Choosing The Way You Look at Gun Crime Data: Quote of the Day

“Regardless, the data above shows that since the early 1990s, non-gun homicides have seen a steady decline in terms of raw numbers and rates with the exception of the year of the Sept. 11 attacks. Gun homicides, however, have been much more volatile, with several periods of increase and decrease.

“The spike in gun homicides in the last two years could simply be a more extreme case of that volatility. Or, it could be an inflection point, indicating that firearms have become so numerous in society that they’re more readily available than ever to people wanting to do ill with them. If that’s the case, we might expect to see gun homicides continue to increase even as other forms of homicide become more rare.” – Christopher Ingraham in Guns are responsible for the largest share of U.S. homicides in over 80 years, federal mortality data shows [via washingtonpost.com]

comments

  1. avatar Asdf says:

    They had to been counting suicides in that data.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      They are. Their numbers don’t match what the FBI actually published.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Do you have a comparison handy? I would like to shove that data up someone’s nose.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          Here ya go.

          https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/table-1

          FBI table 1 and these clowns don’t agree… in this case, I trust the FBI.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Thank you for the assist!

    2. avatar Felix says:

      Gun deaths every year are around 30K, homicides are 1/3, in rough numbers. There chart shows the last few years just above 10K with the last couple of years just under 15K.

      No, they are not including suicides.

      1. avatar Dev says:

        They aren’t counting something right, compared to the FBIs stats just like pwrserge said.These charts aren’t very close to the FBI’s published data.

    3. avatar Joe R. says:

      Wait. This sh_t’s from (1 of the many Fake News) WaPo and we’re talking about why the data doesn’t match up?

      WaPo is (one of) the problem.
      The problem doesn’t get to define the problem.
      The problem doesn’t get to offer solutions.

    4. avatar Lawrence Ness says:

      Why shouldn’t they count suicides? Studies in civilized countries show that if you take away the most readily available modes of suicides, then the suicide rates go down (people don’t automatically substitute another method). Of course, if you think that people who want to kill themselves should not be impeded, then this wouldn’t matter, as long as they pay cash for their guns.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Homicide is one homo sapien (?) killing another. Suicide is self-killing. The two categories should not be mixed together unless calculating total deaths.

        BTW, if someone wants to checkout, don’t get in their way. Don’t make it hard by restricting the methods available. Freedom is freedom, after all.

      2. avatar Miguel Levy says:

        Unless statistics have changed recently, the suicide rate in Japan is higher than in the United States. And since guns are not available, the Japanese use subways and trains as the means for committing suicide. (Not good for commuters trying to get to work on time!) So making guns unavailable does not necessarily reduce the suicide rate. Cultural factors are clearly much more important than gun availability, and that is true not just for suicides but also for homicides. The high homicide rates in urban black ghettos and Latino barrios are not due to higher gun availability in those ares; they are due to black and Latino cultural values. Until those change, homicide rates will remain high, and stricter gun control laws will only affect law-abiding people. And not coincidentally, they will encourage otherwise law-abiding people to violate the law. Just look at the compliance rate for semi-automatic rifle registration in New York: reportedly as low as 5%.

        1. avatar E says:

          Exacaly! South Korea surpassed Japan in suicide rates a few years ago. And yes, having to wait for the LE and the coroner to clean up the mess after a suicide on the rails is very annoying, a little scary and depressing . I have experienced that several times in Seoul.

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    Yes… and I’m sure that cars cause the overwhelming majority of traffic fatalities. Clearly we need to go back to the horse and buggy.

    I would point out that “gun free” London now has a higher homicide rate than most of the US.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      No, just higher (by one) than NY, which has a pretty low homicide rate for a city as large as it is. London’s homicide rate is much lower than Chicago, Baltimore or LA.

      1. avatar Evey259 says:

        Are you aware of what “per capita” means?

      2. avatar pwrserge says:

        What part of “most of the US” didn’t you understand? The AVERAGE homicide rate in the US is LOWER than the homicide rate in “gun free” London.

      3. avatar Lawrence Ness says:

        Your comparison is ridiculous – you are comparing a city (always more violent) to a country. A better comparison would be UK to US (5 times lower in UK).

  3. avatar No one of consequence says:

    So? There were no homicides by guns before guns were invented.

  4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Or it could be the Ferguson effect.

