Not that anyone would mention it — it would spoil the narrative — but any way you care to measure it, the homicide rate, even those committed with firearms, is low.
The CDC maintains online data for homicides dating back to 1981 and as recently as 2017. The CDC counts homicides as any caused by fatal injuries that are not accidental, suicide or the result of law enforcement or military actions. This includes justifiable homicides. The FBI counts only the crimes of murder and non-negligent manslaughter. So the CDC counts are usually higher.
If one looks at the 10-year averages of gun-related homicides in the U.S. for the past ten years and compares it to previous 10-year averages, one makes the amazing discovery that the most recent ten-year average is the lowest in the CDC records.
From 1993 to 2014, the U.S. population grew nearly 23%. The number of people murdered with guns dropped nearly 40%, and the firearm homicide rate plunged nearly 48%.
Curiously, in a recent Marist poll conducted in the first week of February this year, 82% of respondents said that, based on when they had seen or heard, the gun homicide had risen (59%) or stayed about the same (23%).
I wonder why there is such a disconnect. [Full disclosure: I know exactly why there’s a disconnect.]
No discussion about gun violence would be complete without suicide. I agree with much of what Ms. Brown has to say about doing everything one can to intervene. However, she blows it by going back to guns.
Even as the number and rate of suicide continue to rise in the U.S., the percentage of suicides committed with a gun has declined. For some reason, nobody seems to mention that suicides by suffocation (most often hanging) have increased. Nobody seems to be talking about the fact that suicide rates among women and teens are increasing faster than the overall rate, yet the majority of those suicides don’t involve guns.
States with red flag laws, such as California and Connecticut, have seen a reduction in homicides with a gun, but neither has seen anything but increases in the numbers and rates of suicides.
I guess it’s “Cheers” for fewer suicides with guns; “Who cares?” for suicides by other methods.