Sunday, November 9, 2008

Shooting Stats

You know what stat I'd like to see on shootings? How many shootings were done by an individual known by authorities to be a repeat offender, committing felony criminal acts on the persons or property of strangers (not possession, per se, but robbery, assault, rape, burglary and murder), and convicted on more than one occasion. And then that person shoots and kills a person, and yet there was still time left on their original, or previous, sentence. In other words, they could have still been in prison, but were released, for some reason. Someone is a dead victim because a criminal was released before their time was up and their debt paid.

For generalities, say there are 30,000 gun related deaths. About half are suicides, so down to around 15,000. About 1,000 are accidents, so of the 14,000 'angry' shootings remaining, how many gun homicides are done by A) Repeat Offenders that are B) out earlier than their sentencing would indicate.

I'm thinking that this number is a sizable one, and if these offenders were sat upon, and kept in a hole, the homicide rate would be drastically lower. But I don't KNOW. And I don't know where that data would be found.

If you can get that statistic, that would be great.

Then compare the numbers for that and for the numbers of non-justifiable homicides by NRA members or CCW holders.

Unless I miss my guess, you could get a good handle on a possible, 'sensible,' gun-control law by jailing one group longer (or at least for the full amount of their sentence. Or for Life if you go with 3-Strike provisions) and leaving the other, law-abiding, the hell alone. That is, if your purpose for 'gun-control' is to have less murder and crime, and not to simply exert government control over the law abiding.

[update: According to the Department of Justice, violent recidivists (table 7) were just as likely as first time violent offenders to carry a gun. So the worry about going back to prison was not a deterrent to selection of firearm for a item of 'tradecraft.' That source shows on Table 16 that sentencing with possession of a firearm is one number, but the time served will be a bit more than half that in the 1990s. No data listed on how many were out earlier than their sentence indicated and still committed a violent crime with a firearm in that remaining 'time' while out early]


Anonymous said...

This may have what you are looking for:

Brad K. said...

You might even take the tack B.W. Clough suggested in the fantasy novel "The Crystal Crown" - no jail term longer than seven (7) years. At seven years the only next step is the death penalty.

Clough's death penalty was by impressment - stretch the condemned in the village square in the morning, with a wood platform over them. During the day villagers could lay a stone on the boards. If the prisoner were alive at sundown, they go free - and the judge takes the same place the next morning. Just to keep things honest.

At least, keeping sentences to seven (7) years would keep the prison population level (and cost) under control.

Turk Turon said...

I agree with you that the number of murderers who would still have been in jail had they served the full term of their previous sentences, is very high, based on newspaper reports.

Another stat that I would like to see is the violent crime rate of CCW holders, the number of persons per hundred thousand, who commit violent crimes, gun-related or not. My guess is that it would be substantially less than the overall violent crime rate in England, which is so often cited as a gun-control success story. My feeling is that it would document that American gun-owners are actually LESS violent than their disarmed English cousins.