  5. avatar AZD says:

    Based on this and previous articles by this guy, I have have determined he is a Class “A” navel gazer. Useless to the real world, sitting around writing interesting sounding nonsense, pretending to know something about something. Before joining the propagandists at the Washington Post, he worked at Brookings and Pew. So basically, a lifetime of navel gazing.

  6. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    The article is the usual anti BS.

    What is interesting is reading the posts after the article. There are people of color who live in dangerous neighborhoods countering the anti fools with real world experience.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      They had better be. Seems like a valuable subset of this fine “research” would be a third line, of how many of those homicides were black men killing black men. Which could promptly be utilized by some demagogue to suggest a common sense solution which would not involve 85% of the country.

  7. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Reporting that there’s a trend before there is a trend. Oh, but there could be a trend. And then again, there might not be. He’s just sayin’.

  8. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    They also failed to account for the vast increase in population since the early nineteen-hundreds as well. In 1900 the u.s. population stood at 76 million, in 2010 the u.s. population had increased to 327 million.

    Never trust numbers supplied by anti-gun people, since the data doesn’t support what they want, they just lie.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      That top graph might be somewhat useful if it had a population line on it.

      From what I can gather, adjusting for population growth, there are two historical drivers of increased ‘gun violence’ – Prohibition and the War on Drugs. Gangs fight wars and wars are fought with g uns. Death by kitchen knives or baseball bats tend to be crimes of passion and are less susceptible to major swings. And as I pointed out above, if there is a current upswing it’s almost certainly due to the Ferguson effect.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        That top graph is a work of fiction. The homicide numbers add up to more than what is reported by the FBI.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Wasn’t commenting on the accuracy of the numbers. It looks like they’re much higher than the homicide numbers I’ve seen but lower than the ‘gundeaths’ numbers that include suicides. But assuming that the calculus for the numbers was constant, the graph is still meaningless without population line. Looks to me like the Prohibition years were probably quite a bit worse than any of my lifetime. Or not. The numbers are probably garbage.

      2. avatar tdiinva says:

        There was a greater spike in the homicide rate in the decade before Prohibition as the Italians and Jews went to war against the established Irish mob. It isn’t clear that the rate would have been any different if the 19th Amendment had never happened. Alcohol was a profitable sideline but compared to gambling, juice and protection it wasn’t that big of a deal. The big spike on the 80’s occured coincident with the decline in the Italio-Jewish mob brought on the successful federal prosecution.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Again, assuming that the graphs aren’t total hogwash, it looks like homicides were on the rise before Prohibition, but then so was population. Then at the end of Prohibition it drops dramatically until the end of WWII. There’s a bump up in the late 40s but it stays pretty low until the mid-60s, right about the time of the Great Society and shortly before the War on Drugs. It dips a bit in the early 80s but spikes even higher in the late 80s and early 90s, during the crack epidemic, then drops, probably due to the soothing sounds of Bill Clinton’s saxophone. The only significant social effect I can think of in the last couple of years is the Ferguson effect, unless it takes several years for all those new g uns B. O’Bama sold to get up the gumption to shoot people.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          The homicide rate tripled between 1910 and 1919. Organized crime may exploit banned activities but there is more to organized crime than drugs. If the war on drugs were the cause of high homicide rates then homicides would be more uniformly spread across the population. They are not. Areas controlled by Hispanic gangs gave much lower homicide rates than their black equivalents.

  9. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    Notice the sharp uptick around 1965?

    I’m sure it doesn’t correlate with the passing of the 1965 immigration act and the subsequent invasion of low IQ 3rd worlders.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Wrong, It was baby boomers reaching prime crime years.

  10. avatar General Zod says:

    So…the people who weren’t killed with guns are somehow less dead? The fact is, all violent crime is on a steady decline since the late 80s.

  11. avatar Jonathan Webber says:

    What is not addressed is the question of who is dying, and the answer is African Americans in far greater numbers that whites when it comes to firearm homicides. A Black man is over 10 times more likely to be murdered by a firearm than is a white man and the murders are not cross-race.
    Why is no one talkking about this?

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Because then you would have to put MORE blacks in prison (or execute them) which makes it marginally more difficult to vote them dem. Might also have cut off their dope/pot.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Couldn’t we just pass a common sense law that prohibits blacks from using guns to kill each other? Knives, machetes, bows and arrows, etc are OK, right?

