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More guns, pandemic stress created perfect conditions for homicide spike in 2020

29 Comments
By Justin Nix

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Look Everyone! More “gun” talk AVAILABLE Today! (2 days in a row.) This time by “Crimonologists”. Let’s jump in and finish yesterday’s conversations!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Obviously the situation is complex and knee-jerk reactions like "Ban all Guns" etc is not going to cut it.

Some kind of longer term compromise will be required to ameliorate the now destructive cycle. Not sure what exactly.

A slightly aside story - a good few years back a friend returned to the US with his Japanese wife. 5 years ago he returned to catch up with friends and wife's family. We held a welcome back party for him and close friends.

Lovely couple. Both doing well and he's a Uni professor in Florida - his home state.

During the night the topic of guns came up - I can't remember why - and he said -

" I've got a handgun". All went quiet with the 10 or so present.

"Wow - you've got a gun?".

"Well actually 4. All legal. I've got one in my work bag, 1 in my car, and 1 in the house. And "Yoko"(not real name) has got 1 in her car".

"Smart cute Yoko's got a handgun????"

He said something like -

"Yep - we never want to be in a threatening situation unarmed".

Stunned all of us. Will never forget.

It certainly gave me another insight into the whirlpool that spins around the world of guns in the US.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And research has long confirmed that gun ownership is linked to higher rates of firearm homicides.

Citation: Needed. The most recent large study (to my limited knowledge - if there is another, please link it) on the relationship between gun ownership and homicide (Siegel, Ross and King, 2013) found correlation, but explicitly stated that they could not determine causation. For example, do more guns lead to more firearm homicides, or do more people buy guns as a result of higher deaths?

And of course, the homicide rate now is still far lower than it was in the 1990s, despite the ever increasing number of guns.

Further, a lot of the recent rise in gun purchases has been by first-time, usually liberal, buyers citing self protection. If you're going to put forth the argument that more guns equals more gun homicide, you'd have to consider that. It's not just the usual, AR15 carrying boogeyman contributing to the spike in homicides.

"Well actually 4. All legal. I've got one in my work bag, 1 in my car, and 1 in the house. And "Yoko"(not real name) has got 1 in her car".

And not one of them, I hope, used to commit a homicide.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24028252/

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This suggests more people were illegally carrying guns in 2020. And research has long confirmed that gun ownership is linked to higher rates of firearm homicides.

Finally, conflating illegally held guns with gun ownership is rather disingenuous. They're not the same.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This article has so many holes in it you could drive a Mac truck through it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

COVID-19 likely did have an impact.

If so, you might expect to see a similar increase in other countries. A quick look at data for Germany and England and Wales shows no similar increase. (Small increase in 2020 for Germany, a fall in England and Wales - although the time period is slightly different - April through March).

https://www.statista.com/statistics/191134/reported-murder-and-nonnegligent-manslaughter-cases-in-the-us-since-1990/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/283093/homicides-in-england-and-wales/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1101322/murder-victims-number-germany/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, guns and pandemic stress…lol What comes next? Full moon, climate change, sun eruption, solar winds, moving of magnetic poles? No, my dears, it’s all about those killers’ sick mindsets only , and nothing else. Because there are also some other countries with guns available in every household, or where precarious people have to stand daily life under even more existential stress and threats, but without all of them immediately going on a mass killing spree.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I suspect that the ready access to pistols has something to do with the increase in homicides. All those people losing their tempers in the pandemic have an easy way to go out and demonstrate their frustration and anger.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Texas A&M AggieSep. 29  05:44 pm JST

This article has so many holes in it you could drive a Mac truck through it.

Start driving, we’ll wait.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Say what you will but as an 80 year old whose running days are over thanks to mobility problems I must say if back in the days I could still run, if someone were pursuing me with murder on their mind I would prefer the pursuer be armed with a knife of club rather than a gun.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if someone were pursuing me with murder on their mind I would prefer the pursuer be armed with a knife of club rather than a gun.

and if you had a gun you wouldn't have to run.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

SophiaHernandezToday  08:31 am JST

if someone were pursuing me with murder on their mind I would prefer the pursuer be armed with a knife of club rather than a gun.

and if you had a gun you wouldn't have to run.

