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Old November 26, 2012, 12:13 AM   #1
Kimio
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Anyone have the statistics for gun related crime in Chicago, LA etc?

I'm putting together a paper that talks about gun violence and how regulations have done nothing to help curb it over the past decade.

For whatever reason, either I'm not entering the right words into google or what have you, but I can't find solid information from a credible source that shows the statistics of how gun violence has not be affected by legislation that enforces gun control.

Can someone please help me out here?
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Old November 26, 2012, 12:41 AM   #2
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The only thing I know off the top of my head is the FBI site.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr
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Old November 26, 2012, 01:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimio View Post
I'm putting together a paper that talks about gun violence and how regulations have done nothing to help curb it over the past decade.

For whatever reason, either I'm not entering the right words into google or what have you, but I can't find solid information from a credible source that shows the statistics of how gun violence has not be affected by legislation that enforces gun control.

Can someone please help me out here?
Careful. We here all want you to do that. And we all believe that. But as an investigative model you're making the fallacy of contempt prior to investigation. (Or close enough anyway.) [This is NOT an Aristotelian fallacy]

You need to gather statistics then write to assert what the evidence suggests.

For example I can assert that if x then y. Then sort through a bunch of x, disregarding cases of x but not y as irrelevant, them present my Q number of cases where x and y as evidence to support my hypothisis.

But I suspect if you dig just a little the evidence will support you.
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Old November 26, 2012, 01:52 AM   #4
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put a heavy focus on Chicago for an A+
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Old November 26, 2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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I believe your time limitation of 'the past decade' is going to make your task difficult. There have been few changes in gun laws, for example, in Los Angeles in that period; it would likely be difficult to make a 'before and after' comparison.

Without going into the 'baggage' John Lott has added, his research gives a good idea of the complexity of the effort, and the (lack of) persuasiveness of such data.
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Old November 26, 2012, 08:29 PM   #6
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What are the violent crime trends in LA and Chicago? I know the national trends have been pretty good in the past decade+.
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Old November 26, 2012, 08:56 PM   #7
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2010 LA county here: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pd...11_11a/19.pdf?

2001-2010 trends available at http://oag.ca.gov/crime/jt_cjsc/2010 I picked "Los Angeles" and "Total Felony Arrests by Gender and Offense"

Violent crime rate/100,000 population is recorded as
Rate/100K 2001:452, 2002:448, 2003:487, 2004:513, 2005:511, 2006:515, 2007:486, 2008:457, 2009:370, 2010:325
That is, going up 2001-2004, about the same 2005-2006, falling 2007-2010
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Last edited by Librarian; November 26, 2012 at 09:14 PM.
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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If you want crime statistics use the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. The last figure I saw was 80 million gun owners and 258 million gun owners. These are probably not right on the money. Lets use them for simplicity. You can get from the FBI UCR the number of homicides committed with firearms. Take this number minus homicides that are in self defense and divide it by 80 million and you will see when you get the results that law abiding gun owners are not your problem. It is the "VERY VERY FEW" that misuse firearms for illegal purposes that are the problem. Your first thought should be that if we pass any gun control law that is only going to effect law abiding firearms owners we have not done a dayum thing to solve the problem. Considering the one percenters who do not give a dayum about the law is there any permanent solution to gun violence by them other than taking them off the street for long periods of time for using firearms during criminal activity.
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:35 AM   #9
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I've looked them up several times and found fairly good results, just using Google. But I found two problems trying to do that.

The first was finding statistics for the particular jurisdiction. There was a place that had lots of statistics by town. But I don't live in town. I live in Fairfax County, Virginia, which is not organized as a city. It didn't show up at all. I did get some statistics from the county's own website.

Another thing is getting the particular statistic you want. There are no statistics, for example, for "home invasion," because it is not a legal term. Likewise, I don't remember if I saw any statistics that included weapons or how a homicide was carried out, though the FBI probably has some like that. But their statictics are practically overwhelming and not so useful when you're talking about one place.

I do recall, however, being surprised at some of the things I did find. Birmingham, Alabama, is worse than El Paso, Texas, and my hometown in West Virginia is worse than where I live now, just outside Washington, DC. So be prepared for some mild surprises.
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Old November 28, 2012, 11:20 AM   #10
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Just a comment, but one I think others may find interesting. Places with small populations often have "higher crime rates" than more densly populated areas simply because of the economy of scale.

A given area with a population of 50,000 only needs to experience 1 crime in a year to have a rate 2 per 100,000 (the common ratio refered to in these types of studies), where as a city with the same area but a population of 2 million can experience 40 crimes before it reaches the 2 per 100,000 crime ratio.

So which area is "safer", the less populated area where only 1 crime is commited per year, or the larger population area where 40 crimes are committed per year?

It may be more descriptive to discuss these statistics in tems of area, rather than population. Example: 1 crime per 30 square miles vs. 40 crimes per 30 square miles.

