"Violent crime continues to plummet as gun ownership skyrockets"

"Violent crime continues to plummet as gun ownership skyrockets"

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  • So... looking into the facts a bit, the case gets shaky. There were 14 million background checks, a 10% increase over the previous year. This admittedly has some correlation with gun ownership, but we don't know how many guns were purchased.

    In addition, there's only one thing in his set of facts that implies a decrease in crime occurrences.... everything else is in there to bulk it out. He also includes some facts about regional crime distribution, but nothing about regional gun ownership, which makes it impossible to compare his numbers.

    The author may feel free to say "It is fair to compare these two seemingly unrelated facts? You’re damn right it is."

    I may feel free to say "I'm not buying it."
    • You could just as easily say

      "Violent crime continues to plummet."

      And stop there. Despite the recession (which has seen an uptick in nonviolent crimes, particularly in areas hardest hit) the national violent crime rate continues its downward trend, in essentially all categories, in essentially all areas. There are local blips, but the FBI's statistics have shown a steady decrease since the peaks of narco-violence in the 1980s ended. In fact, if you exclude areas particularly hard hit by the narco-violence (Florida, and the Texas-CA southern stretch) then violent crime has been on a steady downward trend since the spike at the end of the Vietnam war.

      You could also write a headline that says "Canada continues to experience a shocking lack of violent crime despite extremely low gun ownership."

      But that wouldn't serve anyone's political purposes.
      • Re: You could just as easily say

        Why do you think Canada has low gun ownership? Canada has twice as many guns per capita as Mexico.

        And yet, violent crime is dropping, while gun ownership is rising.
        • Re: You could just as easily say

          I suspect that measures _legal_ gun ownership. I'd venture to guess that almost all guns in Mexican citizen hands (not, say, police or army) are owned illegally.

          My comparison of rates of gun ownership was US-Canada. IIRC, Canada's rate of gun ownership is about 1/3 ours. *goes to the intarwebs to check* OK, if Wikipedia is to be believed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_gun_ownership) the US has 90 guns per 100 residents and Canada has 31.5 per 100. Which is not exactly 1/3 but close enough I can see how 1/3 might have gotten into my brain.
          • Re: You could just as easily say

            So, legal gun ownership isn't a problem, right?

            My point was that "high" and "low" don't mean much.

            guns/person isn't really an interesting number anyway, what's far more interesting is gun-owners/person. In canada it's about 26% (according to the intertoobs) .

            In the US, it's about... 26% (80M) It's just that gun owners here tend to own more than one.
            • Re: You could just as easily say

              So your point is that the US and Canada have roughly the same percentage of gun owners. Presumably you're OK with agreeing that Canada's rate of violent crime is drastically lower than the US's rate.

              Which leads me back to the original point, that gun ownership and rates of violent crime are completely uncorrelated. Done now.
      • Re: You could just as easily say

        I'd just like to point out that, causative or no, it also clearly shows that "more guns" does not equal "more crime."
        • Re: You could just as easily say

          Actually, given the facts, you can't really prove anything.

          It would be equally fallacious to pick a year where these two variables were aligned in the other direction and say "more guns" clearly does not equal "less crime".

          Without showing a real cause and effect at several local levels, there's no conclusion between guns and crime to be pulled out of this.
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