Police crime scene
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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A couple of things do seem clear. One is that too many Americans are using guns in situations that don’t call for firepower — like moving the gifts at a baby shower, or getting cut off on I-95 — because too many Americans have guns in the first place. That 30% rise in murders happened during a 2020 in which 40 million Americans — a roughly 40% increase — bought guns, and 2021 has seen no slowdown, thanks in part to the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill. Thus, reducing guns will need to be part of any solution, even though most of the current gun-control proposals largely tinker on the margins, and lawmakers struggle to pass even these.

The other obvious takeaway is that if murder, 2020s-style, is increasingly a matter of people’s inability to control their anger — because of social alienation that only grew worse during the pandemic, or because of frustration over politics or a changing culture or their economic plight — then the traditional tough-on-crime solutions like “broken windows policing” or targeting neighborhoods or tougher sentencing won’t do much good. This might be the moment to take up some Republicans on their occasional cries that mass shootings are a mental-health issue by both investing more money in traditional mental health programs to also look more broadly at what can be done to reduce societal anger and the need for retribution.

The new numbers “suggest that we need to try a lot of things here,” [crime analyst Jeff] Asher told me, adding that some ideas will likely fail but with the idea that “if they fail, fail quickly” so that different approaches can then be tried. The only thing that absolutely will not work is burying our collective heads in the sand. No, America does not have a new crime problem. But when people are turning baby showers into firing ranges, we definitely have a gun violence problem, and a murder crisis that comes with it. The sooner our society agrees on this, the sooner we can solve this.

— Will Bunch in Stop calling America’s murder crisis a ‘crime’ issue. It’s something far worse.

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  1. “2021 has seen no slowdown, thanks in part to the Jan. 6 insurrection” – Huh? Only 1 person shot to death there, which shouldn’t have any significant effect on statistics.

    • Ok…let’s ask ourselves some questions. Are these murders being committed by Ma and Pa recent gun owners? Or are they being committed by people with a history of violence? Felon’s or school teachers? Carpenters or drug dealers?
      Let’s ask this can my new Ruger Pistol act like a Head Hunters Ju Ju mask and will me to commit a crime?
      I feel like I am living in a Night Gallery episode.

      • … you unlock this door with the key of imagination; beyond it is another dimension, a dimension of sound , a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance – of things and ideas, you’ve just crossed into…. The Twilight Zone. Who would have guessed that Rod Serling would become the Nostradamus of our time?

  2. Defunding the police caused more gun sales than anything. The Dems are not wasting any opportunity to vilify law enforcement, look at the southern border and the CBP horse/whip/reins incident.

    While it’s bad policy, I think politically this will guarantee Republican House and Senate wins.

    People want security. If the police can’t provide it, they’ll buy their own at a gun shop.

    • Cato,

      “Defunding the police caused more gun sales than anything.”

      While I agree that calls to “defund the police” were a significant factor, I believe that other factors were equally–if not more–significant.

      I have a neighbor who is pretty Far Left on the political spectrum. They went out and purchased their first firearms at the onset of the pandemic for a different reason: they were concerned that people would lose their jobs/income and food/supplies would become scarce due to the pandemic–either/both of which would quickly lead to a huge increase in people attempting to steal food/supplies by force. Thus they went out and purchased firearms for self-protection to reduce the risk to themselves. I am confident that this very same mindset drove many other people to purchase their first firearms.

      I also know of other people who purchased their first firearms because they saw a huge increase in violent attacks and demonstrations and wanted firearms “just in case”. If anything, municipalities ordering their police to stand down (mirroring the sentiment, “… [give] those who wished to destroy space to do that …,” — Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, April, 2019) was a much greater factor than later calls to “defund the police”.

      Finally, I do know of many people also purchasing firearms as a direct response to the “defund the police” movement.

      In my humble opinion, I believe all three factors played approximately equal roles in driving people to purchase firearms.

      • Uncommon,
        I regularly checked online gun inventory and prices last year. There was a quick sellout and price increase at the beginning of the pandemic. When the Floyd incident happened, inventory was coming back and things were settling down. Then the mostly peaceful, but fiery protests began, and it was a different story. Then factor in a presidential election with one side being extremely vocal about gun control…

        I’ve noticed the media will always blame it on the pandemic because they prefer to pretend like the violent mobs didn’t burn down communities last year.

    • No, no, no, no, it was the ‘January 6 insurrection’ (2021) that spurred all those record gun sales in 2020.

