Violent crime down?!?!

lostngone

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 11, 2003
1,340
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Anchorage
After the last 3 major mass shootings gun sales have gone through the roof, to the point that gun stores were having a hard time keeping firearms on the shelves and some calibers of ammo are almost impossible to find.

Yet somehow violent crime in the first half of 2013 is down by over 5% according to the latest FBI numbers, how can this be??? I thought more guns on the street meant more violent crimes???

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/preliminary-semiannual-uniform-crime-report-january-june-2013

Quote: "Preliminary figures indicate that, as a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the nation reported a decrease of 5.4 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first 6 months of 2013 when compared with figures reported for the same time in 2012."
 

Michael Goff

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Jul 5, 2012
13,262
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After the last 3 major mass shootings gun sales have gone through the roof, to the point that gun stores were having a hard time keeping firearms on the shelves and some calibers of ammo are almost impossible to find.

Yet somehow violent crime in the first half of 2013 is down by over 5% according to the latest FBI numbers, how can this be??? I thought more guns on the street meant more violent crimes???

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/preliminary-semiannual-uniform-crime-report-january-june-2013

Quote: "Preliminary figures indicate that, as a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the nation reported a decrease of 5.4 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first 6 months of 2013 when compared with figures reported for the same time in 2012."
Do you have any statistics that show that there is a higher gun access rate than before? Gun sales are great, but if it's people buying their second, third, fourth gun? It isn't exactly going to be the best 'more guns = more safe' proof.
 

jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
12,520
9,997
US
After the last 3 major mass shootings gun sales have gone through the roof, to the point that gun stores were having a hard time keeping firearms on the shelves and some calibers of ammo are almost impossible to find.

Yet somehow violent crime in the first half of 2013 is down by over 5% according to the latest FBI numbers, how can this be??? I thought more guns on the street meant more violent crimes???

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/preliminary-semiannual-uniform-crime-report-january-june-2013

Quote: "Preliminary figures indicate that, as a whole, law enforcement agencies throughout the nation reported a decrease of 5.4 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first 6 months of 2013 when compared with figures reported for the same time in 2012."
Yes…this would seem to go against the theory that more guns mean more violence. But i am sure you won't see that in the evening news……..
 

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
1,433
11,628
U.S. reported crime rate is very similar to Canada's, peaking in the 1990's and on a downward trend since then.

The trend explained ...

US crime rate is down: six key reasons

... a number of other factors might be pushing crime down, even as the recession encourages more criminal activity. Here are the key reasons cited by three criminologists interviewed for this article:

Incarceration
The theory goes: The more criminals are put in jail, the fewer are on the streets to commit crimes. The United States has reached a critical point at which a majority of violent crime offenders are behind bars, many criminologists say.

Policing
“Policing is more proactive,” asserts Bushway of the University at Albany.

One way it's more proactive, Kirkpatrick says, is surveillance.

“It’s simply getting harder to commit crime,” he says. “Cameras are everywhere. Anytime there’s a bank robbery, you can bet there’s a number of pictures taken. That’s forcing illicit behavior underground where it's less detectable.”

Social programs
Law enforcement has worked with community groups for years to develop programs to keep youths engaged, provide them outlets, and combat crime. Those efforts may finally be paying off, criminologists say.

Demographics
One factor contributing to the downward trend in crime may be simple demographics: Young people commit the most crime, and young people make up a smaller percentage of society now.

Unemployment benefits
Some theories suggest that the more government support an individual can receive – through unemployment benefits, food stamps, controlled rent, and other forms of welfare – the less he or she may be encouraged to commit financial- or stress-motivated crime.

Fewer opportunities
In at least one way, the recession may have actually staved off property crime, says Richard Rosenfeld, president of the American Society of Criminology and a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

“During severe recessions like the current one, with chronically high unemployment rates, more people are at home and can act as guardians for their home,” Mr. Rosenfeld says. “That leads to a decline in residential burglaries.”

Furthermore, people have less cash and valuables on hand and in their homes now, making them less-attractive targets, he says.

“[The crime rate] has been leveling off lately following a long, slow decline,” he says. “What’s striking is it’s looking like it might start going up. If I can predict anything, it’s going to go up again.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0524/US-crime-rate-is-down-six-key-reasons
Or not ...

Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts

“The last three years have been a contrarian’s delight — just when you expect the bananas to hit the fan,” said Mr. Zimring, a visiting law professor at New York University and the author of a coming book on the decline in the city’s crime rate.

But he said there was no way to know why — at least not yet.

“The only thing that is reassuring being in a room full of crime experts now is that they are as puzzled as I am,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/us/24crime.html?_r=0

The one thing I haven't seen put forth is the opinion that increased guns in society are scaring criminals from perpetrating their dark deeds.

Please cite any reputable source that suggests it. I'd be interested in seeing it.
 

Michael Goff

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Jul 5, 2012
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In this thread I didn't say,

I was just showing that even with the increase of sales we didn't see an increase in violent crimes.
I for one have never argued that more guns means your e necessarily less safe, just that more guns wont make you more safe. Also, I would like to see the change in gun related crimes during that time.
 

jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
12,520
9,997
US
Whose theory?