Just some thoughts.
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Old November 28, 2012, 02:19 PM   #11
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I'm not sure "economy of scale" is the appropriate expression but I understand what you are trying to say. But if you give the statistic differently, it makes a little better sense. Take for example, my hometown that I mentioned earlier.

It has a population of about 8,500. There was one murder in 2010. That means, in a way, that you have one chance in 8,500 of being murdered. The county where I live now has a population of about 1,100,000. There were 22 murders in 2008, the latest year available, apparently. That gives you a one in 50,000 chance of being a murder victim. So, although there are 22 times as many murders here, you have a better chance of being murdered in my hometown, where I would move at the drop of a hat. So in other words, the crime rate per 100,000 makes no sense if there aren't that many people there to begin with.
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Old November 28, 2012, 02:56 PM   #12
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I should add there that the statistics I quoted, presumably accurately, speak to the issue directly as mentioned in the original post. However, some sources, including Fairfax County's own listing of statistics, also give changes from year to year and make a big deal of it, especially if the numbers go down. But I suspect that unless the numbers in question are large and the change is also large as well, then the differences may not be significant enough to draw a reasonalble conclusion about the results, especially when the numbers aren't detailed any more than they are. Fairfax county does have more detail but I wasn't going to recreate statistics for this post. Sometimes interesting things pop up in the news, though. For instance, several years ago, there was a murder in which the weapon used was a single shot .30-30 pistol.

On top of everything else, there's always going to be the creditbility of the statistics. Apparently no one believes anything they don't want to believe any more, if they ever did.
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Old November 28, 2012, 03:35 PM   #13
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Allow me to add to BlueTrain's thought.

If those stats do not take into account the ingress or egress of the resident population, they are further skewed.
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Old November 28, 2012, 03:44 PM   #14
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Yeah, BlueTrain, economy of scale doesn't quite fit, but I think it gets the point across.

Stats and Studies about crime are always a bit wishy-washy. For example, they never give the specifics. Was the one murder in your home town the result of domestic strife? If so, one could say that your chances of murder were zero, unless you were married to Mr. X, at which point they would be 100%!

Of the 22 murders in the large population where you live now, how many were committed by strangers against strangers? That would be a better stat, with more meaning.

Anyway, I hope the OP has fun with his research.
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Old November 28, 2012, 04:02 PM   #15
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
So in other words, the crime rate per 100,000 makes no sense if there aren't that many people there to begin with.
Yes indeed.

Small towns that almost never have murders can suddenly appear to be the most dangerous place in an entire state if they have one murder in a single year and only 500 residents. Never mind that there's only been one murder in that town in the last 120 years, that one year looks REALLY bad with those "X per 100,000" counts.

We had just such an example in a tiny town near me a couple years ago. The murder rate must have been like 2,000 per 100,000 that year.
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Old November 28, 2012, 04:45 PM   #16
BlueTrain
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I have no knowledge of the details of the one murder in my hometown, nor do I have any knowledge of the details of the murders around where I live now. They did, I think, give the details of some incidents, like I said, but I wasn't going to put together anything just to give it here. In any event, the statistics exist, even if they aren't easily accessible or widely available. That's something that bothers people about the Marshall one-shot-stop statistics; they're difficult to check on your own. At least that's one problem people have.

The one problem with your comment, Mr. Pfleuger, is that in neither my home town, nor where I live now, have there been years without a murder. The places aren't that small. But I don't think the statistics are at all wishy-washy. After all, there's no reason to expect the precise statistics you're looking for the be easily available on the internet. They require a lot of work. In some places, there are statistics in incredible detail, only probably they don't give you what you want, at least not easily. But as you know, that's what makes studying the big picture difficult.

That is a good question about the strangers. If you had access to the police files, you might eventually come up with the answer but that's a hard one.

I've only mentioned murder statistics. There are other violent crimes, too, as well as burglary, car theft (haven't seen horse stealing anywhere yet), and all those traffic violations, spitting on the street, jaywalking, and so on.

Another factor that's difficult to factor in, I imagine, is the way numbers are related to the population, while it doesn't follow that either victims or perpetrators are residents. We are surrounded by other jurisdictions with large populations, too, and it's easy to move from one jurisdiction to another. That makes car dealers nervous when they're close to the river.

Yet another factor but one which is well known locally is the way some places within the same statistical jurisdiction (in my case, the county) experience a lot more crime than other parts of the county. You probably know that about where you live yourself. I don't know how you take that into account but in theory, any change in crime numbers because of a change in the law would be the same throughout the whole county. That seems logical, anyway. Yet at the same time, if the particular law that changed was national, the change would be the same everywhere--in theory. But it probably won't be. Then the problem is sifting out one cause of the change from all the other causes. How you can do that and make someone else believe it is mildly difficult and I say that based on having taken criminology classes in college.

Not much has changed since then, 40 years ago, except that a lot more things are illegal.
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