Your Sunday Morning Revelation: Guns Are Not the Fundamental Driver of Violence in America

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In addition to showing the disconnect between guns and America’s violence problem, the demographic disparities in violence are important for another reason: Americans’ perceptions of gun violence are shaped largely by a few high-profile mass shooting incidents, featuring predominantly white murderers and white victims. Considering the share of airtime allotted to these tragedies, one might think that they’re representative of America’s gun violence.

In fact, they’re extremely unusual events that comprise a tiny proportion of America’s gun violence. Therefore, policies intended to address these events in particular — such as “assault weapons bans” — are, almost by definition, poorly crafted to address the realities of the problem. A focus on high-profile mass shootings actually ignores the vast majority of America’s gun violence victims.

Better policy decisions might emerge from a more realistic understanding of what violence in America actually looks like, but that understanding will only come with the acknowledgement that guns are not the fundamental driver of American violence.

At first glance, a comparison of American violence and European violence is a prima facie case for stringent gun control. However, a closer examination of American violence reveals that it has little relationship to guns or gun policy.

The underlying sociological characteristics that make America more violent than Europe are very poorly understood and warrant further study. As the first step of that important work, researchers should acknowledge that simply attributing American violence to guns and permissive gun policy does not accurately capture the reality of the problem.

– Mark Houser in The Reality of American Violence

comments

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Tim,

      Excellent read. Thank you for posting that. Clearly lays out the geographic and socio-economic causes of violence. Loved this statement:

      “The United States ranks 3rd in Murders throughout the World. But if you take out Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC and New Orleans, the United States is 4th from the Bottom for Murders. These 4 Cities also have the toughest Gun Control Laws in the United States. All 4 are also controlled by Democrats.”

      1. avatar Someone says:

        I didn’t read the article yet, but after what you said, the next logical question to ask is “who lives in those cities and how are they different from other places in US?”. Gun control is bad in other states and cities, so it may be a factor, but there must be something more.

        1. avatar Ben says:

          What it comes down to is culture, or rather a flawed value system that places little value on human life. Especially the life of a complete stranger. To solve gun violence we have to put our ape brains aside and value human life in general to a higher degree than what we supposedly will gain by destroying it.

        2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          “…a flawed value system that places little value on human life. Especially the life of a complete stranger.”

          With inner-city gang violence (where the highest rates of homicide reside), they are not ‘complete strangers’, they are members of another defined group one group is warring with…

      2. avatar Love2A says:

        Read the next paragraph please… ” These murder numbers are completely inaccurate – and so is the broader concept behind them.”

        1. avatar GS650G says:

          The real broader context is most of the crime hotspots are in Democrat controlled areas, not just 4. Their policies create the environments which lead to mayham. The only way it’s going to change is to pretend to out sugar daddy the incumbents then give them tough love and hope it works in 3 or 4 years. Detroit hit rock bottom and finally got leadership to turn the tide.

      3. avatar doesky2 says:

        I see nothing but another Leftist screed falsely asserting that “America is racissss!!

        Millions upon millions of black immigrants would call BS on that.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Black immigrants, especially from Africa, earn more, are more educated, and are more likely to get married and stay married than American born blacks. It’s almost like skin color has nothing to do with their problems. Too bad democrats hide the truth and eschew actual scientific data that could really help the black community. But that isn’t their goal, is it?

        2. avatar The Truth About Africans and Americans says:

          Indeed, skin color is apparently not related, but IQ and family structure apparently is.

          Black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean typically are at least one standard deviation above African Americans in IQ, and come from intact families with what we call “conservative” values. They are also typically religious, primarily Christian or Muslim.

          There are exceptions. We also see that immigrants specifically from Somalia tend to be lower IQ than African Americans, come from broken families, be Muslim, immediately get on welfare and remain there, and vote reliably democrat. The Somali immigrant vote is often credited with electing the senator who cast the deciding vote on Obama care.

          And they have the same skin color as both the other Africans and the African Americans.

        3. avatar D'Ernest Quills says:

          Be quiet. None of y’all know what it is to be black in America.

        4. avatar Dude says:

          Hey D’Ernest, are people allowed to talk about cancer when they haven’t personally experienced it? Should we only have cancer doctors who have had cancer? You’re just a typical pro-censorship leftist. The Party of Diversity isn’t interested in diversity of thought.

        5. avatar LarryinTX says:

          D’Ernest, maybe you should be quiet, you apparently do not know what it’s like to accept your responsibities as an American, without making excuses. Poor little you, huh?

    2. avatar Leighton says:

      And they don’t lump suicides into the mix like gun control groups do.
      Suicides are like abortions…. your body your choice.

      1. avatar Someone says:

        Suicide kills the killer. Abortion doesn’t.

        1. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

          Not disagreeing…but when libs/dems talk about gun violence…turn the tables…always turn the tables

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Someone, how is abortion any of your business? Did some bad man force you to have one? Tell us your story, inquiring minds want to know!