Please source.
The theory in other threads in this section that guns are causing more violence and should be banned or more strictly controlled than they are presently.
I will let you find them on your own.....
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
681
38,916
Criminal Mexi Midget
I made a penny selling all my stuff at the height of the crisis :D

it will be a while before I get my toys back. still it is better to be able to have the CHOICE to defend your loved ones if the need EVER arises



----------

Maybe violent crime would be down EVEN MORE if not for the flood of guns.

There are many variables at play here.
"Maybe" some thugs realized that there are laws protecting citizens out there who defend themselves from crime while on the streets, not just at home.
 

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
1,433
11,628
The theory in other threads in this section that guns are causing more violence and should be banned or more strictly controlled than they are presently.
I will let you find them on your own.....
So by "theory" you really mean "other people's personal opinion" which are often wrong ... on both sides of this issue.

That's why I prefer to rely on science. One study that I (and others) have cited a number of times talks about the increased risk of homicide and suicide that one takes on when owning a firearm.

But I think one needs to be careful to note what that study is comparing. The increased risk is compared to people who don't own firearms. It says nothing about crime rate increasing or decreasing. It's comparing people who own and don't own firearms. Even if crime is decreasing overall, that higher risk remains.

So it's important to understand exactly what that theory is claiming.

Here's another example, an excerpt from a brief article originally published in the British Medical Journal [bolding mine] ...

The United States, for instance, has over 28 000 deaths a year from small arms—accidents, suicides, and homicides—the highest rate in the developed world. In that country firearms are the leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds, slightly ahead of vehicle crashes, and the third leading cause of death in those aged under 15. While the US murder rate without guns is roughly equivalent to that of Canada (1.3 times), its murder rate with handguns is 15 times the Canadian rate. Countries with similar cultural, economic, and ethnic make up but with different gun possession rates also have widely differing firearm death rates, roughly correlating with the percentage of households with guns. For example, Britain's firearm death rate is about 0.3 in 100 000 while the US rate is 10.6. Households with firearms are three times more likely to have murders and five times more likely to have suicides (due to all causes) than similar households without firearms. These data suggest that firearm deaths may be preventable by controlling the supply and possession of guns.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1122990/

If you read this incorrectly you might assume that it states, "if you have more guns you will have an increase in violence" and you'll wonder why the U.S. is seeing a drop in violent crimes despite an increased number of firearms. But that isn't what that article is stating. Just as with the other study it matters who you're comparing and what claims you're making based on that comparison.

I'd suggest that you're falling for the age-old habit of mashing opposing opinion into a "theory" that doesn't really exist, but one that fits your assumptions.

So let's examine the science instead. IMO, it's a much better place to start from.
 

tgara

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2012
992
2,733
Connecticut, USA
Increased gun sales are due in part to the President demonizing gun owners and the gun industry.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-20/record-u-s-gun-production-as-obama-demonized-on-issue.html

“Barack Obama is the stimulus package for the firearms industry,” said Dave Workman, senior editor of Gun Mag, a print and online publication of the 2nd Amendment Foundation, a gun-ownership rights group. “The greatest irony of the Obama administration is that the one industry that he may not have really liked to see healthy has become the healthiest industry in the United States.”
 

vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,317
11,830
Midlife, Midwest
There are probably hundreds of factors that go into the overall drop in violent crime: increased rates of incarceration, demographic factors; changes in policing strategies; and the greater economic environment.

One thing that plays very little, if any, role is the number of guns bought and played with by scared, silly, middle-aged white men.

Oh, it might add the tiniest statistical uptick in the number of suicides and accidental shootings. But Joe Sixpack buying yet another AR-15 or bull pup M17 isn't going to do anything at all to discourage the wife-beater down the street or the drunken bar fight across town.

The most interesting theory I've come across is the one that suggests a strong link between the elimination of environmental lead and the lowering of crime.

Note: At one time I worked in the paint business. I can remember quite vividly how the old-time house painters bewailed the fact that lead had been banned from paint since the late 1970s. In all fairness, lead paints did have have a unique silky glow. But seeing the terrible damage lead does to people who are exposed to it - we should be grateful indeed it is gone from our gas tanks and window frames.
 

jamezr

macrumors G5
Aug 7, 2011
12,520
9,997
US
So by "theory" you really mean "other people's personal opinion" which are often wrong ... on both sides of this issue.

That's why I prefer to rely on science. One study that I (and others) have cited a number of times talks about the increased risk of homicide and suicide that one takes on when owning a firearm.

But I think one needs to be careful to note what that study is comparing. The increased risk is compared to people who don't own firearms. It says nothing about crime rate increasing or decreasing. It's comparing people who own and don't own firearms. Even if crime is decreasing overall, that higher risk remains.

So it's important to understand exactly what that theory is claiming.

Here's another example, an excerpt from a brief article originally published in the British Medical Journal [bolding mine] ...




If you read this incorrectly you might assume that it states, "if you have more guns you will have an increase in violence" and you'll wonder why the U.S. is seeing a drop in violent crimes despite an increased number of firearms. But that isn't what that article is stating. Just as with the other study it matters who you're comparing and what claims you're making based on that comparison.

