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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Daughter Has Better Research Skills Than This Guy

The Crime Report has this article from Mansfield Frazier, who serves as the executive director of Neighborhood Solutions, Inc. in Cleveland.  The title of the article is "It's Time for Single Issue Politics on Guns."  As most gun ban activist, Frazier talks about how few crimes are committed with firearms in foreign countries:
And for those gun lovers who contend we really don’t have a gun problem in this country (they persistently and loudly shout “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”) consider what David Sessions recently wrote in The Daily Beast.

“In Britain in 2008, there were 39 gun murders; in the U.S. in 2009, there were 9,146—that’s right, even adjusted for our larger population, the American rate is 47 times higher,” Sessions wrote.

“Japan’s recent gun bans have virtually eliminated gun murder in their country. In our country, the states with the strictest gun laws have the lowest rates of gun crime.”
First, let me tackle that generalization about the states with the strictest gun laws have the lowest rates of gun crime.  Maryland has much stricter gun laws than Virgina, but has a higher rate of violent crime than Virginia.  The number of violent crimes per 100,000 people was also higher in California, NY, and CT, all states with stricter gun laws than Virginia (I just picked these and it is not an all inclusive list).  Yes, I know Sessions said "gun crime" but if a criminal is using violence against me, I don't care if he is using a gun, a knife, or a baseball bat, he is still committing a violent crime against me.

Secondly, all of these people conveniently fail to talk about the overall crime rate in those countries.  So, let's take a look at Britain.  Last month, John Lott pointed out this tidbit of information via a 2009 Daily Mail article.  It corresponds to the same time frame that Sessions used.
Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa - widely considered one of the world's most dangerous countries.

The figures comes on the day new Home Secretary Alan Johnson makes his first major speech on crime, promising to be tough on loutish behaviour.
And what do those figures show?
The figures, compiled from reports released by the European Commission and United Nations, also show:
  • The UK has the second highest overall crime rate in the EU.
  • It has a higher homicide rate than most of our western European neighbours, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
  • The UK has the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU.
  • It has the fourth highest burglary rate and the highest absolute number of burglaries in the EU, with double the number of offences than recorded in Germany and France.
But it is the naming of Britain as the most violent country in the EU that is most shocking. The analysis is based on the number of crimes per 100,000 residents.

In the UK, there are 2,034 offences per 100,000 people, way ahead of second-placed Austria with a rate of 1,677.
So, all is not well in the UK even without firearms.

But that isn't the only example of Frazier's lack of basic research skills.  He ends talking about how we have to end the "widespread possession of automatic weapons."  Problem is, none of the incidents he cites were committed with automatic weapons, nor is there "widespread possession" of such firearms as they are heavily regulated.

One would think The Crime Report would have a higher standard of credibility for the articles they share with the criminal justice community.

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