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        @Leighton,

        Someone beat me to the punch and already answered in similar fashion, but suicide involves only your own body at your own decision. Abortion – by its own inescapable definition – results in the death of a separate human being and the utter destruction of his/her body…but as a result of your decision.

        Apples and oranges, my friend.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Haz, see above. Waiting for your sad tale. Were you aborted? How are you involved?

        2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Really, Larry? That’s a 2nd-grader’s “nyah, nyah” type of response. So by your logic, would you not ever be able to voice your personal opinion about murder, simply because you yourself haven’t been murdered?

          I’m reading that some locales are beginning to lift their lockdowns and allow for recreational movement outdoors. Might be time for you to come out into the sunshine and clear your mind.

        3. avatar anonymous4goodreason says:

          Larry, I’m with you on most stuff but I just don’t get it this time. I think I’m sensing some guilt here. Did you at one time force, help, or cause someone to abort?

    3. avatar Knobbytire says:

      That is a great article and not even by a right-leaning news source. I’ve bookmarked it. Thanks.

      1. avatar doesky2 says:

        This is just another article from the Left that screams “America is racist”.

        This leftist BS continues despite the fact that millions of immigrants with skin darker than the ace of spades clamour to come here and prosper.

        These troublesome cities should more properly be identified as “Democrat Plantations”.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          “This leftist BS continues despite the fact that millions of immigrants with skin darker than the ace of spades clamour to come here and prosper.”

          An inconvenient truth that is willfully ignored by the DNC and their public relations arm, the legacy media. Imagine what would happen if all problems experienced by blacks weren’t the fault of the white man. Try to imagine the democratic party surviving without that fear mongering, hate inducing tactic.

    4. avatar Thixotropic says:

      No such thing as GUN VIOLENCE. Firearms are inanimate tools.

      There is only CRIMINAL VIOLENCE.

      THAT is really what this article is addressing.

    5. avatar sparkyinWI says:

      The intent of the control crowd is NOT to fix the violence, they could frankly care less about that. They want to remove guns from the hands of regular citizens. You cannot have a police state unless 1) the police cooperate; and 2) the citizenry is disarmed.

      The first part is almost a given today, the majority will just follow orders. So they continue to work on the second part.

    6. avatar GS650G says:

      The article makes the case blacks commit most gun crime until it claims everything else us in play. It ends with the required dig at Trump blaming him for violence on Tamarind ave in West Palm which was a shit street 35 years ago when unloved in Florida.
      And democrats have controlled west palm for years.

    7. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Very good article. I do wish they would have foot noted their conclusions a lot more than they did.

      As an aside, a personal story…
      Before moving last year, I did some poking around to see if any crime would be an issue in the area. Although crimes, and more importantly, serious ‘person’ crimes are quite low in the whole county, I was hoping to confirm what I felt. Good neighborhood.

      Last load moving, late in the day, I’m beat. I just want to sit down and breath. I had two medium sized boxes in the covered bed of the truck, and another in the cab. I looked at the boxes, grabbed my Leupold spotting scope from atop one, closed the canopy, and went inside for the night.

      Next morning, I find my truck was broken into and EVERYTHING was gone. Poof.
      Shit can happen anywhere.

  1. avatar frank speak says:

    ….It’s drugs…and the criminal arms race began decades ago….once upon a time few of them carried guns…now they all do…..

    1. avatar Felix says:

      It’s not drugs. It’s prohibition, both because of attempts to enforce it and because users and dealers and manufacturers have no recourse to courts for fraud and broken deals.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        Because they’re forced to be drug dealers, right? Asking them to pursue an honest profession like a normal person would just be a bridge too far?

        1. avatar Felix says:

          Let’s turn that around. The government was FORCED to ban drugs they don’t like, while allowing others that made a lot of money — tobacco, alcohol, coffee.

          Did you know that the 1913 beginning of the income tax was what allowed Prohibition of alcohol in 1920? Before the income tax, half of federal revenue came from taxes on alcohol.

        2. avatar Dude says:

          No doubt, it’s about money and control. There are plenty of lobbyists and corps poised to make a fortune on legalizing marijuana. Politicians are salivating at the extra donations and bigger budgets they’ll gain from this. They get their power from their budgets. If you want to limit their power, then you need to limit their budgets.

      2. avatar Tammy says:

        Maybe you don’t realize this but alcohol is a LEGAL DRUG. It fits all the medical definitions of a drug–it’s just socially acceptable to use alcohol instead of other drugs. Nicotine is also a legal drug; otherwise we wouldn’t be able to buy tobacco products and tobacco substitutes.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Yes, our friendly DARE instructors all taught us that. So what. He’s not talking about tobacco. With few exceptions (that have more to do with taxes than anything else) people aren’t shooting each other over whiskey transactions gone bad.

