In yet another example of the massive gap between the American people’s perception of what is going on around them (whether by propaganda channels or simply cognitive bias) and the actual reality, Reuters reports that while gun-related homicides are down 39% from the 1993 peak, only 12% of people believe that gun crimes have fallen. Non-fatal firearm crimes declined by 69% to 467,300 in the same period but 56% of Americans believe that gun crime is higher now than it was 20 years ago, the Pew Research Center said its poll showed. The dichotomy between record food stamp usage (and non-employment) and multi-year highs in consumer sentiment comes to mind – we wonder which is more ‘real’.
Highlights of the report:
- Firearm-related homicides declined 39%, from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011.
- Nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69%, from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 victimizations in 2011.
- For both fatal and nonfatal firearm victimizations, the majority of the decline occurred during the 10-year period from 1993 to 2002.
- Firearm violence accounted for about 70% of all homicides and less than 10% of all nonfatal violent crime from 1993 to 2011.
- About 70% to 80% of firearm homicides and 90% of nonfatal firearm victimizations were committed with a handgun from 1993 to 2011.
- From 1993 to 2010, males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24 had the highest rates of firearm homicide.
- In 2007-11, about 23% of victims of nonfatal firearm crime were injured.
- About 61% of nonfatal firearm violence was reported to the police in 2007-11.
- In 2007-11, less than 1% of victims in all nonfatal violent crimes reported using a firearm to defend themselves during the incident.
- In 2004, among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of offense, less than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show and 40% obtained their firearm from an illegal source.
- Males, blacks, and persons ages 18 to 24 were most likely to be victims of firearm violence
Directly from the government:
Breakdown of homicides by age and sex:
Breakdown of violence by region:
And the full data:
The full report can be found here
Chart: H/t @Not_Jim_Cramer