Friday, December 7, 2012

Homicide Statistics

Because I love statistics. 

Some highlights:

Between 1980 and 2008
About 50% of homicide offenders were under 24. Also, a little under a third of victims.
The early eighties and early nineties were terrible times if you didn't want to get murdered.
This report contains some unpleasant breakdowns of who kills small children.
By gender: men killing men 67.8% of homicides. Men killing women: 21%. Women killing men 9%. Women killing women 2.2%. Hooray for female solidarity, I guess.
Least likely killers, per the FBI: white women over 25.
2 out of 5 women killed are killed by boyfriends or husbands.

Also, for what it's worth, here's a Texas A&M paper that concludes rates of burglary and theft are not affected by castle doctrine laws, but the laws do correlate to an increase in homicide rates.  


  1. It's worth what it's worth - that is, whatever the mathematicians twisted it to say. From what I can read, the rates of burglary are not residence-specific, and can simply be interpreted as a re-targeting to structures not occupied by humans at given times (businesses, campgrounds, etc.) And by their own admission, homicide rates and Castle Laws are a correlation, not a causation, and can be attributed to other factors. Gang crime rates are on upswing in southern Arizona but I doubt that's due to any Castle Law. I suspect it has more to do with drug trafficking and cartel competition from Mexico.

    Occam's Razor is in play here. I live (or soon will) in a remote area, over fifteen minutes from a best-case police response. I have "No Trespassing" signs on my gate to the property. I have motion-sensitive alarms and three dogs that - while not aggressive - are loud. If that is not enough to keep a thief away, the business end of my Remington 870 is. To me, that theory involves the least amount of assumption, regardless of what the rest of the world does.

    Oh, but on the homicide report you linked, I did read some good news: "Males represented 77% of homicide victims." and "The victimization rate for males (11.6 per 100,000)was 3 times higher than the rate for females (3.4 per 100,000)." I get that males are 90% of the homicide perpetrators but at least they are mostly blasting their own kind, right? Solidarity indeed. What were we saying about disposable genders the other day?

    Hurray for statistics.

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  3. damnit, response got eaten.

    I'm very sorry if I didn't make it clear I was being sarcastic with the solidarity thing. This is exactly what I was talking about, and I do genuinely believe it is a very wrong thing that we don't talk more about men as victims of violence.

    With regards to guns as self defense, I'd like to point to the plan you offered: you've put your gun up as a last resort, with several lines of defense in between. What bothers me about castle doctrine and stand your ground is the extent to which they assume and approve of shooting being your first resort.

    I do believe someone has a moral right to kill someone if necessary in defense of themselves and their family, but I also believe you have a moral obligation not to kill anyone you don't have to, and that incumbent in that obligation is the responsibility to do everything you can do determine whether killing someone is necessary or not, and to pursue non-lethal options open to you within reason first.

    With the study on castle doctrine- like you said, it's correlation, but it's also a negative proof on the assumption that an armed populace is inherently a deterrent to crime. I'm willing to read any study you like that leans in the other direction.

    As to the statistics- the age thing surprised me the most, though it probably shouldn't have.

  4. In the daylight, my comments read back harsher than intended. I should have ratcheted back about two notches, so for tone and snark, I apologize. As always, you handled it gracefully. Thank you.