Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ignoring the Elephant in the Room

In the wake of the Newtown shooting, liberals turn to their tired old ideas of gun control like a dog turns to its vomit. However, there is little talk of the real problems, and causes, of violent crime in America.

This article at the Powerline Blog is primarily about the numerical illiteracy of the New York Times when it comes to firearms, and its editorial board's inability to understand even simple statistics or division of whole numbers. It briefly explores the lack of correlation between the number or firearms and overall homicide rate; how the U.S. murder rate has been declining faster than in England or Australia, despite their strict gun laws; and so on. However, at the end, it raises the issue that the media continually ignores--the murder rate among and by young minority men in America. From the article:

The Times concludes:
As Mayor Michael Bloomberg stressed on Monday while ratcheting up his national antigun campaign, “We are the only industrialized country that has this problem. In the whole world, the only one.”
Michael Bloomberg raises an interesting question: how does an idiot become a billionaire? But that is a topic for another day. I am not sure what problem he thinks is unique to the U.S.; surely not the problem of murder. But there is one factor that distinguishes the U.S. from most, if not all, of the other wealthy countries, and that accounts more than anything else for our higher murder rate: we have a far larger minority population. 
The Times refers to homicides in other “wealthy” countries, but fails to mention that there are many nations whose murder rates dwarf ours. In most of Africa, homicide rates are sky-high, as much as five to ten times America’s rate. The homicide rate in Brazil is around five times that of the U.S. And here in the United States, according to the Department of Justice, the murder rate among African-Americans is almost eight times the murder rate among whites. This is the main factor that explains why our homicide rate is higher than that in other wealthy countries that have lots of guns, like Switzerland.
(Underline added).

Powerline is not making this up. This 2010 article from the City Journal, which also takes the New York Times to task for not understanding how to count, notes:
Here are the crime data that the Times doesn’t want its readers to know: blacks committed 66 percent of all violent crimes [in New York City] in the first half of 2009 (though they were only 55 percent of all stops and only 23 percent of the city’s population). Blacks committed 80 percent of all shootings in the first half of 2009. Together, blacks and Hispanics committed 98 percent of all shootings. Blacks committed nearly 70 percent of all robberies. Whites, by contrast, committed 5 percent of all violent crimes in the first half of 2009, though they are 35 percent of the city’s population (and were 10 percent of all stops). They committed 1.8 percent of all shootings and less than 5 percent of all robberies. The face of violent crime in New York, in other words, like in every other large American city, is almost exclusively black and brown. Any given violent crime is 13 times more likely to be committed by a black than by a white perpetrator—a fact that would have been useful to include in the Times’s lead, which stated that “Blacks and Latinos were nine times as likely as whites to be stopped.” These crime data are not some artifact that the police devise out of their skewed racial mindset. They are what the victims of those crimes—the vast majority of whom are minority themselves—report to the police.
 This 2009 article from the American Thinker takes a national perspective, and reports:
 Now, the country's top law enforcement official says there are too many people in prison. Yet, in his 3000 word speech to the American Bar Association in Chicago on Monday, Holder never said a word about the overwhelmingly large disparity that exists between the percentages of crime committed by blacks, when compared to whites.
Did the first African-American Attorney General feel too embarrassed to mention the fact that blacks, who represent about 12 percent of the population, commit about 40 percent of the crime?  
Of the 2.3 million people in prisons and jails in the United States, roughly 140,000, or 6 percent, are serving life sentences. These severe penalties are meted out because of the violent nature of the crimes. About 48 percent of lifers are black, 33 percent are white, and 14 percent are Hispanic. Some might conclude that blacks have been treated unfairly in sentencing, but a look at the statistics doesn't bear that out. Though blacks account for just one-eighth of the US population, they are seven times more likely to commit murder than whites. That hard fact, not racism, explains the high proportion of lifers who are black.
Walter Williams at the Townhall also notes the gross disparity in crime statistics:

Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Using the 94 percent figure means that 262,621 were murdered by other blacks. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation's population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it's 22 times that of whites. Coupled with being most of the nation's homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery.
The magnitude of this tragic mayhem can be viewed in another light. According to a Tuskegee Institute study, between the years 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites. Black fatalities during the Korean War (3,075), Vietnam War (7,243) and all wars since 1980 (8,197) come to 18,515, a number that pales in comparison with black loss of life at home. It's a tragic commentary to be able to say that young black males have a greater chance of reaching maturity on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Newark and other cities.

Why the disparity? I would suggest that much of it is the result of liberal policies that have caused the breakdown of the American family, and the exclusion of boys and men from society.

Obviously, the Connecticut shooter was a young white male. However, are seeing the same trends? That is the question asked in this post from Legal Insurrection--is the war against men a cause of mass shootings?

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