Let’s Compare Homicide Rates in Medium Size Red and Blue Cities

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Let’s talk about homicide rates in red cities vs. blue cities of similar size.

The biggest cities in America are almost entirely Democrat-controlled. Of all cities with over 500,000 people — 36 in total — only four have Republican mayors. But once you get into cities with populations just under the half-million mark, you get a decent mix of party control. From there, you can make some useful comparisons.

For this exercise, the cities I’ve included are those with a population of 400,000 to 500,000. I used the Mayor’s party as a loose proxy to label the city as either “red” or “blue” (I acknowledge that’s imperfect, but this isn’t a peer-reviewed paper).

Note that while Colorado Springs has an Independent who was sworn in two months ago, the city had a line of Republican mayors for decades before that, so I am counting that city as red for this exercise.


The homicide rates for each city in 2022 are as follows:

Blue Cities

Atlanta: 170 homicides, or 34.1 per 100,000

Raleigh: 49 homicides, or 10.5 per 100,000

Long Beach: 36 homicides, or 7.7 per 100,000

Oakland: 134 homicides, or 30.4 per 100,000 (NOTE: 2021 data, couldn’t find 2022)

Minneapolis: 81 homicides, or 18.8 per 100,000


Red Cities

Omaha: 29 homicides, or 6.0 per 100,000

Colorado Springs: 54 homicides, or 11.3 per 100,000

Virginia Beach: 23 homicides, or 5.0 per 100,000

Miami: 47 homicides, or 10.6 per 100,000

Tulsa: 68 homicides, or 16.5 per 100,000

Bakersfield: 38 homicides, or 9.4 per 100,000


Failure is a choice. You don’t have to like Republicans, but people in all of these violent blue cities should demand better from their elected leaders.


Konstadinos Moros is an Associate Attorney with Michel & Associates, a law firm in Long Beach that regularly represents the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) in its litigation efforts to restore the Second Amendment in California. You can find him on his Twitter handle @MorosKostas. To donate to CRPA or become a member, visit https://crpa.org/.

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  1. I don’t care. I live in a small MS farming community – not incorporated so no mayor or police force. But everyone is well armed. Guess what? There hasn’t been a homicide here since the War of Northern Aggression. 🙂

  2. Takeaways
    The murder rate in the 25 states that voted for Donald Trump has exceeded the murder rate in the 25 states that voted for Joe Biden in every year from 2000 to 2020.

    Over this 21-year span, this Red State murder gap has steadily widened from a low of 9% more per capita red state murders in 2003 and 2004 to 44% more per capita red state murders in 2019, before settling back to 43% in 2020.

    Altogether, the per capita Red State murder rate was 23% higher than the Blue State murder rate when all 21 years were combined.

    If Blue State murder rates were as high as Red State murder rates, Biden-voting states would have suffered over 45,000 more murders between 2000 and 2020.

    Even when murders in the largest cities in red states are removed, overall murder rates in Trump-voting states were 12% higher than Biden-voting states across this 21-year period and were higher in 18 of the 21 years observed.


  3. Not to worry…When fire destroys an island and the missing and dead are thought to be around a thousand Jim Crow Gun Control joe will address the disaster although it may take joe and his ilk 5 days. And when joe arrives at what looks like a war zone he’ll make a complete self serving ahole out of himself. But not to worry joe’s marxist media pals will cover for him and milquetoast America will see it all as just another day.

    On the other hand when you have holier than thou bigots whose one and only answer to crime is to point fingers it all goes to serve the democRat Party. The Party that has been trying desperately to rewrite History by taking the Racist Party Label off their necks and hang it around the neck of The Party of Lincoln. In other words, bigots and their buttspew are nothing more than vote getters for the democRat Party.

    • What, exactly is your obsession with racism?

      If you go to a local zoo you will find that certain animals are locked up in different types of enclosures. You think that is arbitrary? You think the tigers are locked up in very secure enclosures while the baby goats are allowed to run free because a zookeeper has a prejudice against a certain species? NO. THE TIGERS ARE FUCKING DANGEROUS. Everyone knows this. Applies exactly the same to people. Not racist to apply a little basic pattern recognition and behave in your own best interest.

