On Friday, we talked about comparing the US murder rate to the rest of the world.
Monday, the subject was what’d happen if we excluded America’s top forty highest-crime cities from the average.
Yesterday, we talked about what’d happen if we left the Old South, with its centuries of relatively violent Scots-Irish heritage, out of the nation’s murder rate.
In every case, the results were big.
Now, let’s go bigger.
The Math: Here’s what it comes down to.
If you take the US’s 319 million people and 12,000-odd homicides (about 8,000 of which involve guns), and subtract:
- murders in the states of the Old South, the former Confederate and Border states (with population and murders from from Southern cities among “Top Fifty” cities’ overlapping murder rates removed, since they’re counted in the next bullet, and we wouldn’t want to deduct them twice)
- murders in the fifty US cities with the highest murder rates
And what does that leave?
Peace And Tranquility: Incredibly, of the roughly 12,000 murders in the US in 2014, around 8,700 took place in either the Top Fifty crime cities, or the former slave states.
That’s 71% of the homicides for the entire US.
In other words, just a little over a quarter of all murders in the US happen outside the Old South and the fifty cities and the slightly over a third of the population, with the highest murder rates.
The homicide rate for rest of the US – including many of its largest cities, and all of its urban and suburban areas outside Dixie – falls to…1.8 per 100,000. That’s the same as Israel – and it’s tied for #163 in the world. It’s about 20% lower than Norway’s murder rate. It’s not a lot higher, statistically, than Belgium, Canada, or Finland.
It’s about the same as North Dakota’s was, before the oil boom. Or Vermont today.
Or, as a matter of fact, almost identical to that of…
…wait for it…
…no, wait for it…
Peaceful, placid, passive-aggressive Minnesota. North Minneapolis included.
And firearm crimes are more like 1.1-1.2/100,000. Not “vanishingly low”, but pretty low. About the same a Croatia, Macedonia, or Israel.
So…What?: One of the Second Amendment movement’s oldest, most successful aphorisms is “guns don’t kill people; people do”.
And people do evil, or stupid, things for as many reasons as there are people.
But there are some overarching patterns that drive violence in the US; a violence-prone urban culture, with its gangs and black-marketeering and deeply dysfunctional justice system, and a deep south with a tolerance for petty and major violence that far exceeds the rest of the country.
And with those controlled for, the level of violence in the US, by world standards, is to say the least, low.
- Last Friday: Intro
- Monday: The effect urban crime has on America’s murder rate.
- Yesterday: The murder rate in the Deep South.
- Today: What the US’ murder rate would be without its biggest social pathologies.