Once Again, People are Talking About Violent Crime

 

In a recent post, among other things, I pointed out that violent crime rates had actually fallen dramatically since the early 90’s.  I got called “delusional” for my pains.  So, here are the facts.

Politifact, a group that claims to be a non-partisan fact checking organization but has repeatedly demonstrated a strong left wing bias. Has kindly compiled the following from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (I cite them here since no-one can realistically claim a right-wing bias):

violent crime rates

You will note that the numbers peaked around 1992-1993 and have fallen since.  Thre was a slight “bubble” around 2005 to 2007 after which it fell again and plateaued at just under 400 per 100,000, a rate not seen since 1971.

Some will look and say “Ah hah! The chart stops at 2019 on an upward trend.  Surely crime has skyrocketed since then!”

Well, actually, no.  Going directly to the FBI’s own report and compiling the numbers from 1998 to the present (which, incidentally, serves as a check on that portion of the above graph), we get:

recent crime rates

Yes, there was a slight “bump” in 2015 and 2016, but the violent crime rate fell again in 2017.  The FBI has a preliminary report for 2018 which shows that violent crime has fallen an additional 4.2 percent, so from 382.9 per 100,000 to 366.8 per 100,000, or some 50,000 fewer violent crimes than in 2016.

So, contrary to media portrayals, violent crime is not on the rise.  Nor is murder itself on the rise (the rate fell 6.7% in 2018 from 5.3 per 100,000 to about 4.9 per 100,000).  But, boy, you wouldn’t know that to listen to the news or to certain political pundits.

I have claimed that this fall in violent crime rate was occurring at a time when more people were permitted to carry more guns in more places than ever before.  Doubt that?  Check out this video:

That’s just the passage of “shall issue” or the blanket removal of licensing requirements (often called “Constitutional Carry”).  It does not include things like Indiana passing laws reducing the number of places where licensed individuals can carry:  forbidding businesses from having a “no guns in locked cars” policy (they can forbid people from bringing guns into the business itself but cannot stop them from being armed going to and from work), permitting licensed individuals to leave guns out of sight in locked cars in school parking lots, forbidding cities, counties, and townships from prohibiting guns on most public property, and so on.  Other states have similarly reduced restrictions on where people can carry–Utah and Texas, for instance, permitting carry on college campuses, several states removing restrictions on carry in places of worship, and so on.

Now, one might dispute that the increased ability of citizens to carry caused the decrease in violent crime, what cannot be disputed is that the increased ability to carry most certainly did not cause an increase.  Indeed, for the folk supporting gun control, that the restrictions on people being permitted to carry and the actual rates of violent crime have gone in opposite directions demonstrates conclusively that, at best, giving them every benefit of every doubt (something they are not willing to grant me and those like me), other factors are far, far more important than such restrictions.

In the absolute best case, from the folk promoting gun control as a means of crime control, focusing on gun control is a distraction from dealing with real issues that affect the rates of violent crime.

The “rank and file” individual, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt on this issue.  They have been told things which are untrue and for whatever reason have not dug deeply into the factual basis (or lack thereof) of those things.  After all, there are only so many hours in the day and they can’t investigate everything that crosses their paths. (However, when they won’t listen when the factual basis is brought to their attention?  Well, that’s on them.)

The folk of the political class, however?  They get no such benefit of the doubt.  The folk in leadership positions in various anti-gun groups, media pundits, politicians–especially politicians–are only ignorant of the reality if they deliberately choose to be (call it “reckless disregard for the truth”).

They have their own reasons for wanting to disarm the American people and it’s not reducing crime.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Once Again, People are Talking About Violent Crime”

  1. I do hate to seem a “quibbler”, but one of my (many) bugaboos is the logical fallacy of “correlation without causation”.

    You say: “…what cannot be disputed is that the increased ability to carry most certainly did not cause an increase.” Actually, I submit that it is almost impossible (due to a nearly uncountable number of other relevant variable factors) to establish a true _causal_ relationship between the number of people carrying by whatever means and the number of violent crimes involving a gun.

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    1. The reason I say that it’s indisputable that it did not cause an increase is that there was no increase to be caused. As an analogy: My rain dance did not cause rain. Why do I say that? Because it’s sunny and clear out. No rain, no cause for rain. Quod Erat Demonstradum.

      As I go on to say in that same paragraph, the best case that can be made from the “pro gun control” side is that other factors are far more important. The only way there can be a positive relationship between “people being allowed to own and carry guns” and “more violence” is if other factors overwhelm that relationship.

      The fact that they keep harping on the guns and not on those other factors merely demonstrates that reducing violent crime is not their primary objective.

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  2. I just wanted to note my dislike of the tendency of our gun culture in general to assume a causal relationship between carry and crime.

    As for the controllers, I couldn’t agree more with what you say above. At a grass roots level, anti-gun arguments often lack any basis in logic, and rely on pure subjective emotion — the dreaded “feelz”. But we can never underestimate the true controllers, whose ‘greater good’ drive toward a global serfdom society is barely concealed any more, the groundwork having been well laid, especially in the “progressive” era.

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