      • In the US we are supposed to be judged as individuals. Not groups. Labeling a group instead of an individual is what the left does to gun owners. We are all bad and cannot prove ourselves good. Same principal.

        • “In the US we are supposed to be judged as individuals. Not groups.”
          Yet, that’s not what the Dems do.
          We are deplorables.
          Veterans are dangerous.
          It goes on and on.

        • True words. BB. Which is why I try not to use a dem tactic. Individuals before groups.

          I am a gun owning vet.

        • it’s easy. if you are in the group identified as “Democrats”, you can prove yourself good by leaving that group. You don’t have to become a Republican or a conservative, you can be independent. Just be sure to follow the Founder’s Constitution and not the false “living” constitution of modern times.

          Unfortunately, today the Founders are considered “far right”.

        • OK, let’s make this more personal.

          You are at the local park with your children/grandchildren. Three cocker spaniel puppies come running up.

          You are at the local park with your children/grandchildren. Three full grown pit bulls come running up.

          Is your reaction any different? Sure, they MIGHT be nice pit bulls. Are you going to take that chance just to virtue signal?

          You sound like a typical conservative.

        • Paul. Any stranger comes up to me or my loved ones and I am wary. If judging folks on merit makes me a conservative I’m proud to wear the label.

          I lived in an all white area in WV. We had rape, murder and robbery. All done by white folks. I prefer to not judge all whites by them.

    • And the “miracle house” on Maui that survived the fires intact even though the owners were away.

      How? The owners cleared vegetation away from the house and replaced the asphalt roof with a heavy gauge steel roof.

      If you’re in a fire prone area why would you have an asphalt roof? You might as well paint your house with napalm. Asphalt is the hard sludge at the bottom of the distillation tower when crude oil is refined.

  4. There are other considerations. Cities with military bases – cities that can also be called suburbs of larger cities(Long Beach and Oakland are cities, but many of the people that live there work in L.A. or San Fransico) – Cities that are part of the rust belt, their glory is gone and are shadows of themselves and their past glory. Cities that had white flite and haven’t had a tax base to keep a strong police department for decades. These cities have other underlying problems. The people in the poorer cities are going to vote for the politician that
    claims he/she will fix the problems. Sadly, the real truth here is the city has to be a place where you can get a job and take pride in the services.
    It was much different than pre WWII. The richer cities(say Pasadena, Ca) built parks, had a emergency doctor on call at city hall, awesome schools and good wide streets with sidewalks everywhere. Sadly, that is not done anymore. Some cities had afterschool and weekend programs for so called “latch key kids” to attend, but there is no money for that anymore.
    It can be argued that neither party wants to spend money to bolster up the infrastructure. Reps don’t want to spend anything unless it helps thier friends in business and Dems want their name on anything they lobby to spend tax dollars.

    • Unfortunately the role of statesman tends to be viciously attacked if it is performed well. Threatens powerful people with money who would rather be lords of the slums than citizens in a thriving community and all.

    • I grew up in Pasadena CA and lived there from 1968 till 1994 ish and visited ALL the years till I ran out of that hell state of COMMIEfornia in 2018
      and as a kid growing up there…2 things helped ruin the city
      the drug wars for the 1980’s and 90’s
      but most of all was unchecked ILLEGAL ALIENS! that sucked the tax base dry and brought a crap ton of crime with them….not to mention some of the dumbest kids I ever met in school

      • California has had an abundance of drug users and abusers for just about ever. The knowledge that using drugs during pregnancy will damage the offspring has been known for decades. The knowledge that using drugs before conception still has a chance of damaging the offspring is still being debated, I believe. But – California is a good example of how NOT to do – just about everything.

        MAYBE there is still a question in some minds whether drugs (alcohol is a drug) will have a terrible effect on the mental abilities of offspring, but there really shouldn’t be. Look at the evidence.

  5. Let’s take a closer look at the murders in the Red cities. Who is doing it? Heterosexual, Caucasian, Trump supporting, gun rights supporters? Nope. My guess is Democrats.

    • It depends on what you mean by ‘Democrats’, and just consider crime overall.

      If you mean in the general population in red cities that registered Democrat for purposes of voting, then generally no.

