December 8, 2015


What we know about gun violence may surprise you (Marc Ambinder, December 7, 2015, The Week)

The first thing to know is that violent crime of all types is down. In the United States, there are half as many gun homicides today as there were in 1997.

Why? Steven Pinker has a number of theories that try to bridge the gap between psychology, evolution, and criminology. More (and better, but more aggressive) policing has helped; new technology like cell phones make it easier for people to get help when they're shot, easier for police to track criminals, easier for emergency room doctors to more effectively treat gunshot wounds. The decline in the use of lead, which, it seems, fritzes the brain of people who grow up with it in their walls, probably helped too. [...]

A large majority of Americans support specific gun control measures, like federal tracking of gun sales, when asked. [...]

The U.S. accounts for 87 percent of the world's gun death rate for children under 14.

What percentage of gun deaths comes from mass shootings versus gang/drug violence or domestic violence situations? A fairly tiny fraction. Miniscule, even. Slightly more than one percent, Terrorism? Less than one half of one percent.

The plurality of gun deaths are suicides, Vox notes. [...]

The mentally ill committed, at most, five percent of all gun homicides each year. 

Posted by at December 8, 2015 12:26 PM