Is “Murder Inequality” Really A Thing? If It Is, Is It Your Fault?

Opinion

Murder Inequality
Murder Inequality
Jeff Knox
Jeff Knox

Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- In their endless effort to demonize guns and gun owners, Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun propaganda outlet, The Trace, has finally hit on a trace of truth with an article from regular contributor Daniel Kay Hertz…

..but he still managed to dodge important points and spin the story to place blame on gun owners.

The key point of the story is that violent crime has been falling dramatically in the United States since the mid 1990s – everywhere except in certain inner-city neighborhoods, where “gun violence still stalks young men of color.” The title of the article is “The Debate Over Crime Rates is Ignoring the Metric That Matters Most: ‘Murder Inequality’”

Murder inequality.. What an interesting turn of a phrase. Use of the word “inequality” is usually reserved for matters in which some group is not getting their “fair share” of some good thing, reductions in violent crime, particularly murder. While that is true, saying it this way resonates with an implication that the “inequality” is due to some oppressor group causing the disparity, and that it is up to the oppressors to redress the imbalance. And since it's on The Trace, the culprits must be you and me.

The article is actually an interesting and informative read, if you can get past the random jabs at guns, gun owners, and President Trump. Hertz points out that crime data comparing city to city is of very little practical use because there are safer places and less-safe places in every city. A city's statistics can be dramatically thrown off by a few small areas with exceedingly high crime rates, or by large areas with very low crime rates.

We've been saying this for years. And it's not just true of cities, it is true of countries as well. As has often been pointed out in these columns, the violent crime rates in the U.S. are comparable to crime rates in other developed nations – if you deduct the violence of a few neighborhoods in a few of our larger cities.

Crime is not a national problem, nor is it a state or city problem. Crime is a neighborhood problem.

Hertz points out that there are areas of New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., and other large cities, where the annual murder rate is less than 1 per 100,000 residents. There are also areas of those cities where the rate is as high as 50, 70, or even 90 per 100,000. And these are fairly large areas such as police precincts or City Council Districts, which can be further reduced to battle zones of just a few city blocks in which murder rates reach truly staggering levels.

On his personal blog, Hertz, who is a Senior Policy Analyst for a Chicago-based think-tank focused on taxes and budgets, displays maps comparing murder rates in Chicago between the peak crime years of the early '90s and the lower crime period of 2008 – 2011. What the maps show is that in Chicago, safer neighborhoods grew, while dangerous neighborhoods were concentrated and got worse. Overall, Chicago, like the U.S. as a whole, experienced a decline in murder of about 50% over 2 decades, but the neighborhoods that got left behind have not shared in that decline, with some seeing higher murder rates now than then, and the rates are climbing.

Hertz points to several studies and supporting articles that keep circling back to the inequity in the racial make-up of murder victims, but dancing around the obvious fact that the murderers also lack racial diversity. Terms like “black-on-black crime” have not only fallen out of favor, they have been labeled as racist, as has any frank discussion of the fact that violent crime in America is dramatically inequitable with regards to the race and ethnicity of its perpetrators. Researchers and analysts talk about factors like poverty, unemployment, hopelessness, and the breakdown of the family.

They compare crime to a communicable disease like AIDS, with discussions of transmission vectors, vulnerable networks, and paths of infection, but in their determination to avoid inadvertently tripping over an explosive “race-card,” they assiduously avoid talking about the elephant in the room: culture.

It is not that “black culture,” or “Hispanic culture” is inherently violent or prone to crime. It's that a criminal culture has been allowed to grow and fester in inner-city communities and has become particularly prevalent and destructive within black and Hispanic sectors of those communities. Refusing to acknowledge this fact is akin to addressing the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s without mentioning the relationship to gay culture of the time.

The culture of crime and violence generates a self-perpetuating cycle that consumes those trapped in its vortex. A dispute leads to a fight which leads to a murder which leads to retaliation which results in a feud and long-term grudges. The cycle of violence drives out the good people, attracts the bad people, destroys businesses, schools, and infrastructure, and corrupts everything it touches. It results in less education, fewer opportunities, more poverty and hopelessness, and more crime and violence.

