graphics matter, crime edition

Pop quiz time.  For the sake of argument, assume you are on the receiving end of an unlawful assault at this very moment.  Your courses of action are as follows:

  1. Attempt no form of self-defense.
  2. Attempt to defend yourself against the perpetrator at all.
  3. Attempt to defend yourself against the perpetrator specifically using a firearm.

Which of those options do you think will have the lowest probability of you being injured in the situation?

Does your answer change if we are talking about a robbery, as opposed to an assault?

Does your answer change again if we are talking about the lowest probability of your property being stolen from you during a robbery?

Now, remember your answers.  Because, based on this Critical Review of Firearms and Violence by the National Research Council of the National Academies, here are the realities:

ArmedSelfDefenseIsEffective

In other words, you are almost half as likely to get hurt during a robbery if you employ a firearm to fight back, you are over three quarters less likely to lose personal property during a robbery if you use a firearm to defend yourself, and you are about half as likely to sustain injury during an assault if you stop the attacker with a firearm.

Well then.

It is almost like the “gun control” extremist’s notion of “give them what they want and they will go away” is… nonsense.

About now you will be noticing that while defending yourself with a firearm is strictly better than not defending yourself at all, “all” forms of self-defense are… not as much a sure bet.  The reason for this is simple:

Criminals are not idiots.

The 250lbs. thug is not going to try to assault a 400lbs. linebacker.  Nope, he is going to go for the 90lbs.-soaking-wet cheerleader, and when she tries to fight back with her bare hands, guess what?  It is highly likely that she is going to lose – and get injured in the process – simply due to mass and strength.

Provide her a firearm and a modicum of training, however?  Well, there is a reason why people say, “God made man, Sam Colt made them equal”, or why other people  describe firearms as civilization itself.

Given this data, one really has to wonder why “gun control” extremists want to massively increase your chances of being injured or losing property during an assault or robbery.  Perhaps your safety is not actually their priority?

(Incidentally, while the post is outdated, the results are approximately mirrored for shooting rampages – fighting back at all is better, but fighting back effectively (i.e. with firearms) is best.)

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graphics matter, part two, 2018 edition

The first version of this post (on this site, at least) provides the full explanation of how and why this series exists, but the same two disclaimers from the first part of this year’s edition apply to this one as well:  “more guns = more ‘gun violence'” is not my hypothesis, and I am not setting out to prove causation.

As with last year’s update, I am using the usual sources:  the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2015, the Centers for Disease Control, the Small Arms Survey of 2003, the BATFE’s Firearms Commerce in the United States, and Radical Gun Nuttery.

So, have the “gun control” extremists’ pipe dream of “more guns = more ‘gun violence'” finally come true?

PopulationFirearmsCrimes2018

You probably already know the answer.

The rate of average firearm ownership in America and the rate of crimes committed with firearms correlates with a coefficient of -0.734, indicating a strong, negative correlation between the two.

The raw number of firearms in America and the raw number of crimes committed with firearms correlates with a coefficient of -0.40019, indicating a negative correlation between the two.

In other words, the hypothesis of “more guns = more ‘gun violence’ remains false.  Still.

(Feel free to check my work (*.xlsx file).)

(Important note:  It has come to my attention that comparing, for example, this year’s correlation numbers to last year’s correlation numbers will be inherently flawed, on account of both the FBI and the CDC going back and updating/correcting/etc. information up to five years in the past.  The most-recent “graphics matter” post will have the most-recent information from both sources, but the previous years’ information from last year’s posts may have been updated/changed.  I do not know how, for example, the CDC managed to misrecord the US population from four years ago, but it is a little annoying.)

graphics matter, part two, 2017 edition

Last year’s edition of this post adequately explained the methods and reasons behind this post, so feel free to skim it if you need a refresher.  The sources remain the same:

So, with another year of data under our belt, does my answer to the hypothesis of “more guns = more ‘gun violence’” change?

PopulationFirearmsCrime2017

Nope.

The short answer is that the rate of firearm ownership correlates with the rate of crimes committed with a firearm with a coefficient of -0.57582, showing a negative correlation between the two.

Likewise, the raw number of firearms in private hands correlates to the raw number of crimes committed with a firearm with a coefficient of -0.44568, also indicating a negative correlation between these two data sets.

In a shock to no one, the hypothesis of “more guns = more ‘gun violence'” still cannot be true.

As always, please feel free to check my work (*.xlsx file).

 

graphics matter, part two

Now that we have dispensed with the myth that “more guns = more gun deaths”, what about the second-most-favorite talking point of the “gun control” movement: “more guns = more ‘gun violence’“?

Well, the first problem is what, exactly, is “gun violence”?  For simplicity’s sake, and for the sake of actually finding relevant data, I am going to define “gun violence” as “any crime committed with the assistance of a firearm”, or “CCwF” for short.  Specifically, after consulting the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s Uniform Crime Reports for 2013, we are going to consider murders, robberies, and assaults where the perpetrators employed a firearm.

As with the previous post, the Centers for Disease Control will be providing the population of the United States (though we will not be using WISQARS, since we are not interested exclusively in fatalities or injuries), the Small Arms Survey of 2003 will provide the starting point of our firearm count estimation, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Shooting Industry News providing the production numbers, and Radical Gun Nuttery did the counting for the number of “shall-issue” / “Constitutional carry” states out there.

So, given all of those wonderful numbers, do more guns really mean more “gun violence”?

PopulationFirearmsCrimes

Nope.

For the numerically inclined, the rate of firearm ownership correlates with the rate of crimes committed with firearms with a coefficient of -0.58535, indicating a negative correlation between the two data sets.

Even when we consider raw numbers, the number of firearms in America versus the number of crimes committed with firearms correlates with a coefficient of -0.46199, still indicating a negative correlation.

In other words, the hypothesis of “more guns = more ‘gun violence'” cannot be true.

Again, feel free to check my work (*.xlsx file); folks have pointed out mistakes I have made in the past, and I am always seeking greater accuracy.

Also, it is worth noting that somewhere in the 2012 to 2013 range, assuming the Small Arms Survey of 2003 is even close to accurate, America reached parity between its population and the number of firearms in its borders; there are enough firearms for every single American to own one.  I dare say our Founding Fathers would approve.