          Meth and a nicotine are both drugs, but they are not the same.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          “…people aren’t shooting each other over whiskey transactions gone bad.”

          But they sure used to. That was a major part of the impetus behind the NFA. Black markets tend to incentivize this behavior.

          Intoxicants may vary in their potency and specific effects but the key difference when it comes to overall associated violence has nothing to do with the intrinsic properties of the substances in question. It has to do with what is, and what is not, legal.

        3. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          People used to murder each other over water rights in the United States. A perfectly legal product. As funny as it sounds it all depends on the morality of the Criminal.

          Making whiskey legal in the United States did reduce crime. But the avocado is a perfectly legal product in Mexico and people are being murdered over that legal product.

          Making a product legal doesn’t stop someone from being a criminal. Some people just liked the criminal Life Style.
          The legalization of crowd never wants to talk about that aspect of the Criminal Mind.

  2. avatar HandyDan says:

    We need to use the SJWs tactics against them. We need to point out that the media circus that surrounds mass shootings is racist, because they affect primarily white people, and nobody cares when minorities get shot in the hood.

    1. avatar Someone says:

      That’s because minorities do the shooting of other minorities in inner cities. Can’t talk about that.

    2. avatar Dude says:

      The uphill battle is that the media is completely in the tank for the DNC. They don’t like pointing out issues that poke holes in the leftist orthodoxy. Then you have what will become an even bigger issue in the tech giants. They not only promote leftist ideology, they consistently suppress or just outright ban conservative viewpoints. They hate dialogue and freedom of speech.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        I think we’ve all got this relationship backwards.

        The edu/media establishment and Big Tech are the leftist/progressive foundation and its engine. The Democratic party is merely their political arm: a wholly owned subsidiary of Progressivism Incorporated.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          That makes sense.

  3. avatar Tim says:

    “….. America more violent than Europe are very poorly understood…..”
    There’s a pretty long history of industrialized violence among europeans. Our may be more ‘individualized’, but I don’t think it’s worse.

  4. avatar Leighton says:

    Guns are and have always been just another tool in the criminal toolbox.
    Plenty of countries have few guns but still have violent crimes of all sorts.
    Culture has something to do with it as well.
    As does population density.
    Look where most violent crime happens.

    1. avatar LifeSavor says:

      Leighton,

      “Culture…population density…”

      You will like the article Tim posted, above. Supports your assertion.

      1. avatar Someone says:

        The article is on the right path. Still, the author and researchers cited by him confuse symptoms with causes. They see the demographic disparities, but point to poverty, density and low education levels as drivers of violence.
        It’s the crime that brings poverty, not the other way around. There is a lot of places where poor and uneducated people live, that have a small fraction of the violent crime rates of these cities.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Someone,

          There is a lot of places where poor and uneducated people live, that have a small fraction of the violent crime rates of these cities.

          Thank you! I was going to say the very same thing.

          Raising children in a mentally and spiritually unhealthy family and unhealthy culture is what drives violent crime.

  5. avatar DerryM says:

    Read the article cited by Tim kiphart above as well as the article cited in Dan Zimmerman’s posted article.

  6. avatar LifeSavor says:

    SKP5885,

    LOL!!! You’ve got me on that!!
    Good point!

    Still, an interesting approach!

  7. avatar DaveL says:

    The underlying sociological characteristics that make America more violent than Europe are very poorly understood and warrant further study.

    That’s not allowed. You may mouth some platitudes about poverty and the legacy of slavery, but no further.

    1. avatar Someone says:

      Hey, that’s raceeees!

    2. avatar Texican says:

      Not really poorly understood. Americans are prepared to do violence in a just cause (The Revolution). But, unlike almost anywhere else in the world, our violence is tempered by Christian morality. The typical places where violence gets out of hand is in the drug trade and the gangs that are involved in that. And that’s due to govt. interference in free trade. So our “violence” problem is caused by govt. like many other ills.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Better policy decisions might emerge from a more realistic understanding of what violence in America actually looks like …

    This statement assumes that politicians actually care about excellent, just, and effective policy. Newsflash: the overwhelming majority of politicians most certainly do NOT care about excellent, just, and effective policy.

    What do the overwhelming majority of politicians care about?
    — ego
    — amassing wealth
    — amassing power and influence
    — virtue signalling
    — facilitating their notion of Utopia, no matter the cost

    1. avatar Ironicatbest says:

      Oh Bullshit,,, Our elected officials are veryl concerned about our health and welfare. It’s a mistake to think they do not and sends a bad signal to other countries that American citizens are dissatisfied with their leadership, and are unable to change it. Just because Our President thinks injecting PineSol will cure coronavirus 19 doesn’t mean we are stupid.

      1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

        BS!!..(throws flag)

        He never even suggested what you assert. More media spin like every other day.

