No, Legal Firearm Ownership Isn't To Blame For Increased Homicides In American Cities
Law-abiding Americans aren't responsible for rotten DAs, weak judges, repeat offenders, recidivism, and a policy of coddling criminals over victims and justice.
The left is working overtime to link the homicide increase in American cities to gun ownership.
Five Thirty Eight argues that correlation is absolute causation in this piece:
As the pandemic progressed, and gun sales continued to climb alongside shootings, researchers have puzzled over the connection between these two intersecting trends. Was the surge in violent crime related to the uptick in guns sold last year? We may not get a definitive answer to that question for years, but fresh data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives provides some of the first evidence that a relationship exists.
Put more plainly, thousands of guns purchased in 2020 were almost immediately used in crimes — some as soon as a day after their sale. That was the case of the 9mm Beretta pistol purchased by an Arlington man from Uncle Dan’s Pawn Shop and Jewelry in Dallas, according to police records. Officers seized the gun from its owner during a drug arrest 24 hours later. In another example, a Laredo, Texas, man assaulted his mother, then opened fire on policewith his Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 rifle in July 2020. The gun had been purchased at a Cabela’s in Ammon, Idaho, just three months prior.
“Overall, I think we can say that the gun sale surge may have contributed to a surge in crime,” said Julia Schleimer, a researcher in the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, after reviewing the ATF’s data.
But it’s also possible, she added, that the increase in gun sales is not solely responsible for the increase in short time-to-crime recoveries.
I love when advocates spend multiple graphs to shore up a point with weak arguments only to walk it all back later on for plausible deniability. They are pretty sure that the increase of firearm sales is the exact reason why crime has exploded, but just to cover their bases, it’s possible that it’s not. Buried later on:
Researchers interviewed for this story cautioned that the number of guns recovered and traced by law enforcement does not always indicate the amount of gun crime in a given year.
It’s funny: a year ago Five Thirty Eight argued against rising crime in their piece titled “Many Americans Are Convinced Crime Is Rising In The U.S. They’re Wrong” while background checks for firearm purchases hit a record high the same year. From Vox in 2016 — “Americans don’t know crime has plummeted. In fact, they think it’s gone up:”
Since the 1990s, crime rates in the US have plummeted — with the murder and violent crime rates dropping by more than half.
Americans, it turns out, have no idea.
Gun sales set a record in 2016, too. In fact, gun sales have trended upward for the past couple of decades, an inconvenient wrinkle for the ‘blame guns’ narrative. A few other things Five Thirty Eight left out: They didn’t verify how many of the cited homicides were committed by repeat offenders or committed by people had legally purchased their guns, and they didn’t mention that the decrease in crime intersects with the record rise in firearm ownership.
AEI: Even if you’re not convinced that increased gun ownership reduces violent crime and gun homicides, you should be totally convinced of this indisputable fact: Gun violence has been decreasing significantly over time, not increasing as you’ll frequently hear from anti-gun politicians and progressives. The gun-related homicide rate of 3.6 deaths per 100,000 population in each of the years 2010, 2011 and 2013 makes those recent years the safest in at least 20 years, and possibly the safest in modern US history, since “older data [before 1993] suggest that gun violence might have been even more widespread previously,” according to Ehrenfreund.
While crime has decreased over the past nearly three decades as firearm ownership has increased, there are a handful of major cities seeing a spike in homicide rates: 'It's just crazy': 12 major cities hit all-time homicide records.
At least 12 major U.S. cities have broken annual homicide records in 2021 -- and there's still three weeks to go in the year.
Of the dozen cities that have already surpassed the grim milestones for killings, five topped records that were set or tied just last year.
Experts say there are a number of reasons possibly connected to the jump in homicides, including strained law enforcement staffing, a pronounced decline in arrests and continuing hardships from the pandemic, but that there is no clear answer across the board.
The increase of homicides in these cities is not due to law-abiding people legally purchasing guns.
I’ve addressed this before: it’s because of woke “restorative justice” that prioritizes the criminal over both the victim and justice. The former superintendent of the Chicago PD once slammed the dropped charges and weak sentencing from prosecutors and judges telling the press that the same repeat offenders drive the city’s overall crime rate. This is true, and the restorative justice-induced effects of reduced deterrents are spreading across the country.
