Tuesday, April 1, 2014


FBI stats

6,220 people were homicided with a pistol.  In 2011.

2 thousand something by other firearm type or a firearm not specified.  But we'll handwave that away as if it didn't matter because that total is almost the same as people murdered by either knives or blunt object.  This is not even counting people killing people with their bare hands.   I am sure Handgun Control Inc (old name for the Brady's) will agree and recognize handgun murders as the greater scourge.

Wow, 6,220 is a lot less killing than the 30,000 number they often seem to cite.  Hmmm, it's as if they were trying to over-inflate their numbers to gain more legislative sympathy....  Seems manipulative.

Now here would be an interesting thing to know, but perhaps difficult to discern.   How many of those 6,220 murderer/murder-victim pairs was it where both individuals had more than a few criminal convictions on their rap sheets?  The general public cares a little less when hardened criminals kill hardened criminals.  In fact you get a lot less recidivism that way.  And what's it matter how criminals off other criminals, means-wise, right?

But it's hard to get the stats on whether the murderer had a record (other than the fact he should, soon... he just murdered somebody...).  That person might not even be in custody, yet, after all.  But the vicitm's, that we can find out.  And would be worth finding out.  Think it's more than half?  Good chance...

So, half is 3,110.  One murder by handgun in 100,000, for the population of the U.S.  Makes us as safe as them fancy Yoorip countries that the Democrats want us to be more like.  Like Luxenburgundia. And all without a gun ban or nuthin.


Tam said...

The overwhelming majority of homicides are of the type sometimes callously referred to as "NHI" incidents.

The ones involving real people make the headlines precisely because of their rarity, a fact the gun grabbers don't seem to grok.

Matthew said...

The estimated "gang-related" number of all firearm homicides is around 70-80% by police departments/CDC. Most of those are handguns, so you are being safely conservative.

Control also for DV murders that are the culmination of years of escalating violence and the number of murders that really resonate for most folks are, as Tam says, notable by their rarity.

mikee said...

Time for my repeated rant that homicides are not a good metric to use for criminal gun violence.

Homicides happen only when someone dies, and dying from a gunshot depends on placement. Placement of the shot, geographical placement of the incident, placement of EMTs and ambulances and ER surgeons.

I stand a much better chance of dying if I accidentally shoot myself while all alone in a tree stand in rural Idaho than if a gang banger caps me in the ass in downtown Baltimore, blocks from a world-class trauma center.

If you wanna talk about guns and the evil they do, homicide is not a good metric. Total crime in which guns are used is necessary to understand anything about guns and crime, including robberies in which a gun is brandished but not used, and self defense in which a gun is brandished but not used. And everything in between, from mass shootings by crazies to SWAT teams saving hostages.

Otherwise you’re looking at confounded statistical effects including the state of modern medicine near the shooting, self defense gun laws, attitudes toward criminals, recidivism of released offenders, etc., etc., etc., instead of the effect of guns on the public.

Matthew said...


You are correct when using rates to show changes over time, but that isn't how the metric is being used in this case.

The point being made is that, in any given year, the percentage of homicides that are the result of otherwise "normal" people misusing handguns is consistently low.

Thus, to address homicide with firearms (which necessarily subsumes all criminal misuses which might result in a homicide due to aim/response/treatment quality, etc) you would do better to address the issues with targeted policies, not blanket restrictions which can only possibly effect the smallest group of potential violators.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I'm just concentrating on what the Brady's concentrate on. Won't you PLEASE think of the children?

Daniel in Brookline said...


The kind of statistics you mention would indeed be useful, if they were available. Given how many crimes are not reported (e.g. robberies thwarted with a gun brandished but not fired, to repeat one of the examples you used), the numbers you want aren't available, and are not likely to be.

So I guess we'll have to do the best we can with what we have.