The Wrong Focus of Gun-Violence Articles

Handgubby Jerry Richardson   9/17/14
Pigs are going to begin flying!  •  When the New York Times (NYT), the progressive newspaper of record (recording progressive propaganda), actually publishes an article relative to guns that contains at least a few morsels of truth you should look skyward and expect to hear the heavy beating sound of piggy wings.

The NYT article, The Assault Weapon Myth, rolls-out an interesting, belated revelation (an unwanted revelation for anti-gun types); in the third paragraph:

[September 12, 2014]…in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.  The Assault Weapon Myth

But then, as I read the article—ah shucks—I spoke too soon; the pigs are off the skyhook.  How typical: The NYT article is a mixture of a little truth, much ignored-truth, and subtle (or not so subtle depending upon your perspective) propaganda.

For my fact checking, whenever possible I have used data from the Justice Department’s Unified Crime Reports (UCR) for 2012 which is the latest full-year data available.   “The UCR’s Supplementary Homicide Reports provide the most reliable, timely data on the extent and nature of homicides in the Nation.”

One of the problems that I have with the NYT article per se is the fact that numerous statistical numbers are used, but no source for most of the numbers is supplied or even suggested.  But as flakey as that makes the article, the major criticism that I have for it is not what is reported, but what is NOT reported.  Here are two examples:

Along with providing readers a mixture of some truth with subtle propaganda; an article is not likely to be published in the NYT if it does not leave-out some important truth. After all, what else is modern propaganda?

“Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell…”   The Assault Weapon Myth

The 49% decline in gun homicides since the 1993 peak has been reported by Pew Research, although no source is provided in the article; in addition, not mentioned by the author, Lois Beckett, is the fact that for more than 10 years, guns sales in the USA have seen a tremendous increase.  This increase has been, at least in one-way, quantified by NICS statistics—back-ground checks on people buying guns.

“Over the last 10 years (from 2002 to 2011) there has been a 54.1 percent rise in the number of NICS checks and the increase hasn’t all taken place since 2008. In 2005 there were 8,952,945 NICS checks. In 2006 the number topped 10 million. In 2007 NICS checks pushed passed 11 million. In 2008 NICS checks passed 12 million, and then hit the 14 million mark in 2009. They increased slightly (4 percent) through 2011.
The Boom in US Gun Sales

The boom in US gun sales means there have been an increasing number of guns purchased and now owned by law-abiding, American private citizens during the same period when “gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent”; this effectively puts the lie to one of the all-time favorite anti-gun narratives: “more guns equal more crime.”

Statistically, the reverse has been true, more guns equal less crime, exactly as Dr. John Lott statistically proved in his book, More Guns, Less Crime published in 1998. But of course, this cannot be mentioned in a rabid anti-gun newspaper such as the NYT.  Just can’t have open-minded people reading what John Lott found in his pains-taking, scholarly research. In his book, Lott makes a solid statistical case to back-up his assertions:

“National crime rates have been falling at the same time as gun ownership has been rising.  Likewise states experiencing the greatest reductions in crime are also the ones with the fastest growing percentages of gun ownership.
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“While the support for the strictest gun-control laws is usually strongest in large cities, the largest drops in violent crime from legalized concealed handguns occurred in the most urban counties with the greatest populations and the highest crime rates.” 
John R. Lott, Jr., More Guns, Less Crime, ©1998, p.19.

And what are some of the results of gun-violence discussed in the NYT article:

“Annually, 5,000 to 6,000 black men are murdered with guns. Black men amount to only 6 percent of the population. Yet of the 30 Americans on average shot to death each day, half are black males.”   The Assault Weapon Myth

I have no good idea what to do with the tortured terminology-switch from “murdered” to “shot to death” except to point out that someone “shot to death” has not necessarily been “murdered”; or is that perhaps what the author, Lois Beckett, believes?  At any rate, I’ll just assume that she actually meant “murdered” in both cases.

The UCR Expanded Homicide Data Table 6  shows that out of the tabulated 6,018 murders (all races), 2,366 were committed by black-males.  Even though black-males comprise only about 6% of the US population, in 2012 they committed at least 39% of all offender-identified murders.

Out of the tabulated 2,648 black-deaths (by murder), 2,366 were committed by black- males yielding a black-male-offender/black-murder-victim ratio of 2366/2648 = 89.4%.    The corresponding white-male-offender/white-murder-victim ratio is 2800/3128 = 89.5%.  

