Homicide Rate Is Rising? Do Tell!

CNN headlines: “Gun homicides on the rise, CDC says.”

Shooting homicides are on the rise, though other common methods of murder remain flat, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This chart shows the trends:

Most murders are committed with firearms, for the same reason we arm our soldiers and police officers with firearms: they are very effective. CNN fails to note, however, that homicides are committed almost exclusively with handguns. Shotguns and rifles account for very few murders; fewer than blunt instruments and bare hands.

CNN’s article is actually relatively fair. It quotes a pro-gun advocate, who has much the best of the argument. For example:

“Consider that between 2007 and 2016, the number of concealed carry permits in the country rose by 256%, and yet the murder rate dropped almost 10% and the violent crime rate dropped almost 20% (as seen in the FBI’s figures here),” [Erich Pratt] wrote.

But what is remarkable about CNN’s article is that it completely ignores the elephant in the room. It never tries to explain what caused the rising homicide rate, beginning after 2014, merely quoting another expert to the effect that “What is most volatile over time and space is gun homicides.” Not really: the homicide rate, which mostly means the gun homicide rate, had been falling steadily since the 1990s, until 2015. While not trying to ascribe a cause, CNN does acknowledge that the uptick beginning in 2015 has been concentrated in a handful of cities.

Steve Sailer draws the obvious conclusion:

Hmmhmmmh … Chicago, Baltimore, and St. Louis … Weren’t those in the news? Something to do with Black Lives Matter?

The obvious cause for the increase in murders during the last years of the Obama administration was the Black Lives Matter movement, which was enthusiastically endorsed by the White House. It led to numerous unfair attacks on law enforcement, which in turn caused officers to police less aggressively. When police officers are afraid to do their jobs for fear of career-ending charges of racism, criminals prosper. Baltimore is the most notorious example, but the same phenomenon has happened in other cities where law enforcement has been besieged by the Left.

Obviously, CNN is not going to blame its pet movement and its favorite administration for rising violent crime. But its suggestion that the solution somehow resides in more gun control is pathetic. It quotes a Johns Hopkins professor:

“We now have 12 states for which you can carry a loaded concealed gun with you or in your vehicle with no license or no vetting, no nothing.” He noted that these laws apply only in cases in which the armed person is not a convicted felon and doesn’t fall into other prohibited categories.

Does that have anything to do with the recent spike in homicides? Were carry laws loosened in Chicago, Baltimore, Kansas City or St. Louis prior to the increase? Are the states where murders spiked after 2014 the ones where the law permitted residents to “carry a loaded concealed gun with you…with no license”?

No. What did change in the last years of the Obama administration? The obvious answer is, the Black Lives Matter movement and the associated attacks on law enforcement.

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