Unfortunately that criminal culture has been glamorized and popularized by Hollywood, the music industry, and professional athletes. Government and charities can throw money and effort at the problems, but nothing will change until the culture changes, and the culture won't change until people admit that it's the heart of the problem.

Neal Knox - The Gun Rights War
Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • 24 thoughts on “Is “Murder Inequality” Really A Thing? If It Is, Is It Your Fault?

    1. The problem is as Star Parker says the government plantation. What is the function of a man in the welfare system after he has got a woman pregnant? Nothing, he is of no use. It is like the plan was to trap people in poverty and destroy the family. Color or ethnic back ground has little to do with it, I have read that the incarceration rate is the same for single parent white family as black or Hispanic. Some where something went wrong on the war on poverty like all socialist experiments.

    2. “Researchers and analysts talk about factors like poverty, unemployment, hopelessness, and the breakdown of the family.”
      Ironic that the “researchers” come to this conclusion, which apparently points to supporting things like the church, marriage, Trump’s economic progress, and procreation, and yet leftist anti-2nd Amendment / anti-gunners use it as an excuse to strip our freedoms from us.

    3. This murder inequality is all the fault of white people, cause they don’t hang out on the corner in da hood makin they selves available to be shot daed.
      /sarc

    4. You can’t blame PEOPLE for violence committed by GUNS.

      To blame Black and Hispanic people for crimes committed by GUNS is ultra right WHITE SUPREMACIST PROPAGANDA.

      For all the out of control breakdown in social order in the Black and Hispanic communities resulting in GUN VIOLENCE – Black and Hispanic people are NOT THE PROBLEM!

      WHITE PEOPLE AND GUNS ARE THE GREATEST THREAT TO THIS NATION!
      (Don’t you watch the news?)

      That is why “PROGRESSIVES” are relentlessly working to DISARM WHITE PEOPLE WHO ARE LEGAL GUN OWNERS!

      Can’t make this s*** up.

      1. What have you been huffing? Did you even read the article?!? Are you also blaming all those cars for the drunk driving accidents and deaths? I’m not sure whether your just baiting the audience here for the fun of it or just that plain ignorant.

          1. Sorry. The imphasis of all the ridiculous caps made me think it as an honest (but woefully misguided) comment by an outsider troll. Now I see the sarcasm. Well played. It was so spot on for a liberal that I thought it was real.

            1. I know what you mean Chuck. It took me a second to see the sarcasm to. It did make a good comment after that.

      2. I have the answer! For every white gun, there needs to be made a black gun and a hispanic gun, and an asian gun, and a pacific islander gun! There now the outcomes are all equal.
        We could do the same thing with cars and equal out the traffic accidents. And fry pans to equal out the kitchen burns.

    5. An accurate assessment read by a very few, ignored or vilified by those who refuse to face facts, which perpetuates the problem. One has but to listen to an hour of radio traffic of police activity in Chicago or a dozen other jurisdictions to get the point. It IS a cultural issue, and will continue until realit sinks in, if ever. Racial connection to violent crime is that reality, regardless of the excuses that prevent the reaching of solutions.

    6. They can’t blame cost as a racial divider .
      The cost of self protection is the same for ,
      everyone. Small handgun approx., $129.-$600.
      box of ammo $7.99 – 25.99 . No race involved there.
      Buy it , Practice, Defend yourself .
      It don’t matter the brand or caliber, it’s better than a
      stick or a rock !

      1. Really what does a thug on the street pay for the same gun an honest citizen pays? What does the citizen pay toi be able to carry that gun? What does the citizen pay to go through the purchase process?

        1. Thug $50-$150
          To purchase legally $0 ( plus cost of weapon)
          If you have to pay on-top of the weapon price
          your being ripped off .! Go in , choose a weapon.
          fill out paper work, They run background check .
          your good to go , pay for weapon and any ammo
          go home or to the range ! Simple easy it’s done !

