More guns, less murder?

Started Feb 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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aus4ever
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More guns, less murder?
Feb 25, 2013

Is it true that more guns, less murder?  I have been looking the answer for from time and did the following over the weekend.

First, I gathered the murder statistics from the Wall Street Journal database because they have a breakdown by ethnicity of both victims and offenders.  The latest they have is for the year 2010. Because the data for Florida is not there, I had to download it from Florida's Department of Law Enforcement.

Next, I used gun ownership by state data by US Carry.com from here .  The latest they have is for 2007 but I suppose that's close enough in relativity for the different states.

Then I started filling the blanks and plot two scatter charts below.  The first one is the relation between gun ownership and gun murder rate per 100,000; the second one is the relation between gun ownership and total murder rate per 100,000.  The mean for gun ownership is 40% and the mean 37.6%; the mean for gun murder is 3.33 and for total murder is 4.87 per 100,000.

As you can see from the charts, the findings are inconclusive.  Just for example,

High gun ownership and high murder rate - Louisiana, Missouri
High gun ownership and low murder rate - Wyoming, Idaho, North Dakota
Low gun ownership and high murder rate - Maryland, New Mexico
Low gun ownership and low murder rate - Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts

Therefore, I tend to think that there are other driving factors such as gang violence, drug involvement, gun laws, law enforcement, justice system, accessibility of illegal guns etc.

What is more clear is that 18 of the 23 Red states are having gun ownership above the mean.

Please take a look at these charts with an open mind.  The vertical axis is percentage of gun ownership and the horizontal axis is murder rate per 100,000.

All comments are welcome.

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