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Guns and Race

April 03, 2013

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Because this valuable document might someday follow the Web page into oblivion, I”€™d like to reproduce here some of the more striking contents for the sake of posterity.

On page 2, this Obama Administration document reads:

Based on available data from 1980 to 2008″€”

Blacks were disproportionately represented as both homicide victims and offenders….The offending rate for blacks (34.4 per 100,000) was almost 8 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000).

Of course, PDF files are much more daunting to the public than a simple HTML Web page. PDFs are a pain to download and they are particularly annoying to copy and paste from. That quote above required a couple of minutes of work to eliminate weird line breaks and even weirder random spaces within the words.

And PDFs are ridiculously hard to copy graphs from. I had to grab the ones in this article using the antiquated screen capture technique.

Figure 19 from the BJS PDF shows that a plurality of all homicides over the last couple of decades have been black-on-black. (By the way, the BJS is one of the very few federal agencies that calls Hispanics white. So this white homicide-offending rate lumps in all the Latino killers with the white killers.)

The government divides non-domestic murders up into stranger versus friend/acquaintance killings. Stranger killings are the more destructive of cities. Black-on-white/Hispanic killings make up a little under one-fifth of all stranger homicides and outnumber white/Hispanic-on-black stranger killings about four to one.

Here are some more fascinating facts from the Obama Administration:

Across the 29 years from 1980 through 2008, blacks comprised 52.5 percent of all homicide offenders (Cooper and Smith, Table 1), even though they only made up about 13 percent of the population.

With gun control a hot topic, it’s worth noting that the report says that African Americans committed 56.9 percent of all homicides with a gun (Cooper and Smith, Table 7).

You know that stereotype of young black males as dangerous? According to the White House, it’s true:

While young black males have accounted for about 1% of the population from 1980 to 2008…(b)y 2008, young black males made up about a quarter of all homicide offenders (27%) (Figure 23b).

So young black males commit about 27 times more murders than their fair share of the population.

Interestingly, gun fans will appreciate the fact that blacks are also highly overrepresented among “€œjustifiable homicides”€ (Cooper and Smith, Table 14), carrying out 42 percent of the roughly 260 citizen-on-felon killings per year.

Of the felons dispatched for good cause by black citizens, 93 percent of the crooks were also black. That means that about seven or eight times per year in the United States, a black citizen kills a white criminal committing a felony. In contrast, that seems like it happens about seven or eight times per night on television. If you are a black good guy who shoots a white bad guy, make sure to call the William Morris Agency right away about getting an agent to handle the movie rights to your story.

Image of thug with gun courtesy of Shutterstock

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