      If you mean those in red cities that don’t register with either party, but will vote Democrat then generally yes the majority of criminals will come from that pool of democrat voters if there isn’t a more liberal candidate to vote for that’s not republican and will be more overall inclined towards violent crime including murder.

      • These “good” democrats still vote for gun bans, confiscatory taxes, gay porn in schools etc etc etc. Some of them actually go out and commit violence while the rest are content to outsource their tyrannical urges.

        Dear god, I certainly hope you are not so naive as it would seem by your post.

        • What is it called when people consistently attempt to put words in another’s comments in order to appear to be superior?

  6. Interesting method of analysis. Worth pursuing.

    First, I think it’s really important to do the metrics thoroughly. Just looking at the party affiliation of mayors is too narrow. Even looking at a city’s series of mayors over many decades is not enough. One needs to look at the councilmen, state legislators, federal Congress-critters. Is this political unit (city, county, state legislative district, federal Congressional district, state) electing Republican or Democrat leaders? Are they doing this consistently?

    We should see a pattern falling out: Some polities will:
    – consistently elect Democrats
    – consistently elect Republicans
    – be inconsistent in electing various mixes of Democrats and Republicans.

    I have doubts that the results of their choices matter much. Imagine a counterfactual scenario. Suppose that a solidly Democratic polity such as Chicago nevertheless elected a Republican Mayor and city council for 10 years and these established a law-and-order Chicago Police Department. Would the people performing the crimes be much influenced by the change in the authorities? Some, but I doubt it would be dramatic.

    Instead, I suspect that the sentiments of the voters speak more loudly about the sentiments of the people in the community. Those in the community are either highly IN-tolerant of crime; or, they don’t become invested in being part of the solution. In the latter case, they are not going to elect law-and-order mayors and councilmen to enforce the law. Yet, this decision – to NOT elect law-and-order mayors is a mere side-effect.

    Members of such a community are just not invested in solving their community’s social problems. And, I think, it’s very difficult to parachute in an assault force of police, prosecutors and judges on a community and have an overwhelming impact. If the members of the community are tolerant of crime and indulgent of their family and friends who engage in such crime, the criminal justice system won’t be able to keep up with the overwhelming supply of crime.

    And what is it that is being regarded as crime? Clearly, homicide, assault, battery, robbery, theft, damage/defacing property are crimes. But traffic infractions are not in the same category. And drug violations are not in the same category of either of the former.

    We once looked at heroin and pot dealers as being in a common class. Today, pot is relatively tolerated but heroin is not. Should we continue to construe pot dealers as equally dangerous to public order as heroin dealers?

    Today, we no longer are terrified by heroin; we worry about fentanyl. There are 200 Controlled Substances on the prohibited Schedule I list. Pot, magic mushrooms, MDMA and 197 others. Yet, legally, we treat they all as equally threatening to public order. Cocaine is on the Schedule II list. Why do we allow ophthalmologists to administer cocaine but are outraged at crack dealers? Why do we tolerate Wall Street traders snorting cocaine? Where is the logical consistency?

    For years we tolerated the OxyContin scandal because everything was technically legal. The pharmacy industry knew what was happening. Doctors knew what was happening. The DEA knew what was happening. But since Purdue owned the right Congressmen, it was all fine. Until society woke-up.

    The whole picture of a lawful and orderly society is much more blurry than we would like to think. What sort of society do we want in our neighborhoods, cities, counties, and states? That’s the important thing. The politicians we elect merely reflect the choices we make for our own lifestyles. They are the canaries in the coal mine. They are not the atmosphere that we breathe.

    • “The politicians we elect merely reflect the choices we make for our own lifestyles.”

      Yes. We get the government we elect; the way things were designed.

      Pogo was right.

      • Prigozhin and his bloody sledgehammer he used to execute Wagner troops who pissed him off made Negan from ‘The Walking Dead’ and his barb-wire baseball bat look like an amateur.

        Sharper video :

        • The stories of him bashing in the heads of Wagner troops who tried to desert are *chilling*.

          He liked to send the bloody sledgehammer he used to murder them to the conscript’s family as a ‘message’ to anyone considering desertion.

