Americans Convinced Gun Homicides Soar Despite Actual Plunge In Gun Crimes

Tyler Durden's picture

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

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duo's picture

I can't believe both NBC and CBS actually mentioned this on the evening news.  Is anyone watching the Gun Control Network, I mean, CNN?

ghandi's picture

America, Land of the TV.

oddball's picture

Piers, kindky go hang yourself.

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

Facts have very little to do with reality.

tenpanhandle's picture

Facts have very little to do with perceived reality.

If they can get the masses to believe it; it becomes the truth.

Troll Magnet's picture

It's the thought that counts.

francis_sawyer's picture

Americans don't even know what the Marriner Eccles building is either... & if, by chance, they were ever made aware of its existence, it would take about 5...4...3...2... before the media had people convinced that it was simply a limestone edifice... that constructed itself... & subsequently became possessed by GOZER [straight out of Ghostbusters fame]...

The damn thing just prints money all by itself and NOBODY but the Sta Puft Marshmallow man has anything to do with it...

SafelyGraze's picture

and .. teens are increasingly being found alive in houses

even the most normal-looking men are probably stashing teens in their basements and attics.


what we need is more door-to-door searches to find out what is in people's homes.


oddball's picture

I will send fiat paper to that man right now.  Charles Ramsey is fucking awesome.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

So from these stats we should ban southern black men from owning firearms? Is that what this study is saying?

GetZeeGold's picture




An apple a day and an AR-15 with an extended magazine keeps the lynch mob away.

Short Memories's picture

What did the graph look like before '93?

Always skeptical of statistics :)

midtowng's picture

It peaked in '93.  It was a little lower in the 80's.

The question is why they are focusing only on gun crime? This is a mirror of total crime.

A few months ago I had an argument with my father. I told him that crime was way down from a decade or so ago. He was convinced it was up because they talk about crimes on TV all the time.

capitallosses's picture

That building was not built without Obama's help - no you didn't do that yourself.

HardAssets's picture

Then its up to us to bypass the American propaganda machine and tell people directly about this and other gun related facts.

Some more factoids:  Your odds of being the victim in a mass shooting are far less than being struck by lightning (just check out the 10 year stats for both events).  In contrast, about 100 people die every day in auto accidents in the USA. Yet we drive and go about our lives without being overly concerned over this. 

This is hype designed to frighten people and contol them. People are being scammed and are taken to be emotionally driven fools. Do they enjoy being manipulated ?

Frankie Carbone's picture

I've wondered why it took us so long to catch on. We saw it and yet we didn't see it. Or rather we were trained not to see it. Conned, perhaps, into thinking that the real action was metropolitan and all this was just boring hinterland. It was a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth,'' and so it goes away. Puzzling.


Robert Pirsig

Frankie Carbone's picture

Sanity is not truth. Sanity is conformity to what is socially expected. Truth is sometimes in conformity, sometimes not.


Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

HardAssets's picture

"Piers, kindly go hang yourself."

Well personally, I think we should get back to some of the traditions of the American founders - - -

Tar and Feathering for redcoat Piers

Manthong's picture

maybe I am mistaking, but it seems to me that fireworks, Toy RC control and pressure cooker crimes have increased.

somebody should start banning some of those things..  law abiding citizens cannot be trusted to have them.

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

It's interesting to note that of the 10 largest mass murders in modern US history, exactly zero of them were committed with guns.  

Also, a few years back, a guy in his 90's killed a dozen people in Santa Monica with his car, and he wasn't even trying.  We're actually fortunate that terrorists are stupid enough to focus on bombs and guns.

Manthong's picture

Any 2 ton SUV or truck with full time 4WD could easily be a heinously lethal weapon of maming and death on a city street, in a festival or other crowd.

so we should ban them?


Quantum Nucleonics's picture

Well, yes, of course we should.  Because it's the car that kills, not the driver.  Though soon, cars will drive themselves, and take us out of the loop for our own good.  Hmm, didn't Asimov right a book about that?  Plus, big trucks and SUV's are BAAAAAAADDD for the evironment.  We need to all be in coffin, err, smart cars.

de3de8's picture

Jeeesh, don't give them any ideas.

farragut's picture

Do you have a source for this claim? Unless my memory is failing me, I recall a mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 in which 32 were killed by a gunman. 20 were shot & killed at Newtown/Sandy Hook last year. 21 were shot & killed in San Ysidro in the early 80s at a fast food restaurant.

tenpanhandle's picture

My memory fails me quite often but I remember the world trade center bombing, the oklahoma federal building bombing, the govt sponsered mass killing at waco, the koolaid killings of the brainwashed wheel in the sky crowd, the machete hacking of migrant workers by Jaun Corona. That is a few of them anyway.  If any more come to mind I'll be sure to let you know.

farragut's picture

Quantum stated that "...of the 10 largest mass murders in modern US history, exactly zero of them were committed with guns."