Chicken & egg, if the would be murdered has a gun you probably won't be able to run. In a good functioning society, ordinary citizens do not need guns.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kniknaknokkaer,

"if"

a gun gives you a huge advantage over an attacker with a knife or a club, and puts you on even footing against another gun. I'm better trained than some thug with a saturday night special held sideways.

In a good functioning society, ordinary citizens do not need guns.

Of course they do. Lots of legitimate reasons to need guns. hunting, pest control, hobbies. In the UK, the majority of guns are owned by the rural rich.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You completely miss the point Sophia. If someone with ill intent has easy access to guns they can shoot you before you know what's going on, a lot more easily than they can club or stab you to death.

Ordinary citizens do not need guns. Most of those points you've mentioned are irrelevant to people going about their daily lives in cities, so they do not need guns in cities. I am from the UK, I have a gun owner friend who hunts, he doesn't need to but he does. I'm not against people hunting (although I'd prefer it to be reserved more for necessity) but I am against people having easy access to guns for the sake of it, it's completely unnecessary as the situation just ends up like America, which is showing the rest of the world it is not a normal functioning society.

Nothing at all can sway my opinion on this matter, seeing news of people getting shot up at schools, supermarkets, concerts etc is sick and if a society is prepared to put up with that, it is sick.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If someone with ill intent has easy access to guns they can shoot you before you know what's going on, a lot more easily than they can club or stab you to death.

of course, but thats not the situation that the poster put forward that I was responding to.

Ordinary citizens do not need guns.

some do. to put food on the table, or to protect their land, livestock and crops for example. I take your city point but as you rightly say, that is a chicken and egg thing. unfortunately in the US the reality is that some people DO need firearms for self protection. Like sexual or ethnic minorities, people in poor neighborhoods, women at night sometimes, and so on. To that end  gun ownership is a right in the US.

I am against people having easy access to guns for the sake of it, 

I respect that opinion, but why should you get to decide what people have easy access to? for some it's simply a fun hobby, why can't they pursue it?

(Usually i just get insulted and belittled for my views on these forums so thank you for your civility)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am against people having easy access to guns because the evidence speaks for itself. I am not against my friend hunting or owning a gun as it is his choice and he has jumped through many hoops to prove he is responsible enough to have it. If a system is in place that largely protects people then it is not for me to say who has a gun it's down to the system, so by and large I am quite happy with the system the UK has. It's not 100% perfect as we recently saw with the shooting in Plymouth but the system does keep guns out of the vast majority of citizens hands, so it basically works.

The problem I have is the US is flooded with guns and it's sad to see that people think the only answer to this is....more guns.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

thats fair. the UK has seen increased knife crime over the last ten years though, and has the highest incidence of acid attacks in the world according to a BBC Four documentary. what kind of restrictions do you have on those? nothing compared to gun crime in the US of course.

The problem I have is the US is flooded with guns and it's sad to see that people think the only answer to this is....more guns.

well the horse has bolted on that. i call it the great American arms race. Sadly the biggest loser in that is the person with no arms.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4Zztl6VZwXNXCn7fXDwb2YR/why-are-acid-attacks-on-the-rise

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

SophiaHernandezToday  12:34 pm JST

a gun gives you a huge advantage over an attacker with a knife or a club, and puts you on even footing against another gun. I'm better trained than some thug with a saturday night special held sideways.

You may be better trained than some thug, and perhaps well enough trained to safely own and use firearms. Unfortunately for your argument, that is a personal anecdote that proves nothing beyond your capabilities.

Let’s see if we can dig some relevance out of that anecdote. Training. Not everyone is trained well enough to handle a firearm safely, let alone effectively in an active shooter situation. Even the people who constantly train for active shooter situations make mistakes.