        BTW- There is current and longtime research into using UV-c wavelength light (not tanning beds wavelength) and injection of Hydrogen Peroxide solution drips in medical uses began in the 1920s I think (without looking it up)

        Sure, the President could have been more articulate but he ain’t wrong.

        1. avatar UVDu says:

          But but but Trump is a really smart guy! There really is UV therapy! it’s all real! The lamestream media twists it all up! Yeah whatever, just admit Trump is as senile as finger bang Joe. Maybe as the Commander in Chief you should think about what you say first. I’m over this dude.

        2. avatar Dude says:

          Finger bang Joe. Now that’s pretty funny. Or maybe he should be called “grab ’em by the p_ssy Joe.” Kinda like Trump, except the glaring difference of “they let you.” Joe does it even when they don’t let him (which is called sexual assault), and 99% of the people on the left ignore it.

      2. avatar Debbie W. says:

        It is bad enough to fall for fake news but to turn around and regurgitate it after nearly 4 years of concocted democRat libel and slander to overthrow a duly elected POTUS shows just how politically inept you are. The POTUS has done a stellar job. That is unless you are a rat waiting for a gotcha moment.
        I suggest you imagine what it would have been like with Benghazi hilliary and bill ayers’ prodigy b. h. obama at the helm.

        TRUMP/PENCE 2020.

      3. avatar Ing says:

        If they are truly concerned about our health and welfare, the shitty job they’ve been doing of ensuring it doesn’t say anything good about their intelligence or competence, let alone the American voters.

        As Strych9 and UncommonSense say below, there are plenty of people who DO understand what makes the violence go round — but fixing it would mean admitting most of us were wrong about a whole hell of a lot in politics and society.

        And politicians — like most people but with the stakes amplified — aren’t in the business of admitting they’re wrong. What good is solving a very real problem if you lose your job and nobody likes you anymore?

        There aren’t enough people who are smart enough, brave enough, and influential enough to solve this kind of problem, and it seems that’s all there is to it. It’s a near impossibly high bar to clear.

        1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          Yes there are a lot of liberals and leftists who do not want to admit that their policies destroyed the inner cities in the United States.

          So they call conservatives racist. Even if they’re black they’re still racist.

      4. avatar Southern Cross says:

        Did you forget the /sarc tag?

        Otherwise, all pigs fed and ready to fly.

    2. avatar Dude says:

      The first goal of politicians is to get elected. To do that, they need money. The second goal of politicians is to get reelected. To do that, they need money. If they have time, they may end up doing something for you (as long as they think you’ll vote for them, or give them money).

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        You need more than money. Otherwise, Michael Bloomberg would be the Dem nominee for President running against incumbent Jeb Bush.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Winning these days requires loads of cash. That is not the same as saying he who spends the most will win.

  9. avatar Ironicatbest says:

    Poverty plays a big role, spree killers play another. One cannot be resolved and one can not be stopped

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      Crime causes poverty, not the other way around.

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        “Crime causes poverty, not the other way around.”

        Strange, Appalachia has lots of poverty and a relatively low violent crime rate.

        What makes it different?

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          There’s nothing wrong with the argument. It’s possible for something to have more than one cause. Not accounting for that fact is a major source of bad policy proposals.

  10. avatar GunnyGene says:

    In the dimness of the shadows
    Where we hairy heathens warred,
    I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
    We used teeth before the sword. – Patton

    1. avatar Ironicatbest says:

      Patton , he didn’t make his glory,it was the men and their commitment that did

      1. avatar GunnyGene says:

        So what? That doesn’t negate the truth of that stanza.

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Anyone who ignores the leadership abilities of General Patton to get men to fight in a desperate situation and overcome the enemy that out numbers them. Only tells me you’re just a hater.

  11. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The underlying sociological characteristics that make America more violent than Europe are very poorly understood and warrant further study.

    That is total garbage. Lots of smart and wise people understand — in depth at that — the sociological characteristics that produce violent criminals, no matter where they are. As I stated above in my previous comment, politicians are not interested in creating excellent, just, and effective policies that acknowledge the underlying social characteristics that produce violent criminals. Rather, nearly all politicians are interested in serving THEIR OWN interests.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      The Party of Science is confused by the plethora of scientific data on this subject, so they just blame the white man. It’s just more convenient than trying to understand those big numbers.

  12. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    From the article linked in Dan’s post
    “A combination of factors — including the expiration of Colt’s AR-15 patents, improvements in manufacturing technology, and the expiration of the aforementioned assault weapons ban — led to a dramatic increase in the affordability and ownership of high-quality semi-automatic rifles patterned after the AR-15. As of 2018, the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimated that Americans possessed 16 million of these rifles.”

    I would add to this the fact that through all of the middle eastern military action the US has engaged in since the early 1990s the US military has familiarized a lot of people with the AR platform who probably would have have never encountered it otherwise.

