Homicide ’04

A truly shocking amount of people are murdered in the US every year. Of course, because most of the victims are black, few eyebrows are raised. You see, when a cute white girl is killed (Laci Peterson) it’s a big deal, but when it’s some black kid in the ghetto, well, c’est la vie.

Here in Baltimore 278 people (246 black) lost their lives through homicide in 2004. Chicago had 445, New York 565. In Baltimore, that’s 1 in every 2,350 residents. The whole of Britain has about 1000 murders per year (that’s 1 in 60,000 people). The US in total has about 17,000 murders per year (about 1 in 17,000).

Anyway, Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley promised to get the murder figure down. He’s failed.

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Homicide ’04

  1. Homicides in NYC are down to 1960s levels, if I am not mistaken. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html%23comments" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>

    Like

  2. If they’re down – great, but it’s still way too many. Most of the deaths in Baltimore hardly make it to the news anymore – unless it’s a multiple shooting. The local newspaper does keep a running total though throughout the year! My opinion as a Brit I’m sure differs much from most Americans (constitutional rights etc), but might there be less gun crime if guns weren’t so readily avaliable?? 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2Funitedbrethren" TITLE="">Rebecca<>

    Like

  3. Becky, my opinion is that if guns weren’t so “readily available,” then only the bad guys would have guns and the good guys (or just the normal citizens who could use a gun to protect him or herself in the event of an attack) wouldn’t have them. That is, criminals would still have their guns but normal citizens would have no access to them (b/c they would not be willing to buy or obtain their guns illegally as criminals are willing to do). 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html%23comments" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>

    Like

  4. John,

    What’s the evidence for the usefulness of *good* guys having guns? Does the knowledge that the owner of the house your are burglarizing, the car you are car-jacking, or the body you are raping, might have a gun make such crimes less common in the US? In other words, is the right to bear arms practical or just ideological? 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?headlife.blogspot.com" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>

    Like

  5. Ronan, it’s nice to have a gun to put a bullet in the head of the person burglarizing your house or raping your wife. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html%23comments" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>

    Like

  6. When I lived in a Baltimore, there was a student from Wyoming who complained about rats in the alley behind his rowhouse. He said, “Back home we wouldn’t have this. You know why? We would shoot them.” My point in retelling this is there is a lot more behind Baltimore’s absurdly high murder rate than the presence of guns.

    On the other hand, lack of guns would stop lazy or squemish killers. I knew one person who was shot dead in Baltimore and my wife knew another. Whether the first murder would have happened without a firearm is unknown, but the second definitely would have not. I also knew a woman in another city who was strangled, and my wife knew one who was killed by stabbing. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html%23comments" TITLE="jrm48150 at yahoo dot com">John Mansfield<>

    Like

  7. Sorry John that doesn’t wash for me. In the UK gun laws are extremely strict, and as a result death by gun is around 10 per year – ‘bad’ and ‘good’ cannot get them. The only way to stop gun crime is to get rid of guns. The constitution as I understand it gave right to bear arms (mostly rifles) in a time when needed. Tell me how this applies to having the right to own an oozie?? Your last comment is indicative of the violent mind set that it prevalent in this country. Which is odd since it’s such a ‘Christian’ country. I can’t imagine Christ ready to put a bullet in a guy burglarizing his house. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2Funitedbrethren" TITLE="">Rebecca<>

    Like

  8. Come on JF, you didn’t answer my question. One more time: does the fact that good guys have guns make bad guys less inclined to be bad? My sense is no, or at least not enough.

    America has a homicide problem. Just admit it. And if it was white people being killed you’d be outraged. What’s the answer? It seems like America has tried everything (death penalty, brutal prisons), but the problem remains to a massive, unparalled (at least in the Western world) extent. If the homicide problem is not due to guns, then what *is* it due to? Are Americans more violent? Heaven forbid! 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>

    Like

  9. <>And if it was white people being killed you’d be outraged.<>Bullshit. Think next time before you call me a racist. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html%23comments" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>

    Like

  10. You are arguing a fallacy of composition. America allows guns. There is a high rate of violent crime. Ergo, guns must be the <>cause<> of the crime. I don’t have an answer for you. But I am less willing to ascribe all of my country’s problems to guns and not to the people holding the guns. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>