Your birthday should not be the only qualification to purchase or posses a firearm.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not everyone is trained well enough to handle a firearm safely, let alone effectively in an active shooter situation.

And some are. But I accept that. i think everyone who owns a firearm should be responsible and have training. first and foremost to protect themselves and their families from accidents. People who have their guns stolen or otherwise allow them to fall into the hands of others who shouldn't have them are pretty low in my book. Most lawful gun owners would agree.

Even the people who constantly train for active shooter situations make mistakes.

to be honest if I were stuck in an active shooter situation, fighting back would be my last resort. as the Feds say, run, hide, fight. I just feel that having a gun as protection is a plus for that third option.

my opinion is actually pretty similar to Kniknaknokkaers. people with legitimate reasons should have access to firearms. I just list self-defense as one of those reasons.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To simply answer your questions regarding knife and acid crimes, I think there needs to be more severe punishment for possession or assault. Unfortunately many youths are involved as these items are daily items that are easy to get and if convicted, they get punished too lightly. I do not know off-hand what the current restrictions are for buying these products but there probably needs to be tighter restrictions in place. Crime is crime and assault is still an assault no matter what weapon is used but by restricting access you can limit the damage.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

P. Smith.

Sorry I forgot to ask; do you think mandating training before purchase of a firearm, say marksmanship course and basic safe-handling (especially if its a first-time purchase) infringes on a persons right to carry a firearm for self-defense? (if you can't carry a weapon until youve completed training requirements, your right to self-defense is denied)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SophiaHernandezToday  04:23 pm JST

P. Smith.

Sorry I forgot to ask; do you think mandating training before purchase of a firearm, say marksmanship course and basic safe-handling (especially if its a first-time purchase) infringes on a persons right to carry a firearm for self-defense?

Not in a insignificant manner. Not any more than requiring ID to vote infringes on the right to vote.

(if you can't carry a weapon until youve completed training requirements, your right to self-defense is denied)*

No, it isn’t. You simply haven’t obtained the qualifications.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not in a insignificant manner. Not any more than requiring ID to vote infringes on the right to vote.

Well, your life isnt at risk if you don't vote, and you have four years between drinks to get organised. but what if you are being actively stalked, are escaping an abusive relationship, are being threatened or harassed etc? Hell, what if you moved to a bad neighborhood?. If you have to wait (and pay) for a training course before you can carry then your ability to defend yourself is curtailed. i ask because some safe storage laws (DCs for eg) have been struck down for that reason.

You simply haven’t obtained the qualifications.

its a right, not a privilege.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

further, federal law states that identification is needed for a licensed firearms dealer to run a background check (some states do not require background checks for private transfers). firearms training requirements go far beyond what is needed to exercise your right to vote. you dont need to take a class or get 'qualified' before you can vote.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SophiaHernandezToday  05:32 pm JST

> Well, your life isnt at risk if you don't vote, and you have four years between drinks to get organised. but what if you are being actively stalked, are escaping an abusive relationship, are being threatened or harassed etc? Hell, what if you moved to a bad neighborhood?. If you have to wait (and pay) for a training course before you can carry then your ability to defend yourself is curtailed. i ask because some safe storage laws (DCs for eg) have been struck down for that reason. 

> its a right, not a privilege.

No right is absolute.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No right is absolute.

OK, but can we rank some rights as more absolute than others? does right to vote rank above right to defend oneself? theyre both protected in the Bill of Rights.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SophiaHernandezToday  06:13 pm JST

> OK, but can we rank some rights as more absolute than others? does right to vote rank above right to defend oneself? theyre both protected in the Bill of Rights.

Rights are already ranked, but none are absolute. Fundamental rights are the strongest and include the right to vote, right to marriage, right to privacy, and own firearms.

The right against discrimination varies in strength relative to the basis for discrimination. Your right against being a target of age discrimination as laid out in the equal protection clause is very weak.

Even the first amendment’s strength varies depending on what speech or expressive conduct is being regulated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

P. Smith,

good response. thanks for the talk and have a good evening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sophia -

Would like to continue when you have time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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