    1. avatar Texican says:

      While your statement is true to a degree it wasn’t until politicians tried to take away AR-15s that they became really popular. And the more they try to take them away the more popular they get! Just like Prohibition and just like the drug war when you try to prohibit something people want it more. Or they see the reason why they need it.

      1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

        I agree with your basic premise, but I think the middle eastern wars and the surge in people joining the military as far back as the Gulf Wars and certainly post 911 had a bigger effect than it ever gets credit for. There are many people who would have never had any exposure to or interest in guns if they had not been through the military. Also, to a certain extent the increases in the attempts to take them away coincided with the return of many military people from service.

        1. avatar Texican says:

          I agree that many who served in the Gulf Wars as I did did not want to see the freedoms we thought we were preserving taken away.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          There was a hell of a lot larger “surge” who learned the M16 during the Reagan years (defeated the commie bastards).

  13. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    It’s interesting. Many hospital have had UV lights in entrances and elevators for decades to kill microorganisms.

    Watching the video I not that the device stops in the trachea, before the carina, the bifarcation of the right and left mainstem bronchus. Not to be nitpicky but that means it never gets into the lungs and cannot apply UVA light to the alveloi which is where the cells are that SARS-COV-2 binds to in the lungs.

    Sorry man. Good try. I do not know why they have not developed a version capable of entering the lower areas of the lung for use during bronchoscopy procedures. Bronchoscopes already get down in there and are well understood and well established technology. Putting a UVA bulb in one should be pretty easy, as they already do have a light. But then it’s area of effect might be too narrow.

    Very interesting stuff.

    1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      Sorry, that was a reply to LifeSavor’s post about the UV light device.

      1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

        I am reading ti with great interest.

      2. avatar Texican says:

        Big Pharma is doing everything it can to eliminate alternative therapies to their pharmaceuticals. They can’t make money off of them and many times they work better and are much less expensive than drugs. Big Pharma is why you can’t buy vitamin B17 in a store. It kills cancer cells and is relatively cheap. And that’s just one example.

        1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

          The FDA is an even bigger reason. We lose 50% of all new drugs and alternative therapies in late stage development due to regulatory compliance cost. The cure for cirrhosis exists. But it became impossible for the drug company to make their money back on it so they dropped it. Then Alcohol manufacturers picked it up for fairly obvious reasons. Then all of our favorite government agency killed again as adding it to alcohol would be “adulteration” and against the law.

          Government is the problem. without government big pharma or any other big corporation would be powerless.

        2. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

          Vitamin B17 isn’t a vitamin at all. That name is a lie; it’s actual name is Amygdalin. The chemical process to break it down in the body creates cyanide as a by-product. It is banned by the FDA because there is no scientific evidence that it has any affect on cancer, and it causes cyanide poisoning.

        3. avatar neiowa says:

          All the newage “meds” are no different that the sillyass Chinese folk med BS. All is snakeoil.

      3. avatar DinWA says:

        In the upper-right corner of the graphic a bit down the page the cells above the teeter-totter look like screaming-face emojis. LoL

  14. avatar Prndll says:

    Personally I find the whole thing absurd. The gun was invented because violence was already there in the first place. It’s as if the human race never used swords, knives, or canons prior to firearms. Getting rid of firearms does not change the violent nature of humans. Thousands of years of death from ritual sacrifice to being pushed off cliffs. That’s not even to mention things that happen to people from wild animals.

  15. avatar Darkman says:

    When you add up all the Pro’s and Con’s of firearms control. It comes down to 2 simple factors. Freedom versus Control. Which are not and have never been compatible. In human society. Although both are significant parts of human nature. It always has and will always be a struggle to find the correct balance. With human nature there will always be good and evil. Neither is mutually exclusive but, each is a choice and a state of mind.. Each is dependent on the other. As one defines the other. Freedom requires Control of those who would deny it. Control requires Freedom for those who would deny it. The devil so to speak is in the choice and how it is implemented. As history has shown time and time again. Regardless of the choice. The Victor writes the story. With Control being the subject line. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  16. avatar Aaron says:

    There have been many studies showing murder and violence is correlated with demographics, and not correlated to gun control.

    I recall reading that for a time after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia was floundering economically and plagued with alcoholism and family dissolution, and the murder rate was far higher than the US. Yet Russia has and had much stricter gun control than anyplace in the US.

    The biggest contributor to murder in America is dysfunctional, failed cultures, particularly in majority black inner-city areas. Most of it is related to people with essentially nothing going for them, murdering each other over petty scraps of drug turf, trivial acts of disrespect and robberies.

    This cultural problem also impacts Jamaica, which has a sky-high murder rate, strict gun control, and is an island – which contradicts the liberal argument that places such as Baltimore are only violent because traffickers can easily drive to southern states and load up on guns and sell them illegally in Baltimore.