The VT shooter killed 32 with a gun. Are there 10 mass killings in US history where the victims weren't killed by guns with a body count greater than 32? If not, then his statement is not true and should be challenged--the same way you'd challenge Obama or Bernanke if they made a claim without providing a source. I'm not trying to be antagonistic, but I'm just asking for a source, cause I can't find any (after only an admittedly cursory web search).

The 'koolaid killings' (if you mean Jonestown) were in Guyana, not the US. Juan Corona was a serial killer, not a mass murderer. Minor points, I know, but we should strive to be accurate, yes?

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

#1 American flight 11 flown into WTC1, 1000+ dead.

#2 United flight 175 flown into WTC2, 1000+ dead.

#3 American flight 77 flown into Pentagon, 189 dead.

#4 Oklohama City bombing, 169 dead

#5 Happyland Club fire, 87 dead

#6 United flight 93 flown into ground, 44 dead.

#7 United flight 629 blown up, 44 dead.

#8 Continental flight 11 blown up, 44 dead

#9 Pacific Air flight 773 crashed, 44 dead.

#10 Pacific Southwest flight 1771 crashed, 43 dead.


Notice anything.... yea, airplanes. Avoid flight 11.  If you are the 44th person getting on a plane, get off!

The VT shootings are #11, then an arson, then many of the shootings mentioned in this thread.

malikai's picture

So that's 8 aviation related mass murders in a 58 year sample history. I think a low guess historically for average # of commercial flights is somewhere around 5,000/day.

That's 103,240,000 commercial flights, giving you and I worst-case odds of 1 in 12,905,000 of being a victm over the entire sample period. 

HardAssets's picture

They must poll the same fools that they get rising 'consumer sentiment' numbers from

Freddie's picture

Tv and Hollywood are for retards who like supporting The Matrix and who enjoy being serfs. Only F***ing morons watch their shit.

surf0766's picture

I can't believe someone watches the other communist networks nbc and cbs

firstdivision's picture

They reported on it because it is proof that QE is working. If you notice, the rate started a second decline after 2008, when Ben Bernanke stared the QE programs. Kinda hard to buy a gun when you cannot afford to survive.

Urban Redneck's picture

The study (and I'm guessing the US TV coverage) probably didn't mention that well over 200,000,000 ADDITIONAL firearms had been added to domestic hands while this drop in gun violence was occurring?

Those inverse correlation nutters may have a point...

(Use ATF AMFER Datasets pre-NICS period)



Bad Attitude's picture

Good point, UR. And, shall-issue concealed handgun license laws have been passed in most states. CHL hasn't caused the bloodbath the gun-control propagandists predicted.

Dingleberry's picture

And you would think that every other person is gay, judging by the gay-a-day news stories.

Ed Bernays would be proud of these liberal sacks of shit, a.k.a. "reporters".

Leading the masses like asses.

BTW, any new word on Linsey Lohan or the Kardashians?

vortmax's picture

Original Pew Research study here

thisandthat's picture

Michael Moore covered this in one of his movies (Columbine, I think) - violent crime was going down, but tv coverage was up exponentially, so public perception was that crime was soaring.

Rustysilver's picture

I think that the 56%  could not name the senators from their state. So, is it valuable, no.

Dr. Engali's picture

I'd be willing to bet that number is closer to 90% of Americans can't name their senators.

tenpanhandle's picture

My senators are ___________ and ______.  I purposely choose not to recognize them. 


Probably easier to name the senators rather than name even one thing they have done to make the country a better place. 

Talleyrand's picture

But their purpose is not to make "the country" a better place. Their purpose is to participate in the transfer of money from one set of pockets to another. They do that pretty well.

nasa's picture

my Senators are BoA & GS

ClassicalLib17's picture

@tenpanhandle,  I am guessing you live in California.  I live in Illinois.  We have a different situation with one communist democrat and one communist homosexual republican.  Folks are voting for taxpayer provided benefits. 

918pigpen's picture

Inhofe  and Coburn, Not perfect but better than most!