In other words, those black males that Lois Beckett reports being shot every day are 89.4% likely to have been shot by other black males. Does that not even warrant a mention in an article such as hers?  I guess not.

Take a minute and digest the statistic that approximately 6% of our US population commits at least 39% of our murders.  No other ethnic 6% segment of the US civilian population is anywhere close to being as violent (murderous) as thatI know, I’m talking about black people and so I’m sure I’ll be labeled a racist by some readers; but remember that I’m writing this essay for a website that is entitled Stubborn Things; and the Stubborn Things referred to by the website are facts.

And the statistical facts I have just presented show that there is a serious violence problem in the national black community, and almost no one wants to talk about it.

One notable exception to that silence has been the journalist Colin Flaherty. Flaherty has published a well-documented book entitled

WHITE GIRL BLEED A LOT THE RETURN OF RACE RIOTS TO AMERICA.

Flaherty documents black racial violence in more than 60 cities.  Here are two of the endorsements for the book:

“Reading Colin Flaherty’s book made painfully clear to me that the magnitude of this problem is even greater than I had discovered from my own research. He documents both the race riots and the media and political evasions in dozens of cities across America.”   —Thomas Sowell, National Review

“Flaherty documents with lots of links to YouTube and other places how in more than 60 cities and hundreds of episodes over the last three years, large groups of black people have been beating and marauding and rioting and destroying property on a very nasty scale. And the PC media is frightened to death to talk about it.”  —Walnut Creek, California, Patch

And of course self-enforced silence is understandable: People fear being labeled a racist by progressive race hustlers such as Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, or Jesse Jackson.  Even though these race-hustlers may spout-off that we need a “national conversation” concerning racism, they absolutely have not expressed any interest in discussing the serious and growing-worse problem of violence in the national black community and what the black community, itself, needs to do to help solve the problem.

As to the violence problem, social scientists have studied it, and have pin-pointed the primary cause of the violence since at least 1965:

“In a famous 1965 report written at the request of President Lyndon Johnson and titled “The Negro Family: The Case for Action,” the social scientist (and later Democratic Senator) Daniel Patrick Moynihan predicted that the deterioration of the black family, already approaching crisis proportions, would result in skyrocketing crime rates if not addressed. In an America magazine article expanding on his report, Moynihan wrote

“ ‘From the wild Irish slums of the 19th-century Eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows large numbers of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future—that community asks for and gets chaos. Crime, violence, unrest, disorder … are not only to be expected, they are very near to inevitable.’ 

“This vision of the social pathologies of a rising new “underclass” of fatherless young people was prescient. By 1976, illegitimacy rates had risen to nearly 10% for whites (as opposed to about 3% in 1960) and 50.3% for blacks (well more than double what the rate had been 16 years earlier). In 1987, for the first time in the history of any American racial or ethnic group, the birth rate for unmarried black women surpassed that for married black women.[1] Current [2010 ] illegitimacy rates in the U.S. are 29% for whites and 73% for African Americans.”
Fatherlessness and Crime

The report discussed above became commonly known as The Moynihan Report. And it was—surprise…surprise—vigorously attacked by various civil-rights advocates:

“Originally, as he suggested in a speech at Howard University on June 4, 1965, President Johnson had planned to use the Moynihan Report as the Government’s official analysis of the Negro problem at the White House Conference on Civil Rights (“To Fulfill These Rights”), which was held in Washington early last month, but Moynihan’s critics quickly mounted a campaign to discredit the report.
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“Naturally enough, word of the group’s proposals and all of the other criticisms of the Moynihan report reached President Johnson, and the President reluctantly backed away from his original position. “Family stability” was not mentioned at the White House Conference and, furthermore, as Moynihan’s critics entirely carried the day, the Moynihan Report was not even among the conference’s official working papers.”
  —Moynihan Report

Sadly but true-to-form, President Lyndon Johnson, being the ever-political liberal politician that he was, did not attempt to advocate and pursue any sensible efforts to help the black community help themselves improve black “Family stability”; instead, Johnson and the Democrats gave the nation a “The War on Poverty”.

In other words the assumed cause of the “Negro problem” was economic, and the non-successful fix to the problem, as it still is today with Democrats, is to throw tons of government money at it. So “The War on Poverty” has been for 50 years an absolute failure and a financial disaster for the nation.