    Psychopathic serial killers or psychotic spree killers make headlines, but they commit only a tiny fraction of the problem.

  17. avatar strych9 says:

    Generally speaking, IME, the overall issue is the black market. When what you’re doing is illegal you can’t call on normal social systems if you are wronged. At that point violence is basically your only recourse. It doesn’t much matter if you’re talking drugs, pimping, smuggling, bootlegging, organized theft etc.

    Where there’s a lack of education you’ll tend to find this kind of problem unless there’s a significant industry for low skilled work that pays reasonably well. It’s more prevalent in areas that have such problems and have a sense population or service an area that does.

    It’s also not a set of issues that can be addressed by the preferred policies of either major party. To truly address the problem requires a multifaceted approach that kills some sacred cows on both sides.

    Fortunately it’s not enormously widespread, but it’s also probably not going to get better for the foreseeable future because most of the proposed solutions are ideological rather than practical.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      “Where there’s a lack of education you’ll tend to find this kind of problem unless there’s a significant industry for low skilled work that pays reasonably well.”

      Maybe it’s time to stand up to the rich corporations, consultants, and politicians who exported those jobs in the name of the almighty dollar (for them). It’s so funny how democrats hate talking about bringing jobs back anymore, yet they pretend to want higher wages, good working conditions, and strict environmental regulations. What do they think is going on with wages, working conditions, and enviro regs in those other countries? They turn a blind eye to that and American workers in need.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Exporting jobs is a part of this but only a part.

        Fixing that won’t do a damn thing to fix the overall problem if people aren’t educated enough to get the jobs or already dropped out of school to run in the drug game.

        I talked to a lot of people when I lived in a truly bad area. The inescapable conclusion from those conversations was that nearly everything we *do* on this front is grade-A stupid, and mostly counterproductive. Pols are part of the problem but so are cops and teachers. But no one wants to say any of that because it’s political suicide to do so.

        You can flood the streets with cops and all you do is breed resentment. You can pour money into education but someone who expects to be dead or locked up in the next few years isn’t usually going to plan on a four year or even a two year degree. It’s tempting for them to not even finish high school.

        This problem is a problem for exactly the reason that capilatism works. Generally gangsters and criminals are not “insane” or “stupid” they’re rational actors in an irrational system that we steadfastly refuse to fix because the solution doesn’t fit in a nice ideological box. The vast, vast majority of us have no idea how the people in those neighborhoods see things and then we try to force a “solution” based on our worldview but in this case perception is reality and unless you start to understand *their reality* you will never fix the problem. We do the same shit in Afghanistan and it won’t work there either.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Yes jobs are only part of the equation. The other big part is family life and upbringing. That’s actually the biggest predictor of financial success later in life. If you had a decent upbringing, but you can’t get a decent job that used to be here, or you had one and lost it to an H-1B visa holder, or your plant moved out of the country, then you might be SOL.

        2. avatar The Truth About IQ says:

          IQ actually has a stronger correlation income than any other factor.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          Family life is, again, but a small part.

          We massively incentivize bad behavior and then scratch our heads as to why we get more of it.

          Just look at the “opioid epidemic”. It runs from main street Small Town, USA to the mountains of Afghanistan. Public policy on this is backasswards and we wonder why we have problems.

          The policies to fix that system run from Afghanistan back to Main Steet. Do things right and you undercut the Taliban and it’s friends, improve the lives of Afgjan farmers, pit Pfizer and Merck against the cartels, reduce the amount of synthetic opioids produced and drop the price of medicinal opioids and do it all while spending half or less of what we do now.

          Will that reduce opioid abuse to 0? No, but nothing can or ever will do that so chasing such perfection to the exclusion of 80% improvement is a fool’s errand.

        4. avatar Chris T in KY says:

          We have a morality problem in the USA. I remember very well the adults around me in the late 1960s celebrating the “new morality”.

          That new morality is subsidized by the federal government, at the demand of atheists, in the form of the Welfare Industrial Complex. Paid by taxpayers.

      2. avatar The Truth About Business says:

        The higher wages, and regulations here are what drove up costs and drove business over seas in the first place. If you want jobs to come back you have to actually deregulate, actually eliminate as many regulations as possible, and get rid of forced unions and minimum wages.

        1. avatar Dude says:

          Yep, and we seemed to be on that path, but not aggressively enough. The “free trade” mindset incentivizes executive and shareholder financial success above the American worker. It holds American lower and middle class back while exponentially creating wealth among the elites. The elites don’t care about a hollowed out America, because that isn’t their world.

        2. avatar The Truth About Business says:

          If we ever actually had free trade that would help, but whenever politicians of either party say free trade or deregulation what they really mean is un free trade and re regulation.

        3. avatar Dude says:

          free trade in quotes for a reason.

    2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “To truly address the problem requires a multifaceted approach that kills some sacred cows on both sides.”

