Tuesday, September 27, 2016

We Need Hand Registration!

If you were a kid growing up in the Sixties (or maybe any era), there were always playground myths. One of the ones I remember was that if you had a Black Belt in Karate you were required to register your hands with the police. I think earlier generations may have had something similar about champion boxers.

Of course this was just a myth based partly on the unknown. Karate was considered strange and foreign and imbued with super-human effectiveness. You didn't have karate as an Olympic sport then and you certainly didn't have dojos on every corner training little kids in the martial arts so as to teach them self-discipline.

I bring this up because I saw an article by AWR Hawkins on the just released 2015 FBI Uniform Crime Reports.
According to the FBI, approximately 252 people were killed with rifles in 2015. Nearly twice that figure–approximately 595–were killed with “hands, fists, or feet, etc.”

These numbers are not unprecedented. Breitbart News reported that the FBI’s 2014 Uniform Crime Report showed the number of people killed with a rifle that year was approximately 251. Over twice that figure–approximately 670–were killed by being beaten to death with “hands, fists, or feet, etc.”
Looking at the individual states, you see places like New York, California, Massachusetts, and Maryland which highly regulate "assault weapons" with ratios as high as 20:1 of deaths by hands or feet when compared to deaths where a rifle was used. I suppose the gun prohibitionists would make the argument that you see such high ratios because of how these states regulate these "killing machines".

This argument fails when  you see that virtually unregulated shotguns are used just as often as the murder weapon of choice as a rifle in those states. It has similarly high ratios when compared to deaths by hands and feet.

A quick glace at the state by state murder statistics tells me two things. First, the total number murdered in a state is highly dependent on the population of the state. Second, there are going to be states like Louisiana which are just outliers. They have a murder rate that is much greater proportionately than many other states. I don't know Louisiana law but I'm thinking that great Southern rationale of  "he needed killing" might be a valid defense to the charge of murder there.


  1. So, 595 is "nearly twice" 252? Things have changed since I went to school.

    1. I think AWR Hawkins has his degree in history and not mathematics.

  2. I haven't had a chance to peruse it in depth yet...

  3. Just tossing this out there: Would Louisiana being an outlier have anything to do with its (particularly in New Orleans) heavy out-of-state tourism, often paired with heavy alcohol consumption (think: Spring Break, Mardi Gras, etc.), potentially bringing violence from other states?

    As a comparison, we might check Nevada's crime rates (particularly Las Vegas) compared to surrounding states like Idaho, Arizona, and Colorado (not California, which has it's own tourism). "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," and all.

    Just an idea.

    1. Living less than an hour'a drive from New Orleans, I can confirm that it is its own region. As is typical of a democrat controlled metropolitan area, the crime rate is markedly higher than the surrounding area. NOPD is a markedly different from the other police in the state. I don't know whether that's because they deal with the residents of New Orleans, or because they are lead by its leaders, but I blame both.

      Looking at that data, it seems to be reporting crimes unadjusted for population. Without running those numbers, I'm curious how you figure Louisiana as an outlier. Are they charted someplace? Please share.

    2. Anon - The population of Louisiana in 2016 was estimated to be 4,670,00 +/-. It had 474 homicides. States like NC (10 mil) and Ohio (11.6 mil) had 506 and 480 respectively. Even without charting the number of homicides per capita, you know intuitively which are large states and which are smaller. When you see a small state with numbers approximately a known much larger state, it has to be an outlier.

    3. Archer - off the top of my head, I'd say no to the tourism angle. I'd be more likely to look at racial and ethnic composition, presence of gangs, and where the homicides took place (urban v. rural). I'd also want to break down the homicides to see whether they were "crimes of passion" or were they connected to other crimes like robbery. In other words, was the homicide to shut up a witness or was it done for revenge/hate/etc.