide sex to them. The logic is the same.

    You know they intend to pin blame on the honest, peaceful gun owners who “provide” guns to thieving criminals. When are they going to take the next logical step and start blaming women for providing sex to rapists?

  11. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “The Trace”

    That’s as far as I got…ROFLMFAO…

  12. avatar No one of consequence says:

    You know what? I don’t care. Not that I don’t care what the trace thinks (although I don’t), but I don’t care if I’m less safe with a gun in the house.

    The safest course through life is one without experience of love, exhilaration, friendship, achievement, compassion, and, well, all the things that make life worth living

    My firearm hobby is a significant portion of my life, one that gives me a good deal of fun (I like to tinker), stress relief, and the closest ever I’ve comento a Zen state when concentrating on a rifle shot.

    It’s like how I feel about motorcycling, and how some feel about bicycling, sailing, or playing chess in the park.

    To each his own, choices and consequences. The former are mine, and I accept the latter willingly.

  13. avatar Kyle says:

    I wonder if they realize that even were they to prove that owning a gun is 5000% more unsafe than not owning one adjusting for every conceivable variable, it would still not change much.

    People do things that are unsafe all the time. Smoking, Drinking, Fast driving, Skydiving, Running with Bulls, etc etc etc.

    They will never change america into a gun free zone. They may someday make us criminals, but even then, we’ll be armed criminals.

  14. avatar strych9 says:

    “…carry those guns in public or keep them unsecured and at-the-ready → get robbed of those guns…”

    If the gun is “at the ready” or being carried how, pray tell, is it being stolen?

  15. avatar strych9 says:

    I must be bored.

    With regards to The Trace thing…

    I can’t find all the data on this because, well quite frankly, I’m not getting paid to write this.

    So far as I can tell from the data I’ve dredged up on this topic the best compiled data on firearm theft in correlation to burglary goes back to 1994 and runs through 2010. The trend is a drastic decline according to the US DOJ. ( https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fshbopc0510.pdf ). In fact it would seem that The Trace cherry picked the third lowest year on record (2005) as their starting point.

    Further, if we actually look at raw numbers: In 2016 the FBI says there were 1,515,096 reported burglaries ( https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/table-1). Further, the FBI says that on average from 2005 to 2010 there were, as far as the FBI guesses, 232,400 firearms stolen annually (https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?iid=4534&ty=pbdetail). That means that if we charitably (from The Trace’s perspective) assume that multiple guns were never stolen then we can say that 15.34% of burglaries result in a stolen firearm.

    Now, if we trust WaPo, gun ownership is at it’s lowest point in about 40 years with 36% ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/29/american-gun-ownership-is-now-at-a-30-year-low/?utm_term=.e2ee8e3e8093 ).

    So, 36% of the country owns a gun but only 15.34% of burglaries yield a stolen firearm. I’m not going to actually properly crunch the numbers here and there are a lot of unknowns but if we assume my very charitable numbers to be correct and we assume that everyone, gun owner or not, is at the same risk for burglary then we can say that more than half of all gun owners who are burglarized have taken enough precautions that they don’t lose a gun. Others will have been hit by pros and in those cases you really can’t take enough precautions.

    Long story short: 15.34% of burglaries yield a gun. Really, that’s not very many.

    Also all the trends are not friends of The Trace. If you examine that table I cited burglary overall has dropped significantly since 1997 (as far back as the table goes) and the DOJ also says that gun theft dropped drastically from 1996 to 2010. Considering that burglary overall has dropped from 2,168,459 (701/100K) in 2010 to 1,515,096 (468.9/100K) in 2016 and that gun theft trends tend to follow overall burglary numbers (shocker!) we can actually make a pretty good guesstimate about this. Gun theft tends to follow burglary numbers. Burglary is down ~30% from 2010 and much more than that from 2005. So, 232,400 firearms went missing in 2010 then in 2016 we’d expect to see something on the order of 162,680 stolen firearms, 69,720 less than 2010.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      I’m sure the trace will crow about ‘thousands of guns’ being stolen but never mention that those 160,000 to 250,000 (in round numbers, I’ll take your analysis as given) represent a fraction of a percent of the 300 or more million guns in the country. Sounds a lot scarier to say, “two hundred thousand guns stolen!”, than to say, “slightly less than seven one hundredths of one percent of guns stolen.”

      I suppose they could also state that somewhere between 99.8% and 99.9% of gun owners didn’t have a gun stolen this year but that probably won’t show up in their analysis either.

    2. avatar Excedrine says:

      Thank you. Hope you don’t mind if I steal this. 😛

      This is precisely why I always read the comments. I probably have some 150+ pages of pure gold just like this.

  16. avatar Macofjack says:

    If you blindly believe what the lamestream media tell you, you have more problems than can be fixed on a website!

  17. So having no firearms will make me safer? That’s genius, but I wish this scientific revelation had been known before the world’s all-time greatest reverse-psychology gun salesman Obama hoodwinked me into enriching Big Firearm & Ammo by stockpiling an arsenal in my bunker.

  18. avatar Troubled Soul says:

    I dropped the fire extinguisher on my foot once.
    So I should get rid of it?

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Your foot? Yes. Feet can kill people, you know.

  19. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Crystal Meth , 100℅ Guaranteed to fry your mind. …. Wife beaten,child fckin,gonna rob, just gotta get some more. Burned out, bumbed out, gonna take it out, and kill them by the score. GUNZ AINT THE PROBLEM

  20. avatar DaveL says:

    That must be why the Secret Service is forbidden to carry guns when escorting the President. It would only make him less safe.

  21. There exists no argument to take my gun.

  22. avatar LHW says:

    How about we don’t listen to or hang around with liberals, they seem to be the ones stealing guns and killing people.

  23. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    “The Trace”, still trying to be relevant and won’t be even after this waste of time.

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