    • Cato, the problem is way too many people actually believe them when they vilify law enforcement like that. It takes awhile for the truth to come out. By that time, the media has moved on to the next fake crisis to distract from the real crises that their preferred political party is busy creating.

      • I don’t think many people want to live without police protection. Even people in mostly minority neighborhoods have said want more police presence not less.

        The media has played a role in the narrative for sure, but I believe people are buying guns not because there are already too many guns on the street, but because there are too many criminals and not enough cops.

        • That just tells me that more people are waking up to reality.

          Guns on the street…lol

          Not only have I never seen one in the middle of the road, that is a description of armed gang members. When someone locks up their collection in a safe, do you think they are out ‘on the street’?

        • Bear in mind what the phrase ‘on the street’ actually means. ‘The street’ is not Main Street in Mayberry, or Maple Street in Small Town, USA, it’s ‘the street’ of inner-city Chicago, or Baltimore, or Detroit, or Oakland, or Atlanta, or any other Liberal Progressive enclave overrun with Yutes of Color. The Left is merely trying to obfuscate their failure by conflating the two as if they were exactly the same–which they are, of course, NOT.

          Leftist euphemisms are wonderful things until you discern the REAL ‘systemic racism’ behind them.

  3. Look for patterns and form a diagnosis.
    Are these increases predominantly localized in certain regions?
    If so what has changed in policing in these areas over the last year or two?
    Do these incidents predominantly involve certain demographics?

    No, we can’t do that.
    Just label grandpa in Bangor a Nazi and lock him up. That’ll do the trick.

  4. Gun Control zealots are comfortable calling for bans following shootings because so called defenders of the Second Amendment have sat back and allowed the Second Amendment, Crime and Gun Control to be mixed together to form a tangled up ball of confusion. A ball of confusion the sneaky democRat Party has used for decades to hang crime and racism around the neck of those who support the Second Amendment.

    Following a firearm related tragedy the democRat Party and their media cohorts set the pace and confused well meaning Gun Owners are all over the map swatting at flies attempting to defend their rights while Gun Control and its diabolical baggage skates by without a scratch.

    Once the ball of confusion is untangled Gun Control is alone out in the open where it can be crushed by its own weight.

    1) The Second Amendment is one thing.

    2) The criminal misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, etc. is another thing.

    3) History Confirms Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is a racist and nazi based Thing.

  5. I have an idea…says democrat governors that are having “gun violence problems”. Why don’t we let prisoners out of jail because of covid? That should work, No? How about if we open up the southern border? We will get replacement voters and the chaos in the cities! It will be a win win situation for us, No? How about if we get the “media” to tell the people on an hourly basis how evil the gun owners are? We’ll key on anything that a gun is used in whether it is a law enforcement interaction or citizen; if a cop shoots a suspect during the course even better! Lastly, let’s defund the police…once the chaos ensues we will have federal forces come in a quell it…win win for big gov’t!

    • I rolled over and farted around 2am this morning. Less then a second later, a ladder in my garage fell off the ceiling hooks.
      I’m SURE my fart knocked that ladder off the hooks. 🤪

      Are you trying to say my fart DIDN’T knock a ladder off the garage ceiling on the other end of house? 🤔

    • Stupid evil F’er uses a one year INCREMENTAL year-to-year increase (40%) in gun sales to try to tie it to the 30% increase in TOTAL murders. He’s hoping that many people are dumb enough to think “Oh yeah, 40% and 30% are similar numbers so that must be the cause”.

      Of coarse the % increase of “TOTAL” supply of guns is well under 10% but that wouldn’t support his lies.

      But he’s probably thinking, if Biden/Harris can get away with the bald face lies about the border control horses then this lie will easily pass.

      • “No one in this world, so far as I know … has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”

        The leftards base are some of the dogsh!t dumbest people to have ever walked on the face of this earth. Many even have college degrees.🤔

    • The author is clearly deranged, and should be commanded by a court of law to attend reality training and counseling for substance abuse, as well as having all firearms and vehicles impounded and donated to charity.

  6. The author ignores the fact that most of the people actually doing these shootings are felons OUT ON BAIL who did not legally purchase their guns. One of the recent changes has been “bail reform” which was needed BUT should not extend to multiple violent felons.

  7. Previously when violent crime was trending downward while firearm ownership increased, we were told that firearm ownership did not necessarily cause the drop in crime and that correlation was not causation. Now the violent crime is trending up while firearm sales are increasing and we now have correlation with causation.