          Too bad it couldn’t have happened sooner to him and Putin… 🙁

          EDIT – The translation on the voice in the last video mentions they thought it was a ‘drone’…

        • Also, The “plane thumped twice and exploded”

          Cool! The video ends with the black plume of burning jet fuel smoke… 🙂

        • Trains and buses have windows from which political enemies can accidentally fall to their deaths, too.

    • He was no military guy before Wagner, he was a street thug who after prison became a chef in the Kremlin for putin.

      This is putin just cleaning up lose ends.

      He had business sense and management skills but no military experience.
      The so called coup in June was all orchestrated by putin to get those who were willing to betray him to reveal themselves,  and they did and putin cleaned house.
      That’s been his MO for decades  and how he climbed the ranks of the KGB.

    • Russian spokesperson: “Unfortunate Incident where Prigozhin accidentally fell out of window.”

      Media: “But he was in an airplane!”

      RP: “Yes, he accidentally fell out of window of airplane.”

      M: “But the airplane was blown up!”

      RP: “Yes, he accidentally fell out of airplane window when airplane was blown up.”

  7. Crime/murder numbers have little meaning for the average citizen, until they or a loved one becomes one.

      • No. Just another National Press Club Award for my hard-hitting expose on math and why it’s wrong.

        • People who go out of their way to call themselves “Distinguished Author and Jounalist”, rarely actually are.

          It’s like coolness. You cannot refer yourself as being cool, it must be bestowed on you by someone who actually is cool. and the actually cool folks don’t go ’round bragging on their coolness… 🙂

        • @jwm

          8. Sadly none of them will have sex with me so I’ll keep inventing more until I find one that will.

  8. At best, the sample is too small, at worst cherry-picked to prove a point.

    But reality is reality: all the crime in blue cities/states, all of it, is due to lax gun laws in red cities/states that result in export of guns to cities/states with the strict gun control laws.

    If not for guns, drugs, booze and criminals invading blue cities/states, from red cities/states, the high crime locations simply would not exist; settled science. Indeed, if you factor out the crime rates, blue cities/states are pretty safe.

    Oh yeah, avoiding blue cities/states because of their being victimized by crime transported from low crime areas, is some sort of bigotry, a hate crime even; evil, wicked, mean, bad, and nasty. Anyone who refuses to live in a blue city/state should be rounded up and forcefully deported to Liberia, or Niger, or North Korea. Maybe to Brazil.

    • You sound like you’ve joined the dacian and minor echo chamber. You’re in good company with like minded individuals. Just don’t wait for banjo night.

        • “Sam is the greatest polemicist on TTAG”

          Haven’t seen the word “polemicist” in ages. Never before been called “the greatest” at anything; I’ll take it.

      • “You sound like you’ve joined the dacian and minor echo chamber.”


        Standing up while reading the comment might help; unfortunately, it went completely over your head.


    • Combination of small sample size AND high variability between the samples in each class. Probably not cherry picked, but still of limited value, even w/o the added assumption that correlation equals causation.

      • “Probably not cherry picked, but still of limited value, even w/o the added assumption that correlation equals causation.”

        Yeah, zackly. What SV just wrote.

  9. Does it truly help advance gun rights to give credence to the sort of junk science analysis that gun control groups love to use?

    Like those studies that love to lump together groups of states in order to hide low-gun-homicide states with lax laws (NH, VT, ME, ND, etc.) in with high-gun-homicide states with lax laws (AK, most of the South), just looking at the averages gives only a portion of the story.

    Here, there’s very high variability between the cities in each group. Throwing the numbers into Excel gives a standard deviation of 11.7 for blue cities, 4.1 for red cities. So, statistically the blue cities could deviate as low as 8.6, and red cities could deviate as high as 13.9. The data is simply too jumpy to draw a statistically significant correlation that one group are worse than the other.

    And, even with a correlation, that wouldn’t establish causation.

    Please, leave the shoddy number manipulation and unsupported conclusions to the gun control “researchers” who get paid for it.