I'd suggest that you're falling for the age-old habit of mashing opposing opinion into a "theory" that doesn't really exist, but one that fits your assumptions.

So let's examine the science instead. IMO, it's a much better place to start from.
The problem i have is comparing the US with other countries. There is no other country like the US in the world. The conditions that exist here do not exist anywhere else. We can only compare US to US.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,359
UK
Clinton set a bad example, the people simply took precautions, others like myself made a pretty penny by selling everything :D
Wait so Clinton set a bad example did he? Must be why firearms deaths dropped so much while he was president...

image.jpg
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,359
UK
The problem i have is comparing the US with other countries. There is no other country like the US in the world. The conditions that exist here do not exist anywhere else. We can only compare US to US.
How many other countries have you visited?
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
681
38,916
Criminal Mexi Midget
The problem i have is comparing the US with other countries. There is no other country like the US in the world. The conditions that exist here do not exist anywhere else. We can only compare US to US.

Wait so Clinton set a bad example did he? Must be why firearms deaths dropped so much while he was president...

View attachment 461933
did they drop because of the ban? :)
 

astrorider

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2008
454
10
The one thing I haven't seen put forth is the opinion that increased guns in society are scaring criminals from perpetrating their dark deeds.

Please cite any reputable source that suggests it. I'd be interested in seeing it.
This seems like a good starting point for sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_Guns,_Less_Crime#Reception
Shall issue laws[edit]
Lott examines the effects of shall issue laws on violent crime across the United States.

His conclusion is that shall issue laws, which allow citizens to carry concealed weapons, steadily decrease violent crime. He explains that this result makes sense because criminals are deterred by the risk of attacking an armed victim. As more citizens arm themselves, the danger to criminals increases.
A conference organized by the Center for Law, Economics, and Public Policy at Yale Law School and held at American Enterprise Institute was published in a special issue of The Journal of Law and Economics.[5] Academics of all interests in the debate were invited to participate and provide refereed empirical research.[6] Some papers from that conference supported Lott's conclusions:

Bruce L. Benson, Florida State University, and Brent D. Mast, American Enterprise Institute, "Privately Produced General Deterrence", The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.[7]

John R. Lott, Jr and John Whitley, University of Adelaide, "Abortion and Crime: Unwanted Children and Out-of-Wedlock Births," Economic Inquiry, April 2007.[8]

John R. Lott, Jr and John Whitley, University of Adelaide, "A Note on the Use of County-Level UCR Data," Journal of Quantitative Criminology, October 2001.[9]

John R. Lott, Jr, "The Concealed-Handgun Debate," Journal of Legal Studies, January 1998.[10]

Florenz Plassmann, State University of New York at Binghamton, and T. Nicolaus Tideman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, "Does the right to carry concealed handguns deter countable crimes? Only a count analysis can say", The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.[11]

Carlisle E. Moody, College of William and Mary, "Testing for the effects of concealed weapons laws: Specification errors and robustness," The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.[12]

Stephen G. Bronars, University of Texas, and John R. Lott, Jr., "Criminal Deterrence, Geographic Spillovers, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns", American Economic Review, May 1998.[13]

David E. Olson, Loyola University Chicago, and Michael D. Maltz, University of Illinois at Chicago, "Right-to-carry concealed weapons laws and homicide in large U.S. counties: the effect on weapon types, victim characteristics, and victim-offender relationships," The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.[14] They found "a decrease in total homicides."

David B. Mustard, University of Georgia, "The Impact of Gun Laws on Police Deaths," The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.[15]

T. B. Marvell, Justec Research, "The Impact of Banning Juvenile Gun Possession," The Journal of Law and Economics, October 2001.[16] Marvell found evidence that right-to-carry laws reduced rape rates.

Other refereed empirical academic studies besides the original paper with David Mustard that have supported Lott's conclusions include the following.

William Alan Bartley and Mark A. Cohen, Vanderbilt University, "The Effect of Concealed Weapons Laws: An Extreme Bound Analysis", Economic Inquiry, 1998.[17]

Florenz Plassmann, State University of New York at Binghamton, and John Whitley, University of Adelaide, 'Confirming "More Guns, Less Crime"', Stanford Law Review, 2003.[18]

Eric Helland, Claremont-McKenna College and Alexander Tabarrok, George Mason University, 'Using Placebo Laws to Test "More Guns, Less Crime",' The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 2008.[19]

Carlisle E. Moody, College of William and Mary, and Thomas B. Marvell, Justec Research, "The Debate on Shall-Issue Laws", Econ Journal Watch, 2008.[20]
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
360
Oregon, USA
I think you are looking for the freakonomics article.
Thank you.


The most interesting theory I've come across is the one that suggests a strong link between the elimination of environmental lead and the lowering of crime.
I prefer this one myself. To the OP: the problem with applying anything to the overall rate is the raw number of possible factors. Even with all the ability to isolate causality from correlation with lead, we would need to put lead back into the equation to know for sure. And the only lead still in wide consumer use is in bullets.