  12. avatar Sgt of Marines says:

    Figures like and liars figure.

  13. avatar W D Belcher says:

    It is certainly bogus information without a population line as the per capita number is always a factor used when Liberals argue about the low gun deaths in other countries by comparison. The immigration factor would also be good added information since drug cartels and groups like MS13 have been a major factor in crime overall. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to see the dates so called gun control laws, gun free zones, etc. started and grew across the country. Right now these numbers mean absolutely nothing. To much data left out. On purpose? Most likely.

  14. avatar Rickster A-15 says:

    Lies and the left. Sounds like a book in the making.

  15. avatar Ted says:

    Just remember that homicides include both justifiable and non-justifiable killings. Law enforcement killings would also be included.

  16. avatar 33Charlemagne says:

    Whenever I read the terms “gun violence” or “gun homicide” I know that it is likley the author is trying to make a political rather than a criminological point. Violence is violence and homicide is homicide no matter what means are used! The faulty assumption beneath this whole “gun homicide” line of argument is the belief that if criminals did not have guns they would not harm others.

    Guns ultimately provide a greater competitive advantage to prospective victims than to their attackers. Assailants get to select those potential victims who are least able to defend themselves and choose where and when they attack whereas victims do not have that choice. A gun gives an 85lb. woman a chance against a 220lb. man she would not have if they were both unarmed.

  17. avatar GS650G says:

    People are going to off each other no matter how many hands are wrung or pearls are clutched.

  18. avatar James Burton Climer says:

    What’s the percentage of the population 1910 to 2016, how many gun crimes are committed by illegals, by gangs, drug wars, also where is the author pulling his data from?
    Not the FBI, it don’t match.
    Is the author counting sucides in his research, accidental gun deaths he says he’s not but where is his listed data at.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      There weren’t many illegals but there was an influx of criminals among legal immigrants from Italy and Russia. Drugs were legal and so was gambling in many places. Organized crime happens whether drug’s et al are illegal or not.

  19. avatar neiowa says:

    “via washingtonpost.com” (or NY Times)= disregard all that follows.

  20. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    Please note the dip in the late 50s, before most gun control was even a twinkle in Washington’s eye.

  21. avatar Michael J Bacon says:

    Even Dr. Phil stated on his show the only commonality in mass shootings is the shooter is a narcissist. The stats in article come from Center for Disease Control. According to a report by CNN of the 34 deadliest single day mass shootings since 1949 a total of 32 have happened since 1982, the Me Generation period in time. The period in time narcissism has increased in America. These shootings had 8 or more victims. Only 6 of these shootings happened at schools including universities. Only 6 involved killing a relative. One was a robbery. The deadliest was the Vegas shooting by a rich narcissist that killed 58 than himself. Timothy McVeigh killed 168 in Oklahoma with a bomb made of fertilizer.

  22. avatar Andy C. says:

    Look at the title: “Guns are responsible…” The bias is obvious at the outset.

    Guns are not responsible–or irresponsible.

  23. avatar Higgs says:

    The graphs clearly state they are the CDC numbers

    I looked online at the CDC wonder tool and it clasifies 3 causes of fireamrs death.

    Assault by handgun discharge X93
    Assault by rifle, shotgun and larger firearm discharge X94
    Assault by other and unspecified firearm discharge X95

    in the graph they show is consistant with the numbers in the CDC data.

    I do believe this is a medical definition of homicide so it most likly would include self defense uses. Its also possible that some suicides might be included because in all the years the largest number was always the X95 Assault by other and unspecified firearm discharge, which in my opinion might include some suicides because it is unspecified.

    The share of homicides is a interesting, but completely useless number.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “The share of homicides is a interesting, but completely useless number.”

      Doesn’t a rise in homicide from gun use work to our advantage? Strong indication that we have good reason to be armed for self-defense?

      1. avatar higgs says:

        You can try to use it that way, but the share of homicide data is limited by the underlying data in my opinion. Because of the unknown content of X95 Assault by other and unspecified firearm no accurate conclusions can be made.