      And those on our side are…?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        “And those on our side are…?”

        What side are *we* on? Do we have a political party? I certainly don’t because I’m not welcome in any of them due to a propensity to call it like I see it and point out shit people would rather ignore.

        Generally, Republicans need to give up on the idea that the WoD is a remotely good idea or that “getting tough on crime”, in and of itself, is going to actually work in the long run. They also need to get away from the current metrics they use to determine if “things are working”. On top of that the welfare system does, in fact, probably need more funding and the legal systems need to start to recognize issues they currently ignore in terms of sentencing structure for non-violent crimes.

        Democrats need to get away from the ideas that everything is racist, that more money in public schools with no oversight will fix anything, that everyone is trying to turn their life around, that more money for welfare will, in and of itself, fix anything, that everyone needs to go to college, that cops are intrinsically bad, that higher taxes don’t hurt job growth and that some people who are sufficiently desensitized can actually be saved from themselves.

        Pick your poison. Neither major party has a realistic solution to this. People in these neighborhoods hate R’s and think D’s are morons to be milked. Neither gets any respect and, honestly, they don’t deserve it. To be entirely frank, mostly neither do the police. Not because the cops are “bad” but because their policies reflect a massive hubris based on a misunderstanding of who and what they’re dealing with.

  18. avatar former water walker says:

    Saw Dan Zimmerman on a YouTube live thing. It was on Sootch00 endless list of channel’s. Can’t find it now!

  19. avatar Debbie W. says:

    Stupidity, immaturity, living in the moment are causes for violenice. People use anything for a weapon including hands and feet. Adding firearms to the equation is done by individuals with an agenda singling out something to blame that they don’t like or is politically incorrect. That’s sleazy.

    1. avatar ByeDon2020 says:

      Except the massacres in Columbine and Parkland H.S, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas and at the Orlando night club just to name a few, would have not been half as bad if the nutjobs didn’t have firearms. And how many mass shootings have been stopped by the famous “good guy/gal with a gun?” 1 out of 50? At least you can all feel good pretending you’ll run to the action if stuff hits the gun, truth is most will run away or hide just like unarmed innocent folks.

      1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

        Here’s a clue; Mass shootings or mass killings typically are considered 4 or more victims. $ or more shot for a mass shooting and 4 or more killed for a mass killing. Some sources exclude the shooter. Many sources exclude criminal violence, and many exclude family violence. So all of that skews the numbers.

        In events stopped by a private citizen, regardless of whether they had a gun or not, the average number of people killed is 2.5. 2.5 is less than 4 so most sources do not count those as a mass shooting or mass killing. Citizens protecting themselves and other does not fit the narrative so they define the class to exclude that phenomena. There are well over 2 million defensive gun uses every year in the US and some of them stopped a mass shooting or mass killing. But we will never know because they didn’t wait for enough victims to be shot before stopping it.

      2. avatar Prndll says:

        You seem to think it only happened one time. A man in a church is but one in a very long line. You wouldn’t even know about that one had the media not given it to you. You have to step back and ask yourself about all the things in life that you NEVER hear about on ‘the news’.

      3. avatar CarlosT says:

        How many mass shootings have been stopped? All the ones that aren’t mass shootings because not enough people died to qualify them as mass shootings.

        There’s a reason why over 98% of mass shootings have taken place in places where firearms are explicitly banned. The biggest advantage the murderers have is time alone with helpless victims. The recent case in Canada is quite instructive. That guy had twelve hours to run around killing people before the police ran into him by chance. All the gun control and anti-self-defense laws in Canada did was ensure he remained unopposed until that random event happened.

        1. avatar 9x39 says:

          To be fair, one of the constables ran into him on purpose, literally. Head on rammed the bastard, Constable Stevenson, the female who was killed and her vehicle & body torched. Woman had testicles the size of wrecking balls, proverbially speaking. Too bad she didn’t survive.

  20. avatar Patriot says:

    Durrrr, gunz is good

  21. avatar Tammy says:

    I find it interesting that Japan has murder numbers (Not just rates but NUMBERS!) nearly equal to ours, suicide rates that are actually higher, and gun violence is nearly nonexistent.
    Plenty of violence but very little of it involves guns. And Switzerland has some of the most liberal gun laws on the planet but very little violent crime.

    My personal opinion? You tend to get more violent when A: your culture institutionalizes violence as a means of dealing with problems and B: you think your targets have little to no means of fighting back on an even or even superior footing. Basicly most violence is bullying, plain and simple, and bullies never fight fair.

    And like it or not, most politicians are bullies. Including Trump.

    1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      And that means, he’s no worse than any other, Tam.

      (You were doing very well, but you just couldn’t help yourself on the last sentence… 😉 )

      1. avatar Tammy says:

        Like I said: Bully.