New data from Colorado highlights how this is ultimately playing out in every state. The Common Sense Institute studied the crime rate in Colorado and crime rates across the country and compared. Their findings:
“Average monthly crime rate in 2021 is 28% higher than it was in 2011, and 15% higher than it was only two years ago in 2019.
Colorado had the highest increase in its property crime rate between 2011 and 2020, among all states.
Colorado’s violent crime rate in 2020 was 35% higher than 2011; nationally the rate grew only 3%.
The 2020 murder rate was 106% higher than in 2011. The rape rate was 9% higher, with assault up 40%.
Significant increases in organized retail crime and motor vehicle thefts contributed between $1.2 and $1.6 billion to total costs.
Colorado had the highest motor vehicle theft rate among all states in 2020. Just 10 years ago, the rate of motor vehicle theft in Colorado was lower than the national average. Since then, the Colorado rate has increased by 135%, while the national rate has increased just 3% through 2020.
As a result of multiple reforms, the trends across bond practices, parole rates, and incarceration levels, all point to a system tipping further away from accountability.
Since 2008, the state correctional population has declined by 23% while the level of crime has increased by 47%.
The Department of Correction population only, has declined 33% through 9/30/21.
Colorado’s recidivism rate is top-5 in the nation.
Of those arrested in Denver in 2021, 65% had at least one prior arrest since 2018.
30% had 5 or more arrests since 2018.”
CSI argues that “trends in these outcomes across the criminal justice system reflect how one-sided policy changes over the years have altered the system” and “As a result of multiple reforms, the trends across bond practices, parole rates, and incarceration levels, all point to a system tipping further away from accountability.” More from the study:
“Denver has increased the use of Personal Recognizance (PR) bonds by 61% over the last 2 years, including increasing use for more serious crimes.
In 2018, the Denver courts issued only 29 $0, $1 or $2 bonds. In 2020, the number of low value bonds escalated to 574, a 1,879% increase.
Colorado’s prison and correctional population also began decreasing simultaneous to the surge in the crime rate.
In 2021, 65% of arrests in Denver were of people who had at least one other offense in prior 3 years. 30% had 5 or more arrests since 2018.
Understanding the overall crime rates is an important starting point, but the analysis cannot stop there. Colorado needs a deeper understanding of how recent changes in the criminal justice system impact the rate of crime. Across the board, the trend has been to reduce sentencing requirements and to lessen sentencing outcomes for offenders.
Several recent policy trends seen within the system require greater evaluation to determine their causal relationship to the massive increase in Colorado crime.
Evidence from Denver County Court records shows a significant increase in the use of personal recognizance (PR) bonds and very low cash value bonds, even for more serious offenses, including gun crimes.
The number of PR bonds in Denver increased by 61% over the last two years and has even increased for more serious crimes. PR bond issuances have increased by 254% for Class 2 felonies from 2018 to 2020. (Appendix Table L)
In 2020 there were 538 $1 bonds issued and in 2021 there were 562. Between 2017 and 2019, there were only 2.”
Overall, our national incarceration rate has dropped to its lowest level since 1995.
The report found the number of jail inmates ticked upward in the second half of 2020, perhaps reflecting an increase in gun violence and homicides as well as a backlog in trials and prison transfers.
One of Wisconsin’s most recent tragic cases is that of murderer Darryl Brooks:
Brooks now faces six counts of intentional homicide after he allegedly plowed through a Waukesha Christmas parade on Nov. 21. Dozens more were injured, many of them seriously.
The heartbreaking fact is that Brooks should have been in jail. Instead, he was free on a measly $1,000 bail after being arrested on charges of running over the mother of his childdays before the Waukesha massacre. The obscenely low bail amount — for a career criminal and repeat bail jumper — was at the direction of Chisholm’s office.
Chisholm has acknowledged that the bail recommendation was “inappropriately low.” He said his office is investigating.
It’s all part of that “restorative justice” sought by DAs more often than not backed by infamous far-left billionaire George Soros (more here, here, and here).
When asked if his lax bail policies would get people killed, Chisholm famously told the press: “You bet, it's guaranteed to happen.”
And they wonder why record numbers of Americans are buying guns.