          1. I think gandolf’s point was that it’s far cheaper and easier for a thug to be armed than a law abiding person. Thugs do not buy from the store, or get background checks, or carry only in compliance with the local laws. Law abiding citizens often pay hundreds of dollars over the cost of the gun to be able to legally carry on a daily basis. The costs of a CCW if required, and any training that is required, not to mention range time, practice ammo, a good carry holster, etc. Thugs just tuck it into their waist band and go, and don’t really care who they hit when they shoot.

          2. Marc except if you live in the deep blue gun free zone of NJ. To purchase a handgun here you must first apply to your local police department for a permit to purchase. Your application is sent to the State Police for a background check and approval or rejection of the permit which takes about 3 months. After the permit is approved you have 3 months to go to your gun store and purchase your handgun. You must fill out the original form again that you filled out for the purchase permit and the dealer charges $18 to call NICS for the instant yes or no on the sale. We don’t have legal carry in NJ. Of the FBIs top ten cities with gun murders Camden is 5 and Newark is 6. Centuries of local and State f Demwit government are the problem.

    7. Calling a spade a spade is out of vogue – if the truth was ever in vogue with liberals. Telling the whiners to look in the mirror for both the cause and cure to their problems isn’t very popular. All the BS proposed by liberals/democrats that has failed over the decades just doesn’t seem to sink in. Ever wonder what happened to the trillions of dollars spent since the “great society” programs of good old Lyndon and company? Helping people that need and want help can be good. But bailing out and doing for isn’t the same as help. Making excuses for the criminals doesn’t help anyone except the criminals. Let’s hear it again for the failures of socialism and soft on crime. Be sure to vote for democrats in the next election if you want to continue the downhill slide.

    8. “Hertz points to several studies and supporting articles that keep circling back to the inequity in the racial make-up of murder victims, but dancing around the obvious fact that the murderers also lack racial diversity.”

      Several decades ago (pre-Internet) Chicago did a study of 20 years of murders in that city. It turned out that about 3/4 were committed by convicted criminals, but about 2/3 of the victims were themselves convicted criminals, putting those murders into the “good riddance” category. But then a problem – a BIG problem – arose: the study also included race and ethnicity of the murderers in its raw data, and when THAT came out, suddenly nobody wanted to cite the study in any way, shape, or form; I haven’t even been able to find it on line.

    9. The question is, how do we get this information into the greater public forum and start a discussion that is sustainable? Without discussion and debate, this situation will continue to be addressed with solutions that don’t even apply! A single headline disappears too quickly due to the ADD-attention span these days. Do we need more analytical research and data to prove the point? Just like AIDS, this is a public health issue but it’s being addressed with criminal solutions. That will never work!

      1. @Chuck, This is not a public health issue, and it is not like AIDS, unless you are referring to natural selection. This is a law enforcement issue. If we execute violent offenders, the problem in nearly extinguished. We do not execute sick people. See the difference, Chuck?
        On the other hand, if we execute people that engage in the behavior that spreads AIDS… hmmm.

        1. Sorry, but I wholly disagree. The social state of the inner city (the root cause of much of this violence) is most certainly a socio-economic and, therefore, a public health issue. When we add the drugs, and subsequently, the guns, then it becomes a criminal issue. No argument at that point. But if the social situation never became violent, as it was with AIDS, then it would remain a public health issue. I never even hinted at AIDS being—or being used as—any form of “natural selection” (emphasis your words and certainly not mine!). I find it a repugnant thought that any civilized society would allow a group, social, economic, racial, geographic or any other select set, be allowed to be exterminated whether by their own doing or through the development of disease. If you want the discussion to go that direction, we can bring up any hereditary or acquired disease. So we should let all those with type 1 diabetes just die because it’s “natural selection”? What about Downs Symdrime, Taya Sachs, sickle cell and I could go on. “Natural selection?” Why cure them? They’re just a burden on society! I shudder to think we’re that would take us and I would never want to be a member of that society.

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