Killer Statistics

My blogging co-host Stacy McCain has a post up called Who is Murdering Whom? which deals with where in America homicides are really occurring. (The Gentle Reader will notice that Stacy gets the cases of his pronouns correct.) The short answer to that question is: generally in cities which have been run by the same party for decades.

The top five killing zones, along with their rates of murders per 100,000, are:

St. Louis 55.5 (about the same as Venezuela)
Detroit 45.0 (about the same as Jamaica)
New Orleans 44.4 (about the same as Jamaica)
Chicago 28.3 (a bit worse than Brazil)
Washington 19.9 (notably worse than Namibia and Mexico)

The U.S. national rate for murders is 5.3 per 100,000—which is below the world average of 6.2.

It’s worth noting that essentially all of the countries with murder rates worse that ours have very strict gun control laws. The countries with lower murder rates are a mixed bag, but two stand out. Switzerland, where there is a militia weapon in almost every household, has a murder rate of 0.69. Israel, which is awash in military weapons, has to include murders committed by Palestinian terrorists to get its rate up to 1.4.


11 thoughts on “Killer Statistics

  1. I’d like to see what the US rate would be if the cities listed above were removed from the figures.

  2. St. Louis only counts the city population and north of 85% of the murders in the metro area are in the city. (over 200 last year, if memory serves the rest of the metro area has under 10).
    The city is a mess, on top of a mess. They spent over 1 billion (yes billion!) last year not including schools, for a city of about 300k. They can’t even begin to address the crime problems because they don’t know how.
    Worse the north city crime is moving out of the city towards north county.

    • Chicago PD doesn’t count anyone shot on the interstates, as the State Patrol covers them. They also ended 2016 just shy of 800… with about 20 cases that “hadn’t been classified” and formally became homicides in February-March, when the attention was off them…

  3. I notice a really strange coincidence in the numbers, hard to figure out. If you break these numbers down to a neighborhood by neighborhood basis, you’ll generally find that Hispanic dominated neighborhoods have crime rates similar to Brazil, or Mexico, and Black neighborhoods generally have crime rates about the same as Jamaica, or Namibia. But mostly White neighborhoods have crime rates about the same as Switzerland, or Norway.

    That is truly a mystery, can anyone think of any explanation for that?

  4. Comparing American gun control to other countries is pretty much always a red herring. It doesn’t matter if it “worked” for other countries, because they are fundamentally different from America.
    Even comparing one state to another isn’t particularly valid, as states are almost different countries in themselves.

    The best study I’ve seen on the effect of gun control in America was a difference-in-difference study. Instead of solely making invalid comparisons between different locations, it studied the changes brought by the passage of gun laws within each area over time.
    In pretty much every case, everywhere the levels of murder and violent crime had been at a fairly steady rate. Until, that is, the moment an anti-gun law was passed. With few exceptions, every place that passed a more-restrictive-than-before gun laws saw the reduction in its crime lessen, and in some cases the drop in crime reversed to start a murder/crime increase. The crime-boosting turning point consistently coincided with the moment the anti-gun laws took effect. Areas that were more sensible contined to see their crime drop as before.

  5. The difference between the countries on the list is the motive, not the means. A person with a thousand guns, knives, heck, even nuclear missiles in their house but no motive to kill anyone won’t kill anyone even if they have every opportunity. On the other hand, someone with a strong enough motive will, even if an attempt is made to deny them every means and opportunity, still kill even if there is no chance they’ll “get away with it.” For instance, people who murder people in prison. That is to say, trying to stop murder by taking away guns won’t. Trying to stop murder by adding guns won’t either. One reduces the means, but there are always means. One reduces opportunity, but someone with a strong enough grudge finds a remarkable amount an opportunity. Probably between the two, adding will do more than taking away. But between the three, if you can get rid of the motive, the other two aren’t really all that important.

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