With recent separate shootings (man kills eight in August / another man kills seven in September) I’ve been seeing lots of the usual blame. You know, “America’s lunatic obsession with guns”, the NRA, the Second Amendment, hillbilly rednecks who are so dumb compared to NYC and West Coast elites, etc.
It’s been a while since I’d addressed, so here goes again:
In the US, there are well over 300 million guns in private hands. I last ran the numbers a few years ago on the CDC and crime numbers available 2011, which at the time were “the latest”. Here’s what it showed:
Assuming a unique gun per murder (which as the examples above clearly show is NOT the case), a privately owned U.S. gun has a 0.0037% chance of being used in a murder. That’s extraordinarily low. So low, it’s statistically irrelevant in terms of cause and effect.
But here’s the shocker: If you eliminate gang warfare (e.g., the pandemic of shootings in urban decay areas of Chicago, as noted), the odds of a privately owned gun being used to murder drops to 0.0007%. Yes, over 80% of U.S. gun murders are gang and, by direct relationship, often drug-war related.
And as a reminder, that correlation is much lower than a 0.0007% chance because gangs use the same guns for multiple murders, which also applies also outside of gang situations where you get crazy person deciding to go postal, e.g., the two articles linked at top.
In other words, gun ownership does not correlate to gun murder. Specific demographics do.
Supporting that is the fact that gun sales in the U.S. over the last decade went through the roof under increased threats of gun bans of various types, from pistols to tactical sports rifles, to magazine size and bullet availability. All of this driven from lefty authoritarian activists and politicians who believe the government elites can only be trusted to monopolize gun ownership. Indeed, the U.S. gun manufacturer lobby could not have had a better ally for profitable business than Obama.
Yet, despite record gun sales and a massive bulge in private ownership, gun murders actually declined over that period. So, despite hysteria from lefties, more guns does not = more gun crime. Instead, you could make the argument that it reduces it.
And that’s nothing new. Per capita U.S. gun ownership has always been high. Yet gun murders were a virtual anomaly prior to the 1960s. People were simply too civilized to be shooting each other.
But, then suddenly for some reason, amid declining gun ownership in the 1960s-1990s, gun homicides skyrocketed and peaked in the 90s. What changed during that time that caused Americans to start shooting each other at an alarming pace?
The answer is simple: Culture. For some reason, people decided to start shooting at one another.
On that, a very big finger should most certainly be pointed at Lydon Johnson’s Great Society Welfare programs of the early mid 1960s.
Why single out blacks? Well, there is a clear statistical anomaly: Blacks are 13% of the population but commit over 50% of gun murders in the U.S. Unless you believe that blacks are inherently violent, you have to ask why… Which brings us back to LBJ’s Great Society.
But what does entitlement welfare have to do with gun violence?!? Simple:There is absolute direct correlation that they undermined the nuclear family structure among the impoverished, and especially among blacks. As single mothers increasingly defined the head of black families, and in pandemic numbers (in excess of 80% of black youths born to single mothers), more and more young males gravitated to gangs for male role models and leadership. Studies show young men without fathers and broken families join gangs and numbers that are many multiples greater than not. This trend shifted for all races, although to a lesser degree among whites and other minorities — who by no coincidence have far lower numbers of single mothers bearing children.
Again, if we drill further into the black gun homicide number, young black males age 15-35 are the demographic doing the shootings. Blacks are about 50% male, 6.5% of U.S. population, of which less than half are in the age demographic aged 15-35 at ~3% of total population.
In other words, ~3% of the U.S. population commits 50% of the murders, and of that 3% a fraction are among the gang members who commit 80% of gun murders.
Now that, readers, is real correlation. But it is a very uncomfortable correlation that forces progressives to look squarely in the mirror for having contributed to its creation in the first place. Correlations are clear: Guns don’t’ kill people, progressive policies do!