    2. avatar Prndll says:

      Just keep one thing in mind…

      Even though technically there are very few requirements for being president, not everyone can get there. Much less stay there. It does take a certain type of person to do that job in the first place. The campaigns and drive to win is something rarely seen in a persons skill set. A timid person will never get there.

  22. avatar Darkman says:

    Depends on the violence and who is the victim.
    NYC man released from Rikers Island over coronavirus arrested on new rape charge: report | Fox News
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-york-brooklyn-inmate-rikers-island-rape-arrest-coronavirus

  23. avatar Johnny Bullets says:

    None of this matters.

    My Natural right to have a gun is final.

  24. avatar Anon says:

    It’s tough getting good data and then statistics. All countries keep different books. For example in the US, if you find someone with a pickaxe stuck in their forehead with blood flowing and their hans tied behind their backs, it’s a good chance they were murdered.

    In Great Britain, find the same person in the same condition and they are not counted murdered until there is a conviction. Can’t convict anyone, it was NOT murder, the person must have slipped, even if their hands are tied behind their backs.

    This makes the British Police looks like crack cops.

    So comparing the US murder rate by firearms to other countries MAY be correct or incorrect. I have enough confidence in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). They are a crack operation. They arrested some legal and orderly protesters at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic for protesting. Probably because PP called the mayors office or city council office…..meanwhile murders and property crimes in Charlotte are nice and high. This is a great use of limited resources.

    I wouldn’t trust any statistics coming out of the CMPD, ever. Or any other large city PD.

    1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “In Great Britain, find the same person in the same condition and they are not counted murdered until there is a conviction. Can’t convict anyone, it was NOT murder, the person must have slipped, even if their hands are tied behind their backs.”

      The EU has a very powerful motivation to under-report crime, they don’t want to look bad to their other sister countries. That skews crime data. While in the US, there’s motivation to report crime data, more federal money to ‘fight’ it…

  25. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    Well our Overlords do seem to enjoy applying a non-solution universally to “address” a local problem, now with the Kung-Flu and NYC numbers. Yes, indeed, we must keep Idaho closed to stop NYC hospitals from running out of respirators (event he stolen ones.)

    Also, we should be taking advice from the folks in charge of the places with the worst resutls.

    They do really like this one: guns, violence, poverty, public transportation, and now public health managing infectious diseases. It is a good career move: Rham-bo got to be ineffective Mayor of Chicago for a while; De. Obama-Care has advnaced from conning the people to get the “law” “passed”, to crowing about it, to making new pronouncements just as wrong on the case load from Kung-Flu. It does expalin at lest one motivation for the affinity between Hollywood n Politics: in both businesses, you fail up.

  26. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    Civilization is fragile.

    A civilized society is a thin veneer on the human beast. It does not take much to split that veneer and the beast is revealed. Chiraq and several other major cities demonstrate that to be true.

    That veneer is applied at a very young age. If not applied correctly the veneer may have major holes that allow the beast to act as his nature desires, such as Sandy Hook, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, etc…

    And beasts with no veneer cross our borders and some segments of “our society” work to keep them here and free.

    Then there is the political left who advocates violent revolution so they can reach their socialist utopia faster. Some day they will succeed in breaking that veneer. They know not what they do and will regret it for generations as we all will.

    So all this talk of “gun violence” (a meaningless phrase) is wasted breath. If our society has lost the means of applying that veneer of civilization consistently to the vast majority of toddlers we are lost because eventually the beasts will take control and we will enter the Dark Ages again and guns have nothing to do with it. I fear we are past the tipping point.

    Be Prepared !

  27. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Guns knives baseball bats or hammers, etc don’t kill people. People from broken families kill people with these and other objects.

    The american family was broken on purpose by others more concerned about shooting up crystal meth to improve their sexual experience. More concerned about making gay sex legal. More concerned about making public marijuana intoxication legalization a reality.

    It’s interesting how they support gay marriage. But also support having unmarried women have 5 children from 5 different men. They support having these women on welfare. They support having them arrested if they have a man in their “gun free zone” government housing unit.
    They don’t support long term stable heterosexual marriage.

    They hate the church because that’s where self control is demanded. And where personal accountability is required.

    In the 1970s is was promoters of sexual liberation, who interesting had NO children of their own. Who were closing down rifle teams high schools. And same for the pot smokers. They wanted dope legal. But supported gun control. And they stated that “if you made pot legal, there would be no need for black marijuana dealers to have guns”.

    They are Libertarians Liberals and Leftist smiling facists. They are as dangerous as a communist. They just smile as they work to take way they civil rights of people who they hate. And in many cases are as racist as a national socialist.

    All of this creates and promotes unstable children who later grow up to be unstable adults. Broken and possibly dangerous. And they support open borders.

    The second amendment is the one thing that protects us from them. And that’s why they hate it. It’s why they work to keep people in the dark about their civil rights to keep and bear arms.

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