Following headlines, there seem to be two contradictory narratives in the U.S. The mainstream media tries to explain that gun control is working well because St. Louis has higher gun crime rates than Chicago. Other reports paint Chicago as one of the most dangerous cities in North America. In even more confusing headlines you can read that murders have raged out of control across the state of Alaska.
You’re a savvy reader, so you likely know where all of this is going, but we’re going to take our time and really dissect these arguments. We’ll look at the cold, hard math and see exactly how and why liberals stretch the truth to continue their attack on rural America, traditional values and our inalienable right to bear arms.
The most prominent example of this attack is Alaska. Liberals herald it as the gun murder capital of the U.S. They claim that Alaska has the highest gun murder rates in the country, and therefore a person is more likely to be murdered by a gun in Alaska than anywhere else. For now, we’ll ignore the fact that Alaska’s murder incidences have almost doubled since 2013, and before then it was historically one of the safest places in the world. Instead, we’ll focus on the real numbers and mental gymnastics necessary to try and claim that Alaska is more dangerous than California.
Alaska’s current population is 741,000. Considering the state’s size, it is far and away the most rural region in the U.S. All said, it’s one of the most rural places on the planet. In 2016, Alaska saw 52 murders (not all of which were committed with firearms). So, when you divide the number of crimes by the population, you get a rate of 7.02 murders per 100,000 residents in 2016. This rate is up significantly from the 5.07 average in the previous decade, but it’s the raw number used by many liberals. To put it in perspective, Chicago has a rate of 16.4 (which is not quite in the top 15 in the country), and California has a rate of 5.
How the Comparison Fails
I’ll show you the math in a second, but first let’s apply common sense. If I told you Alaska saw 52 murders last year and California had 1,930, which would you say is more dangerous? The reason California is the correct answer is because of an incorrect assumption. California has many more people in it than Alaska, so it stands to reason that they will see more murders. Therefore, the only fair way to compare the two states is with murder rates by population. It sounds reasonable, but it includes a fundamental assumption that crime will rise directly with population. In other words, this analysis assumes that doubling the population will double the number of murders. Off the top of your head, that might seem fair, but the real numbers show something else entirely.
Every state in the U.S. sees annual population growth, and California and Alaska are no exceptions. In fact, since 1990, Alaska’s population has increased by 74 percent. Murders, on the other hand, have decreased overall. I’m not talking about the murder rate. The average number of total murders since 2000 in Alaska is less than the total for any year during the 90s. If you go back farther, the trend becomes even more extreme.
Perhaps even more telling is that this is true for pretty much every state. California has gained 10 million residents since 1990, but the annual number of murders has dropped by about 1,500 (almost in half). So, to state the obvious, comparing murder rates by population assumes that if Alaska had as many people as California, then it would have more murders. Historical data puts the lie to this assumption, since both states have had dramatic drops in the number of murders even as their populations have exploded.
Bringing it Back to Chicago
So, this brings us back to the elephant in the room: Chicago. The Windy City has more murders and gun crimes than New York and L.A. combined. It is more dangerous for Americans than the entire countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, even when we look at numbers dating back to 2001. There is no question; violent crime in Chicago is completely out of control.
It also has the most advanced gun control laws in our country. The left has to use math tricks to try and undermine the reality and turn a blind eye to the thousands dead in their progressive experiments. Gun control doesn’t just fail. It is dangerous. The next time you hear someone use crime rates to justify gun control, you can show them the real numbers and force them to face real logic.
~ American Gun News