While the mainstream media’s fixation on violence has left the majority of the country with the impression that crime is escalating all around them, the actual data paints a much different picture.
John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center recently pulled the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report and other public uniform crime reports for states that don’t report data to the FBI. What he found is actually not all that surprising: only a small percentage of counties account for the vast majority of homicides in the country.
According to Lott’s research, the worst 5% of counties make up 73% of homicides, and get this, those counties are almost all deeply blue with corresponding strict gun control laws to boot. Furthermore, the worst 31 counties, which are almost all urban jurisdictions, accounted for 42% of the nation’s homicides in 2020—despite only holding about one fifth of the nation’s overall population.
Astoundingly, 52% of counties had no homicides in 2020, and 16% of the rest recorded only a single killing.
This study might shock you: most of the country is safe! Democrat-run urban cities with the strictest gun laws are the most dangerous.https://t.co/jjDL437vY1
— Crime Prevention Research Center (@CrimeResearch1) January 21, 2023
“Murder isn’t a nationwide problem. It’s a problem in a small set of urban areas, and even in those counties murders are concentrated in small areas inside them, and any solution must reduce those murders,” Lott said in his report.
As one example, Los Angeles is somewhat infamous for its violent crime. But Lott’s data show a mere 10% of the county’s ZIP codes accounted for 41% of the homicides. And another 10% accounted for 26% of the rest.
The worst counties were the usual suspects: Cook County (Chicago), Los Angeles County, Harris County (Houston), Philadelphia, and the New York City boroughs rounded out the top five, making up 15% of the nation’s homicides.
Crime is of course much more nuanced than many want you to believe, and it is influenced by a wide array of factors. Poverty, trauma, a lack of education or job opportunities, mental health, addiction, broken families, brain injuries, and lower IQs in general are all examples of factors that can make someone more likely to be involved in criminal activity.
Additionally, dense urban areas are likely to see more crime because they have more people, and because they have more people from diverse backgrounds living in closely packed quarters together, often struggling on the margins of the economy.
Still, the correlation of the data with strict gun control laws cannot be ignored, especially since the Left and the current administration continue to tout this tired idea as a one-stop shop solution to violence.
“President Biden and Democrats want to talk about violent crime as a gun problem. Over 92% of violent crime has nothing to do with guns,” Lott said. “The way you reduce violent crime or gun crime is the same way: You have to make it risky to go and commit the crime.”
He’s right. It’s worth noting that the PEW Research Center reported in 2021 the household gun ownership rate in rural areas was 79% higher than in urban areas. Gun control proponents will have a hard time explaining why their existing efforts don’t work, but beyond that—and moreover, more importantly—there’s really nothing they can do to combat the fact that rural and suburban areas where gun ownership rates are much higher saw so many fewer homicide deaths in the years studied.