  10. Wow, some of the analysis of the analysis appears to be a great example of how to justify ignoring reality and blaming bad things on everybody else. The elitist academics have a nice way of pointing fingers without raising a hand. smug, egotistical intellectuals. what would we do without them…

  11. Most of these cities, regardless of politics involved, have 1 thing in common. Large, low income populations and a lack of employment for industrial or blue collar workers.
    Every group at some point in history came in and ended up in the slums and tenements. Most figured it out within a generation that the way out of the slums were through education and employment. If the jobs weren’t in the city they lived in, the young people, mainly single men, went to where the jobs were. Many in my generation continued to do the same. We left the north woods and rural communities and moved to the cities that were growing. We worked the crap jobs and climbed the ladder. We put ourselves through school and worked full time jobs while in school. We went into the military. And we screwed up by allowing the next generation to become entitled, spoiled brats who in turn produced the current lot of spoiled brats demanding ever more government funded programs.
    My point is when did we last see any of the self proclaimed community leaders in these cities and communities emphasize education and employment as a way of getting out of poverty? When have we seen those so called leaders push personal responsibility and the idea of both consequences for poor decisions and rewards for good choices? Choose to quit school and run the streets, there go your job prospects. Choose to mess with drugs? There goes more opportunities. Choose to rob or steal to support a drug habit or as an easy way of getting money etc.? Such actions usually end in prison or a coffin.
    Reducing crime in the cities isn’t going to come from government or other outside sources. Dealing with these problems has to be done by the residents of these communities and cities. Until those in the crime ridden areas decide such things will not be tolerated, nothing will change.

    • “Reducing crime in the cities isn’t going to come from government or other outside sources. Dealing with these problems has to be done by the residents of these communities and cities.”

      Heresy, heresy, most perfidious: promoting/demanding personal responsibility.

      I believe in free speech, the First Amendment, but…the First provides freedom of legitimate speech, alone. Promoting heresy is a hate crime, thus not covered by the First Amendment. Speech by people such as oldmaninAL must be suppressed in all its forms.

      Heresy, heresy, I say !!

      • It’s hard to tell, for one unacquainted with your writing, whether you’re being sarcastic or not.

        Where in the 1st Amendment does it place limitations on the kind of speech?

  12. Here in Illinois we have universal background checks via the FOID card. You cannot legally buy or sell a gun unless you have a FOID card. That FOID card is run against NICS all but I think 3 days a year. So, even a person to person sale is still background checked. Is it deterring any crime?

    Most of Illinois is safe. You know where it is not safe? Champaign, Urbana, Danville, Decatur, Springfield, East St Louis, Rockford, Peoria and Cook county. When something happens outside of those areas it is usually the typical suspect as per the recent murder in Paris Illinois.

    Anti gunners would have you believe that the only place in Illinois that has guns are in the list of cities in my previous paragraph since that is where all the crime occurs. There must not be any guns in Scales Mound or Tolono or Cave in Rock as their are no murders there, right Mr. Antigunner?

  13. Lets look at which state has the most Republicans.

    California by far with 23 million. Republican numbers must be correlated with crime?

    • We were talking about cities specifically because state crime figures are dominated by crime in that state’s blue cities.

      If you can make the case that Republicans in CA are responsible for most of the crime in that state, make it.

  14. Probably less about governance than about demographics. Governance is determined by demographics. So – do the governments of blue cities create more murder through D policy, or do the demographics of blue cities create more murder – and vote D? It’s the latter.

  15. Since gun laws are at the State level, when are you going to do an “analysis” by gun laws/gun homicide rate? Answer: Never.
    And when are you going to take down your totally fake “CDC data shows constitutional carry states have fewer homicides” which make gun owners look like idiots?

    • “Since gun laws are at the State level, when are you going to do an “analysis” by gun laws/gun homicide rate? Answer: Never.”

      Statics about firearm related deaths are entirely pointless, unimportant, and are the epitome of “utility” of a constitutionally protected natural, human and civil right, i.e. “interest balancing”, which the “Bruen” decision eliminated.

      Yes, the Second Amendment is based in “need”, but doesn’t, by extension, require that “the people” demonstrate a justifiable personal “need”. The “need” expressed in the Second Amendment exists so long as there is a nation. The extent of that “need” is not based on the number of misuses committed by “the people”.

      There can be no legitimate power for government to determine the means by which “we the people” can defend against a tyrannical government.

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