19A034 Homicides by Jim Davies, 8/20/2019    


After noting the horrid events this month in El Paso and Dayton, and the predictable screeching for yet more anti-gun laws, I took a look for any correlation that may exist between those laws and the homicide rate. It would make no difference if there were (self-defense is a natural right which will in no way be impeded in the coming zero government society) but it was interesting: there isn't any.

That's the conclusion admitted by both the Washington Post on the Left, and the Heritage Foundation on the Right. Both say that gun laws are irrelevant. Will someone please tell the screeching archists?

If there's a good correlation between A and B, it's possible (but not certain) that A caused B. If there is no such correlation, it's certain that A did not cause B. That is the simple fact underlying the studies published by both these parties.

That can be nicely illustrated by a small segment of the figures tabulated by Wapo. The Brady Campaign rates states from A to F, in their view a lot of gun restrictions being marked by an A grade, while states with only a few restrictions they rate F, for failure. I'll take their ratings but reverse the meanings: F stands for relative Freedom, and A for Authoritarian control. So let's compare New Hampshire, Vermont and neighboring Massachusetts.

The Brady Bunch rate NH as D-, meaning there are some anti-gun laws but not many; yet NH is the safest state in the nation, with only 1.1 gun murders per year per 100,000 population. VT is close with an F grade and 1.3 /yr/100K. But lookee here: MA is rated B+, meaning a rather heavy set of gun restrictions, yet is also close with 1.8 murders/yr/100K. In other words, these 3 states are nearly equally safe yet one has a lot of anti-gun laws while another has almost none. Surprise: laws make no difference. Hey, people didn't need to buy Wapo; they could have learned it on the ZGBlog, for free.

Eugene Volokh's Wapo report summarizes for the whole USA thus: "The correlation between the homicide rate and Brady score in all 51 jurisdictions is +.032 (on a scale of -1 to +1), which means that states with more gun restrictions on average have very slightly higher homicide rates, though the tendency is so small as to be essentially zero." So he even hints at a very slight negative correlation!

Internationally, the US is by no means a pariah in this respect. It has an overall homicide rate of 5.3 (with guns plus other methods) per year per 100K people, and ranks #111; that is, there are 110 countries with higher rates and overall for the world it's 6.9. Some countries are much higher; for example Brazil's rate is 30.5, nearly 6 times greater. It's true that most murders in the US are by gun, and it can be argued that guns make murder conveniently easy, but high gun ownership isn't going to go away and as shown above, anti-gun laws won't change the rate. So the big question remains: why do people kill each other, and will the elimination of government help reduce that tendency?

Some statistics have been gathered. Here's a map showing homicide rates by state, and Louisiana is easily the worst, followed closely by Mississippi. Might that correlate with anything? - yes, those same two states are shown here to top the list of states ranked by percentages of blacks in the population. Again, correlation does not prove causation - but it does make it possible; it suggests good grounds for further study. And if black Americans are somehow the cause of high murder rates, it's fair to ask why. One wonders whether government's systematic ghettoization of blacks could have anything to do with it.

Patrick Crusius killed 22 Hispanics at random, because he doesn't want Texas Caucasians replaced by that group (why those descended from the European country of Spain aren't considered Caucasian is beyond me.) That twisted, pathetic motivation created scores of family members deprived of one of their loved ones. As shown in my comments on his "manifesto", his action was perfectly in line with what government routinely does; like it, he's an archist. At least, that savage spree underscores the findings above; murder by gun is not affected by laws, rather by prejudice and motivation.

A ZGS will come into being only after the entire population has learned and accepted that every other person owes them nothing except what they have agreed to provide; and, hence, that everyone is valuable to him as a potential partner in some kind of trade. Everyone will have accepted that each person is his own self-owner, and therefore that he has no rights whatever over the life of anyone else. That is certain, in my judgment, drastically to reduce the rate at which damage is done by one person to another, murder of course included. Archism - the ridiculous belief that X has some rights over the life of Y - will have been extinguished. The probability that there will survive that process some future Crusius is very small.

What the coming free society
will probably be like
How freedom
was lost
How it is being
The go-to site for an
overview of a free society
Freedom's prerequisite:
Nothing more is needed
Nothing less will do

What every bureaucrat needs to know
Have them check TinyURL.com/QuitGov

How Government Silenced Irwin Schiff

2016 book tells the sad story and shows that government is even more evil than was supposed