    Like

  11. Not a racist, John, just subconciously more concerned for your own tribe. That goes for me too. Nice white, English guy is beheaded in Iraq and I’m so angry I could kill. Black kid shot as a bystander today in Baltimore. Yawn. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>

    Like

  12. I am just as interested in seeing a white murderer get the chair (actually, the lethal injection since the chair is now outlawed) as a black murderer. I am just as interested in avoiding a black homicide as a black homicide. I am just as interested in the law prosecuting a white gun-offender as a black gun offender. Let’s crack down–<>on the criminals<> and not pretend that they wouldn’t be committing their crime if the US followed the UK in heavy-handed government outlawing guns. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html%23comments" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>

    Like

  13. I am interested in justice and not excuses. The criminal can blame the crime on the gov’t allowing guns as prescribed in the Constitution. The civil rights activist can point to a higher rate of homicides among blacks and accuse the country of being racist. Let’s talk about personal responsibility for criminal activity and not about the existence of guns. Let’s talk about the choices that the criminals make out of their own free will. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>

    Like

  14. John,
    I think you’re overreacting a little bit to think your friend would call you a racist.
    Also, of course the person who commits the crime is responsible, but how do you explain the radical differences in gun crime between the US and the UK other than the radical difference in gun laws?? I think you referring to the UK as heavy-handed when it comes to gun law outrageous. The laws are strict – yes, but it saves lives. In the UK, gun laws were softer and a man walked into an elementary school and killed 17 children. The same crime has happened in the US – the difference is, when it happened in the UK, instantly gun laws were tightened to stop it happening again. The US is happy for it to keep on going. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2Funitedbrethren" TITLE="">Rebecca<>

    Like

  15. Of course I know that Ronan meant no ill-will, but the assertion was a little outrageous. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html%23comments" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>

    Like

  16. I hope you don’t mind me writing in here, but the stats at the top of this column show that the murder rate in Baltimore is seven times that of the U.S. as a whole. The rest of the U.S. doesn’t generaly have more strict gun laws than Baltimore does. You’ll have to look elsewhere than gun availability for explanations of Baltimore’s murder rate. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html%23comments" TITLE="jrm48150 at yahoo dot com">John Mansfield<>

    Like

  17. Mr Mansfield,

    Your comments are most welcome, and you are right, Baltimore is an aberration. (BTW, I like Baltimore – great city). Let’s just be frank here: homicide (at least in Baltimore) is a black problem. Not that blacks are more violent, but that blacks are much more likely to live in poverty, and poverty breeds crime. Mr Fowles believes that the answer is harsh punishment. I don’t disagree that a murderer should be crushed under the weight of the law, but is that really getting at the root of the problem? It’s not exactly E=mc2, but I imagine that reduced poverty=reduced crime.

    And lest I be accused of America bashing here, a report from Civitas suggests that Britain has a soaring crime rate, one of the highest in the West:

    – In 1964 in England and Wales there were 72,000 domestic burglaries; in 2003/04 there were 402,000.
    In 1964 there were 3,000 robberies; in 2003/04 there were 101,000.

    – In 1955 fewer than 500,000 crimes were recorded by the police in England and Wales. By the end of the 1960s there were over 1.5 million. By the end of the 1970s there were 2.7 million

    http://www.civitas.org.uk/press/prcs38.php 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?headlife.blogspot.com" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>

    Like

  18. What solution do you suggest, Ronan? 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fheadlife.blogspot.com%2F2005%2F01%2Fhomicide-04.html%23comments" TITLE="john dot fowles at gmx dot net">john fowles<>

    Like

  19. Easy,
    Do whatever Canada’s doing. (1/3 the murder rate) 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?headlife.blogspot.com" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>

    Like

  20. Wow, 17,000 in a year?!! That’s roughly two every hour of every day.
    The real issue here is that with a gun, it is easy to kill from a distance. Whereas, if you are intent on killing without a gun, you have to get up close and personal, like with a knife. Simple truth, guns kill all to easily. So wake up you yankees and get rid of your guns. But far worse than all this, is your disgusting use of 25% of the world’s energy for only 4% of the world’s population, and Global Warming is coming your way very sooooooooon!!!! Thanks USA 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?N%2FA" TITLE="r dot newman at dsl dot pipex dot com">Richard Newman<>

    Like

Comments are closed.