FILE- This May 2, 2017, file photo, shows the corporate signage on the headquarters building of The New York Times in New York. The New York Times Co. said it is adding large numbers of digital subscribers and growing its digital revenue. The newspaper turned a $55.2 million profit in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss the year before. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
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Leave it to those reporters at The New York Times to be ever-thinking about ways to keep their readers informed and involved. The Old Gray Lady published an online, interactive tool to demonstrate to readers how important self-defense is, especially in the home.

The New York Times published an article headlined, “This Is How Close We Live to Gun Violence.” The article showed the in-depth work by the Times’ researchers to map every homicide committed by a murderer criminally misusing a firearm in the United States since 2020. The Times drew a quarter-mile circle around each crime scene to then estimate how many people lived near those horrendous crimes.

The New York Times calculated that 47 million Americans – 8.7 million more than pre-pandemic – live within a quarter mile of these crime scenes. The report didn’t account for the spike in criminal activity during and post-pandemic and it didn’t overlay the “Defund the Police” policies by progressive politicians and prosecutors to go soft-on-crime. It did, however, provide a convenient list of the cities with the staggering percentages of those who live close to a murder scene.

Narrative Before Facts

An accompanying article clutched the collective pearls in the Times’ newsroom, interviewing emergency room doctors who are left to treat those victims of crime and attempt to save lives because of criminals running amok. It portends that the growing number of law-abiding gun owners is somehow responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms, the unlawful killing of others and overall lack of humanity displayed by criminals.

The Times’ even wrote, “A rise in gun ownership made it more likely for violent disputes to become deadly.” However, they failed to demonstrate how lawful gun ownership drives criminal activities – much less murder. The Times attempted to tie the murder rates, which are slowly falling, to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), giving the gun control group Giffords Law Center ink to credit gun control laws for reducing murders. The Times glancingly wrote about policing, but mostly in a way that was a burden on communities. The authors didn’t seriously address the detrimental effects of yanking thousands of police off the beat, reducing patrols, releasing criminals without bail or failing to prosecute criminals to only have them repeat or commit more serious crimes. For the authors, law-abiding gun owners were the problem. The readers just needed to trust their narrative.

But the authors never proved their premise. They couldn’t show a definitive link between law-abiding gun owners and criminal activity – much less murders because there isn’t one. There is no causation, or even correlation, between law-abiding gun owners and shocking crime rates in communities across America.

In fact, Slow Facts by Rob Morse reported that while the data isn’t perfect, there’s evidence of “a slight negative correlation between murder rates and gun ownership.”

“Say what you will — and the gun banners certainly will — but the data doesn’t show a correlation of gun ownership and murder rates,” wrote Morse. “We also see a number of countries in the data with very low rates of gun ownership and frighteningly high murder rates. We also see countries with high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates.”

He added that confusion of lawful gun ownership and murder isn’t accidental.

“I’m a retired engineer, not criminologist or a sociologist. I spent an hour putting this data together,” Morse explained. “If I can figure out that civilian guns ownership has an insignificant effect on the murder rates in various countries, then so did the researchers who are paid by anti-gun billionaires. This data is out there for anyone to see. They’ve seen it and it means they lied to please the people who are paying them.”

That study wasn’t the only one to arrive at the conclusion that the availability of firearms to law-abiding owners isn’t the driver of crime and murder. Gun Facts found similar results when they examined their own data.

There’s a Link, Just Not What They Think

There is, though, a causation and correlation that goes in the opposite direction. As crime runs unabated, more Americans choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. They refuse to be a willing victim, even when progressive policies force police departments to issue warnings to the public to just be nice to the criminal threatening your life.

Background checks for firearm sales at retail skyrocketed in 2020 to over 21.5 million. That was up from 13.2 million in 2019, and the kick-off to the buying frenzy started in April 2020, the same month that pandemic lockdowns were ordered and police were pulling back community contact for concerns for contagion. It was also during that time that jails were emptied. That summer, violent protests erupted across America. Those weren’t confined to one city, one state or one region. It was a nationwide phenomenon. Despite media pitching it as “mostly peaceful,” it was destructive. Politicians blamed police and slashed budgets. It was all made worse by rogue prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals to account.

The result was crime skyrocketed. The second-order effect was law-abiding gun owners bought more guns to protect themselves, many were first time gun buyers from all backgrounds. That wasn’t limited to the 21.5 million background checks for gun sales in 2020. There were another 18.5 million in 2021, 16.4 million in 2022 and 15.8 million in 2024.

Helping to Decide Gun Ownership

The good news is The New York Times provided a helpful interactive tool for law-abiding citizens to decide if now’s the time to invest in personal defense. Plugging in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., shows that there were at least 794 fatal shootings from 2020-2023. It’s a good thing President Joe Biden has Secret Service protection. For those who don’t have 24-hour top-notch trained security at their disposal, this could be a practical tool to decide if it’s time to invest in a self-defense firearm for themselves. After all, in Washington, D.C., the District Attorney General Brian Schwalb said, “We as a city and a community need to be much more focused on prevention…if we want to be safer in the long run. We cannot prosecute and arrest our way out of it.”

For those who might live in locations that see far less violent crime and murders, like Bangs, Texas, where there were no fatal shootings between 2020-2023, it could still be helpful. Chances are, though, most residents in Bangs likely live in the home of a law-abiding gun owner.

Becoming a law-abiding gun owner might let the community – and The New York Times – know that those who obey the law and own guns aren’t the problem. It’s the criminals.

—Mark Olivia, NSSF

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Go the the link. The reporters were also helpful in providing a demographic overlay for the shootings noted on the map, making the obvious even more obvious.

    Hilarious.

    • Since the forum’s resident bigot johnny boy allowed the Gun Control zealot concocted label Gun Violence to fly over his head I will once again point out there is no such thing as Gun Violence. Violence is Violence not matter if it’s the criminal misuse of fists, feet, firearms, knives, bats, vehicles, etc. Gun Violence is along the lines of other concocted labels such as Assault Weapon, Saturday Night Special, Undetectable, etc. Typical sneaky backdoor Gun Control article coming from a new york newspaper that belongs on the bottom of a birdcage. fjb.

  2. Its Undertow, I always thought it was 3°’s. /no wonder humans thought I was fcked up/
    Nope. Undertow. Good album, I’m the only one that had the CD. Couldn’t have Jalapeno peppers, nope, got caught eating one in line after my horticultural stint job, No more of that.
    Anyway it was a big hit in the insane asylum. The album Undertow, the peppers too, but that went to sht in a hurry.
    I made Sergeant of Arms for a gang in B ward. Didn’t like it, just amounted pushing people around.
    JRB 2024
    ,,,,,screw u DebbieW,,,,,,,
    ouRBJ in 2024 ,,JRB dang it I mean.
    Free Nelson Hunter

  3. I wouldn’t trust the NYT for advice on how to tie my shoes. I’m certainly not going to trust them when my life may be on the line.

  4. From the article posting: “It portends that the growing number of law-abiding gun owners is somehow responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms, the unlawful killing of others and overall lack of humanity displayed by criminals.”

    Law-abiding gun owners ARE responsible for the criminal use of firearms! If law-abiding gun owners had no guns, there would be no firearms available to steal, and thus make others destined to commit crime with firearms. No guns, no gun crime; a fact that cannot be disputed. OBTW, it is settled science that just holding a gun most often leads to deadly crime. It’s true. It is all over the internet.

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