    They forget what happened, the protests, release of violent criminals from prison for the criminals safety, the lack of charging violent offenders and the overall lack of civility we are still seeing. But those people who are passing background checks are the problem here.

    Just remember, you and I are why people are committing these crimes. If we didn’t have our firearms those people wouldn’t be murdering each other. That is the narrative they are pushing

    • “Just remember, you and I are why people are committing these crimes. If we didn’t have our firearms those people wouldn’t be murdering each other. That is the narrative they are pushing.”

      Yep, and here it is :

      “Thus, reducing guns will need to be part of any solution, even though most of the current gun-control proposals largely tinker on the margins, and lawmakers struggle to pass even these.”

      We need to encourage them to go big or go home.

      They must show the testicular fortitude to do what they think needs to be done. Since most murders happen with handguns, they must propose to ban every pistol in existence.

      Then we can kick back, pop a beer, and watch the biggest riot in history… 😉

      • More precisely, since a huge percentage of firearm homicides are young black men shooting young black men, we simply need to outlaw firearm possession by young black men, and outlaw young black men getting shot. Because, see, passing a law about something takes care of it forever, regardless of whether the law makes any sense or is even enforceable.

  8. There’s more horseshit to unpack in that quote than Joe Biden’s condemnation of the mounted Border Patrol agents.

    • And as of this morning, 18, 000 people just magically “disappeared”…. gee, I wonder where they all may have gone.

      • I was on the interstate the other day and was coming up on several tour buses in a row. I thought that’s odd to see so many. Then I went to pass them, and there were actually the same buses stretched as far as I could see. I had to exit so I wasn’t able to see the total number.

        • Hopefully they were all headed to the same destination, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. “See the big building over there? Lunch will be at noon, have your list of the free stuff you want ready immediately after. And be sure you do not take ‘no’ for an answer, those people are only there to serve you! Always travel in groups of over 100, so they cannot simply ignore you, and chant very loud and continuously, while simultaneously shaking your fists.”

      • Maybe Sleepy Joe can strike a deal with the Talaban – 18,000 unruly Haitians for the rest of the Americans trapped in Afghanistan?

  9. People are NOT being murdered because of covid, Jan6, Trump, a pandemic, or guns.

    It absolutely IS a crime problem. Criminals in Washington and all across the country calling themselves Democrats making sure criminals at all levels are free to take lives with little to no consequence. They purposely let loose killers upon society and then tell us how murder rates go up.

    The problem is coming from the left.

  10. Not sure what Dan’s point is here but I think he is way off base. First off when you allow illegals, refugees, drug dealers, human traffickers, and all kinds of unvetted people into the Country what would you expect to happen. Blue cities released criminals into the general population. Rioters in Blue Cities went unchecked and unpunished. So to claim that there is a connection between firearm purchases and firearm related murders is nonsense. Good people haven’t suddenly become animals because they bought a firearm. A better case could be made because for frustration because of Covid-19, loss of jobs, and the abosulute craziness of all the things going on in this Country right now that are negative. I think Dan’s premise and case are shallow at best and simply a mere observation without any research backing.

      • Yeah. When I was 20 (1966) I was excited over all the things I expected my future to bring. If I were 20 today I would be depressed, wondering if I could make it through my life before everything turned to shit.

  11. Keep in mind that violent crime and murder were down in early 2020 due to the lock downs and fear of the virus. Then the scientists (LOL) signed a letter stating that it was more important to get out and march for the Marxists than worry about some silly virus. So the murderers had to work overtime to make up for ground lost early in the year.

    Other countries that weren’t focused on a cultural revolution had less violent crime last year.

  12. So…to be utterly and totally non-PC…can we please get a breakdown on the geographics and demographics of those being killed and those doing the killing? At least on the ones where this information is known.
    Oh wait…that would probably be racist somehow…because math is racist these days…or so I have seen/read elsewhere.

  13. We don’t need to ban guns. We need to ban the people who misuse guns. Even if it were possible to deprive them of firearms, it won’t stop someone a foot taller, 100 pounds heavier and 50 years younger from beating me to death in a fit of rage. On the other hand, if we’re both armed, I figure I have at least a 50/50 chance of survival.

    I came across a YouTube surveillance video of an angry customer at a fast food restaurant beating one of the workers because his order took too long. The attack ceased when another coworker produced a handgun. Nobody got shot because the gun was enough to de-escalate the situation.