        Its possible that the X95 number shows a growing trend of homicides justified by self defense, which would be good for the pro gun argument if you see an associated decline in violent crimes. But you need to use crime based data for this type of analysis. This is cause of death, IE health data. it only tracks the cause of death, not if its justified.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Thinking that the “data” include defensive gun use, driving the number of homicides up, meaning homicides are increasing, and people need to be able to effectively counter the rise in homicides.

          Using indistinct data against those who cannot analyze data anyway, seems a viable approach.

  24. avatar Ed Earl says:

    Sorry, WaPo. WRONG AGAIN! Guns are not responsible for a single Homicide during the past 80 years.
    By definition, Homicide is the killing of one human being by another human being. Guns are not human beings. Guns are inanimate objects. They are incapable of intent or independent action.

  25. avatar JohnS says:

    You can do your own graph.

    See CDC WISQARS http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html, pick
    ‘Fatal Injuries’, check ‘1999-2016’ for the first set, check ‘Homicide’ then ‘Firearms’, select ‘Year’ for the Output Group.

    You get

    1999 10,828 279,040,238 3.88 3.82
    2000 10,801 282,171,936 3.83 3.78
    2001 11,348 284,968,955 3.98 3.93
    2002 11,829 287,625,193 4.11 4.07
    2003 11,920 290,107,933 4.11 4.07
    2004 11,624 292,805,298 3.97 3.94
    2005 12,352 295,516,599 4.18 4.17
    2006 12,791 298,379,912 4.29 4.27
    2007 12,632 301,231,207 4.19 4.20
    2008 12,179 304,093,966 4.01 4.03
    2009 11,493 306,771,529 3.75 3.78
    2010 11,078 308,747,508 3.59 3.62
    2011 11,068 311,663,358 3.55 3.59
    2012 11,622 313,998,379 3.70 3.76
    2013 11,208 316,204,908 3.54 3.60
    2014 11,008 318,563,456 3.46 3.53
    2015 12,979 320,896,618 4.04 4.14
    2016 14,415 323,127,513 4.46 4.6

    Second to last column is ‘per 100,000 population.

  26. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Neat chart.

    It is, however, only one set of data compared to itself.

    Add some context like a population line? Or an economic indicator. Or even some social context like birth rates or divorce rates.

  27. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Guns are responsible for exactly none of the homicides, ever. Thay do nothing on their own.

    That’s why controlling guns, or any*thing* else, to control deaths doesn’t work.

    Also, “gun deaths” lets the narrative slip. They don’t want you able to do anything yourself. If tbey cared about deaths, they’d say “deaths.” If tbey cared about viopence, they’d track violence. If they cared about people harming others, it would be “homicides” when someone died, or “assault” otherwise. If they cared about people *inflicting* harm on others, they’d track murders – they won’t tack justifiable homicides: violence stopping something worse.

    The real problem with “gun deaths” is that you proles did them. They don’t want you having guns because they don’t want you to have the option to use them, or not.

  28. avatar robert says:

    So, what does the National Safety Council say?
    I always thought vehicular homicides were the largest group. ………………..

  29. avatar E says:

    Suicides are a major component of gun deaths but so are the gangs and crime in democrat strongholds like L.A. and Chicago. Eliminate that component and the U.S. becomes one of the lowest statistics in gun deaths. The very same people who want to abrogate the 2nd Ammendment are also the same ones who enable criminals to acquire and maintain guns and criminal lifestyles not just by default due to their idiotic policies, but in some cases willfully to continue their agendas and status quo.

  30. avatar C says:

    Just heard this yesterday, and I agree: “I carry a gun, because an cop is too heavy to carry!”

  31. avatar Jeff says:

    “Homicide” is a good guy with a gun killing a burglar, robber, rapist, a mass shooter or a person engaged in an illegal activity. If it’s a burglar, robber, rapist, a mass shooter or a person engaged in an illegal activity killing a victim with a gun, it’s called murder. If a statistic like this doesn’t differentiate between these two definitions then it’s complete nonsense. “Homicide” isn’t necessarily a bad thing if a criminal engaged in a crime is killed (so long as it’s justifiable).

    1. avatar E says:

      Exacaly! I believe most homicides are murders, which boosts the gun deaths in the US and which causes it to rate as one of the highest in gun deaths. But even with that information, the US doesn’t even rank as one of the top 10. If gangs and criminals in the democrat-run cities were eliminated, gun deaths would be way below even some of the countries like Norway and Switzerland.

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