The DOJ has released new data on firearm possession and crime.
Bureau of Justice Statistics released the results of a 2016 study titled “Source and Use of
Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016.” This
fascinating twenty-page report lends itself very easily to the conclusion that
legally purchased guns are not the problem.
individuals who are not exactly firearm aficionados regularly claim that all
criminals have to do is walk into a gun store, flash their secret gun card, and
walk out like they just purchased a gallon milk, the data says criminals do the
exact opposite. They avoid the prescribed means of purchasing firearms.
ran a story on this report late last night.
They summarize the findings here.
“A Department of Justice report shows that only seven percent of nearly 300,000 state and federal prisoners who possessed a firearm during their crime purchased the gun from a licensed firearm dealer…The survey also revealed that only 0.8 percent of prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense got the firearm from a gun show, a statistic which shows that “gun show loopholes” often decried by gun control advocates are not contributing significantly to crime.”
Yet the study reveals much more than that! For those interested in statistics, the study has an innumerable amount of associations and relationships to be discovered and analyzed. There is ample room for such associations to quietly dismember all of the talking points from the gun control lobby. TheBlaze was quick to point out the important one i.e. that legally purchased guns are not the problem, and it also pointed out how gun show offenses are phantoms.
additional findings are worth noting.
of my recent
articles discussed the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, courtesy of
Dianne Feinstein. The justification for
this bill relies on the idea that these “weapons of war” are plaguing our
streets. As usual, the data does not
support that assertion. For state and
federal prisoners, the rate of possession and use of rifles, of any kind, is at
1.5% and 0.8% respectively. This means that assault weapon possession and use
exist as a subset of those percentages.
While dabbling in some rudimentary statistical
tests, I discovered that there is actually an association between education
levels and whether a person ends up in federal custody. Those with a college degree are less likely
to possess firearms during the commission of a crime, but when they do, they
are more likely to end up in federal custody.
The entire category of possession requires more scrutiny from the BJS. When TheBlaze highlights the number of crimes that were connected to legally purchased guns, and when you go to the actual data and see the terms “possessed” OR “used,” you have to ask yourself whether the gun was relevant to the crime or not. That seven percent of legally purchased guns is likely much smaller if we want to know whether legally purchased guns are relevant to criminal activity. I will illustrate this with a hypothetical. Suppose there is a legal gun owner who does not carry. He gets into a road rage incident and punches a guy who attempted to run him off the road. The gun owner is arrested for assault or battery. But since the gun owner had no gun on him, his possession is not recorded. And rightly so. But now let’s say that the gun owner does carry. And he was legally carrying his pistol in his car at the time of the incident. The gun owner has secured the pistol according to any relevant state laws and still proceeds to punch the psychotic driver. Now, the pistol is recorded during the arrest and the possession is noted in these types of surveys. In both scenarios, the gun played no role in the crime, yet one of them counts toward the possession statistic. There are countless other examples where a firearm is legally possessed, but other circumstances cast a shadow over it as if it were illegal. This can be seen in bond restrictions where the right to bear arms is suspended during the pendency of a trial for an offense that had nothing to do with a firearm.
course, there are also cases where legal firearms are carried illegally or
where the owners of illegal firearms abide by carrying laws. The Bureau of Justice Statistics should
really delve into every possible aberration, category, nuance, and point of law
necessary to paint an accurate picture of firearm offenses in America.
thing is certain; a lack of curiosity can lead to societal harm down the
road. Firearm offenses and the data we
retrieve from surveying offenders must be pursued, analyzed, and published with
the most enthusiasm possible. The left is correct in saying that firearms are
dangerous, but they are wrong in attributing it to an item and not to the
individuals who operate in illegality. It’s
the illegality that’s dangerous. And I want to know all about it.