[September 16, 2014] Today, the U.S. Census Bureau will release its annual report on poverty. This report is noteworthy because this year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s launch of the War on Poverty. Liberals claim that the War on Poverty has failed because we didn’t spend enough money. Their answer is just to spend more. But the facts show otherwise.
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“Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.
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“…the War on Poverty has been a colossal flop. The welfare state has undermined self-sufficiency by discouraging work and penalizing marriage. When the War on Poverty began seven percent of children were born outside marriage. Today, 42 percent of children are. By eroding marriage, the welfare state has made many Americans less capable of self-support than they were when the War on Poverty began.”  The War on Poverty

Studies have shown that poverty is not the predictor of a community’s rate of violent crime and burglary; but a known predictor is the proportion of single-parent households in the community:

“Crime and poverty: The proportion of single-parent households in a community predicts its rate of violent crime and burglary, but the community’s poverty level does not.”
D.A. Smith and G.R. Jarjoura, “Social Structure and Criminal Victimization,” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 25. 1988.

The most important issue that I have with the seemingly never-ending articles related to gun-violence is that they focus on the wrong problem.  Gun-violence articles most often focus on the gun (an inanimate object); seldom focus on the relevant issue of who pulled the trigger; and almost never focus on asking why we have such a large percentage of males in the nation’s black community committing violent crime.

That important question regarding black-males does not get asked because Progressive/Democrats under the leadership of Lyndon Johnson created a false narrative that they doggedly continue to push: The black violence problem in America is caused by poverty.

© 2014, Jerry Richardson • (1190 views)

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6 Responses to The Wrong Focus of Gun-Violence Articles

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Very nice article. Of course, one of the most effective ways of deceiving the public is by mixing a little truth with a lot of misdirection and a modicum of falsehood. Lying by omission is an excellent tool of misdirection. Just another example of why I refer to most journalists (especially liberal ones) as “newsliars”.

    It’s interesting to have a discussion of the problem of failing to civilize young black males at a time when we’re having another dispute over whether corporal punishment of children can ever be legitimate. (Liberals have long opposed it, as they oppose all traditions. Of course, they also hate authority, which makes it ironic that they support maximizing the power of authority. But then, no one ever said liberals are capable of logical reasoning.)

  2. GHG says:

    Before reading the NYT article I thought the title “The Assault Weapon Myth” would be the hook to preach more gun control is needed because although assault weapons are used to kill on a mass scale, the overwhelming number of gun deaths are from handguns. I thought surely that would be the red meat served up in this article for gun control activists to sink their teeth into. And the point that handguns are used in most gun deaths was cited, but I was pleasantly surprised that the takeaway seems to be to address the issue by ministering to the people that are high risk to commit crimes with guns, mostly young black males. I had to read that section of the article a second time because it seems the author is really not assigning blame to the guns.

    Having said that, I don’t know how realistic it is to think that the perpetrators of gun violence can be socially reached and rehabilitated and maybe that was the subtle message the author intended – to suggest the problem be fixed at it’s core only to realize it isn’t possible so the next best thing is a ban on handguns. I’d like to think the author was being honest with no hidden agenda – but this is the New York Times so let’s just say I’m skeptical.

  3. Glenn Fairman says:

    One should not put his faith in the god of forces. A weapon is a poor substitute for a sharp eye and a healthy ration of practical wisdom. Still, a Sigma 9 mm and a Mossberg 500 can make all the difference when the parchment thin veil of civility rents in twain and modernity’s werewolves require a silver bullet to bring them peace.

  4. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    Jerry – your best article so far! Good summary of the pathology of the black underclass. We might also mention that homicide rates in America are only high in the inner cities; I believe our rural rate (where everyone has a gun) is comparable to the countries of Western Europe, and our overall violent crime rate is generally lower. An embarrassing factoid: the precincts in which Barack Obama did especially well tend to have very high crime rates. And no, Lefties, it’s not a coincidence!

    • Timothy Lane says:

      A FOSFAX contributor from Buffalo once pointed out that almost all the murders in that urban area were committed by blacks. I suspect that the Southern cultures most of those blacks come from play a role in this; the New England and Middle Atlantic cultures are much less inclined to violence than the Southern cultures (both the cavalier culture of the coasts and the Jacksonian culture of the upcountry). White areas of northern background (such as the Dakotas) have extremely low murder rates.

      A good example of this is the ghetto black emphasis on revenge on those who “dis” you. As a white of southern background, I definitely understand those sentiments.

      • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

        Perhaps, but the violence in the black inner cities occurs at a far higher rate than in southern rural areas, the assumed inheritors of the traditions of the feudal south. The disintegration of the black family, due in part to the failure to assimilate to white norms and in part due to a massive welfare state, would seem to me to be the larger and in fact the decisive factor in black criminality.

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