Calls have rung out across the nation demanding gun control laws in a bid to curb violent crimes such as the recent series of mass shootings. Data, however, show that in states with higher percentages of households with at least one gun, crimes are not higher than in states with strict gun laws.
— Fox News: States with higher rate of gun ownership do not correlate with more gun murders, data show
While this particular report is very good at balancing numbers John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of More Guns, Less Crime points out that this report has the same failings as the anti-gun statistics. It is the problem of comparing two dissimilar locations with different CCW restrictions.
It is the same problem of comparing the UK to the US. The US is huge as compared to the UK. If you compare the UK to a single state of comparable area or comparable population you can get very different results, depending on which and where. England has a population of 56 million as of 2018, California has a population of 39 million. Comparing England to California is more reasonable than comparing England to these United States.
In addition, these United States have a much more heterogeneous mixture than many European countries. Until the recent influx of refugees most Scandinavian countries were very homogeneous. That is a statement of cultures, not of colors.
Lott’s prefered method of comparison is not to compare two different locations. It is just to easy to cherry pick to get the results you want. Instead he prefers to look at a single place as the laws change.
In addition he and most honest researchers look into controlling outside factors. Consider the situation where a state passes constitutional carry and at the same time decides on a catch and release policy for violent criminals. Or decides to release 100s of criminals from prison in order to keep them safe from a virus.
Which of those factors drives the rate of violence? Is it that there is suddenly more violent criminals on the streets? Is that there is suddenly no punishment for violent crime? Or is it that ordinary people can suddenly defend themselves?
At some point I’ll try and find the statistics on average number of crimes a violent criminal commits before they are incarcerated.
8 thoughts on “The Battle of Statistics”
I have kinfolk in the uk… it is the supreme nanny state. Crime is rampant and growing every day. The guvnors solution?? More cameras… so crime moves to where there are less cameras or they use motorcycles/scooters… if you fight back YOU get charged with assult.. no comparison. Liberals are going down hard and trying to remain in control. The next distraction is “people shouldnt be arrested for drunk driving..
I also have relatives-in-law in London and they have no interest in leaving. I thought that they might after my BIL nearly died after the negligent care from the NHS in hospital, but no.
It is the frog in the pot. When you grow up in that environment, that is what you come to expect. I point out the difference in cop shows in the UK vs the US. And US cop shows vs reality.
In US cop shows every gun is registered and there are only a few people with that type of gun. So look at the bullet, decide what type of gun fired it. Pull up the list of 15 people with a Glock 17 in the city cross check that list and there is the bad guy. There is no list of people who own guns in my state.
There is in Maryland. GRRRRRR.
My lady is now pro firearm. She tells of finding a bolt action rifle, wrapped in butchers paper and covered in cosmoline hidden in the rafters in the basement. Her grandfather, a WWII vet, had hidden it there when Canada started their anti gun and gun registration process.
She found it. She panicked. She called the RCMP to come take it away. She was terrified that the rifle was going to kill her child. She was immersed in the idea that guns were that dangerous.
When she first came down to the states she was terrified that she was going to die if she needed health care. Then she found that we could get her into see a doctor the same day. That she could get the prescriptions she needed with no issues and the costs were very reasonable.
She had been brought up to believe that no matter how bad Canadian and UK medical might be US was much much worse. And she believed this even as she knew that if you really needed medical care right now and you wanted the best, you went to the US.
I grew up 10 minutes from the BC border. There has ALWAYS been a brisk trade in BCers coming to the States for elective but serious surgeries like knee replacements, heart valves, and disgnostc procedures like CT scans, MRIs etc. You can get them in Canada alright, just takes forever, while in the US, they are available in a much more timely manner, IE weeks instead of months or some cases, YEARS..
Also, never forget that the UK’s Home Office controls the stats and they are very creative with causes of death
Now do the correlation between homicide rates (with or without the gun) and black population.
Something like 80% correlated.
But let’s stick to blaming the gun and not the jogger.
There will always be a battle over statistics, and the talking heads will NEVER get it right because they don’t know how to: a. make apples-to-apples comparisons, b. control for extraneous factors, and c. ask the right and relevant questions.
However, the good news is that Justice Thomas’ opinion in Bruen expressly says that the statistics do not matter when it comes to the Constitution and individual rights. He pretty straight up called to the carpet Justice Breyer’s dissent for trying to find reasons to circumvent the plain text of the Second Amendment.
That alone — which literally nobody on the cable news circuits is talking about — is going to be a huge hurdle to future “gun control” efforts. The Amendment reads, “shall not be infringed.” Period. Full stop. Not, “shall not be infringed unless some arbitrary number of deaths is recorded,” and not, “shall not be infringed unless one a$$hole abuses this right.”
This just caused me to go and look up the murder rate in my home state of New Hampshire. 0.9/100,000 and is the lowest in the nation and a low violent crime rate too. We have very lax gun laws.
Vermont and Maine look similar.
Massachusetts has a murder rate & violent crime rate about 3 time higher and some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. When I point this out to massholes i get the stock response “It’s due to guns coming in from NH”.
I then ask “Then why aren’t the folks in NH killing each other then? Must be a much better class of people up here!” followed by crickets.
They want us all to follow “facts and science” until it doesn’t match the narrative.
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