Detroit is Virtually Crime Free

Via kohenari:

Good news!

This person explains to me that rising gun ownership is actually making Detroit, my hometown, much safer:

Just look at Detroit recently gun ownership has gone up and crime has gone down. Not just a theory when there is evidence people

He’s right, you know. The violent crime rate in Detroit declined last year. And I guess it’s possible that gun ownership was responsible. Or perhaps there are a whole host of variables to consider, including the dramatic population decline.

But let’s get a wee bit of perspective on the situation in Detroit, shall we?

Make no mistake: Detroit is still a very dangerous place. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s crime database reports Detroit had 386 murders last year, up from 344 in 2011 and essentially unchanged from 2000 – when the city had 200,000 more residents. The steady outflow of residents has driven Detroit’s murder rate up to 54.6 per 100,000, more than 10 times the national average and the highest in the country among large cities. Equally troubled Stockton, Calif., fifth on this year’s Most Dangerous list, has less than half the murder rate of Detroit….

The violent crime rate for the Detroit MSA [metropolitan statistical area] is 574 per 100,000 population, 48% higher than the national average — and virtually all attributable to the area’s much more dangerous urban core. Only a handful of murders in the Detroit MSA were reported outside of Detroit itself.

Maybe Detroit just needs even more guns?

But even if this is true in Detroit, it does not “prove” that more guns equals less crime. Arguing from an anecdote (N=1) is very problematic, precisely because other factors could be the cause of the decline in crime. 

In order to have confidence that “more guns equals less crime,” we would have to see one of two (or both) kinds of studies: 

  • Studies of Detroit (or some other area) over a long period of time to see if the rate of gun ownership correlates with the crime rate (that is, whether the  two rates go up/down together). This would be “time-series” data. 
  • Studies of the relationship between crime and gun ownership for a large number of cases. This would be “cross-sectional” data.

You could also combine both types of studies (large number of cases over a long period of time). This would be “panel” data.

More guns, less crime? Not exactly.

kohenari:

A shocking piece at the Washington Post's Wonkblog notes that research suggests that a whole bunch of random people carrying guns around doesn't, in fact, make us safer.

But, but, but … all the responsible gun owners keep saying that the concealed carry movement definitely makes us all much, much safer. Here’s why:

The theory has largely been fueled by a deeply contested 1997 paper by economists John Lott and David Mustard, who concluded that “concealed handguns are the most cost-effective method of reducing crime thus far analyzed by economists.” If states without concealed-carry laws had them back in 1992, Lott and Mustard calculated, they could have avoided that year hundreds of murders, thousands of rapes and tens of thousands of assaults.

"John Lott’s research was in my opinion very instrumental over decades in having more states pass laws to make it easier to get permits to carry concealed loaded guns, and to lessen the barriers for those permit holders to take guns in ever more places, whether it’s bars, or places of worship, or schools," says Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “It’s all based upon Lott’s scholarship that has been completely discredited.”

Hmmm. That last sentence there seems like bad news, given that every single state now has a right-to-carry law on the books.

So what does the new research tell us? Oh, this:

more recent paper (“the best study on the topic” by Webster’s account), written by Stanford’s Abhay Aneja and John J. Donohue and Hopkins’ Alexandria Zhang, goes one step further. It methodically picks apart the existing literature — including Lott’s — and reaches a dramatically different conclusion:

Overall, the most consistent, albeit not uniform, finding to emerge from both the state and the county panel data models conducted over the entire 1977–2006 period with and without state trends and using three different models is that aggravated assault rises when [right-to-carry] laws are adopted.

In other words, let more people carry concealed guns, and assaults go up (Aneja et al. found no consistent impact on other kinds of crime).

I’m really looking forward to hearing what all the pro gun guys have to say about this latest study and the debunking of the shoddy research on which all their hopes and dreams rest. If I had to take one guess, they’ll completely ignore it.

thenewrepublic:

The College Ranking Industry Is Conning You

Yep.

http://politicalprof.tumblr.com/post/93230458453/foundingfatherquotes-the-states-were-not

foundingfatherquotes:

The States were not “Sovereigns” in the sense contended for by some. They did not possess the peculiar features of Sovereignty, they could not make war, nor peace, nor alliances nor treaties. Considering them as political Beings, they were dumb, for they could not speak…

White House issues critical warning of climate change’s economic cost | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

Sadly, those who don’t believe science don’t believe math, either.

theeconomist:

Remembrance: A chart of the first world war’s casualties on the centenary of the outbreak

theeconomist:

Remembrance: A chart of the first world war’s casualties on the centenary of the outbreak

From planetmoney:

Stock Performance And CEO Pay Are…

image

NOT RELATED.

Generally speaking, if CEO pay was related to stock performance you would expect to see a cloud of data points moving up to the right. Instead, we’re left with a jumble of points that suggest no relationship.

Kudos to Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi at Bloomberg Businessweek for the interesting insight. You can see the whole interactive (mousing over will give you details and the company and CEO) on their site. 

So, um, what does correlate with CEO pay?

theeconomist:

Battle scars: see how the first world war changed the shape of Europe with our interactive map

theeconomist:

Battle scars: see how the first world war changed the shape of Europe with our interactive map

whatdoesntkillyouaregoingtodie:

pol102:

Via think-progress:

Debra Harrell, mom who let her 9-year-old play in the park alone, has been fired from her job at McDonald’s.

This is just a sad story all around. If affordable daycare options were available for every working parent, imagine how much better off our entire economy would be. People would be free to make real choices about their careers, regardless of their domestic situation.
You know, like they do in places like Sweden. And if you’re interested in moving to Sweden, there’s even a government web portal that walks you through the process—including finding daycare.
Wouldn’t it be nice to actually live in a first world country?

You gotta be damn naive if you really think The Nordic Model are without any consequences.

Compare health, education, economic growth, and employment indicators of Sweden to the US and then get back to me.

whatdoesntkillyouaregoingtodie:

pol102:

Via think-progress:

Debra Harrell, mom who let her 9-year-old play in the park alone, has been fired from her job at McDonald’s.

This is just a sad story all around. If affordable daycare options were available for every working parent, imagine how much better off our entire economy would be. People would be free to make real choices about their careers, regardless of their domestic situation.

You know, like they do in places like Sweden. And if you’re interested in moving to Sweden, there’s even a government web portal that walks you through the process—including finding daycare.

Wouldn’t it be nice to actually live in a first world country?

You gotta be damn naive if you really think The Nordic Model are without any consequences.

Compare health, education, economic growth, and employment indicators of Sweden to the US and then get back to me.

Are unaccompanied minors fleeing violence, or just poverty, in Central America?

adam-wola:

Over at “Border Fact Check,” my Intern Lesley Wellener slaps back claims, from people like Rep. Steve Pearce (R-New Mexico), that most Central American children aren’t threatened, but are instead coming here for economic reasons.