Thursday, May 09, 2013

Latest data on gun crime

The latest report from BJS re Firearms crime:

“Among the highlights of this report:

• Firearm-related homicides declined 39%, from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.

• Nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69%, from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 victimizations in 2011.”

Both firearms related homicides and nonfatal firearms crimes declined in spite of the fact that lawful concealed carrying and the number of firearms in society increased markedly during that period. This is the kind of data that gun-controllers don’t talk about. Guns don’t cause crime and gun control will not bring down gun crime. It’s about time people realize that gun control is not really about crime control. It’s part of American’s culture wars and a symbolic crusade (a la Joseph Gusfield) to give a symbolic status victory to one part of American society. Politicians need to pretend that they have solutions to get re-elected. Unfortunately, gun control is a make-believe (let’s pretend) panacea that threatens an important provision in the Bill of Rights.

With regard to how criminals obtain firearms:

“In 2004 (the most recent year of data available), among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of the offense, fewer than two percent bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show. About 10 percent of state prison inmates said they purchased it from a retail store or pawnshop, [Apparently they were legally eligible at the time of purchase] 37 percent obtained it from family or friends, and another 40 percent obtained it from an illegal source.”

Does anyone really think that expanding background checks is going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals? ?There are hundreds of millions of firearms in Ameircan society and the number is rapidly increasing.  The "genie" is already out of the bottle, and the "horse," fled the barn long before anyone even though of closing the barn door.   Expanding the checks will probably mean that criminals (or those with criminal intent) will bypass these outlets and move directly to friends or family.  Although the extent of the problem is unknown, criminals sometimes 'rent' guns from other criminals. 

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