Category Archives: Statistics

The Numbers Are In

From the BBC

US gun homicides at 20-year low, surveys say

Gun homicides in the United States have fallen sharply since peaking in 1993, two studies have found.
The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics said firearms-related homicides had dropped to 11,101 in 2011 from 18,253 – a reduction of 39%.
Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center found gun homicides fell to 3.6 per 100,000 people in 2010 from 7 in 1993.

This graph from the Pew Research Center gives a little more context.
Pew Crime Graph

I spent some time looking but could not find a graph for a longer period of time, but note that the rate hasn’t been this low in the last 30 years.

If you would like to read the Bureau of Justice Statistics report you can find it here: Firearm Violence, 1993-2011
Listed Highlights:

  • Firearm-related homicides declined 39%, from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.
  • Nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69%, from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 victimizations in 2011.
  • Firearm violence accounted for about 70% of all homicides and less than 10% of all nonfatal violent crime from 1993 to 2011.
  • From 1993 to 2011, about 70% to 80% of firearm homicides and 90% of nonfatal firearm victimizations were committed with a handgun.
  • Males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24 had the highest rates of firearm homicide from 1993 to 2010.
  • About 61% of nonfatal firearm violence was reported to the police in 2007-11.

The Pew Research study can be found here: Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware

Despite the attention to gun violence in recent months, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is markedly lower than it was two decades ago.

Let’s Say There’s a Gun Show Loophole

There isn’t, but let’s just say there is.

No one is using it.

I draw the following numbers from:
Bureau of Justice Statistics – Firearms Use By Offenders

Percent of State inmates possessing a firearm 1997 1991
Source of gun
Purchased from – 13.9 20.8
Retail Store 8.3 14.7
Pawmshop 3.8 4.2
Flee market 1.0 1.3
Gun show 0.7 0.6
Friends and family 39.6 33.8
Street/illegal source 39.2 40.8

I believe there are more current statistics but I haven’t been able to find them yet. The most recent number I am aware of for gunshow sourced firearms used in crimes is 1.9% but I don’t have a real source to point you to.

In spite of the study’s age we can certainly identify a clear trend. Gun shows haven’t been, and are not, the hook up for criminals getting guns.

With less than 2% of firearms coming from gunshows and all types of rifles AND shotguns accounting for less than 0.08% of murders, I have to wonder what Diane Feinstein and supporters of her proposed legislation are really after. I’m not trying to be clever or snarky. It strikes me as exceptionally irrational.

If they were really concerned about the senseless killing of children it would make more sense to perhaps start with the over 200 children killed annually be drunk drivers (over half of those kids were IN the car with the impaired driver).