With that in mind, if progressives were truly concerned about making a dent in murder numbers, they’d focus on what’s happened to the black family unit, how it was undermined by progressive keystone programs like entitlement welfare and further compounded by victimology politics, like BLM and calling everyone to your right a racist or nazi, which only distracts from this fact. Progressive policies directly correlate to why family-disadvantaged black youth are more susceptible to become gang members and murderers. The blame lies squarely on Congress’s lefty-driven entitlement programs that supplanted fathers, breaking the crucial need to have father figure in the family. Nuclear families are the NUMBER ONE factor determining if children are in poverty or not. Women embarking on single motherhood are virtually guaranteeing themselves poverty and invariably are dependent on the surrogate “male provider” of the State. Furthermore, because their well-being and comfort is not rooted on family values that enable parents to conform to standards of success, to earn wages and see to it that their children learn the same cultural norms that create self-sufficiency, the cycle of poverty and related violence becomes nearly locked in. We are generations deep in some families that have not had fathers or wage earners.
This is certainly not to blame blacks since it is a problem that occurs across the board. And, it goes without saying that plenty of black families avoid this trap and succeed far better than many among majority whites or other minorities. Still, this problem is beyond pandemic in black communities with the greatest gun violence and we should examine why other racial demographics join gangs as well. (Hint: for the same reasons.)
Lastly, we should look at what often motivates kids to join gangs — beyond role models, a sense of family, etc – and to kill, for reasons beyond revenge and pride over disrespect, etc. That falls squarely on the highly profitable black-market drug trade, created by the inane and failing prohibition we call the War on Drug. It magically turns low-profit, cheap-to-produce substances into commodities worth more than their weight in gold, creating an opportunity for absurd profits for those indifferent to the law. It draws in kids looking to make money well above their legal skill-set wage and it incentivizes gangs to murder over drug turf to guarantee those profits. Moreover, it incarcerates minorities at absurd levels, further taking a toll on families.
So, if progressives truly wanted to end murder, a quick and easy step would be to end the $ trillion war on Drugs. Along with that, they would embark on a program to gradually eliminate government run entitlement welfare to restore the family unit.
Or, they can remain in denial because its too politically incorrect to engage real facts and stick with the easy hyperbole, and just blame guns. Cuz its easier to pretend guns kill people on their own rather than accept responsibility for the FACT that the government-run redistribution schemes you stand for killed tens of thousands and continue the carnage day after day.
One last item: What about the other 20% of gun murders not committed by gangs?
The only other meaningfully defined demographics are related to the mentally ill and domestic violence. These are areas where we need to be culturally better for a variety of reasons.Dylan Root, the Sandy Hook nut, the Columbine shooters, the Joker Movie Theater shooter… There were signs. Could we have done better? And should we be investigating the correlation of these people’s psyche treatments to their violence, e.g. the pharmaceuticals that bear explicit warnings about users being encouraged by these substances to have (and act on) violent thoughts? This seems to be swept under the rug by the left “becuz guns”.
We also know there is far too much ignored domestic abuse, both physical and mental. It almost always predates gun violence, the murder suicides, etc.
But in the end, unless there is a track record of violence and threats that need to be taken very seriously, these situations are largely a handful of needles in millions haystacks. It’s not a perfect answer, but the next best option is to consider that had any one or more of the victims in the linked articles above been armed, it’s likely the shooting rampages would have stopped at one or two victims before the murderer himself was shot. Moreover, had the killer known that the room had armed people in in it, would they have even dared to start shooting in the first place? To pretend that this disincentive to murder is not real is to pretend police carry guns for no good reason at all.
And in the broader sense, we should never forget that despite the granular level in this piece, the reason the U.S. has a Second Amendment is to provide disincentive to groups that would try to trample the liberty of others by seizing government power to do so. It is our reset button against tyranny and authoritarianism at home, be it 1 on 1, groups against one, or majorities against minorities via government. Disarmed peoples are the ones that become hostage to regimes like those in North Korea, or the victims of the deliberate extermination policies of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot… What of the Armenians? If we truly are concerned about the murder of innocents, we should do all we can to assure we can prevent tens and hundreds of thousands, or even millions of deaths, rather than increase that risk to save one or two by focusing on private, lawfully owned guns that, in and of themselves, are never used to murder greater than 99.9993% of the time.