Let's ban them...
By Mencken’s Ghost
After the horror of the Conn. mass shooting, the copycat media have regurgitated the usual conjectures, theories, superficialities, misleading statistics, and ideological canards, sophistry, and platitudes. That’s why private contemplation and research are preferable after such tragedies.
One interesting place for research is the FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 2010 and 2011. Statistics can be found there that are not reported by the media herd. For example, of the 12,996 murders nationally in 2010, 8,417 were committed with handguns, 358 were committed with rifles, and 4,221 were committed with something other than a firearm, such as knives, poison, explosives, fire, hands, fists, and feet. In fact, twice as many people were murdered by hands, fists and feet than by rifles.
Given these statistics, one has to wonder why there is so much national angst over so-called “assault rifles.” There is a greater risk from assault hands, fists and feet.
Let’s zero in on a couple of states with tough gun laws.
In Hawaii, 14% of murders were committed with a rifle, and 86% were committed with hands, fists, feet, or knives. However, Hawaii had only seven murders all year, one of which was committed by a firearm, a rifle. This low number of total murders means that a few murders can skew the statistics for the state.
Connecticut, on the other hand, had 128 murders in 2010. Of these, 56% were committed with something other than a firearm. This is significantly higher than the national average of 32% of murders committed with something other than a firearm.
Arizona, which is not known for tough gun laws, is close to the national average in the percent of murders committed with something other than a firearm.
At first blush, these statistics would seem to suggest that the tougher the gun laws, the more that people are murdered by hands, fists, feet, knives, and other means. A lot more analysis would have to be done to see if this is indeed true. Of course it’s possible that some reputable researcher has already done the work but has not been given media coverage.
The racial breakdown of murderers is also interesting. Of the total murders in 2010, 46.4% were committed by whites (including white Hispanics), and 49.7% were committed by blacks (including black Hispanics).
However, whites comprise 72.4% of the population, and blacks, 12.6%. Therefore, blacks commit murder at a much higher rate than whites.
Races other than white and black committed only 2.5% of murders while comprising about 6% of the population. These “other” races include Asians, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans. If you see one of these “others” walking toward you on a dark street late at night, you can feel relatively safe. (The large population of “others” in Hawaii might account for the state’s low number of murders.) On the other hand, the mass murderer at Virginia Tech was Asian, so there are exceptions to the average.
As was the case in Conn., the most horrific murders are murders of young children. Tragically, 584 children under the age of eight were murdered in 2010.
Statistics aren’t gathered by the FBI or other government agencies on how many of these were murdered or otherwise assaulted by the live-in boyfriends of their unmarried mothers, but there is some evidence that the percentage is high. For instance, here is a link to an article on the subject that ran in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Even if children are endangered by living with men who are not their biological fathers, it is doubtful that the media and intelligentsia would call for a ban on the social-welfare policies and programs that have caused such living arrangements to skyrocket.
In any event, as the foregoing shows, quite contemplation and research lead to more questions than answers, and, in turn, to even more contemplation and research. It’s much easier to turn off your brain and accept what the copycats tell you.