  14. “Killing is a matter of will, not weapons.
    You cannot control the act itself
    by passing laws about the means employed.”
    The late Col Jeff Cooper, 1958
    Handgun expert and founder of Gunsite Academy

    The following comment by Bill O’Reilly explains the huge growth in firearms purchases:

    For once I agree with Bill O’Reilly. Bad guys shooting people is the price of freedom. Liberty is risky business. That’s why our Founding Fathers recognized our God-given right to shoot back.

    We The Little Peeps just preparing to exercise our God-given right to shoot back…..criminals or politicians……Oooops, I repeat myself , they’re one in the same.

    • “If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim.”
      — Jeff Cooper

  15. There’s a lot of ignorant assumptions, baseless assertions and not one shred of evidence from this “journalist.” There’s a reason gun laws don’t stand a chance: no one buys thistle of B. S.

  16. Reading up on Mr. Will Bunch a little and it is blatantly obvious that he’s as out of touch as a “journalist” can be. He considers just about anything to the right of Karl Marx to be “right wing radicalism” and is all for restricting any and every inalienable right so that he can feel better. What he wants is an authoritarian government, a “pacified” population and his own little journalistic fiefdom. Pitiful.

  17. I don’t wish ill will on anybody, but by advocating the disarmament of us good guys, this Bunch fellow is risking experiencing an epiphany that will leave him a neo-con.

  18. I guess all the guns I’ve owned over the last 60 years have been fat, dumb and lazy. Never once have any of them jumped out of the safe, gun cabinet, off the wall rack, out of the truck, or off the night stand and ran out to commit some crime.
    Fact is, every instance of gun violence the gun had a human holding it. So, perhaps we don’t have a gun problem, but, a human problem. With humans committing crimes while in possession of weapons. Blaming the gun for crime makes about as much sense as blaming the car for the hit and run, or blaming the hammer for your busted thumb.
    Start holding the criminal accountable for the crime, and not the hardware.

  19. I’m confused. According to dacian and miner49er gun ownership is in decline in the US. It’s only a handful of old white guys that own all the guns.

    Now this putz is telling me that guns are everywhere and 40 million new gun owners were generated last year.

    Head scratch worthy, ain’t it?

  20. So, I gather that Will Bunch writes analysis pieces in between crayon sampling and hits off a meth pipe.

    Whoever he is, he’s a perfect example of exactly the problem you’ve seen for the last two years: This country is run by a bunch of incompetent children and has been for decades.

    Ah well, stay out of the cities. They’re only going to get worse.

  21. “Former White House press secretary and Fox News contributor Kayleigh McEnany deleted a tweet blaming President Joe Biden for a spike in U.S. murders that occurred under her former boss, then-President Donald Trump.

    As CNN’s Brian Stelter noted, McEnany quote-tweeted a post Thursday morning from Axios reporter Lachlan Markay that highlighted a New York Times graphic showing a significant surge in the number of US murders in 2020 to her 1.1 million followers.

    She wrote: “The U.S. murder rate under Joe Biden…” about the graphic before deleting the tweet, presumably after realizing that Trump was president that year.”

    That stat represents the largest year-over-year increase in murders documented since the FBI began collecting yearly data on murders and far surpasses the previous record of 12.7 percent increase in the number of murders in a year, set in 1968.

    The US murder rate, defined by the number of murders per 100,000 people, still remains lower than the all-time peak in the 1990s.

    The data show that 77% of the murders in 2020 were committed with firearms, The Times said, reporting that the rise in murders was not driven by any particular regions but was nationwide. Overall crime, however, slightly declined.

    McEnany, who served as press secretary from April 2020 to the end of the Trump presidency, was accused many times of stretching the truth or outright lying from the podium.”

      • “The US murder rate….. still remains lower than the all-time peak in the 1990s.”

        What a Victory for Biden.

        It’s still below the ALL TIME HIGH!

        This is cause for celebration!


    • Since you guys are trying to blame this on Trump, then please explain which policies of his led to this. Everyone here knows, just like the Times knows, which policies led to this. It’s the local policies in Democrat-controlled cities and states that let violent criminals loose and gives them a slap on the wrist when they’re caught again, and again, and again. The Times is lying about the nationwide crime rate increase. It’s in select regions nationwide. Guess which ones.

  22. Definitely has nothing to do with releasing violent criminals from confinement and on to our streets . . . .

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