Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More gun "science"

Wow, anybody would think there's an election on or something.  Check it:

The number of justifiable homicides committed by police and private citizens has been rising in the past two years to their highest levels in more than a decade, reflecting a shoot-first philosophy in dealing with crime, say law enforcement analysts.

Yep, a new and uuuugly "shoot first philosophy" is what we are instructed this means by our noble, unbiased media.  Damn those red state rednecks and their damn guns anyway.

Northeastern University criminal justice professor James Alan Fox describes an emerging "shoot-first" mentality by police and private citizens. For several years, police departments have armed their officers with higher-powered weapons to keep pace with criminal gangs. "Clearly there is a message out there that citizens may be able to defend themselves" as well, he says.

 Big Brained Dr. Fox is attributing the increasing numbers of justifiable homicides to "higher-powered weapons" and more armed citizens.  Bigger, badder guns and more of them.

Alfred Blumstein, a Carnegie Mellon University criminologist, says the gun "legalization movement" also may have helped create a "greater willingness" among citizens to act in self-defense.

Big brained Dr. Blumstein thinks there's more trigger happy rednecks feeling their oats thanks to those bastards at the NRA.

Predictably, I think something different. 

If you look at the chart that goes with the article, you see that the lines for both cops and "citizens" decline from 1994 to 2000, then climb from 2000 to the present. One would have to go elsewhere for this data, but I'm confident you'll find that the total number of homicides (as in from all causes) generally follow a reverse curve, rising through the 1990's and declining in the 2000's.  I know from having lived in the US from 1994 to 2002 that the number of guns available to citizens, and the "power" of them did not decrease during that time. The police were not issued wildly more deadly firearms either.  I also know that in ALL states which switched to a "shall issue"gun license, self defense shootings did not increase remarkably, while over all homicide rates decreased by double digits in those states.  No "blood in the streets", remember?

So, we know that since 2000 police weapons did not become more fatal, and we know that even though there were more people licensed for concealed carry they did not shoot more bad guys.  Well, what changed then?
The FBI says a homicide committed by a private citizen is justified when a person is slain during the commission of a felony, such as a burglary or robbery. Police are justified, the FBI says, when felons are killed while the officer is acting in the line of duty. Rulings on these deaths are usually made by the local police agencies involved.

Local police agency policy on self defense is what changed.  We're not counting convicted murders, we're counting cases that were declared self defense.  You change the policy for making the declaration, you get a different number.  Under Clinton, everything is a homicide.  Under Bush, its possible to have a righteous shooting without video and the Pope for a witness.  Simple, yes?

Think they're going to put that in the USA Today?  Not a chance. They're going to find two Democrat eggheads in the country venal enough to lie about something so obvious. That's why we have the Phantom Soapbox.

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